Save Me, San Francisco

Just like NYC, I never intended to visit SF every year, but things just worked out that way. Last Thursday, Henry and I packed some clothes and snacks and made the 6.5 hour drive up north. We spent the weekend in the city by the bay (+ side trip to Napa, OF COURSE) with a couple of good friends.

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GOOD FRIENDS + GOOD FOOD = GOOD TIMES 🙂

In SF, we stayed at our usual spot: Coventry Motor Inn. Upon checking in, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the room was completely renovated (new carpet, new memory foam beds, tv, etc)! And the best part was the price remained the same as before! I LOVE this place for being budget friendly, having FREE parking, and for its great location.

Our first night was spent eating dinner at Leopold’s and getting drinks at Horseshoe Tavern. Not only was the food at Leopold’s delicious, the co-owner Albert is totally awesome! I spoke to him briefly on the phone and since we were staying close by, he graciously offered to put my name on the list and provided an approximate time a table would be ready. Doing just that would have been good enough for me, but after dinner, Albert thanked us personally for dining at his restaurant and even remembered my name!

We tried to wake up early on Friday to avoid waiting a long time for brunch at Dottie’s True Blue Cafe. Unfortunately, I suck at waking up early when I don’t have work so we got in line at about 10:30AM and waited a little more than 1.5 hours for a table. BRUTAL. By the time we were seated, we were starving, thus …

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yea buddyyyy 😀

Yes, the food was worth the wait.

After stuffing our face, we tried to fight off food coma by walking around Union Square. We then took the F train to Justin Herman Plaza for some urban zip lining!

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The only downside is that you pay $29 for an experience that lasts less than a minute. It’s pricey, but it’s a cool thing to do if you’ve never zip lined before. It runs only in the summer and will shut down by the end of September. Hurry!!

After zip lining, we slowed things a bit by taking a leisurely hike at Land’s End.

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The next day, we headed up to Napa for some wine tasting. I don’t like wine so that made me the designated driver and photographer.

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Domaine Chandon

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Paradigm

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Alpha Omega

And that was that. Another great trip up north.

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SF Eats & Activities (+our verdict):
Leopold’s, 4.5/5
Dottie’s, 4/5
Zip Trek, 3/5
Philz Coffee, 5/5
Ferry Building, 4/5

Napa Wineries (+Henry’s verdict):
Domaine Chandon, 3/5
Paradigm, 4/5
Rubicon, 4/5
Alpha Omega, 1/5

I eat: ink.sack

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Ever since watching Michael Voltaggio’s stint on Top Chef (season 6), I’ve been reppin’ Team Voltaggio all day, errday! Despite being a big fan, I never got the chance to try his food while he was at The Dining Room. The only thing that comforted me was knowing that Voltaggio would be opening his own restaurant soon. Originally rumored to open in July, ink. hit some speed bumps and is now slated to open in a couple of weeks (mid-September-ish). In the meantime, fans like myself were able to quell their impatience by heading a few doors down to ink.sack, Voltaggio’s new sandwich shop.

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I followed a tip and arrived at ink.sack at around 12:30PM on Sunday. Parking was easy and I was the third person in line. I ordered 5 sandwiches, 1 cookie and 1 drink to share with Henry. As I stood at a table waiting for our food (no seats, standing room only), the line grew and flowed out the door.

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Cold Fried Chicken and Jose Andres (aka Spanish Godfather)

In less than 10 minutes, our sandwiches were ready and I picked up the black paper bag at the counter. First up was the Cold Fried Chicken, which reminded me of a (cold) KFC snacker. The only difference on the CFC was the special sauce, Gindo’s Spice of Life, which had a nice kick, but was not anything close to amazing. I found the Jose Andres to be very salty – almost to the point of being inedible. Others like this sandwich, it just wasn’t for me.

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Reuben and Maple Pepper Turkey Melt

The Reuben sounded interesting on paper. Sandwich with beef tongue? Cool, right? Yea, well, even though the meat was tender, I couldn’t tell I was eating tongue. The sauer kraut didn’t have any tang either and tasted like boiled cabbage. As for the Maple Pepper Turkey Melt, the highlight was the mostarda. Without it, the sandwich would have been as bland and boring as the Reuben.

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Banh Mi and Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie

Of all the sandwiches, I liked the Banh Mi the most. However, it tasted like any other banh mi. I expected the Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie to have some kind of heat or spice, but it tasted like any other chocolate chip cookie. There was actually no heat whatsoever.

I wish I could say I was impressed by Voltaggio’s creations, but I wasn’t. Maybe I expected too much. As a fellow Yelper stated in his review, hype is a horrible thing.

Verdict: 3/5
ink.sack
8360 Melrose Ave, Ste 107
Los Angeles, CA 90069