Not sure I’m back, but…

I’ve been feeling the urge to blog about food again! After a two-year hiatus from this blog, I think I’m finally ready to dive into the world of food again. Some big things happened that took me away from the blog:

1. I moved to SF (as previously posted) and though it is one of the top culinary destinations out there, I felt like a phony blogging about all these restaurants I’d only been to once, in neighborhoods I knew nothing about. I really needed to get the lay of the land!

2. I got engaged and then got married and planned the wedding from afar which had its own set of challenges! During that time we really tried to save and weren’t eating out NEARLY as much as I would have liked.

3. We moved again in March 2013!

4. My job has really taken off which has afforded me less time to blog! Which is why I’m not sure I’m back, but I want to resurrect this every once in a while to keep my blogging skills sharp and I do love writing about food experiences.

SO that’s been my life for the past two years, but my love affair with food has continued and I’m absolutely LOVING the San Francisco food scene still. Hoping to give people a real taste for what it’s like out here and some of the trends I’ve come across that make SF and/or California unique from my hometown and other places. One thing I just still can’t get over is the diversity of international cuisine – SF is really a melting pot and pretty much any culture or ethnicity you can think of is represented by at least one restaurant. Since we’ve been out here, we’ve had Indian, Thai, Afghan, Cuban, Bavarian, Vietnamese, Greek, French, and my favorite that we had just this past weekend- West African (Senegalese). And these restaurants do not just serve attempts at these types of cuisine — they are real, authentic dishes cooked and served by the people of the country or culture who spoke the language, and most who directly moved to San Francisco from their home countries to open up their restaurants. Our favorite French restaurant out here Castagna is owned by two French brothers Jerome and Stephane. Claus owns the Bavarian watering hole Leopold’s (they serve Das Boots of German beer)! And so on. It’s been amazing to be able to experience so many different kinds of food and our eyes have really been opened to just how many delicious cuisines there are!

That being said, it is predominantly Californian cuisine- which I have taken to mean in a nutshell: Fresh, locally sourced, simply prepared food with modern presentation. And in less fancier places- Avocado accompaniment is a must haha. And most of the time “Californian” can be synonymous with healthy – low in excess fat, low in sugar, and not a whole lot of carbohydrates happening. There are a ton of Vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options. I have completely crossed over to the dark side in this respect. I’m not even sure when it happened, it’s just a gradual submission and breakdown of your will. There are literally no fast-food options really available in the city proper and I guess you just sort of become brainwashed when everywhere you go has healthy, healthy, healthy!!!! in their options, signage and elsewhere. A juice shop opened up three blocks down the street from us and offers plant-based food. I actually purchased cauliflower sushi with Tahini sauce and a green juice and I ENJOYED IT. I’m not sure when I became this person, but the good news is there are also plenty of other places that don’t adhere to the healthy all the time. The French food out here is decadent and the wine. Oh the wine.

I have pretty much found my personal slice of heaven out in the Napa/Sonoma/Dry Creek valleys and beyond. I feel like I didn’t even know what wine was, truly until I moved out here. No disrespect to Virginia wines or vineyards, but seeing is believing and there is just no comparison. Especially when you learn how much weather/climate conditions affect the vines/grapes and overall production process- most of the Virginian/east coast wines just don’t stand a chance, although there are a few varietals that do exceptionally well in those conditions. The history of the California wine country has also fascinated me (which considering I was a history major I guess is to be expected). The Tasting of Paris is pretty much one of the coolest stories I’ve ever heard and the movie Bottleshock (holler Chris Pine) really does a great job of telling it. Who would have thought a group of hippie farmers would have been able to take on one of the most storied wine regions in the WORLD. Pretty cool.

So, keep a lookout for some future posts on some of my specific experiences out here. I’ve really fallen in love.