Third Round of Coffee with Jenny

I just returned from my holiday in San Francisco. For that reason I felt I wanted to share another vitural coffe with you guys and tell you a little bit about this holiday. Not necessarily in the most sturctured way or with tons of tips including google maps and the like, sorry, but I am not a blogger for travels. I prefer telling the fun little stories I encountered as I feel life is full of little stories and they are not necessarily structured either.

I love travelling, I feel it stirs my creative spirits. You know when you smell so many different scents, when the intonation of the people talking around you sounds like an orchestra from another continent. My brain seems to be wired to happily oversee anything regular at home, but when you are travelling, it suddenly stops and gets all excited about litte mundane things such as road signs. At least this was the case when I set foot on Golden Gate Bridge and suddenly saw the sign pictured below. My brain was suddenly fully awake, tugging me, all excited because it could see a little girl with a pony tail. A girl, not a genderless or abstract symbol, clearly a little girl. My imagination went wild, imagining little Eva who was promised ice cream by her grandfather and was all eager to get chocolate ice cream. I know, I know, I have a pretty wild imagination and I don’t need to do anything in particular to get it going. I mean, this was also the case with the second picture you see below “Listen to the wall.” Doesn’t really make sense to me, I mean, aren’t walls created to hold up something or to look at something? Why should I listen to this particular wall? Is there any kind of bar in the vicinity musicians had gigs at? Is this meant symbolically?  Why should I listen to this wall, this particular wall?

Of course I tried new dishes, that was half the fun. As I was mainly in San Francisco and the Bay area, I had to go to a Mexican taqueria. Seriously, if you visit California or the U.S. for that matter, you have to go to a taqueria and try a burrito with black beans, guacamole, and another delicious fillings. However, me being me I had to try all the sweets. I did ask on Facebook which cafés, bakeries, etc. you would reommend, but decided to simply wander around and walking in to whatever looked interesting without consulting Tripadvisor, Yelp and the like. I have decided to present my three favorite cafés even though not one of them paid me to do so. Obviously, these are cafés I randomly chose so as a disclaimer don’t expect a thorough analysis of what San Francisco has to offer for your sweet tooth.

The first café I would like to introduce is the Miette. As it is close to Pier 39, it is frequented by a lot of tourists. I was inspired by its founder Meg Ray who had very humble beginnings selling her baked goods at a farmer’s market in Berkely before she opened the first store and is now successfully running three stores in San Francisco. She also published a patisserie baking book. I especially liked her chocolate cupcakes with coffee buttercream, even though I learned that her gingerbread cupcakes are supposedly the best in the country. I was pleasantly surprised that her baked goods were not as sweet as is often the case in the U.S. and this probably has to do with the fact that she offers a lot of French macarons, tarts, etc. I am determined to introduce one of her recipes on this blog at some point, but I will let you know for sure when it’s time for that.

Ferry Building
Ferry Building Marketplace
Shop 10
San Francisco, CA 94111

While we were in San Francisco, our host happened to have his birthday, so obviously I felt the need to bake a birthday cake for him. Since he is into cheesecakes, I decided for a blueberry cheesecake, using the delicious local blueberries I found. He even had a scale at home (from the U.S. postal service, but who cares) and since I prefer that to using cups, I was very happy to convert grams to ounces to get this birthday cake right. It was a challenge, but I loved it. The recipe is from Bake to the roots and I have made this cake several times, each time it is a big success.

The second café I really loved was actually recommened by our host. As the name La Boulangerie indicates, it also focuses on French-style baking, but I was not that interested in the croissants and brioche, I was very happy to learn that they offered rolled oats. Rolled oats with fresh fruit and milk of your choise, that was really meant for me. Unfortunately, we do not have the same kind of rolled oats in Germany, I hope I get the same texture here, if I do, I will definitely let you know.

1000 Cole Street
San Francisco CA 94117

The third café I liked was The Mill, even though I have to admit that I am always a little sad when I learn that it scores very high on Tripadvisor and the like as this takes away some of the charm in my opinion. As the name The Mill indicates, it specializes on breads and toasts with homemade jams, pesto, almond butter, etc. I also liked the coffee and espresso selection they had. Entering The Mill means entering hipster land, you could people see kneading bread in the back, while I was sipping my cappuccino, several people entered with their bikes and ordered with their helmets on. The founder Josey Baker also published a book on bread baking, which, according to my husband, has really good bread recipes with whole wheat flour and measurements in grams in addition to cups, which is unusual for an American baking book.

736 Divisadero Street
San Francisco CA 94117

If you happen to visit San Francisco, I can highly recommend the variety of foods and cuisines offered. Compared to Germany, the influence of immigrants is visible everywhere. I was greatly inspired and now have a long list of things I want to bake. As announced during my last coffee post, I want to celebrate Thanksging with my husband this year again and I am determined to make this beautiful pumpkin layer cake for that occasion, you need to look at this beautifully decorated cake, I find it mesmerizing.

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