Tag Archives: Ferry Building

Why Pay $11 for Avocado Toast?

San Francisco is the land of outrageously expensive toast.

Last year the internet trended with articles about $4 toast or $6 toast but the fervor over avocado toasts has reached hysterical heights.

I visited the Ferry Building, as I often do, and tried out one of the most outrageously expensive avocado toasts in the city at Frog Hollow.  Admittedly, it was divine.  The avocado was perfectly ripe, the bread had the perfect chewiness and toasted not too hard to become too difficult to bite through, causing a cascade of luscious avocado slices to slide off onto your black pants.  A hint of garlic overlays the bread, and the entire toast is dappled with salt, pepper, and olive oil.


This beauty comes in at $10.99.

While it is awesome to be like one of the cool kids and fork out two fins and a buck for someone else to make me lunch, I would rather reduce my wallet at the market and shop for the ingredients and make avocado toast myself.

Let’s do the math.

 Grocery Store cost ingredient outlay  At home per toast cost
Acme Herb Slab loaf = 4 servings                       4.99  1 serving           1.25
Avocado each                       1.50  1 avocado           1.50
Stonehouse olive oil, house blend liter = 67 Tbl.                     14.00  1 Tbl.           0.21
Garlic head = 10 cloves                       0.96  1 clove           0.10
Maldon salt box = 8.5 oz                       5.99  1/2 tsp.           0.06
McCormick’s black pepper in grinder grinder = .85 oz                       4.29  1/4 tsp.           0.02
 Total                      31.73             3.13

I used Instacart to price out the ingredients at Whole Foods, while knowing that if I shopped at the farmer’s market or at the Ferry Building I would have received a discount for paying cash for the bread, and the other ingredients can be found cheaply depending upon which farm you source the avocados and garlic.

Last Saturday at the Ferry building I bought a loaf of Marla Bakery’s molasses oatmeal bread ($5), a head of garlic ($.25), and two avocados ($3), and made avocado toast at work on Monday. This delay was necessitated by the ripeness of the avocados.

If you haven’t tried Marla’s molasses oatmeal bread as toast you need to rectify this immediately.  I do feel slightly ashamed for not baking my own oatmeal molasses bread, as I often do, but I had a busy weekend.  I used salt, pepper, and a small bottle of olive oil from the office kitchen and the toaster and made this:
Fast avocado toast

I was in a hurry and didn’t take the beautiful care to arrange the avocado like the staff at Frog Hollow, and my slice of bread got a little trashed during my morning commute on MUNI, but nonetheless, it tasted fantastic and I was the envy of my boss and coworkers.  And I saved $7.86.

The only vaguely tricky part is getting a ripe avocado, so I recommend visiting a farmer’s market and asking the farm to help you pick an avocado out.  They can advise you when it will be ripe to eat, and usually they are spot on.

Enjoy your avocado toast!

Recipe: Not Insanely Priced Avocado Toast




A Day in the Sun

There is a kind of a euphoria that falls over me after having a migraine. I don’t know if it is the relief of not being in pain or if it is an increase of seratonin or if it is just a feeling of wellness after being unwell.

Whatever it is, after five full days of an evil migraine, today I am pain free and feeling happy.

20130427-182458.jpg20130427-182631.jpg(Peruvian riff on a mule and a piña pisco punch)

I was able to sit in the sun and have a lovely brunch with a friend and relax and chat about food and family and enjoy being outside. It was a bit surreal, is this what normal feels like?

20130427-182816.jpg(I enjoyed the montadito burrata without the egg)

In this euphoric state I have a lingering feeling of lassitude, a bone deep fatigue that lifts off like a wisp of ash floating up from an ember. There is a mental vagueness, which is problematic during the work week, but on the weekend I just go with the flow. Sitting in the sun and slowly eating and sipping and watching the buzz of the Bay was just the right speed. The patio at La Mar is a very pleasant spot.

20130427-183023.jpg(a super chifa)

20130427-183252.jpg(yes, it’s true, I ate and enjoyed brussel sprouts but there was candied bacon involved)

After brunch I made my farewells to my dear friend and strolled to the Ferry Building to play. I only had simple decisions to make today. Should I buy some burrata and bread? Yes. Should I treat myself to a salted caramel vegan donut for breakfast tomorrow? Yes, yes. Do I forgo dinner and just nosh on a meat cone from Boccalone and the bread and cheese? YES Please! Should I rest when I get home. Oh, yes. Most assuredly.

Should I buy a stuffed chicken for the Roost? Hmmm, I’m still thinking on this one.


