Thursday, August 14, 2008

Voyager Bien: Ferry Building Marketplace, SF

Several weekends ago I met my parents, sister and niece in San Francisco
on the last leg of their epic 3 week left coast road-adventure. We were to head down the coast to wine-taste in Cambria, but first spent a day in the City. As an epicurian-minded clan, we headed almost immediately to the Ferry Building Marketplace at One Embarcadero. I pretty much fell in love instantly with this hedonistic preciously-curated covered boulevard of shoppes housing artisan bakers, butchers, foragers, fromagers, growers, and pâtissiers.
The first treasures to catch my eye were the hyper-perfect princess cakes, petifores and Parisian macaroons in the shiny case at Miette. I sampled a rose geranium macaroon that was light and soft, chewy, not overly sweet and appropriately floral. It was one of the most delicious goodies I've tasted in ages.. Until of course the chocolate sea salt caramel which was equally winsome.
I lost my family a couple doors down to the bustling Cowgirl Creamery. Familiar with their handiwork from my days schlepping high-end cheese plates to the bourgeois, I was quick to jump in line, admiring the wide selection of sheep, cow and goat milk varietals that the casual yet knowledgable fromagers were discussing with overwhelmed customers. While gently guiding us to the right selections they were not shy with the samples, which helped ensure we were getting exactly what we wanted. The delicious award-winning Red Hawk was my favorite, a triple cream full-flavored cow's milk cheese, as well as the rich gouda-like St. George. Cowgirl Creamery is based in the bay, but their cheeses are available on their website which also houses an impressive Library of Cheese.
Realizing that a farm-fresh picnic was in our near future, we moved down to Acme Bread Company for an oven-fresh sourdough baguette, and then next to the well-designed Boccalone salumeria, unapologetically boasting "tasty salted pig parts". Salumi has become one of my latest fave meats, so I was excited to take home an elegantly-wrapped link of the cured Brown Sugar and Fennel Salame. We also had the butcher carve a variety pack fresh for our picnic, including Capocollo, Prosciutto, Salame Pepato and Orange & Wild Fennel Salame. YUM!
On our way back around we couldn't help but admire the wide (and colorful) selection of fresh mushrooms on display outside of Farwest Fungi.
But what really blew my mind was the sign urging browsers to sample a raw "Sea Bean".. which looked somewhere between haricot vert and stick coral. It has a jicama crisp and tastes like a mouthful of oceanwater raw. Still, and interesting foray..
As we walked back out into the sunshine and sea air, stroller loaded high with fresh goodies and wine country next on our minds, I could tell this was going to be a lovely little weekend escape.


  1. Holla for Cowgirl Creamery! They're the sh*t.

  2. Hi Nathan! Great review!! The Ferry Building Marketplace is everything you said it was. Imagine how lucky I am... I work right across the street! Can't wait to show Beth once she finally gets up here.