A Ferry Building Welcome

“You have to go to the Ferry Building!” “You have to go to the Farmer’s Market!” “If you don’t go to the Ferry Building or the Farmer’s Market I’ll never read your blog again and not only that, I’ll burn my computer with your page loaded up so I can watch you smolder.”

These are the words that regaled me when I announced I was going to San Francisco. My readers are very aggressive people. So I knew, Saturday morning, that I’d have to go to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market or pay the price.

Luckily, Sam of Becks and Posh was happy to be my host. She met me at the front of the Ferry Building (a San Francisco icon, poorly photographed from the back, above) and told me how crappy it was that it was raining. But I said, “Well, let’s embrace the rain: maybe it won’t be as crowded.”

The market has an indoor part and an outdoor part. The indoor part has vendors with actual stores, the outside part has vendors with stands (much like the Farmer’s Market at Union Square.) We started outside and visited La Cocina, “a nonprofit shared use commercial kitchen and business incubator.”


The guy there was really cool and gave me samples of Chai tea (very good), Alfajores–short bread cookies with dulce de leche (excellent), and Clare Squares–milk chocolate, shortbread and caramel squares (extraordinary.)

We continued on and saw beautiful produce:



Then I got to meet the famed June Taylor, maker of jams that ship around the world. (That’s her helping a customer, on the left.)


She was a pleasure to talk to and incredibly humble for someone who’s received so much recognition. I bought a jar of her Meyer Lemon & Rosemary jam which I will put to use back in Brooklyn.

Look at these artichokes!


And hey, how come they don’t sharpen your knives at the farmer’s market in New York?


Oooh, oysters:


I had one and it was briny and delicious. Like the sea in a glob. (Gross description, Adam.)

Bow down! It’s a King Crab!


Ooooh, Acme Bread:


I bought my first San Francisco Sourdough…


…and joined Sam, Catherine from Food Musings, and, eventually, Elise for a wonderful Ferry building tradition. That tradition is that Sam orders a bottle of champagne (“Bubbles,” as she called the tradition in an e-mail) and you sit at the table and drink champagne and people open up bread and cheese and strawberries and lots of delicious things you can snack on while you sip:


For example, we snacked on this awesome salami from…from…what’s that place called? The Fatted Calf!


Hey look, it’s Elise with a Clare Square:


And there’s Sam modelling chocolate:


One of the chocolates in the bag is a salted caramel chocolate which I really liked. Sam had a more pretentious chocolate with tarragon and grapefruit or something. My chocolate was infinitely more sophisticated.

We ended up at the Cowgirl Creamery where I sampled some killer ricotta:


After which, everyone had to go home. I was about to leave for my own adventure–about to be shared in YET another post (am I ever going to leave Raife’s apartment?) But this was the best welcome I could’ve imagined to San Francisco. Sausage and champagne shall haunt my dreams forever. Thanks Sam, Catherine and Elise!

10 thoughts on “A Ferry Building Welcome”

  1. I’m so glad you made it out there. The Farmer’s Market is one of the things I miss most about SF.

    I won’t be one of those annoying people who say you should have tried [fill in the blank] when you were at the market, but suffice it to say that the Primavera stand has the best chilaquiles in the free world. :)

  2. Now we all love the Primavera stand too – but we simply just couldn’t do everything in one visit plus it was raining and Primavera is better enjoyed on the weekends when it isn’t raining.

    Adam will just have to come back (again and again) to try all the things he missed the first time.

    we also wanted deep fried asparagus but we didn’t have any room left.

  3. My but we San Franciscans are a gluttonous and drunken lot! Champagne at 10:30 in the morning? I blame Sam. She’s Bri’ish, and they love their drink, after all. Adam, I’m not sure how we got you in our depraved clutches, but we sure had us some fun.

  4. a box of recchiuti fleur de sel caramels is only $20 and they ship across the states (says an addicted Portlander…)

  5. There is an Italian deli in the Ferry Building owned by the same people who have Molinari’s in North Beach.

    BTW, did anyone tell you about the Stinking Rose restaurant?

  6. The Clare Square looked a lot like what the Scottish call ‘Millionare’s Shortbread’, they really are amazing. The London Times’ food section has a good recipie on file.

  7. Having lived in San Francisco for 25 years and now residing in the desert of Southern California I really enjoyed your visit to some of my favorite old haunts. Zuni’s has disappointed me on several occasions. The space is wonderful, the dining experience is okay. I did shop at the Farmer’s Market a lot but being as my income was limited to 5 figures I couldn’t usually buy a lot there. The prices are high. San Francisco has many wonderful little markets hidden away, many of them with high quality ingredients without high prices. I enjoy reading your blog daily and thanks for the memories.

  8. Hey Adam, what a kick to meet up with you, Sam and Catherine at the Ferry Building. I must admit that champaigne with some Fatted Calf sausage, creamy cheese and freshly baked bread is the way to do it. You really did get the SF foodie experience!

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