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Stanford, Downtown SF, Berkeley


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I'm going to be at Stanford this Thursday afternoon until Sunday morning, and essentially I'm going to cut out of the stuff I'm supposed to do on campus and go into San Francisco because I've never been. That's right. So please help me plan my trip.

Here's the facts about me - Lifelong Seattle-ite, MBA-student in my early thirties, I'm coming by myself, I looove pastry/baked goods but really I'll eat just about anything. And I can walk everywhere.

My tentative schedule:

Thursday - walk around Stanford and eat something snacky (dinner is covered for me that night).

Friday - Go to Downtown SF, Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf.

Saturday - Venture to Berkeley.

Sunday - Brunch in Palo Alto, then fly home.

I'll be taking public transportation, although I have no idea how long it takes to get anywhere from Stanford, so advice is much appreciated. I want to eat fairly inexpensively, since I'm a grad student, and I have to hit at least two bakeries (Acme? Bouchon?). I've been told to go to Cha Cha, and get cocktail buns somewhere in Chinatown. And I want to get some great coffee. I know you've got places in mind for me already - thank you.

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skyflyer3,

Use the BART system (Bay Area Rapid Transit system) to Berkeley, SF, if it goes that far. The MUNI system, when you're in San Francisco.

If you can go to SF on Sat. morning, you can go to the Farmers' Market at the Ferry Building, near the Embarcadero.

In Berkeley, get to Chez Panisse Cafe for lunch. The Cheese Board is across the street. I'll be doing a trip up north as well .. NEXT WEEK!! :sad:

I'm sure others will chime in. Enjoy your time in the Bay Area!

Edited by rjwong (log)

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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If you don't have time for a leisurely lunch at Chez Panisse, go to Alice Waters' other place, Cafe Fanny. Poached eggs on levain toast (the levain from Acme Bread next door), or beignets, or some of her pastries other than the croissants (I'm always so shocked at how heavy their croissants are!) and big bowls of cafe au lait. Eaten on the edge of the parking lot. And always a line out the door. What a hoot.

Cheese Board is fun. I love their scones and a few of their pastries although not all. Cheeses are fabulous and pizzas down the block are terrific (always vegetarian).

Nabolom's Bakery in the Elmwood neighborhood of Berkeley bakes my favorite egg bread (poppy. sesame or no seeds (my preference). In summer, their berry and other fresh fruit danish are fabulous.

Down College Avenue from Elmwood, before you get to Claremont Avenue, is La Farine, supposedly the home of the Morning Bun. Not the original owner anymore, but might still be a good bakery stop.

Up Claremont Avenue towards the big, white, Claremont Hotel, is Domingo Street housing Rick & Ann's - a great breakfast or lunch stop. Next door is Peet's Coffee and next door to Peet's is Bread Garden Bakery, another favorite stop when I'm in town. Love their Cinnamon Swirl bread (especially toasted and buttered), and lots of good pastries and scones.

Have fun! And I'm thinking, if possible, rent a car!

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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CalTrain can take you to the City or Berkeley and once you're in town, public transportation should be fine (or taxis if you're short on time).

If you love baked goods, try to hit Tartine in SF or one of the Bay Bread locations (see jgarner's blog).

By public transportation from Stanford, it will take about an hour to get to SF (I'm including some inevitable wait time). Renting a car would be fine, but then you'd have to pay for parking in the city. At the Ferry Building, they have validated parking (buy something inside and you get parking for about half off).

I'm not sure, if you're there for food, that I'd recommend Fisherman's Wharf. If you're there as a tourist as well, then fine.

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Sky, if I can make one recommendation for you, it would be Oliveto in Berkley. It is right beside BART and the owner, Paul Bertolli, worked at Chez Panisse for many years. Thanks to the advice I received in this forum, I had lunch there yesterday, and I had some of the best salume and ravioli that I have ever eaten this side of Tuscany. Squisito! :rolleyes:

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from what i understand, paul bertolli doesn't work at olivetto anymore. they're still on the bay area top 100 (by food critic michael bauer) list. their current chef (for the past two years) is paul canales. sounds like they're still doing stellar food though!

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Maybe this is not your idea of fun, but I would go to The (legendary) Berkeley Bowl. I still get choked up when I talk about it and maybe someday I will move back to the East Bay just to be closer. They have the most awesome produce section I have ever seen at any supermarket-type place. Need garlic? They probably have at least 5 differen types. Mushrooms? They often have fancy-pants varieties like chanterelles and morels for under $15/lb (that's dirt cheap 'round these parts). They also sell wine, cheese, bread, and have a decent fish and meat counter. Anyway, I guess visiting grocery stores is not for everyone. But I can't be the only one here that always goes to a grocery store (at least one...) at any city I visit.

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from what i understand, paul bertolli doesn't work at olivetto anymore.  they're still on the bay area top 100 (by food critic michael bauer) list.  their current chef (for the past two years) is paul canales.  sounds like they're still doing stellar food though!

Definitely still doing stellar food. I had a wonderful meal at Oliveto during a stay in Berkeley last month. I thought it blew the eGullet darling Incanto out of the water overall. (Not that the pig trotter cake with heirloom tomatoes at Incanto wasn't outstanding; overall, though, I was quite disappointed by the place. But that's another thread!) In many ways, it reminded me of Babbo in NYC.

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