Wow, long time no see everybody. It’s obviously been quite some time since I last goalie-spooned, and needless to say, much, much food has been consumed in my absence. Over the last few months I’ve been hanging out here in Durham, interning in San Francisco, and exploring Bostonian neighborhoods. Although I’d say it’s near impossible to describe each and every encounter I’ve had with blogworthy meals, I can’t help but share some of my favorite spots from across the country (and out – bonjour, Montreal) that I’ve eaten at since we last spoke.
Let’s begin with San Francisco:
1) La Taqueria – Mission, SF
Both the best burrito and the best taco I’ve ever eaten in my young life have been at La Taqueria. Lucky for me this hole-in-the-wall place was located three short blocks from my apartment in Mission, and I’m pretty sure the number of times I went there borderline called for an intervention. No matter what you do, you MUST order the carnitas. Oh…you’re a vegan you say? I could care less. Order the carnitas, and you will be welcomed back with open arms to the world of carnivorous, taco-eating revelry.
La Taqueria has also reached the profound revelation that rice in a burrito is simply uncalled for. At this very moment, you may be standing up and shouting, “Blasphemy!” but trust me, this is a very good thing and it saves your stomach from extending four inches over your pants an hour after your meal. Also, you must get the mango fruit drink – it is literally pureed mango and all the goodness that comes with that statement. I give full credit to this concoction for curing me of a miserable fever I came down with in my third week in SF. Finally, this place is dirt cheap, perfect for poor college kids and everyone else in San Francisco who is fiscally impaled by the absurdity of their monthly rent bill.
Oh, and one last thing I swear, order extra avocado.
The beginning of a long and potentially fatal love affair.
2) 21st Amendment – SOMA, SF
I’ll keep this short and sweet – 21st Amendment brews super good beer that I eventually realized you can buy at the Durham Whole Foods Market. I highly recommend Hell or High Watermelon.
3) That’s It Market – Mission, SF
On the outside, That’s It Market looks like a small, run-down liquor store. But on the inside…oh, on the inside it is a sandwich haven. Surprising, right? And it doesn’t just sell any sandwich, no, it sells a monster, feed-you-for-weeks sandwich on steroids called the Cubana. Made famous by Anthony Bourdain, the Cubana’s got everything you thought you may ever want between two slices of bread…and so much more. It’s filled with chicken, pork, sausage, ham, beef, bacon, scrambled eggs, lettuce, tomato, avocado, mayonnaise, and cheese. I ordered this twice while I was in SF and was never able to eat more than a quarter of it, yet still felt as if I may undergo cardiac arrest by day’s end.
Heart attack on a plate. Mm, yum!
4) Humphrey Slocombe – Mission, SF
Just look at their flavors. I’ve had ‘Secret Breakfast.’ Can anyone guess what that may be?
Bourbon and cornflakes. A winning combination if I may say so myself.
Obviously most of these places are from my ‘home’ neighborhood where I spent my eight weeks in SF: the Mission District. Mission is a really interesting place, for a complete lack of better words, and if you are ever in San Francisco, I urge you to take the BART to 16th or 24th Street and explore. Fantastic food, Dolores Park, amazing murals ’round every corner you turn…Mission’s a cool place.
Now onto Boston, from which I’ll probably just post more restaurant escapades at a later date in time:
5) Grassfed – Jamaica Plain, Boston
I mean, c’mon, just look at this place’s website and you know Grassfed is…hipster. Don’t let that confuse you though, this is a burger place (for the vegans who have since tried a carnitas taco). It’s just that these burgers are outfitted in super obscure toppings like oysters and aioli. Honestly, get any burger from here and I betcha it’s going to be downright delectable. For fries, order the truffle-parm and no matter what time of day it is, you better get an adult milkshake (Hint: Salted Caramel).
Finally, from my brief hiatus in Montreal:
6) Communion – Old Montreal
The online reviews for Communion are subpar, but I thought my dinner there was absolutely divine. A few friends and I came here to celebrate the end of a wonderful summer, and Communion had the perfect ambiance in which to do so (outdoor seating right at the edge of Old Montreal). Before going, you should prepare to share as you order dishes for the table, not just yourself, and everything comes in a cast-iron skillet of sorts that you then serve yourself from. The menu is constantly changing, but Communion was a congenial place to convene before a night out and enjoy soulful, hearty food with great company.
The cozy atmosphere at Communion leaves you feeling comfortable enough to do things like this…