February 2009

gin-feb The year is off to delectable start with gratifying new openings (check out my Top Tastes section), two articles I wrote published in the SF Bay Guardian’s “Hard Times Handbook” cover story, and the Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Center (held in SF and NYC).

On Fancy Food: Imagine, if you will, over 80,000 food and beverage artisans from around the world, showcasing their wares and offering samples for what seems like miles in the Moscone Center. Eventually, my stomach was begging me to forgo one more drop of a chocolate, sauce, spread or snack (a rarity!) After massive tastebud overload, I regret the endless discoveries I had to miss but especially loved wandering the international section grouped by country. Many industry folk have already written about this massive event so I’m going to list just a few personal highlights:

  • My favorite was probably Beehive Cheese Co’sBarely Buzzed“: a nutty, exotic White Cheddar hand-rubbed in a surprisingly perfect combo of coffee and lavender, the rind imparting caramely notes – it placed 1st in national US competitions and one bite told me why
  • I’ve long been a fan of Gelato Massimo (you can buy it at Rainbow Grocery and a few Bay Area grocers), but was happily able to try more of their bright flavors here
  • Elaine’s (ETC Toffee Company) fabulous Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee
  • The surprisingly toothsome Indian “TV dinners” from Tandoor Chef(samosas, curries and naans) – kudos for their inviting eating area with floor stools and cushions
  • Justin’s yummy organic Peanut Butter – smooth, lightly touched with honey
  • A simple, satisfying probiotic yogurt drink, Yakult
  • Otis & Betty’s playful trail/peanut mixes
  • Fentiman’s wonderful botanically brewed old-fashioned bottled drinks and sodas, from Curiosity Cola to Dandelion & Burdock – I dig their packaging

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Every month, I share Top Tastes, favorite new dishes, drinks and bites from culinary explorations. In Imbiber, get dolled up to visit Retro BarsWandering Traveler highlights food and music in the Treme and Fauborg Marigny neighborhoods of incomparable New Orleans.

I’d love your feedback on any spots you visited from my site… don’t forget, I can help with any trips, outings or in local exploration by creating personalized itineraries, whether for an evening, a day or a whole vacation (check out my “Services” page).

Let me guide you to the perfect spot!