Sunday, October 01, 2006

Food Emporium

We've been hanging out in suburbs for a while now. My brain decided it was time for a little urban experience. We dressed in out basic black city outfits, saddled up the horses and headed for the Larkspur Ferry. It was a overcast and dismal excuse for a Saturday, but hopes for a fun day were high. The Giants were playing further down on the Embarcadero, so the boat was a little busier than expected. We boarded and arrived about 10:30. The Ferry Plaza Saturday farmer's market was a bustle of activity. We had another destination in mind, the new Westfield Mall had opened this week in what was once the Emporium. Transfer in hand, we jogged over to Muni and landed fronting the entrance to the establishment just before 11:00. The crowds were brisk. Bloomingdales is the big draw for the new mall, but as a foodie I was more interested in the new upscale food court and was pleased that it was just inside the door. They have added food in front of the old Emporium logo to create "The Food Emporium." A couple of lights were out so it said "The Fo Emporium." Put that on the punch list, Bunkey.

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First we checked out Bristol Farms. This mostly Southern California chain has come to San Fran. To describe it as a Whole Foods Store on steroids would be appropriate. Gorgeous displays of fresh and ready to eat foods abound. The meat counter was outstanding! Salad bar, olive bar, hot foods bar, where do we start? I was afraid my wife was going to go into sugar overload just looking at the candy counter. Truffles, homemade marshmallows, fresh peanuts by the pound, to name a few.

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olive bar
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hot food bar

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meat counter mascot

It began to get really crowded so we wandered over to foot court. Beard Papa's cream puffs have an outpost here and they were selling out as fast as they were made. Most food courts in malls have the same big names, but here it seems like everything is unique. Plates of beautiful, upscale food being slurped up by the masses.
We wanted to check out Bloomie's kitchen department and we did. Beauty at high price I would say. It was just after 12:00 and the place became a sea of humanity! You would have thought that they were giving things away. Lunch was in order but the place was jamming. A quiet place was desired. We headed for the doors like salmon swimming upstream. A return trip is definitely a plan another day when it's not so crazy.
Where did we eat lunch? At an old haunt we end up at on many trips to the city, Cafe Bastille. It's located in an alley in the financial district. A cozy French inspired restaurant. Good food, wine and service. Simple and delicious. I had steak frites with black pepper cream sauce and the wife had a riff on Caprese Salad. Tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil oil and tiger prawns. Oh, and the wine. I had the Chalone Pinot Noir and wifey had the Sancerre. C'est Magnifique!

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Cafe Bastille

The Food Emporium
Market at 5th St.
Powell St. Muni Station
San Francisco

Cafe Bastille
22 Belden Place
San Francisco.

4 comments:

sam said...

you had the "Fred Special"

Ivonne said...

Thanks for the tour! Although I must say the meat counter mascot is a bit disturbing ...

:o)

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, thanks for doing the food court, man. So I don't have to.
I mean, for a while, until the crowds die down.
Aren't we silly, for a bunch of so-called urban sophisticates? "The new store is open! Let's go see!"
:D
Oh, well. I understand they nearly wet themselves in New York when Trader Joe's came to town.

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