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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

San Francisco NACE at Blue Mermaid

Click on any image to view an enlargement.

Just a block north towards the waterfront from Ghiradelli Square and across the street from where tourists catch the ubiquitous SF cable cars at the Hyde Street turn around point sits the Argonaut Hotel. The entrance to the hotel's Blue Mermaid Chowder House & Bar is just around the corner on Jefferson Street.

As I walked into the courtyard where the SF NACE cocktail hour of networking was to take place at the Blue Mermaid I thought it was odd that I'd been in the neighborhood a number of times in the past but hadn't realized the hotel and restaurant were there.

A very pleasant crowd turned out for the event and I had a great time chatting with Robbie Schlosser of the Magnolia Jazz Band before zipping off to take more pictures for all of you here who read the blog.

For those not into seafood there was this antipasto to enjoy. I had some cheese and cornichons. Yum!

*Drool* I love clams, oysters and mussels. Sadly I became allergic to them several years ago. Add to that I'd only tried them for the first time a few years before becoming allergic so it was only briefly that I had the opportunity to eat them. To this day when I see clam chowder or linguine and clams in white wine sauce and garlic on a menu my mouth waters and I wonder what would happen if I had a bowl? Most likely a trip to the ER knowing my luck :P

The first time I ever had mussels was in Seattle Washington at a restaurant called Ettas. They were so good! Shortly after I went to Paris and had mussels as an appetizer my first evening there. I was hooked and went back again later that week and had a whole bowl full for dinner.

And though I've never tried raw oysters I used to be a fan of fried oysters. In Japanese restaurants you'll find them on the menu as "Kaki Fry." They're battered and rolled in finely ground bread crumbs called "Panko" before being deep fried and served with a dipping sauce.

After the networking session we retired to the private Maritime Room adjacent to the courtyard.

The room and tabletops looked gorgeous draped in gold polka dot tablecloths thanks to Hartman Studios...

And there were crimson and gold chair covers by Especially Yours Chair Covers.

The peonies by "An Added Touch" in our centerpiece were gorgeous!

Laurie Anderson from the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau was there and gave a presentation all about SF tourism. City Supervisor David Chu also spoke briefly and thanked us for coming up to SF and attending the NACE event.

Due to my allergies I had to skip the first course which was a crab chowder. It looked so good. I had a sourdough roll instead but it didn't seem interesting enough to photograph.

The chowder was followed by a green salad. The nice thing about the salad was the lettuce was chopped small enough that you didn't have to cut it yourself or try to cram a slightly too large piece into your mouth. Goldilocks would say the lettuce was chopped "just right."

Dinner was salmon, carrots, asparagus and mashed potatoes. Four of my favorite foods!

After dinner there was cake with an actual cake cutting and a bride!

Well, ok it wasn't a real bride. It was a performer dressed up as a bride. Yup it was Tina, from Tony and Tina's wedding performing just down the street who stopped by with Tony and some bridesmaids to do a little number for us. It was hilarious!

And lo and behold. I won a raffle prize! Talk about a "duh" moment. The last time I bought raffle tickets I forgot to split them in half so at the end of the raffle I realized I never had a chance to win because I'd kept both sets at my table. *Doh!* So that night I made sure that the second set of tickets made it into the collection container and was rewarded by winning a ticket to an upcoming NACE event. Woo Hoo!

It was a really fun evening and I'd just like to say thanks to the entire SF team that produces these events for the industry. I'd never been to the Argonaut Hotel or Blue Mermaid before so now I know a great new restaurant that I can pop into when I'm up in the city. And I can tell brides who are looking for an intimate reception location close to the sites and sounds of the waterfront and cable cars about this great location.

As I headed back to my car I couldn't resist taking this parting shot of their neon sign all lit up.

I was tempted to swing by the Moscone center because for once my hubby was up in the city instead of sitting at home watching tv shows I hate off of TIVO while I'm gone. He was attending the Stump the Experts event held during the WWDC each year up in SF. He's one of the experts. I was told I probably couldn't sneak in though so rather then test my luck I headed home and waited for the expert to arrive. LOL He was happy because he answered a question. I forgot to ask who won... The audience or the experts. I'll have to check with him tonight and get back to you on that.

Stump photo from Wikipedia


  1. Your food photos always make me so hungry... looked like a great event!


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