the wonderful world of food
I believe in enjoying food. I enjoy fresh, ripe avocados, firm pastas in rich tomato sauces, spicy enchiladas, fiery curries, crunchy noodles, filling burritos, and crisp green salads. I live in a state where food freshness is valued, and in a city that is a sort of restaurant mecca, which has allowed me to sample fabulous foods from all over the world.
Allow me to share my food love with you on these pages.
I eat a wide variety of foods, most of which I make myself. Eating out can be fabulous, but restaurant food is often like banquet food: expensive, unusually rich and heavy, and more complicated than the simple, homestyle food I crave.
I'm an herbivore, a vegan-leaning vegetarian. I think vegetarian and vegan foods are the best kind of foods in the world, based on earth's fabulous and wildly varied bounty. There's a long tradition for the kind of diet I have in most places in the world, and a wide range of delicious food choices for my enjoyment (and for yours!).
"Vegetarian!? What do you eat?" I have many personal favorite foods. I'll list some of them here.
My diet includes:
- Asian-Inspired Foods (generally served with rice)
- pea shoots with garlic
- Thai green veggie curry (mixed veggies in a coconut milk sauce)
- saag aloo (stewed spinach with onions, tomato, potatoes, and spices)
- baighan barta (stewed eggplant with onions, tomato, and spices)
- broccoli and tofu in black bean sauce or Vietnam-style chili garlic sauce
- rahmen noodles with vegetables
- bok choi with garlic or peanut sauce
- miso soup with tofu, wakame, and spring onions
- tempura donburi (batter fried veggies over rice)
- Tibetan noodle soup (spinach, noodles, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and chilies...)
- Central American-Inspired Foods
- stewed black beans with rice
- zuchhini enchiladas with a salsa fresca
- mushroom enchiladas in chile negro sauce
- butternut squash enchiladas in winter red sauce
- Italian-Inspired Foods
- lasagna made with spinach, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and a tofu "ricotta" containing garlic and herbs in tomato sauce
- spaghetti marinara
- linguini al pesto
- pasta salad of marinated artichoke hearts, kalamanta olives, and roasted red and yellow peppers
- fettuccini con olio (with olive oil and garlic)
- rotini with green olive pesto
- margherita pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil leaves)
- pizza wth tomato sauce, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, black olives, and crushed garlic
- tofu and spinach ravioli in tomato-basil sauce
- penne in mushroom tomato sauce
- All sorts of other foods
- Greek salad with lettuce, kalamanta olives, feta cheese, bermuda onions, and a balsamic dressing
- veggie burgers
- potato salad
- marinated eggplant sandwiches
- haraira (a middle eastern soup)
- sushi (shiitaki maki; avocado maki; kanpyo maki; horenso maki; veggie futomaki; etc.)
- avocado sandwiches on whole wheat with sprouts (you were waiting for some sort of sprout reference, weren't you?)
- oatmeal with brown sugar and nutmeg or cinnamon
- massive veggie burritos with beans, rice, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes, and hot salsa in a flour tortilla
- homemade pies: apple, apple cranberry, pumpkin, butternut, and peach
- fruit sorbets
- and much more!
My absolute favorite cookbook is the Kopan Cookbook, by Betty Jung. I've gone through phases where I wanted nothing more than to eat recipes from this book every day! It's a small and charming book of recipes from the Kopan monastery in Tibet, all based around a spice mixture you'll need to make in a blender or spice grinder (it's worth it). The recipes are fresh and fortifying, and most take relatively little time once you have all your ingredients ready. The soups, such as a Tibetan noodle soup with spinach and tomatoes or a curried mashed potato soup, are especially satisfying.
Another cookbook I used quite frequently is Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean, from the authors of Vegetarian Times Magazine. This book contains the recipes I use to make homemade pizza (I hadn't realized it was so easy!), some North African soups, polenta, quiche-like tarts made without eggs, cous cous, paella, and other dishes.
