Ti for Two (Ti Couz -- San Francisco, CA)
When I was in college on the east coast, and dating my darling hubby, he spent a summer working here in SF. He called me on the phone one night and the conversation went a little something like this:
HIM: We're going to some crepe place after work.
HIM: Yeah, weird, I know.
Ah, the ignorance of youth. Neither one of us could fathom that there could be an entire restaurant devoted to crepes outside of France. We were stupid fucking idiots, because the restaurant in question was Ti Couz. It's pure dumb luck that it's the first crepe restaurant either of us ate at, as we could have had a totally crappy experience at some other so-called crepe joint. Instead, I got a midnight phone call after Jon's first visit, gushing about the deliciousness of it all.
So when I finally moved to SF in 1998, I begged to go there. Every day. Until we'd been here about a month and we finally went. Considering we could walk there, there was really just no excuse for not going sooner.
So seven years later, I think I've been about 3700 times. Here are a few of my favorite things:
The Citron Presse. That's French for make your own lemonade. You get a glass with lemon concentrate, a bottle of sugar water and a carafe of regular water. You can mix at will. You can also make it last a really long time if you want to. We have one friend who goes through an entire bottle of sugar water during a visit. Ew.
The Salads. I'm partial to the simple green salad with organic greens, but I have known people to take BART from their downtown offices just to get the seafood salad for lunch.
The cheese plate or the cheese/meat plate. It's always changing but no matter what you get, it goes great with their crusty bread.
Any crepe at all, but I'm partial to a few in particular. The "Complete" (pronounced com-plet). It's got an egg (scrambled or sunny side up), cheese (gruyere) and ham. Very traditionally French. I also like the mushroom, cheese and almonds and the shrimp and mushroom. Jon loves the scallop and tomato and the "Totale" is also very popular, with tomatoes, cheese and mushrooms. All of these come in a buckwheat crepe, and all but the Complete have a tasty sauce (seafood, mushroom, etc.).
And then there's desserts. Their dessert crepes are made with white flour (as opposed to buckwheat) and get a nice artery clogging swipe of butter. Almost all of them come with a fatty bo batty wallop of chantilly cream as well. We had a special a few years ago that involved coffee ice cream, chocolate and almonds and it's pretty much all we order. But when I CAN tear myself away from that climax inducing treat, I'll go for one with berries, or just lemon and sugar. Their Crepe Suzette ain't too shabby either.
The only complaint I have about Ti Couz is that I can never figure out when the hell they are open. They change their hours so damn often, that I need a flow chart to keep track. And I hate it when my tricks are fickle.
During the one year that Jon and I spent Christmas in SF, we went to Ti Couz for lunch on Christmas Eve. And despite the fact that our friends and families were elsewhere and that it was just the two of us, it felt more like Christmas than ever. And even though I can't figure out when they are open, they get mad props for working a day that most people have off and for doing it with such love and good cheer (really, they rock). It was the best Christmas Eve meal we've ever had (as opposed to the Midwestern eats we're usually subjected to in Minnesota -- where neither of us has ever lived by the way. Jon's family really likes their traditions).
I think the best testament to Ti Couz is this: Our friends, Ben and Corinne are Parisian. They lived here in SF for awhile. The only French restaurant they could stand to eat at was Ti Couz. Three times a week.
"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld