A small army of food bloggers descended on San Francisco for the Foobuzz Blogger Festival from November 6-8. In case you’re unfamiliar with Foodbuzz, it’s a noble network that connects food bloggers and works to get them paid for their efforts. Their inaugural festival featured events and seminars throughout the weekend, and to kick things off, Foodbuzz invited more than a dozen of the Bay Area’s top mobile vendors to showcase their food in front of the Ferry Building. It was a feast of epic (or food blogger) proportions, and here are my four favorite stops.
Certain bloggers who shall remain nameless camped out in front of the Hog Island Oyster Co. ice bed and absolutely gorged on sweetwaters and kumamotos from the cold waters near Pt. Reyes. The action got so heated that I expected to catch an errant elbow. Luckily, my night was elbow-free and involved more than a few bivalves. The sweetwater oysters were naturallly sweet, small and briny, with no mignonette required. Later, Hog Island’s master shucker treated us to tiny kumamotos.
The most pandemonium was generated by the presence Thomas Odermatt, the son of a Swiss butcher who’s built a ravenous following at the Saturday Ferry Building farmers market with his Roli Roti rotisserie truck.
Odermatt is known for his rotisserie chickens and roasted potatoes, but the porchetta is undoubtedly his masterwork. He takes a fairly traditional route, lavishing pork loin and belly with rosemary, sage, fennel seed, fennel salt, lemon zest and pinot grigio.
The slices of fatty pork and crisp, crackling skin were served on Acme ciabatta with sweet balsamic-spiked onion marmalade and curly cress, a bittering agent that couldn’t overcome the meat’s richness, but still worked as a nice complement. Just when it seemed like my plate couldn’t get better, Odermatt lined a metal sheet with potatoes and roasted them in herbs garlic and cascading pork drippings.
Earlier this year, Bill Bogenschutz, Aki Simmons and Ji-Young Shin rolled out the Pie Truck, specializing in savory hand-held pies crafted from premium market-driven ingredients. Every time I passed by their table, the bin for steak & gruyere pies was empty, but had plenty of zucchini mushroom pies crammed with dill, capers and a light cream sauce, all sheathed in a buttery, flaky, steaming crust. It might not have been ground Marin Sun Farms beef, but the vegetarian pie was still very good.
At the end of the corridor, we discovered Pizza Politana, Joel Baecker’s Neopolitan style pizza wagon that’s been on the loose for the last three years. The mobile wood-burning oven was indeed impressive, with fiery oak embers glowing under the dome.
The pizza featured a thin, smoky crust that was crispy at edges. Up top, we were treated to molten mozzarella and feta, kalamata olives, spinach and red onions.