Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Weekend in San Francisco & Foodbuzz Blogger Festival

This past weekend Mr. Hungry and I took a trip to San Francisco for Foodbuzz’s 3rd Annual Blogger Festival. We packed up the car, dropped off the kids and headed out on our journey to the bay. 3 days away from the everyday grind? Sounded good to both of us. Check out the clouds in the sky on our car drive to San Francisco, absolutely beautiful!

It may sound a bit cliché but our first stop when we got to San Francisco was sushi. I had already scoured the online menus and reviews for a sushi restaurant that was both close to the festival registration and that carried a specific menu item. My search brought us to Sanraku Japanese Restaurant .

The specific menu item I had been in search of was Anago (salt-water eel). We are both huge fans of Unagi (fresh water eel), but have not been able to locate Anago at any restaurant near our home. It was a must-find!

From Sanraku we ordered:
Miso Soup
Anago Nigri (salt-water eel)
San Francisco Special Roll (tuna, avocado, fish roe)
Spider Roll (soft-shell crab, cucumber, fish roe, shiso leaf)

Anago is a different color and texture than Unagi, but it is just as wonderful. There is a bit more of a fishy taste, but since it is coming from the ocean that is to be expected. I will definitely have it again when the opportunity presents itself.

When we were done with our meal we noticed that they also served Kamasu (seared barracuda). Barracuda? I have had my fair share of encounters with Barracudas down in the Florida Keys, but I had never tasted one. I was always told that, “you don’t want to eat that fish.” So I didn’t. Until now. My fearless foodie husband has taught me to try anything and everything, at least once. This is a case that I am glad I did. The Kamasu was amazingly tender and tasty – plus the searing added a wonderful smokey flavor. Loved it, even as a dessert to a sushi meal. ;)

We stayed in South San Francisco at the Embassy Suites. Here are some pictures from inside the hotel. All of the plants are real and there are tables below the trees where breakfast and dinner is served. Pretty awesome.

The first festival event, the Welcome Reception, was hosted by Sabra and held at the Terra Gallery. There were Hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer – all of ours to devour! The food and wine were good, but I have to admit that I am head over heels for the beer that was being served. 21st Amendment. Not only is it one of the best beers I have ever tasted, it came out of a can. Yes, a can! They are craft beers in a can. How awesome is that? I tried the Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer and Fireside Chat Winter Spiced Ale – both were great, even the watermelon beer.

The second event was the Dinner & Blogger Award Ceremony, hosted by Electrolux, also at the Terra Gallery. It was organized chaos at its finest. There was a bar serving all types of liquor, I opted for the special drink of the night; Classic Bloom & Tonic. There were chefs preparing Pork Belly and Scallops. Then there was a buffet station full of different entrees, some of them inspired by bloggers! We were so full and happy when we were done. The pictures below are from the Welcome Reception and Dinner & Blogger Award Ceremony.

Another MUST-DO during our stay in San Francisco was the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market. There are over 90 farmers, artisans and purveyors ready to show you what they got! It was amazing, I am so happy we went. Of course I had to bring some goodies home, check it out…

The next festival event was the Gala Dinner which was hosted by Alexia Foods and held at the Grand Hyatt…

Wait, did that say Tyler Florence?
Why yes it did. Tyler did a cooking demonstration of a dish that is served at his restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. Grilled Bone-In Pork Chop served with Black Pepper Spaetzle, Braised Cabbage, Spiced Apple Cider and Grained Mustard Cream. It looked and smelled great, I imagine it tastes impeccable.

After the Gala dinner we took to the streets with our new foodie friends, Adam and Rico. These 2jewsthatblog are a riot, check them out. :) 

We started off at Colibri Mexican Bistro with shots of Espolon Tequila Reposado and Margaritas Con Fruta. The margaritas were hand muddled with fresh blackberries, lime juice, sugar and Huizache Tequila. Yes, they were awesome and I can’t wait to try making them on my own! Then we headed down the street to a whiskey bar, Rye, for shots of Wild Turkey 101. It was a great time drinking, making new friends and enjoying one of the most wonderful cities in the world. Of course, it would not be a proper night of late night drinking if we did not finish it off with some Milan Pizza – absolutely delicious and served by the slice. Gotta love it! All of the above mentioned places are located on Geary Street within .2 miles of each other – I love San Francisco. ♥

What would a foodie festival be without some schwag?

Below is a picture I snapped on the way home of the Mothball Fleet in Suisun City. The Mothball Fleet is a United States Navy reserve of ships. These ships are no longer active and are being dismantled to be taken out of the bay. They are not very environmentally friendly to put it politely – in fact all obsolete ships must be removed by September 2017, the worse being removed by September of next year. These ships are pretty amazing and they date back to WWII. A group of guys spent a few days out at the ships, not legally – but they took pictures to share so let’s not get too upset. Check out their journey here: Inside the Ghost Ships of the Mothball Fleet

It was an awesome weekend and I can’t wait to go back to San Francisco – now it’s time to go chase my kids around, I missed the heck out of them. :)


Inspired by eRecipeCards said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

So jealous... sounds like it was amazing...

So, Bottom line it... worth the trip, expense? would you do it again?

Crystal Lee said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

So awesome! Glad you had a good time. Maybe next year I can go and visit. I love Embassy Suites (they are always so nice) and Tyler...hello!! :D

Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole

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