Berkeley Int'l Food Fest, Sun 6/29,Noon-5,Univ Ave & San Pablo,free
Tomorrow, Sunday from 12-5 centering at the corner of University Ave and San Pablo is the third annual Berkeley International Food Festival. I've been to the previous ones and last year's was one of the best street fairs that I've been to. Almost all the booths were local unlike a lot of street fairs that are almost becoming franchises.
The parking lot next to Wells Fargo will be used for cooking demos and last time a local deli, Bombay Spice House was handing out free samples. Many of the nearby Indian, Pakistani, Mexican, Jamaican restaurants either set up tables on the street selling food or offered some type of special inside. Spanish Table usually does a paella demo in a giant pan.
Near Indus Village there was live music and several Mexican bands played on Addison Street near Mi Tierra or Mi Ranchito.
Freight and Salvage, the folk music club on Addison, had free performanaces all afternoon.
The intersection of University and San Pablo might be my favorite ChowCorner in the Bay area - within a six-block radius there's Kabana, Afghan Kabob, Indus Village, Vik's, 4th Street, a couple of spice houses, Casa Latina and Grocery Outlet and more....
here's a link to the festival flyer:
I took a walk down there today. Other than a thai iced coffee from the cheese shop, I didn't buy anything. There was an abundance of indian/pakistani fare. I almost bought a taco from the Picante booth, but I saw someone else's, and the meat looked quite soggy. I missed the paella demonstration/samples at the Spanish Table. People seemed to be in good moods, and it was nice to see very few of those "we show up at every fair" stands, but nothing tempted me enough to want to ruin my dinner appetite.
Spent almost all afternoon at the Berk Int Food Fest - some highlights:
- dohkla chaat, 2 small steamed cakes of fermented gram flour with spices, $1. It was from a stand on 9th St south of University. Think it was the Bombay Spice booth. First time for me for dohkla, which I liked. Had tried to order it a few months ago at Vik's which has it as a weekend special, but Vik's was out;
- potato vada chaat, 2 medium-sized fried potato dumplings with spices, subtle but terrific, $1, same booth as above;
- cardamon and rose water ice cream small cup, $3, from another booth on 9th Street just south of University, the aroma of the rose water is euphoric;
- sticky rice with raisins and banana wrapped in banana leaf, $1.50, from some booths set up by Tuk Tuk Market in a courtyard on the north side of University between 9th and 10th Street, very good;
- ravioli filled with porcini mushrooms from King of Mushrooms, $7, in the parking lot on the west side of Wells Fargo on the north side of University between San Pablo and 10th Street, nicely done;
- also from King of Mushroom booth, a small slice of huckleberry cheesecake, $1, I like huckleberry;
- Sitar music with vocalist in the space just south of Indus Market on the west side of San Pablo north of University and later, a female dancer from Mumbai;
- ducked into Freight and Salvage on Addison a couple of times but I guess that I missed the acts that I would have liked. Also only caught a few minutes of the paella demo at Spanish Table on the west side of San Pablo.
Was there almost 4 hours and will try to do it again next year. Was chauffeured there and back by the #72 San Pablo AC Transit bus.