Nopa Burger Brioche Love

September 17, 2011

Well, it seems I’ve come to the end of my San Francisco posts. I had a marvellous four days in the Californian foodie city – just me, my camera and my journal. And a whole lot of beautiful food.

I loved that I had to walk so far to get places, it really helped to build my appetite, which I enthusiastically fed with stunningly sweet fruit, beautiful bread and beignets, fresh salads, divine pastries, wacky and wonderful ice-cream and well, this brioche bun burger.

My final meal in San Francisco couldn’t have been more fantastic or representative of the exciting food I experienced during my visit. I snagged a seat at the communal dining table at Nopa, a popular restaurant that was recommended to me by a local, and which was undoubtedly filled with locals (tick).

Upon settling on my stool I went about selecting a glass of wine, something refreshing. It seemed prudent to go local, and so my very helpful and friendly Waiter suggested I try an organic Sauvignon Blanc from the Russian River Valley. It was cloudy, like an unfiltered apple juice, which was something completely new to me. And it was just lovely.

A complementary slice of peach, dressed in balsamic was heavenly. This city truly has some of the best produce I have ever tasted.

As soon as I saw the following item on the menu I knew that I would be ordering it. It was just absolutely going to happen.

Grass-Fed Hamburger, Pickled Onions, French Fries. Yep.

The burger was completely melt-in your mouth, a true quality, super juicy patty cooked perfectly medium-rare. I chose gruyΓ¨re for my cheese – the options were blue, gruyΓ¨re or cheddar. And the bun…brioche divinity. Luckily the burger was not huge, as it was a very rich meal. The pickled onions were delicious and the fries were lovely, not too crisp and not soggy. The basil aioli was also gorgeous. Yet I didn’t spend much time on the fries and aioli. Let’s be honest, it was all about the burger…

p.s. this meal, wine and tip included, cost 28USD. I know. Naturally I’m finding it difficult re-adjusting to Australia’s exorbitant food prices.


But this post isn’t all about the burger. It’s also my farewell to the city. Here is a final snapshot of my hours spent wandering San Francisco.

It started with Hot Waffle and Latte from Blue Bottle Coffee at the Ferry Building Market Place.

Before heading to The Castro District.

Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge was a highlight…

As was lying in Dolores Park reading, eating plump Strawberries for lunch and snoozing in the sun…


While I must admit that New York City stole my heart more than San Francisco, I felt like this city breathed a new light into me – I was given the gift of travelling independently for the first time, in the sunshine, with these happy tunes on repeat…and with a Tartine treat in my pocket. I felt alive.
And happy to be living my life.

Heidi xo

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  • Terry Turtle September 17, 2011 at 8:21 am

    San Francisco looks amazing! That burger could easily feature at my dinner table at least weekly!!!

  • Hannah September 17, 2011 at 9:17 am

    That brioche buns looks amazing…and that waffle, oh stop!! x

  • Michelle Chin September 17, 2011 at 10:37 am

    the burger looks really nice! *drools* now i would eat that!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella September 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    That burger looks divine and thanks for taking us along on your SF trip! And yes the prices-it's just so different to what we pay here isn't it!

  • denitapreston September 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    what a great post! so brilliant and lively πŸ™‚ and yep, i could totally eat that waffle right now. xxx

  • Girl on Raw September 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    All that yummy food (and the wine!) Love the idea of the complimentary peach slice, how unique!

  • Hannah September 17, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Oh, the idea of blue cheese (no gruyere for me, thanks) melting over pickled onions, and a waffle to finish… Heidi, I love how you embrace life πŸ™‚

    And you know what I love more? The end of your San Fran posts. BECAUSE NEW YORK IS NEXT HOHMYGODTHECITYOFMYHEART.

  • The InTolerant Chef September 18, 2011 at 7:12 am

    What a fantasic looking burger! The soft blue cheese, sharp pickles, creamy aioli- what a great combination indeed.
    I'm glad you're back, but hope you go agin soon so we can share more of your adventures with you πŸ™‚

  • Heidi September 18, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Terry – it was delicious! Not the healthiest burger by far but wow, wonderfully tasty πŸ™‚

    Hannah – haha I just can't πŸ˜›

    Michelle – hehe πŸ™‚

    Lorraine – incredibly so, it's so frustrating! & you're welcome πŸ™‚

    de – awe thanks, de! I need a waffle iron…

    Girl on Raw – I know, me too, it's great!! Such a nice surprise πŸ™‚

    Hannah – it was a rather indulgent day – waffle for breakfast, brioch bun for dinner. But strawberries for lunch πŸ˜‰ hehe. thanks lovely. & YES! NEY YORK IS NEXT!

    InTolerant Chef – I feel it's my duty to go again soon πŸ˜‰

    Heidi xo

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) September 19, 2011 at 7:50 am

    oh you got some great pics! Sadly it was cloudy / foggy (?) when we were in san fran so we couldnt even see the top parts of the bridge!!!

  • Martyna@WholesomeCook September 19, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I love your approach to your time in San Fran. I am exactly the same when travelling solo. Wandering around, checking out small eateries mostly frequented by locals and taking in the sights. Great photos too!

  • Heidi September 19, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Lisa – oh what a shame! Yes that SF fog is determined!

    Martyna – thanks so much πŸ™‚

    Heidi xo

  • Lisa September 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    You have really inspired me with your solo travelling. It is funny, I can happily wander around my own city alone, but when travelling I somehow feel like I stick out like a sore thumb when I'm on my own. But that said I've had some wonderful experiences when for some reason I've ended up alone on travels. I must try to remember this and embrace the opportunity again the future.

    P.S. Great burger, but I would have gone with the blue cheese. It is amazing on a burger.

  • Heidi September 19, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    I'm so happy to hear that you find this inspiring, Lisa!! Travelling solo really is something special. You get to really just 'be'. It is so nice… for a short while at least, then I find I need the company of others! Oh & thanks for the blue cheese tip πŸ˜‰ xo