Tuesday, April 22, 2008
A Lazy Saturday
The plan all along was to go to the Ferry building for the farmers market, then take our haul to Golden Gate Park, since we never made it there on Thursday, and lounge in the sun all day long, slowly eating, reading and just being.
This was by far one of my most enjoyable days of our eight. We spent close to two hours at the Farmer’s market, before deciding that we couldn’t wait to get across town to the Park to tear into our goodies. So we parked ourselves down on the lawn across from the Ferry Building and laid out our spread.
But this was not before we got was my travel companion dubbed the best sandwich he’d ever had in his entire life. Or maybe it was at least in recent memory. I don’t recall the precise superlative used, but I know it was a hefty one. We arrived around 11:30, already rather hungry. Passing by one of the restaurant-tents, my boyfriend was stopped dead in his tracks by the sight of a stuffed leg of lamb being sliced and served on sandwiches from Roli Roti. The lamb was presumably being featured because it was Easter weekend. After standing on line for close to half an hour, we were served the most simple of sandwiches. A hefty slice of lamb was cut from the leg, which was stuffed with garlic, mint, and so much deliciousness, and marbled with so much gooey fat that it could hardly be contained by the slices between which it was eventually stuffed. Before placing the lamb on the bread, the crusty ciabatta, not in the slightest bit dense, was used to wipe up the drippings that had poured out of the lamb when it was sliced. Both halves of the roll were treated to this same luxurious coating. The flavors of the juices, the tenderness of the lamb itself and the crustiness of the bread proved that sometimes a simple sandwich is so, so much more than the sum of its parts.
Since we were temporarily sated, we were able to wander around the market with no distraction from the rumbling in our tummies and survey the scene with many pass-throughs. We were looking essentially for a meat, a cheese and a bread for our picnic. What we eventually ended up with was fantastic.
We tasted many, many cheeses from the few cheese stands set up before settling on the Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk. It was creamy, supple, mild, milky, amazing. We had to retreat inside to the permanent Cowgirl Creamery shop because the tent was already sold out of the Red Hawk, bur we managed to tear through the crowds and get our share, which we each greedily smeared in chunks on the sourdough.
Along with the cheese, we purchased a Duck Liver Mousse from the Fatted Calf. It was one of the few animal products available at the market that did not require cooking before it could be eaten, so we first felt as if we were settling. Once we opened up the package though, and spread some on the crusty bread, that sentiment quickly subsided. It was enticingly rich and exceedingly enjoyable.
We splurged on some Prosciutto de Parma from Mastrelli’s Delicatessen inside the Ferry Building. It was totally worth it. Each bite, lovingly draped over the levain was a bit of salty, cured-pork paradise.
We also picked up a smoked salmon spread from Cap’n Mike’s Holy Smoke, which largely went ignored in favor of the pate and cheese and prosciutto. It was quite good though, and I pitied it a bit, sitting there idly while its neighbors were quickly being dissipated.
A sourdough levain was snapped up from Acme Bread Co., and a wheat baguette from Noe Valley Bakery and Bread Company. The sourdough was great. I really liked the whole-wheat loaf as well, though something just felt so right about eating sourdough across from the Ferry Building in San Francisco.
And what a lazy, gluttonous Saturday it was.
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94114
Acme Bread Co.
Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke
Noe Valley Bakery & Bread Co.