Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ferry Building Marketplace

Farofa is in San Francisco for a few days for a seminar and decided to take one day to explore the city. Having never been here, there is much to choose from but culinary explorations always come first, so with less than 6 hours to spare, the Ferry Building Marketplace seemed like the best choice.


The place is gorgeous and even though it only has about 40 fairly small merchants, it puts Reading Terminal Market to shame. Farofa is a big fan of open markets, specially the kind that mixes high-end cuisine and straightforward local produce. Mercado Municipal Paulistano is and always will be the number one on the list, but Ferry Building Marketplace has made its mark.

Fresh produce

It's hard to walk around in a place like this and not be able to buy fresh produce (they wouldn't have survived the trip home 3 days later). Cowgirl Fromagerie was hard to stay away from - I looked like a Dickens character staring in from the window, hopeful and wishing for the wondrous contents of the display.

Fresh cheese
Creme Fraiche, Mascarpone, Ricotta...

For lunch, I decided to go to Delica rf-1, which deserved its own review. I also picked up two bottles of rosé (French Fries' favourite), a 2005 Bandol Terrebrune that was recommended to me, and a 2005 Mount Tamalpais Gris for a taste of the local variety.


All the walking around called for a snack; found one at the Golden Gate Meat Company in the form of a quarter pound of Hot Coppa - which was so unexpectedly spicy that demanded a full water bottle and a can of coke. Totally worth it!

More meat

The best stop was at Stonehouse California Olive Oil, where I got an 8oz bottle of their Lisbon Lemon extra virgin olive oil (made by crushing fresh, tree-ripened citrus fruit together with the olives at the time of pressing). Of course, this decision took a good half hour and forced me to try all of their various pressings and blends. Oh the hardship...

I learned that citrus oils make wonderful vinaigrettes when paired with white balsamic vinegar, which I had not tried yet (we did try the oil at home with rigatoni and fresh Parmesan and it was spectacular).

Stonehouse California Olive Oil

To wrap up the tour in style, I had to visit French Fries' preferred chocolate store, See's Candies and get a box of her all-time favorite, California Brittle (half dark, half milk chocolate). It was just what was missing to complete the pile of gifts accumulated over my long trip to get to snowy Pittsburgh for Valentines Days.

All the yumminess

Farofa: **** out of 5
French Fries: approves of all the gifts!

Forks Down Verdict: Fun place to spend a weekend morning and have brunch - will come back next time in SFO

Ferry Building Marketplace
1 Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA 94111

(415) 834-0344

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