As we read round-up after round-up of the past year, it’s natural to reflect on our own year and ponder its moments, its lessons, its greatest hits.

The most fun I’ve had in ages? Recapping 2014 and realizing it was a year that, yes, of many adventures in travel…but perhaps the greater theme of the year is the meals those travels took me to.

Now perhaps this makes me strange, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned this year it’s that you can’t go wrong staying true to your authentic self (yes, even on the Internet.)  So while you may reminisce about milestones, achievements, or journeys — I can’t help but sum up my year with the meals that shaped it.

It very well may be that many of my personal journeys revolve around food — like my resolve to choose a destination and do little more than eat and drink there (as I did in New Orleans this year,) or my decision to create a home base in San Francisco (  Or maybe it’s just that food, more than the meal itself, marks moments of true joy shared with others, and of experiences that flawlessly reflect a specific time and place.  Have you ever felt this way about truly great meals?

Without further adieu…the 14 best meals of 2014.

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Also known as: scouring your new home for noodles that closely resemble your favorite foods from traveling.

You know what’s boring?

Hearing about someone else’s food tour, seeing the photos, and not being able to eat the food yourself.  It’s why I can’t watch the Food Network when I’m hungry.

So, instead I’m going to tell you what’s not boring: Oakland.

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“New Orleans is unlike any city in America. Its cultural diversity is woven into the food, the music, the architecture – even the local superstitions. It’s a sensory experience on all levels and there’s a story lurking around every corner.” 

Hey, you!  Listen.

What’s that sound?

Is it:

a) a light jazz band playing soulfully in the streets

b) you, weeping because NOLA food is so amazing and you’re not there right now

or c) my stomach growling

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If I told you that food wasn’t one of the primary reasons I wanted to move to San Francisco, that would be a big, fat LIE.

Ever since I knew I would be calling the city my full-time home, I’ve been collecting food and drink tips from anyone and everyone.  I’m not really sure where half these recommendations originated, but I know that my list is solid — and still growing.

I wanted to share the list with you here, half un-selfishly and half selfishly (full disclosure.)

First, I hope it will serve as a San Francisco food resource — for those of you traveling to the city, and even for some of you who live here.  I am only going to continue to update and add to it.  You have my commitment that I will be feverishly testing out these fine establishments, in the interest of serving my readers.  (I love my job.)

Second, I hope that you will help me continue to discover the pockets of culinary amazingness and everything else this grand city has to offer.  (That’s my plea for your suggestions.)

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 One of the greatest ways I keep a connection to my travels is through cooking.  In this new series, “View from My Plate,” I’ll be sharing the encounters with global food that occur both on my travels and in my kitchen.

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Is there anything more French than crêpes? Maybe. They’re called galettes. And I have a savory, buckwheat galettes recipe for you!

Galettes 1

Originating in the Bretagne (Brittany) region by the coast, these savory crêpe-like (but not crêpe!) wonders were only just introduced to me by a French friend in her home kitchen on my last visit to Paris.

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