Rounding out the most roughed-up part of my cookbook shelf is The Best 125 Meatless Pasta Dishes by Mindy Toomay and Susan Gesikopf Hadler. The exotic pestos are simple and fabulous, the spicy eggplant pasta salad with Kalamanta olives is excellent, and even pasta soups like curried carrot with cous cous are great. I eliminate the salt recommendations from most recipes, at least until I taste them: the cooks like their dishes a bit saltier than I do.
I also like The Savory Way by Deborah Madison, the author of the more complicated Greens Cookbook. TSW is full of fresh, straightforward recipes that involve just a few ingredients and yet have very rewarding and novel flavors. Everything I've made from this book has been a treat (except for when I lost track of what I was doing, and doubled the amount of water used in the garlic soup). These recipes are much quicker to work with than those of her restaurant based cookbook, which makes sense.
I have a dozen or more other cookbooks, each of which has its strong recipes, but those are the ones that consistently deliver foolproof recipes. I recommend them highly! I also recommend going to your local library and reviewing their selection. You can test drive them, or get that ONE recipe that makes you want the book. Or, for items like the Larousse Gastronomique you can just study, laugh, and copy all the sorbet recipes. You might also be able to save yourself some trouble. In the past, I've checked out fabulous books on Scandinavian baking, only to discover that everyone around me immediately gained several pounds as I practiced making danishes. It was better that I didn't own that book!
I've had mixed luck with recipes provided on the web. My intuition is getting better about warning me away from recipes that seem to lack something important. Whenever I have found a recipe on-line that I loved, I gushed about it on my weblog (now archived for your enjoyment), Things Consumed.
My blog is about "edible treats, eye candy, and food for thought," so if covers quite a few topics beyond food. But for foodies, here is an index of recipe highlights from my blog's inception in July of 2002 through July 2008.
All of my recipes are vegetarian; many are vegan.
- -cabbage with ginger and garlic
- -chili, basic (within text)
- -chili, pinto bean
- -cocktail: margarita, ginger lemonade
- -cornbread, blue (within text)
- -crepes with mushroom and spinach filling; home fried potatoes
- -green beans with tomatoes, garlic, and tofu
- -enchilada sauce, fresh red (salsa fresca)
- -enchilada sauce, red (dried chilies)
- -enchiladas, kidney bean and pepper jack cheese
- -enchiladas, multi-squash, with fresh sauce
- -enchiladas, pumpkin, cheese & black bean with habañero sauce
- -enchiladas, several different fillings, one winter sauce
- -enchiladas, Rosemary's sweet potato and black bean
- -enchiladas, Arlene's fraidycat smoky
- -enchiladas, sweet acorn squash in chipotle sauce
- -Indian-style entree: Kashmir masala (I don't call every Indian dish a curry, so I'm putting it here)
- -lasagna, eggplant sauce
- -lasagna, Mediterranean
- -lasagna, spinach, feta, and Kalanta olive
- -lasagna, two vegan variations (I sometimes spell this 'lasagne')
- -pad prik king j (Thai dish with green beans and tofu in red chili sauce)
- -pancakes, potato (easy)
- -pasta, linguini with pesto sauce, green beans, and fresh tomatoes
- -pasta salad, for a crowd
- -pasta sauce, cilantro, basil, parsley with green beans and sweet peppers
- -pasta sauce, con olio variations
- -pasta sauce, fresh tomato and basil
- -pasta sauce, mushroom and tomato
- -pasta sauce, oregano and avocado
- -pasta sauce, pesto avocado
- -pasta sauce, simple Kalamanta olive
- -pasta sauce, tomato, rosemary and onion
- -pasta, shells stuffed with two cheeses
- -pasta, shells stuffed with spinach, artichoke hearts, and feta
- -pasta, shells stuffed with spinach, mushrooms and love (note that the ingredient list omits the tofu-ricotta stuffing, for no apparent reason. Sorry.)
