San Francisco: Day 2, Part 2

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.

SFO Day 2: View of the San Francisco Skyline from the Roof of the Metreon

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.

SFO Day 2: Saag's Meats

And yum, more of those delicious Warren Pears from Frog Hollow Farm.

SFO Day 2: Pears from Frog Hollow Farms

And I’ll never turn down a piece of cheese.

SFO Day 2: 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.

SFO Day 2: Alexia Onion Rings & Sweet Potato Fries

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?

SFO Day 2: Chanterelle Soup

Prather Ranch Meats were handing out Bockwurst with sauerkraut and mustard. Again, good stuff.

SFO Day 2: Prather Ranch Meats

A closer view:

SFO Day 2: Bockwurst

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.

SFO Day 2: Swiss Almond Cupcake from Mission Minis

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.

SFO Day 2: Various Pick-a-Peck Pickled Veggies

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).

SFO Day 2: Fresh Express Frisee Salad

The Tyler Florence stand had a squash soup with herbed shortbreads. Yum, wish they’d give the recipe for this.

SFO Day 2: Squash Soup with Herbed Shortbread

I’m not a fan of nori, but really enjoyed this nori salt – it was fantastic on tomatoes that were tossed in olive oil.

SFO Day 2: Nori Salt on Tomatoes

Definitely enjoyed the salt and pepper pistachios, even though pistachios are something I usually cook with rather than eating out of hand.

SFO Day 2: Various Pistachios

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.

SFO Day 2: Inna Jam

You all know I can’t resist chocolate with sea salt…

SFO Day 2: Chocolate Tasting

This brittle from PopCandy is very addictive.

SFO Day 2: Various Brittles

One of the vendors had made a chile gazpacho with shrimp which was a little too spicy for my tastes. But pretty presentation.

SFO Day 2: Chile Gazpacho with Shrimp

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.

4 thoughts on “San Francisco: Day 2, Part 2

  1. Andrea (OffHerCork)

    The tasting pavillon is one of the worst concepts ever. It's just total chaos. The first year it was mostly sweets, which I don't eat really. I had no desire to spend a whole afternoon drinking wine, eating chocolate, and cupcakes. While that may sound fun to some, dang give me some substantial food! This chick loves to eat! This year the offering seems a lot better at least.

    I need one of those praise the lard shirts! Where can I find one, do you know?

  2. Mary Beth

    Thanks for the post- so many great pictures. I am now on a quest to acquire a "Praise the Lard" t-shirt for my brother, a chef in New Haven, CT.

  3. veggies in my belly

    I love that t-shirt! The raspberry jam looks awesome as does the chocolate. I'm enjoying reading your blog!

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