I'm sure that all good and responsible bloggers have already posted a FoodBuzz Eat-a-Thon recap, so now is the perfect time for us slow, lazy or otherwise engaged bloggers to step up and write a post. I was without Internet service after I sobered up and then I was too busy playing to write. Anybody who reads me knows I try to post about 5 times a week, I rarely (NEVER!!) go this long. I feel guilty but I was on vacation. I think my head is screwed on straight now and I am actually ready to write coherently and cook too. Wha???
But first, first a weekend recap. The weekend started Friday at 5 pm with a great rooftop cocktail party right at the end of Mission street under the bay bridge at Hotel Vitale. The first meeting of bunch of people who write instead of talk was made much better by free flowing drinks. I mean seriously I need a couple hours of writing and editing to sound coherent and even then I don't always make sense. Free drinks loosened us all up, made us chatty, able to laugh at each others jokes and likewise make jokes. FoodBuzz you nailed it with free drinks to start us off. What the free drinks were I don't remember I was too happy enjoying them but they were beer and something fancy.
Then we rolled on down to the Ferry Building to a feast of feasts. The BEST street vendors from San Francisco were there to feed us crazy happy food bloggers. RoliRoti rocked everybody with their kickass porchetta sandwiches and roasted potatoes. Fresh organic oysters shucked just for you by Hog Island Oyster Co. Raw vegan 'cheesecake' (ahhhhh dying and going to heaven) by Alive! More beer from Thirsty Bear, SALUD! Lets see there was pizza I missed it, too full. I did not miss the Mission Minis Cupcakes, oh man they were so good Janet and I split 3 or 4 of them. I don't think I ate anymore food, the porchetta was just so good and huge too! I rolled on to the f-line and was back at our very nice and affordable hotel, the Pickwick before I knew it. I hit the hay early because I had an early session the next day.
For some insane reason Janet and I (OK I) decided the 9 AM farm to table discussion would be a great way to start Saturday. It was but dang that was so early. Thankfully Janet was awesome enough to order me an Americano from Blue Bottle coffee. I have never had such a great cup of coffee! We had an amazing morning session with Paul Arnestam from The Hotel Vitale's restaurant Americano and Brian Kenny from Hearst Ranch. The discussion was centered around raising ethical beef and the ability to sell a whole cow rather than just the prime cuts. I enjoyed the small group setting and the discussions points everyone brought up. We headed back to the ferry building to do a bit of strolling. I bought some cheese and bread for our trip to the hostel.
We freshened up and rested a bit before heading over to the Metreon for a mega tasting event and a wine tasting. So much food. I never thought I would say that in my life but there it is. There was so much food and I swear I did not get to all of it, though I did give it the ol' college try. We were given a wine glass or pilsner glass upon entry and a swag bag then we were set loose. I didn't even know where to look first. We poked around and tried some hot sauce, some cookies and then found the beer(yay!). After a good drink and a look around we decided to really get down to work. We tried: 479 Popcorn, many many Foodzie treats(most notably “My husbands Nuts” and Lavender Shortbread), Kerrygold cheeses (my favorite being Dubliner but it already was, so so so good) and butter, Recchiuti chocolates and chocolate covered hazelnuts, More Mission Minis (can you ever get enough?) and Frog Hollow Farms. Again I want to say the stand out beers were by Magnolia while others were grooving on the chocolate and watermelon beer. I am more of beer purist, I want my beer to taste like beer not fruity but everyone else seemed to love the flavored beer. At some point we realized our sparkling wine tasting was about to happen so off we went to drink a bit more. While there the moderator asked who traveled the farthest and Janet started waving my arm around and I wanted to climb under the table, I like attention but on my own terms, everyone turned to stare and all I could do was blush and mutter about being from Alaska. Still a dork some things never change!
