Bright Lights, Big City

Tonight I had a date in the big city.

When Beth invited me as her date to Taste of the Nation in San Francisco I obviously said yes!

Reason number 20006 why I heart Beth: we both attack food events with a very strategic plan in mind.
First, we circle the parameters, making mental note of booths we want to stop at and plates we want to taste. After we have circled like hawks, we go in for the kill. We work fast, we don’t drink, we take photos.
And then we still manage to get home by 9:00.
Beth, you are my foodie soulmate.

The event tonight was a charity event with 100% of all donations and ticket sales going to anti-hunger organizations. I don’t want to get all political right now and I LOVED tonight. The food was fabulous. However, it just doesn’t sit right with my soul to be at an anti-hunger event while eating beautiful food with beautiful people. I’d rather throw off the heels and dress and instead give food to actual starving children. So speaketh my soul.
But, I can’t deny the food was delicious.



These won the prize though.

If you have read my blog since the beginning of time, you know that macaroons have my heart. I love them like none other. They are perfect in every single way. The perfect cookie. The perfect bite. Sometimes, I dream about them at night.
I ate a ton of dessert tonight.

But it was so worth it. These chocolate pots de creme were to die for.
After we had eaten everything in sight (oh, I love food events with a pregnant friend!) we paused for some photo ops before heading home to meet our early bedtimes.

Have I mentioned how much I heart San Francisco? I looooooooooooove love love love it!



This was the perfect end to my night.
Churchill, I’m sorry. Another has stolen my heart.

And he wears shoes.

Oh, my heart!!!!!

Louie and Lucy are brother and sister. Does this not melt your heart to maple syrup?!
Finally it was time to say goodbye.
Goodnight, San Francisco!

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  • Kilee
    April 29, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Your photos are beautiful. All of the food at the even looks amazing! I love seeing all of your adventures in Cali!

  • Nora@LiveLifeEatRight
    April 29, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    I can’t even tell you how jealous I am…this looks FANTASTIC. I honestly cant picture a better way to end a week than with good food and good company. I know I’ve said this many times before but I ADORE your blog. I can only hope that I have a lifestyle and perspective like yours one day πŸ™‚ Take care!!

  • Diana
    April 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Yeah, I agree. Anti hunger event and lots of people eating amazing food? Surely there’s someone out there who would appreciate that food much more. Oh well. But it does all look amazing and I’m glad you had a good time πŸ™‚

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    April 29, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    I so wish we had a taste of the nation here in Pittsburgh!

  • nicole
    April 29, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    more applicable to your last post but…i’ve been a reader/lurker for a while and just went out and got american wife today…can’t put it down!! i just got back from going out to the bars with my friends and i think i need to read more…

  • Kim
    April 29, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Oh my gosh, I love pugs. I have one male pug myself and now I totally want a female too. So cute!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs
    April 29, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    I agree with the above comment – anti-hunger and plenty of food is a bit odd..like KFC trying to support a PETA campaign or something almost!? Or not…
    Either way, the food looks delicious! As does San Francisco (I realllly want to go there) and those PUGS! I lol’d out loud πŸ˜›

  • Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear
    April 29, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    I love San Francisco too, I wish I could live there too πŸ™‚

    So funny to see a dog with shoes!

  • amber's notebook
    April 29, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    oh soooo glad you made it to At&T park..perfection right?

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    April 29, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    A dog with shoes?! NOW I have seen everything πŸ˜‰

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    April 29, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Oh my goodness, Jenna. Every picture in this post melted my heart to maple syrup. What a stunning evening in SF! I hope Tina reads this posts. Those pugs are almost as cute as Murphy ; )

  • Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards)
    April 29, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Your pics are wonderful jenna. I canΒ΄t believe I spent so many years in CA and never attended a foodie event like this. WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING. Luckily, blogs like this ensure that once I get home I am hitting up every such event in sight… that I can afford. : )

  • Jess
    April 30, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Oh my god. The pug shoes. I think it’s a toss up between what’s cuter: tea-cup pigs or pugs with sneaks. Man!

    Anyway, just think of the foodie event like this. You’re eating good food AND helping a good cause. You could’ve just been eating good food. At least your nom-tastic night was beneficial to others as well (and not just your tummy).

    The grilled cheese sandwiches (I think that’s what they were) look so good. Want.

    As far as macaroons go, I don’t think I’ve ever had one. Hm, might make some soon.

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels
    April 30, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Oh I literally just gasped at the doggie shoes, they’re soooooooo cute!

  • Christie {Honoring Health}
    April 30, 2010 at 3:25 am

    Ok, the food looks amazing but I gotta tell you, those shoes stole my heart. It literally skipped a beat when is saw them.

