I recently completed a short trip to San Francisco where I managed to carve out a pretty good itinerary to meet my PB dietary needs. We stayed in Marin County the first two nights so that we could be close to Muir Woods. If you haven’t been you should consider adding this wonderful National Park to your list of to-dos! Stunning scenery and amazing 2000+year old trees make it one of natures wonderlands. If only those trees could talk!
Staying at the Marin Suites Hotel provided us with a mini kitchen where we could prepare some of our meals. A Whole Foods is nearby along with several other grocery stores which seemed pretty well stocked with healthy options. Breakfast was included in the hotel but we also supplemented with foods prepared in our kitchen. We made our lunches (Chickpea Salad sandwiches, grapes, mandarin oranges, baked corn tortilla chips) and packed them for our trip to Muir Woods and the Californian coastline.
Some of the steepest drop offs and most breathtaking vistas. It is amazing how those houses are just tucked into the rocky, steep cliffs. They do have stunning views of the Pacific Coast as they sip their morning drinks. We ate one of our dinners at VeggieGrill which was just awesome. I ordered the Sonoran Bowl which came with steamed quinoa, seasoned black beans with fire roasted carrots or corn (seasonal), avocado, salsa, jalapeños, tortilla strips and roasted red pepper sauce. I omitted the jalapeños (sometimes I am a wimp when it comes to hotness) and asked for the sauce on the side. It was yummy and filling. They have lots of healthy plant-based options and the service was friendly and accommodating.
Making our way to the city of San Francisco presented other challenges since we would be without a kitchen. Our stay at the Warwick Hotel would include a refrigerator and coffee maker. With ingredients on hand from our shopping excursion in Marin County we were prepared to make No Cook Oatmeal and lots of fresh fruit along with tea and coffee for breakfast. Our first night dining out was a smash hit at ThaiIdea Veggie. The food was phenomenal and a work of art. From veggie lamb, beef, chicken, shrimp and duck to pumpkin curries, everyone was satisfied.
For breakfast one day we visited Dottie’s True Blue Cafe (no website). Waiting on line for over 40 minutes in the cold was not fun but it was warm and inviting once we were inside. I had to be very creative in selecting from the menu to find something plant-based with minimal oil. I chose the oatmeal, freshly baked whole wheat toast and homemade raspberry jam. My husband had the spicy black bean cakes topped with a pico mixture along with cooked diced potatoes. It was quite delicious despite knowing it contained some oil – not too bad though (it was Christmas Eve after all!). The rest of the menu was more suited for vegetarians and meat eaters.
Christmas Eve dinner was spent at Trattoria Pinocchio down in Little Italy where angel hair pasta topped with tomato sauce, basil and garlic was the selection for dinner. Requesting no oil for my pasta was met with a questionable look – they tried but I could tell they could not resist themselves and added just a bit.
Chinatown for dinner on Christmas Day – what else did you expect right? Not quite. We decided there were so many mixed reviews for neighboring Chinese restaurants that we would go back to our favorite – ThaiIdea Veggie. Another fantastic meal with fantastic service.
Finished our stay in SF with a visit to Marcello’s – which according to a Castro resident, is the best pizza in SF. They had two vegan options on the menu with no cheese and lots of veggies. It was a delicious alternative to the cheese and meat-laden options. Plus, being in the Castro district and paying a visit to the historic former Harvey Milk residence and Harvey Milk’s Castro Camera – now the Human Rights Campaign Store – was extra special.
Headed out to the SF airport where there were lots of veggie options but also packed my lunch bag with fresh fruit, hummus, baked chips and Luna bars.
Happy Veggie Travels to you!