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tanabutler

Ferry Plaza Market, San Francisco

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I think he was talking about me. Sorry to inflict me upon you Rancho.

I knew you were going to think it was you, but it was all of us as a whole, not you in particular! Really! Please come yack anytime (without or without those gorgeous and delicious peppers you brought me) at my booth.


Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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It was me. I just know it.

And I don't care!

Mmmmm, Bravo Farms sage cheddar on Rancho Gordo beans for dinner tonight.

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Well, I am a pretty big talker... I'm one of those people that can yak your ear off; it would be embarrassing if I didn't like doing it so much. :unsure::biggrin:

Don't worry, I'll be back! I want to try some more varieties. Christmas Lima is on my list. Honestly it's going to be hard for me to cook with these. They're too pretty.


I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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I suggested to Rancho Gordo that his beans would make beautiful playing pieces in the ancient game of Mancala, and that he should set up a board with the beans in it.

My grandmother had a "cala board," as we called it (not knowing the real name). We used smooth pebbles from her driveway, but beans would work.

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JAZ, I wish I could make it another day but I'm limited to Saturdays at the moment.

Well, then, I guess I'll just have to organize my schedule so I can make it there before work some Saturday.

At one point I was running an eGullet salon. My friend who was helping me out is curious but not tempted re eGullet. After the last of you left he said, "They all have one thing in common!" and I was stumped until he made a Senor Wences gesture with his hand as if to suggest we all talk a lot!!! The nerve!

Thanks for that visual image; it's been ages since I've thought of Senor Wences.

The "heavy hitters" seem to be in the back on the pier and it's much slower and more pleasant in front of the ferry building on Market Street, which makes little sense except that people are like lemmings in many ways. What's weirder is that a lot of customers, even regulars I talked to, had ZERO idea that the market went on in the back, thinking all the action was on Market Street and inside the ferry building!

Back when I did go to the market on Saturdays, it seemed that all the stands serving prepared food were in the back, which led to massive traffic jams in that area. Is that still the case?

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The San Francisco Chronicle is relocating its cooking school to Ferry Plaza.

One of the weeks--I think november 6th but not completely sure--i'll be doing a class involving shlepping around the market and cooking what we shop for. should be fun!

check out todays chron for details........

marlena


Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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Back when I did go to the market on Saturdays, it seemed that all the stands serving prepared food were in the back, which led to massive traffic jams in that area. Is that still the case?

No, this has been changed. The food vendors are now located along the walk next to the pier railing. Now, there is plenty of room for the grazers.

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I, too, am an Alemany shopper. I think if you take the time to talk to the vendors, you can usually tell who is selling their own stuff. Course if the vendor is salling at Alemany and at Ferry Plaza at the same time they have to have sales people who may or may not know about the product. I miss the great vriety of Asian foodstuffs at FP.

Squeat -- if you can get to 24th St BART easily, you can take the 67 MUNI in either direction and go directly to the market. It's very scenic if you go east. Also if you can get cross town to Potrero you can take the 9 to Cortland and walk three blocks.

Linlee

Sorry I misse dthe picnic/

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I had lunch earlier in the week at the Ferry Plaza, for the first time ever at Mistral Rotisserie Provençale. I had been there in June, but thought then the food would be better suited to a wintry day. At last, that day came.

Along with white beans and ratatouille, I ordered the Niman Ranch pork shoulder. With sides of spicy cranberry sauce and the best mustard I've had in years, it was absolutely delectable. Best of all, we took our plates to the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and ate in the bar. My friend had a flight of three reds, and I had a single glass of Huber Pinot Noir. One of her reds zinged me, though, and I came home with a bottle of Clos de Sixte Lirac, which is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. It was wonderfully fragrant, with cassis and cherry notes in it, and it went perfectly with the pungent mustard. It was a charming wine.

I'll be back to Mistral, most definitely.

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Taylor's Refresher had a special Green Tea Milkshake. It was great--strong tea flavor and nice and creamy. Thick, but not too thick... Man, they should make this a regular shake flavor.... (I loved it when Peet's had Tea Semifreddos made from Jasmine and Green Tea....)

Got to say hi to Rancho Gordo as well, finding his stand for the first time (front, northside). Picked up some nice posole and Gigante Beans.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Two weeks ago, I was shopping around the market and found someone selling smoked pimenton. It is amazing outstanding stuff and I'd love to get more. Unforturnately, I can't remember who I bought it from. Is anyone familar? The booth was in front of the building and toward the south side (I think). Please help! :blink:

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Well, for me the Ferry Plaza market is a godsend, since I don't own a car. To get to the Alemany market on public transportation is nearly impossible. I would have to walk 7 blocks to the 16th St BART station, take BART all the way out to Glen Park(!), then take the 44 Muni bus all the way back around to Silver & San Bruno, THEN walk 5 more blocks under all the freeways. At least a 45-minute trip, probably more like an hour.

