Girls on Food

San Francisco

Let’s Get Toasted: Toasty San Francisco

Toasty

2760 Octavia St. San Francisco, CA 94123

Website and Instagram

What would you do for good food?

Stand in excessively long lines (ahem, Madrid and Street XO)? Wake up at all hours of the night to secure reservations (how else can I secure some of the most coveted reservations) Fly thousands of miles in search of the prettiest bite?

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I will not let any obstacle get in my way of an epic meal and in fact, I’m guilty of all three.

A couple of weeks ago, I flew to San Francisco to visit my very best friend. This girl has been my ride or die and partner in dine since college. So, it goes without saying that every time I visit, I send her a list of potential eateries that I’d like to check out. Knowing that we won’t knock out a fraction of them, I note which ones are an absolute must. On this last trip, there were only three places that were non-negotiable, Toasty, being one of them.

How does a girl from Nashville come across an avocado toast bar in San Francisco? Well, that’s simple. Instagram. A fellow food blogger highlighted Toasty on their feed and I was awestruck. I had no idea that toast could be so pretty.

After a four hour flight and one heck of an intense parallel parking job, we arrived at Toasty.

Toasty, which opened in October 2017, is the first ever avocado toast bar in San Francisco. Owner Sofia Pinzón, who arrived by way of Medellín, Colombia, decided to turn her love of all things avocado into a business that would attract people from across the globe. Realizing that people eat with their eyes, Pinzón created these masterpieces topped with edible flowers that are almost too pretty to eat. Almost…

Toasty, located in the Cow Hollow neighborhood, is staffed by only eight individuals.  Seating is rather limited with only bar seating available on the inside and three quaint tables located outside the restaurant facade. If you want to grab a place to perch, I’d recommend going early or during an off time, even though I think Toasty has a line out the door on any given day.

Restraint. The first word that comes to mind when I walked through the doors of Toasty. I wanted one of everything on the menu. Remember, I’ve been stalking this eatery for quite some time and that, paired with a voracious appetite can be quite dangerous. After my partner in dine talked some sense into me, we ordered.

Seeing as we just finished caffeinating, we opted for healthier beverage choices: Beet Root and Turmeric lattes. I’m not going to lie, I’ve never had a Beet Root Latte in my life, but it, like all the toasts, was too pretty to pass up.

After five or ten minutes passed, our collection of toasts arrived at our table. Collection is the appropriate word because our selections literally consumed our table and we had nowhere else to go. Thank goodness we planned accordingly and snagged a table.

My partner in dine and I decided that the Eggy and Prosciutto toasts were a must but alas, my inner child wanted the Unicorn toast as well.  Who can say no to colorful cream cheese and sprinkles?

I have to admit, we both paused with hesitation. These toasts were indeed to pretty to eat. But let’s be honest, that only stopped us for a minute. We each started with a slice of a different toast. I started with the Eggy, she started with the Prosciutto. Once we devoured this goodness, we exchanged notes and then wooden cutting boards.

Despite the fact that we ordered the Unicorn toast for photos only, I couldn’t resist nibbling on that colored cream cheese goodness. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as sweet as I anticipated.

For those who aren’t avocado enthusiasts (which I can’t even wrap my head around), Toasty offers açaí bowls and chia pudding.

Toasty’s menu changes every six months or so. Sofia has a few upcoming creations that are sure to be both beautiful and delicious. I may or may not have heard rumblings of beet and hummus toast? Perhaps something with arugula? Without a doubt, you know it will be photo worthy!

If you find yourself in San Francisco and find a place to park, head directly to Toasty for an unforgettable avocado toast experience.

Renzell: The Perfect App For Fine Dining Lovers

The world of foodie apps is like the wild west right now. Developers are striving to become the next big thing, but few apps offer anything unique to stand out from just being a local restaurant directory. I thought I had seen it all with these apps, until GOF blogger Marcie told me to check out an app called Renzell and it has since become my go-to restaurant directory app.

Cocktail from Redbird in LA, a restaurant you can survey on Renzell

Why Renzell?

It’s for those with impeccable taste –  What separates Renzell out from the other apps is a restaurant directory that is specifically hand-picked by Renzell staff of fine dining establishments in major metropolitan cities. This app isn’t here to help you find a new coffee shop, it’s to help you find the perfect special occasion spot. Think Marea in NYC, Redbird in LA and Alinea in Chicago.

Be undercover –  Members can rate restaurants anonymously through their surveys, which are scored based off overall numbers, no long write-ups required. Their surveys are broken down into categories like ambiance, service, food and cocktails. What I love about this so much is that it’s not public what scores users gave, so I can quietly and candidly score spots. See full list of restaurants here.

Prove it – There is also more accountability in the scores than other review apps. Members are encouraged to show proof of dining by providing a receipt from their visit. This makes me feel better when I read the scores, cause it’s lessening the likelihood of fake reviews.

Get rewarded! – The more you survey and/or provide proof of receipt, the more goodies you can get! Recent rewards include Starbucks gift cards, SoulCycle classes, a month of free Spotify premium and so much more.

