When Desserts Collide: SF Street Sweets
Three underground dessert makers, Jilli Ice Cream, Eat the Love, and Nosh This have decided to band together and take their sugary treats to the streets for a pop-up event of insulin-stimulating proportions. The aptly named SF Street Sweets held their inaugural event this past Sunday, October 2, from 1-6pm in a secret alley location in the Lower Haight, announcing the approximate address only 24 hours prior via Twitter and newsletter.
I have to admit, when I first heard of the event, the part of me that dutifully tries to shun refined sugar let out a sigh of “oh, crap.” But when I received the email notification with the address and teaser menu, the secret fat kid inside me told my sensible self to take a hike. How can you not get excited by the words “Bacon Crack”?
A sign on the corner of Germania and Fillmore let me know that I was getting closer to the action, and halfway up the block was a darling makeshift bakery stand tucked into a small driveway. Children sat on small stools coloring on butcher paper-lined tables while their parents chatted and noshed on cookies and pie. Neatly printed menus stated the specials for the day — it was everything they had promised and more. Eat the Love had assorted jumbo cookies, Nosh This was slinging made-to-order bourbon s’mores, and Jilli scooped sundaes of blackberry ice cream, hot brown sugar crumble, and freshly whipped cream. One special menu item combined one element from each vendor’s repertoires: a slice of Eat the Love bourbon apple pie topped with Jilli Madagascar vanilla ice cream and Nosh This bacon caramel sauce. Heaven in an epic dessert bowl.
It’s well-known that San Francisco has a burgeoning underground food scene. But with the sudden closure of the Underground Market earlier this summer — an event that allowed vendors to sell prepared food without the use of commercial kitchens — many food vendors are looking for ways to continue sharing their culinary masterpieces in lieu of the regular buzz-generating platform the market provided. According to Jilli’s Jacky Hayward, SF Street Sweets started as the result of that incident. “Willi [Schrom, her business partner] and I wanted to keep doing ice cream-related events, so [we] thought it would be fun to partner with other dessert vendors.”
It makes perfect sense. Why fly under the radar alone when you can partner with other talented chefs and make something people can get excited about? Especially dessert, which is typically for special occasions. Each vendor got the chance to contribute to planning a dish they normally wouldn’t make on their own. Could this possibly be the new future of SF underground food?
The next SF Street Sweets event is “yet to be determined, but our tentative next date is the weekend before Thanksgiving,” says Hayward. “Right now, we’re still figuring out where our location might be for subsequent events, but [we] did really love having it in the Lower Haight.” If you want to stay up-to-date with information about the next event you can visit http://sftreetsweets.com or follow the gang on Twitter at @sfstreetsweets.