    Sigh. I want a doggie that wears shoes.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    April 30, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Awwww….I tried to make my dog wear shoes once (snow boots! She needed them!), and she was having absolutely none of it. Boo. Maybe she’d like some chuck taylors?

    Excellent, excellent photos.

  • Lizzie
    April 30, 2010 at 3:53 am

    Hi Jenna:

    I know what you’re talking about re: hunger issue. Our city has one every year and we usually go (heaps of great restaurants!), but it does feel weird . . . I guess you have to look at the long term goal.

    I should send you this photo I took on the subway last week since you have been all about the doggy posts . . in fact, I think I will!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    April 30, 2010 at 4:00 am

    I agree with your thoughts on the whole anti-hunger event with wonderful food. That does seem strange and just wrong in some way. I’m sure they were just trying to bring in more people though, and if they raised a good amount of money this way, then I think it’s totally worth it. πŸ˜‰

    I’m glad you had a great time! The pics are gorgeous and the pugs…oh my gosh…haha. No words! :mrgreen:

  • Midgetkeeper
    April 30, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Those pugs are too cute! I love all the pictures the food just looks phenomenal.

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner
    April 30, 2010 at 4:27 am

    I can’t get over the pug with shoes.

  • theemptynutjar
    April 30, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Your meals are always so classy. Glad you had an enjoyable night.

  • eatmovelove
    April 30, 2010 at 4:46 am

    No way is that dog wearing sneakers!! Too cute. Gah . And dessert is the best part of going out to eat girl πŸ™‚
    I would love to go to SF …or anywhere is Cali…would love to live there – but hear it’s uber-expensive. Then again, what isn’t?

  • Brynne
    April 30, 2010 at 4:55 am

    PUG SHOES! just made my day :0)

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)
    April 30, 2010 at 4:55 am

    What a fun night–love finding foodie soulmates. πŸ˜€

  • AM
    April 30, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Aww, you and Beth are absolutely glowing!
    Totally agree about luxurious food at hunger-awareness events.

  • Tara @ FoodforFuel
    April 30, 2010 at 5:06 am

    That event looks like so much fun! I wish they would have things like that here in Austin…and that I was invited to them! Those Pug shoes are hilarious! You should get a dog πŸ™‚

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    April 30, 2010 at 5:09 am

    What a beautiful event!

    And oh my, those doggie pictures!!! Adorable!


  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly
    April 30, 2010 at 5:12 am

    So much fun!!!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    April 30, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Wow looks like such a cool event!!

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    April 30, 2010 at 5:20 am

    I went to a conference for that company last fall and I will agree, it was sort of odd eating delicious food while talking about hunger. BUT I think it gets the word out and people donate gobs of money so they come out ahead in the fight against hunger (maybe?).

    Cutie little puggles!!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    April 30, 2010 at 5:24 am

    I never understood dinners like that. I guess if they raise a lot of money but they always make me uncomfortable too.

    At least you got to enjoy the good fun and fun with Beth.

  • Lizzie
    April 30, 2010 at 5:25 am

    Ok – just realized I can’t send you that pic through the contact form. Oops!

  • Quinn
    April 30, 2010 at 5:26 am

    That was my big beef with the TOTN in DC. Some eateries had HUGE portions – when all I really wanted was a taste. Then, I felt horrendous for throwing it away when the event was meant to raise awareness for hunger. No bueno.

  • Rachel @ Suburban Yogini
    April 30, 2010 at 5:29 am

    I completely agree with you about the “food event for anti-hunger” quandry. I’m not sure it would have sat right with me either.

    More importantly πŸ˜‰ I have to ask, shoes…..? On a pug…..? Porquoi….?

  • Jenna
    April 30, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Glad you had fun with Beth! Are you gonna meet up with Meghann since she is in town?!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    April 30, 2010 at 5:34 am

    oh lord, those pug shoes are ADORABLE πŸ™‚ sounds like a fabulous foodie event, and san francisco couldn’t be a better city for something like that!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers
    April 30, 2010 at 5:40 am

    You are making me want to go to San Fran right now!! I’m with you on why feed rich people fancy food to help with hunger being a little odd…

  • megan
    April 30, 2010 at 5:46 am

    I actually think I’m kind of ok with the food for hunger thing. It’s like the national food blogger’s bake sale we held a few weeks ago. Food gets people’s attention. People like food, and will pay for it. We couldn’t actually make food and send it to hungry kids, but we could make food, sell it, and send the money to help the starving kids. I kind of view it like any other fundraise out there – the cause is good and money is the most practical thing to send to help out in some cases. the event raised money for a great cause and I’m sure the food theme brought out lots of people. does that make sense or am I way off base?