During the wine tasting we had 4 glasses of wine, I seriously KNOW my limitations and while others had no problem knocking back all 4 glasses of wine I sipped each one and really tried to taste them. Since I don't LIKE wine it was quite an adventure trying to find things I like about the different varieties but I tried and actually discovered not all wines suck. Hunh. Then the coolest thing happened a huge blimp went right behind the guy who was talking, OK yes it was outside flying by and went behind him but it was still cool. I had to snap a picture of it because I had never seen one before. After the wine tasting we still had 2 more hours of tasting. We pretty much hung out, sipped drinks, snacked and visited until the place was closing down. I gathered up a few more samples. When the vendors found out I was going to a hostel for a few days with my family they literally loaded me down. I had several bags of “My Husband's Nuts”, a huge bag of Mezzetta goodies olives, pesto and sweet peppers plus artichoke sauce. Then Frog Hollow Farm got in on the act and gave me more granola, dried peaches, honey and apricot preserves. I took all my goodies to the hostel and we ate very well, a few made it home with me too! I left with 4 bags of swaggy goodies and a box of 4 wine goblets which were being handed out at the door. Thankfully my awesome hotel was a block away and Janet and I made it safely without losing or dropping anything. We rested again for a short bit and then it was on to the Outstanding in the Field Dinner.
The dinner was held at a local produce warehouse, Greenleaf Warehouse. After a swaying bus ride in which certain foods and drinks started to feel disagreeable in my stomach the cool refreshing warehouse was welcome relief. I passed on more wine by Bonny Doon Winery but from everyone I heard it was excellent wine. Dinner was served at a long winding table set for 250 people, it snaked through the warehouse and looked so amazing. Each course was paired with more wine but I though my best bet was to simply drink water and try each course as they were served.
We started with a platter of pickles and kimchee and a huge basket of crunchy shrimp chips. The next course was a fantastic soup made by pouring hot broth over fresh mushrooms, simple and delicious. After that was an udon dish with a spicy dressing and whole grilled calamari(whoa!) Tracy of shutterbean claimed to be a fan so I handed over a pretty big calamari to her, she said it was a bit hard to eat because it was so big. The next dish seemed to cause a lot of confusion because the menu said sea trout but the server said it was salmon and having eaten a fair amount of salmon I would have to say I don't know what the hell it was. It was huge fillets and it was orange, not typical of any trout I have caught or eaten but sea trout is a different beast. Mushroom risotto was up next, it was good but it didn't stand out to me. The last 2 dishes were the standouts for me, beef cheeks and oxtails with potatoes and carrots and roasted brussel sprouts tossed in ponzu and topped with bonito flakes. I love brussel sprouts and these were top notch, possibly the best I have ever eaten. Dessert was meh, rice pudding with fruit and cookie crumbs. I don't know, it seemed like a let down but so many people were raving I guess I learned that I am just not a fan of rice pudding. I was feeling better about this time, just in time for the FoodBuzz awards. I don't know who won what really except that a new friend Joy the Baker won for best baking blog and another new friend John won for best video blog. Way to go! The prizes were great I heard, Le Creuset and other goodies. We took another swaying bus ride back to the Hotel Vitale and then proceeded to have a few drinks quite sedately in the bar. Seriously. I will not say more. Shut up.
The next morning I woke up with my own hand print on my cheek. I slept so hard I guess. Thankfully I was up early enough for it to wear off before the final event at LuLu's, brunch with a bloody mary bar. I skipped any booze and headed straight for water and coffee. After several cups of each I felt like I could smile and maybe even eat, although I should have passed on the eating and drank more coffee. I visited with Linda- A Scoop at a Time, Erika-In Erika's Kitchen, Janet-Pretty Green Girl, Susan-Local Lemons and Lindsay-Life with Lindsay. In no time at all I was whisked away by my husband and boy-os to the museum and on to Pigeon Point Lighthouse. What a weekend, what a weekend.
Here is a list of facsinating bloggers I met, incomplete I'm sure but none the less here it is:
ChezUs-fantasically funny couple
Joel from 6x10 Tiny Kitchen
John from Food Wishes
Joy the Baker
Tracy from Shutterbean
Susan of Local Lemons
Kelly from Evil Shenanigans
Natalie of Life is a Feast
Patricia from Brownies for Dinner
plus everyone I mentioned above!