Things to Do During Super Bowl 50

It's Super Bowl 50 and I'm preparing myself for the influx of Denver Broncos & Carolina Panthers fans here in San Francisco. I've heard lots of people here in SF complain about all the craziness (crowds, tourists, traffic, etc) and festivities (concerts, NFL Experience) and controversies that come along with the way the event has panned out. I have mixed feelings about the Super Bowl for all the reasons I just mentioned above.  However, it's here and happening, so I decided to put together a quick list off things to do with some advice here and there on how to enjoy yourself while you are here.

The last time the 49ers made the Super Bowl
The last time the 49ers made the Super Bowl

I've lived a somewhat nomadic life but I have spent enough time here in the City by the Bay that I know a thing or two about giving recommendations on places to visit, what to eat and things to do in this beautiful city.  I know a lot of Panthers and Broncos fans will be making their rounds to the typical tourists spots, so here are a few tips for all of them:

If you've never visited San Francisco, then yes you should go do the typical tourist things first 

Golden Gate Bridge

Bike or walk across the bridge and take a break in beautiful Sausalito

Baker Beach

Nudists welcome :)

Golden Gate Park

California Academy of Sciences

If you go on Thursday, go to NightLife 

Fisherman's Wharf

You need to try the baby donuts from Trish's

San Francisco Symphony

Listen to a world-class orchestra in the Civic Center area of San Francisco

Lombard Street

If you decide to go and want to take pictures, please be courteous of the residents there.  I get it, the view is breath taking and you want to take the perfect picture, but please don't block traffic and be rude.

San Francisco Ballet

Check out one of the best ballet companies in the world!

Beautiful tutu
Beautiful tutu

Coit Tower

360 View of San Francisco & the Bay Area

Dolores Park

Get some ice cream from Bi-Rite and take a nice walk around the park

Palace of Fine Arts

This is one of the most iconic spots in San Francisco and it s located in the beautiful Marina district.  I know, you'll hear people either say they love or hate the Marina (could be more along the lines of the crowd that rolls over there - whatever haters I love the Marina and I'm not sorry about it :P) but everyone can agree that this is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the city.

If you're feeling adventurous, check out some of my favorite local spots: 

Hayes Valley

If the weather permits, check out the Biergarten and have some pink deviled eggs

Bill Goat Hill

Because you'll want to take an awesome photo like this if the swing is still there

The Embarcadero

Grab some drinks by the Ferry Building at Sens, if you can by pass the crowds at Super Bowl City :P

Tapas and drinks at Coqueta

  • This restaurant has some of the prettiest and tastiest cocktails I've ever had before.

Relax & Chill

Make an appointment at Fairyland for a 70 minute reflexology massage and grab a coffee across the street at Saint Frank's.

Explore the Dogpatch

This is an up-and-coming area of San Francisco and not too bad of walk from the chaos of all the activities for the Super Bowl.  Check out some of my favorite restaurants below:

Piccino 

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18th Street & Connecticut (Potrero Hill) 

This area is home to a strip of amazing local restaurants and is truly a place where locals hang out.

Plow 

Serpentine

Mochica

Just For You Cafe

Umi

Aperto

Sunflower

Goat Hill Pizza

Pera

Chez Maman

Papito 

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Oh yeah, and that view ;)

You too can also find the same spot where Josh Hartnett walks across the street with the view of the San Francisco city skyline as his backdrop.  Our friend David found the exact spot near by and took our engagement photos here back in 2013.

Apps for Life

As for food, I know this city can be a little overwhelming, I can keep on going on and on, but unfortunately I don't have the time to put it all in one post.  We're really lucky here in San Francisco when it comes to good food.  Every corner is packed with restaurants, cafes and markets and it can be daunting.  If you're determined to consume as many dishes as you can, I recommend that you download one of SF's favorite foodie lists from 7x7: Big Eat 2015: 100 Things To Eat In SF Before You Die .

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The app is available for both the iPhone and Android.  The list is pretty diverse and can accommodate to a wide range of taste palettes.