With membership benefits, secure anonymity and consistent app functionality, I will consider myself a “lifer” Renzell member.

  • Featured image – Strozzapreti from Marea in New York, a restaurant you can survey on Renzell

Macy’s Culinary Council Hosts MasterChef Season 7 Champion Shaun O’Neale at Union Square in San Francisco For a Dinner and Demo!

BAY AREA FOODIES!

Are you ready to spend an evening of culinary arts fun with MasterChef season 7 winner Shaun O’Neale? If you can make it out, be sure to join one of our favorite TV chefs for a three-course meal and cooking demonstration at Macy’s Union Square, in San Francisco, CA. Along the way, Shaun will be sharing his favorite cooking techniques and you get a signed copy of his cookbook, My Modern American Table with the ticket purchase. 

We loved watching this DJ turned Chef and season 7, so we know this will be one fun demonstration! Fingers crossed he packs his turntables!

When: Friday, October 20th 2017 at 6 PM

Where: Macy’s Union Square, 170 O’Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Price: $25, includes 3-course meal prepared by Chef Shaun, a copy of his cookbook, My Modern American Table, a $15 Macy’s gift certificate and a meet and greet with Chef Shaun.   

RSVP here to ensure a spot.

Tickets are selling quick, so get on it!

IF YOU’RE NOT ABLE TO ATTEND THE FULL DINNER AND DEMO, WITH ANY PURCHASE OF $15 OR MORE IN THE HOME DEPARTMENT (THE DAY AND TIME OF EVENT), YOU CAN STILL GET A MEET AND GREET WITH CHEF SHAUN AND A COPY OF HIS COOKBOOK. 

Culinary Council is a collection of spectacularly talented chefs, pastry chefs, and food professionals that travel throughout the country and hold various tastings and demonstrations in Macy’s all over the U.S. Check with your local Macy’s to see if any are happening near you!

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Image courtesy of Macy’s Culinary Council. 

Join Me at Macy’s Culinary Council Chef Marcus Samuelsson Cooking Demo! Wednesday, October 4th 2017 at 6 PM

BAY AREA FOODIES!

Are you ready to spend an evening in culinary arts heaven with Red Rooster Head Chef Marcus Samuelsson? Myself (and the rest of Girls on Food) are so excited to join one of our favorite chefs for a special cooking demonstration at Macy’s Northgate, in San Rafael, CA, where he will be sharing a few of his favorite recipes and cooking techniques.

When: Wednesday, October 4th 2017 at 6 PM

Where: Macy’s Northgate, Home Department – Level 3, 1000 Northgate Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903

Price: FREE! RSVP here to ensure a spot.

BONUS! Before the demo, With any purchase of $35 or more in the Home Department, receive a special gift and a copy of Chef Marcus’ latest book, The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem, and a chance to meet Chef Marcus and take a photo with him!

I will definitely be stocking up on some new kitchen gadgets but I’m so excited to get a copy of this book and take a shot with Chef Marcus! I’m ready for my close-up!

Culinary Council is a collection of spectacularly talented chefs, pastry chefs, and food professionals that travel throughout the country and hold various tastings and demonstrations in Macy’s all over the U.S. Check with your local Macy’s to see if any are happening near you!

I’ll be live on my Instagram feed with stories, so be sure you’re following me!

 

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Image courtesy of Macy’s Culinary Council. 

Macy’s Culinary Council Brings Timothy Hollingsworth to Walnut Creek

BAY AREA FOODIES!

Are you ready to spend an afternoon in foodie heaven with former French Laundry Chef de Cuisine and current owner of Otium in LA, Timothy Hollingsworth? Myself (and the rest of Girls on Food) are so excited to join one of our favorite chefs for a special cooking demonstration at Macy’s Walnut Creek, in Walnut Creek, CA, where he will be sharing a few of his favorite recipes.

When: Sunday, August 27 at 1pm

Where: Macy’s Walnut Creek, Home Department, 3rd Floor, 1301 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Price: FREE! RSVP here to ensure a spot and receive a $10 Macy’s gift card when you check in! 

Before the demonstration I’ll be roaming Macy’s latest in cookware and gadgets for my kitchen. I’m thinking with that $10 Macy’s gift card, I could stock up on some early Halloween kitchen goodies.

Also, with any purchase of $35 or more in the Home department, you will receive a special gift and a chance to meet Chef Timothy for a photo opp! I’m ready for my close-up!

Oh my gosh I can’t wait! Like many Bay Area locals, I’ve been dreaming of dining at French Laundry, so to have him cook for us personally will be such a treat! When Julianne attended his recent Culinary Council demo in LA, I was watching the Girls on Food Instagram stories salivating over his cooking!

Culinary Council is a collection of spectacularly talented chefs, pastry chefs, and food professionals that travel throughout the country and hold various tastings and demonstrations in Macy’s all over the U.S. Check with your local Macy’s to see if any are happening near you!

I’ll be live on my Instagram feed with stories, so be sure you’re following me!

