Tuesday, September 9, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO BEFORE MOVE-IN DAY - aka the last time i ate good food

I haven't done laundry since I moved in on August 23rd.

^This statement summarizes my college experience thus far.

Or maybe it doesn't. I've actually been having an amazing first few weeks at Berkeley. Despite my initial confusion and panic at the fact that I apparently signed up for all the wrong classes (note to self: classes with course numbers above 100 are upper division courses), things have settled down and I'm adjusting pretty well. My dorm is actually a mile from campus (no lie), so I even have a glimmer of hope that I won't gain the Freshman 15.

Just a few hours before hopping on a plane to San Francisco, I miraculously packed my life into 6 bags and my dad and I spent a day in San Francisco to do some last-minute shopping and celebrate his birthday before move-in.

For lunch, we went to Anchor & Hope, a tucked away restaurant with a fresh take on organic seafood. My dad enjoyed grilled trout while I ordered a simple salad and a side of fries, cognizant of the fact that I would spend the rest of my day stuffing myself with amazing food before hibernating in my dorm, surviving off only cup noodles. 

After lunch, we did some shopping. I had never actually seen a Converse-only store until I went to San Francisco, but apparently, they're a thing here?! Look at this really cool American flag composed entirely of Converse! (I actually didn't even notice it was an American flag until my dad pointed it out to me...). I happily left the store with a pair of black high-tops I've been coveting for a while. My dad says that when I wear them I look really punk rock. I mean, I just like them...a lot...

I obviously didn't shop at Valentino, but look at how beautiful the store is! I want to live there...

...And at the Chanel store. 

Shopping requires energy, right? So what better way to refuel than with a Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie? I convinced myself that I had burned enough calories to eat this massive cookie by myself (it was literally the size my hand). 

Don't worry, I shared with my dad. It was his birthday, after all. Let me tell you a thing. I love chocolate. I love chocolate chip cookies. I especially love chocolate chip cookies that have tons of chocolate chips and are perfectly crispy on the outside, but super chewy when you bite into them. This cookie embodied everything I love about chocolate chip cookies. 

Life tip: Get one. Eat all of it. Yell, "NO RAGRETS" after finishing every last crumb.

For dinner, we went to Cotogna, a super-crowded restaurant with a delicious farm-to-table POV. Following my dad's recommendations (he's already eaten here upwards of 8 times), we ordered the Raviolo Di Ricotta, a palm-sized ravioli with a farm egg yolk nestled inside. This was definitely the highlight of our dinner. Just take a minute to appreciate the pictures above. See the yolk pour out into the surrounding brown butter sauce as the knife slices into the perfectly-cooked andante pasta dough? Yep. It tasted just as incredible as it looks. 

My taste buds are currently crying as I sit at my dorm desk, writing this blog post at 10:45am, hungry but too lazy to get food, knowing that I can grab a coffee at noon before my 12:30 upper-div sociology class (remember when I told you I f***ed up my class schedule?).

Despite the tempting dessert options at Cotogna, my dad suggested we try Smitten, instead. Known for their made-to-order ice cream which is concocted in special mixers that use liquid nitrogen to create the creamiest ice cream you've ever tasted, Smitten is a tiny little shack tucked away in San Francisco. By the way, if you plan on getting Smitten, make sure you bring a friend or two with you, preferably one who's willing to either drive around for an hour to find a parking spot, or doesn't care whether or not he/she actually makes it into the store and is okay with driving in circles while you get the ice cream yourself.

I know that above paragraph makes almost no sense at all. Here's the story: my dad was super excited to share Smitten with me. We drove around for half an hour and still had no luck finding a parking spot, so he dropped me off at a street corner and told me to wait in front of a cafe until he found a spot and could meet up with me. Half and hour later, still no luck. He gave me directions to Smitten and said he would drive around until I was ready to be picked up. I'm directionally challenged, so I had some trouble finding the tiny shop but finally succeeded. By this time, my dad was beyond frustrated and when I finally got the chance to order, my card got declined. I had to get my dad to drive up to the store and give me cash. Then I got back in line and was faced with the difficult task of choosing between the TCHO chocolate, Salted Caramel, and Sweet Corn with Berries flavors that were all screaming my name. After waiting a solid 15 minutes, I got my long-awaited 3-scoop bowl of TCHO chocolate ice cream, topped with salted caramel sauce. 

I honestly had no idea I was about to take a bite of the most amazing ice cream I've ever had in my entire life. I literally felt like I was eating chocolate velvet. Wait no, that sounds gross. I felt like I was drinking from a cold chocolate waterfall. The texture was unbelievably smooth and the salted caramel and 50-60% chocolate married perfectly. I think I might have to invest in some liquid nitrogen and one of those mixers. I need this. All the time. Freshman 15, here I come.

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