Ready, Set, Go!
I’ve wanted to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in SF for a few years now. The first year, I seriously considered it. Like, seriously. The second year, I actually signed up for random draw, but was rejected! The third year… well, I guess it’s true, 3rd time’s the charm! I had 14 weeks to prepare for my goal of sub-2, but unfortunately, life got in the way as it always does. Given that I only trained for about 3 weeks, my time of 2:14 isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s actually a PR! The view was not as beautiful as RnR Seattle’s marathon, but overall, I still liked the course.
That last hill though…
All for this blue box!
My preparation in the days leading up to the race involved a lot of eating. I shamelessly took full advantage of the necessary carbo-loading by stretching it over a couple of days. All for the race, guys. All for the race.
First stop off the plane was Limon Rotisserie for some Peruvian food.
Ceviche Mixto… SO GOOD! One of the best ceviches I’ve ever had
The infamous Pollo a la Brasa (half)
This dish comes with 2 sides… if you’re planning on ordering the Lomito Saltado, I would suggest not picking Papas Fritas and Vegetales Salteados for your sides like we did
Even though we were already stuffed from ordering too much food, we had to have dessert. Next stop: Bi-Rite Creamery.
The usual… salted caramel and some kind of coffee, this time being Blue Bottle
For early dinner, we headed to Fort Mason Center for Off The Grid, a gathering of local, mobile vendors.
From top left:
(1) Lobsta Roll from Lobsta Truck
(2) Tender Pork Belly Bao from The Chairman
(3) Lemongrass Chicken w/ Garlic Noodles combo from An The Go
(4) Boom Plate w/ Shrimp from Hula Truck
(5) Vanilla Creme Bizmark from Johnny Doughnuts
(6) Golden Ticket from The Creme Brulee Cart
Everything was really good except the Boom Plate. I found it unappetizing. Sorry, not sorry. What a waste of $9!
The following day we met up friends in San Mateo and had some bomb bruschetta at B Street and Vine.
(1) Fresh mozzarella with tomato and basil
(2) Salami with feta and pesto
(3) Prosciutto with figs and mascarpone
(4) Hummus, tomato & avocado
And for my official carbo-load dinner, we had roasted garlic crab and garlic grab noodles at PPQ Dungeness Island. I know, I know… this isn’t your traditional carbo-load dinner but whatever, I do what I want. The crab was delicious, but I preferred the garlic noodles from An The Go.
Best meal of the trip!
When I ran the marathon in Seattle, Atlas Genius’ When It Was Now carried me through the last few excruciating miles. This time, it was Chvrches’ new album Every Open Eye and the lady at mile 11.5 with the “bRUNch” sign. Not gonna lie, all I could think about was what I was going to eat afterwards…
First stop post race was Mr. Holmes Bakehouse for some pastries followed by Hong Kong Lounge for dim sum.
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse was already sold out of the their infamous cruffins by the time we got there. Lame! Of the six pastries we ended up choosing, my fave was the ham and cheese danish
The XLBs were so plump and juicy!!!
Stuffing my face with dim sum sent me into a food induced nap and when I woke up, it was time for my celebratory dinner at State Bird Provisions.
Getting a reservation at this place was almost as difficult as getting one at French Laundry, Alinea, etc. Seriously, WHY?! I went on Open Table, 60 days in advance, at 12:00AM ON THE DOT. I was ecstatic that my preferred time was available, but first I had to enter my CC info to secure the reservation. After I did so, the system basically said I took too long (which I did NOT) and lost my time slot. I tried again and got the “No Availability for State Bird Provisions within 2.5 hours of requested time in next 8 weeks” message. What. The. Fuck. I wanted to cry and throw my brand new phone at the wall. After I took a couple of deep breaths, I tried again. And I’m honestly not sure what happened… Maybe someone changed their mind or maybe there was a glitch in the system. I don’t know, but 8:30PM was available! It was actually the only time available so I went through the whole process again and this time my reservation went through! Why you gotta play with my emotions like that Open Table?!
Even though I’m still not a fan of alcohol, I’ve actually been enjoying dark beer. Stouts are delicious!
State Bird Provisions has a standard menu consisting of small bites (Toasts & Pancakes), main dishes (Commandables), and dessert. The provisions come in trays/carts and you select whatever you want and they mark it down at the bottom on your menu based on price, dim sum style. I remember the prices ranging from $3 to $15.
From top left:
(1) Kung pao beef tongue and sweetbreads (Commandable)
(2) Rabbit meatball (Provision)
(3) Pork belly pluot salad (P)
(4) Hog island oyster (P)
(5) CA state bird with provisions, half (C)
(6) Miso glazed cod collar (P)
(7) Guinea hen dumpling (P)
(8) Duck liver mousse with almond biscuit (P)
(9) Charred octopus (P)
Overall, I enjoyed the meal but left underwhelmed. My favorite was the kung pao beef tongue and sweetbreads – the beef tongue was so tender and I’m just a sucker for sweetbreads! Besides this, nothing really stood out. The state bird, although flavorful, had too much breading. Perhaps I expected too much based on the 4.5 star rating on Yelp.
We ended the night with ice cream at Swensen’s and a night time view of Coit Tower.
‘Till next time, SF ♥