Friday, March 9, 2012

Backstage pass at Behind the Cart: NOLA

It was the 4th installment of Behind the Cart and this time they're bringing New Orleans to SF! It was a night of crawfish, shrimp, gumbo, hush puppies and great music. It was a sold out event of about 66 guests and all I can say is that Old Skool Cafe was definitely transformed into the streets of Nola.

table set up

Who put that jacket there?

The V.I.P. table!

For those who don't know, BTC is a mobile underground restaurant brought to you by cheesiest grilled cheese master himself Michael Davidson. Its purpose is to showcase the local food entrepreneurs, share stories, eat amazing food and have a good time. Last Saturday's dinner didn't fail to do all of that. It was definitely LOUD, literally. MJ's Brass Boppers were responsible for having the guests get off their seats, dance and do the train. The people behind the food served that night were: S+S Gastro Grub, Angry Man Eats, Fat Alley Foods, Grilled Cheez Guy, Suite Foods, Frozen Kuhsterd and The Uncommon pickle.

Happy chefs

Simone of S+S Gastro Grub sharing what she knows best

MJ Brass Boppers

I got the chance to get behind the scenes and help out with prepping food in the kitchen and also serve dinner. The mood in the kitchen was definitely intense. Imagine different chefs cooking, plating food, and having a great time. Whew! It was definitely a challenge I enjoyed being a part of. I met great people and ate some delicious food. I must say, the restaurant itself definitely has some character. It was sleek, classy, and the set up was great too. 66+ people were seated comfortably and with the band playing, it really got loud and cozy! It was located around the Bayview area of San Francisco and walking towards the restaurant kinda scared me at first. Just a little bit.. A lot of people were hanging out around the corners and you can actually smell their business. I had to do the "no eye contact" walk since I have a back pack with my camera on it. Once I enter the restaurant though I was transported to a different place.

Intense talk by the captain

Michael Davidson sharing his masterplan for the night

Angry Man Eats prepping his honey butter

Fat Alley Foods cooking the Shrimp Etouffee

Caught in the act by Nicole Quihuis (Thanks for the photo Niki)

Let's talk about the food. My favorite was the Gumbo Pot Pie by S+S Gastro Grub. The dough was flaky and buttery and the gumbo is just rich and packed with crawfish, chicken and sausages. I also like the combination of the crawfish wonton with creole mustard aioli and satsuma bourbon marmalade. It was sweet and crunchy. S+S really did a great job in terms of utilizing the crawfish. Some of their crawfish actually came from Louisiana and some were live ones from the Bay Area. Angry Man Eats' Hush puppies were addictive too especially with that honey butter and home made pepper jelly. I can eat a whole bag of those fried balls. I've heard great things about the dessert as well. I didn't get the chance to stay for dessert though and I know I missed a lot since people have been raving about the Leige waffle with the salted caramel frozen custard. Thanks to Nicole of Pretty Hungry for some of the pictures. I didn't get to take shots of the Shrimp Etouffee and the dessert but Nicole did. Check out her facebook page for some amazing action shots! :)

The Menu

Here are some food shots from the kitchen.

Amuse bouche: crawfish tail meat with water chestnuts mixed with creole mustard topped with crispy wonton and satsuma bourbon marmalade

Fat Alley Foods in action (photo by Nicole Q.)

Shrimp Etouffee (photo by Nicole Q.)

Gumbo pot pies waiting for their sauna moment

Crawfish on a calamansi balsamic salad

Partners in crime; Gumbo Pot Pie by S+S Gastro Grub

Hush Puppies by Angry Man Eats

Stinky Cheese Swamp. Red Hawk by cowgirl creamery, Inna Jam's jalapeno jelly and walnuts. Creation by the GrilledCheezGuy himself

Frozen Kuhsterd in action (photo by Nicole Q.)

Collaboration dessert by Suite foods and Frozen Kuhsterd. Salted caramel frozen custard with Liege waffle topped with coffee caramel drizzle (photo by Nicole Q.)

The Uncommon Pickle

The Grilled Cheez guy has done it again. Another successful event! These events are one of the reasons why I love San Francisco. I love the underground scene especially when it involves supporting your local and talented food entrepreneurs. Till next time, rumor has it it won't be that long.. Check out the website for further details.


  1. great blog and photos as always! thanks fer's bite!

  2. Very nice job! Thank you very much for joining us and know that you ALWAYS have a backstage pass to our food show!