Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 8/18/11

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Today, the Double O’s and I spent a fun, fun day in the big city by the bay. Oh, how I love you, San Francisco!

Before catching a ride to the city with Fitbomb in the morning, I contemplated fasting until lunch but the intoxicating smell of his butter-fried eggs got my stomach rumbling.

For my breakfast, I chowed on leftovers: a slice of frittata and sautéed cabbage with onions and cherry tomatoes.

As soon as we got to the city, the Double-O’s and I bid Fitbomb adieu and we headed to the waterfront. Our first stop was to run up and down Pier 14: a spectacular pedestrian walkway where you can get an awesome unobstructed view of the Bay Bridge AND the San Francisco skyline. Plus, you can spin yourself dizzy in metal rotating chairs lined all the way down the strip.

Then, we stopped by the Thursday Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market where we sampled stone fruit and tomatoes and cased out the hot food vendors for our lunch.

But who am I kidding?

My primary goal in venturing to the city was to land myself a Paleo-style double-patty burger with fried egg for lunch at the 4505 Meats stand.

Fitbomb met us for our mid-day grub, and we both inhaled our tasty lettuce wrapped awesomeness.

After lunch, the little guys and I went to see The Smurfs movie at the Metreon. It wasn’t my cup of tea (despite lots of NPH), but the kids loved it. I guess they’re bigger fans of perky blue dwarves in tights than me. I know, I know — blue little people. No angry emails, please.

For dinner, we met up with hubby again and hit up Mexico DF for some grub.

Tonight we ordered our usual starter: guacamole with bacon and prawns…

…ensalada frida (living watercress, hibiscus poached pears, jicama, mango, almonds, and dried cranberries)…

…sautéed mushrooms, peppers, and squash…

…carnitas…

…and braised goat….

…with a spicy cactus salad.

The goat was under-seasoned and the salad was meh, but those disappointments were sufficiently outweighed by the fantastic bacon-y guacamole and flavorful carnitas.

We finally got home shortly after 8 p.m., and all of us were ready to hit the sack. As much as I’m looking forward to the kids starting school in a few days (FREEDOM in the mornings!), I’ll miss these lazy summer weekdays when the most pressing items on our agenda are procuring yummy grub and traipsing through the city.

Day 25 of Whole30 Eats

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As luck would have it, we didn’t have any plans this morning, so we decided to spend a lazy day hanging with our kiddies and good friends in San Francisco. Before setting off for the big city, I picked up my vegetable CSA box for the week…

…and ate some leftover roasted chicken and caramelized shallots and veggies from the other night’s chicken-in-the-pot for breakfast. See? I can eat something besides a frittata for breakfast. I can be wild and crazy like that.

Our first stop in the city was at Roam Artisan Burgers for a meaty lunch. I’ve wanted to come here since reading the positive review on A Hamburger Today and Diane Sanfilippo’s recommendation. Plus, the hubby ate here last weekend before his Crossfit Endurance seminar and he’s been going on and on about his burger, so I couldn’t wait to try one myself.

Fitbomb ordered a Classic Burger with double meat, no bun, extra avocado and a fried egg.

I ordered a Farmers’ Market Salad with TWO mini burger trios.

I didn’t know the salad would be sprinkled with cheese but I was too hungry to send it back — I just ate around the dairy. I liked my salad but as Fitbomb reminded me, when you’re at a burger joint, you should order a burger. I was still hungry after I ate my salad and six mini burgers (yes, really) so I ordered a Classic bison burger with no bun to share with the husband.

Really tasty and juicy. I can’t wait to return to Roam — and I’ll definitely get a double meat burger next time.

After lunch, we spent a couple hours catching some rays and playing at Julius Kahn Park in the Presidio. This park is my favorite in San Francisco. Too bad it’s overrun by snobby Marina mommies.