 

 

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Why I Paid $900 to Dine at Saison

Acquiring Michelin stars has been a hobby of mine for quite some time, albeit a costly one for both my wallet and my waistline. In the midst of planning my annual trip to San Francisco, I decided it was a great time to add a few Michelin stars to my list seeing as the Bay Area now has as many three star restaurants as New York City. Poring over the Michelin Star list, note that there are 54 restaurants that received stars in 2017, I knew that I wanted a dining experience that was a departure from the typical pomp and circumstance of a three Michelin star restaurant and one whose menu pushed my gastronomic boundaries. I found both at Saison.

Saison

178 Townsend Street, San Francisco, California 94107
Website

Approaching the door of Saison, I was reeling with excitement to see what was on the menu (would it be? Black bear, antelope or perhaps a different exotic game?) and I couldn’t wait to immerse myself into this dining experience. It’s hard to imagine that seven years ago Saison was a “pop-up” restaurant operating in the back of a cafe and now they are arguably one of the best restaurants in the world.

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Weekly Wanderlust 8/4/17: Get $5 off Thrillist’s Taco Knockout Event in LA, Manresa Bread in Los Gatos, CA, Renegade Chocolate in Uxbridge, Ontario and Happy Hour at answer. in Nashville

Every Friday here at Girls on Food, we bring you Weekly Wanderlust, featuring the best our in cities, recipes, videos and advanced notice on events we’ll be appearing at.

TinTin here:

Thrillist’s 5th annual Taco Knockout is Saturday, August 12th, 1 PM – 4 PM at Lot 613, 613 Imperial Street, Los Angeles, CA.

This event is going to be packed with the most popular tacos SoCal has to offer, including Aqui Es Texcoco, Lola’s Mexican Cuisine, La Carmencita Restaurant and many more. There will also be chilled cervezas from Estrella Jalisco and a live DJ set from Electric Taco.

South Bay favorite The Standing Room will be serving an original creation, Tako Poke Tacos, which we’re the most excited for. We predict this taco—a blue corn tortilla topped with smoked octopus, tobiko, ikura and chives—will be the most innovative bite there.

General admission per person is $35, but if you use the discount code THRILLISTVIP at check out, you get $5 off. Just a little gift from Girls on Food. #yourewelcome

Traditionally this event takes place in NYC but it’s about time Thrillist brought it to LA! Not trying to start a Tupac vs Biggie feud here, but SoCal really is the home of the best Mexican street food in the U.S. 

For out-of-towners, I will be live on our Instagram stories feed providing you with footage of the event. But if you’re in LA and at the event, be sure to say hi!

For more info and to purchase tickets, check out:

http://events.thrillist.com/tacoknockout2017

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Chang Sensory Trails and Chef’s Table in San Francisco

Thai food is one of my go-to cuisines when I’m in the mood to eat out; in my house growing up, we would opt to get Thai takeout instead of Chinese food. When I heard about Chang Sensory Trails hosted by Chang Beer, a festival celebrating Thai food and flavors, I was super excited to check it out!

The festival took place at Fort Mason in San Francisco, after having great turnouts in Singapore, London, and Los Angeles. Locally known Thai restaurants had different stalls set up throughout the venue serving some of their signature dishes. All of the meals were inspired by Chef Bo Songvisava and Chef Dylan Jones culinary and life journey, in addition to the special tasting I had the pleasure of experiencing. Chefs Bo and Dylan are the wife and husband team behind Bo.Lan in Bangkok, considered one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2017, so you know this is going to be legit.

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August 1 Five in San Francisco

When you hear that Chef Manish Tyagi from Rasika in Washington D.C. is cooking out in the Bay, you gotta get over there to eat fine Indian dining, stat. After visiting D.C. and spending a summer there, I came back missing Rasika’s fantastic food. My whole family is a big fan, so when they came up to the Bay during New Years, we knew we had to make a reservation at August 1 Five.

August 1 Five
524 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102
http://www.august1five.com/

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My Yountville Live Diary: A 4 Day Adventure in Wine, Food and Music

Bobbi Hach-Jacobs and Claire Parr

Napa is known for offering the best in wine and food, but what some out-of-towners may not know, is that it’s also a valley rich with music and art. Yountville Live, an eclectic mix of events, organized by Bobbi Hach-Jacobs and Claire Parr, (the girl bosses and best friends behind the successful Live in the Vineyard events) delivered a unique experience that combined live music, and award-winning chefs paired with award-winning wines.

 

Yountville Live does not bring out food and wine snobs. It brings out epicureans who want to absorb as much knowledge as they can and cherish the delicious wine and food in front of them.

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Sammy Hagar and the El Paseo Team Open The Passage Bar

Passage BarSammy Hagar and the team of El Paseo know the way into a Girl on Food’s heart. Right when I stepped into their launch party for The Passage Bar, I was greeted with a glass of sparkling. How’d he know? 😉
The Passage Bar 
17 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941

http://www.elpaseomillvalley.com

It’s located in Mill Valley about ten minutes north of San Francisco. The bar is a collaboration between former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar and El Paseo, the restaurant right next door. The bar is a huge compliment to the stunning restaurant and is sure to be a social hotspot.

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