Sunday, September 9, 2012
San Francisco Starts with Pie
Currently on a business trip in San Francisco, I can't say that I mind being surrounded by wonderful, locally-grown food. It's quite amazing actually to observe the food-loving culture and the friendly folks who work in these establishments, only too happy to share their enthusiasm for food with you.
Casually strolling into a cute little cafe called Mission Pie in the up-and-coming Mission District, I was immediately surrounded by down-home goodness of buttery pie, but also some really fresh and interesting salad options. And even though I wanted the sweet (and the savory) pies so badly, I held back (just for the time being) and went for the healthy alternative in the form of this beautiful farro salad.
The fact that this place was pretty heavily populated on a random late mid-afternoon is testament to its popularity. In fact, even when I passed by later in the evening, it was still buzzing - even more so, I think.
And as soon as you come in and observe the atmosphere, you can understand why. Cozy round tables of all different sizes take up the main dining area, and you'll notice a mix of solo patrons on their laptops as well as couples, families or what have you. I took a seat by the front window in some funky bicycle seat stools that were pretty rad and I smiled at how whimsy and a little silly they were. No matter - I was totally comfortable, happy and ready to dig in.
Although their specialty is of course pies (both savory and sweet), I went for the beautifully fresh farro salad that seemed just like the perfect, healthy snack in between meals.
Farro Salad - Not only did this salad look incredibly attractive, the price was right too - so much so that I couldn't believe my eyes. But more on that later...first let me tell you about its taste. The farro itself was superbly cooked al dente, having that little toothsome bite that I love, and it was mixed with plenty of fresh herbs and veggies. The most wonderful and fragrant herb that emanated from this mixture was mint - so zingy and lemony, it brought your tastebuds to attention right away. The best part by far was the crimson tomato that tasted sun-ripened and was so juicy - really simple yet so striking. The big hunk of feta cheese that rested on top was lovely too, giving this entire dish some more well-roundedness and stamina.
Service and Cost:
I couldn't believe how friendly the staff was. Well actually...I should believe it, as that's usually the case anywhere outside of NY. Not only did I get asked how my weekend was going, the woman helping me seemed genuinely interested in my answer.
Costs are unbelievably cheap, and I paid a mere $2.50 for a small (although I'd call it medium) sized bowl of farro salad. Unheard of in NY - or anywhere for that matter.
Now I can't wait to taste the pies! I will most certainly be back.
Mission Pie - 2901 Mission Street, San Francisco CA 94110
BART to 24th and Mission