January 25, 2012
We started our second day in San Francisco with a hike at Lands End in the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. According to the park's Web site, "Lands End is San Francisco’s wildest and rockiest coast. Trails at Lands End offer a cliff-top walk through shadowy cypress, with scenic overlooks, 30-mile views of the coast, and foot access to several shoreline pocket beaches."
I'd say that's a good description. It doesn't mention the hundreds of steps built into the trail, but the description of the scenery is accurate. It was another beautiful day, and a perfect opportunity to enjoy gorgeous surroundings and fresh air.
Above you see my husband and me sitting on a rock near the start of the trail, where we could see the Golden Gate bridge in the distance.
After spending the morning hiking we were hungry and ready for lunch at our chosen restaurant, Burma Superstar. The restaurant was on the shady side of the street where it was a tad chilly, and we had a bit of a wait, so I was impressed to see a big pot of hot tea outside for waiting customers to enjoy.
Burma Superstar isn't a vegetarian restaurant, which always leaves me a little on edge, but it has vegetarian offerings on the menu. However, although I haven't been mentioning this on my blog, I've been avoiding gluten for the last few months, and the items being ordered by my family to share were not ones I would have chosen. Since they were favorites of my son, and everyone else wanted them, I ordered a broccoli dish rather than sharing the other choices. The first item to arrive at the table was samusa soup, which I passed on.
Tea leaf salad and Rainbow salad (no shrimp)
We also had tea leaf salad and a noodle salad. Everyone loved these dishes though I can't offer personal comments since I didn't eat them.
Wok tossed broccoli
My broccoli was well-cooked and tasty, but surprisingly oily. I was hungry and wanted to eat it but there was only so much I could consume because of the greasiness. Would I go back to Burma Superstar? Probably not, though I might not be the best person to review the restaurant. Everyone else at my table and in the packed restaurant was enthusiastic.
It was pretty late in the afternoon when we finished lunch but we went back to our son's apartment and did a walking tour of the neighborhood where he and Alison live, plus the Mission district. Then, even though I really didn't think I could walk one more step, my husband and I walked back to our apartment to rest a little before dinner at Gracias Madre.
Enchiladas con Mole (I think)
Gracias Madre was a restaurant I really wanted to experience, and I loved it. I had the enchiladas con mole — spicy mole enchiladas topped with mushrooms and cashew cheese, served with sautéed greens and beans, and it was just delicious. It was so dark in the restaurant that photography was impossible without a flash, and difficult with one, so you'll have to use your imagination. The food was impressive.
Quesadillas de Calabaza (maybe)
Alison got what she thought was going to be a smaller dish, but it was large and gorgeous. The menu describes it as butternut squash and caramelized onions folded into tortillas with cashew nacho cheese and pumpkin seed salsa. She was quite pleased with her choice, and I think the rest of us were a little jealous.
My husband ordered tacos — three corn tortillas topped with a choice of seasonal vegetables and cashew cheese, served with beans. My son had Chilaquiles — handmade corn tortillas quartered and sauteed in a spicy salsa roja, topped with avocado, cilantro, cashew crema and onions, and served with black beans. I believe everyone was very thrilled with their choices. (Read a great review of Gracias Madre, here.)
It's sad to think that Gracia Madre may be closed the next time we visit SF. I've heard rumors that it's possible not all of the Café Gratitude-connected restaurants will close, though it sure sounds like they are being sold. Anyone know anything about this?
Full disclosure: Any restaurant reviews are totally independent and not at the request of the restaurant. All opinions are my own.