It’s always fun going to places in San Francisco that I never knew existed, even though I’ve lived there my whole life. Todays adventures took us to one of my favorite places in the city, the
Mission. Our tour started off at at a mini cupcake shop called Mission Minis. You could smell the sweat dough and a plethora of fresh icings and cupcakes baking in the oven from around the corner. I chose the swiss almond coconut cupcake. As I bit into the fresh coconut cupcake, the warm/refreshing bite was chased with a smooth merengue-like buttercream that was reminiscent of taking a sip out of a coconut under a palm tree. The toasted almond and coconut on-top, which was the last thing I tasted from the bite, was almost like a palate cleanser for maybe another cupcake. Even still, it was a perfect addition to the whole of the cupcake, it gave the bite a nice toasty aftertaste. Since I already breakfast earlier, the cupcake didn’t feel to bad. Our next stop was to an authentic Jewish Delicatessen, Wise Sons. My favorite thing about this place surpassingly wasn’t the food, even though it was admittedly amazing and I’ll get to that in a second. What stuck out to me was the attention given to the relationship between the Deli owners and the ranchers; they only purchased meat from animals which were raised and slaughtered humanely and they did everything with moderation. All of the bread they used was especially given the most care, and that was apparent when I bit into it. The rye bread had a very piny taste, the aroma as if I was walking through a forest. The pastrami was warm and when you squeezed the sandwiches between your fingers, you could catch a little bit of juice squeeze out of the pinkish meat. Paired with the fresh rye bread, I was left with the a taste which made me wish I had a whole sandwich. We were also given celery water, which had a sweet taste and really complimented the buttery pastrami and the dry rye. Once we got out appetites going, we made our way to the many taquerias in the Mission, Taquerias El Farolito. We began with a traditional horchata, which to me, was a little different than others I’ve had previously. I suppose they are different wherever you go. The horchata tasted a little more watered down, more milk based, and had a strong cinnamon taste. We were then given some al pastor tacos. The sizzling meat covered the soft, crisp tortilla shell. On top of the meat was a bed of onions, cilantro, and an avocado based sauce. The grilled outer layers of the meat gave a distinct taste and was chased by waves of fresh cilantro, but the onion had the strongest complimentary taste. The soft shell taco wrapped everything up in what seemed like a tortilla blanket.
To the average person at this point, this is a lot of food. But after savoring the tacos, we were on to the next spot, D’Maize. Here we had pork and cheese pupusas. I was introduced to pupusas probably 2 or 3 years ago and have been in love with them since. But I haven’t had one for a few months now, so I was excited to walk in and see laid before me a pupusa fresh off the hot plate and an ice cold tamarind drink. The pupusa was not as oily as I’m used to, but there was a good balance of meat and cheese, everything was really proportionate. The corn tortilla complimented the meat more than it did the cheese, and the tamarind drink was really sweat, an opposite to the pupusa which was flavorful, but a bit salty. Luckily the next place wasn’t to far away, because I was stuffed. We now found ourselves at my final destination, La Palma. Here I finished off the afternoons meal with a cheese tamale. The cheese was surprisingly spicy and there was a strong corn taste because the tamales are all hand made with ground corn. The salsa provided with the tamale was fairly mild, and I could taste the peppers used to make them, and even some of the peppers that may have been burned. By this time I was stuffed and ready to go to practice (yay), but from beginning to end, but Mission food tour was both fulfilling and educational. I was able to get a good meal while also learning a little bit about how some of these food places have been able to remain open through sustainability and honest flavor.