Be Good & Help Others

You're here to party, root for your team and explore this beautiful city.  I get it and I'm there with you.  However, behind all the fun parties, games and events, the pink elephant in the room is our displaced homeless population here in San Francisco.  I'm not going to try to preach about what should be done, but I am going to share how you can help out and support those in most need while also enjoying yourself!  If you were not able to get a ticket to the game in Santa Clara and want to change up your activity for the day, head over to one of my favorite street food parks, Soma StrEAT Food Park for their Super Bowl Sunday celebration where they have partnered with the Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge to provide services and necessities for those in need.

Learn more about how you can participate in Alex Mak's post on Broke-Ass Stuart.

Vegan Super Bowl 2015
Vegan Super Bowl 2015

Transportation Options

MUNI & BART:  Please buy a Clipper Card, it's worth it!  Also, you can use your Google Maps app or Routesy (MUNI only) to determine your travel schedule.

UBER & Lyft: If you decide to use either shared driving service, please be mindful of where you are asked to be picked up.  Be sure that you are in an area that is easy for a car to pull-over and communicate with your driver on the best place for him/her to pick you up.  Be flexible!

Taxi: Hailing a cab in San Francisco is tough, but if you're able to get one, yay for you!

Feet:  Walking is the best way to explore this city!  Put your walking shoes on and make your own adventure!

Etiquette

Be nice and kind to the locals here and they'll reciprocate it right back.

Party Update

Thank you to Von Miller for hosting a fabulous event at Christian Louboutin here in San Francisco! 

Best of luck! But...I won't lie, rooting for the Panthers for the win! (Shoutout to my cousin Myra #TCAlum

Have an amazing time! Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions!

#ChallengeSF: My favorite detox plan

As many of my friends know, I'm obsessed with Barry's Bootcamp here in San Francisco.  I never considered myself an athlete at all until I came to this place and worked with the trainers here.  Honestly, I'm that girl who would consider running a 3.0 pace on the treadmill a "hardcore workout".  Thank goodness this place forever changed my outlook on fitness for the best. Outside of being one of the best workouts I've ever done in my life, one thing that makes Barry's in San Francisco stand out from the other studios is how much the team there cares about their clients, aka #FitFam.  One of my favorite trainers there, Erica Stenz (hay 2014 Racked Hottest Trainer SF !) loves to go above and beyond to make sure her clients think about their fitness holistically by challenging us to eat healthier.

Living in San Francisco is tough because we have access to some of the best restaurants in the world, which can lead to bigger waist lines and less money in the bank from going out all the time.  So when Erica and fellow Barry's trainer Tommy Stracke (who is also her bf, I know #powercouple) put together #ChallengeSF, which consisted of choosing one of the following 1) No Sugar 2) No Alcohol and 3) Whole30 - I decided I had to go big and went for the Whole30 option.

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For those of you who don't know what Whole30 is, it is basically a slightly more extreme Paleo style diet.  Without going into too many details you basically eat protein (meats), vegetables and fruits and you can cook with approved oils.  Yes, say bye to all grains, legumes, dairy and obviously sugars.  If you want to learn more, check out their website.

Participating in this challenge for two weeks was no walk in the park.  I'm not going to lie and say that it was really easy for me to adhere to this diet change because I am Asian and LOVE rice and noodles, which I obviously could not eat on this diet plan.

However, I purchased the Whole30 recipe book to help inspire me so I wouldn't be stuck eating boiled eggs everyday.  Let me tell you, the book is well worth buying.  You can find it online at Jet or Amazon for around $18.00.  Trust me, it's worth purchasing. The authors Melissa & Dallas Hartwig provide some creative ways to diversify what you eat when you're on Whole30.

My favorite recipe from the book is the Chicken Cacciatore (my attempt below).

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The recipe is really easy and the dish is pretty filling and hearty, so it's a great meal to try out when you're first starting your journey on Whole30.  Since this is an Italian style dish, I decided to use my spiralizer and make zucchini noodles and pre-pack both my lunch and my husband's lunch for the week.  This meal was full of protein and also replaced my need of having carbs with my protein.  I bought my spiralizer from Sur La Table.  You can find a range of them in different styles and prices here.

Another indulgence of mine is iced coffee.  I love to buy iced coffee from all the coffee hot spots: Blue Bottle, Sightglass, Four Barrel etc.  However, I know 1) It's an expensive habit 2) Some of these places add cream/whole milk and sugar to their coffees and that is why they taste so damn good.