Only a year late on this, but Squeat can actually take the 23 Monterey from Glen Park BART all the way to the market. If you time it right, it's a 15-minute trip from 16th & Mission to Alemany & Crescent. I take the 23 every day on the way from work to home, about 6 blocks from the market. This route is much, much quicker than going to 24th Street and taking the 67 Bernal, which goes over hill and down dale before eventually making its way to the market.

Despite my proximity to Alemany -- where I found green walnuts this spring, when they were absent everywhere else -- Steve and others here can attest that I still find plenty of good excuses to visit the Ferry Plaza Market on Saturdays. My CSA box takes care of most of my needs, but who's to argue with finding buddha's hand, huitlacoche, the city's best chilaquiles, and fresh masa all in one place?


Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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I had the good fortune to be able to attend a Professional meeting in San Francisco at the end of March. I arrived late on Friday night so couldn't do much then. Truth be told, I was exhausted. But the meeting started Staurday morning and was held at The Hyatt Regency in Embarcadero, amazingly close to the Ferry Plaza Market. Fortunately I had a nice long lunch break so I took my camera and hoofed it over to the market. Even better, Saturday was the day of the big Farmer's market. Following are some photos of that lovely time. I managed to snag a little lunch too. :smile:

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The famous clock tower.

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Information.

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A pretty flower stall.

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There were all sorts of dried fruit.

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Lovely artichokes

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I had the pleasure of meeting Rancho_Gordo himself. Later in the week when I made it up to Napa, I had the pleasure of stopping in on his wonderful operation. I was able to buy a great variety of beans and he kndly shipped them for me. It sure beat having to carry them.

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Plenty of excellent dairy products to sample. These would have been great to buy, but a nuisance to carry of ship.

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These spoons are made from potato. They are the coolest things as they are fully biodegradable. They were used at the Sant Benoit Yoghurt stand.

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The citrus was delicious. These are conventional navels, bloods and kumquats.

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Those were all in the front. I finally made my way to the waterside.

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I sampled a dozen oysters at The Hog Island Stand. sweet and delicious. These were raised by Hog Island Oyster Company.

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I don't see fresh horseradish root too often.

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Nor cardoons.

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Beautiful and delicious Asian Pears.

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More great citrus.

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Roasting organic chickens. The drippings were falling on beautiful looking potatos. This was tempting, but I had already had the oysters and some delicious fried asparagus that somehow I did not photograph.

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I made it back inside the building as it started to rain. I finished my lunch with a pastry from Frog Hollow.

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I love all things mushroom and here I hit the motherload. Funny thing is they did not seem to be open during the week.

This is a fabulous market. If I get the chance I will post some photos from the Tuesday market as well.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Nice Mark Bittman piece about the Ferry Building in last Sunday's NY Times Travel section:

San Francisco: A Place Like No Other for Takeout Like No Other*

A spectacularly renovated Ferry Building opened in 2003, with a sprawling ground floor that is almost completely devoted to restaurants, produce stands and food stalls with unusually fine takeout (there is some other retail, but not much). Weekends and Tuesdays are the most crowded days, but are arguably the best times to visit, because the outdoor farmers' market that nearly surrounds the building is among the country's most impressive, chock-full of offerings from some of the Bay Area's best farmers.

Write ups of Taylor's Automatic Refresher, Boulette's Larder, The Slanted Door, and Hog Island Oyster Company.

*Link requires registration, and will probably expire in a week or two.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Despite following this thread, I was unprepared for the CRAZY crowds on a sunny saturday.

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I managed to be amazed by the breadth and depth of the selections there, but many of the places I was planning on checking out had such deep lines that i just kept moving. Still, loads of fun to check out.

I happened to catch an ebb in the line at Primavera, out back, so dove in and grabbed a plate of Tlycoyos.

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They were really delicious, almost worth the rather irritating non-system of actually getting food onto a plate and into a customer's hands. About 15 minutes after ordering, I finally saw a plate with masa cakes and chorizo on it, sitting on top of a check with my name on it. But instead of dripping some salsa and scattering some cheese, and giving it to me, the cook, carefully preserving the order in which they came up, staged 6 more plates, which then sat there for several more minutes. They then got (slowly) finished and delivered to the counter in exactly reverse order of how they had been plated. So, over 20 minutes after I ordered them, I managed to get two corn cakes with some stuff spooned on top of them. Quite tasty, really. probably would have been even better if I'd gotten them closer to when they came off the grill.