Later, we drove down to the Ferry Building and wandered around the various artisanal food purveyors. It was the first time I’d been here since going Paleo and I was now looking at the vendors with a different eye. When I used to live here, I’d make a beeline to Recchiutti Confections to grab a few squares of chocolate or to Acme Bakery for some fresh baked bread, but now I was checking out the meaty goodness at Prather Ranch and trying to figure out what Paleo options I could order at all my favorite restaurants. Who knew my food habits could change so significantly?

For dinner, we wandered over to Mexico DF to order some of our old Paleo-friendly stand-bys. We ordered guacamole classico with shrimp and bacon (I didn’t eat the bacon or chips), a trio of ceviche and crudos…

…and a pound of carnitas.

(I enjoyed the carnitas so much that when I got home, I pre-seasoned a pork butt and stuck it in the fridge — can’t wait to roast it off later this week!)

While on the Whole30, I haven’t really gone out to eat. At restaurants, it can be difficult to figure out which menu items (if any) are Whole30-compliant. But I love eating out, and today was a welcome respite from the kitchen, even though I had less control over what went into my food.

At first, it bothered me that cheese was sprinkled on my Roam salad and that the pickle slices on my bison burger may have been cured in a brine that contained sugar — but then I realized that I was going a little nuts over this 30-day reset. I’m committed to eating Paleo, but I don’t want to stress out about staying so hyper-vigilant about the Whole30 protocol that I end up shooting my cortisol levels through the roof over some infinitesimally tiny amount of non-strictly-Paleo food that makes its way into my mouth. I mean, it’s not like I broke down and downed a ginormous slice of pizza with an ice cream chaser.

I’m gonna finish the Whole30, but: (1) I’m not going to be a hermit and avoid dining out with family and friends just to avoid accidentally ingesting a trace amount of non-Whole30 ingredients in my restaurant meals, and (2) once these 30 days are up, this super-strict Paleo gig ain’t gonna last a minute longer.

Dining Out Paleo: Mexico DF (San Francisco)

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Every other Tuesday night when I’m not working, I take the kids on the train to meet up with the husband for dinner in the big city before returning to the ‘burbs. Just a few months ago, our typical Tuesday night dinner would consist of carby goodness at Pizzeria Delfina, ice cream at Bi-Rite Ice Creamery, and then one last stop at Tartine for some baked treats to take home. They’re all located on the same block, so we could easily waddle from one place to the next. I’d tell myself that this sugar overload was just an occasional bi-weekly treat, and given that I worked out hard all the time, it wasn’t a big deal.  Wrong.  My jelly belly proved it. These days, I avoid this corner of San Francisco, because it’s my kryptonite.

We now try to find places with more Paleo friendly eats, and surprisingly, we’ve done pretty well.  I really don’t like to compromise on food quality and taste, so I refuse to go to a crappy chain restaurant just because they have gluten-free and/or low-carb options. I want to eat well and as Paleo as possible, so I always study the menus of every place we might eat prior to heading out so I know my options.

Tonight, we ate at Mexico DF down by the Embarcadero. It’s not the most kid friendly place, but if you go early and are armed with iPads and iPhones, you can get in and out with no meltdowns. Here’s what we ordered:

Guacamole Classico (organic avocados with lime, cilantro, onions, serrano chiles,and cherry tomatoes) with added bacon and shrimp:

Crudo Jarocho (yellow fin tuna with serrano chiles, persian cucumbers, red onion, and habanero salsa):

Nopalitos (roasted cactus with pico de gallo, lime, cilantro, and queso fresco):

1 lb carnitas (Vande Rose slow-cooked pork shoulder with organic tortillas, salsas, guacamole, and pickled onion):

The kids scarfed up the chips and tortillas, and Fitbomb and I ate everything else.  Yes, there was some dairy in our meal, and I’m sure there was sugar in some of the marinades and salsas, but I’m okay with it. And, yes, I know we ordered a shitload of food. I did that on purpose so we’d have a tasty box of leftover carnitas in the fridge.

See? You can eat Paleo at a Mexican restaurant!