- -pasta, simple garlicky broccoli
- -pear, hot dessert
- -pie, naranjilla (lulo)
- -pie, peach
- -pie, pear (within text)
- -pie, pumpkin
- -polenta, with fresh tomatoes, basil and feta
- -polenta, with pesto and black olives
- -polenta, with sauteed spinach and garlic
- -polenta, with sundried tomatoes
- -potatoes and green beans with pesto sauce
- -potatoes, lightly curried breakfast
- -quesadillas, leisurely breakfast
- -quesadillas, with feta
- -quiche, bell pepper, onion and mushroom - eggless
- -quiche, mushroom - eggless
- -quiche, spinach, feta, and artichoke - eggless
- -saag, purely experimental and not yet recommended
- -smoothies, three banana recipes
- -soup, green pea and barley
- -soup, hot and sour
- -soup, miso
- -soup, pancotto
- -soup, potato and leek
- -soup, potato and leek (soymilk version)
- -soup, roasted squash and tomato
- -soup, sabbatical miso for one
- -spaghetti squash casserole
- -spread, roasted bell pepper
- -spread, simple eggplant (is also a good sauce)
- -stir fry, simple, with chard, tofu, bean sprouts, rice stick
- -stir fry, tofu with spinach and onions in (purchased) Thai peanut sauce
- -tarragon and garlic salad dressing
- -tofu, breakfast scramble/stir fry
- -tortillas, corn
- -vindaloo: potato & cauliflower (using purchased vindaloo paste).
My Food Features
I realized that most of the things I write are food features, and it's most likely you'll come across something you like just by browsing. So this is a very short list of a few special features.
I lived in the suburban town of San Bruno for two years. I did this for love. Despite my initial impressions, the town of San Bruno (about 3 towns south of San Francisco, on the eastern side of the peninsula, very close to San Francisco International Airport) has some yummy restaurants. These are generally in "old town San Bruno," the business district along San Mateo Avenue, between San Bruno Avenue and El Camino Real. Many of the restaurants I enjoyed are no longer in business.
In no particular order, I liked these restaurants, which were still there as of December 2005:
- Mexican cuisine:
- Don Pico's is a fresh, lard-free place with several nice dishes. My favorite is the spinach enchilada, which comes with a generous dab of sour cream over green sauce. Yumm!
- La Paloma is a standard taqueria with cafeteria-style seating. Their burritos are excellent, large, and inexpensive. Their salsa tastes very fresh.
- Araujo's is on San Bruno Avenue. They have fabulous Mexican breakfasts, but (1) everything there seems very high in cholesterol, all cheese and eggs rather than veggies, and (2) they use lard, sometimes so much that you can TASTE it.
- Roma Delicatessen is good for sandwiches: they are HUGE, about a foot long, and their cheeses (especially pepper jack) are yummy. There's often a long line, and if you're squeamish about watching your cheese go through a slicer that was just used to slice meat, don't watch too closely.
- Yes, I know, you didn't think a little city like San Bruno would have something like this. But it does. And it's great! Innya Lake is a Burmese/Chinese restaurant. Their vegetarian/vegetable menu doesn't warn you that they use non-vegetarian ingredients, but if you tell them that you want everything 'vegetarian' with no shrimp powder, they'll be happy to accommodate you. I.L. also makes Chinese food, so you don't need to worry about their dishes being too spicy - some are quite mild.
- Pizza Guys. Garlic, artichoke hearts, and black olives. Yum.
This section of my web page could go on FOREVER.
There are so many good things to eat in San Francisco, it defies comprehension. Which is why we local restaurant lovers don't try to eat everywhere. We develop favorites, and go to them religiously, only trying new things that sound especially great. I'm not speaking for all San Franciscans, obviously, but nearly everyone has favorite places that they want to be a regular customer of, with good reason.
Please note that restaurants turn over amazingly fast in SF, and that I don't get to eat at ALL of these often enough to be sure that they are all still open, especially since I work in two non-SF cities now, one of which is not actually in North America. I'm putting a year in parenthesis at the end of each listing, representing when I last REGULARLY ate at these locations.
