Category Archives: Food

Girl vs Food: MvF San Francisco Edition

Man vs Food San Francisco resturantsA few years ago Man vs Food used to be my guilty TV pleasure. I wasn’t so much a fan of the challenges at the end of the programme – they always seemed grotesquely extravagant – but I loved seeing all the mini reviews of each American city’s best ‘pig out’ spots. Not exactly high brow I know, but what can I say? Seeing a slice of pizza the size of small child makes my mouth water.

Naturally, when I found out that we were moving here, I may have TiVo’d the Man vs Food San Francisco episode and watched it once or twice, not to mention scribbled the address of each participating establishment in our SF guidebook.

Blogging is about nothing if not documentation so I figured it was my duty to road-test each MvF eatery in the Bay Area. Here’s a mini review of San Francisco’s ‘best pig out’ spots, according to Adam Richman…

Ike’s Place / Sandwiches

The holy grail of sandwiches, I remember the queue snaking around the block for this unassuming sandwich shop on the show, and IRL it was exactly the same, both times we visited. The 10 minute wait was so worth it though – Ike and his crew know what makes a good sandwich. Both our sandwiches were epic in size and flavour and Ike’s has become one of our favourite lunch spots if we’re in the Castro. A word to the wise; make sure you’re really hungry before visiting – the portion sizes are huge!

Ike’s Place, 3489 16th St, Castro

Taqueria La Cumbre / Mexican

I was really looking forward to trying this mexican Mission joint, known for it’s supersize burritos, and although friends had said it had gone downhill a bit since the show aired, I was still eager as ever to try a (regular sized) burrito. Unfortunately the veggie burrito I plumped for (with refried beans, rice, salsa, cheese and guacamole) was distinctly average and nowhere near as nice as some of the other mexican delights I’ve had in the city. For want of a better word it was sloppy and lacking in flavour, so unfortunately Taqueria La Cumbre gets a thumbs down from me.

Taqueria La Cumbre, 515 Valencia Street, Mission

The San Francisco Creamery / Ice Cream

Technically in Walnut Creek, the home of the ‘kitchen sink’ challenge is east of the Bay, about an hour away from San Francisco. We stopped here after spending the day hiking up Mount Diablo so two huge scoops of ice cream (with hot fudge sauce and cookie dough pieces) felt like a very worthy treat indeed. While there I actually saw several sweet-toothed customers attempting the challenge MvF’s Adam took part in, and not one came close. I wish the SF Creamery was closer to the city as the ice cream selection is huge, there’s a great atmosphere in the restaurant (which serves savoury foodstuffs, too) and the staff were so friendly and helpful – letting us dithering Brits try as many flavours as we wanted from the ice cream bar.

San Francisco Creamery Co, 1370 Locust Street, Walnut Creek 

Please tell me I’m not the only one with a thing for Man vs Food? We’re off to New York next month so I may have to revisit the MvF New York episodes…

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Lazy Sunday Breakfast: Avocado & Pancetta Toast

Avocado toast recipeI think in the year and a bit that I’ve been on Instagram, I’ve posted avocado related photos around a thousand times. Shop-bought guacamole aside, I only tried avocado for the first time last summer, and since then I’ve become hooked on the stuff, most notably in the form of this recipe, which is my favourite breakfast to eat on a lazy weekend morning.

This recipe is super simple and although avocado toast seems to be quite fashionable at the moment, I can assure you that this recipe is far better than just using an avocado like butter, and came about by combining two over my favourite foods – cheese and avocados!

Avocado and pancetta toast ingredientsAvocado & Pancetta Toast

Two slices of wholegrain bread
One whole avocado
Six slices of mature cheddar
A handful of pancetta 
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Mashed avocado with salt and pepper1. Toast the bread of your choice – I use Soya & Linseed bread by Burgen, but any will do. While the bread is toasting, fry the pancetta in a dash of olive oil until cooked.

2. Halve the avocado, discard the stone and scoop the contents into a bowl. I like to use a whole avocado in this recipe because I’m greedy, but if you prefer you can just use half.* Add a little salt and pepper and drizzle the bowl with olive oil. You don’t need much, as avocados are packed with natural oils, but this just helps loosen it a bit. Take a fork and lightly mash the avocado.

3. Once the bread has been toasted, layer it with slices of cheddar, then spoon on the mashed avocado and spread evenly across each slice. Add the cooked pancetta on top and now you’re ready to serve your avocado toast!

Avocado toast on Sophie Conran chopping boardWhen we have guests I whip out this beautiful board, sent to me by Sophie Conran, to serve the toast on, and although its purpose in life is to be chopped on, I think it’s far too pretty, hence why it’s become my favourite serving platter**.

The boards are actually a collaboration between Sophie and the Bristol-based company T&G, and come inscribed with ‘made with love’ and ‘make every day a beautiful day’, both of which are perfectly suited to serving home baked treats on. Any excuse to make another batch of brownies…

*Seriously? You don’t want the whole thing? You have more willpower than me. If you want to find a way to stop the other half of your avocado going brown and funky, check out this post by A Thrifty Mrs.
**You know you’re getting older when you start professing your love for serving platters…

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Hummingbird Bakery Brownies

Hummingbird Bakery brownies | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

It seems the humble chocolate brownie is experiencing something of a moment in the blogging world, as I’ve seen several delicious-looking recipe posts recently! Becca gave hers an Easter twist, and Sophie combined brownies with creme eggs – how good do they look!?

I find baking quite theraputic, particularly on Sunday evenings. It’s calming, takes my mind off the pre-Monday blues and it results in plenty of sweet 3pm treats for the week ahead. My go-to is baking a batch of The Hummingbird Bakery brownies. They’re simple to make, rich in flavour and ridiculously gooey.

My twist on the recipe uses half unsalted butter, half Stork (it’s a throwback ingredient to the days when my mum and I used bake together every weekend) and while this recipe is for traditional brownies, I sometimes like to add in broken up Kinder bars, Oreos or even peanut butter, for that sweet/salty taste.

Brownies on floral side plate | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Hummingbird Bakery Brownies

  • 200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 100g unsalted butter + 75g Stork
  • 325g caster sugar
  • 130g plain flower
  • 3 (medium) eggs
  • Optional extras: 6 crushed Oreos, 4 roughly chopped Kinder bars (or eggs, what with it being Easter weekend and all) or 2 table spoons of peanut butter

Preheat your oven to 170°c and line a 16in x 16in baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Put the chocolate, butter and Stork in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and leave until melted. Crack your three eggs into a separate bowl and whisk until smooth.

Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Add the flour until well incorporated and then add in the egg mixture. Use a spatula to remove any mixture clinging to the side of the bowl and stir until all mix is thick and smooth.

If you’re using any optional extras, pour half the mixture into your lined baking tray and evenly spread your Oreos, Kinder chunks or peanut butter across the brownie mix, before pouring the rest of the mixture on top.

Place in the oven. The official HB recipe says to cook for 30-35 minutes but I bake mine for 25 minutes for a gooey finish. Leave to cool completely before turning out onto a plate – paper doily optional!

These brownies are so tasty and the perfect cure to mourning the end of a four day weekend. Have you tried any Hummingbird Bakery recipes? If you have a brownie recipe you swear by let me know in the comments below.

Gooey Hummingbird Bakery brownies | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

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