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Eat Real Fest, Oakland, August 28-30

Back in January, the organizers of this event posted on this board asking for street food suggestions. The following discussion ensued:


What are people thinking about the event now? I'm underwhelmed but can't quite put my finger on why.

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      1. Huh, interesting that you say that. I missed the whole discussion in January. First I heard of it was emails started to show up from them. That in itself felt a little odd -- like, how'd you get my email?! & then I think maybe there is something about their graphic design that seems like an unappetizing combination of trying too hard plus an Old Navy ad? Or something?

        Only just now when I saw your post I went to the website & saw that People's Grocery, one of my fave organizations, is getting part of the proceeds, which warms me up considerably, but perhaps still not to the point of actual enthusiasm, or even planning to go.

        Could it be we are all jaded from that last Slow Food thing? Could it be we don't have a clue who these people are? Could it be the very large Whole Foods logo at the bottom of every email?

        If you read the actual description & stuff it actually sounds really cool. So I second your emotion: why do we feel so underwhelmed?

        1 Reply
        1. re: indigirl

          It sounds like it could be cool but I agree the graphics are a bit too slick. I also think the whole street food/hipster thing has gotten a little goofy and/or overblown.

          Once French prepped frog legs and creme brulee hits the "street" it's just odd or worse...suspect and thus you wonder. On the other hand, if the food is good and reasonably priced, hard to argue.

          Not sure about Jack London Square as a street venue, a bit mall-like. Totally subjective but I would have picked the West Oakland BART parking lot and hired a carnival.

        2. Free admission and $1-5 for the food items sounds OK.

          1. Per Michael Bauer's blog, the Eat Real festival's organizers are expecting a crowd of 25,000, so things may be less chaotic than at the SF street food festival last weekend, since its organizers planned for only 5,000 and were overwhelmed by the crowd.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Are there any estimates of how many people actually did show up for last week's SF fest?

            2. I'm not sure Jack London Square is a good spot for this kind of events.

              4 Replies
              1. re: puffj

                If JS isn't good for this event, what is it good for? Not a mall, not a vibrant shopping district, not an actual neighborhood.

                1. re: oaktowngirl

                  I think JLS's main purpose is to soak up redevelopment dollars generated by the Port of Oakland.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Heard that there were terrible lines for Street Food Festival. Will someone who is going to Eat Real tomorrow report back? Thinking of a visit on Sunday.

                    1. re: SarahKC

                      I stopped by for an hour or so tonight to sample ice cream - parking was easy in the adjacent lot, and there were a few lines for Ici and Scream Sorbet, but by no means were they unbearable. That being said, there was no food, just ice cream, beer, and the Ritual Espresso Trailer and cart, so the next two days may be different.

                      After five samples and a popsicle, Nieves Cinco de Mayo's elote ice cream & lime sorbet, Cici's strawberry sorbetti & basil gelati, and Blue Moon Organic Strawberry Popsicles from Bi-Rite's stand were standouts - I'll be back for more.

              2. Excited to go there. Bit worried about the crown there. Hope they have some seats to rest.
                And I hope its not hot like today.

                6 Replies
                1. re: chowmeaow

                  It's already 80 and they're predicting a high of 92.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    It's definitely in the 90's, but it's not too bad in the shade. I just got back from the festival and it was not too crowded. I was even able to find free parking. I think the heat scared off most people. The lines were not too long and I didn't wait more than 5 minutes for anything. There were so many trucks to choose from, it was hard to decide. I do have to see the best deal was the $5 mini lobster roll from Sam's Chowder Mobile.

                    1. re: elainew

                      Lobster roll was well packed but the meat in the mini was overcooked and not fresh tasting. I'm leaving now, breeze has come up and there's AC in the exhibition hall to cool off. Plenty of space to spread out here.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        Here's a slideshow of most of my photos, click on "show info" for captions and comments.

                        Glad I went early today, several vendors have sold out. The popsicle cart has no more for tomorrow.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          Great pics! It sounds like it was a successful event: the vendors did well enough that they were selling out, but it wasn't so crowded that the lines were unreasonable and people weren't able to try lots of different things.