Regardless, big fun. I'm eager to get back there sometime, but will shoot for a weekday, or much earlier on a saturday!!


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Despite following this thread, I was unprepared for the CRAZY crowds on a sunny saturday.

Memorial DayWeekend.... :hmmm:

Indeed, I'm sure that was a factor. Who knew so many tourists were foodies? And maybe there were a lot of locals shopping for some awesome Memorial Day barbecues. Whoever they were, there were lots of them...

I braved a moderate wait for some chocolates at Recchiuti.

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I tried the Tarragon Grapefruit, Fluer de Sel, Mandarin, Burnt Caramel and Star Anise Pink Peppercorn. I liked them all, but found the flavorings pretty subtle. Nothing wrong with quiet elegance, it's just that the accents were less vivid than similar offerings at, say, Jaques Torres in NY, or Eclat in Philly. Nonetheless, I thought they were very good, and fairly-priced.

As I said above, I'll be back, but on a weekday, and certainly not on a holiday weekend!


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Any update on the Ferry Plaza Market or environs? Tomorrow I'm in San Francisco for a long weekend and picked the Hotel Vitale because of its food-centric location. Looks like I can end up well fed without having to walk more than a couple of blocks in any direction.


Edited by Holly Moore (log)

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Any update on the Ferry Plaza Market or environs?  Tomorrow I'm in San Francisco for a long weekend and picked the Hotel Vitale because of its food-centric location.  Looks like I can end up well fed without having to walk more than a couple of blocks in any direction.

We were in SF mid-November and I had this to say about the Ferry Plaza and market:

Refreshed after a good night's sleep, we headed two blocks down to Cafe de la presse, our fave hangout from the last trip in 2003 (when it was largely deserted because of being French -- remember "freedom fries"?). It was busy but they fit us in for a quick repast of croissant and La Colombe coffee before we headed down to the Embarcadero and foodie heaven at the Ferry Building. What a great galleria of gastronomie! I made a beeline for Cow Girl Creamery as it had been featured on Martha Stewart the day before (I caught part of the piece while packing and didn't realize they were based in SF so it was a welcome surprise).

We investigated more cool stores, then decided it was time for another snack at Lulu Petite who had quiche on offer. It was almost like a custard, very light and tasty. We ate outside with pelicans swooping and sun shining, watching the ferries head off to various points and admiring the Bay Bridge. After checking out the rest of the stores and reading up on the building and its heritage, we returned to the Union Square area...

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Any update on the Ferry Plaza Market or environs?  Tomorrow I'm in San Francisco for a long weekend and picked the Hotel Vitale because of its food-centric location.  Looks like I can end up well fed without having to walk more than a couple of blocks in any direction.

We were in SF mid-November and I had this to say about the Ferry Plaza and market:

Refreshed after a good night's sleep, we headed two blocks down to Cafe de la presse, our fave hangout from the last trip in 2003 (when it was largely deserted because of being French -- remember "freedom fries"?). It was busy but they fit us in for a quick repast of croissant and La Colombe coffee before we headed down to the Embarcadero and foodie heaven at the Ferry Building. What a great galleria of gastronomie! I made a beeline for Cow Girl Creamery as it had been featured on Martha Stewart the day before (I caught part of the piece while packing and didn't realize they were based in SF so it was a welcome surprise).

We investigated more cool stores, then decided it was time for another snack at Lulu Petite who had quiche on offer. It was almost like a custard, very light and tasty. We ate outside with pelicans swooping and sun shining, watching the ferries head off to various points and admiring the Bay Bridge. After checking out the rest of the stores and reading up on the building and its heritage, we returned to the Union Square area...

edited to add:

Saturday started with a too-optimistic walk over to Dottie’s where the lineup at 8:30 am was already 15 strong. We abandoned that idea and instead went back to the Ferry Building to check out the Farmer’s Market. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as there were many stalls offering breakfast. I settled on one at the far corner (Bay Bridge side) that had chilaquiles. Let me say that chilaquiles are one of my favourite things to eat and they are hard to come by in Vancouver – as indeed all good Mexican food is. I braved the line up and the chilly winds to get me some and dang they were delicioso, tortillas still crunchy despite their bathrobe of tomatillo sauce, crema and queso, beans full of flavour, loads of fresh avocado and well scrambled eggs, all for $10. I only wish I had noted the name of the operation for future reference. Meanwhile, Jonathan had tackled the coffee line at Peet’s and we rendez-voused to munch before exploring further. The idea of a centralized farmer’s market is excellent (ours are neighbourhood based and I think that waters them down). If I lived here I would come every Saturday, and I would probably skip work to come on Tuesday too.