Here are my favorite restaurants.
- the Castro, where I lived for about 10 months
- Samovar Tea Lounge (samovartea.com), on Sanchez at 18th and in Yerba Buena Gardens near SFMoMA. Lovely teas, tasty snacks, and delicious small plates to fill you up with warmth. (2013)
- Taqueria Zapata (PDF). There's a reason there is always a line! 18th and Collingwood (uphill from Castro). (2011)
- the Excelsior
- Roxie Food Center/Deli, San Jose Avenue at Balboa Pool. The line snakes through the length of this tiny corner store for good reason: huge, deli sandwiches, with the rolls toasted open-faced with cheese in toaster ovens lining the back counter, filled with every imaginable filling (and a few that are unimaginable: I'd never had 3-bean salad in a sandwich before!). They are wet and messy, but really satisfying. Sit down to enjoy these. With a napkin, or a bib on. (2008)
- the Haight
- Citrus Club, 1790 Haight St (near the GGP end of Haight). This dark noodle house, filled with boistrous people and scantily clad waitresses, serves a host of Asian-blended cuisines. The soups are SO GOOD: in particular, their Tom Kha vegetarian coconut milk soup is the best tom kha I have ever had, and served in massive bowls. Most of the other dishes are not spicy enough for me, but there are chili sauces on the table. They also have a full bar, and serve some darned tasty beverages. (2012)
- Zona Rosa, my burrito refuge once I left the Mission District. TOFU burritos done well! (2007)
- Hayes Valley
- Arlequin Cafe (arlequincafe.com), a casual spot where you can order some tasty foods while drinking tasty wine, or pick up some special items to go. (2012)
- Patxi's Chicago Pizza (patxispizza.com) is amazing, in a delicious, terrifying, filling way. (2012)
- Otoro Sushi (otorosushi.com). A go-to sushi spot for me. Veg-friendly (obviously, or I wouldn't be eating there.) (2013)
- Stelline (via Yelp), a non-pretentious, casual, mello Italian restaurant. Your wine will come in a regular drinking glass, and it will be inexpensive, good table wine that goes with the delicious, home-style, inexpensive but quality food. (2013)
- Ingleside/West Portal/Sunnyside/and between
- El Toreador (which I used to spell El Torreador, sorry about that), 50 West Portal (almost within sight of the tunnel), west side of the street. Festively silly decor, big blue margaritas, and a very complete dinner menu. The bean soup is veg, and there are symbols on the menu to let herbivores choose wisely, but vegans need to get detailed. Eggplant enchiladas! (2013)
- Jitra Thai, 2545 Ocean in "Lakeside Village" near Junipero Serra. JT has a good vegetarian menu section, delicious eggplant and tofu dishes, and pleasant, attentive service. (2013)
- Mozzarella di Bufala Pizza, 69 West Portal Avenue, near the movie theater. Creamy cheeses, fresh toppings. (2013)
- Roti Indian Bistro, upscale Indian dining. Fast, delicious, fancy. You may need reservations to eat dinner there. VERY nice. Seems to be getting even better with time! (2013)
- Sushi Shoh (sushishoh.com), which is technically in Forest Hill, but nothing else is, so it doesn't get a separate category. It's a short walk or one streetcar stop from Forest Hill. My favorite 'neighborhood' sushi place - and the staff are super-nice. (2013)
- Japan Center
- Cafe Hana. A nice little dessert cafe. (2008)
- Mifune, the noodle house in San Francisco's fun Japan Town (also known as Nihonmachi). Delicious green tea soba noodles; excellent vegetable tempura over rice. (Herbivores should avoid the soups, based on a fish broth.) There are two locations, the one in the Kintetsu Restaurant mall is largest. It is a sister restaurant to Iroha, in the open air mall uphill, but Iroha has no vegetarian items on its dinner menu at all: you need to ask for special treatment, and that makes me sad. (Mifune - 2013)
- the Marina
- Delarosa (delarosasf.com), a delicious Italian place. Go early if you want to sit: it becomes too crowded late in the evening. (2013)
- Greens Restaurant, at Fort Mason. The vegetarian gourmet restaurant run by the San Francisco Zen Center, supplied with fresh produce from the Center's own Green Gulch Farm at Marin. Not only is the food and service reliably excellent, but the views of the Golden Gate from the huge, industrial windows are quite lovely. This place is consistently fabulous, worth every penny. They avoid silly food 'trends' and dish up meals that will have you describing what you ate to your friends for weeks. Surprisingly, there are fewer vegan dishes than I would expect. (2009)
