World Dinner Club

World Dinner Club
World Dinner Club

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hungry Globetrotter takes to the Streets

What an exciting weekend!  We were at the 2012 San Francisco Street Food Festival where we were a co-sponsor of a unique event that brings together people from around the San Francisco Bay Area to celebrate street food and culture. The event is organized by La Cocina; a nonprofit food incubator serving immigrants and low-income women in San Francisco. La Cocina helps them develop and formalize their food businesses. Hungry Globetrotter was excited to support the many Bay Area small businesses that are the secret to the eclectic food culture here.

The weekend of festivities kicked off with a night market that recreated the regular food stalls, music and outdoor fun of Bangkok or Singapore.  
Night Market at Alemany Farmers' Market
 There were great choices to be had here as famous chefs like Tracy des Jardins of Jardinaire and Suvir Saran from Top Chef Masters and Devi NYC rolled up their sleeves and cooked alongside local street vendors.

I tried whole roast pig from Puerto Rico, known as lechon as well as grill short ribs and vada pav (a spicy potato slider popular in Bombay).

However, what turned out to be extra special were some of the soup dishes. The laksa, a Malaysian curry from Azalina’s Malaysian with noodles, was spicy and warming on the cold foggy San Francisco night. Topping it off though was fried tofu and a crispy fritter of veal brains.  Both were perfect in the soup as they were crunchy on the outside and creamy inside. I inhaled it with gusto and a few people stopped to ask me what I was eating so excitedly.

Another famous soup that was swift to our aide was red pozole from Mexico packed with chicken, beans and hominy (a form of dried corn that tastes delicious when cooked).

The next day at the street food festival, we setup our booth and talked to festivalgoers about the world dinner club. Members of the Hungry Globetrotter team were onsite to share special offers and discounts for the Word Dinner Club with festivalgoers It was great to share not just the great meals that are planned this year for Hungry Globetrotter customers, but also tell them about things we are working on, like the regional subscriptions we will be offering next year.  These will focus on food from a particular part of the world. It was a long, tiring day with about 12 hours spent on my feet, but it was certainly worth it. Of course, we got to enjoy something to eat while working there too: pastrami sandwiches from Wise Sons, njera and wat from Eji’s Ethiopian, lamb stew… the list goes on and on.

The folks from La Cocina didn’t stop there.  They put on a great brunch the next morning where I ate more vada pav (by Suvir Saran) as well as some pulled pork, grits and eggs. 
Vada Pav by Suvir Saran
 Brunch gave way to the Food and Entrepreneurship Conference. I always get a high from meeting other energetic, motivated entrepreneurs in the food space. There were lively conversations about women in the culinary world, introducing ethnic flavors, writing about food, and using technology to share it.  One great food discovery was Bolani, stuffed flat bread from Afghanistan, which was served at happy hour with various spreads, like hummus and pesto.  Love and Hummus, a local business that was incubated at La Cocina was also on hand at happy hour.  Their all-natural hummus tasted homemade and radically different from the plastic-tub supermarket varieties. Their garlic hummus may be the best I’ve tasted
Food and Entrepreneurship Conference
 The nationwide proliferation of food trucks and carts has given Americans the opportunity to savor the tastes of international cultures in their hometowns. We see this trend as an opportunity to bring international cuisine right into their homes with the World Dinner Club. Taking to the streets last weekend felt like a working launch party of sorts... All of San Francisco was invited and somehow we didn’t run out of ice!

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