This past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend the 1st Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival in San Francisco, my all
time favorite U.S. City! Food Buzz organizers definitely weren’t exaggerating in the festival’s program stating that they packed about a year’s worth of food adventuring into 3 days. This was a whirl wind non-stop food tasting bonanza showcasing the region’s top local organic food purveyors.
Catching a few winks was no easy task in between the gustatory kaleidoscope of street food fare like Hog Island fresh shucked organic oysters, tasty chicarrones, wood-fired pizzas made in a mobile pizza oven, and Mission Minis gourmet cupcakes. Plenty of specialty cocktails along with local brews by Speakeasy and Thirsty Bear were on hand to wash it all down.
Next morning it was on to the huge Saturday farmers market at the Ferry Building with endless stalls brimming with fresh produce like sweet strawberries, pomegranate, nuts, 25 different varieties of mushrooms…the list goes on. Inside the recently refurbished Ferry Building, more delicacies like chocolates, baked goods, and olive oils to match any recipe jostled for attention and space. Taking advantage of liberally offered samples eventually took care of any lingering post breakfast hunger.
Then it was on to the Afternoon Taste Pavillion on the top floor of the Metreon overlooking Yuerba Buena Gardens, a fabulously diverse public space outfitted with an elaborate series of waterfalls commemorating Martin Luther King. Too many foods for the sampling to list here without devolving into a dull laundry list. But the mounds of Kerrygold cheeses straight from Ireland and wine glasses at the ready for sampling vintages by Black Stallion Winery, Ehlers Estate, Klinker Brick Winery, and Handley Cellars to name a few were my favorites. The crowning touch to the afternoon was attending Merlot is Back Baby, a highly in depth narrative tasting session lead by John Alder Yarrow, a master wine blogger and proprietor of Vinography.com. So a large jalapeno hot dog from Prather Ranch Meat Co., and a multitude of horsdeourves later, I seriously needed a pick-me-up before racing to board a bus an hour later for the dinner and blogger awards gala at Greenleaf Produce Warehouse.
Caffeine was imperative but only the best would do to extenuate this food orgy. Luckily, I didn’t have to look far,
stumbled upon it actually, right next to where I was staying at the Galleria Park Hotel. The shop was Bread and Cocoa and the coffee served was a Mr. Espresso blend. Mr. Espresso slow roasts each bean variety separately over an oak wood fire and only blends them afterward. They also avoid the convenience of flash roasting in which beans are cooled rapidly after roasting by spraying them with cold water. The resulting smooth smoky coffee I got was not only a perfect pick-me-up for continuing the evening revelry but was also the perfect complement to the bright misty San Francisco morning that greeted me when I awoke. The fog that rolled in from the bay during the evening had just begun to vaporize while the smoky oak on my palate helped it linger just a bit longer.
I was then able to forge ahead in my food buzzing to the Farewell Brunch at Restaurant Lulu….a lavish brunch made from locally sourced ingredients like produce from Frog Hollow Farm and a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar sponsored by San Francisco’s own SKYY vodka.