Now, I’m sure many of you are familiar with the tasty delight or general foodie-buzz surrounding Momofuku and their various locations in New York. I too, have heard many rave reviews of their food, but I was particularly interested in trying the sweet treats at the Momofuku Milk Bar, which also happens to have its own highly-regarded cookbook.

While on vacation in NYC, I made it a point to mark the Milk Bar on my Google map of “places to eat”. Between me, my sister, and Alex, we were able to try a bevy of talked-about sweets including the cereal milkshake, compost cookie, crack pie, corn cookie, and b-day cake truffles.

Momofuku Milk Bar

Clockwise from top left: Crack Pie, Milk Bar bag, compost and corn cookie, birthday cake truffles

I wasn’t thrilled with all of the treats, but the cookies were definitely the highlight. The compost cookie is the perfect balance of multiple flavors/textures — sweet, salty, crunchy, soft, chewy — while incorporating unique ingredients like potato chips and coffee grounds. I also loved the corn cookie which was like a mildly sweet corn muffin-meets-sugar cookie concoction. The crack pie, on the other hand, was a bit too sugary. The sticky and rich caramel custard with the chewy crust was overpowering after the first few bites. Similarly, the birthday cake truffle was extra sweet, although much more manageable in such a small size. All of the items matched perfectly with a sip or seven (yes, that good) of the cereal milkshake, which tasted exactly like you’d imagine (a frozen version of the milk at the bottom of your favorite breakfast cereal bowl).

All in all, it was a bit of a Goldilocks-type of excursion, but I finally found cookies that were a perfect fit for my sweet tooth. In fact, they were SO delicious, I’ve been contemplating buying the Milk cookbook just so I can steal their softly-baked secrets!

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There is a war happening in this town. An ice cream war.

San Francisco residents have been debating their favorite local creamery for years, and for those who are looking for a bit of excitement, Humphry Slocombe tends to top their list. Sitting deep in the mission, this tiny ice cream shop can draw a pretty substantial crowd when the weather is nice, so be prepared to wait.

Humphry Slocombe San Francisco Secret Breakfast

Left: Secret Breakfast, Right: Store window

With flavors like Salt and Pepper and Jesus Juice (red wine and coca cola), Humphry Slocombe continues to experiment with strange ingredients to surprise and excite customers. My personal favorite is Secret Breakfast, which is a bourbon flavored ice cream with corn flake pieces in it. The flavor is amazingly deep for ice cream and has a nice texture with the added corn flakes. In addition to their many unique flavors, Humphry Slocombe is also well known for the richness and decadence of the ice cream itself. They use a luscious mix of local heavy cream and eggs which gives the ice cream the same dense quality of premium gelato.

I tend to be more of an ice cream traditionalist, but I do frequent Humphry Slocombe out of sheer curiosity for the flavors they will be offering that day. They do some pretty daring things as far as ice cream goes, and I’d never turn down a chance to sample a sweet frozen dessert with ingredients like foie gras or candied jalapeno.

I’m sorry Tartine, but Devil’s Teeth Baking Co. is where it’s at.

I’m pretty lucky that I live on the outskirts of the city: easy accessibility to the beach, breezy parking (most of the time), and some incredible under-the-radar eats, like Devil’s Teeth Baking Co.

Devil's Teeth Baking Co. San Francisco, CA

Devil's Teeth Baking Co.

A friend of mine had suggested a weekend trip to this bakery after she had discovered their enormous and crave-able breakfast sandwiches. I’m not one to pass up bacon, eggs, and cheese (especially when wrapped in a buttery homemade biscuit), so Alex and I met her and her boyfriend for a breakfast double date.

The bakery is located by Ocean Beach, in a very unassuming neighborhood with simple, functional decor. I wasn’t expecting a heavy meal, but after one look at their extensive display of sweets, treats, and bread-y eats, I knew we were going to be taking home some extras for later.

Devil's Teeth Baking Co Scone Muffin Beignet and Sandwich

Clockwise from top left: Currant scone, cheddar bacon beer muffin, breakfast sandwich, fresh beignet

To keep it short: everything was outrageous. The currant scone was buttery, dense, but still flaky and light. The cheddar bacon beer muffin (insane, right?!) was a bit dry, but packed full of peppery flavor with a bold bite. The fresh beignets were probably my favorite (a Sunday morning special)– light, airy, and just a tad sweet. They took me back to the flavors of New Orleans (a trip I took over 5 years ago) and had the same warm comfort that I experienced in the French Quarter. And last but not least, the breakfast sandwich was indeed crave-worthy. Thick, crisp slabs of bacon were paired with perfectly scrambled eggs, a generous slice of cheddar, and stuffed into a homemade biscuit. These guys don’t mess around.

Devil’s Teeth is the kind of place you only need to try once before you dump your old bakery stand-by. That’s what it did for me. I’m no longer a believer in the Tartine morning bun, chock-full of pretension and foodie-buzz. I’ve been converted to the Devil’s Teeth beignet, …and scone, …and breakfast sandwich, which are all pretension-free and chock-full of sheer buttery awesomeness.

I know I’m a little late to this party, but I finally made it!

State Bird Provisions has been getting write-ups left and right, from Michael Bauer, to SF Weekly, to fellow blogger Foodhoe. It only took a few friends raving about it (thanks Kev and Chris), to get me to make some reservations– I’m typically a casual diner and only make reservations when family or friends are in town. This was an exception.

