Friday, January 23, 2009

Fancy That: Part I

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(goodness, it's peaceful here.  but where can a ba(r)ker get a decent margarita?)

Three days, eight distinct culinary cravings, twenty-four hours of air travel and thousands of vendors to visit: welcome to San Francisco’s Fancy Food Show. Ray and I had never been. We’d never had the time. But the chance to spend three days surrounded by chocolate and stinky cheese samples just an hour’s drive from Napa pretending that it was work was a no-brainer.

And Vermont, while idyllic and snowy, isn’t an international culinary hub. No dim sum, questionable sushi and abysmal Mexican. We’ve refused to frequent the one joint that serves a passable margarita after they introduced their new mascot. Imagine a grinning turd accessorized with a twenty-gallon sombrero emblazoned on poly-blend work shirts and you’ve pretty much got the idea. Perhaps they’d meant this as a reflection on their crapstatic food as opposed to refried bigotry. I doubt it. So, we were in dire need of decent Mexican food sans the side of racism.

Our first morning, we checked in at the convention center. We snaked through the stalls: hot sauce, cheese, cheese, cheese, hot sauce. Sausage! Cheese, cheese cheese. YEAH! FREE COFFEE! Cheese, cheese, cheese straws, cheese. CHOCOLATE!!! Cheese, cheese, cheese. Tea.
We stopped longest at a booth offering the newest advancement in fizzy drinks: a choking hazard! “Just break off the cap! Turn it upside down! Shove it into the bottle! And voila! A glass marble is propelled into the bottle and makes a zany noise that amuses children as they chug our carbonated, viscous goo!” I stuck around to hear the presentation a few more times, just to catch the priceless reactions of gobsmacked citizens. “Uh, sir? How are we going to tell the difference between the zany noise of the marble IN the bottle versus the zany noise the marble makes when it’s lodged IN the esophageal passage of my asphyxiated child?”

All the fabulous culinary reinvention had me hungry. 
(my super power?  speed eating.)

So we ditched the convention for Sunday brunch at Colibri Mexican Bistro. Guacamole swilled down with a tequila cocktail at 10am? Yes please! Add chilaquiles; crispy tortillas smothered with tamatillo sauce, shredded chicken, two over easys, sour cream, queso fresco and black bean purée and you’ve got a desayuno de campeones. Oh goodness. I was feeling veeeery sleepy. But there was so much more to eat! I wanted to go to Tartine for pastry! And Sushi! And Ray was promised Dim Sum! And I wanted bistro food, both American and French. And a jug or two of California red! And I wanted room service just so I could sit in a robe in bed and shove French fries and chicken tenders into my pie hole. Could we do it all? And nap? Stay tuned to find out!

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