Love. Live. Eat.

Posts Tagged restaurants

Lunch at the Farmer’s Market

Today I met a friend for lunch at at The Plant Café Organic, Pier 3. Since it happened to be a Tuesday, I stopped by the Ferry Building Farmers Market before lunch to pick up some much-needed veggies. It was quite a sight for sore eyes. The sun was out, restaurants were buzzing with people and farmers displayed beautiful, fresh produce. I always like to stroll through the stands prior to purchasing anything to scope out the best looking produce and deals. It’s also a good idea to spark up conversations and ask about their farming practices. They may not be certified organic but practice organic farming as the certification can be too expensive for small farmers. I happened to find superb bunches of mustard greens, collard greens, carrots, cilantro, parsley and spinach all for just $11.25. Pretty good deal for both parties involved; while supporting a local farmer I took home some of the freshest produce available.

After a couple of samples, my stomach started growling so I headed over to The Plant Café Organic to meet an old friend for lunch. Since I am gluten free it is quite difficult to eat out, however, The Plant offers several gluten free options…even pizza! We started our meal with a couple of fresh juices. I ordered the green infusion, made with fresh carrot, beet, celery, kale, broccoli and ginger. To be honest the beets overpowered the other flavors. On a more positive note, it felt healthy going down. My friend ordered a skin refresher powered up with cucumber, apple and strawberry. It was delicious. I could see myself making that little concoction on a hot summer day.

As my main, I enjoyed the MNM salad with the fresh fish of the day, halibut. It was a spectacular salad; full of mixed greens, bell pepper, spinach, sunflower sprouts, carrot, broccoli, cabbage and a lemon flaxseed dressing. I substituted the dressing with a balsamic dressing due to a garlic allergy. Otherwise, it was a perfect lunch; bursting with flavor and vitamins. My lunch date ordered the fish taco plate and the red roasted beets. The tacos did not receive a very good review but the beet salad did. How can you go wrong with roasted beets, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and spring mix? You just can’t.

The Plant Café Organic has several locations in the Bay Area, even one at SFO! They are a sustainable restaurant that serves local and organic produce. They offer gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and options with meat. There’s a little something for everyone at this little gem of a restaurant.

All in all, we had a very pleasurable experience and look forward to next time.

An Asian Twist on Gluten Free

I met with a dear friend of mine for lunch today at Betelnut of San Francisco. I haven’t been there in years but it has always remained one of my favorite restaurants, and for good reason. Not only is the food extremely tasty, but you can sit outside and people watch as you eat. There is always something happening on Union Street. You will find people walking their cute dogs, entertaining little children or you can just sit back and enjoy the style of good ol’ San Franciscans!

Usually, I am a bit nervous of finding options at restaurants that fit my dietary needs, but as you know life in San Francisco is about eating out! Luckily, Betelnut has several options for those in the same boat. The restaurant has a gluten free menu, most dishes are dairy free and you can request nut free for those with a nut allergy. So I say, “go for it!”

My friend and I ordered three yummy plates from the g/f menu and followed the tradition of eating family style. Places like Betelnut are enjoyed to the max when you are able to try a little of everything.

We started with the 5- spiced garlic edamame and asked for part of the order steamed plain. The edamame was nothing special and there are probably better options to start with. But it was quick so if you’re hungry it’s nice to have something on the table while you figure out what else to order. We proceeded to enjoy the green papaya, shrimp, grapefruit, herbs and “nuoc cham” salad. I must say this salad is a staple at the Betelnut. I have been ordering this dish since my first visit. It is fantastic! Both flavorful and healthy. Since we ordered from the g/f menu, the chili sauce came on the side for my company, as she is not g/f. It added a punch of flavor, which she said complemented the dish very well. Next we relished the “yee sang” dish served with yellow tail jack, seaweed, chilies, and peanuts with a lemon plum dressing. It was a party on the tongue! It is served rare so if you’re not a fan of sushi, stay clear of this dish. Otherwise, enjoy. To complement our lunch we opted for a nice warm white tea, served in a cute caste iron teapot. It was just what we needed to take off the famous San Francisco chill.

Who says you have to sacrifice flavor when eating gluten free? Our meal was extremely healthy; full of vegetables, lean proteins and one of the most flavorful lunches I’ve had in some time.