Edited by grayelf (log)

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I'll be returning to SF in mid-April and wanted to get some advice on hitting the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market for the very first time. I'll be arriving at SFO around 11:30 AM on a Sat and leaving around 6 AM the next Sat. So here are my questions:

1) Who are the "Must Visit" vendors?

2) Are there a lot of differences in the vendors that attend on Sat vs. Tues? If so, are any of them major "must visit" vendors?

3) How much smaller are the crowds on Tuesdays?

4) Best lunch options?

Thanks!


Gastronomic Fight Club - Mischief. Mayhem. Soup.

Foodies of Omaha - Discover the Best of Omaha

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I'll be returning to SF in mid-April and wanted to get some advice on hitting the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market for the very first time.  I'll be arriving at SFO around 11:30 AM on a Sat and leaving around 6 AM the next Sat.  So here are my questions:

1) Who are the "Must Visit" vendors?

2) Are there a lot of differences in the vendors that attend on Sat vs. Tues?  If so, are any of them major "must visit" vendors?

3) How much smaller are the crowds on Tuesdays?

4) Best lunch options?

Thanks!

As far as "must-visit" vendors, a lot depends on if you are buying or just looking. Either way, Rancho Gordo is a must visit. First of all, Steve is a treasure and a lot of fun to visit with. Secondly, his beans are awesome both in variety and quality. If you are hesitant to buy them and carry them, he will ship for a very reasonable fee. That is what we did. Most of the other vendors, especially the fresh produce sellers, are somewhat impractical to travel with. If you like preserves, Frog Hollow and June Taylor are excellent. There are plenty of good cheeses and yogurts. Taste!

The crowds are smaller on Tuesdays, but so are the shopping options. If you can, I suggest going both days, especially as you will be arriving late on Saturday.

If it is a sunny day, you must eat al fresco. There are a number of good options. My favorite is to get a dozen or so freshly shucked oysters from Hog Island. If the weatehr is not co-operative, there are plenty of good indoor options. I still like Hog Island oysters at the restaurant inside the market.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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As far as "must-visit" vendors, a lot depends on if you are buying or just looking. Either way, Rancho Gordo is a must visit. First of all, Steve is a treasure and a lot of fun to visit with. Secondly, his beans are awesome both in variety and quality. If you are hesitant to buy them and carry them, he will ship for a very reasonable fee. That is what we did. Most of the other vendors, especially the fresh produce sellers,  are somewhat impractical to travel with. If you like preserves, Frog Hollow and June Taylor are excellent. There are plenty of good cheeses and yogurts. Taste!

The crowds are smaller on Tuesdays, but so are the shopping options. If you can, I suggest going both days, especially as you will be arriving late on Saturday.

If it is a sunny day, you must eat al fresco. There are a number of good options. My favorite is to get a dozen or so freshly shucked oysters from Hog Island. If the weatehr is not co-operative, there are plenty of good indoor options. I still like Hog Island oysters at the restaurant inside the market.

I guess I should have clarified, just a little bit. Looking to buy :-) We will be staying with family, so we can shop like locals. Looking for stuff to eat while were there and we'll have access to a kitchen. Not really looking to ship or bring anything back to Omaha with us. I think we're going to save our oyster binge for Swan Depot, so any other suggestions?


Gastronomic Fight Club - Mischief. Mayhem. Soup.

Foodies of Omaha - Discover the Best of Omaha

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I live across the bay from the Ferry Bldg and, believe it or not, have only been there once; most of my farmers' market shopping is done in Berkeley. When my mom was out visiting we went over for the day. The highlight was the sampler platter at Tsar Nicoulai, a local caviar purveyer. That was a treat. I'm not sure if the charcuterie Fatted Calf has a booth there (I'm guessing you have gone to the Market website) but some of their stuff is pretty great. I have a weakness for their Rabbit Pate, which they don't make every week. I'm also a loyal customer of Loulou's Garden. She makes terrific preserves and jams; but I am not sure which days she is there.

Lots of people really like the Charles Phan restaurant The Slanted Door. That's Vietnamese (mainly). I've never been; apparently there's always a line.

I too would go for those Hog Island oysters. If you have the time and inclination, you could go to the source. Hog Island Oysters is in Marshall, ten minutes from Tomales. You can buy oysters to go (byo ice-chest!) or you can sit on the deck and have a shuck-em-yourself picnic overlooking Tomales Bay (they provide the shucking tools and the view.) Those Hog Island Sweets are awfully good. Occasionally they get Olympics from WA, which are not easy to find. There are fabulous hiking trails around there too. My advice, if possible, is to go out there on a weekday if your idea is to eat on the deck; it's like a circus on the weekend.

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