FOODBUZZING AT TEN 01 – May 3, 2008

When Foodbuzz originally emailed me last fall about the Restaurant Roulette Blog becoming part of their food network and me becoming a Featured Publisher, I didn’t know what to think. For one thing, did I need to be associating with the likes of people who were interested in more widely circulating writing like mine? (Scary, let’s not forget that “person” who emailed me after the Fife dinner and said it was the worst review they had ever read, and that I had clearly written no more than a postcard before that time.) I asked my tek-support-Queen what she made of the invitation, and she thought it was probably some mass generated approach to drum up advertising dollars. I looked at the sample pages that Foodbuzz sent my way, and must say it looked like a classy, food-driven group who did want to generate some advertising dollars, but who primarily seemed to want to create a new internet driven information network encompassing dining, cooking, and a “food lifestyle.”

Although some extremely modest advertising revenue certainly would never have bent my nose out of joint, after minimal research my fears were confirmed that I had two choices, move my blog from WordPress, the free site that allows no advertising of any kind, or forgo the advertising revenue and just GO FOR THE WIDE REACHING FAME!! As I don’t exactly live in a gigantic city, and my blog was basically semi-obscure, I figured my traffic would never be enough to generate a lavish lifestyle from advertising hustling anyway, so I decided to stick with WordPress but still accept the kind offer of Foodbuzz to join their ranks as a Featured Publisher, san the ads. At first I was worried that I would get second citizen status because there were no ads on our blog, but from the beginning Foodbuzz has been wonderful to me.

IMG_0343.JPGWithin the first few weeks of joining Foodbuzz, a welcome signing bonus came my way to improve my site, so after that digital photos regularly began to liven up the Restaurant Roulette dinner reviews. Not too long after, a surprise package came in the mail from Foodbuzz, a wonderful little box of personalized 4-Color Process business cards advertising our blog, something I had been wanting to have, but not pay for. (As I know better than most people, full color business cards are not cheap.) Then about a month ago, a solicitation from Foodbuzz, they were hosting a local dinner of Portland’s Featured Publishers, and wanted to know which of two possible dates looked best to me. Free eats, meeting some Foodbuzz people and also fellow local food bloggers, it really didn’t matter which of the two potential dates to me, I was SO there.

Soon I was notified that the dinner would be a Saturday, as most people preferred the dinner then, and that the location would be Ten 01. Hmm, I thought, Ten 01, that indeed sounds like the kind of place people from a swinging food city like San Francisco would select, very oh so Pearl, expensive, trendy, a place for beautiful people to rub shoulders and nosh on ultra fancy victuals. I had never been to Ten 01, or attempted to take our group there, largely because the restaurant, upon opening, had been dumped on by every restaurant critic high and low. It was hard to remember any high-end restaurant taking such a critical drubbing and not immediately folding up its tent and leaving town (although Bay 13 down the way hasn’t exactly been raking in lavish critical praise either.) The people in charge of Ten 01 know how to do a quality restaurant though, they’re the same people behind the delicious cooking at the 360 degree different Tabla, so before long a new chef was brought on at Ten 01, Jack Yoss. Since that time, I had read some largely favorable reviews of the place, so didn’t mind checking it out, especially on someone else’s dime (looking at the menu prices later, I have to say, Foodbuzz generously put out many, many dimes.) (more…)