I am slightly sunburned after brunch and still stiff and sore all over, part of the effects of the postdrome migraine phase, but it’s all good. I have the entire weekend to relax.

Happiness is….. Meaty Treats


Happiness is…. a spread of the best of the Bay Area….


Acme pain epi, Boccalone salumi, Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam soft ripened cheese, 4505 Meats foie gras pot au creme and duck sticks, and Anchor Steam beer.


Best of all is sharing them with a dear friend as a belated happy birthday treat!

Happy birthday Luna!!!

Saturday SF Romp

It was a soft Saturday morning in the City, the weather seemed unsure whether it was foggy or cloudy but definitely Spring was showing her cold cheek to the world.

I dressed up warmly in layers and headed to the farmer’s market with D___. Our goal: caffeine and evil breakfast goodies.

Our first stop – a rich chocolately mocha from Blue Bottle, then an evilly buttery, almond croissant. This kept us from dying of hunger while waiting in the eternally snaking line for Primavera. D__ chose the tacos el pastor while I shook things up from my usual order of chilaquiles and ordered crisp chicken enchiladas with salsa verde. Under all that lettuce was shredded chicken in a green chile tomatillo salsa inside their handmade tortillas, fried until crisp with cojita and sour cream.

(I adore their black beans and chipotle salsa)

While we were chatting post-nosh and gazing at the varying shades of grey in the sky, the Bay and the Bay Bridge I showed off my new socks, oooh so soft and squishy!


We cruised through the market checking out a few stalls here and there. I was on a mission for a few items: Meyer lemon rosemary bread from Trattoria, heritage dried beans from Tierra Farms and pork. My plan was to make posole, or pork and corn stew, and was delighted to find authentic Anasazi beans at the Tierra Farms stall. I also grabbed a sweetly fragrant bag of dried Ancho chiles and was enticed to buy a sachet of smoked onion salt. This is one of my favorite farmers at the market and I love chatting with Lee. She recommended using the smoked onion salt on popcorn, in fact she claims it is so shockingly good that you can’t help yourself from gobbling up an entire bowl. Well! How could I resist, right? D___ tried out their new strawberry chipotle hot sauce, sweetly zingy with a good smokey flavor.

We were planning to hit up Sur la Table but was sidetracked by the bins of richly marbled pasture raised meats of Marin Sun Farms. I spotted a fat pouch of pork stew meat, perfect for my SFe Posole Stew.

The gentleman ringing me up, Gareth Fischer, asked what I planned to do with the pork and we chatted a bit about posole and cooking and blogging when Gareth and I remembered we had met before at a wonderful dinner with his wife Maura, Traca of Seattle Tall Poppy, Luna of La Sirene Noir and Luna’s Kitchen Magic and others at the incomparable Incanto Restaurant. I promised to share my recipe and said our farewells. I will be back next week for a steak as their ribeyes looked incredible.

Onto Sur la Table, a gourmand’s version of Tiffany’s.. We felt like kids in a candy store, mock attacking each other with various implements and inappropriately modeling the goods.

(the *other* use for a rolling pin)

(silicone glove handcuffs)

(tweaking the silicone, er, caneles molds)

(a long nosed pestle??)

(the closest I’ll get to playing the harp)

(blender ninja)

And, for our performance art finale, how to kill a chicken.

Needless to say the store’s visitors and perhaps some of the staff were highly amused by our antics, as were we.

We did a bit of shopping inside the Ferry Building and suddenly the urge for a glass of wine sang its siren song and D__ recalled she had a chilled bottle of Chardonnay in her fridge. Full speed ahead!!

On the way we stopped in the Mission and finally visited the charming Pot + Pantry, a cookware shop. They sell unique new and used unusual cookery equipment and delightful art from Alyson Thomas of drywell art. I already own her San Francisco is for Carnivores print which makes me laugh every time I see it, but her current art show, Meat Market totally cracks me up. Her paintings of cuts of meat with racy captions is brilliant, my favorite is “Let’s Bone”.

But onto wine, watching the sunset from a comfy chair (shades of Monty Python) and a kind offer of ebi nabe for dinner, all graciously accepted.

(ebi nabe is a Japanese shrimp hot pot, simple and delicious)

The heavy clouds finally delivered their payload and back at home I was lulled to sleep by the rain and hail rattling against the windows and the hiss of wet pavement under the cars whizzing by down below the Roost. All in all fun Saturday romp!

Wordless Wednesday

A workday Wordless Wednesday!

(T-B: a summer view from the office; mufallata sandwich from Boccalone; waiting for Outlook to come back online.)