Our Trip to the NASFT Fancy Food Show Summer 2011

Show floor 1, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

We went to the NASFT (National Association for the Specialty Food Trade) Fancy Food Show in Washington, DC this weekend. With over 2400 exhibitors from over 80 countries showing over 180,000 products, this was a *huge* event!

Very well organized, we were pleased to be able to meet so many new people and try so many new products. Everything you could imagine in the world of food was represented there.
We spent most of the day just getting through the first of 2 floors of exhibits. By the time we reached the 2nd floor, it was already 3:30 and the show closed at 5pm.

We did get to meet Steven Raichlen, which was very cool, but I didn’t get a pic with him. He talked with us about his Grilling Butters, and how the Truffle Butter, sliced and slapped into the middle of a good burger would just be heavenly on the grill.

We also met up with Patricia Jinich of Pati’s Mexican Table and although we missed all the great food she cooked at the Mexican Pavilion, we had a blast talking with her and catching up on what’s hot in the world of Mexican cuisine and imports. Pati also had quite a few samples of some outstanding salsas from Mexico as well as a mole-based salsa that was really tasty.

Two other boggers in attendance were Al “Buddah” Goldenberg of ILoveItSpicy.com and Rich Wachtel of GrillingwithRich.com. It was nice to meet Rich in person, and Buddah is always a treat to hang with.

We did get to meet dozens of people and sample hundreds of products, and from a networking standpoint, it rocked. We’ve made many, many new contacts and hope to be able to bring you reviews and news of new products from companies and folks that are rockin’ the fiery-foods world.

Photos from the event:

I’m sorry we didn’t get more photos from the show, but here are a few:

Dinner at Nando’s Peri-Peri restaurant:

Saturday night we dined at Nando’s on 7th St NW in DC. The place was packed and very noisy. But the chicken was out of this world!

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Washington:

Dinner at Holly’s on US 50 in Maryland:

On the way home, we stopped at Holly’s Restaurant on US Rt 50 just outside of Kent Island. Famous for their fried chicken, and it didn’t disappoint, this place has been here 2 years longer than I’ve been alive. And on the many trips to and from Baltimore, Holly’s has always been there.
Way back in the 1970’s, we would stop in for coffee late at night (Holly’s was open 24/7 back then) on our way home from concerts at the old Baltimore Civic Center.
A local institution since 1955, Marilyn and I have talked of stopping there for years, and we finally did. Check out the old school photos I snapped of their original signage, and the parking lot from the 70’s I think. Current family owner Justin was so nice and gave us a really good history of the joint. 🙂

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  1. I have been dying to try Nando’s at some point. I made Raichlen’s Nando style peri peri wings and that only made me want to go there even more.

    Very cool that you got to meet him. He’s one of the few BBQ elite that I haven’t at least bumped into somewhere.

    1. I’ll have to check out that peri peri wings recipe. The Nando’s chicken itself was outstanding… can’t say much for the restaurant. But it was a Saturday night in DC, I guess I’ll back off as the crowd and noise is to be expected.

      Steven was very nice and approachable. After we introduced ourselves, one of his assistants said something to him along the lines of “they write hot sauce reviews…” to which he replied “yea, I know them. I know who they are.” THAT was very cool.

      (Toot Toot!) <- my own horn

    1. Thanks man. Hang tight, at the rate that Nando’s has begun expanding in the US, they may be near you someday soon!

  2. LoL I just found this post – I love Nandos and am proud to say that I used to frequent their first restaurant in Rosettenville, Johannesburg back in the day

    Great to see a South African born and bred brand go global

  3. Nandos! Just saw on your “we recommend sidebar” the Nando’s link, and found this post. My wife & I lived in the UK for a couple years, and Nando’s was one of our favorite places to eat. The butterflied, bucket-marinated chicken was awesome! Our local was in the Reading Oracle (a new (then) mall). It’s good to see them finally expanding to the US, but they’ve got a long way to go before they reach San Diego!!

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