San Francisco: a foodie playground in the Ferry Building
On the Embarcadero in San Francisco, a place called the Ferry Building holds what is basically a mall for foodies. I was just giddy in there. The only thing that's a chain, as far as I know, is a Sur La Table store. Wait, no, there's a Peet's Coffee. Other than that, though, I think it's all local stuff.
Speaking of Sur La Table ... you know how in some retail establishments, there are employees assigned to follow potential shoplifters around the store? In Sur La Table, we were definitely being followed. I have no idea why she decided we were shifty-looking. We didn't even have big bags or bulky coats or anything we could possibly stuff things in, so I don't know what that was about. But everywhere we went, this one employee hovered. (If anything, it just dissuaded me from giving them any of my money.)
But I digress. The Ferry Building features a cheese shop, several bakeries and a place selling mushrooms and truffle oil, just to name a few. Most importantly to me, though, it's also the home of Recchiuti Confections, which got a shout-out in CHOW magazine's "best chocolate" feature in its holiday issue (right before it went on "hiatus" -- sniffle). We sampled their rose caramel and their Star Anise and Pink Peppercorn chocolate, both superb. But their burnt caramel sauce was, hands down, the most amazing caramel sauce I've ever tasted. We bought a jar, but I'll almost hate to relegate it to the job of adorning some other dessert. I could just eat this stuff with a spoon right out of the jar.
You'll also find an antique store devoted entirely to food-related items:
I eyed a beautiful set of antique aperitif glasses, then almost fainted when I looked at the price tag. Oh my. Anyway, it was fun to look.
Some other Ferry Building sights: