I Heart Chicharrones / Foodbuzz Blogger Festival 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010
Sisig Taco, Adobo Hobo

Adobo Hobo’s Sisig Taco topped with onions, jalapenos, crema, and Chicharon Crunchies!

Chicharrones two ways, in one evening. It was a good omen. This was going to be one great eatfest of a weekend.

The 2nd Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival kicked off at Fort Mason Friday evening with streetfood from some of my old faves, including Roli Roti and Namu. Before we even made it through the door though, we got sidetracked at Off the Grid, which oh-so-conveniently was going on at Fort Mason at the same time. Coincidence? I think not.

It was like trying to get to the Emerald City with intoxicating poppy seed fields seducing you at every turn.

I tried to hold out, but my will power quickly deflated once I caught a glimpse of the taco from Adobo Hobo that Elaine (VirgoBlue) made a beeline for. Total food envy. I had to get one of my own before I ate it out of her hands.

The Filipino-Mex Pork Sisig Taco creation hit the spot, and the crispity crumble of golden chicharrones? Totally brilliant. The entire package worked, from the juicy, tender, vinegar-seasoned pork, to the jalapeno kick, cool crema, and chicharon crunchies, right down to the warmed tortilla.

Arnold (Inuyaki) gave me a little history lesson on how sisig came to be. Traditionally made from parts of the pig’s head (cheeks, ears), it was invented as a result of all the surplus pig heads that Clark Air Base (a former US Air Force base on Luzon Island in the Philippines) used to give away to intrepid local cooks in the 1970s. Interesting, huh?

*****

Newsflash: Get your Sisig Tacos while you can! Word on the (Twitter)street is that there are only 2 more Off the Grid Fort Mason events left this year – that means this Friday & next Friday, 5-9 pm.

*****

With the taste of porcine goodness on my tongue, and maybe a few stray chicharon crumbles on my lips, I made my way into the main event for the evening, the Foodbuzz Welcoming Reception, featuring more of SF’s finest streetfood vendors!

Cornmeal-Crusted Pork Sandwich, 4505 Meats

Cornmeal-Crusted Pork Sandwich from 4505 Meats

Hand down the best thing I tasted all night was a ri-dic-u-lous sandwich from Ryan Farr at 4505 Meats. Seriously unreal. It shut me up for a good 10 minutes as I was totally entranced by pleasure sensory only fried pork can produce.

This dish was masterfully constructed. Farr makes his own pickled jalapenos, so this dish started with pork tenderloin (with the fat cap left on) brined in jalapeno pickling liquid. The brine not only made the meat incredibly juicy and tender, it also infused it with a subtle tang and heat. Farr then sliced the meat thin, using a sashimi knife, and crusted each delicate piece in cornmeal before frying it up to a crisp. He garnished it with brightly flavored pickled green beans and onions (whose acid cut the grease nicely), and a creamy coriander aioli. The bun was somehow rich and light at the same time, made from brioche dough seasoned with parmesan and chives, sprinkled with sesame seeds, then buttered and grilled (the key to any great sandwich as far as I’m concerned).

chicharrones_4505 Meats

Chicharrones, 4505 Meats

And then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better…there laying next to the sandwich was a side of Farr’s famous chicharrones. Sweet baby Jesus, if you haven’t tried these yet, you need to figure out how to get your hands on some stat. Salty, sweet, spicy, all at once. They hit all the pleasure points. Unlike more traditional chicharrones that have a hearty, hard crunch (like the kind used in the Sisig Taco), the texture of these are light as air. So delicate, they are a translucent color, and literally melt on your tongue, leaving just a trace of bacon-y flavor, spiked with a touch of chili powder and a kiss of sugar.

*****

How to get your Chicharrones Crack fix: 4505 Meats is at the Ferry Building Farmers Market every Saturday (8 am – 2 pm) and every Thursday (10 am – 2 pm).

*****

If you see Ryan, tell him he needs to start offering this pork sandwich on his menu! Please. Harrass the man.

Foodbuzz Festival panel

(From left to right: Moi, Damaris Palmer (Kitchen Corners), Tina Haupert (Carrots ‘N’ Cake), and Ryan Stern (Foodbuzz)

The next day, bright and early, I joined the lovely Damaris (Kitchen Corners) and Tina (Carrots ‘N’ Cake) for a panel moderated by Ryan at Foodbuzz on Food Blogging Guide to Success (Whatever That Is!). Thanks to everyone who came! I was a bit nervous and was just glad I didn’t get total stage fright and go mute. In the end, it was fun and I hope it was helpful :)

Margherita Pizza (Zero Zero)

Margherita Pizza (Zero Zero)

I celebrated my very first speaking engagement (!) with a big Bloody Mary and some good eats at Zero Zero.

Food bloggers descend on Zero Zero

Once the food paparazzi simma’d down now, we chowed down. Lots of interesting toppings, but call me a purist, my favorite is still the classic, simple Margherita. Didn’t get a chance to stay for dessert, but I’ll be coming back for that Straus Soft Serve with Olive Oil and Sea Salt. Obsessed.

Ferry Building, San Francisco

I <3 SF

After going home and passing out from food coma, I pulled myself together and took a much needed walk waddle down to the Ferry Building for the night festivities. The gala dinner took place in the upstairs part of the building, with the vaulted ceiling sparkling with starry lights. Gotta hand it to Foodbuzz – you sure know how to pick a party spot.

The food was great…

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops with champagne beurre blanc, served with braised fennel and garnished with fried fennel fronds

But the company was even better.

Bon Vivant, You Fed a Baby Chili?, Rice & Wheat
Danielle (Bon Vivant), Ben (You Fed a Baby Chili?), & Angi (Rice & Wheat)

Spoon licking

Charlie (Bay Area Glutton) lickin’ mah spoooon!

Sippity Sup
Greg (Sippity Sup) playing with his food.

More than anything though, this weekend reminded me once again, how wonderful this food community is. It is so full of interesting, smart, funny, talented people…who really know how to pack it down.

I respect that.

2nd Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival
November 5-7, 2010
San Francisco, CA

34 Responses to “I Heart Chicharrones / Foodbuzz Blogger Festival 2010”

  1. Danielle says:

    It was a ball of a time hanging out with you that weekend, and kudos to you ladies for introducing me to the joy of that pork sandwich. Still thinking about it, 1 week later!

  2. What a great recap.  That was my first FoodBuzz event, and I agree, Ryan Farr’s sandwich and those chicarrones were over the top – they sent me to another planet.

    It was great seeing you again and meeting up with several of the bloggers you mentioned here.  It was really brilliant to be able to meet so many people who have a shared passion in person.  What a wonderful calorie laden time.

    I have to say, I wish you showed a close up of Danielle’s dinosaur necklace – I want one.  

  3. VirgoBlue says:

    Great post, as usual, my Dear! I have to admit that I love how well these guys feed us. It’s still the best group of food bloggers you’ll get to eat and play with. I love how there’s no room for pretension in this group!

    You’d better come back for this gig next year! xoxo

  4. Haha I almost forgot about that photo of me and Danielle with Ben – hilarious! It was so fun to meet and hang out with you but I’m still sad you’re leaving us soon. 

  5. Haha! You guys are hilarious! Love the pics! And so much good food. *drools* I am praying to the almighty food gods I will be able to attend next year. Hopefully as a wiser and more experienced foodie. I’m still a newb so I’m soaking in all the information and getting even more jealous of all the wonderful eats you guys had.

  6. stephchows says:

    OK that is seriously hilarious that he’s licking your spoon LOL love it!

  7. sippitysup says:

    Now that’s the best pic I have seen of myself from this festival. I also have Charlie “spoon lickin’” on my video of the event. Check it out. http://www.sippitysup.com/foodie-film-festival-awesome-awesomeness-fbzfest-2010 GREG

    • Stephanie says:

      greg! what a fantastic video!! especially loved that shot you got from the bottom of your wine glass.  i have a feeling many of us (vaguely) remembered that perspective from the weekend…

  8. Wonderful recap, I’m glad I made it to Off the Grid at Fort Mason, some amazing eats. You were great at the blogging panel, I glad I went to that session. Just wow on the Gala dinner, not sure how I was able to walk back to our hotel after all that wine!

  9. Ben says:

    I do already miss that pork sandwich.

    @OysterCulture Oh no, I don’t think I got to meet you! The perils of not putting your face in your avatar…

    @LickMySpoon Sharing Angi’s sadness at not having met you until the tail end of your Bay Area stint. We will definitely be stalking you in DC!

    • Stephanie says:

      i knowwwww!!! i am lamenting that fact.  totally wish i met you guys sooner.  hopefully (fingers crossed) I will be able to make it back every few months to visit. aw…now i’m sad :(

  10. It was really nice to sit with you at dinner and get to meet you, at least quickly. Fantastic post; love the pork info and the cool pics.

  11. I’ve heard pig cheeks are really good -

  12. Miki says:

    Wow…this looked like a lot of fun and good food!!! Too bad I found out about it on the day of the event. >_< Next year, I will try to make it. I'm glad that you had fun and thank you for sharing! [:

  13. [...] The setting: Foodbuzz’s Second Annual Blogger Festival. The offender: 4505 Meats’ cornmeal-crusted pork sandwich. The perpetrator: Chef Ryan [...]

  14. Becke says:

    Thank you so much for the granola – I’ve been sick for most of last week, so just got around to opening my box that I FedEx’d from San Francisco and tried the granola with some fruit and Liberte yogurt. Both my husband and I absolutely loved it. It was also very nice to meet you, too – I’ve been reading your blog for a while and it was good to put a face to a name. :)

  15. Mariko says:

    It was great meeting you. I really enjoyed the panel. 
    I miss those chiccharrones. Sob.
    Oh, and the company. The company too. :)

  16. David says:

    A good picture is worth a thousand words. You have very good photography skills.

  17. Filipino food!!♥

    Sisig is good with beer and my fave chicharon brand is the spicy Porky’s Best. You guys should try it. :)

  18. Hi Steph. Thanks for the comment on Nibbles of Tidbits!!! I very much enjoyed your presentation during the Foodbuzz Festival. It was informative and you delivered the info with a terrific personality. I look forward to possibly meeting you next year.

    Thanks, Shelly

  19. chuch says:

    wow! pork sisig taco! I’ve always known sisig to be a beer match. didn’t know it would look real good in a taco. looks yummy too! :)

  20. [...] Chicharrones Two Ways — I have a whole new appreciation for the wonders of chicharrones. Exhibit A: Adobo Hobo’s [...]

  21. [...] and mac n’ cheese; Namu makes it Korean Fried Chicken with spicy slaw and pickled daikon; Zero Zero goes thighs-only for its gussied up Chicken and Semolina Waffles with Chestnut Honey Butter; Front [...]

  22. [...] dessert, there were passed platters of 4505 Meats’ legendary salty, sweet, chili-dusted chicharrones served fondue-style with a bowl of melted dark chocolate for your dipping pleasure. Yes, you heard [...]

  23. [...] The setting: Foodbuzz’s Second Annual Blogger Festival. The offender: 4505 Meats’ cornmeal-crusted pork sandwich. The perpetrator: Chef Ryan [...]

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