Tag Archives: St. Francis Fountain

Pizza Overload (or Total, Unabashed Laziness)

Friends, I did not think I’d hear myself say this, but I’m quittin’ pizza for a while.

Yeah. Let’s take a moment to process that statement, its severity.

Last week was the Week of Pizza, practically and theoretically*. If I were to be honest with myself and y’all — and, DUH, I’m gonna be totally upfront — I ate pizza on five occasions last week. FIVE. I’m embarrassed even to write that, but confession is a form of catharsis, is it not?

Gee, Kate, you might wonder, How were you able to eat so much pizza? Lemme break it down. One night, happy hour with Bree turned into many happy hours, and when I got home I ate half a leftover frozen CPK pizza (BBQ Chicken variety; not recommended). I heated these leftovers in the toaster oven so generously given to me by Sabina. But, unfamiliar as I was with the settings of said oven, I burned the hell out of that pizza. Did I eat it anyhow? Oh, yes I did: in secret and in shame.

The next night, lazy as I was, I ordered pizza and a Greek salad from Serrano’s. Which was much more food than I thought it would be — half the salad and two pieces of pizza left me feeling uncomfortable. Friday, I had pizza for lunch AND dinner. Sunday, after a day of so-called revelry, I horqed (oh god) the remainder of my St. Francis’ Chef’s Mess and a slice of SARAH’S LEFTOVER PIZZA.

When you’re eating your roommie’s leftover pizza, you know you have a problem. I staged my own intervention.

See that? That’s one of my lovely quinoa salad casserole things, a dish I make (almost) weekly because 1) It’s simple; 2) It’s delicious; and 3) It provides more nutrients than most ‘zas. I made this Quinoa Thing Monday night — an effort, however small, to right my seriously off-course eating habits.

This Quinoa Thing included the following ingredients: Quinoa, prepared per package directions; Bacon, pan-fried, cooled, and crumbled in at the end; Brussels sprouts and chickpeas, tossed in EVOO/maple syrup/s&p/red pepper flakes and roasted for half an hour; One Fuji apple, diced; Salt-and-pepper pistachios; and lemon-parsley vinaigrette adapted from one in this month’s Bon Appetit. Oh, and goat cheese, because I eat goat cheese every day of my lyfe.

Quinoa Thing is delicious and masquerades as healthy food. Sure, it’s got bacon, cheese, nuts, and oil, but it also has protein! And a vegetable! At the very least, it doesn’t have a crust. Monday night, I took pride in my Adultish dinner, and the pride has lasted this entire week.

*Lest you think I forgot about Theoretical Pizza, you’re wrong. Last week was Pizza Week because of what I ate (obvs), but also because  I was seeking comfort in all realms of my life. I burrowed in my bed, wearing my new AmApp hoodie. I listened to tons of Nite Jewel. And I leaned heavy on my oldest comfort food. Not the greatest week, to be sure, but hey! It’s a new week. Yes, it is.

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Blast from the Garky Past: Chicken with Bacon, Leeks, and Chives

Last week, nothing (healthy) sounded good to eat. Cheetos sounded damn fine; I’ll admit to having eaten a few peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, too. (These are a trending meal in meinem Haus.) Nothing wrong with PB&B — it features like, three food groups! — but it’s not the sort of thing I wanted to serve to Alex when he came to dinner. Necessarily, I put on my thinking cap and generated a slightly classier dinner idea.

When I’m low on ideas, I mine my personal history. During Thursday’s introspection session, I remembered a dish my parents used to make: sautéed chicken served with scallions and bacon over egg noodles. As a kid, I wasn’t much of a meat-eater, but I fiercely craved this dish; I realize now that the flavor combination of bacon and scallions pleased me greatly. Egg noodles, of course, are good in whatever form they’re presented (unless that form = “overcooked”).

