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Mexican chocolate ice cream with salted peanuts from Bi-Rite. It continues to be a favorite. What amazes me about the combo is that I don’t particularly like chocolate ice cream, but somehow with the salted peanuts I could easily and dangerously finish off a pint. We also tried malted vanilla with peanut brittle and milk chocolate pieces. I was nonplussed, but Hannah, my niece, loved it. — Lydia Chávez
Also from Bi-Rite Creamery, the cookies and cream ice cream is definitely worth a try. It may not sound that exotic, but it’s so good I’ve gone back for more. Claudia tried the Earl Grey ice cream and loved it; it’s like a cup of iced tea in a cone.
– Hélène Goupil
Banana chocolate chip scone at Four Barrel. It wasn’t the best scone I’ve ever had, but the banana flavor was surprising enough that I remember it. Served with a cup of coffee and enjoyed outside in the sun. — Hélène Goupil
Cassoulet at Sous Beurre Kitchen. The best thing about San Francisco weather is that this usually winter-only dish can be served all year long here. The sausages are made from scratch and the stew cooked slowly to perfection. — Hélène Goupil
Tacos at Tacolicious. I’ve now been back three times and can vouch for the fat and filling tacos, which are made with wonderfully thick tortillas from La Palma, but I can also tell you not to get the grilled mussels. (I notice now that they may be off the menu.) We also tried the shrimp with roasted tomato sauce — delicious. The waitress brought the grilled squid by accident and when we told her the mistake, she whisked it off our table and returned with the shrimp. Note to waitress: Once a dish is on the table, better to leave it. – Lydia Chávez
Pasta at Locanda. This continues to be my favorite Italian restaurant. For Geral’s birthday I had linguine with Dungeness crab, lettuce and sorrel. The crab tasted flat and I pushed it aside, but the linguine and its sauce — amazing. Lemony and rich. Mark and I think they haven’t quite got the cacio pepe down right — a pasta with sharp cheese and pepper still needs more pepper. But still, the fried artichoke, raw artichoke salad, and everything else, is pretty close to perfect. — Lydia Chávez