Travel to San Francisco with a couple of chefs for a two day eating spree

SAN FRANCISCO— The Zeppelin Hotel. Up the elevator to the fourth floor, out the doors, and up a stair to the fifth floor. It was the kind of hotel that television hosts and socialites imagine as rustic. In reality, the upscale interior and modern furnishings revealed a clever ploy to capture the dollar of hip, retro-inspired enthusiasts looking for a luxury resort. In other words, it was the perfect place to make camp for a weekend of fine dining, disguised as a food hunt. I was accompanied by two chefs.

I felt like I was on the brink of an Anthony Bourdain food binge the moment I checked my bags into the Zepplin Hotel and raced down to the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Everything about the abundance of vendors and gourmet products was a mental overload. (CBD oil dog treats anyone?) Not one hour into wandering the floors of the Mascapone Center, chefs Chris and Arlie were ready to venture for more grub into the San Francisco restaurant scene. Let me preface this next part by saying I am not a lamb person; I can’t stand the taste of lamb, but I really, really want to like it. So for dinner the first night, we go to The Progress. The dinner was exceptional, but one of my favorite dishes was the lamb tartar, lo’ and behold! I had never been able to eat lamb anywhere around the world where I could not taste the animal. And then Chef Arlie explained a trick to me. The secret is to remove the gland. Also, do not try to replicate this dish at home unless you know what the hell you’re doing. Sure there’s no cooking time because tartar is raw but if you don’t know how to handle raw meat, don’t do it. Trust me on this one. The second night we start off our Chinatown adventures with dinner at R&G Lounge. The food was good, but one of my favorite moments was after we placed our orders, Chef Arlie and Chef Chris, joined by Uncle Larry, realized we only ordered meat dishes with no sides at all. Regardless, we were stuffed and happy with our protein fix. My story ends here because for the next 48 hours all we did was eat! Let the food porn commence with these photos I managed to snap in between heaping mouthfuls of everything. If I do have any travel trips for those of you venturing out to your first Winter Fancy Food Show, swap out Alcatraz for Chinatown. Eat some squab and deep fried dungeness crab. Start out every morning with an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista. Have an early “blunch” at 10 am to avoid the the line at Swan Oyster Depot. Don’t forget to stop at a dispensary before ya leave.

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Swan Oyster Depot- 1517 Polk Street

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Dungeness crab

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Octopus salad

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Sashimi platter

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Old school signage

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Irish coffee at the Buena Vista 2765 Hyde Street

The Progress: 1525 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115
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Potato chip caviar

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The lamb tartar!!!

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R & G Lounge 631 Kearny Street

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Drunken squab- for those of you who don’t know, a squab is a pigeon that has not taken flight yet, a house pigeon, if you will.

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Double duty fried dungeness crabs!

By Leni Stoeva