                      2. re: elainew

                        Well, by 1:00 or so, when I got there, the lines were significantly longer, especially the one for the Korean tacos (Seoul on Wheels), which was ridiculous. By the time we got to the front (after about 20 minutes), they had run out of the ribeye tacos and we would have had to wait a half hour more. Settled for the spicy pork and the chicken. The meat was pretty tasty, but the tortillas themselves were kind of disgusting. Like they'd been reheated too many times. Not really worth the wait.

                        Best thing I had was the roast pig on flatbread w/ seasonal condiments at the Chop Bar stand (apparently a new restaurant opening next week). A bit of a skimpy portion for $5, but the meat was super juicy and the freshly prepared condiments were great, esp. a grilled nectarine salsa.

                        Thought the prices were reasonable in general. But the heat combined with some pretty long lines made me not want to stay for long.

                  2. Nice event. Lots of choices, no need to wait in long lines, just move on. Great beer selection & those lines move fast.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Cochinita tacos at Chaac Mool were very good.

                      Beef empanadas at the Argentine place were good. Nice seasoning. I didn't think to take the little cup of chimichurri.

                      Chop Bar pork was a smallish portion but excellent. The habanero salsa for once deserved the "very hot" warning label.

                      Farinata was nice. Have something to put under it, they come out scalding. One portion was as far as I'm concerned big enough for two to share, with all that food I didn't need a huge helping of starch.

                      (Fried) fish taco at Sam's Chowder was to my taste undersalted and too sweet. Would have been good if they'd had salt and salsa out.

                      The cashews with Indian seasoning were great. I liked that guy's almonds with rosemary too.

                      Seriously, there are so many vendors that there's no reason to wait in the longest lines. We just moved on and went to places where the wait wasn't bad. The line for Seoul on Wheels was so long it would be faster to drive to one of the regular stops.

                      Some of the vendors who had sold out said they'd bring more tomorrow.

                      I'd probably have stayed longer if it hadn't been so damned hot.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        how big was your farinata? Mine was very thin and only 1/4 of a 9" pan. Great for trying, but very very small. In comparison in Europe the typical a serving is a half a platter (15" or more) and much less oily. But we're not in Europe are we : ).

                        1. re: jsaimd

                          It was a quarter of a round and we split it. That was fine with me given that we'd already had more than enough food for lunch and I was feeling pretty full.

                          Seemed like normal thickness for farinata or socca. I've never had one that wasn't oily.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Yep they are all oily, but this one was very oily. just a matter of preference.

                        2. re: Robert Lauriston

                          The Korean truck was something I'd wanted to try after having read about it in another thread. So I decided to suck it up and deal with the line, which wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been so hot. But yeah, in retrospect, it would have been more enjoyable to hit up two or three other stands in the same time we were standing on that one line.

                          But hey, at least now I know those tacos are just so-so, and I don't need to make a special trip to Emeryville for them!

                          The event had a nice vibe, with the live music and people just sprawling out on the lawn; it sounds like it'll be a fantastic time tomorrow if it cools down.

                      2. We went at 10and stayed until 1. When we left lines were 8-10 at the most popular places. Some folks weren't ready to serve until almost one including the Chop Bar and Localicious, both of which we wanted to try. we were limited by allergies, which was sad because some of the best food was off limits, and my husband didn't want to be my tastebuds. We tried Estrallitas pupusas (bean cheese pork) and the chicken tamale. Both were good and the curtido was great. The meat filling wasn't terribly plentiful, but fine for $3. The order taker there was extraordinarily slow. we also tried the tamales as Chaac Mool - really bad, dense, no flavor. The pibil was better but not the best. Small portions there for $2. Pupusas from the place in the back (LA something) were OK - the loroco was very good, but other meh. The curtido average. Husband had Korean spicey pork taco and said it was good, had a strange bitter flavor, but we aren't well versed in Korean food - $3. Son had the hot dog at 4505 meats - the chicaronnes were very good, light, sweet and spicey. The dog itself was fine, but I am not a hot dog person. $5. They have more than what is on their menu if you ask. We did Cici's gelateria - salted almond was good balance of flavor and served at the right creamy temp for gelato, and I tried the yogurt - the bite I had was good. The sorbet (strawberry rhubarb) was relatively flavorless and not worth it. Small 2 flavor scoop $3. Creme brulee cart - son picked lavender. Decent creme brulee $4. Cinco de Nieves, elote ice cream - icey and refreshing, a nice flavor. $2.50 for a large scoop. also tried the Popsicle cart - avocado and kefir lime. Son ate most, but it was very good and refreshing for the heat. $3. Farinata was $3 for a very small portion. Haven't had it in the states ever just France/Italy but wasn't the best example. prices were decent, servings relatively small, with a few exceptions. The paella guy wasn't there, which disappointed me.

