When it comes to San Francisco festivals, the North Beach Festival is a must go. Yes, like many festivals, there were vendors located down streets. Yes, there were incredibly talented artists showing their work. Food trucks and food stands galore. One thing, though it seems almost like a “well duh” moment is the permanent buildings and businesses that welcomed you in with open arms. These business which for the most part are only located in North Beach.
North Beach, for those who don’t know, is also nicknamed “Little Italy”. Cafes, gelato shops, restaurants, and bakeries to name a few line those roads. I have walked through North Beach many times mostly staying on Columbus Street making my way to Fisherman’s Wharf and have only seen a very narrow view of this lovely part of town.
One of those shops I found hiding down another street (Grant & Vallejo to be exact) was Le Chat Rouge.
Not only am I sucker when it comes to pastries, but I’m also a sucker when it comes to adorable cuteness. Their theme of an old-timey French Bakery was on point, meaning absolutely perfect. Also, the pastries were that of art and quality. Croissants of different kinds, mini pies, macaroons, brioche, you name it. All of it was made by this adorable French Chef! Who was there and quite charming.
(PS: There is a sign outside that says “If you’re blonde or brunette with blue eyes we have a single baker”).
If any of you readers out there go & hit it off with him, remember me because I want the delicious food at your wedding. Kay, thanks!
Pear, Strawberry, Apricot mini pies from Le Chat Rouge
El Sur, I make this vow to find you at which ever food event I go too.
While waiting in line, another woman uttered similar (less dramatic) words like those words I wrote above. After taking a bite into the Champinones and the Pollo Saltado, I completely understood why.
Champinones – filled with mushrooms, creme fraiche, chives, shallots, and provolone
Pollo Saltado – filled with chicken, onion, tomato, serrano olive, and egg.
That was only 2 of their five delicious empanadas!
Sonoma Teriyaki had beyond scrumptious pork lumpia. One of my absolute favorites and something I will always buy when going to a food festival..no scratch that, any place that serves lumpia, I will buy lumpia.
The people working in the booth were also incredibly nice and helpful! Visit them and follow on Facebook, they have ten followers and their food is magnificent so something doesn’t add up!
Now you see the lumpia; now you don’t.
I saw that sign from the Sonoma Teriyaki Lumpia Heaven and knew that was next on my list of food to try. Worth it.
Above is the artist who create these beautiful drawings on very incredible old encyclopedia pages. Though the image may be the same, the encyclopedia page used is not. With every picture he draws it is matched with an encyclopedia page that represents the drawing.
I got a Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) drawing matched with the encyclopedia page “assassin” and something else that’s just as fierce.
In summary, the North Beach Festival is a great way to explore different parts of this magnificent neighborhood and see it in a different way than normal. It allows opportunities for new interaction with business owners from that area, but also those who travel just to get a chance to show off their work.
I can’t wait to come back for 2017 and see new faces as well as the old!
Miss Semi Sweet