Yesterday I wrote about our visit to the famed Millennium restaurant in San Francisco. It was not the highlight of our trip, and we didn’t feel that it lived up to the hype. However, the food we ate on the second day of our trip MORE than made up for it. We spent the day in Napa, munching our way through the Oxbow Public Market, and sipping our way through the Grgich Hills Estate. To cap off a really spectacular day we headed to Gracias Madre for dinner. Delicious!
Gracias Madre is an all vegan Latin restaurant. I was excited as Latin is one of my favorite cuisines, but also a little nervous after our flop the night before. Irving isn’t vegan, and is Dominican so he really knows Latin food—this dinner had to be perfect if I wanted to continue bringing Irving to all vegan places!
When we got there at 9:30 there was an hour long wait. That right there told us that it had to be pretty good. There were benches outside and it was nice and warm out so we sat and people watched while we waited for our table. The Mission District is a pretty happening place, and because we ended up in SF on Pride Weekend it was even busier.
We it was finally our turn, we scored a table right at the “window”—the front of the restaurant is actually just blocked off by some pretty iron work. We had already peeked at the menu so we ordered right away. Irving got the Michelada drink—seems to me like a Mexican inspired Bloody Mary. I had a regular Margarita—yum!
We ordered the guacamole for an appetizer. It came with round tortillas, about the same size as a soft taco. They were crispier than a soft taco, but not as crisp as a tortilla chip. I topped mine with a TON of guacamole and made a happy mess, gobbling it up.
We also ordered an empanada filled with sweet plantain. It was really good—drizzled with cashew cheese and set in a pool of mole sauce.
For our entrees we shared a taco plate and a tamale. For the tacos we chose 1 with mushrooms (for Irving), one with zucchini (for me), and one with sweet plantains to share. If we did it again we would get more of the sweet plantains—really yummy!
The tamale was good, but not my favorite. It was one of those where I knew that it was really good and cooked perfectly, I just didn’t love it. But Irving did so no problems there. Both the tacos and the tamale came with black beans.
For dessert we split a flan. The flan was made from cashews, and the taste was pretty strong—almost tasted like peanut butter, or I guess in this case cashew butter! It was very good, but I think I just really expected a traditional flan taste. If the menu described it as a cashew flan I don’t think it would have thrown me as much. Regardless, we ate the entire thing!
We planned on heading back towards our hotel and grabbing drinks at Millenium—they have a White Russian that I want to try, one of my old favorite drinks—but because of Pride Weekend there were no cabs to be found, and we finally ended up taking BART back to where we were staying. It took us almost an hour and a half to get back, at 1am so we ditched the idea for more drinks and headed to bed. The old Sarah and Irving would be so disappointed in us!
And because 4 posts on a 2 1/2 day weekend would be ridiculous, here is how we spent Sunday…..
The next day we drove to Sausalito for lunch. We kind of missed the main drag of Sausalito and ended up in a quieter stretch of the town. We saw a pizza place that was pretty crowded and we decided to go for it. Turns out their menu is pretty limited at lunch time, but I did order a marinara pizza and a big salad. The salad wasn’t even really on the menu, but I’ve found that if you ask politely, most places are willing to help you out. It also came with a Thousand Island dressing, but they were quick to bring me olive oil and balsamic vinegar!
While my lunch was totally filling and pretty healthy too, it won’t go down in the books as “the best lunch ever.” And that’s ok. I think it’s important to remember that every meal doesn’t have to be the best, it’s just a meal. So if you end up with a salad one time at a restaurant, chances are you’ll be ok, and you’ll have a better meal the next time. This is not the last supper.
After lunch we drove back to downtown SF to catch a double decker bus tour, and on our way we saw the real Sausalito. It’s a super cute town and I hope to get back someday and check it out. Can’t believe we missed it—if we had only turned right instead of left we might have had a very different lunch.
We rode about in the bus for the rest of the afternoon, and a 2 hour tour stretched into 4 hours, when we finally had to get off and race to our car to get to the airport. While everyone involved with the Pride Parade seemed to be having a great time, it made for a nightmare of traffic. We ultimately ended up missing our flight, but thankfully caught the next one. The one perk of Irving travelling so much for work is that he’s a diamond platinum gold and ruby member of every airline and it was pretty easy for us to switch flights. We even scored the exit row!
Just before boarding the plane we grabbed a bite to eat. I checked out about 4 options that were pretty close to each other, finally walking back to Klein’s Deli to get a sandwich. They had a veggie sandwich on whole wheat bread, including cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, and hummus. I upgraded and added avocado too. They also had a 3 bean salad in the deli case that was yummy! I have to admit that I felt pretty smug for my healthy—and delicious—dinner option as I watched Irving eat his burger and fries. And then I stole his complimentary drink on the plane (I told you those perks are good!) and I think we’re even now!
If you’re interested in visiting San Francisco, here are some of my other posts:
San Francisco Food Lover’s Weekend (Fall 2012)