SF Ferry Building Field Trip

Remember class field trips? The excitement and anticipation of exploring a new place.  The breaking free of the monotony of sitting behind those tiny little desks in those uncomfortable plastic chairs.  The stuffy and uncomfortable bus rides.  The bag lunches. I’d like to say I have many fond and vivid memories of them but the truth is, my memory, especially those revolving around my school days, is very limited!  It’s like I blacked out almost that entire 16 years  of my life!  I’m counting pre-school, which my mom started me in at age 2 as she says I was a bit precocious! 😉

There are two field trips that do stand out in my mind. One was an over-night field trip my 4th grade class (I think…) took to Old Town Sacramento. My dad accompanied my class and I on the trip.  Between my parents, my dad was usually the one who went on my field trips which made me feel pretty special as my dad worked a lot, so we didn’t see that much of him during the week.  We took private vehicles, ours being an 81 Chevy Blazer. We got lost on the way. Or as my dad would probably say, we got separated from the rest of the group.  My dad ate frozen yogurt off a knife as he gave his spoon to a kid that didn’t have one. We stayed in a nice hotel. We panned for gold and I think we visited the State Capital. This is where I crack myself up. Being it was a school related trip, there would have had to be something educational about it – the State Capital being it, however I don’t remember that part much.  Yet I remember my dad eating yogurt off a knife!  LOL!!!

The other field trip that stands out was actually one of my sisters field trips. It was my sisters junior year in high school. I had just turned 21 and was of age to be a chaperone.  My sister played the cymbals in the high school marching band and they were headed to Disney Land to march down Main Street!  This was something I was not going to miss! I accompanied my sister on this trip and was “in charge” of 3 young ladies. I palled around with a group of dads. I always seem to get along better with men than women. Go figure! 😉  The kids did their thing during the day, checking-in every few hours and the dads and I toured the park and rode the rides.  At the end of the evening as we were all heading back to our rooms, one of the young ladies I was in charge of bolted down the outdoor corridor, charged into one of the boys rooms and did a little run-flip number onto one of their beds.  It was very impressive, but the dad in charge didn’t quite appreciate her gymnastic abilities and had all the boys standing outside until we could get her out of their room and into our room where she belonged. I’ll never forget how proud I was to see my sister march down Main Street and how fortunate I felt to be there to witness it.  I still get a little teary thinking about it. 🙂

This past President’s Day, a friend of mine and I, along with her two kids, took a field trip out to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Now obviously it wasn’t a field trip in its truest sense, but the anticipation and excitement were all the same for me.  I have lived no farther than an hour from San Francisco my whole life and I had never been to the Ferry Building.

Immediately upon entering the Ferry Building my eyes were drawn to miette! I’ve never been to miette but I am familiar with their cakes, cookies and pastries thanks to my mom for giving me their super sweet cookbook for Christmas!  Will I ever make any of their recipes? Probably not. Quite honestly, they’re a bit intimidating. But I could spend hours thumbing thru the scalloped pages of  their beautiful cookbook.  I’m attending their Cookie Decorating class later this month. I can’t wait!  Happy Birthday to meeee! I’ll be on the tail end of my vacation, winding down my birthday week, spending 3 hours decorating cookies!  SWEET!!  🙂

Next up, Boccalone!  Who doesn’t love tasty salted pig parts!? Home of salumi (no, I didn’t spell salami wrong!), I missed the mini-lesson the kids got from the nice man behind the counter as to what exactly salumi is and/or means.  I was too busy checking out the curing meat.  Ahh.. just like the good ole’ school days!  To miss the lesson, not check out the meat! Oh hell nevermind.. 😉

Fungi, fungi everywhere!  I’d never seen so many varieties of mushrooms of varying sizes, textures and colors. The Pink Oyster mushrooms looked like delicate little pig ears. I had also never seen so many people gather around a display of mushrooms. It was quite a challenge to get the few pictures I did. They’re mushrooms people! Mushrooms! Moving along..

