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Comfort Food in the Mission

As the second part of our series of guest food bloggers, 7x7 welcomes food stylist Katie Christ. Katie worked as Culinary Producer for the first season of Top Chef and in 2008, she won the first ever Food Network Challenge for food stylists. Tune in to get a taste of Katie's inspirations as she eats and drinks her way through our fair city.

After spending a cold, windy weekend in Chicago, I arrived back home sick as a pooch with whatever it is that’s going around. With nothing in my fridge but Champagne and condiments, what I really wanted was comfort food from my childhood. As a ‘grownup’, my palate and tastes are definitely more refined, but the little kid in me still thrives. Luckily, I live in the Mission District area within walking distance of a couple terrific places that offer some mighty fine sophisticated versions of my favorite childhood comfort food (okay, Pot de Pho is a little beyond walking, but I would definitely walk if I had to!).


Mission Beach Café
On Sunday nights, my grandparents used to take me to a little pot pie shop I thought was the best place on earth. I recall getting a note from Mission Beach Café recently about their new Pot Pie Sundays, so I dragged my struggling respiratory system down the block for some nutrients. Seriously, the crust is perfection and the insides are equally delectable. The roasted veggies were the ideal accompaniment and helped me feel a little better about eating the whole stinkin’ pie. As if that wasn’t enough, I also got a slice o’ chocolate cake that is clearly made with love. I couldn’t resist. The love even extends to your piggy bank on certain nights when the slice is on the house if you show up for the early bird special (I missed out on that part—darn!).

Coffee Bar
Still not feeling well a couple days later and with cabin fever setting in, I ventured over to Coffee Bar for a good ol’ fashioned pb & fig jam on toasted pullman bread. Just simple and satisfying. Luigi (one of the owners) drew me a lovely latte and topped it with a heart—aww!  The gorgeous light that fills the space, lofted mezzanine, good tunes and friendly, mellow vibe make it feel like home away from home.

Pot de Pho
I love nothing more than a good bowl of chicken soup when I’m under the weather. Since traveling to Vietnam, I’ve been on a mission to find a truly satisfying bowl of pho (pronounced fuh) and had just about given up. I must’ve passed Pot de Pho in the Richmond District a hundred times since it opened and registered it as simply a clever play on words. I now regret passing it by for so long. The deeply rich broth, organic housemade noodles and fragrant, fresh herbs will save me the airfare of a return trip to Vietnam.

Stable Café
Where’ve I been?! Clearly not paying attention as I carve my usual routes through the city. It’s a good thing I found Batter Bakery’s yummy treats last week, since my conversation with owner Jen Musty led me to the gem called Stable Cafe. The restored carriage house is an inviting space with great light and a carefully edited array of savory offerings. Despite the sunshine, I was still full tilt in comfort food mode. Their contemporary (and stylish!) take on Toad In a Hole served with brie, bacon and a farm fresh egg was divine. I’ll be back—often!