Monday, October 11, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO: GLUTEN-FREE PICA PICA MAIZE KITCHEN

BLOGHER FOOD '10
The chance to receive a $500 gift certificate from Chefs Catalog if I'd won the Blogher treasure hunt at the Ferry Building? Or the definite opportunity to have lunch with a bunch of gluten-free bloggers I've always wanted to get to know? The bloggers triumphed, and I'm glad they did. It was a great idea for all of us to hop on BART for a short ride to the Mission district for an inexpensive lunch at Pica Pica Maize Kitchen. I'd had a peek at the area a couple of days before (see Gracias Madre) and wanted more time there--another reason I was happy to join this group.
Even the BART stop with its ironwork mimicking Mexican cut paper designs was special. A glimpse of a palm tree over an evil-looking fence, a thrift shop where items were sold by the pound, I never would have seen any of these at the Ferry Building (and anyway, I've never won ANYTHING!!) I could spend days photographing the Mission District.
I've never seen a more beautiful use of succulents than at Pica Pica, where they are the best part of the sign---but you've got to look up, these plants were 15 feet above ground! Inside, crisp clean color and design, and there's plenty of natural light in this corner eatery. Service was friendly and fast, especially considering how quickly we descended en masse on the Pica Pica staff. Lots to eat for vegetarians or carnivores, and everything gluten-free due to the use of corn flours to the exclusion of any others. Arepas, empanadas, soups, salads, yucca fries, platanos maduros with queso fresco and even cookies filled with coconut and dulce de leche.
Pica Pica is a fine spot for a moneysaving lunch for the gluten-free and glutenous alike. Loved it!

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