Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cafe Claude... and more!

It's way too easy to curl up inside on a San Francisco summer night, what with the cold and the fog and the town being overrun by European tourists. But last night, when the fogged rolled back in, we decided to give this summer weather the proverbial finger and go out anyway! "Fog be damned!" we said, as we made our way down toward Union Square. We wanted tasty nibbles, wine, and good music, and we knew just where to go: Cafe Claude.

Tucked away on Claude Lane, a little alley between Grant and Kearny as you walk along Sutter, this hidden treasure has consistently good music (Thursday-Sunday nights), a great bustling bistro atmosphere, and even some good vegan eats.

Last night, served up alongside some straight ahead jazz standards, and the divine Abraxis blend of Robert Sinskey, we had the butter lettuce salad with whole grain mustard and chive vinaigrette, and the celery root soup with pesto:

The whole grain mustard on the salad was full of vinegary tang without being overwhelming and was very well suited with the, well... buttery, butter lettuce. Delicious, but the soup stole the show. It was smooth and creamy and comforting, with the pesto adding the perfect salty sweet hint of basil and garlic that the celery root needed. Point being that both dishes were way tastier than these photos make them look. The lighting was pretty dim, making for difficult pictures. However, when it came to our tamarind sorbet dessert, I decided to use the flash:

This sorbet carried the plum-like, earthy sweetness of tamarind perfectly, and topped with a few strawberry slices, it was a most awesome way to close out our meal. Eating frozen dessert on a night with temperatures in the 40's is just another way to give a big F.U. to the weather. It's summer everwhere else, after all!

And now for the "...and more!" part of this post. When I got home, I was still a bit hungry and decided to indulge in one of the candy bars I got from Go Max Go Foods. I went with the Jokerz bar, a vegan version of Snickers, and let me tell you, this is not for the faint of heart. Super sweet chocolate surrounds peanuts, nougat, and caramel, and will take you right back to your pre-vegan days. There's no doubt this is junk food, vegan or not, but it was nice to know no animals were harmed in the making of my sugar coma.

Believe it or not, the sun is actually out right now, so I'm off to enjoy it. More good eats, and a very animal-friendly trip, coming soon....

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