Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Balmy Alley ~ An Immersion in Magic

San Francisco is renowned for its cultural treasures, but there is a nearly secret delight that visitors roaming in the Mission District often discover by accident.

Located on a garage lined back street between 24th and 25th in the Mission, the aptly named Balmy Alley is a wonderland of mural art that grew from the work of Chicana Artists called
Mujeres Muralistas in the 1970's.  In this Eternal Queens interview, Patricia Rodriguez, one of the founding members of the collective, talks about the hopeful vision that inspired their open-air gallery.

For an orientation to this vibrant inner-city block of enduring expression, visit the Balmy Alley website and SF Mural Arts for names of contributing artists.  Take a quick trip through the virtual stroll below and do not miss the magic of actually being there!

A Virtual Stroll Along Balmy Alley
Guardian of Balmy Alley

Thursday, May 14, 2015

La Cumbre is The Top!

La Cumbre Taqueria near the corner of 16th and Valencia in San Francisco's Mission District is often cited as the home of the Mission Style Burrito.

Despite the fact that it has long been surrounded by a LOT of worthy competitors, there aren't many Mission Burrito lovers who would dispute La Cumbre's claim to fame. Even those who favor other Taquerias would be hard pressed to be a La Cumbre detractor.  
So, what are the ingredients of La Cumbre's success?

Adorned Rice & Bean Burrito $4.50
Since the 1970's, La Cumbre has consistently served generous portions of fresh, flavorful food at a modest price.  Even in the current hyper-priced San Francisco food scene, it is still possible to enjoy a La Cumbre style feast for under $5, thanks to its out-sized servings and "help yourself" condiment bar.

The winning combination of outstanding value in an atmosphere of sparkling cleanliness and friendly FUN has attracted decades of loyal customers to this legendary Taqueria.  Open Monday-Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. | Friday & Saturday, 11:00 a.m.-2:30 a.m. | Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

It is certainly a challenge to find a bad burrito anywhere in the Mission, but it is easy to discover why La Cumbre deserves to be called The Top!

Self-Serve Condiments and Sauces
A Revolutionary La Cumbre Burrito

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cheese School of San Francisco ~ Basic Primer

Cheese School of San Francisco Tasting Classroom
Cheese School of San Francisco Tasting Classroom
Founded in 2006 by Sara Vivenzio, the Cheese School of San Francisco is the only independent institution of its kind in the nation. Located at 2155 Powell Street between North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf, the atmosphere in the school is absolutely charming.

I took the Basic Cheese Primer class taught by Judy Creighton. Judy serves as a board member for the California Artisan Cheese Guild and has a deep history in cheese appreciation. In addition to her consulting and educational work, she is also the cheese buyer at Lavender Ridge Cheese Market in Murphys, CA. Having spent many years as a French teacher, Judy’s classroom manner is engaging and the information is easily digested.
Cheese School of San Franciso Basic Primer Setting
Basic Primer Place Setting

Cheeses were arranged on individual tasting plates in a clockwise fashion. The first four were chosen as an introduction to the basic “types” from the creamy Fromage Blanc which is ready for market within minutes of being made to long-aged Grana types, including Parmigiano-Reggiano, which is often aged at least two years and sometimes more.

As we touched, smelled and tasted our way around our plates, Judy encouraged us to experiment with combining the cheese flavors with the dried fruits, nuts and wine at the table. I especially enjoyed being able to experiment with both red ( Marietta Cellars, Old Vine Red, Lot#54) and white (2009 Domaine La Hitaire, “Les Tours”, Vin de Pays de CĂ´tes de Gascogne) wine on such a wide variety of cheeses.

The whole experience was a thorough delight. Classes are often filled soon after they are posted, but if you miss out on one, there will certainly be more to come.  The Cheese School of San Francisco has become part of the city’s cultural heritage.