- The Grove, 2250 Chestnut Street at Pierce. Tasty coffee, some pastries, fresh juices, breakfast all day. (2009)
- The Mission, my home for 24 years, and its adjacent Valencia Street restaurant corridor
- Cafe Ethiopia (cafe-ethiopia.com), 878 Valencia Street. This may be my favorite Ethiopian restaurant yet! If you haven't had Eritrean or Ethiopian food, it's largely stewed: spinach with tomatoes and spices, spicy moist lentils, potatoes simmered with carrots and turmeric... All served with a wonderful, spongy, pancake-y kind of bread that you use to scoop up the stews. It's sensuous in every way: the feel of the bread, the way you scoop up the saucy foods, the smell of each unique food, and finally the taste. Some nights there are inexplicable delays in the kitchen, but the food is truly excellent. (2013)
- Cha Ya Vegetarian Japanese Restaurant at 762 Valencia Street (near 19th). The longest vegan Japanese menu you have ever seen! Their yasai soba is the best thing in the world; their sushi is delicious... I am not a fan of the moon custard, which is bland, but everything else has bordered on divine. (2012)
- Dosa (dosasf.com/valencia_home.htm), 995 Valencia and in the Fillmore at Post. South Indian food, including, yes, Dosas. Delicious. Addictive. Noisy atmosphere, slightly pricey, but VERY tasty. Good soju cocktails, including my favorite, the lychee lush. The one in the Fillmore has a full bar, and they are VERY proud of it. (2013)
- Herbivore, the Earthly Grill (herbivore-restaurant.com), 983 Valencia (also across town at 531 Divisadero). Vegan heaven. I like just about everything they make, especially the lasagne and eggplant sandwiches. The servings are huge - you will not leave hungry. Fresh, often organic, and ever so satisfying: all vegan food can be this good! (2013)
- Little Nepal, in Bernal Heights at 925 Cortland. Heavenly Himalayan food, with heavy Indian influences. The eggplant tarkari may be the best bhaigan bharta-like dish I have had in my entire life. (2012)
- Pancho Villa Taqueria (panchovillasf.com), 3071 16th near Mission, home of some of the largest burritos you've yet seen. The lettuce and cheese seem especially fresh; there are numerous vegetarian burritos on the menu; and the green salsa here is mild but quite addictive. (Note: I've been warned that sister restaurant, El Toro, no longer uses vegetarian rice in their "vegetarian" items, but that PV does. Proceed with caution.) Note that the beans have been too salty for my tastes since 2012, and I'm not sure what the problem is. (2013)
- Udupi Palace (udupipalaceca.com), 1007 Valencia. This is another branch of the local dosa-making chain, and is a solely vegetarian restaurant. This is delicious, reliable food, in a much nicer setting than the Berkeley location. (2013)
- North Beach
- Calzone's (calzonesf.com), 430 Columbus. I like this drawing of it. I think of this as a tourist place because of its location, but the food is good! It's owned by the same folks that set up the Stinking Rose across the street, which isn't as garlicky as its name and reputation imply. (2013)
- Potrero Hill, in the eastern half of SF, where I worked in 2006 - 2007
- Aperto (apertosf.com), 1434 18th St. Delicious, California-inspired Italian foods. The menu changes, but includes such wonders as artichoke ravioli and veggie risotto, beautifully presented. Everything is deliciious - try to save room for dessert. (2007)
- Axis Cafe (axis-cafe.com), at 1201 8th Street (near 16th - the streets bend past 16th, so this sort of intersection is possible). Axis has delicious coffee drinks, tasty pastries, and some unusual and very fresh sandwiches. I like the "Grilled Moroccan Spiced Tofu" sandwich, which is fresh and moist, with exotic spices and a tasty side salad. They are in a fashionable space, and have art up - and a fireplace. (2007)
- Goat Hill Pizza (goathillpizza.com), 300 Connecticut at 18th Street, with other locations around SF. They make pizzas on sourdough crusts. Mmmmm. From the back room, there are great views from downtown all the way out to the church at USF. They have a vegetarian sandwich which is really too much for one person (or just enough for a piggy person): it's an open roll with all the class veggie pizza topics, toasted in the pizza oven. It's huge. I ate it all. I only regretted it hours later, when I still felt overstuffed, but it was delicious. (2007; 2013 for the West Portal location, which is alright.)