So, in order to satisfy my need of delicious iced coffee, I invested in the Hario Cold Brewer.  It's really easy to use, however it does take time for the coffee to steep.   Here is a great tutorial to watch on how to use it.   

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These are just a few things I did when I was on Whole30 for two weeks.  I know, it is supposed to be for a whole 30 days, but hey, at least I stuck with it through out the entire duration of #ChallengeSF!   I seriously felt rejuvenated and amazing and my sugar and carb cravings have subsided.

In addition, eating this healthy and working out I lost a few lbs along along the way! The dress I wore to the San Francisco Ballet Gala last night fit like a glove!  (Thank god because I didn't have any back-up dresses that I was willing to wear)  I am not quite at my goal weight, but doing this challenge was a great start.

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Milking the Soy With Kim Huynh

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Kim Huynh is the epitome of a renaissance woman: world traveler, accounting whiz, wood worker, seamstress and amazing cook.  Like seriously amazing - she won an award from CUESA for her original salsa recipe before she left to travel around the world.

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I always knew I wanted to have Kim teach me how to cook something, so when she told me that she wanted to teach me how to make tofu from scratch I couldn't say no!  Tofu is something that I normally just buy at the store and never really thought to make from scratch.

Check out my interview with Kim below and read about her story behind making tofu from scratch!

Kim's Story

Tofu is something that I can just go and buy at the store - why make your own?  

I was vegetarian for 13 years and have always enjoyed eating tofu. I started making my own tofu mainly for 2 reasons: 1) I missed eating fresh homemade tofu (the tofu you buy in the store just doesn't compare in taste and flavor) and 2) I was saving money for my around the world trip and on a strict budget and organic tofu and soy products were expensive to buy. I thought myself how to "milk the soy" as part of a cooking experiment for a year before I left for my trip. The Milking the Soy experiment helped me save money for my trip but more importantly it became a very meditative and therapeutic experience. It became a connection with the food I was making and the people I was making it for. It kept me focused, provided a creative outlet, and I learned a great deal about myself through the whole process. The milking the soy experiment in many ways helped me prepare for my travels. During that year, I would jokingly tell my friends that I was busy with my "Soyfriend". I had indeed developed a love and passion for soy during that experience.

After my cooking lesson from Kim, I now have a new found appreciation for the soy bean and the process of making tofu.  I had no idea how much work it takes to make such a simple dish and as you can see in the video, the process can be time intensive.  However, it's well worth it for some tasty fresh tofu.

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Soyfriend Tofu
Recipe Type: Vegetarian, Vegan
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Kim Huynh
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 block of tofu
Fresh organic tofu from scratch.
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup of Organic dry soybeans
  • 1 Bottle of Liquid Coagulate/Nigari
Instructions
  1. Start with organic dry soybeans and soak them in water overnight between 10-18hrs.
  2. Blend soaked soybeans in blender or food processor and slowly add some water to create a paste.
  3. Transfer soybean paste to a tall pot and add enough water to cover soybean paste.
  4. Turn on the stove to high and cook soybean paste for approximately 20 minutes, or until you see the the soy fibers, known as "okara", separate from the soy milk.
  5. Extract soy milk from the okara by pouring the mixture through a muslin cloth across a large bowl.
  6. Clean out the pot you used to cook the soy paste.
  7. Place soy milk back into the pot and cook to 165 degrees.
  8. Once the soy milk reaches 165 degrees, turn off the stove.
  9. For a soft/silky tofu, add about 2-3 drops of liquid coagulate (Nigari) to separate curds and whey. For a firmer tofu, add about 4-5 drops of coagulate (Nigari).
  10. After adding the Nigari, do not move the coagulate/soy milk mixture for about 25 minutes.
  11. While you are waiting for the curds and whey to separate, set up tofu mold by placing muslin sleeve inside of tofu mold.
  12. Once the curds and whey separate, scoop curds and press into tofu mold.
Notes
Tools Required: [br]Unbleached Muslin Cloths[br]Tofu Press[br]Blender[br]Food Thermometer[br]Tall Pot

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