This post is based on my latest article for SFist in which I eat my way around the Bay Area in alphabetical order.
You may have noticed that my alphabetic journey around the restaurants of San Francisco has missed out the letter V. The closest I came to V last week was when my friend and potential dining partner, Penny, was stuck at home with Victory V throat lozenges and Vick's Vapour Rub. That's my excuse, during the season of snuffles and sickness, for skipping forward straight to the letter W and a place that sounds as if it will cure all ills, The Warming Hut.
You have all heard of stay-at-home-moms. right? A visit to The Warming Hut will expose their existance as a myth. In fact, the moms aren't at home at all. Instead they are hanging out in a beautiful stretch of San Francisco, right at the end of Crissy Fields, where the Bay waters gently lap up against a sandy little beach. A backdrop of The Golden Gate Bridge completes this idyllic postcard view and I wonder exactly why I wasn't even aware of the existance of this outpost of calm until a few of weeks ago. (Thanks for the tip, Amy!)
The Warming Hut takes an admirable stand. It sells itself as a model of environmental sustainability that is reflected not only in the freshly prepared food, but also by the items that are sold in the little shop attached to the cafe. Biodegrable soaps and honey made from local bees are things that you might not be able to resist dropping into your shopping basket. The building itself was even renovated using "green" products like recycled-denim cotton wall insulation, formaldehyde-free cabinetry.
The Warming Hut's menu is not one that will hold up well to regular visits. The salad special only changes once a month and the mainstay sandwiches number only three main choices which do include a vegetarian option. There is a daily soup special and an extra sandwich choice too, like the grilled, artisinal smoked Gouda and Niman Ranch ham on walnut bread I sampled on my last trip.
The food, although it has its heart in the right place, isn't spectacular enough in itself to draw the crowds. (I suspect it is the location that does that.) But even if you feel you are paying a little more than you should do for a self-service snack, when you take your lunch outside to feast on the view from a picnic table, you at least might feel a little warmer from knowing you have done your bit to support the Crissy Fields Center who benefit from The Warming Hut's proceeeds.
Weight loss, weightwatchers and diet notes:
23 19.5 17.5 17.0 15.0 14.0
Much as I am enjoying seeing the pounds fall off, today is a slightly unsettling Weightwatchers day for me. WW give you a daily number of points to eat based on your weight. Unfortunately, as you lose weight you become smaller and therefore (at somepoint, like today) it is determined you need to eat even less to keep on losing weight. In real terms this means my 22 points food allowance drops to just 20 today. Perhaps this will be the incentive I need to get out and do a bit more exercise. (Exercising earns extra eating points).
Archive Alert! On this date in 2005: Jammy Vodka - Hangar One wins an award from me in the First Annual Independent Food Festival