1 October 2009
Visiting San Francisco isn't just about the famous sights like Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars. I found it to be a warm city full of engaging, friendly and welcoming people. I was in the city attending BlogHer Food which to the credit of all of the organizers was a very well run event with plenty of exciting activities, speakers and celebrity bloggers as well as Food Network stars amongst us. Please check out this article by Genie of The Inadvertent Gardener, who was the moderator of our session, about How to use your food (or non-food) blog to save the world .
I found myself in the city for several days before the conference so in true "foodie" fashion I had to get my fill of all that the city had to offer. I started off by exploring neighborhoods like North Beach. This can be a wonderful way to experience the city as the residents do. Seeking out some less well known sights in North Beach gave me the chance to relax, rub shoulders with residents and get a glimpse of the city as it really is.
North Beach's cafes, restaurants, and parks evoke a feeling of romantic Italy. Enjoy sipping a delicious coffee in a romantic outdoor cafe with a delicious pastry. Indulge in a huge pasta meal with perhaps a bit of wine... just a "smidge."
North Beach is that rare thing ...a neighborhood that manages to be a perennial hit with tourists like me, and also remains a beloved hangout for San Franciscans. It's best known as San Francisco's "Little Italy", with its high density of check clothed "ristorantes", "caffes" and Old World delicatessens. It's also a popular pilgrimage for fans of the Beat movement seeking the old haunts of Kerouac and Ginsberg. However, North Beach is no relic, and it has much to offer beyond pasta and poetry.
I went on a guided tour with Tom from Local Taste of the City Tours. As you taste everything from cappuccinos, chocolate truffles, sour dough and foccacia breads, cream filled pastries, macaroons the size of small tea plates, olive oils, specialty meats, arancini and more, your senses and your taste buds will come alive!!!!! I walked up the same steps to the church that Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe attended, I sat down in a cafe where Pavarotti, Bill Cosby and members of the Beat generation hung out. There was a little history thrown in along with more than our share of fabulous foods!!!!!It was a wonderful way to introduce myself to a new city...next stop was Chinatown!!!!
To get a taste of "Little Italy" try these recipes:
Taste.com.au - Suppli al telefono (bocconcini-filled risotto balls)About. com - Arancini di Riso