I’m Crazy For Trying

When multiple people tell me that they have found the best charcuterie in San Francisco, I am there faster than (insert witty metaphor here).

Many of you know that I think charcuterie is a modern day ambrosia. It is also:

1. My favorite type of meat preparation.

2. My favorite word to say (along with jorts). It just rolls off your tongue.

Trou Normand is the place to eat this summer and I am going to tell you why their meats are hand-on-knee amazing without trying to sound incredibly pretentious. The only pork they use comes from the Mangalitsa, which is an exotic, expensive, European pig that is not often used on American charcuterie boards.

(if you took the time to click the link and look at the pictures of the pig, you will see that it is fluffy and has hair! how cute is that?!)

Anyway, this results in eating the “Kobe beef” of pigs with its creamier texture that just melts in your mouth.

I really wanted to try this place out for lunch but also did not want to drive downtown. My love for cured meats defeated my hatred for spending $17 on garages, so I took one for the team and made my way down to Trou Normand for a late lunch with my school partner in crime, Kristina.

The L-shaped space is completely airy with a nice mix of modern and traditional interior. This naked lady keeps an eye on the bar patrons and ensures that everyone is having a good time. Luckily for us, we missed the lunch rush and had almost the whole place to ourselves. I hear it gets extremely loud when it is all filled up and I did not feel like having a 80 decibel conversation. Since it was the middle of the day, we did not imbibe on any of their famous cocktails and I will have to go back to try one.

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Instead, we hydrated with this new-age cola ($4) that is fermented with ginger! It tasted nothing like a Coca-Cola but it hit the soda craving perfectly.

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With over 25 charcuterie options, we were conflicted on what to get and our waitress gave us a few recommendations based on our preferences. For the meats, we picked a rosemary salami ($6) made with white wine and garlic, ciccioli ($7) with black pepper and oregano, and a salami cotto ($6) with anise, chili and garlic. Everything was incredible and I was honestly sad that I do not have two stomachs to try more charcuterie. Next time I am choosing the guanciale and porcini salami along with the chefs selection.

We took all the cheeses they had ($11/each) and I cannot remember exactly what they are but I know from top to bottom it is a sheep milk bleu, camembert and the third is unknown.

Also, can we just take a minute and admire how beautiful this plate is? Salvatore Cracco does an amazing job putting everything together.

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Kristina is actually in Chile now with her husband but when we ate here about two weeks ago, she just came back from Peru doing volunteer work and even witnessed a live birth! She also had to be on an 72-hour IV after eating contaminated food but she is fully recovered and now has a story to tell in the future. 🙂

On a completely unrelated note, the backdrop is actually how I want my future home to be with exposed brick walls and a tufted leather sofa. We had an incredibly beautiful jade green sofa in my childhood home that looked similar to the one that is pictured below.

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Since we are future dietitians, we thought that this butter lettuce salad ($8) with croutons and buttermilk dressing would make up for all the saturated fat and sodium we were consuming. 😉 I can never complain about ordering a salad to make myself feel better.

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We also had a hankering for the pork ragu ($14) made with fresh tagliatelle and parmesan. It was soul soothing to have a big bowl of pasta and I ate pretty much 80% of it myself. Unlike Kristina, I have no idea what portion control means.

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We finished our perfect date with a Mission Pie ($8) slice a la mode and a cup of espresso. Mmm…the only thing that would have made it better was if there was enough for three days worth of left overs.

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Also, the title refers to a Patsy Cline song I was listening to in the beginning of this post. I am just too uncreative to think of another one for now. 🙂

Merci

I think I created a sensory overload in the last picture, so I will keep it short and sweet today.

I did not end up getting home until 12:30am on Sunday night and all the lights in the house were off. Fair enough, it is understandable that all my roommates were getting shut-eye in preparation for the first working day of the week. As I was walking upstairs, I realized something was fishy. I heard little noises that my ears were not use to.

Surprise! Everyone stayed up to sing me happy birthday! I was so tired from the long drive but the love from all my roommates woke me right up.

Thank you Taylor, for baking this delicious yellow cake with chocolate frosting!

(Jacq & Bailey, there was no white on white at the Lisbon household. Thank god).

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The next day, I saw a cute picture downstairs on our thought board. Damn right I am going to blog about it! I love you guys.

PS: We are running the Cosmic Run in two weeks. I am so excited, has anyone else heard about it?

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Taylor wanted to take me out to lunch after my O-Chem test and I obliged. We had a few places in mind and I am just starting to realize how little places are open during lunch. San Francisco, get your shit together.

After debating, we ended up at Chez Maman in Potrero Hill. I do not eat French cooking very often, so it sounded like a good idea.

Chez Maman is a skinny cozy spot with lovely vintage posters hanging on the wall.

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Our waiter was the most stereotypical Frenchman ever and I wanted to take him home with me. Not in that way, get your mind out the gutter. 😉

Tay and I decided to share everything and started off with a baked camembert with roasted garlic and toast points.

If you are a rookie food lover like me, you have to google camembert quickly and quietly on your iPhone to find out it is a soft, creamy, surface-ripened cow’s milk cheese.

The roasted garlic bulbs popped right out of the bulbs. It was a delightful appetizer.

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Next was a beef tartare, which is one of my favorite dishes to order at restaurants. Taylor never tried it before and did not take much convincing. I thought it was good but the dijon mustard was a little overwhelming. I will have to take her to Marlowe to get the best steak tartare on this side of the Mississippi.

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The flat iron steak was cooked great (medium-rare) with a side of green peppercorn sauce (the only steak dressing I like) and ratatouille (which I can pass on next time).

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Half way through the meal, Taylor flipped the switch on me and told me that this would not be counted as my birthday meal because no drinks were involved for a cheers. This means she is going to take me out again next week. I can not argue with her.

We split a crepe with bananas, nutella, fresh berries and creme fraiche.

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I have not had Nutella in so long and forgot how good it tastes. Can Nutella be our 6th (7th?) taste bud?

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I miss cooking but school has overwhelmed my life. The semester is wrapping up in a little over a month including a week off for Thanksgiving Break.

Fear not, I will go back to posting recipes next Wednesday. I have a delicious slow cooked meatball one coming up and another one I stole from my sister from when she lived in Spain.

Tomorrow, Abby is taking me out for a birthday dinner. I must be the luckiest girl in the world to have my birthday extended so far out. I also have not seen her in over a month, which has not happened since we became BFFs a few years ago. Where are we going to eat? Well that, my dear, will remain a mystery until a later time.

What vintage things are you into? (PS: Sister, we had a earthquake today and I was so nervous for your lamps!! I’m bringing them to your mom’s house ASAP so I am not liable for them!)

Favorite crepe combination? Mine would be nutella, strawberries and bananas. However…I did see a cinnamon and pear one today that caught my interest. Maybe next time.