the wait of monte cristo

on sunday i finished my month long de-tox challenge. it was such a good experience in self-control, savoring, habit-making and diligence. i am pretty proud of myself that for twenty-eight days i went without gluten, sugar, dairy, most meat and any processed food (plus many other things in the first weeks), and stuck to my meal plan with no exceptions.

the truth is that every one of those twenty-eight days i was thinking about one celebratory meal: the monte cristo sandwich from mama’s cafe in san francisco. the monte cristo is like a very, very good dream in food form. it’s ham, cheese and turkey on amazing homemade bread, egg-battered and grilled, and dusted in powdered sugar, to be dipped in fresh raspberry jam. yes. it’s the most incredible combination of sweet and savory – it’s oozy and pillowy and lip-smackingly luscious.

on wednesday morning kelsey and i got us a monte cristo at mama’s. and it was every bit as delectable as i’d imagined it all those gluten/dairy/sugar-free twenty-eight days.

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also, being in north beach on a cloudy wednesday morning was just lovely. people walking to work up and down hills, people doing tai-chi in washington square park, the smell of bakeries and buses. oh, i love the city.


  1. We're going there this weekend! I'm hoping we can take the cable car up from Powell. So excited. I haven't been since I went with my brothers in November; we went on a Wednesday morning too :)

  2. Though I look absolutely terrifying in this picture, between the opera, Mama's, and your beautiful face, that was seriously some of the best 24 hours of my life.

  3. Oh wow! Do I wish I had been with you (not for the diet but for the celebration)! Where is a hotel close to this place so we can celebrate together?

  4. You smile is beautiful!!!


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