Welcome to the next chapter of my blogging...
I'm going to begin with the Bluxome Street Winery event called "The Meet Market". Hubby and I have attended this event twice, and seeing as there has only been two, that's a pretty good record for us. We loved it so much the first time around, we had to go a second. Bluxome Street is a tucked away, almost alley-like thoroughfare in the ballpark area of San Francisco that is home to many lofts, a firehouse and the lovely Bluxome Street Winery. They are a small production winery who's focus is on palate-friendly, ageworthy Pinot Noir and what they call the "distinct Bluxome Sauvignon Blanc." Very tasty wines indeed. You can snag a swallow of their libations at their tasting room, located at 53 Bluxome Street, which is open from 12-7 Tuesday through Sunday. In addition to being a fabulous little vino heaven, Bluxome Street Winery also hosts a variety of events, such as The Meet Market. This, my foodie friends, is an awesome idea.
The following description from their website explains it perfectly, "Think of it as the world’s most selective farmer’s market with a little wine thrown in for good measure." Indeed. Here you will find local foodie artisans tempting your taste buds in every direction, practically drooling as you walk through the cellar doors. The space is awesome... half wine cellar (the barrels rest cooly in stacks that you can see through panels of giant glass) and half former fermenting tank room that is now used for events, both public and private. Adorned with hand blown glass chandeliers, beautiful barrel wood paneling details and touches of almost steampunk style family heirlooms hanging on the walls, this is the perfect locale for a sophisticated farmer's market.
Big plus in my book, you can buy a glass of wine (one of the several Bluxome Street blends) while you shop (and who doesn't love that?)
The hubby and I have failed to make it home without armloads of goodies-- from fresh cheeses to handmade chocolates, locally grown gorgeous flowers, sauces, olive oils, honey, beef jerky and even soaps. It is, without a doubt, a sensory explosion. The event hours are from 12-4, with the crowds arriving later in the afternoon. We show up early because the vendors tend to sell through stock pretty quickly and besides, what could be more pleasant than grabbing a glass of wine and introducing yourself to the food merchants and craftspeople involved? Smiling faces and hearty handshakes abound amongst these folks Again, check out the link for "The Meet Market" to see who was in attendance.
We managed to stockpile the following fabulous foodie booty:
* Delicious handmade and decorated chocolates from Cocotutti (www.cocotutti.com). I picked the Liquid Vanilla Caramel, dunked in dark chocolate, painted with a swath of milk chocolate swirl. So good, with a salty sweet buttery center. The hubbs picked the Hot Chocolate Truffle, dark chocolate with a touch of red chile pepper and mole. A nice perk of the Cocotutti booth, they'll let you sample literally any of their chocolate pieces of art.
* All natural raw honey from the Bay Area Bee Company (www.bayareabeecompany.com). This trip we chose the Napa Harvest batch, an almost molasses style dark honey with a bite. The bees live in Napa and are harvested directly at the source. On our first visit to The Meet Market we purchased the Civic Center blend, a lighter, sweeter everyday honey. And yep, you guessed it, the bees live right in the Civic Center neighborhood. The honey is handled and harvested by Beekeeper Rokas Armonas and his queen bee Kelli. Other neighborhoods are available, ranging from SF to Vallejo to Napa. We're trying to convince him to put in some bee boxes in our yard so we can have a East Bay blend sometime soon.
* The most delicious fresh, handmade cheese from locally farmed and raised cows at Orland Farmstead. (www.orlandfarmstead.com) The ladies that run this booth are darling and conversation is always a cheer. We picked up the Queso Fresco, a whole milk soft, crumbly cheese with jalapenos. We also grabbed the Fromage Blanc, a rich, creamy, almost cream cheese-like style cheese for spreading. Again, it was round two for us and this company- we adore it.
* Another favorite of ours is Chef and Proprietor Sarah Burchard's S&S Brand Sauce. (www.sandsbrand.com) This girl knows her sauce really, really well. Last month we picked up the Tennessee style sauce, a mustard bomb of tangy deliciousness. This time we chose the St. Louis style sauce, sweet and full of heat. My husband also decided to grab two of their rubs: The Peppercorn rub for when we cook a pork loin and the BBQ for just about any type of meat or poultry you wanna roll around in it. Check out Sarah's cooking blog at www.city-que.com for food-junkie articles, tips and recipes.
* We fell in love with the Kale spread from Sumana's Soul Spreads. (www.sumanasf.com) Hubby picked out the Kale Rotu Pachaddi spread, a delightful mixture of kale, peanuts, coconut, onion, jalapeno, lime, grape seed oil and salt. Sounds unusual, but it is delicious spread on their Sparkle Rotu Pacchadi baked treats, similar to savory baked muffins. Owner and Chef Sumana Pathi has dedicated her heart and soul to spreading the use of wholesome, organic and natural foods to restore and maintain the quality of life.
* Me being a soap junkie, I absolutely had to purchase a soap bar from The Fairie Goatmother. (www.fairiegoatmother.com) These soaps are made the old fashion way, with no additives or detergents, and goat's milk is their main ingredient. They offer a variety of scents that tickle your nostrils in the very best way. I fell for the Morning Mint Bar- a pure combo of goat's milk and refreshing spearmint. I can't wait for bath time!
* Last, but certainly not least, the talented and lovely Christina from Farmgirl Flowers (www.farmgirlflowers.com) so graciously gifted us an electric bouquet of freshly picked and locally grown blooms. Farmgirl flowers are gorgeous and start at only $25 a bundle, all wrapped in recycled coffee burlap (thanks to Ritual Coffee Roasters). "By staying domestic and keeping it simple, Farmgirl reduces waste, minimizes environmental impact, and passes the savings on to you. You’ll also feel great when you tell everyone about buying from the greenest flower company around!" Not to mention Christina's uncanny natural talent for floral arrangement, she creates copious bundles of pure joy, bursting with exotic colors and textures. Also available are her living plant arrangements or "mini garden's", one of which we took home last month. It sits happily as the centerpiece to our dining room table and has brightened our home continuously.
The Bluxome Street Winery "Meet Market" runs every last Saturday of the month, so plan ahead, grab a reusable tote, put on your biggest smile and go shopping! You'll have a blast and meet a ton of new people, all while sampling the best of the best locally grown and produced goods. And believe me, your tummy will thank you...