San Francisco Weekend Series: Staying Gold in The Mission

We’re back for another edition of our San Francisco Weekend Series! Let’s go take a visit to my old stomping grounds, where I was born and raised… The Mission! I lived on 16th & Mission up until 6th grade. I visit often and I’m always reminded of my carefree youth days of biking with my cousins in the blind alley we lived on, walking to the corner liquor store to buy candy (Now & Laters and Reeses Pieces ftw!) and going to McDonald’s for a Happy Meal. I remember how our parents forbid us from ever crossing Mission Street but we’d rebel and do it anyway. (Take me back!!!) Surprisingly, my old apartment building and the corner liquor store are still standing though I can’t say the same for McDonald’s. Pancho Villa Taqueria (near and dear to my heart) is still there which I go to religiously. Some people may disagree, but I for one am happy that this San Francisco neighborhood is evolving, welcoming more diversity, and becoming more poppin’ as far as the food scene goes.

So last Sunday, Jamie and I planned for eating brunch at F.O.B. Kitchen and then hitting up Garden Creamery for dessert. The rest of our day was spontaneous! Here is a breakdown of some of the spots we were able to check out:

F.O.B. Kitchen
I saw them at UNDSCVRD SF but didn’t get a chance to try their food. Good thing they do this brunch pop-up on the weekend located inside Gashead Tavern. Some of their food highlights include a NY strip steak bistek and house made spam. Jamie ordered the spam while I went with Tortang Talong (Filipino eggplant omelet) since it sounded good and I haven’t had it in awhile. The house made spam was served silog-style with two slices, egg, garlic rice and side salad. Man, it tasted so much better than the canned version. Not oily and salty either! I wish they gave thicker slices or more than two slices because I definitely wanted more. The eggplant dish was just as good as mom makes and you simply can’t go wrong with it. It’s served with rice and side salad and they brought out a bottle of Jufran Banana Ketchup to use as a dipping sauce. It’s a great vegetarian option or if you’re trying to do a light breakfast. We finished with Pan de sal served with mango jam. It’s another Filipino comfort food staple. I actually wish it would’ve been served first as it tastes better warm & toasted but the jam was good. Everything was dee-lish and I’m coming back for that bistek next time!

House-made Spam with egg, garlic rice and side salad

F.O.B. Kitchen Pan de Sal with Mango Jam
F.O.B. Kitchen Pan de Sal with house-made mango jam

F.O.B. Kitchen Tortang Talong with rice and side salad

F.O.B. Kitchen Hot Sauce
F.O.B. Kitchen Hot Sauce
Candi Me
On our way to get ice cream, we happened to stumble upon the soft opening of this candy shop on 20th street. Upon entering, you’ll notice an array of packaged flavored marshmallows and fruity and fizzy rock candies. They were nice enough to let us sample them. We were eyeing the small marshmallow treats and the cashier recommended some of the good ones: tiramisu and chocolate ganache which we both got. It’s such a cute little store!

Candi Me Marshmallows
Candi Me Marshmallows

Candi Me Lollipop Wall
Candi Me Lollipop Wall

Garden Creamery
Dare I say that Garden Creamery is my new fave ice cream spot after this visit? I mean, the ice cream here is BOMB DOT COM especially the Asian and Filipino flavors like Black Sesame, Li Hing Mui and Halo Halo. They really do taste just as labeled. I’m still in awe of the Halo Halo and how it had the bits you’d find in the actual drink. Sooo good! We were sad that we missed out on the chimney cones 😦 Turns out that they’re only sold on Saturdays from 2-4pm. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our afternoon ice cream delights. The owner let us sample nearly all of the flavors. In the end, I chose Matcha Gold (green tea with toffee) and Halo Halo while Jamie got Ube Pandan, Chocolate Haupia (coconut pudding) and Hojicha (roasted matcha).

Garden Creamery Roasted Matcha, Chocolate Haupia & Ube Pandan
Garden Creamery Roasted Matcha, Chocolate Haupia & Ube Pandan

Shopping on Valencia Corridor
After that, we strolled down Valencia Street and casually shopped at Azalea, Afterlife Boutique and Benny Gold. Azalea has really nice clothing that’s hip and what’s trending now. We wanted to buy the whole store! Next door was Afterlife Boutique. It was nice to see some nostalgic clothing from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. If you’re hyped about the Vintage Designer T-shirt trend (i.e. Gucci T-shirt), they have a lot of those there. Personally, I thought everything was pricey in there for used clothing. Last stop was Benny Gold. They sell San Francisco made streetwear clothing. I’m sure you’ve seen guys wearing their hats and t-shirts. Too bad they don’t sell women’s apparel as we’d totally buy them 🙂 The boutique is very instagrammable and they also have a coffee bar by Four Barrel. Check them out!

Benny Gold “Stay Gold” Tiled Floor

Ritual Coffee
Jamie felt cold and wanted some green tea so our final stop of the day was Ritual Coffee. You can’t miss the place with its provocative red flag that resembles a certain political party (yeah, that one). As Jamie pointed out, it’s really a cup tilted to the side (ohhh!). It’s a warm and inviting space where you can do some work and enjoy pastries and a hot drink. One of the good specialty coffee shops in the area. We just chatted it up for an hour or so until it was time to go.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our fun-filled day in The Mission. We have some more ground to cover in this neighborhood for the holidays so stay tuned in for part 2. To be continued…


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