As a winemaker, I like to venture to the west coast as often as possible. California was once my home: I have missed In n' Out Burger, my freinds and, of course, wine country.
My sister, Michelle, had an interview for residency (post-med school graduation) at Stanford's Children's Hospital, so of course, I volunteered to come with her and visit my favorite spots!
During our first day, I absolutely could NOT wait to have my favorite bubble tea from a place called T4. I have not had my Okinawa Milk Tea 30% Ice and 30% sweetness in over 2.5 years! Once my sister and I picked up our rental car, we went straight there. If you're not familiar with bubble tea, it's pretty much regular tea (can be with milk, etc) with little tapioca pearls at the bottom. It's fun to drink because you get a little piece of chewy candy with every sip. If you haven't had this before, the candies can be shocking- they pop into your mouth very fast! The Okinawa Milk Tea tastes like a light carmel sugar; it's the perfect balance between sweet and refreshing.
We stayed in Menlo Park, which is about 15 minutes away from Stanford’s campus. We rented a cute AirBnb that had it’s own patio and a yard full of succulent plants. The AirBnb was very close to San Francisco, too! Earlier before my trip to CA, I messaged my friend Krystal whom I met at the Forbes Under 30 Summit last October, to see if she would be around. She is from LA, but was interviewing near SF and suggested that we meet at a local bakery, Tartine.
Tartine is located on a small corner in the busy streets of SF - it’s a local place and you can definitely tell once you walk in. It’s small inside, seating is very limited. I’d say there were only 6 tables total in the whole place! Regardless of space, people kept walking in and the line to order was always long. Everyone in line seemed to be calm and not frustrated with the wait - that means that the food and coffees must be worth waiting for. We ordered a hot chocolate, an open faced Croque monsieur, vegetable frittata AND, of course, a piece of chocolate mousse cake.
My sister is famous for being the “prepared” one in my family - she always conducts a detective style search of the best restaurants and places to visit when we travel. During our trip to Tartine, she discovered a spot called The Saratoga, that is known for their cocktails. Unfortunately, I was the DD and could not indulge in their pages long cocktail menu, but I was happy to spend time with my sister and Krystal. Instead, I feasted on their seasonal crispy chicken of the woods mushrooms and chicken sliders. I have to say, they were quite excellent! Here are some photos of us at The Saratoga.
We didn’t last too long at The Saratoga - Krystal had to catch her flight back to LA and Michelle and I were ready to head back to the Airbnb. We wanted to rest-up and prepare for a full day in Petaluma and Napa!
If you have any questions about my trip or want more details about the places we visited, feel free to tweet me @RedHeadWine
Cheers! Winemaker, Marisa