San Francisco Day 1: Ferry Building, Hodo Soy & The Plant Café

by Valerie on October 7, 2012 · 7 comments


Back in late August, soon after I came back from work travel in Boston (recaps here, and here) and Kansas City (recaps #1, #2, #3, and #4), my husband and I took our first vacation in … years.  We went to San Francisco, where the sky alternated between blue and fog:


We specifically stayed near the Ferry Building to enjoy some of the glorious food there and in the vicinity:



We ventured all over San Francisco, including Golden Gate Park:


And, of course, to Millenium, as well as other lovely dining destinations:


Our adventures all started with a very early wake-up call, two sweetpress juices to help waking up (I can eat early, but not 5am early, so juice was nice), and a wonderfully empty plane to San Francisco (we had three seats for the two of us!).  Also, I had lots of snacks:


One of the upsides to a very early morning flight to California is that you get there, kind of tired and stiff, but still have the whole day in front of you. This was my husband’s first time in San Francisco (and my third) so it was fun to show him the Ferry Building and comment on what had changed since my last visit (before I switched to eating gluten-free and vegan) and what was the same. 


First, stop though, was Mariposa Gluten-Free Bakery (full review here). While the majority of items do contain eggs, I was delighted to find out that their gluten-free pretzel was also vegan. I used to love pretzels, and had not had one in years, so enjoyed it thoroughly:


It tasted more like a wholegrain pretzel than a conventional one, but it was lovely nonetheless. Despite the snack, I was starving and too tired to try to figure out what was definitely safe other than gluten-free baked goods at the Ferry Building, so we ended up picking up takeout (Dino Kale Salad with quinoa) from Plant Café Embarcadero Pier 3 (under a ten minute walk from the Ferry Building):


And a green juice with beets:


I actually wrote a separate review of the Plant Café as I ended up enjoying several meals there, including the above lunch.  Then we came back to the Ferry Building and my husband picked up some takeout from The Slanted Door and we sat together outside, with a lovely view of the water, and enjoyed our respective lunches.


A second Mariposa pretzel may have been involved:


We wandered around the Ferry Building a bit longer:




And stopped for chocolate:



And then I discovered Hodo Soy, which is local Bay area tofu, artisanal soymilk (which tastes much thicker and creamier than any soy milk I have had before) and a variety of other soy products:



I picked up a soymilk, the tofu egg salad and the spicy yuba strips to keep in my hotel room fridge (I always ask for a fridge when travelling).  Then, both my husband and I started fading, so we headed back to the hotel and relaxed. I was also freezing and could not get warm so I hit the hotel treadmill for a little while, showered up, and then we headed to dinner at Plant Café Embarcadero Pier 3. Yes the same place I had lunch. It was near the hotel, there was an extensive dinner menu – including a tasting plate of appetizers that were all vegan and gluten-free as well as two promising entrée choices.  


The setting was beautiful as we entered:

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As was the view:

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The meal was a revelation in how subtle flavors can have an impact without lots of salt and spices, starting with this palette of gluten-free vegan appetizers:


And more juice:


I wrote about the meal extensively in my post Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at Plant Café, so am not going to repeat details – in fact, I ended up writing that post, because Plant Café really deserved its own post, and I did not want to bury the wonderful meal at the end of this post. I had the BBQ Smoked Tempeh as my entree:


And scrumptious desserts. White Chocolate Mousse:

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And raw raspberry cheesecake:

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Full and happy, we walked back to the hotel, where I promptly fell asleep at 9pm. It had been a long but delicious first day of vacation/

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 bitt October 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Oh wow everything looks so good. A gluten-free soft pretzel? I must get there! I so appreciate your sharing your busy summer with us and fitting in a little time to see little old me (and family). It was a treat!


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