Sunday, March 27, 2011

San Francisco Sightseeing Tradition: Sourdough Bread

Stopping to watch the bakers making bread at Boudin Bakery is one of my favorite things to do.  As I watch them twist and twirl the dough, I remember the story about the enterprising entrepreneur – dating back to the Gold Rush days – who brought sourdough to San Francisco. 
Window gazing at Boudin's Sourdough!

Sourdough Bread is a slightly bitter, no yeast loaf.  I often purchase a freshly baked loaf of sourdough bread at SFO airport when I depart and use as gifts on my trips.  

This is a San Francisco tradition, started by Isadore Boudin in 1849, although sourdough dates back to Eygptians 4,000 years ago.  The demand for sourdough by miners was common during the gold rush as they picked up sour starters to take with them on their trips to the gold rush country.

Boudin's Sourdough

Why is San Francisco popular with this tradition? Some stories advise because of the spores, fungi, and bacteria in the San Francisco air, others say it is the fog that gives this special taste.... what do you think? Is it marketing?

Things to Do in San Francisco

I simply enjoy the taste. 

San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

Don’t Miss this Lunch or Snack: Buy a sourdough sandwich from Boudin’s, cup of fresh clam chowder soup from the fisherman vendors, and enjoy with a bottle of Anchor Steam Beer.  My San Francisco treat and experience – as you reminisce these enterprising entrepreneur stories. 

Out and about, even in the rain ~ The Fun Tour Guru 

Continue reading with our fun  Dresden's Christstollen Bakery in Germany story!

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(Images are property of  Fun Tour Guru.)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Discover my Favorite San Jose Restaurant on a Walking Spree

Brews in San Jose, CA 

This "story" is about a favorite restaurant and brewing company which started in Silicon Valley. 

I recently had a request to meet up with out-of-town business colleagues – visitors to San Jose (from Canada and New York ) – who were in town for a conference. When they asked me where to eat, I asked, "Do you like beer?" The answer was "yes" and I knew exactly where to go.

Yes, it is fun to take this social media to another level, and meet up with professionals with whom you have been interacting with in different online forums for a couple of years. And, it was fun to tell some insider secrets about San Jose while walking to dinner from their hotel.   

Dinner, I chose an upscale, lively, casual, and fun place to go. The  idea for this restaurant was created in the south bay by 2 businessmen in 1987. No, not a wine place this time, it involves beer brewery.  Gordon Biersch (Known as GB). Yes, most people know about Gordon Biersch.

Two entrepreneurs, did you know Dan Gordon (brewer) and Dean Biersch (restauranteur and beer-lover) opened their first restaurant in downtown Palo Alto in 1988?  

And, they opened their state-of-the-art brewery and bottling facility in downtown San Jose in 1997.

Their vision, written on their website:  “To create a monument to beer, where people could come drink freshly-brewed beer and have a great meal simultaneously. Only authentic, German-style beers would be served and in the tradition of the ones Dan brewed while attending The Technical University of Munich, or the most renowned brewing school in the world.”

My type of place!  GB has this start-up Silicon Valley business history which blends with San Jose history.  And, most important, they have excellent beer, food, and a place to gather for amazing conversations (perhaps because of the beer?) 

Anyway, there is a great selection of food items to choose from which meets most everyone’s needs. If you should not be a beer enthusiast, there is a full bar available.  I haven’t tried any bar drinks though. Personally, I love the German-style beer.

Worth a splurge:  Add the Garlic Fries, soooo tasty! 

Dinner meet-up at Gordon Biersch

Gordon Biersch San Jose CA Courtesy of Miranda Miller

There are tours available at the brewery upon request and by appointment only.

It is all about the dinner.  What is your favorite entree?  

Walking tour on the way to eat dinner ~ have fun! The Fun Tour Guru 

Yes, upon request, I will show you highlights of San Jose too on a walking spree.