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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!

Surprise First Class And Surprise Free Breakfast

For my vacation out to central oregon, I connected through SFO. I got a nice surprise when I was upgraded into first class for my PHL to SFO flight. As you can see by my outstretched stump legs and the inability of the bottoms of my flexed feet to actually touch the divider, first class does not really matter to me, at least not comfort wise. I only get excited for it because of the free food. I’ve been reading this book called “Near A Thousand Tables” which is about the history of food. I highly recommend it!

The dinner choices were chicken quesadillas or pasta with mushroom sauce. Since I don’t like mushrooms, I went with the quesadillas. These really weren’t very good at all. The quesadillas themselves were pretty bland and the tortillas had gotten crunchy. The pico de gallo was the worst part though. They absolutely tasted like nothing. Nothing at all. It did not taste like tomatoes nor did it taste like onions. It kind of defied logic. But the saving grace was the warm oatmeal raisin cookie. Seriously, this might have been one of the best cookies I’ve ever had in my life. And it was on a flight. The flight attendant said it was a good cookie, and damn he was beyond correct.

So our flight to Redmond/Bend, OR actually got cancelled. They gave us the runaround for a very long time and delayed the flight for hours and hours until they finally cancelled it right around midnight west coast time, saying they couldn’t find a first officer. When the cockpit deplaned, two pilots got off. They totally screwed us. But with that cancellation came a free hotel stay and free breakfast vouchers. At least we’d be full on our flight the next morning. The food options at SFO are pretty darn good, especially if you go to one of the main food areas in the United terminal. Since it is airport food prices, the $15 actually doesn’t get you very far. J got a shredded chicken salad.

I tried to go as luxurious as possible, even though it was breakfast, and ordered the nabe yaki seafood udon at a japanese joint. The one thing you can count on in san francisco is the ubiquity of japanese food joints, even at the airport. The broth was a little bit on the bland side, but it was still damn good as far as airport food goes. I’ll take this over a sbarro pizza slice, any day!

Mexican At Regalito – No Burritos!

We’d been passing Regalito for awhile and remarking how cute it was. It wasn’t your typical mexican spot in the mission, as those tend to be bright and gawdy burrito spots. It’s in what looks like used to be a house of some type, and it’s painted very tastefully on the outside. The inside is still tasteful, but has tons of really colorful and kooky art. We’d also gotten a little friends and family discount card awhile back from someone, so we really had been meaning to go here.

We sat at counter which is where the kitchen is. Everything is made to order, and there was really only one person cooking. So it’s one of those places where you can watch your food being cooked. There was only one other person on the kitchen side, and she seemed to be making the tortillas and helping out with some prep. The menu is not that large. And there are no burritos on this menu!

We were starving so we got an appetizer. This is the chilindrinas – fresh corn masa and two spinach tortillas, fried and topped with habanero tomato sauce, shredded cabbage, queso fresco, and crema mexicana. Mmm, this thing was delicious. The chef definitely gets a little happy with the crema mexicana. We noticed that he was dousing it on practically everything. We certainly wouldn’t have minded if he’d had a lighter tough with it, but it was still quite delicious. Just watch out though, because certain bites will be kickier than others.
J got the tinga de pollo – shredded free-range chicken in chipotle sauce, served with rice and avocado salsa. The rice came on the side and something else came on the side… fresh corn tortillas. And he could not stop talking about how good they were. The chicken was good too, but he absolutely fell for these tortillas. They were the best tortillas he’d ever had. He wouldn’t stop saying that!

I specifically only wanted to come here if they had the posole. It was a cold night and I wanted hot soup. It’s not normally on the menu, but was a special on this night. Posole is a traditional soup/stew made with hominy, meat, chili pepper, and other seasonings and garnish. This posole had giant hunks of pork and was served with fried flour tortillas, shredded cabbage, and chopped onions on the side. Posole is warm and hearty and filling. This was not spicy either, it just looks like it is super hot. This one wasn’t nearly as flavorful as I was hoping it would be, but it definitely hit the spot. The tortillas were awesome too. When I’ve had posole before, they give you julienned radishes with it, and I wished they’d given me some.

I’m not typically a dessert person, but when I saw this on the menu I had to get it. I remember being in San Antonio once a long long time ago and having this candied sweet potato thingy at a mexican restaurant, or maybe it was a mexican pastry/candy shop. I haven’t been able to find it since. Even in San Francisco in the mission, in any of the bodegas, I’ve never been able to find it. So when I saw “candied sweet potato with ice cream” on the menu, I thought I’d hit the jackpot! Well, it wasn’t what I thought it was. But it was still good. I don’t know how candied it was, but it was more than just a plain old cooked half of a sweet potato. And it definitely didn’t come with ice cream, it was more just floating in some sweet milky creamy type of liquid. Whatever it was, I still liked it. It was an extra sweet sweet potato with some cream. What’s not to like?

Service was great. Our server was pretty cool. Like I said before, there’s really only one person cooking the food here, so it takes time. It’s not a pick your burrito fixins and take it to the park to eat kind of mexican joint, ok? And it definitely is not burrito joint pricing! It’s a nice alternative when you want some fancier mexican food in a nice setting without the crazy bright glare of fluorescent lights.
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