  • Helen
    April 30, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Ha ha that dog has the best shoes!!! I love it! I also love your comment about going to food events with a pregnant friend. Brilliant! I agree with you about not wanting to eat the food at an anti-hunger event as it seems a bit hypocritical…..but at least you thought about that fact, I’m sure others didn’t.

  • Nadine
    April 30, 2010 at 5:59 am

    OMG. Why is that dog wearing shoes? I’m a little obsessed with this question. Are his feet hurt? Is he a slave to fashion? It’s like I need to track this dog down and get my questions answered. My dogs are not into accessories, but I wish they were!

  • Lauren @ Running Examiner
    April 30, 2010 at 6:02 am

    You raise an interesting point…I agree that it seems like a contradiction to hold an anti-hunger event filled with tons of gorgeous food. However, gorgeous food is an amazing way to attract people to an event; hopefully, the night raised a lot of money to benefit hungry children.

    Your photos are beautiful–love your hair! Oh, and the pug with the sneakers has stolen my heart this morning. Such unnecessary adornment, and still oh so cute!

  • allison @ livingoneday
    April 30, 2010 at 6:03 am

    you look tan and gorgeous in your pictures! cali is definitely doing you well! i love your plan of attack for the benefit, and yes, i understand the moral dilemma. however, at least money was raised. (i participated in the national food bloggers bake sale to end childhood hunger and i felt the same way, but at least we contributed to the cause, you know?) also, the macaroons – i LOVE those kind…ive had amazing ones like that from france and sweden…nothing like the chunky coconut ones, but more made with almond paste. to.die.for. and lastly, the DOG SHOOOOOESSSS. omgg, adorable. i wouldve stolen him and run away. heart

  • Kalli@fitandfortysomething
    April 30, 2010 at 6:05 am

    What amazing food! Ican see why it bothers you for a hunger event though . I love sf too- what a city!

  • Meg
    April 30, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Oh gosh, those pugs just made my day, haha!

    Speaking of your soul, it’s beautiful! Glad you were able to enjoy the night with another foodie friend πŸ™‚

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    April 30, 2010 at 6:24 am

    I thought the same thing when I heard about taste of Taste of the Nation. It seems odd and sort of glutinous to do all that eating in the name of hunger. I wonder how much all that food and help cost from what they raised. It seems wrong, and I do understand that giving food helps raise money. But still.

    And that dog with shoes? Oh my goodness, priceless!

  • Jil
    April 30, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Agreed – I’m always a fan of the whole more direct the better thing – but at the very least that food was benefiting those who were hungry monetarily. It looks amazing, though!!

  • Sarah R
    April 30, 2010 at 6:26 am

    OMG. the pug with shoes?! I’m pretty sure Tina would have stolen that dog had she been with you!

  • Lindsay
    April 30, 2010 at 6:32 am

    I am more of an expert on volunteering in DC, but I am sure there are tons of non-profits in San Francisco doing great work -you could definitely find a place to volunteer where you were serving/distributing food, making meals, packing groceries, etc. Big fancy events are so fun and raise tons of money which is really important, but I totally agree with you Jenna – I’d rather be doing something to help the cause directly, as opposed to giving $ which is more indirect, but very important still…

  • Mel
    April 30, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Do you mean “macarons”? The French cookie. One “o”.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    April 30, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Oh my gosh, those shoes are the CUTEST thing I have ever seen!!!!!!
    The food looks fabulous too πŸ˜‰

  • Jenny
    April 30, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Omg!!! A pug wearing shoes:) how presh!

  • Kellie@obsessivelyhealthy
    April 30, 2010 at 6:43 am

    I love events like that where you taste a little bit of everything. Appetizers and deserts are my favorite, so I love events that I can nibble on everything.

  • Samantha (Foodedu)
    April 30, 2010 at 6:49 am

    I understand your feelings about having a food fundraising for Anti-Hunger. But you know, that is how these things work. There is a very high ticket price to get into these big fundraisers, but when people are there eating/drinking and having fun they are generally more willing to give loads more money. And really it’s the money (and the volunteers too!) that make these organizations go round. Still kind of ironic though, huh?

    The food looks fab–I haven’t been to San Fran is quite a while. What a fun evening!

  • Nicole
    April 30, 2010 at 6:58 am

    I’ve got to get to San Francisco, hoping to do so in November! The doggie shoes, are too cute πŸ™‚

  • Laura @ youngDCliving
    April 30, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Oh my gosh! Those dog shoes are priceless. Also, I totally agree with you about the event, it sounded like a lot of fun, but seems like a total oxymoron. San Francisco is awesome!