State Bird Provisions San Francisco Menu and Meal

Top: Menu and table setting, Bottom (from left to right): Duck Neck Dumplings, Glazed Pork Ribs, Green Garlic Bread w/ Burrata

State Bird is located in the Fillmore District, just south of Japantown. Situated in a tiny unassuming building marked ‘Provisions’, State Bird is not much of an eye catcher, but don’t be fooled– the energy inside is vibrant and cool. I was only able to make a 10:30 reservation (yes, 10:30!), which was great since the place wasn’t packed, but it would have been nice to dine with the buzz of other conversations.

The food is daring and playful, served dim sum style as waiters push carts from table to table, explaining each offering. Each dish is reasonably priced, but once we started tasting plate after plate, we realized we were racking up one heck of a bill. Don’t get me wrong though– everything is worth it. WORTH it.

From the Duck Neck Dumplings to the Rock Shrimp Salsa Tortilla Salad (not pictured), each dish was perfectly prepared and ridiculously yummy. Alex’s favorite was definitely the Green Garlic Bread, which was a crisp fry bread topped with burrata and whole peppercorns for a silky, doughy, and surprisingly bright flavor. My favorite dish, was the awe-inspiring State Bird w/ Provisions (below).

State Bird Provisions San Francisco Quail

State Bird with Provisions

The restaurant is appropriately named State Bird Provisions after this single crowd favorite. It’s a deep fried quail sitting atop a stew of sinfully tart onions. The bird was crisp and juicy, with a mouthwatering onion side that stood firm against the salt and meatiness of the bird. I might have muttered the phrase “best fried bird I’ve ever eaten” a few times, and it still rings true. I’m not a particular quail fanatic (more of a fried chicken fanatic), but the State Bird was perfectly balanced in flavor, texture, and size. It was the perfect main entree to our meal of small plates.

We finished off the dinner with a delicate (and tiny) chocolate black sesame crunch bar that was out of this world. Thanks to State Bird, I’ve definitely broken my habit of not making reservations– especially when they’re worth it. And for those of you who are reading all of the hype about this place, I say this: Read it all and work yourself up over it. There is still no way this place could disappoint.

This amazing pig fest can best be described in short blurbs and big images, so I’ll keep this brief–

Cochon 555 Napa 2012

Left: Flyers, Right: Table of wine glasses

By a crazy stroke of luck, I won some tickets (thank you @googlesf!) to attend the Cochon 555 Event at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena. Cochon555 is a showdown of 5 chefs, 5 pigs, and 5 wineries in a head-to-head battle of gluttony. In short, IT WAS INCREDIBLE. I got to try food from some of the best bay area chefs and drink wine and beer from carefully selected local vendors. It all started with an extreme butchery demo by Ryan Farr (of 4505 Meats):

Ryan Farr 4505 Meats Butchery Book Demo

Left: Ryan Farr from 4505 Meats giving a butchery demo, Ryan Farr's book

Then there were the endless tables of tasty eats from these 4 of the 5 featured chefs: Mark Dommen of One Market Restaurant, John Stewart of Zazu Restaurant & Farm, this year’s WINNER- Lars Kronmark of Culinary Institute of America, and Michael Tuohy of Dean and Deluca.

Cochon 555 Napa Chefs

Clockwise from top left: Mark Dommen, John Stewart, WINNER: Lars Kronmark, Michael Tuohy

Of the 4 tables, some of my favorite bites were: the wicked smoky and ultra decadent bacon strip centerpieces, Zazu’s unbelievable “Chicharron Crunch Peanut Butter Cups”, Dean & Deluca’s “Spicy Chorizo Mac and Cheese”, and Zazu’s “Pig Head Poutine with Whiskey Goat Cheese”.

Cochon555 Memorable Dishes
Clockwise from top left: Bacon Centerpiece, Chicharron Crunch, Chorizo Mac and Cheese, Pig Head Poutine

The 5th table had my favorite food by far: the amazing spread of Michael Mina’s own Chris L’Hommedieu. He created a “Pig-Nic” brown bag meal with a Pulled Pork Slider on Jalapeno Brioche, Belly and Offal Rillette Dip with Pretzel Bread, “Ants on a Log” with Pine Nut Pork Butter and Currents, Chips of Skin/Ears/Spuds, and a Pig Blood Cupcake with Lard Frosting and Candied Bacon. It was really a display of the whole beast in a fun and playful setting (not to mention the old-school ironing board standing tables and sweet tea fountain they set up alongside their table). I even had a chance to joke around with Chef Chris himself (!) and congratulate him on a brilliant concept and extremely pig-tastic meal.

Left: The L'HommeDieu-Miller Pig-Nic, Right top to bottom: Sweet Tea Fountain, Signage (with 'stache), Brown Bags

Overall, this was probably the most gluttonous, rich, heart-attack inducing food fest I’ve ever been to– but it was worth it. I got to meet Chefs that I love and follow as well as drink best-in-class wines, all while sharing the experience with “my people”: ultimate foodies. I couldn’t have asked for a better gathering of YUM.

Chris L'Hommedieu Cochon 555

Sharing a laugh with Chris L'Hommedieu