What A Food Blogger Does on Her Day Off

As I many of you know, I am still in college, I work part-time, I’m on my school’s magazine, I am part of the organization, ShareFood, and I run this blog.

Doesn’t really leave much time for a crackin’ social life.

But I manage. Just barely.

I really do try to make the most of my free time, ESPECIALLY if its nice outside.

What do I do?

Well, my favorite thing as of late is walking 3 blocks down from my house into the San Francisco Botanical Garden to hike, picnic, or just plain hang out.

Yea, I live 3 blocks away from all this gorgeousness.

There are about a million trails like this all throughout the garden for people to explore. I swear, I’ve never taken the same path twice.

This past year, Matt bought me this amazing picnic basket that came stocked with dishware, glasses, and cutlery, so we often pack it full of goodies to enjoy on our blanket (normally we sit on the grass, but it had rained the night before, so the grass was pretty damp and muddy)

Homemade garlic hummus with a sweet potato crisp anyone?

After we eat, we like feeding the squirrels brazen enough to scoot up to our blanket. Matt likes taking pictures of me taking pictures of squirrels

Matt also likes taking pictures of me just plain feeding squirrels

Look at this little man! How the heck could you not love him?! I was not zooming on my camera by the way, this is how close he was.

I too like taking pictures of my cutie boy feeding the squirrel cutie boy. This little man seriously couldn’t get enough of our fruit, he just kept coming back for more. It was great, he would even come if I call him. It was so sad feeding him our last strawberry, cause then he scampered off, leaving only the stem and leaves behind.

THIS IS REAL?!?!?! I love nature.

Geese do the weirdest things when they clean themselves, don’t you think?

The garden has a bunch of ponds and streams everywhere with tons of benches, so sometimes its nice to just sit and watch the birds flock about.

Again, I didn’t even have to zoom for this shot.

I love the Botanical Garden – its phenomenally gorgeous, its free, its close to me, and we know where the back gate is so we can sneak in and out whenever we please.

What do you like to do on your days off?

The Yellow Submarine

As of now, I only have one day off a week between my two jobs so I have been making a point to crawl out of bed at a decent hour and actually go and do something fun to make the most of my summer.

When I work at Mozzarella di Bufala as a waitress I have to wear pants, closed toe shoes and that fabulous Mozzarella shirt you may have seen me rockin’ in pictures – not really a trendy outfit if ya ask me. When I go to the California Indian Environmental Alliance I don’t have a uniform but I do need to look at least somewhat professional meaning if I could wear it to the park or a party I probably shouldn’t be sporting it at the office.

Yesterday was that one day off, and it was pretty sunny out so I got myself up and dressed and waited for Matt to come over so we could go have an adventure. Since I was in fact going to the park I pulled out one of my favorite sun dresses and started thinking about what kind of food we should bring with us.

Then it hit me.

Cheese Steaks.

They just sounded wonderful, I did some research and found that the best cheese steaks around where on Divisadero, a street I used to live 2 blocks away from. Now however it is across Golden Gate Park meaning I would have to take a bus to get there. I was not down. My new house is 1 block away from the Park so why would I take a bus to the other side? I wouldn’t. So I came to the conclusion that if I couldn’t have a cheese steak sandwich, I would at least have a sandwich. Specifically one from my new neighborhood. I have seen a place on Irving St. called The Yellow Submarine and have been meaning to go there to see if they are any good. Cause really, everyone needs a good sandwich shop close to their house. I asked my roomie, Lisa, and she confirmed that yes The Yellow Submarine was superb.

Within minutes Matt and I were out the door.

And what’s waiting right outside the door? Freakin’ clouds and wind. Let’s be honest here, that does not match with a dress. Ever.

I was determined to make it work though because I’ll be damned if I have to wear pants on my day off. We walked the 2 blocks to the Submarine with me clutching my dress.

Upon entering the sandwich shop I noticed a few things.

1. This place has been here for a long time. The hand painted cartoon signs on the walls boasted prices such as .30 for a cup of coffee.

2. It smelled amazing from all ingredients on the grill.

3. The up to date prices looked about average. We decided to get a large Hot Pastrami and split it and I was really hoping this would be enough. We both hadn’t eaten anything before this and the day before my meals consisted of a half cup of soup at work and Chicken Flavored Rice-a-Roni for dinner. Basically, we were starving.

We sat down at a table after the sweetest old lady took the order and waited.

And waited.

And waited a little longer.

Seriously, we probably sat there for about 15 minutes. I couldn’t help thinking to myself, what the heck? I know we wanted it hot, but come on, there was only one person ahead of us in line. What was the hold up?

Just then our sandwich was wrapped and handed over to us. At that moment I was taken aback. It was the biggest sandwich I have ever gotten for $9.

Come on, look at it. Gigantic! I was so excited.

We walked to the park, laid out my Snuggie under a tree and unwrapped that thing like a kid opening presents on Christmas.

No, I didn’t take any pictures of it once it was unwrapped. I was too busy devouring it. So was Matt. But please take my word, it was phenomenal. The hot pastrami was bundled inside a toasted wheat roll along with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo, mustard, a little oil and vinegar, and hot sauce. It was dripping all over the wrapper and I didn’t care.

No one flavor was overpowering, there wasn’t an abundance of lettuce to make it look big because the huge portion of pastrami was making it big. I really was impressed with the quality, size, and taste. Ironically both Matt and I couldn’t even finish our halves.

I think next time I’ll just call ahead because while the sandwich was definitely worth the wait, the anticipation of sitting there and waiting while I watch other people enjoy their sammies is gonna kill me.