One thing about me is that I live in the suburbs. My town is kinda boring, sports oriented (i'm not so sporty), and small. What we kids do here, if we're not on a sports team, is walk and walk and walk, kind of like taking advantage of living in such a small place. Whenever I have a chance to get of the suburbs I jump at it, but we normally go to Los Angeles. About a week ago we just felt the need to get out of Southern California altogether and take a semi long road trip to San Francisco which I hadn't been to since I was just a little baby. I don't think we could've gone to a better place to visit and explore.
On the way there I was really excited to see a couple of signs for this vegan Indian food restaurant slapped in the middle of nowhere. We didn't get a chance to try it as we were saving all the room in our bellies for San Francisco vegan grub.
When we arrived in San Francisco we checked in to our hotel and immediately drove off to Ike's Place to try their vegan sandwiches. Once we got there we discovered a huge line outside but shrugged and decided it was probably worth it. Forty minutes later we make it to the front of the line and order when we hear the sad news," Oh, we're out of vegan cheese." Like we did with the line we shrugged and ordered anyways. The staff were really funny and friendly and very dedicated to Ike's. About twenty minutes later, we got our sammies and dug in. Mine, a Meatless Mike, was deeeelicious and didn't even need soy cheese. My mom got a Vegan Zoe, on the menu its called,' ( Favorite Sesame Street character)' which was rad. She says its one of the best vegan sandwiches she's ever had and didn't miss the soy cheese one bit. The line was indeed worth it because Ik'e Place was impressive.
After having full bellies we wandered off to the Haight which I basically haighted. I don't know what it was, I've been to areas similar to Haight Ashbury but didn't dislike them as much. Maybe it was because I was super thirsty or something. It could have been the amount of homeless dogs we saw but, most of the dogs looked in better health than their owners. We went into a few shops and bought a couple of things. The highlight of Haight was seeing a homeless vegan man who was in need of some hemp milk which is pricey so we gave him a buck. I did like the funkiness of Haight Ashbury.
Somehow we were able to manage getting hungry a few hours after our sandwiches and decided on going to Herbivore since it was just a couple blocks away from our hotel. The menu was very impressive, it took me awhile to figure out what I wanted. My mom actually asked our waitress what she suggested and went with the Shawarma and LOVED it. I went with the ravioli since it I hadn't had a vegan ravioli before that. I can't say I loved it. The creamy marinara sauce was delicious, but flooded the bowl making the dish almost like ravioli soup. There were only a few raviolis themselves which were tasty, but I could mainly taste the sauce. It came with a side of garlic bread which I thought was decent, nothing that I haven't had before, but it is just garlic bread. Overall my dinner was just okay.
The next day we went to Herbivore again to try their breakfast menu since it was so close to our little hotel. I ordered the savory crepes and my mother ordered the pesto tofu scramble. The crepes were very satisfying and they came with a side of potatos. Oh.My.Lord. I have never tasted any potatos that good in my life. I don't know what they do to make them so freaking good but I want to know. The pesto tofu scramble was different and something we've never tried and thought it was pretty good. I'd give that breakfast an 9/10.
After breakfast we walked ALL OVER the place. We walked to the Haight, down through the ternderloin to downtown back up to Divisadero and then down to the Mission and Bernal Heights. After thrift shopping and exploring we ended up at Gracias Madre for dinner. I think that was my favorite restaurant in San Francisco. You get this city vibe when you walk in with all the people. All the wait staff were super friendly! I got lemonade there which is possibly the best lemondae I've ever had. I ordered the Enchiladas con Mole Poblano, and wowzah. I haven't had that great of Mexican food in a long time. The beans tasted like those beans that you would get at a regular mexican restaurant full of lard (which you didn't know about until you become vegan). The enchiladas defintely hit the spot, so flavorful and spicy that you have to have a tall glass of water next to the food. My mom got tacos which you get 3 choices of different flavors. She got the Hongos (mushroom and garlic), Rajas ( pablono chile strips with onion), and Platanos. (grilled plantains) My mom raved about the Rajas but didn't like the Platanos since it tasted like banana on a taco. Besides that I would SO give this place a 10/10 for the service, food, and vibes.
Our last day we started off at Herbivore, again, since we could just walk there. That was probably the worst restaurant experience we had in San Francisco. We arrived as soon as they opened. The woman who was working was running late and looked stressed. We walked in and took a seat. From the beginning she wasn't friendly. Since I had a sweet tooth I got the dessert crepes and my mamma got the sausage biscuit. When I took a bite of my crepes with the creme they serve it with which was rather runny I got this very bitter taste in my mouth. So I tasted the crepe, then tasted the creme and figured out it was the creme. I have no clue how it got so bitter and tylenol-tasting but I sent it back. Again, the woman seemed really annoyed. I ordered sourdough french toast in replacement of the crepes and that was so much better. Capably, the best vegan french toast I've ever had. The sausage biscuit my mom had was yummy! Very good comfort food and extra delicious with the gravy on it. It came with a side of those heavenly potatos. I tried them with some gravy and that was to die for. So I think the food ( for me the 2nd round of food) made up for the bad service. We read about Herbivore being hit or miss, our experience was mostly hit with a bit of miss.
Once we were all packed up with our luggage we walked around Chinatown before heading to Berkeley. Hands down the worst experience of San Francisco was Chinatown. I could deal with all the people but couldn't deal with the dead birds hanging upside down with there heads still on on display. So sad. Then it just got worse. As we were walking back to our car there were live pigeons in a box so tightly compacted, it was heartbreaking to see. Who knows what torture they go through when people buy them for food. I had had it in Chinatown, so we thankfully headed to a more sane Berkeley.
Berkeley was a nice balance with San Francisco. The people were a little more friendly and it was defintely more mellow. We walked around a bit and went to Cinnaholic. Okay, if I could live on a deserted island with Herbivore's potatoes, Cinnaholic's cinnamon buns, and Gracias Madre's food and lemonade altogether I'd be the happiest girl in the universe. My cinnamon bun was half strawberry half cream soda topped with marshmallows and strawberries. I'm drooling just thinking of it, those things are amazing. I would make a 6 hour roadtrip out to Berkeley just for those babies. Mom got one of there specials which was a banana nut cinnamon roll and she loved hers she as much ad I loved mine. We are officially Cinnaholics. Before I go crazy I must stop talking about Cinnaholic's cinnamon buns.
We roamed around Berkeley and did some vintage clothes shopping. Before hitting the road back home we stopped and ate at an Indian restaurant, House of Curries. The guy working there was extremely helpful with what vegan curries they had. He pointed out the one's that aren't vegan and left us with alot of options. We got yellow lentil curry with potatoes and a mixed vegetable curry. Both were amazing and exactly what we wanted. It was nice to sit down, relax, eat and watch Berkeley during the day.
We had an amazing time in San Francisco/ Berkeley and it was so nice to get out of the usual! I cannot wait to go back.... and go to college there.......