I ♥ my Hood
Poco Dolce, The Fatted Calf & Yield
If you read my post on Monday, the one about how a bunch of food bloggers got together to volunteer at the San Francisco Food Bank, you may have noticed that we enjoyed a social reception afterwards. So I wanted to put a big shout out today to everyone who helped me pull the event together, especially our sponsors and hosts.
Yield Wine Bar
First off - I could not have done this without Chris, the manager of Yield Wine Bar and his business partner Celine who kindly volunteered to open up two hours early on Saturday afternoon to accommodate us. I can't say I really minded too much about the numerous visits to Yield I had to make over the past two months in order to thrash out the details of the event with Chris and familiarise myself with their menu of organic, biodynamic and sustainable wines. And then when Chris added that he would actually allow me to volunteer my services as bartender for the afternoon, dare I say it, although I was a little nervous, I became quite excited at the prospect of trying my hand at pouring wine on the other side of the counter.
It seemed to me, that since both the Food Bank and Yield are close to and in that lesser-known part of town, Dogpatch, we should simply let our neighbourhood suggest the theme for the festivities. Since so many delicious local, artisanal foodstuffs are made within a few blocks, I guessed we would be on to a winner by featuring a couple of them. Paired with the fact that Muni's new T-Line servicing Third Street has just started running on weekends and is set to start a full-time schedule in April, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to start getting the word out about this upcoming, often ignored, part of town.
Poco Dolce Chocolate
You wouldn't know it from the large, anonymous brick buildings that front Third Street, but in this area Poco Dolce make some wonderful bitter chocolate tiles, each sprinkled with their signature crystals of sea salt. Unlike other salted caramel chocolates you might have had, in Poco Dolce's version the caramel is crunchy and crisp. For any Brits out there - I would have to describe this as a very adult Crunchie with the emphasis on dark chocolate; delicious. The photo above does not really do justice to the generous size of these tiles which I would guess are four or five inches square and come with other fillings inside too, my other favourites being the Aztec Chile and the Almond Coconut. A huge thanks to Poco Dolce for the samples, and to Chris for introducing these wonderful locally-made chocolates to me.
The Fatted Calf
Regular readers will not be strangers to the fact that I adore The Fatted Calf. What you may not know is that currently their kitchen is hidden away in Dog Patch, just a stone's throw away from my house. Can you imagine living less than a block away from all that bacon. It makes me weak at the knees just thinking about it. Fatted Calf kindly donated some of their delicious meaty products, including wafer thin slices of their ham that just seems to get better and better every time I taste it, to help feed us hungry, hard-working food bloggers.
Not from the Hood, But Just as Good:
McQuade Celtic Chutney
Amy, my event co-organiser, managed to persuade Alison McQuade to bring along some of her McQuade's Celtic Chutneys as accompaniment to the meats and cheese. Since I was toiling away behind the bar, I didn't have as much chance as I would have liked to eat my way through all that Alison had on offer, but let me just tell you that when I managed to sneak a moment to try her Moray Fig and Ginger Chutney, I was blown away. Her relishes are fat with large chunks of fruit and vegetable which balance with the unique blend of spices perfectly. This is another product that will especially appeal to any Brits out there. It has whiff of Branston about it, from the combination of spices used, but a it's a million times better.
In wrapping up, a huge thanks to all of the people mentioned above who gave their time and their products to help feed and wine us hungry food bloggers. And another shout out to those food bloggers who volunteered to help at the food bank. I sure hope we get the chance to do this again some time! Who's organising the next one?