SF Mission Food Tour with Negra Modelo and Rick Baylessfeatured

It’s easy for me to get stuck in my comfortable rut of favorite neighborhood spots, so when Negra Modelo invited me to join them on a food tour of the Mission district with Top Chef Master, James Beard award-winning, killer mustache brandishing, Mexican cuisine aficionado, Chef Rick Bayless I was game! The Mission is home to a vibrant Mexican community, and is therefore also home to a host of authentic culinary gems. We hit up three hometown favorites on our little food tour – learned a lot of food history, ate some killer carne asada, satisfied our sweet tooth, and of course, washed it all down with some great beer. Here’s a look at our day in the Mission:
SF Mission Food Tour with Negra Modelo and Rick Bayless

Photo Credit: Negra Modelo

We started out at a “Mexicatessen” that is known for making some of the finest tortillas in the city. This local treasure has been making them the same way since they opened their doors in 1953 – by hand, from scratch. Every day, starting at 2 am (!!!), they grind fresh masa. They start by cooking dry corn with an alkaline lime solution – this process is called nixtalmalization – which results in what’s called nixtamal. The nixtamal is then ground with a bit of water, which makes masa, the cornmeal dough that is used for tortillas and tamales. La Palma tortilla making // lickmyspoon.com I was enthralled with how fast these sweet ladies could pat those tortillas out. Apparently, each person can make about 20 dozen an hour! Whoa, mamacita. SF Mission Food Tour, La Palma // lickmyspoon.com And of course, we got to sample the goods. Here are some of the huaraches we tasted – the tortilla is stuffed with cheese and zucchini, then topped with juicy carne asada, cotija, and lettuce. SF Mission Food Tour, Belmar Lagallinita Meat Market // lickmyspoon.com Our bellies warm and full of goodness, we headed to our next stop, a meat market, where we met Salvador Vazquez. Salvador and his family have been running this meat market since 1965. Here he is, showing us a cut of “flap meat”. These days flap steak is a popular cut, but years ago, many American butchers relegated it to the meat grinder since it was mostly unknown outside of Mexico (where it was commonly used for carne asada). Salvador regaled us with a story of how this humble meat shop single handedly popularized the cut (i.e. he showed the cut to a guy from a big American meat processing company and the rest is flap meat history). SF Mission Food Tour, Belmar Lagallinita Meat Market // lickmyspoon.com Salvadore served up some carne asada, naturally. It was delish, but I couldn’t help but be totally distracted by this: SF Mission Food Tour, Belmar Lagallinita Meat Market // lickmyspoon.com Holy chicharrones. I’ll have to go back to sample those in the near future! SF Mission Food Tour, La Reyna Bakery // lickmyspoon.com Now for dessert! We headed to La Reyna Bakery, which has been operated by the Gutierrez Family since 1965. SF Mission Food Tour, La Reyna Bakery // lickmyspoon.com We met this third-generation baker, who gave us the scoop on the some of the panaderia’s most popular goodies – the bread pudding, pan dulce, cheesecake are all cult favorites. SF Mission Food Tour, La Reyna Bakery // lickmyspoon.com But I’m a sucker for sprinkles! SF Mission Food Tour, La Reyna Bakery // lickmyspoon.com After the bakery stop, I unfortunately had to head out, but from the looks of it, the blogger fun continued! The crew headed onward for more food and beer fun as the put Rick Bayless to work.
Rick Bayless, Negra Modelo // lickmyspoon.com

Photo Credit: Negra Modelo

I’m sad I missed out on Rick’s cooking with Negra Modelo demo, but thankfully, there was no shortage of talented food bloggers around to capture it all: Amy of Amy’s Healthy Baking Amy of Cooking with Amy Amy of Very Culinary Anita of Dessert First Annelies of The Food Poet Beth of OMG Yummy Cassie of Ever in Transit                                                                              Gabi of Brokeass Gourmet Irvin of Eat the Love                                                                                                      Jane of This Week for Dinner                                                                        Jasmine of Simply Real Moms                                                                      Kimberly of Bake Love Give                                                                                  Sara Deseran, food writer and restaurateur                                                                Sean of Hedonia & Punk Domestics TerriAnn of Cookies & Clogs Trish of Mom On Timeout
SF Mission Food Tour // lickmyspoon.com

Photo Credit: Negra Modelo

Thanks, Negra Modelo, for letting me play tourist in my own city! Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Negra Modelo, but all opinions stated are my own. Check out Negra Modelo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or follow #ThePerfectComplement for more ideas on how to pair Negra Modelo with food!

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