"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Fransisco"-Mark Twain

We'll get back to that.
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This picture does no justice to what we had for dinner the night after we said goodbye to Yosemite National Park (it was a sad, sad parting).

We stayed in a sweet little town called Healdsburg and we arrived at about 8:45pm on Thursday night. We were fish out of water here and surprised that everything closed at 9pm! We quickly ducked into the Healdsburg bar and grill where the menu looked so uninspiring! Burgers, chicken wings, falafel?

We decided to order the tuna sandwich and garden salad to share. I was so pleasantly surprised to find that the rare, seared tuna on my sandwich was accompanied by a delicious garnish, aioli and a wonton cracker between the bread. The garden salad was also fancy schmancy with pieces of broccoli and cauliflower and tomato chopped very finely all in a large bowl with a mustardy dressing!

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Day 5 of the trip was devoted entirely to wining, dining and wheeling. Yes, we decided to bike to the wineries after breakfast and before lunch. I can see how saying it that way already makes it sound like a bad idea!

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The wineries were all beautiful, some having lakes, picnic areas, beautiful stone wall interiors....we couldn't get enough! Really.

We started out with a 2 for 1 tasting at a winery with big plans to only go to two more and share tastings. Our neighbors in tasting here tipped us off that one of the wineries on our way was a "must-see". We didn't resist that. Our tally was now up to three more wineries, all shared tastings.

After the first winery, we felt great. At the second winery, we discovered that our Visa card got us free tastings. "Why share?" we thought. Now bike riding was a little more strenuous. As we biked down quiet country roads to our third stop we enjoyed feeling the wind in our faces and watching all the pretty scenery go by. The third winery had free tastings altogether. We didn't even discuss the possibility of sharing.

Yes, at 1oz/pour I had approximately 18oz before lunch (3 glasses!). A small bike-related incident and a less-small bruise ensued. Boo. It was time for lunch. Or was it? Nope, it was time for one last tasting. We had another 2 for 1 coupon. It's so hard to turn down free wine (I did no such thing).

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Our completely inadequate lunch included jerky (sweet chipotle beef and cilantro basil turkey!) with Doctor Kracker (c'mon we HAD to get these!) cheddar/pumpkin seed crackers and a 1/2 loaf of pumpkin seed bread. There were fruit items as well.



Sigh, that was it, we were on our way to San Fransisco. Goodbye Sonoma! (We took home a package of the jerky and the most amazing dried mangos I've ever tasted!)

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By the time we got into SF, it was already time for dinner! And apparently, winter. I felt like I was more in the mood for turkey and stuffing than bay scallops and crab as I huddled even closer into my sweater. It would be cold and foggy and gloomy every day while we were there, and apparently we should have been prepared because, as one San Fransiscan put it "we only get one week of summer here, and it looks like you missed it". =(

We walked around (again at 9pm) and found few options. Then, we heard jazz music and wound our way down to an alleyway full of french restaurants! We ate at the one with the jazz music (I just love female vocalists!)

We ordered escargot (prerequisite) that came in a butter sauce topped with a bit of puff pastry, a shrimp casserole dish and a seared Ahi Tuna (yes, again). It was delicious. So was the creme brulee we shared at the end. Can you see how this vacation is getting more and more decadent? =)

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The next day we grabbed some hotel breakfast and headed to the airport to change our tickets in the face of Hurricane Irene. Our flight was canceled and the options they presented us were pretty disheartening. Finally we were offered a flight to Baltimore a day and a half later than our original departure. Having no other choice, we spent the day walking, walking, walking (about 4 miles altogether) around the Bay area of SF. We found ourselves a touristy seafood place, ordered unwisely and weren't impressed. We WERE, however, amazed by a fruit display we saw along the pier and couldn't resist having some strawberries (they looked airbrushed!), a peach an a plum. (Is this the cutest pic ever or what?)

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After even MORE walking we found ourselves ready to eat dinner and retire. We walked around and accidentally found ourselves in Little Italy.

Now, I'm going to commit heresy: I don't really like to go out for Italian food. I'm not afraid to admit that I find it somewhat monotonous and very heavy. But we were in the market for a cioppino that night and little Italy DID look promising for that.

We looked and looked and nothing had it. On a complete whim I peeked into a place with a green awning called Cafe Sport. Of course, I was expecting a sports bar but what we found was this place. A restaurant completely overflowing with kitch but looking so adorable and hey, selling cioppino!

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This isn't an actual picture of our cioppino (it was too dark) but it's pretty close. It's a big red mess of seafood stewed in salsa and served with PLENTY of bread to mop up the sauce!

We also had a glass of wine apiece and a tiramisu to finish up. Mmmmm.....I walked (waddled!) home feeling stuffed and totally happy!

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We woke up the next day preparing to walk again. This time, we had an approximately 6 mile route planned! We needed to fuel up! This crepe (thanks google image, it looks exactly like it!) was shared (unequally) besides a little market in a tiny little stand with red-tableclothed tables! So cute!

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The best part? We discovered the pluout. Yes, if a plum and an apricot had a baby, this is what you would get. All joking aside, the varietal name for this fruit is the Flavor Grenade. And it's completely accurate. At $2.50/lb these things did not come cheap, but they were worth that and more anyway!

I carried these babies with me for to days, having one with every meal. Yummmmm!

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Finally, to completely top my slide into food-related recklessness, we ended our last night of vacation in a completely divey-looking place called Pier 23 that had a great little heated (a must!) patio with jazz playing. We got some pull and eat shrimp and to top it off had this delicious, rich, mayonnaise-smothered crab and shrimp sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries. No dessert was necessary here. I anticipated having to pay dearly for these three days of no-holds-barred eating and knowing that the next day was going to be spent in an airport made that easy.

Well, this post came out too long to go into the baked fish and definitely I will save my newest muffin creation for next time. I hope this wasn't too tedious. I'll be cooking things up again now that I'm home for a while!

xoxo
Dr. Jules
 


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    I'm a recent graduate from medical school and a pathology resident living in New York City. Like most girls living in the city, I've found that a lot of my social life revolves around the regular consumption of high-calorie food and alcoholic beverages. I've decided to start a blog about how I am trying to beat the bulge by eating and cooking defensively between social engagements and how even a busy girl can fit exercise into a busy life.

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