So – the rest of day 2. After P. convinced me that I shouldn’t miss an event I wanted to attend because of other people, I walked the 4 or 5 blocks over to the CityView at the Metreon, which seemed to me to be a multi-floor shopping mall. The walk was blissfully short, with very few to no hills – always a blessing when attempting a walk in San Francisco.
The view from the roof of the Metreon was pretty. I don’t know enough about San Francisco geography to tell you exactly what buildings you’re looking at, but I believe it is the Financial District.
When they finally let the lot of us loose, it was quite the free for all. Imagine 300 people in a single room all trying to get the same shot, with half of them reaching into your shot while they weren’t taking photos. And imagine this taking place in a room where there’s not much space to be able to comfortably maneuver. It was definitely a bit claustrophobic there, which is why I headed outside to the roof from time to time.
Other than the negative experiences I talked about before, there were things I liked about this event, and things I hated. The likes? I got to talk to some smaller producers face to face, got to try their stuff (although unless I order by mail it’s untenable for me to buy it regularly). The negatives? It was, in some ways, like one big commercial. I understand why they (Foodbuzz) bring big name sponsors on board (to be able to let Featured Publishers attend the conference for free), but it got a bit tiresome when the breakout sessions were “Fresh Express Salad” this or the brunch was “Nature’s Pride” that. Truthfully, I would have rather paid for admission to the conference than deal with the commercialism. Remember Woodstock 94, and how it was sponsored by Pepsi? There’s a reason not many people remember it, but do remember Woodstock 69 – the first was an organic gathering that let the participants determine the vibe and flow, the other was a corporate sponsored joke planned to the gills to satisfy the stakeholders. Not saying that the Foodbuzz conference is/was a joke, but just putting it out there that I’m not the only one who feels this way.
That being said, there were some goodies to be had – like yummy sausages and salamis from Saags. They had some of this in the swag bag that I had noshed on after I got to the hotel on Friday afternoon. Good stuff.
And yum, more of those delicious Warren Pears from Frog Hollow Farm.
And I’ll never turn down a piece of cheese.
Alexia had onion rings and sweet potato fries. The fries were definitely not my thing, and the onion rings weren’t bad, although I’ve had much better.
Probably one of the best things I had there was this mushroom soup. Unsure of which restaurant made this, although one of the other attendees reading this may know. Anyone? Bueller?
Prather Ranch Meats were handing out Bockwurst with sauerkraut and mustard. Again, good stuff.
A closer view:
I’ve got to say, I mostly abstained from eating cupcakes during this weekend, but this Swiss Almond Cupcake from Mission Minis was the bomb.
One of my favorite things I tried during this event was the salad beets from Pick-a-Peck. They were delicious. Unlike most pickled beets which are too sweet, these are just right. Just a little sweet and very tangy. This would be one thing that I would consider ordering mail order.
I was so not impressed by the Frisee Salad at the Fresh Express stand, but that could just be that I can’t eat frisee without choking on it (not taste, just the way it feels going down).
The Tyler Florence stand had a squash soup with herbed shortbreads. Yum, wish they’d give the recipe for this.
I’m not a fan of nori, but really enjoyed this nori salt – it was fantastic on tomatoes that were tossed in olive oil.
Definitely enjoyed the salt and pepper pistachios, even though pistachios are something I usually cook with rather than eating out of hand.
Tried this Inna Jam raspberry jam, which I thought also had jalapeno in it, but based on taste, I don’t think they did. Still, an excellent tasting raspberry jam.
You all know I can’t resist chocolate with sea salt…
This brittle from PopCandy is very addictive.
One of the vendors had made a chile gazpacho with shrimp which was a little too spicy for my tastes. But pretty presentation.
There were a couple of other booths (the Alaska Seafood make your own fish tacos being one of them), but the lines were so outrageous that I wanted to get out of there.
I skipped out on the Gala dinner on Day 2 for reasons given in another entry, so I think my dinner in my hotel room of farmers market purchases was just as satisfying. Definitely feeling sleep deprived, I decided to get a good night’s sleep in preparation for travel the next day.
Next Up: My final eats in San Francisco, why you should never eat airport food, and my retrospective look at the Foodbuzz conference.