- the Richmond District (between the Presidio and Golden Gate Park), my home for 7 years
- Thai Time, 315 8th Ave at Clement. This tiny little (8 table?) shop serves some of the best Tom Kha J and Tom Yum J soups I have ever had. The flavors have nearly inspired religious devotion on my part. Other favorites include their green vegetable curry, the Cho Chee Tofu (tofu and cabbage in a red coconut curry), and Pad Ma Keur (sauteed eggplant and tofu with peppers and onions). The vegetarian menu is on the back page, and is extensive for a place of that size. (2009)
- Sunset District, home of the fog
- Arizmendi Bakery Cooperative, 1331 9th Avenue near Irving. Delicious, handmade pizza on a thin, sourdough crust. People are so addicted, there is a posted pizza schedule around which you can plan your life! (2008)
- The Crepevine and its twin-separated-at-birth, Squat & Gobble on Cole/Church/Irving/West Portal/etc. I gush about these (egg-containing) crepes. These all-day breakfast cafes serve massive, fresh, savory or sweet crepes with salads or lovely home-fried potatoes. My favorite crepe is one of my own design: the basic crepe with its cheddar cheese and grilled onions, filled with sauteed spinach and mushrooms, and topped with fresh tomato salsa. It is SO GOOD. On nights when you can't sleep and are waiting for the sun to rise, you can become obsessed with these. Not that such a thing has happened to me. Oh no. (2013)
- Naan and Curry, near 9th and Irving. Very cheap, no frills, get-your-own-dishes Indian-Pakistani food. (2013)
In April, 2003, I was lucky enough to spend 8 nights in the City of Vancouver. It's a lovely city, plagued by the same oppressively uniform corporate megachains as other large cities, but with a lovely bay, clean air, huge parks, great views, and skiing just half an hour away. Oh, and lots of good restaurants.
While visiting, I especially enjoyed:
Banana Leaf Malaysian Restaurant, 1096 Denman St. (more or less West End) and one other location in town. This branch of the main Banana Leaf won awards in the local tourist magazines. It is SOOO GOOD. I was put off at first, because the only overtly vegetarian dishes were side dishes, but there was a little chard leaf symbol that meant that dishes so marked could be made without meat or fish/shrimp paste, and so we went in. It was SOOO GOOD!! They served us the best tofu/tahu goreng I've ever tasted: fried tofu in a lovely sour dressing with chili sauce and crunchy salad items like cucumbers. I wish I had some right now. Yum yum yum yum yum. We had two other dishes, and were completely full and happy when we finished, so the serving sizes are good. I recommend this place highly.
Buddhist Vegetarian Restaurant, 137 East Pender St. in Vancouver's Chinatown. The food is delicious and the portions are VERY large, even at lunch. The wonton soup was perfect; the country-style tofu (deep fried and very fresh) in a spicy sauce was addictive. Everything was just what I wanted. It's just across the street from one of the entrances to the Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, which you should also visit.
