Welcome San Francisco!
Last weekend, I participated in a food bloggers festival organized by Foodbuzz. I can’t deny that I certainly enjoyed having them as sponsors and participating in this festival was interesting in its own ways. I wanted to attend last year’s festival; however, due to work scheduling conflict (which resulted me in going to New Jersey), I couldn’t attend. It certainly didn’t help when Sherman “bragged” about it. *Shakes fist!!!* So, for this year, as soon as I received the email confirming the days of the event, I booked those days off. I won’t be denied this time! There were a lot of events and I ended up attending a couple of them; however, the ones that probably might entice more to people are the Street Food event, the topic of today’s post, and the dinner gala, which will be the topic of next week Sunday! Of course, I was there for the weekend and I can guarantee your there will be other posts, hehehehe. So, without further ado…!
The event was setup at an undisclosed location (yeah, right… ). OK, it was in a warehouse which created some real challenges: namely, I won’t be able to effectively use a flash. >_< Not so good illumination and not being able to effectively use the flash = not so good pictures… Moving on…
Where we were greeted at the entrance by some porchetta! Hmmmmm…. Pork…!
Given the majority of participants were female, you bet there will be lots of cupcakes…
At the tables, this center piece. I didn’t try any of these.
There was a gift exchange and, in my case, I got this bag of mud (?) salt courtesy of No Recipes. In my case, I gave away a bottle of BC VQA wine.
After speeches and what not, it was time to hit the carts! If you know me by now, you should know that I would certainly hit this first!
Porchetta sandwich from Roli Roti. To put it bluntly, this puts Meat and Bread to shame. Sorry guys, Meat and Bread is good for what it is in Vancouver but this is even better. Some (namely, Mijune who was with us there) might argue the bread was too thick but I thought it was good for this type of sandwich. The potatoes were OK, since it soaked the drippings from the pork but, c’mon, porchetta all the way!
Real Korean tacos from Namu. Unlike the ones served here, these use no tortilla flour; instead, it relies on the seaweed to hold the “filling”. It was interesting in its own ways but, otherwise, there seemed to be something *missing*. Also, the fact the seaweed was a bit chewy didn’t help (though, it could be also because they didn’t want it to be toasted and too brittle so it couldn’t hold the filling).
Tacos (pork and beef) from Tacolicious. If I were to put things in perspective, it had a lot more meat “filling” than the ones I am used to; however, the pork ones was slightly dry (which I thought it was odd). The beef one (short rib) was better but, otherwise, it was OK. Probably my bias against Mexican food?
“Mind your Tongue” (?) food “truck” (it was more of a large bus). In this case, Viking gumbo and vegetarian paella. Of course, we were wondering if vikings actually had gumbo or how well you could make a paella into a vegetarian dish. Anyway, in both cases, if we stuck with original intent/description of the dish, it was OK; however, for what was served, I thought was good in its own ways. I know this sounds contradicting so let me put it this way: no okra, the rice was mixed in and so on. However, as a rice dish, the gumbo had nice ratio of meat (sausage, seafood) and well seasoned so kudos for that.
Pizza from Pizza Politana, which included a wood burning oven! I will have to admit the pizza had really good qualities of its own (thin, crispy, good ingredients); however… It was just pizza? They brought two versions, a vegetarian and a meat version by adding some really thin sliced prosciutto (?). Sorry, despite it was good, it wish there was something more.
Fried pork served on a brioche-like bun from 4505 Meats. The individual ingredients were fine; however, together as a sandwich it was a fail. The brioche-like bun was extremely soft to the point it didn’t really hold the pork loin. The pork loin was good by itself; with the other components, it lost a bit of their taste. I could keep on going but… Nah… >_<
Top down, braised lamb cheek sandwich, escargot puff lollipop and New England lobster cappuccino, all from Spencer on the Go (or its flagship restaurant Chez Spencer). If there was a food cart that sort of failed, it would have been this one. The reason is that all the food felt short. The sandwich was the best of the three but felt short compared to the others. The escargot lollipop was overwhelmed by the puff pastry and the sauce didn’t really help. Finally, the lobster cappuccino was a bit bland and thin. OK, it is not a bisque but, regardless, it felt short.
Indian style wraps from Curry Up Now. I had mixed feelings about this: I guess piggybacking on the Mexican hype, they provided the “burritos” with some Indian flare but using spices meats and/or paneer. The result was a spicy feeling but, otherwise, it didn’t feel too exciting.
There were a couple of more food stands – an ice cream and a beer one but pictures didn’t turn out well and wasn’t in mood for booze. Overall, most of the food cart concepts were interesting, just that the execution was mixed. Then again, I must keep in mind this is a catered event so it might still not provide a true representation of their potential. Overall, I had fun with the event so I don’t think I should be complaining too much!
To close this post, I will be changing the next couple of weeks post schedule to Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday – all of these from San Francisco. These posts will include San Francisco fare ranging from burgers, a “well known” local dish, dim sum (in a dive out of all places), through the Tenderloin and a visit to a celebrity chef restaurant! So, so you on these days!