About a year and a half ago, Mike and I were in Southern Laos.
We happened to meet a guy from San Francisco, and over beers on a deck perched over the Mekong River, he made us a list of his favorite places in the city. At that point we’d only been to San Francisco a handful of times, and never really ventured beyond Union Square and Chinatown. flour + water (2401 Harrison St) was on his list… he said it was the best pizza he’d ever eaten. Somehow, after living up here for 9 months now, we still hadn’t been, even though we heard about it ALL THE TIME (it’s gotten lots of press).
Mike’s parents came up for a visit this weekend, and just for fun I decided to check and see if there were any reservations available at flour + water, since we still hadn’t tried it but I really wanted to.
It can be pretty hard to get a reservation, so you can also show up and see if they can get you in, but there’s usually a long wait. I was shocked that yesterday there was an opening for four people at 9:15. I took it immediately. (And for reference, when I checked today, it said the next available reservation wasn’t until August 14th at 8:45).
The service was relaxed and friendly, not pretentious at all. We started with bread – thick, chewy slices of hearty wheat bread dipped in olive oil.
We ended up asking for extra bread to mop up the sauce of the pasta we tried, tortelli with morels, crescenza, and thyme. I know the mushroom-thyme combination is not completely new, but the crescenza gave it an extra layer of flavor that brought it out of the ordinary.
The sauce was incredibly buttery with just the right amount of thyme, so it didn’t overpower the flavor balance, and the pasta was thin and perfectly walked the line between chewy and tender.
Next we had the biancoverde pizza: summer squash (and squash blossoms!), lemon oil, oregano, baked in their wood fired oven then topped with stracciatella. The surprising contrast between the hot, crisp crust and the cool, velvety soft and creamy cheese was amazing.
I loved the subtle citrus flavor of the lemon oil, and the crust was thin but not too crispy. I’m not sure I’m ready to say it was the best pizza ever but it was fantastic.
By that point I was way to full to think about dessert, but I am determined to go back and try the chocolate budino with espresso caramel cream and sea salt. My final thoughts: GO! Have some pasta AND some pizza because they do both incredibly well. It’s completely worth the trek to the kind of random neighborhood and the wait.
Although that was the highlight of Saturday, the rest of the day was pretty fun too. Of course we had to go to the Ferry Building…
and of course we could not say no to Blue Bottle.
The worst thing about Blue Bottle? It makes every other latte in the world seem completely inferior. I didn’t want to become a coffee snob but this place has kind of made it inevitable.
I also could not say no to some bread from Acme. Carbs, I love you.
We spent a little while on a bench behind the building watching the sailboats in the bay. Oh hey 29 weeks pregnant belly.
After our little snack we did a little shopping around Union Square. I bought 2 maternity shirts at Gap so I don’t keep stretching out my entire wardrobe, and a onesie for the kid. Someone needs to keep me away from Baby Gap.
Since our dinner reservation wasn’t until 9:15, we decided to get some pre-dinner drinks at the Tonga Room. Mike and I have been dreaming about a tropical vacation for months and although this really didn’t come close, it was still really fun.
It kind of reminded me of the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland, if you substitute the annoying singing birds with alcohol!
So many fun tropical drinks to choose from! I ended up with a virgin pineapple daquiri, which was delicious.
This place is pretty kitsch and over the top, but in the most awesome way possible. There’s a big pool in the middle with a fake boat where the band plays, and they have a fake thunder/lightning/rain storm!
I love this city so much… and I love how almost every weekend we find fun new places. When we first moved up here I thought people were a little ridiculous with their love for San Francisco, but it has definitely grown on me.