                        Inside there was a farmerish market. We got some Barlovento chcolates - I like the flavors of the truffles, but prefer the chocolate coveteur of others in the area. We bought a lot though since they pulled out of island market and we will likely not be to a FM with them for awhile.

                        Free samples from Stoneyfield of their greek yogurt and baby yogurt meals and pop chips.

                        Overall fun morning and worth it, but we also don't get to many places that have street food often.

                        1. The web site says today (Sat) the event is running until 9 p.m. To those that went, is that the case, does it look like there will be enough vendors/food sticking around?

                          I'm thinking of heading down in a short while but thought I'd ask.

                          Otherwise I'll head down tomorrow, which looks to be an idea day weatherwise.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: ML8000

                            Hubby and I got to the tents around 6:45pm on Saturday. He stood in line for 15 minutes at the BBQ truck. By the time he got to the front of the line, the sausages were sold out (the ones served with saltines and pimento cheese).

                            I stood in line for the pulled chicken sandwich with coleslaw ($5). Sorry, but I can't remember the names of any of the vendors and the website doesn't list the vendors' names. But this particular vendor was also at last week's festival in San Francisco. There wasn't nearly enough chicken or coleslaw to mask the taste of the generic-tasting bun. The $3 home-made lemonade purchased at the same place was sickly sweet and lacked much of a lemon taste. Definite thumbs down on both items.

                            Our next stop was a stand that sold pan-fried padrone peppers $3), chicken and sausage rice with assorted vegetables ($5) and home-made ginger beer ($3). We purchased one of each and enjoyed all three items, especially the generous portion of slightly charred peppers. The rice, however, needed quite a bit of salt. Thankfully, I never leave the house without a small ziploc with Maldon or fleur de sel in my purse. The ginger beer tasted very strongly of ginger and was quite refreshing with the peppers and rice. Three thumbs up for these items.

                            After viewing Melanie's photos earlier in the day, I knew I wanted to try the home-made Indian Chaat. I enjoyed the interesting taste combination (I'm not very familiar with Indian cuisine), but hubby wasn't a fan. He thought it tasted like eating seeds, lol.

                            On the other side of the exhibition stage, we found hot dogs and the roast pork served on grilled flat bread. Hubby got a beef hotdog ($5) "Zilla" style, topped with kimchee and a couple of yummy chicarrones. I took a small bite and thought it was good, but not nearly as good as my roast pork dish. Hubby gave his hotdog a thumb's up.

                            The roast pork on grilled flat bread was FABULOUS!!! A tiny serving of roast pork served on top of a warm, freshly grilled round of flat bread. They had long run out of the roasted nectarine salsa, but they had plenty of pickled red onion, sauteed yellow onion and a spicy, addictive red salsa. Hubby took one small bite, but then returned to eating his hot dog. If I wasn't already so full, I would have definitely ordered seconds of this dish. Definitely a strong thumb's up on this one.

                            We were both pretty full and had pretty much tried everything we wanted to try, so we went in search of coffee and dessert. Hubby ordered a hot Ritual Coffee ($3) while I stood in line for basil and salted almond gelato ($3 for two tiny tastes). We discovered that we're not fans of Ritual's guatamalan coffee (way too fruity tasting for us).

                            However, we both loved the basil gelato! The salted almond was good, but I wish they'd given us more of the basil and less of the almond. I sent hubby to get us seconds of the gelato (basil and yogurt), but he came back empty-handed because he didn't want to wait in the 20+ person line.

                            We attended last week's festival in San Francisco where we waited almost 2 hours to purchase a tasteless bacon-wrapped hot dog ($3), fresh fruit ($3), pupusas and tamales. The pupusas and tamales were delicious and we noticed the same vendor was there today, but the lines today were even longer than the lines last week in San Francisco, so we decided to pass.

