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26 August, 2014

Satisfying Shopping: From breakfast & coffee to lunch with a view

Posted in : Food Adventures on by : Brooke Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I love shopping for food I can prepare myself at home and most often, I do. What makes shopping even more exciting is to occasionally combine eating great food and sipping great drinks while obtaining the food I need for the week’s meals. It’s just one of the incentives that shopping at independent establishments has to offer. Doing so also offers the payoff of incorporating both dates and “me time” into what sometimes others describe as a lot of work.

While discussing my fiancé’s plans for the weekend, I suggested that we make time for a morning date at one of our favorite places – Philz Coffee. If you have a morning ritual like us, you also may know the importance of having fresh beans on hand for the week. At least a couple times a month, we take a break from the daily grind, get out of our pressing habits, and go straight to the source to “have it Philz way”. We picked up a 16 oz. bag of whole bean Philtered Soul before heading to our next stop, Thorough Bread & Pastry.

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I love that San Francisco seems to not only allow, but to also welcomes, people bringing in another merchant’s goods. When I do so, it is only with the establishment’s permission that my wish is granted. Thorough Bread does serve great coffee; however, it is of machine as opposed to what I prefer, which is by hand. Besides, I was here for what I have heard described as, “the best almond croissant outside of France.” I’ve never been to France; however, its the best I’ve ever had. To enjoy that and to also pick up some bread are what I come here for today.

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After purchasing olive bread and two mini baguettes, in their backyard patio we notice someone seated at a table for four and we ask to join. He replies with, “Please do. I was hoping to share the table and not take up so much space on my own.” – another thing I’ve noticed about the people living amidst this city, in general. Now seated and while enjoying coffee with my fiancee, the almond confection within its buttery layers melts in my mouth and I savor every morsel of its greatness. My fiancé, Gage, was pretty focused on his book. I like that we had other’s company prior to him joining his friends for the remainder of the day and my afternoon shopping at The Ferry Building.

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Together, we drove home from our date, dropping off our bread and beans before parting ways for the day. I gathered two reusable bags and embarked on MUNI’s light rail transit in our foggy neighborhood. After a fifteen minute ride, I stepped up from the station onto Market, and into a beautiful sunny day at the Embarcadero. I had just over an hour before market closing.

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I usually like to be up early for markets, but shopping just before closing does have its advantages – like reduced prices, fewer lines, and better on-site seating options. Just as there are advantages, there are also downfalls. Produce can be picked over, flowers and delicate plants – including edibles – can be wilted from prolonged heat exposure on a warm & sunny day, and prepared vendors may have limited options. Fortunately, with careful insight and through conscientious vendors, I did find a few things I wanted efficiently and very little disappointment.

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Without a solid protein in my stomach today and with my shopping complete, I was beginning to get hungry. I found the usual line for Roti Roti to be non-existent; therefore, I took it as the opportunity for lunch. After ordering a porchetta sandwich from them, I took a seat on a bench and took a few bites out of it – just before thinking that it would eventually end up here.

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On that note, as this story ends and another one begins. I appreciate how views can relate to food – both literally and figuratively. What I see as com(piling) pieces up front could also be seen as what leads to something better with adaptation. What does the photo below say to you?

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