San Francisco and Napa Valley: (some of) The Food!

by JL Fields on January 12, 2011

I had a wonderful trip to San Francisco and Napa Valley!  I joined my husband in San Francisco mid-week (he was there for a conference) and on Friday we drove to Napa Valley to meet our friends, Lisa and Vince, who flew up from San Diego.

Once the trip was over, as I looked at all of my photos and notes, I knew that I had way too much material for one post.  Here’s the posting plan:

1.  This post taking you through a few meals via photos.
2.  One post on our visit to Cakebread Cellars.
3.  One post on our visit to Schug Carneros Estate Winery.
4.  Three posts (restaurant reviews of Saha, Millennium and Ubuntu) for This Dish is Veg.

These posts will take some time. I will post them when they are just right!

For now…

San Francisco and Napa Valley: The Food!

I must give a shout-out to my friend, The VeganAsana for suggesting The Plant Cafe in San Francisco.  I made a reservation for one for 1:30 p.m. at Pier 3 (The Embarcadero) location but by noon, still on east coast time, I was starving. I took a leisurely walk from the hotel to The Embarcadero (the same route I ran earlier that day) and arrived just before 12:30. They didn’t have a table available so I sat at the counter.

I took a look at the menu

and had a conversation with Steve, the wonderful server at the counter, who helped me decide what to have.

I went with the Napa Cabbage Salad

(cabbage, leaf lettuce, cilantro, basil, mint, sprouts, crushed toasted peanuts, sesame-lime vinaigrette)

and the Signature Plant Burger

(lentils, mushrooms, beets, cashews, bulgar wheat burger with roasted onions and vegan aioli)

This meal was fresh and delicious!  Best. Vegan. Burger. Ever.

Plant Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday morning we were off to Napa Valley to meet Lisa and Vince, who arrived the night before.  At this point I need to do another shout-out.  My friend from The Raw Project wrote a blog post last summer about a trip to Napa and that is why we stayed at the Avia Napa Hotel and dined at Ubuntu (review on TDIV coming soon!).

We had a quick drive to Napa and were checked in by 9:30 a.m. and very hungry.  We decided to have breakfast at the hotel.  Let’s just say the breakfast menu doesn’t scream vegan but this vegan knows how to get creative.

I went to the omelet station and asked the chef to put every type of vegetable into the pan and stir-fry it quickly (without butter, obviously!)

(onion, pepper, tomato, asparagus, mushrooms and squash)

A big ole plate of vegetables, a few potatoes and toast with jam and I was good to go!

On our final evening we opted for Bistro Jeanty. Um, this place is about as far from vegan as a restaurant can be but my friends (and husband) are always very accommodating to me so I wanted to go somewhere they would enjoy.

We kicked things off with a rose brut

before opening the bottle of Grgrich Hills (not vegan) that we purchased at a tasting the day before.

I started with the beet salad (hold the feta)

and, because there were zero vegan / vegetarian entree options, I ordered several sides

Brussels sprouts, haricots verts, and an out-of-this world ratatouille!

Okay, I can’t lie

I had frites, too. Yes, that’s a lot of food. I passed the brussels sprouts and the beans around the table.  Not sure if anyone noticed that I kept the ratatouille and frites to myself?!

Bistro Jeanty on Urbanspoon

While I didn’t take photos, I do want to mention the incredible lunch we enjoyed at Taste of Himalaya in Sonoma (no website.)   After a cold day outside we were ready for a hot lunch. And we also knew that I would be limited to vegetables at Bistro Jeanty that evening, so I went in with one thing on my mind:  protein!  I enjoyed pickled vegetables, veggie dumplings and then daal poori (lentil bread), chana masala (chickpeas) and basmati rice. If you find yourself in Sonoma, you must eat at Taste of Himalaya!

COMING SOON:  posts on my wine tasting adventures at Cakebread Cellars and Schug Carneros Estate Winery.

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