Foodbuzz Blogger Festival Mixer & Street Food

Alright, after posts on Showdogs and The Burger Bar, you might be wondering why I'm in San Francisco. I do have quite a few relatives in the Bay Area and I do visit every 3 years or so; but the main reason was due to the 1st ever Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. For featured publishers, all the programming food and booze was comped. The only catch was that we needed to arrange our own airfare and accommodations. I originally hesitated on attending; but my inner foodie overtook me and in no time, I was booking my airfare and hotel. Thank goodness I have an understanding wife because I actually extended my stay by 3 days to visit my relatives.

The day I left for San Fran didn't start off very well though. I found out that my flight had been delayed by 30 minutes (cutting into my eating time!). However, the actual plane was a treat. Apparently, it was the chartered tour plane for U2; thus all the seating was business class! Score! The fun all ended when I arrived at SFO, the BART was shut down due to some moron on the tracks. I had to resort to taking a shuttle instead which wasted another hour of my time. By the time I got to the hotel, it was 1:00pm - I was supposed to arrive at 10:45am! Being very hungry, I decided to grab something quick. One problem, it was pouring rain and I had left my umbrella at home after seeing the weather reports saying otherwise. Thus, I walked a good 20 minutes for a hot dog in the rain. I'm committed or I should be committed.

Thankfully, the rain subsided for our 8th floor rooftop soiree at the Hotel Vitale. Although, it was a bit chilly despite the heaters. There were fantastic views of the Bay Bridge and the Ferry Building. It was nice to mingle with fellow bloggers and Foodbuzz staff. Skyy Vodka was available (score!) and I ended up trying the Autumn Apple cocktail. It was pretty balanced, not being too sweet; yet not overly strong either. Michelle Mah of Midi prepared the Pork Rillettes Crostini and Gruyere, Bacon & Marscapone Gougeres for us to sample. Plus, Eddie Blyden of Henry's presented his Angry Mac 'n Cheese Poppers. I liked the crostini, it was crunchy with plenty of meat. I just didn't like the pickled onions on top. They were a bit overwhelming. I really didn't like the Gougeres. The texture was way too dry and the filling was overwhelmed by bacon (and I love bacon!). However, I really liked the mac 'n cheese. Infused with a spicy kick, it was a fine departure from the usual.

After awhile, we noticed people were heading over to the Ferry Building for the "street food" tasting. A closed off section was open only for us to sample items from an impressive array of vendors. The first thing to greet us was Speakeasy Beer. I didn't actually get to try the beer; but everyone seemed quite happy with it or was it they were happy because of it? Before I even got a chance to head over to a vendor, someone from 4505 Meats brought over some Chicharrones. That was a welcomed sight! Perfectly crisp pork rinds that were airy and flavourful. There was a nice kick at the end. Starting with dessert first, I tried the Pink Grapefruit mini cupcake from Mission Minis. Light and not too sweet, these minis were the perfect one-bite snack. Then heading over to where the crowd was, I had a very tasty Braised Shortrib Soft Taco from Tacolicious. I gotta tell you, this was one yummy taco with tender short rib and choice of sauces. I could've eaten many more of these. The biggest lineup of all was at Roli Roti. They were serving "Mini" Rotisserie Porchetta on an Acme Roll with curly cress and onion marmalade. The fatty pork was absolutely divine. Chomping down on the sandwich revealed crunchy treasures of which can only come from a pig. The Rosemary Roasted French Fingerling Potatoes were cooked directly below the rotisserie pork and its drippings. Believe me, they were very good. However, I wasn't fond of the roll, it was a bit hard and every bite forced the pork to slide out of the sandwich.

I love oysters and when I saw that Hog Island Oyster Co. were shucking fresh ones, I was all over it. A little squeeze of lime, some vinegar and Tabasco, it was buttery sweet and flavourful. What a treat! Directly to the right was Pie Truck serving up a Gruyere and Meat Pie. Hot, flaky and bursting with meat, these little pies were sinful. Finished yet? No, there is more! Extremely thin crust pizza from Pizza Politana was waiting at the very end of the hall. Consisting of eggplant, olives, feta and parsley, this pizza was very easy to eat. I would've preferred a less limpy crust, but I guess it's difficult to cook in such mass quantities at this venue. Nearing the end, I gave the Fungi Vol au Vent from Spencer on the Go a try. There was plenty of delicious mushrooms in a rich cream sauce over hollowed-out puff pastry. Mercifully, I ended up at the last vendor, which was actually near the entrance (go figure), Straus Family Creamery for some Coffee Ice Cream. Rich and not too sweet, the ice cream was pretty good. The coffee flavour was a bit understated which I prefer since I'm not a big coffee drinker. Boy was I stuffed, an impressive event organized by Foodbuzz spoiled us all. Now would you believe I was headed to Absinthe after this???

RoliRoti on UrbanspoonTacolicious on UrbanspoonMission Minis on UrbanspoonPizza Politana on Urbanspoon

7 comments:

holly said...

Oh my, that was a lot of "tastes" you lucky blogger. Can I come next time? I'll take notes while you eat. Sure.

Sherman said...

Yes, it was a treat for sure! Holly, you seem to know your food... Start a "blog" and you can come next year!

KimHo said...

Glad you are posting this, after some of us decided not to go (due to other commitment) or in the end couldn't go (due to, ahem, accidents)!

Now, I was told that, aside from food, there was a quite interesting statistic! :)

Sherman said...

Yup Kim, statistics indeed! ;)

trisha said...

wow, those kinds of events only happen in my dreams. i would start my own food blog but the broke university student thing would make for a very boring read. mmm... oysters...

Kevin said...

You make me green with envy.

Darn school....

Sherman said...

trisha, do it, do the blog, you won't regret it...

Kev, next year... you MUST go. I had a blast.