Organic cake doughnuts! There is something oxy-moron’ish sounding to “organic doughnuts”. To me, organic symbolizes healthy. Doughnuts as we all know are far from healthy. The display cracked me up as the doughnuts looked so perfect they could be mistaken for being fake! The kids each tried a doughnut. One said theirs was delicious, the other said hers was too sweet. They sure looked pretty!

El Porteno! The first “word” that comes to mind is… Mmmmmm! I am a sucker for all things pastry. What grabbed my attention was their “Brentwood Empanadas” (I think that was the name of it, maybe it didn’t grab my full attention?) a filling consisting of locally grown corn from Brentwood and a mix of fresh herbs. Being an East Bay girl, growing up a mere minutes from Brentwood, this empanadas was calling my name! But wouldn’t you know, there weren’t any fresh out of the oven. The man was kind and offered to heat it up, but I opted instead to try one of his favorites, hot out of the oven. I got the “The Pollo”  which was filled with Fulton Valley all natural chicken, chicken chorizo, raisins and olives. Hmmm. Had I known there were raisins in it, I probably would have passed. However, what we don’t know doesn’t hurt us and that chicken empanadas was absolutely delicious! Each bite was full of flavor and the pastry was hot and flakey. El Porteno is a must have while visiting the Ferry Building! Tell him Allison sent you. He wont know who I am. But tell him anyway. 🙂

In between the organic doughnuts and the heavenly empanadas was a vendor selling a variety of sweet pastries.  The “Devil Dogs” caught my eye as I grew up in a family of US Marines, also known as Devil Dogs.  Although these cream filled cakes looked fabulous, I must admit I only took this shot to send to my brother who is an US Marine.  I am however regretting not picking up a mini banana cream pie, one of my all time favorites!

Praise the Lard! YES! ‘Nuff said. 😉

For lunch we stopped in a little Mexican place where the tables were set up cafeteria style and a bit cramped. This made things a little awkward as the place started filling up. The menu was primarily in Spanish so I wasn’t 100% sure what I was ordering. This was the prime location however to semi-stalk the celebrity we ran into as he lingered  just outside the restaurant talking on his cell, coming and going from a small book store across the way. Too bad we were never able to remember his name or what movie and/or TV program we’ve seen him in…

The produce was beautiful and vibrant in color! I wouldn’t expect anything less from Capay Organic Farms! Over the last year or so I’ve become quite familiar with Capay thru their Farm Fresh to You (http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php) service that delivers fresh, organic produce to your door step.

On our way out we stopped by a Gelato shop for a treat to go. All the flavors sounded delightful but the men behind the counter were a bit stand-offish and the kids weren’t feelin’ it, so we continued on our way. A little unknown fact, I’ve never had Gelato. Truth. Gasp!

The “Rainbow Tunnel” means one thing.. we’re headed home!  What a great day in San Francisco!  I look forward to exploring the Ferry Building again soon. Maybe doing a bit of a “Food Tour” the next time out. 🙂


8 thoughts on “SF Ferry Building Field Trip

  1. I worked in the Ferry Building in 1972 when I first started with Amtrak. My office was on the second floor, on the left side as you face the building from Market Street. The view was a bit different then, though – we saw only the Embarcadero Freeway right outside the windows! What a change now!

    • I can’t believe I had never been to the Ferry Building before! You’d think with all of the excursion’s I’ve taken with your mom and mine, that’s one place we would have checked out! Then again, it’s no Fenton’s Ice Cream! 🙂

  2. I love the Ferry Building in SF. I was lucky enough to work right down the street for 11 years. We went often. I have even had lunch at the same mexican restaurant. Never saw anyone famous though.
    Not only good food but fun shopping too. Glad you went Allison. I would have loved to come with you.

    • I always wondered where you were when you were working in SF, Robin! 🙂 I wish we could remember the guys name or what show he was in. My friend and I think he played a lawyer, but we can’t for the life of us remember what we’ve seen him in. Don’t you hate that!? LOL! We should get together soon!!

  3. Yay! Glad you guys had a fun adventure! The Hubby and I are planning to go next Saturday. Looking forward to a yummy food tour. 🙂

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