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FoodBuzz Fest

I got to attend the second FoodBuzz Blogger Festival this year, once again in San Francisco. For the opening night festivities, we headed out to Fort Mason for a Welcome Reception and Street Food Fair. They had these adorable mini cupcakes arranged to form a FoodBuzz sign.
They tasted awesome too. I’m not sure what flavors they were, but I’m guessing pumpkin or spice or something. They were definitely fall flavors.
There were also beautiful arrangements on the tables of some fruits, cheeses, breads, and crackers.
Roli Roti was there again this year, with their crazy porchetta sandwiches. There’s nothing like pork skin to make a sandwich taste better. And these fingerling potatoes were awesome, and you could totally tell they were cooked in pork fat.
Mind Your Tongue had some viking gumbo. They call it this because the chef is of viking heritage. But this is not gumbo, nor is it an old viking recipe. But it’s not bad.
They also had vegan paella. This wasn’t really paella either, but this was better than their “gumbo”.
Tacolicious provided a bunch of tacos. Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed with this at all. It was mostly blah.
French street food? Why yes! This is the truck version of Chez Spencer.
Here is the new england lobster cappuccino soup and the braised lamb chunks sandwich. Good stuff.
But my favorite thing of the evening was Namu’s korean tacos. They were ssam style tacos made with kalbi short ribs, seasoned rice, pickled daikon and kimchee salsa, kimchee remoulade, and a drizzle of housemade teriyaki sauce, folded into japanese and korean toasted seaweed. This is my type of taco! What a fun night!

North Third Small Eats

I’ve only had drinks and brunch at North Third, so this was my first time visiting for dinner. This place is crowded and exceedingly loud on a weekend evening. Was this giant eagle always over the bar? When you order french fries here, it comes out in an absolutely huge bowl. Like a small family of cats could live in this bowl. The dipping sauce is pretty good.
I got the mac and cheese and the chicken tortilla soup. The soup was very lukewarm and not too exciting flavor-wise either. The mac and cheese was only ok. I wasn’t particularly enthralled with either. I didn’t even realize until later on that this was exactly what I ordered to eat when I was at Nada in Cincinnati. Am I set in my ways, or what? North Third on Urbanspoon

Dark Late Night Eats At El Rey

After checking out some wackiness at carnivolution, I needed some vittles. We headed back towards center city and somehow ended up at El Rey. I’d never heard of it before and we went there because it was a few steps from where we ended up parking the car. It turns out that this is a Stephen Starr restaurant! Who knew? The place is dark… extremely dark. And it’s got lots of velvet paintings inside. The decor at the bar is very cool. But I just don’t get this place. I think perhaps it’s not quite sure what it is yet either.
We got some guacamole with chips as well as the salsa with chips. The salsa was like a pico de gallo and pretty good. The guacamole was good too, and the bowl is quite large. They charge you $10 for it, but they give you plenty of guac. The chips were thick, crispy and crunchy, and not at all greasy. I enjoyed them.
I think these are the skirt steak tacos. You get your filling in one bowl and you get a basket of tortillas. At $9, this seems like a pretty good value.
I’m not quite sure what these are, and I’m not sure R did either when she ordered them. This is the Sopes – masa shells, skirt steak, salsa, onion, and crema. I don’t know. It looks like a plate full of slop that they squeezed some cream onto. I usually don’t care much for presentation, but really, this was a mess. Is this why this place is so dark?
I think these are the chicken tostadas. They kind of look like open-faced raviolis, since the tortillas have cute scalloped edges. The presentation is kind of awful again, but you get three, which makes it quite the bargain.
Here are some of the enchiladas. Looks like a typical plate of enchiladas to me. H/A thought theses were ok.
I got the short rib torta which was just ok. Look how burnt the meat is! Seriously, it’s like blacker than black. I mean, at least cut that crap off before you serve it to me. This wasn’t exactly like a torta I’d had in mexico, but it was ok. If the meat hadn’t been charred, I may have even liked it as there’s plenty of good stuff in it, like beans and avocados.

You win some, you lose some, and damn Stephen Starr, this one is not a winner. I think it would probably be fine for just getting drunk and having some chips, but the food needs some work. We all ate our food because we were starving, but otherwise, we would all have been even more disappointed. One thing I will say, for a Stephen Starr spot, the prices are teeny tiny!
El Rey on Urbanspoon

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