Capone's, an Italian restaurant at 1141 Hamilton Street in Yaletown. My linguini in wild mushroom sauce was WONDERFUL. I remember loving the salad, but the pasta was just fabulous. This place is one of countless Yaletown restaurants with high ceilings and outdoor dining in a former warehouse district: the dining patios are on what were once loading docks, but made charming with brick and nice awnings and other such stuff. Window shopping in the area is a hoot. Oh, and my wine was great, but I didn't keep adequate notes, so I don't remember which Pinot Noir it was, but it was Canadian.
Crepe Cafe, a chain that appears on Robson, Granville, and other streets around town. The menu doesn't list very many options for savory crepes, but a spinach and feta crepe with mushrooms added from the options list is satisfying. The crepes are very similar to crepes we had in Paris, and the hot coffee drinks and other beverages finish the meal well. [Warning: for some reason, the Robson store forbids cameras. I didn't notice this going in, and so played with my camera quite a bit while adjusting some of the exposure settings. Ooops.]
Death By Chocolate, multiple locations including 818 Burrard, and in the 800s or 900s on Denman. Amazingly, profoundly decadent desserts. We had our final Vancouver meal there, because they offer a few non-dessert foods, including tasty soups (such as a vegetarian harira with tender lentils) and sandwiches melted in one of those fancy grill-presses, that both squeezes and toasts a sandwich at the same time (feta, tomato, and pesto, yum!). My favorite dessert experience there: a white chocolate mousse with huge shavings of white chocolate and segments from grapefruits, limes, and tangerines. Mmmmmmmmm. I also recommend this place highly.
The University of British Columbia's Sage Bistro was advertised as one of UBC's best kept secrets. Considering how long it took us to find it, despite having a map that clearly indicated it, it is no surprise. It has NO signage. It's hidden in a building that claims to be a hall associated with some particular field (aging studies, perhaps?), and it isn't until you burst into the building that you realize it's the former faculty dining facility, and that there's a restaurant down the stairs. It's a very charming restaurant - we ate in the lounge, with a big, friendly fireplace and a view of the rest of the facility and its garden outside. Everything was delicious. My entree was a simple black bean dish with chipotle, fresh cornbread, and a sprinkling of veggies, but it was PERFECT. The service was excellent; the wine was excellent; it was very relaxing and pleasant to eat there. It was a bit expensive, and the menu was quite short (perhaps 5 entrees at most?), but all were attractive choices for omnivores, and there was my fully veggie choices. We were the only guests for the first part of our meal. It's within easy walking distance of the Museum of Anthropology, which is part of why we went. I'm glad we ate there.
Sitar Indian Restaurant, 8 Powell Street, in Gastown: delicious stewed dishes served in generous portions. We asked for 'spicy' and got reasonably well spiced food that warmed us up. (I was tempted to ask for 'scorching,' but one of these days I'll actually get that, and I'm not sure that's what I really want. There was a time I ate at Indian Oven here in SF on Fillmore, and their scorching hot vindaloo actually was. I had a hard time tasting the other dishes for a few minutes.) The rice was a bit dry, but the sauces covered that and the naan was delicious.
The Templeton, a charming old-fashioned diner on Granville. Slightly greasy but very tasty egg and potato breakfasts, including huevos rancheros, farmer's skillet's of veggies and eggs served over potatoes, and other tasty things. Pleasant service. They apparently show movies on their screen over the counter if you eat there weekend nights.
Vancouver Art Museum Cafe. Wonderful sandwiches grilled with one of those presses, a wide array of salads, roasted veggies, quiches... It has an extensive menu for a museum, and everything I tasted was both well presented and very good. It's even reasonably priced! And there are lots of people behind the counter, so your order is handled quickly. If only it wasn't raining, we could have even had a lovely view of Robson Square from their large patio...
last selectively updated september 29, 2013