Noah’s Bagels – Simple + Quick San Fran Breakfast

As I was flying to SF, I planned out the next 24 hours. I would wander around for a couple hours, get dim sum for lunch, have an early dinner and get to bed early, since the time zone change would help me with that effort. Then, I’d wake up early, have a quick workout, get ready for the day, enjoy a slow breakfast, and head over to the office nice and early. Of course, things didn’t quite work out that way. I ate a late dinner Wednesday night, though I did manage to get to bed at a reasonable hour and sleep a nice, full 8 hours – a treat I always try to achieve but one that always seems to elude me.

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I decided that since my legs were sore from all the walking Wednesday I could skip the workout and got straight to getting ready. Next thing I know, I’m running late! Yikes! I remembered passing a bagel shop, Noah’s, near the hotel during my meandering the previous day and jetted down there to pick up something quick for breakfast. I got the $3.99 breakfast special for a bagel with schmear (whipped cream cheese) and bottomless cup of coffee. I heard a man checking out in front of me talking about Noah’s popular ? (couldn’t hear) bagel and my curiosity got the best of me. I asked the lady behind the counter what bagel he was talking about and she kindly told me the “chocolate” bagel, with a smile (they’re so friendly here!). I made a mental note to try that next time.

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I felt a bit like I’d let you guys down by getting a simple bagel for breakfast when there are so many unique restaurants in SF, but would you look at this! I got the Good Grains bagel and it was dee-licious! Look at those seeds! A bagel and coffee breakfast may not be all that interesting, but it sure hit the spot!

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Sure, I didn’t have the morning I planned, but enjoying this bagel while getting ready wasn’t too shabby either. I’d happily get more of these bagels next time. I downed this bagel and coffee and was ready quick. I even got to the office just a minute or 2 early!

It was a good thing I fueled up because I had a looooong day ahead of me. We had back-to-back meetings during the lunch hours (11am-2pm) but luckily, they took care of me and ordered in lunch from Specialty’s. I got the Turkey Pesto, which was A-mazing! Seriously, I was dying to take a photo of it but didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of the client. Listen to the description from the Specialty’s web site: “Toasted Country Ciabatta Roll, Mayonnaise, Pesto, Roasted Turkey Breast, Plain Cream Cheese, Red Onion, Dill Pickle, Organic Spinach, Mixed Bell Peppers, Muenster.” I thought it sounded like the sandwich had too many ingredients, but it was perfect just the way it was! Yum! I will have to try to re-create this sammy back home some time soon.

I also had an Odwalla Superfood drink in a mini 11 oz bottle and split an Oatmeal-Wheatgerm-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie with one of my new co-workers. The whole meal was just perfect, and I’m really loving how all these SF restaurants put such emphasis on using fresh ingredients (they bake their own bread and use organic when possible) and wheatgerm cookies?! Don’t think I’ll be finding that back home any time soon…a shame…healthy can be so tasty!

Eating in SF was becoming food-heaven for a healthy+fresh-food-loving foodie like myself!

Sleepy, Easy, Delicious Dinner at Eclipse Restaurant – Hyatt Regency

So, after leaving Lombard St and Fisherman’s Wharf sans cupcakes, I was really starting to get tired. Maybe it was the jet lag catching up to me? Maybe it was the fact that I was awake 2 hours earlier than normal to catch an early flight that lasted 5 1/2 hours? I dunno, but I was falling fast. After walking down most of Fisherman’s Wharf, I caught the F Bus (thank goodness for the muni pass – that would have been a long walk!) back to the hotel. Once there, I charged my phone and considered falling asleep on my cozy-looking bed right then and there! I knew that falling asleep at 4:45 pm PDT was a bad idea, so I hit up my laptop to check for hotel reviews.

I don’t know about you, but I get terrible at decision making when I’m super groggy and thinking about food. I actually wasn’t all that hungry from my late, huge, dim sum lunch, which only made the decision harder. I spent a long two-ish hours reading over reviews and being indecisive before I decided to just head out and hope I passed something that looked decent. There were lots of fancy-looking restaurants but I only wanted soup and dessert or something light and dessert and I didn’t want to take up a waiter’s section without eating full meal (it’s ex-waiter’s guilt, I guess).

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I wandered around the Ferry Building and a bit in the Financial District before deciding on just trying the Eclipse Restaurant since they had “small plates” on the menu. There’s something strangely comforting about hotel restaurants – they are usually more quiet than other restaurants in tourist-y areas and you can sometimes feel more relaxed there.

I especially liked how the restaurant seemed to utilize lots of local and organic ingredients, which I would learn over the trip is happily widespread in San Fran.

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The atrium had a really cool interior and funky-looking elevators.

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I had a nice glass of pinot grigio to start.

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The “small plates” on the menu were just what I was looking for.

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I decided on the crab cakes, which turned out to be an excellent choice! I think they may have been the best crab cakes I’ve ever had! They had a nice, crunchy crust on the top and bottom and the filling was super soft and just plain delicious.

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The crab cakes were served with 2 delicious sauces – a creamy (I think) mayo-based sauce and a balsamic sauce.

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The side dish turned out to be a great addition to the plate – a sweet corn and jicama salad. The dish was surprisingly simple but fantastically tasty. I’m going to have to try re-creating this at home sometime. Who knew jicama could be so darn good?!

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I happily gobbled up the entire “small plate” of crab cakes and corn-jicama but saved room for some cozy dessert – Ferry Building: Farmers Market Seasonal Fruit Cobbler with Streusal Shortcake. I found out from the waitress the seasonal fruit filling was apples and cherries…yum!

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After ordering the dessert, I got a cute little dessert-spoon set-up.

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The dessert did not disappoint. It definitely made up for those missed cupcakes and was the perfect, comfort-dessert to end the long day. I ended up giving half the dessert to my waitress before digging in because I knew I wouldn’t finish it, and I remember how hungry I’d get working as a waitress in the restaurant. I figured she’d probably think I was some weirdo-stranger, but I was happy she took it because I really didn’t want to waste it.

The waitress was super nice and did a great job with service. She was very intuitive with when I needed more time and could tell I wasn’t in a rush. With that in mind, she also got everything out to me in a timely manner and was super-nice to boot. Even a man in a suit, I’m presuming the manager, stopped by to check on how I was doing with a friendly smile. My meal was excellent and reminded me to not overlook hotel-restaurants because they are often equally quality as the restaurants around them and are sometimes better.

I think I’m going to have to start a yelp.com account because I’d love to support all these fabulous restaurants I’m discovering and frequenting!

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