I consulted the Almighty Intertron and found a similar recipe — a disconcertingly basic recipe, I should add — one that had seven ingredients (chicken, bacon, scallions, pasta, salt, pepper, white wine). Kids aren’t known for their refined palates: truth. Using the googled recipe and my Very Vivid Memories as inspiration, I began. Here’s the recipe I came up with:

Garky’s Chicken with Bacon, Leeks, and Chives (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • Eight ounces egg pasta — curlicues work best, if you’ve got ’em, but you may also use those wide, flat, yellow strips
  • Two large chicken breasts, totaling roughly one pound.
  • Four strips of bacon
  • A goodly amount of chives, minced
  • One bunch of leeks, chopped, cleaned, and patted dry
  • One bunch maitake mushrooms, cleaned and roughly cut
  • Two or three cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • About two tablespoons white wine (chicken stock may be subbed)

Method

  1. First things first: set a pot of (salted) water to boil. Clean your chicken breasts, trim them of fat, and cut them into equal-sized chunks. When the water boils, add the pasta and cook until just done (between three and five minutes). Drain pasta, toss with a bit of oil, and set aside.
  2. In a rather large skillet, cook your bacon. Set bacon aside to drain and remove most (but not all!) of the fat from the pan.
  3. In the bacon-fat pan, cook your chicken. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chives, and white wine to the chicken and cook until just browned. Remove from pan/store in separate, heatproof dish.
  4. In that selfsame pan, saute your leeks, mushrooms, and garlic. (Note: it helps to start the leeks first, then add the garlic and mushrooms after a bit.) Cook leeks until they’re soft and gently brown. Remove from pan.
  5. It’s combination time! To your pasta, add your chicken and vegetables. Crumble your bacon — which should be cooled by now — and toss that in, too. Mix thoroughly and serve right away.

Raaaaaaaaaaaah! This dish nailed it. I’m glad I didn’t follow the internetted recipe as it was — the leeks and mushrooms added a level of earthiness I might not have appreciated as a tot, but that I sure as hell appreciate now. Garlic, too, was a good call; I’m totally befuddled by recipes that don’t involve garlic. Verdict: I will be making this dish again in the near future. (Note: Alex was also a fan — he took leftovers to work for a quik-n-easy lunch.)

After dinner, we found ourselves with a mad jones for ice cream. No, I’m not using the royal we — Alex also craved sweets. So we hit up our new go-to, St. Francis Fountain, for A SUNDAE!

That there is the Buster Brown: one gooey brownie topped with Mitchell’s vanilla, raspberry sauce, cronchy slivered almonds, and enough whipped cream to topple Paula Deen herself. ALSO: our server, maybe noting our Lady-&-The Tramp-type behavior, added two maraschino cherries so neither of us would have to go without one. All together: awwwwww! Thanks, beanied hipster dude!

This week, my goals are as follows: 1) Find and prepare another leek-centric recipe, because leeks are the shit; 2) Hit up St. Francis again; 3) Eat fewer PB&B sandwiches, lest I burn out on that delicious combination. Good day.

Sleepy Saturday

Despite its plain exterior and muted palette, this sandwich made my life. Last night, after much revelry at The Uptown (CONGRATS to Candice for finishing her nursing program(!)), I dreamed many dreams of all the foods I would ideally consume: a tall stack of gingerbread pancakes with a moon-yellow butter pat; pizza Margherita; the fullest goblet of orange juice. And so on, and so on.

We went to St. Francis for lunch, easing into a booth during the afternoon lull. I’ve been to St. F’s only a few times, but it looms larger in my memory than it perhaps should, decoying itself as a restaurant critical to my San Francisco identity establishment. Who can say: maybe it is? On my previous two trips, I ordered a bacontastic scrambler with a side of biscuits, which I recommend with the most sincerity. God, are those biscuits divine.

Alex and I ordered nearly identical meals: variations on turkey clubs with sides of fries and sugary coffee. I love the white descent of the cream into the coffee, the way it blooms and instantaneously lightens the liquid. I’m sad to say that the fries were pretty average, flavorwise, and soggier than they should have been. The sandwich, however, was killer: sourdough toasted to the perfect shade of golden, crispy-crispy bacon, and fresh iceberg ribboned into confetti. Turkey club, keep on doing what you’re doing.

I have a new haircut, and I’m ready to take on the challenge of using liquid eyeliner. At this moment, Alex is making soup from the chicken we roasted earlier this week. I’m curled in my bed, bundled in a hoodie; the lights are turned low. Things — all things — are good. And that’s all I have to say about that.