So afternoon tea in San Francisco may not be what you’re thinking of. If you’re thinking white gloves, tiny bites of food, and floral tea sets…you’re wrong. At least not where I went.
Remember that spot I circled from earlier?
Turns out that’s exactly where I ended up going! The place is actually the Samovar Tea Lounge.
My friend Rachel (you may remember her from Serena’s Key West wedding) picked me up from Union Square and we headed to the tea lounge to catch up and relax.
Rachel got the tea of the day.
I don’t remember what the name of the tea was, but I do remember that it took a mere 30 seconds to blend and it had a pleasant taste.
I got the Chai, which was perfection in a handle-less mug. (I think I need a handle-less mug in my life now – it was so fun to cup in my hands).
Rachel got a tea soup, which I am going to try to re-create back home.
In the bowl were veggies, seaweed, rice, and braised tofu, plus sauce.
And you just had to add the tea to the bowl to finish your soup.
Rachel shares some soup with me, so here’s my mini version.
So light and perfect for the cold day.
I got the squash dumplings with sesame dipping sauce.
The dumplings were amazing…
…but it was the sauce that really took it over the top!
After we were done with the tea lounge, we walked around a bit before Rachel took me on a driving tour through the Castro area of town. It seemed like such a happy little place.
With the sun setting, it was time for me to bid adieu to Rachel and meet up with my friends for dinner.
Thanks Rachel for the fun time! Next time we’ll have to hang out longer! 🙂
We went back to Cafe Gratitude again!
I had the housemade ginger ale.
And I had a couple bites of Gina and Michelle’s appetizer plate.
I split a Macrobiotic bowl with Michelle. I never would have picked this dish off the menu, but I was interested in trying it once I read the description. The sesame sauce really sold me.
And I was so happy with my decision. The bowl was another success!
I can’t wait to try to re-create these quinoa bowls back home!
Michelle and I were going to split this tiramisu but I had to run out to catch a cab. I managed a couple bites before rushing out the door for the cab. I think I may have panicked a bit, but you would too if you waited 1 1/2 hours for a cab without success just two nights before (remember that fiasco?).
Luckily, we caught the cab, made it to the hotel, I met up with my roomie and we made it to the airport on time. I snacked on my Foodbuzz swag bag stuff, we caught our red-eye flight, tried to sleep with 2 crying babies, and landed safely in Charlotte at 6:00am ET. Phew! Not sure I’ll ever do a red-eye again (at least not without taking the next day off), but I guess it was worth it to have all day Sunday to play.
Reunited with my boys!
It’s been fun San Fran, but I’m happy to be home sweet home!
In case you’ve missed other posts from my Foodbuzz/San Francisco trip, here’s a list of related posts:
How to Get to Sir Francis Drake for the Foodbuzz Festival 2010
Bloggies Do Chinatown
Marvelous Millennium (San Francisco)
Alcatraz Experience in Photos
All Aboard for Alcatraz
I Am Thankful for Cafe Gratitude
How We Almost Missed the Foodbuzz Street Food Fare
Foodbuzz Workshops and Tasting Pavilion
Foodbuzz Tasting Pavilion in Photos
Foodbuzz Festival 2010 GalaFarewell Foodbuzz 2010
Have you ever done a red eye? What did you think?
20 thoughts on “Afternoon Tea in San Francisco”
Using tea as a soup broth is such a good idea! I have to try!!! Do you know what kind of tea they used?
I believe it is green tea. That is what I’m planning to use when I re-create it. 🙂
Welcome home! I’m excited to see your version of those Gratitude bowls. I too was enamored with them. 🙂
Ooh yes! I saw you made one for the coconut curry so I may just try doing the macrobiotic bowl. 🙂
Btw, we both made dough balls, too! Yours look great! I have my fourth experimental-batch in the oven. I’m still tweaking! lol
Omggg I’m so glad you discovered the Samovar Tea lounge!! It’s one of my favorite places to go to in SF 🙂 And Cafe Gratitude!! Isn’t their menu so much fun and so inventive? I love that place too hehe. It was so great meeting you this weekend – I’m looking forward to following your blog – definitely stay in touch! (and if you’re ever back in SF for work – let me know – we’ll take a trip to Millennium or Greens 🙂 ).
My friend Rachel said Samovar is one of her fave places in town! Keep in touch too and I will definitely let you know next time I’m in town. I’ve been to SF twice and wanted to try Greens both times, but still haven’t made it!
Oh yeah that would be super fun! I know I’m going to end up at Greens sometime in the next few months – so I’ll be sure to post pics when I do! More incentive for you to come back to SF hehe 🙂
I’m jealous you ladies all ate at Cafe Gratitude again- I wish I’d gotten to try some of their desserts!! And I love the tea soup. Such a cute idea.
omg…you didn’t try the desserts!? I’m planning to try to re-create that coconut cream pie soon, so I’ll let you know if it turns out yummy. 🙂
I love going to tea houses and the food is always amazing and unique.
I had such a great time with you! Looking forward to hanging out more in Charlotte with the twin sis too 😉 ~ Michelle
Me too!! Yes, can’t wait to hang out in Charlotte with both of you! 🙂
The tea soup has me very intrigued! I must find a place in NYC that makes it! That is my kind of dish!
You are so right – that’s not the tea I would have imagined. What a nice spin on an old classic! So great meeting you at the Foodbuzz Fest – can’t wait til next year!
Great meeting you, too! Omg, those scavenger hunt photos are hilarious! 🙂
What else was in the sesame sauce for the squash dumplings? It looks delish!
Not sure but I’ll let you know when I figure it out. Will be posting a recipe as soon as I can! 🙂
Hmm, not going to lie – I dont think I could get behind tea soup. The veggies look so perfect on their own that I wouldnt want to dump the tea on top!
Oh Faith, it was soooo good! 🙂
Red eye flights are the worst. When I was younger I could handle them, but after my last one I vowed to never book one again. I may think I am saving money, bur really I am just causing some major muscle issues. I forget how crucial 8 hours of sleep are to your health.