SPOTTER SPOTLIGHT ON MICHAEL M
Earlier this year, Foodspotting teamed up with San Francisco's 7x7 Magazine to create the Big Eat Scavenger Hunt Guide to "100 things to try before you die." It was going to be an epic undertaking so we gave Foodspotters a year to complete it. The first person to spot ALL 100 within twelve months would win various prizes, including dinner with wine pairings plus a hotel stay.
You finished the 100 item guide in a month. What was your strategy?
Typically, I'd go by myself, but there were a couple of people who I would drag around town saying, we need to get tofu soup and fish tacos. I divided the city into specific paths and figured out the most efficient route. One Sunday, I started at Ti Couz, then went to Dosa, Foreign Cinema, Beretta, La Taqueria, and Anthony's Cookies before going back for my car at Monk's Kettle. I brought my kids with me on a Market day and we knocked the Ferry Plaza off in one fell swoop.
What was the most memorable dish that you had from the 7x7 guide?
Toss up between the dry fried chicken wings at San Tung, the scotch egg at Wexler's and the house cappuccino at Tosca.
Were there dishes in the guide you did not want to eat? How did you get around it?
Though I wasn't against it at the time, if I never have the green papaya salad at Sai Jai Thai House, it'll be too soon.
Any tips for fellow Foodspotters?
Call ahead. Track down the dish and don't assume it'll be on the menu when you get there. I had to call Delfina for a week before they brought back the pork sugo, which was my last item. It wasn't even on the menu the day I had it.
Stay focused. When I went to these places, I typically only got what was on the list. If time is not an issue, try other items.
Eat Smart. Though I completed the guide in three weeks, I actually lost weight as I was constantly eating and was only eating a little bit at a time. I haven't been as successful with The Big Sweet Guide; that's why it's taking me longer.
Lastly, expose your friends and family to new dishes. I can't stop my kids from ordering banh mi sandwiches, soup dumplings, and pork belly now.