Monday, June 30, 2014

Fleur de Sel. Not just salt anymore!

If you explore the isles of fancy food shows, herb and seasoning shops or on occasion receive Fleur de Sel as a gift .... you know the value of a premium salt. Fleur de Sel is light and flaky. The salt melts in your mouth and elevates the taste of any food and is best used as a finishing salt. The French translation for Fleur de Sel is "Flower of Salt" (based on my French lessons over the years) and at first glance (and taste) it reminds you of the fresh taste of salt from the sea. Clean, no lingering after taste and with just a touch of tart.

Fleur de Sel also means the best darn organic French fast food restaurant in the fast paced City of San Francisco. Hundreds of City goers, daily, walk to this hidden hideaway on Kearney Street in the middle of The Financial District. Lines start to form outside the eatery as early as 11:30 am PST with the hopes of ordering or picking up their favorite pre-packaged foods which are not only healthy, but very fresh and extremely delicious.
So much to choose from.... my favorite is the lunch box. Simply pick up a lunch box slip and order either a 1/2 or whole sandwich with salad and a desert. Or, take a premade box of wild mushroom ravioli or salad nicoise. Did I mention the soups? Well, the soups are seasonal and light, tasty and fresh. Yesterday I had their gazpacho for the first time. By far it's the best gazpacho I've ever had!
And the roasted chicken! Nothing compares to the savory and moist chicken sitting on a bed of polenta or risotto.



The downside? I have to admit they are a little pricey, buy the servings are large enough for 2 or 3 meals, which will store nicely in the refrigerator. I also appreciate the "green" formula of food packaging that can be cleaned and recycled. Please note the containers are not to used again. Once HOT water hits the plastic it melts like a candle. An added benefit to ordering to go, I think.
Downsides number two? It's not meant for taking large groups of people to the location for a sit down lunch. Many order to go places in SF thrive with the notion that their patrons rather "order and run" instead of spending an hour lounging in a restaurant. I think it's a part of their charm.

What is my favorite dish? The quinoa salad with roasted beets, goat cheese and seasonal veggies. The highlight is the parsley dressing.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I often measure a good restaurant by asking two questions ...Would I recreate the dish? Or return another day? If the answer is to return.... then it's an amazing restaurant that I'd rather not duplicate or there is no way on God's green earth that I can duplicate the recipe.
Check out Fleur de Sel on line at http://www.fleurdeselgourmet.com/ or come to sunny Northern California and wander down to Kearney Street. Be prepared! You will be transported to a place simply known as Culinary Heaven.

Remember cooking with love makes any dish taste better ... an idea that Fleur de Sel demonstrates each day.