San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer's Market

by formerchef on April 9, 2009


This past week we visited San Francisco.
The first place we head after dropping our bags at the hotel is the weekly Saturday Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building.



The weather is glorious, sunny and almost hot. There are dozens of stands selling beautiful produce and all sorts of other food products. By now I’m really wishing we had a refrigerator in the room so we could buy some cheese, bread and other goodies for later.
I make note of a stand with a huge rotisserie selling whole chickens and rolled, roasted pork. Like the markets in Paris, they also sell roasted potatoes. But the thing everyone seems to be buying is a Porchetta Sandwich and the line is about 40 people long.


We wander the market for a while, checking out all the stalls and end up back at the rotisserie stand. D gets in line and I go back to a smoked fish seller to get the open faced smoked salmon sandwich he wants. It’s called “Cap’n Mike’s San Francisco Lox Sandwich” and comes with northwest style red lox, shaved Fennel, pickled onions and roasted peppers with horseradish cream. It’s beautiful, but for $10, a bit steep in price.


Back at the RoliRoti truck, D is about 7th in line now. I watch the vendor take the huge roll of pork off the spit and start slicing it. I know what I want. The sandwich is a thing of beauty; a large mound or freshly roasted herbed pork with caramelized onions and peppercress on a ciabatta roll.

sf09roastpork    sf09porksand1

It’s huge and at $8.50, a great value. But even better is the taste; the mix of the meaty, moist pork, with bits of the crispy roasted exterior, the sweetness of the onions and the peppercress is fantastic and it’s all we can do not to buy another.


The couple sitting next to us is enjoying one as well along with some pieces of roasted lamb they were selling that day. We chat with them for a while, get some restaurant recommendations and they nicely offer to take our picture. They recommend Blue Bottle Coffee inside the Ferry Building.

After stuffing ourselves outside, we finally head inside to check out the shops and restaurants. It’s a lovely building, nicely renovated, filled with all manner of food shops, stores selling housewares, and restaurants. The interior is flooded with natural light from huge windows and skylights above. We make note of the Hog Island Oyster Co. and plan to come back Monday for Happy Hour.


sf09boccalone2 As if we haven’t had enough pork already, we come across a shop called Boccalone with the byline “Tasty Salted Pig Parts”. Now that’s my kinda shop! They sell all sorts of cured meats and even sell something called a “meat cone”. This is a little paper cone filled with sliced to order mixed salami, prosciutto and porchetta for $3.50. Of course, D has to have one. After that, it’s off to Blue Bottle for an iced latte which is excellent.

We wander a bit more, check out the other stalls across from the Ferry Building (lots of “crafts”) and play around a bit in the huge fountain across the street. This fountain is so big, it has pathways underneath falling spouts of water, like walking under a waterfall.


More to come on San Francisco including some excellent restaurant meals…

1 White on Rice April 15, 2009 at 11:37 pm

Oh goodness, for $3.50 , I can already see my cholesterol levels rising. I know for a fact that I would be eating a few cones a day. Thanks goodness I’m 7 hours drive away from the Ferry Building!
I’m NOT EVEN going to comment on that amazing sandwich. Kill me now, why dont-cha? 😀

2 formerchef April 15, 2009 at 11:58 pm

I swear that was one of the best pork sandwiches ever. According to the truck’s company web site, they are there every Saturday, but not at the smaller Tuesday market.

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