Thursday, 22 September 2011

USA 2011: San Francisco Part 5

What's this? Two posts in one day? Madness! Well, maybe, but I have been very slack about getting these up, and VeganMoFo is but nine days away. I shall be participating this year, so need to have all my USA trip posts done and dusted before October.

Anyway, I believe I promised exciting restaurant food? My feet were my friends again today as I walked from the Mission along Division St to my next destination. let me tell you, walking along Division St is pretty scungy. I was a bit worried for a second. Also I started getting panicked that I was absolutely going to the wrong place. But thankfully, eventually, I found my restaurant.

Source is a super cute, quirky little restaurant that I had read much about on the PPK and on Vegansaurus.

See above re. quirky. Hee.

The paneling on their bar - it shimmers!

The only downside about visiting Source during the day, is that the light coming from outside means you can barely see the nifty light therapy. Squint and look closely at this photo and you can just make it out.

I ordered a refreshing Blueberry Lemonade. I love American-style lemonade, and all the tasty flavours that can go with it.

I wanted to keep lunch relatively light, because I had some pretty big dinner plans. What is this restraint? I hear you cry. I don't know either. The menu is amazing, and I perused for some time before deciding on the Chicago Bow Wow: Relish, tomato, onions & cheddar, only because I am awesome and vegan I had some sort of cheesy sauce. The sausage is an apple-sage Field Roast sausage. It was yummy. It also came with some coleslaw, and the best fries of the trip. I was on my own, with my charming accent, wearing my awesome vegan t-shirt, so a nice waiter also gave me some extra garlic sauce to go with my fries. People there were super nice and chatty!

I had originally planned on getting one of their Snowballs or other assorted treats for dessert, but they were a bit low on them at that point. However, I did have this amazing raw chocolate mousse. Oh wow, this blew my mind.

Source was fantastic, I really enjoyed it and am so glad I found my way there. The only thing is, even though I loved my lunch, I have sadness over things I didn't order. Specifically, the Truffle Macaroni and Cheese. My soul will now never rest until I can go back there and eat this. Possibly with an starter of the baked artichoke and spinach fondue. And a star anise shiitake soba salad. You know, just a nice small meal, really.

Afterwards I went for more of a walk. To another grocery store.

I had yet to make it to a Trader Joe's, and there was one right near Source. I didn't actually buy anything here. Nothing seemed to be in a logical place, and everything was TJs brand so it all blended, so I seemed to have missed all the awesome vegan snacks people say that they have there.

I walked back to the hotel via the Civic Centre, which was much prettier in the sunshine compared to the grey drizzle of the previous day.

There was this rather amusing sing on the playground there. For the record, there were two adults and zero children playing in the playground.

I then went back to my hotel, where I spent some time packing as I was leaving the next day and would have to check out in the morning. I also had a small nanna nap. I know I am super lame. But I just needed my rest before dinner. I was very excited about dinner. One of my friends that I used to work with was actually doing a placement at UC Davis, and was coming in to San Francisco for the night to have dinner with me. That is exciting! Oh, and so is this.

As if I wasn't going to make it here. Millennium is a restaurant that every vegan should try and make it to at least once in their lifetime. I had very high expectations for my dinner here, and I am happy to say that I was not disappointed at all. Please excuse the darkness in the following photos - it was mood lighting.

Tash was running a bit late, so I waited at the bar and ordered a Chamomile Lemonade. This was beautiful. In retrospect I so should have also ordered some of the steak fries. Oh well.

For my appetizer I ordered the Chickpea Panisse, which was incredible. The description reads seared Portobello, Clamshell and Cremini mushrooms, spring onion agrodolce, almond-garlic cream, smoked pimenton and aleppo chile toasted almonds. Meyer lemon, bitter green and herb salad. That there's some fancy talk for so delicious you might just cry.

Tash had this beautiful salad, which I thought was the Wilted Bloomsdale Spinach Salad, but doesn't quite look like it matches the description.

For my main I had Bourbon and Maple-Glazed Smoked Tempeh, with tomato etouffee with English peas, cauliflower and baby carrots, creamy roasted sweet corn grits, celery-cabbage slaw and lemon-caper cashew cream. So amazing.

Please forgive this horrific photo of Tash's main, the Barley-Chickpea Cake with grilled maitake mushrooms, crookneck squash, fava beans and rapini greens, balsamic roasted torpedo onions, spinach and sorrel puree, aleppo chile-black olive tapenade with toasted hazelnuts and cucumber-mint salad.

For dessert, I could not go past the Clafoutis - sunken souffle with cherries, nectarine icecream, salted nectarines and oat and nut crumble.

And Tash had this beautiful trio of sorbets.

Millennium was such a magical, perfect experience that I find myself without words to describe it all. It was just... perfect. Everything that I hoped and dreamed. This should definitely be on your list.

We strolled back to the hotel, which was joyously only two blocks away, and I was so delightfully happy. But wait, remember that raw peach pie?

I had to eat it when we got back to the hotel, as I would be checking out in the morning and roaming around all day, and it needed to be safe in a fridge. So I ate it. It was pretty good. Obviously couldn't compare to the magic that came before, though.

And then there was sleeping. And on the morrow, my last day in America before my journey home.

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