San Francisco: Day 2, Part 1

To tell you the truth, the best (and the most restorative to the soul) part of my trip to San Francisco happened on Saturday morning. You all know how gung-ho I am about farmers markets, and here I was – visiting on one of the days that one of the country’s most famous farmers markets was taking place – the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

As I approached the building early on Saturday morning right as the sun was coming up, I was struck by how beautiful the clock tower was against the morning sky.

SFO Day 2: Ferry Market Building

Saturday mornings are when the biggest market of the week goes on, where there are upwards of 120 different vendors both in front of and behind the building proper. Many of them are vendors from inside bringing their yummy foodstuffs outside. If you stop by the information booth on your way in, it’s much easier to navigate all there is to offer.

SFO Day 2: Info Booth for the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Some sights are very familiar to us here in Columbus – after all, most of what has been available for the past month here is apples and winter squash. So I didn’t get too excited about seeing more apples, although I’m sure they are delicious.

SFO Day 2: Apples from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

On the other hand, pomegranates are something we don’t grow in Ohio, so it was a bit strange for me to see something at a farmers market that I usually buy at the grocery store.

SFO Day 2: Pomegranates from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

The only thing that bummed me out about hitting this farmers market was my inability to get anything that required a kitchen, because this broccoli looked absolutely amazing to me.

SFO Day 2: Broccoli from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

OMG OMG OMG. Strawberries? In November? :::sigh::: only 6 or so more months to go until we get local strawberries here in Columbus.

SFO Day 2: Strawberries from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

I’m not a fan of artichokes myself, but aren’t these some gorgeous specimens?

SFO Day 2: Artichokes at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

And grapes, grapes, grapes, as far as the eye could see…

SFO Day 2: Grapes at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Flawless, super colorful bell peppers again made me long for a kitchen and some cookware.

SFO Day 2: Colorful Bell Peppers at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Luckily, much of the market stalls offered dried and/or smoked foods. If I weren’t worried about bringing it back on the plane, I would have bought some of this smoked fish.

SFO Day 2: Smoked Fish from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Persimmons are another one of those fruits I don’t see locally. Anyone know what these taste like?

SFO Day 2: Persimmons at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Cure your own olives? Really? P. would have loved this.

SFO Day 2: Olives at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

I did get some eggplant dip from this stand (wish I would have remembered the name of it!) along with some pita bites to eat later on in my hotel room.

SFO Day 2: Various Mediterranean Dips at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Sunchokes are one of those things that I have tons of recipes for, but have never been able to find locally.

SFO Day 2: Sunchokes from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

And I’ve never seen or tasted a kiwano in my life, but they sure look interesting.

SFO Day 2: Kiwanos at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Beans, beans and more beans. And across the way, I stumbled across Rancho Gordo, whose beans I’ve seen in local stores. If I didn’t already have a glut of dried beans at home that I need to work my way through…

SFO Day 2: Beans at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

This is a Buddha’s Hand – a citrus fruit mostly used for zest. At this same stand were some of the most delicious Valencia oranges I’ve eaten in my life.

SFO Day 2: Buddha's Hand at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

A little after 9am, I hit up Roli Roti – if I were impressed by the 3 or 4 rolls of porchetta they had going the night before, I was doubly impressed by the collection of chickens they also had going.

SFO Day 2: Lots and Lots of Pork and Chicken from Roli Roti at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

The view from the pier behind the Ferry Building is breathtaking. I decided to eat my meal at a picnic table facing this, and could stare at it for hours.

SFO Day 2: Bay Bridge

I got a whole porchetta sandwich this time around ($8.50), and I think it was even better this time around than it was the night before. Part of why it is so good is the roll, which is made by Acme Bread Co., right inside the Ferry Building.  The sandwich was so huge I still could only eat half of it in one sitting.

SFO Day 2: Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

I did opt for a small side of their potatoes ($3.50), which when finished with coarse sea salt and rosemary were the perfect accompaniment to that wonderful sandwich. Honestly, folks – if I lived in the Bay area, I’d be getting this once a week, without fail.

SFO Day 2: Roasted Potatoes with Sea Salt from Roli Roti at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

After eating, I moved inside to check out the stores there – I didn’t get to explore as much as I liked, since I had to get back to the hotel, but this is a must-stop for my next trip.

SFO Day 2: Inside the Ferry Market Building

Especially this mushroom store, that had varieties that I have never even heard of or have seen before.

SFO Day 2: Mushrooms from Far West Funghi

Loaded down with bags, I headed back to the hotel. Still wish I could have spent the whole day there, but tourists were starting to pile in, and it got a bit claustrophobic.

Next up – the Tasting Pavilion.

9 thoughts on “San Francisco: Day 2, Part 1

  1. Rachel

    Sunchokes are supposed to be very very easy to grow here and they're perennial. I want to eat some before I plant any, though, to be sure I really like them!

    Persimmon also can be grown here. Again, I haven't tasted them.

  2. columbusfoodie Post author

    I've never tried them, but I hear they are extremely gas-producing. I think they're also known as Jerusalem Artichokes, right? Never had persimmons, but I don't like most tropical fruits for some reason (they are tropical, right?)

    What I wouldn't give to have someone grow those Warren pears locally, though. My mouth is watering just thinking about them, and they're hardy to -20F.

  3. YIn

    Strawberries are in season over down under Kiwi land now 😛
    Great photo , thanks for sharing didn't expect to see so much variety of fruit , herbs and spices in US 😛

  4. Boulder Locavore

    How totally delicious! I was scrolling through this admiring what I thought were the spoils of the Columbus Farmer's Market (your photos were so alluring I clearly did not read very well!) and when I got to the Buddha Hand could not imagine your climate to be so generous at this time of year (similar to ours in Colorado I'd think). Then I saw the Ferry Building (I'm an ex San Franciscan). Such a beautiful post! What is it about close ups of food that is so enrapturing? I felt like I'd gone on vacation in reading it! Thank you!

  5. thepantryraider

    I'm not a big fan of persimmon. The ones I have had I picked right off the trees here, in the middle of a round of disc golf actually. They are very sweet, and have a kind of strange flavor, reminded me of vanilla, but sweet and fruity. It was a bit much. I was hoping to do something interesting with them, so I was a bit disappointed.

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