It happened to me this crisp, clear and warm day in San Francisco, California. A group of employees decided to go OUT for lunch.
Shock and the horror of it all. Why? Shockingly in San Francisco the majority of employees do not take lunch. At least not a lunch that allows the mind to unwind. We sit at our desk, grind over our keyboards and either bring our soups, salads and sandwiches from home or we walk to our local restaurant and order take out.
Its a combination of factors. One, we have so much work that it MUST be done and we can't possibly take a lunch being enslaved by our mission. Secondly, we take a 1/2 an hour lunch at our desk or take a walk expecting this time to help us relax and reboot.
But, today... today we decided to shut off our computers, put down our highlighter, pressed "off" on our cell phones to venture out into the wild, wild West for nourishment, relaxation and celebration.
What lead me in this direction? Well, While doing community service at Strawberry Hill Butterfly Habitat I met a wonderful woman who spoke French! For those of you who know me I have been on a mission since Middle School to learn, speak and converse in French. So, I'm taking the courses all over again. So when I run into someone who is a Native...I pounce on the chance to talk and learn in Francais.
In the midst of our conversation I, naturally, asked her about French Restaurants in San Francisco where they only speak French. Lydia referred me to several restaurants in the Bay Area and Café Bastille on Belden Street was first on the list.
The atmosphere down this little alleyway transports you from the high-rise buildings, moving cable cars and sirens of the City to a place that must live in Europe.
At first, I thought I was in Italy... but, then a few steps more we walked right into Paris.
The menu is simple and truly Paris. I decided to order the house Quiche Lorraine with salad and pomme frites. The French Fries were sheer perfection. The quiche was creamy, flaky and light. I would have eaten the entire meal, but if I took one more bite, I would have exploded!
I was captivated by the atmosphere, the waiter, who was delightful, and the food. Oh, THE FOOD! Words can not express the sights, smells and flavors that filled my heart and brain. In most cases, once I've tasted a dish, I tell myself... I can duplicate that. However, the meal was so delicious that instead of attempting to duplicate the recipe.... I simply say, I will be back...and often!
When you go to San Francisco, please stop by Café Bastille and be transported to a special place and time that can only be known as France.
Remember cooking with love, makes everything taste better... but, it sure is nice to take a walk, escape from the day to day and savior the essence of really good food!