Either the roasted stuffed pork chops of my childhood (from a local butcher in Duluth, Minnesota) - frequently my request for my birthday dinner - or prosciutto - any time, any kind, anywhere!
Classic cheese pizza from John's on Bleecker St in NY, followed by fior de latte gelato
Triumph - made a picture perfect apple pie (so beautiful we should have photographed it) for Thanksgiving and my family -- usually quite pleased with bakery or even supermarket pie - agreed that homemade really was better!
Graffeo. No competition. Buy the dark roast beans and drink it black, served with something rich and sweet, say the truffles from Xox Truffles across the street. http://www.xoxtruffles.com/framepage.htm
Drink, eat and be happy
Christina's is the best hands down. Everything is fresh and mind-blowingly delicious. Concord grape sorbet (available every fall for about 12 days) is superb. Christina's burnt sugar is the definition of "grown-up food." When I was recovering from a broken ankle, a take-out pint worked better than any of my meds. I went in there a few weeks ago hankering for a root beer float, but no-go. They don't sell root beer. Herrell's on Dunster St in Harvard Sq makes a great root beer float and now and then they have a flavor called "butter and sugar." Don't ask. Just eat it.
Tell people of your cookbook obsession. Several times friends and family members have offered me old cookbooks when they are cleaning out. They just want to know they are going to a good home.
Antique stores - often have cookbooks from 40s through 80s - all very affordable
Brilliant - never thought to reject white napkin. Will always ask from now on.
Agree with Greens - I eat there everytime I visit SF (2-3 times per year.) Staff is a little "above it all" and often slow but the specials and desserts are glorious. Seriously consider getting a takeout vegan cupcake from the counter on your way out the door. 5 hours later you will want it. They serve Graffeo coffee which is heavenly drunk black. I buy beans at Graffeo in North Beach when I visit
rugelach from 2nd Ave Deli, NY and my homemade haroset
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