Events

The Great San Francisco Mac and Cheese Throwdown

When four, count ‘em four, friends contacted me this week to make sure I was aware of this event, I realized I’d made a bit of a mac-and-cheese-tasting reputation for myself.

This throwdown comes your way through the combined efforts of the SoMa StrEat Food Park and FunCheapSF, both great organizations with a goal of keeping Bay Area residents in good food for fair prices. In addition to over 10 food trucks offering their mac and cheese spins, there will also be games, beer specials, and a cheesy cover band. And yes, that’s the precise language used to describe the band.

What: the Great San Francisco Mac and Cheese Throwdown

Where: SoMa StrEat Food Park, 428 11th Street, San Francisco.

When: 11/22 from 11am to 5pm.

How Much: $5 for entry, which includes 1 tasting ticket OR $20 for a passport that includes entry, 5 tasting tickets, and a PBR. Individual tasting tickets are $4 each.

Get me tickets: Order them through Eventbrite here.

Unfortunately, I will not be attending the throwdown because I already have plans Saturday and because I’m pretty sure that many mac and cheese options are too many even for me. But my quest to conquer 7 x 7′s list of the best Bay Area mac and cheeses continues, and my most recent post on that is here. Coming up soon are my thought’s on Paragon’s offering and then the Mac and Cheese nights will continue after the New Year. Only 4 to go!

 

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Oak Farm Vineyards Winery Expansion!

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The fishing lake at Oak Farm Vineyard. Click twice for the full view.

Oak Farm Vineyards Winery (23627 Devries Road) is on its way to becoming the first of its kind in the Lodi, CA, appellation: a family-owned estate that offers the full experience of a large-scale destination winery, minus the glitzy hotel and pretension. I took part in a media preview of their new expansion, which will help them achieve that goal. The Wine and Hospitality Facility is scheduled for a public grand opening on October 25 and 26 of this year, and if you’re a local wine lover, it’s an event you shouldn’t miss.

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That beautiful wood-covered tasting room is the centerpiece of the expansion. By now, the landscaping is likely all filled in along the terraced stone wall. Inside, the tasting room is covered in more gorgeous wood and decorated with an inviting modern aesthetic.

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That geode picture is really for my sister, who collects them.

That geode picture is really for my sister, who collects them.

Attached to the tasting room is a bonus room that is intended for the use of Oak Farm Vineyards wine club members. Dorothy Panella, mother of Managing Partner Dan Panella and Business Manager Nicole Panella, is officially in charge “of stuff,” which included decorating the room before us bloggers rolled in with our cameras. She assured us that the final version of the room would look much better, but frankly, I think she did a great job with the stuff.

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Mac & Cheese Night #4: Homeroom

My 4th Mac & Cheese Night took place at the East Bay’s prime mac & cheese destination along 40th Street in Oakland: Homeroom.

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Nearly every time I’ve mentioned my mac & cheese quest, I’ve been interrupted by an excited new acquaintance asking if I’ve tried Homeroom yet. Finally, FINALLY, I can say yes when asked.

Schoolroom décor in keeping with their name. I approve.

Schoolroom décor in keeping with their name. I approve.

Homeroom is owned by a pair of friends with a passion for comfort food, Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade, who also happen to both be pregnant with their second children right now, which I found out from reading an article about their planned expansion for Homeroom in the fall. That expansion will be geared toward meeting their to-go and large party needs, which are big contributors to the constant wait times at the midsize restaurant.

Well…the fall is not now, so our party of six was prepared for those long wait times at 8 on a Friday night. I had to laugh when I signed us in and asked the host if we would fit—there are not many tables available for more than four people. “Oh, no problem,” he said, quickly followed by a snarky, “but it’ll be a minute.” I knew a minute would be a lot longer than that and it took over an hour. At least owner Erin made the rounds of waiting customers, offering water. Much appreciated!

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