  • Lauren @ louisianagrown
    April 30, 2010 at 7:06 am

    I had all sorts of thoughtful things to say about the hunger event and relevant issues…. and then I got to the dog in Chucks. OMG. Be still my heart.

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances
    April 30, 2010 at 7:07 am

    THE SHOES!!! Oh, how cute. I love this post. πŸ˜€

  • Katy ( The Balanced Foodie)
    April 30, 2010 at 7:19 am

    I had the same thought a few weeks ago!! I totally understand how it works by selling high price tickets, but it still doesn’t seem right somehow. Glad you said something. In other news, the food looked incredible! I’m happy you had a great night with Beth!

  • hungryforbalance.wordpress.com
    April 30, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Looks like fun! And what beautiful food! Enjoy!!!!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    April 30, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Oh! I’m all over macaroons too. Since going to French cooking school they just seem like a must! I’ve only tried them from a few different places though and I’m sure the ones you had last night would have been a totally different experience!

  • Kait
    April 30, 2010 at 7:31 am

    oh my goodness those puppies could not be cuter!! I have never seen shoes like that on a dog, adorable!

  • Camille
    April 30, 2010 at 7:33 am

    All the tiny bites look delicious!
    I love SF too. I actually used to live there for a year and I liked it a lot less living there than I do visiting. lol

  • Kacy
    April 30, 2010 at 7:33 am

    I agree that actually feeding the hungry would have been a better approach, but your pictures of the food are gorgeous.
    And those puppy shoes are the cutest things ever!!!!

  • s
    April 30, 2010 at 7:46 am

    omg … that dog is wearing shoes haha.
    have a great day jenna!

  • Sarah-Mae @ Eat, Run, Knit
    April 30, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Way too cute. I am not normally a fan of people dressing up their dogs, but those shoes are pretty darn cute.

    On macaroons, I couldn’t say it better. Coconut macaroons are heaven in sugary cookie format.

  • Dana
    April 30, 2010 at 8:12 am

    awe, those shoes on that pug are too cute !!

  • Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary
    April 30, 2010 at 9:02 am

    What a fun night Miss J! πŸ˜€ Wishing I could have been there!!

  • Corinne
    April 30, 2010 at 9:03 am

    be still my heart. that pup IS wearing shoes! tina at carrotsncake will scream with delight when she sees those shots. looks like a fun night! did you miss reading while you were there? πŸ™‚

  • Lisa
    April 30, 2010 at 9:05 am

    You guys take fantastic foodie pics! And those pugs are adorable!!!

  • kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com
    April 30, 2010 at 9:11 am

    strategies are a must for food venues! its liek mission impossible in there sometimes lol <3 xoxo

  • Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle
    April 30, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Oh my gosh!! The wee little shoes on the dog! So funny! I’ve seen the Taste of the Nation on a lot of blogs.. I want to go to one, so much good food.

  • Lizz (Leading the Good Life)
    April 30, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Those puppy sneakers are hilarious! (i must have them)

  • Carly @ The Road To Health
    April 30, 2010 at 9:49 am

    OMG Those pugs are TOO CUTE!!! AH! <3

  • Laura Georgina
    April 30, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I love pugs! I may have had a brief career as a pug stalker in Montreal, where every Tuesday seemed to be Pug Walking Day at Mount Royal Park. I got pretty good at following pugs through the park just to see them be cute.

    They are just so sweet. Too bad they get depressed (they need constant human contact, poor things)!

  • Thealogian
    April 30, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Yeah, my liberal guilt would overcome my foodie instincts at a fancy eats event for world hunger. Just can’t compute the contradictions–not to say that people who suffer from hunger don’t deserve well prepared, nutritious food! We all do–and I think that’s one thing Alice Waters discusses well in her writing but perhaps not in her interviews. Good food, organic food, local food–these are not elitist foods, but rather should be available and supported by ethical agricultural public policy, not are current system whereby High Fructose Corn Syrup is subsidized and cheap beef is subsidized, but veggies are somehow “elite.” This is a problem, at least in this country, that has been supported BY BOTH MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES. At least Michelle Obama seems to get it.

  • Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/
    April 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    The pug in sneakers is probably one of the best things I have seen in a while. The foods last night looked delicious and the photography was amazing.

  • Pure2Raw Twins
    April 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Love the pug in sneakers, that is so cute. I have never seen that before! I was just over in Paris and got some french macaroons -delicious and I just love all the flavors they come in πŸ˜‰

  • Sophie
    April 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    It’s “macarons”.