This was going to be a lukewarm post about the daytime underground market today (which goes until 4 before reopening at 6 with a nighttime cast) until I tried the butter pie from Butter Love Bakeshop, which I bought and started eating just now at home. Butter pie is pecan pie minus pecans with a denser filling, somewhere between the pecan pie goo and toffee. The filling is too sweet on its own, and the crust is (purposely?) overcooked so it is almost burnt on its own, but together the near-bitter crust and too-sweet filling balance perfectly. Really perfectly. Going to their website -- they're online only -- I saw they linked to a NYTimes article about pie that featured them and their butter pie recipe (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/din...). I remember reading that article months ago but didn't make the connection to today's delicious butter pie until I got home and tried the pie.
The other highlight was the OaktownJerk beef jerky: thick slabs of tender jerky, with several flavor options. I liked all of the spicier flavors: thai basil; star anise and habanero; and chili lime chipotle.
Someone served chai; that was good, too.
I didn't care for the marshmallow snacks, which were more brown rice than marshmallow and tasted too much like health-food rice krispy squares. One vendor offered several savory "cupcakes"; I tried the macaroni and cheese crumble, which was overcooked, almost crunchy, and skimped on the promised sausage and chili.
I went around opening time, at 11. Just about everyone was set up on time, and it was uncrowded and middle-aged, which is what I hoped; I was not looking for a hipster party scene like it apparently becomes in the evening portion.
My biggest disappointment was that Baia pasta was not there; they're only coming tonight, and I was hoping to take home some of their dried pasta. I assumed they'd be there during the day when the vendors are mostly take-away, but I now see their website says they'll only be there tonight.
San Francisco, CA, San Francisco, CA