It’s that time of the year when I get to brag about how awesome it is to work for Gourmet Walks. Just having surpassed the 10-year mark, this small tour guide company has gifted me the opportunity to share my love for San Francisco’s food scene with Gourmet Walks guests as a culinary tour guide for over 5 years.
The other guides, incredibly adroit and unwavering in their passion for all things related to food, continue to share their insight and excitement with me. I’m always learning, trying to improve my guiding skills, while expanding my knowledge of the Bay Area’s food landscape so that I can constantly improve the customers’ experience. I love San Francisco so much, and by the end of the tours, I want it to be painfully obvious why this is one of the greatest places in the world for insanely delicious food.
To celebrate the end of another great year with Gourmet Walks, which averages two tours per day for the entire year, we checked out a new spot featured on our Hayes Valley tour. Close to the Opera, Symphony, and Hayes Street, this location is a perfectly centralized spot in the city.
Offering fine dining in a casual environment, the high ceilings and high tables on the ground floor created an inviting and unpretentious spot for our holiday meal. Most of the seats are walk-in only and there is usually ample space for groups of all sizes without feeling overcrowded.
As a food tour guide, we need to try as many different menu items from as many different places as possible to string together the best possible experience for our guests. So, in the name of research, we ordered the kitchen sink and tried (nearly) everything on the menu.
In conclusion, I would order everything on the dinner menu again and again.
Cheers to another great year with Gourmet Walks, and may there be many more!
What we ate (in order of appearance, moving left to right):
1. Falafel Croquettes: Tzatziki, Cucumber, Pickled Red Onion
2. Spicy Meatball: Tomato-Braised, Parmesan, Rosemary
3 & 4. Monkey Bread: Pull-Apart Bread with Cheddar Cheese, Chive Oil
5. Tagliatelle Carbonara: English Peas, Prosciutto, Poached Egg, Parmesan Cream
6. Fairytale Pumpkin Risotto: Roasted Mushrooms, Red Wine-Braised Onions, Parmesan
7. Pan-roasted Salmon: Shrimp dumplings, Delicata squash, Mushroom broth
8. Slow Roasted Beef: Creamed Spinach, Orach Salad, Bordelaise Vinaigrette
9 & 10. French Onion Soup: Braised Beef Shortrib, Gruyere Crostini
11. Garganelli Bolognese: Burrata, Basil, Calabrian Chili
12. Crispy Duck Confit: Creamy Farro, Glazed Root Vegetables, Huckleberry Jus
13. Chocolate Budino with Milk Chocolate Ice Cream, Pine Nut Sable, and Black Currant
14. 'Nilla Pudding Tart
15 & 16. Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich with Shortbread Cookies, Ginger Spiced Carmel