Foodbuzz Festival: Day 1

First off, my apologies for not posting so regularly the past few days! As I mentioned before, I was in San Francisco this past weekend attending the first ever Foodbuzz Festival. What an incredible weekend. I was able to meet so many bloggers in person after having admired their blogs. It was also great meeting so many new bloggers.

We spent the entire weekend eating, eating, and more eating!. It was a blast! We sampled food from a variety of sources: everything from small, local, artisanal vendors to large corporations with a focus on natural, sustainable foods.

And oh my . . there are some really cool vendors out there selling some really cool stuff. I will need to spend several days sharing with you the highlights of this trip . . . so much to talk about!

For this post today, I’ll share with you our adventures on Friday night – the kickoff of the Foodbuzz Festival.

Street Foods of San Francisco

Ferry Building
The Ferry Building in SF is a large building right next to the water filled with a wonderful array of bakeries, coffee shops, local meat vendors, and other interesting local eats. On our first night, we enjoyed a mock up of a night out on the streets of San Francisco where we sampled some amazing street foods from the San Francisco area.


As an East coaster, I have always thought that the west coast had better Mexican food.  My opinion still holds true after this visit to the west coast.  I sampled the potato chorizo taco, which had a wonderful mix of flavors over a traditional corn tortilla. Delicious.
Chorizo and Potato Taco

I love Crispy Skins
Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie actually has a cart in the Ferry Building and sells these delectable sandwiches there.  What you see is a huge piece of meat wrapped with pork belly roasted on a large stick until the skin becomes gorgeously crispy. Crispy potatoes roasted in the pork fat drippings serve as the absolutely to-die-for (and just may shorten your life a bit) side dish.

Crispy Pork

The sandwich, called a Porchetta sandwich, consists of roasted pork meat, chopped up crispy skins, onion marmalde, chopped cress, and fresh herbs. The resulting sandwich smells incredible and tastes heavenly. The crispy skins not only provided an interesting crunchy texture to the sandwich, they had an amazing salty porky flavor that made this dish an absolute “WOW.”  Definitely worth trying out if you are at the Ferry Building.

Crispy Pork Sandwiches

Mission Minis Cupcakes

Mission Mini Cupcakes
Mission Minis is a local San Francisco cupcake bakery whose cupcakes are sold at a variety of shops and restaurants around San Francisco.  These cupcakes were so cute, and definitely caught our eye as we entered the Ferry building.  I tried the Ruby Red Velvet and thought it was tasty, but not particularly special.

The Pie Truck

Zucchini Mushroom Pie
The Pie Truck makes these mini-pies filled with various flavors such as zucchini-mushroom and steak & Gruyere. I found the pies to be a bit oily (they are buttery pastries!) but then I tend to like lighter foods, so I might be a bit biased. Everyone else around thought the pies were absolutely delicious.  They do use fresh, local organic ingredients.

Thirsty Bear Beer

Thirsty Bear
I am by no means a beer expert. I am a super lightweight and can’t even drink one glass of beer on an empty stomach. Nevertheless, I do enjoy beer, and it was fun trying Thirsty Bear’s local brew. 

I thought it was pretty good, though nothing particularly special. In general, I’m more of a fan of deeper, sweet and malty beers, such as artisanal Belgian beers or microbrews. To give you an idea of my taste, some of my favorite beers include Chimay, Duval, Sam Adams Boston Lager (on tap), Leff, Harp, and Sapporo. This beer was a bit light, but had relatively nice flavors.

Spencer on the Go

Beet Salad
Spencer on the Go is a French Bistro on a cart, essentially. For this event, they had an organic beet salad with blue cheese and a wild mushroom truffle tart. I was getting full at this point, and unfortunately did not try the mushroom tart even though I typically LOVE anything truffle. I love fresh beets, and this multi-colored beet salad was fresh and delicious. It tasted like it came from the farm that morning.

Vegan Raw Foods

Alive, a San Francisco based catering company, specialized in vegan raw food, which is quite a challenge. As you may know, vegan foods do not contain any animal products. Strict vegans will even avoid foods that involve animals, such as honey. The raw food movement is based on the idea that heat destroys essential vitamins and antioxidants. Accordingly, raw foods cannot be heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
Passion Vegan Raw "cheese"cake
We sample a vegan raw “cheesecake” (made from cashews and cococnut oil) and a few crostinis. The cheesecake wasn’t bad (although it did not taste like cheesecake), but I did not particularly care for it that much because it had a less-than-subtle hint of coconut.  When you’re expecting cheesecake and you taste coconut, it’s just a bit surprising.  Maybe a better name for the dessert would have been Passion Fruit Coconut Cream Cake, or something like that.
I thought the crostinis were delicious. The cracker had a hefty crunch and tasted very wholesome (which I love). The toppings were just fresh veggies marinated in various dressings. Delicious, and definitely something I would not be able to stop eating if I encountered it at a party.

Pizza Politana

I was actually really full by the time I got to this stand, but the crust looked so thin and the toppings looked so good (my favorite, Marguerite), that I just had to try a slice. Oh man, I’m so glad I did! This pizza has a super thin crust that was still crispy when I bit into it.  Yum yum yum . . so good.
The sauce is made from San Marzano tomatoes, which, according to the vendor, are imported from Italy and have a deeper, richer flavor than any tomato grown in the US. This is due to the volcanic soil in Italy that filters the water, thus allowing the tomatoes to become sweeter and less acidic. I would have totally eaten a whole pizza if I had room – really delicious.

Hog Island Oysters

Hog Island Oysters
I am spoiled in that I live in Boston where we have access to some of the best oysters around. These small oysters from the SF bay were fresh and delicious, with a mild salty flavor from the sea. I still prefer Prince Edward Island oysters as my favorite in terms of flavor, but these were pretty good.
I had tons of fun sampling food with Cindy from Chubby Chinese Girl and Linda from One Scoop At Time the entire night.  Linda has a funny picture of me photographing the Porchetta sandwich here.  Check out their blogs for their takes on the Foodbuzz Festival!

Upcoming Posts:
Olive Oil Tasting
Tasting Pavilion
Community Dinner

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  1. says

    Hi Jen,
    I am so happy to have met you, the wonderful and friendly lady behind this beautiful blog that I’ve been admiring.

    But about the vegan cheesecake. I have to disagree…the vegan cheesecake tasted (close enough) to cheesecake. It’s the single item eaten that I am still thinking about today. :0)

    Did you get a chance to check out the NYT Tiny Kitchen videos?

  2. says

    Have had Hog Island oysters many, many times and they are great although the oysters here in NZ are fantastic too! That rotisserie pork belly looks divine! Thanks for sharing these pics for those of us who couldn’t be there. California, specifically Northern California, really is the best food region in North America. I’m on a 1 year trip and I really miss it!

  3. says

    That pizza was AMAZING!! I really missed the crispy pork sandwiches and now I am envious. Such a great time at the Festival! I found the pie truck a little too rich as well. Can’t wait to see more of your posts 😀

  4. says

    Oh wow, so much to say and comment on! Amazing food samples. I like how different everything is, but that there is a similar theme of freshness and attention to ingredients. I like that the unsaid but overall goal seemed to be let the food speak for itself, and don’t overdo it with sauces or extra things. What an amazing edible adventure you had!

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