                            What was nice today was that as Robert mentioned previously, we had the option to search out vendors without ridiculously long lines. There were plenty of long lines, but there were also stands with great food without huge waits (primarily those in front of the water near the exhibition stage). This wasn't the case in San Francisco. Every food stand in S/F, except for the organic Japanese food place, had almost hour long waits for food!

                            Also, once we purchased our food today, there was plenty of room on the grass to sit, eat and enjoy our food. Plus, since we went later in the day, the weather was cool enough that I wished I'd brough a light jacket to wear. Hubby and I both agreed that it was a great way to spend a couple of hours tonight. We had a great time and glad we went!

                            1. re: cvhound

                              DH and I got there about 11ish this morning and it was already pretty warm. I ended up not eating that much because of the heat but shared the following:

                              Lavender creme brulee 4$. Yummy. It was about a ten minute wait in line. I ended up with sugar all over my hands and felt like a little kid with sticky fingers.

                              Chicken adobo. Tasty, but I thought the portion was kind of small, a scoop of rice and a drummette for 4$. I think he normally sells two legs and a plate of rice for 5$.

                              Gobba Gobba Hey. 4$. I didn't try this, but my husband seemed to enjoy his treat. They were like cookie cake sandwiches with frosting in between.

                              Mango Sorbet. 2.50$. This vendor was not too far from the water booth. The seller was all smiles and the sorbet hit the spot.

                              Aisu Pop. 3$. Had the kaffir lime and avocado. I liked this. The texture was very creamy and smooth and the lime was refreshing.

                              Here's the link of vendors at the Eat Real Fest:


                              The one vendor I didn't find was Gerard's Paella. Did anyone see him?

                              1. re: cvhound

                                Sounds like Chop Bar switched to hot dogs after they ran out of whole roast pig.

                                The randomness of the lines was surprising. There was such a long line for the pupusa truck that it was hard to see the Argentine empanada stand next door, where there was no wait.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  Sorry if it wasn't clear in my post. We didn't see them roasting a whole pig. Chop Bar served meat from small pork tenderloins when we were there last night. Hubby purchased his hot dog at Ryan Farr's stand located to the left of Chop Bar.

                                  Wish we would have seen the empanada stand. Our strategy was to avoid stands with huge lines, which is probably why we missed the empanada stand. Ditto for the goat milk ice cream stand.

                                  1. re: cvhound

                                    I was there earlier today and it looks like they were roasting the whole pig or at least quarters of pig at a time. The line looked a bit long though so I decided to pass. It did look good, but from the plates I saw, the portions were sort of small.

                            2. i'm planning to get there tomorrow at 9 am. Too early? anyone know if the JLS farmers market will not be held tomorrow given this event?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: majordanby

                                The stalls don't open until 10, so yeah, that's kind of early.

                                My guess is the market will be there as usual, there's plenty of space west of where Eat Real is going on.

                              2. I enjoyed the festival -- great day to be at Jack London Square. And I really loved the espresso flavored goat milk ice cream. It was fierce.

                                but I wish that vendors were more interested in whole grains -- brown rice, quinoa, millet, etc.
                                there was only white-flour breads and tortillas.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: escargot3

                                  The farinata is made from chickpea flour.

                                  1. re: escargot3

                                    There was a baker there with whole grain donuts. Wasn't getting much business. Almost bought one for son and husband, but they decided to only get one item the rest of the family couldn't eat.

                                    Farinata is 100% chickpea flour indeed.

                                    1. re: jsaimd

                                      yes, there were 2 or 3 spots for whole grains. but c'mon... out of all those booths for a festival celebrating good eatin', that's just a shame.

                                      why can't the celebration of sustainable foods more widely embrace whole grains?

                                  2. We went. We went fully aware of the problems with last week's event and the slow foods thing last year and the disaster down at Shoreline earlier this summer. So with that background and a healthy dose of schadenfreude, we parked in chinatown, bought a bunch of sandwiches from Banh Mi Ba Le, and strolled down to the expected trainwreck. Got there on Saturday at about 1pm.

                                    But it turned out to be an absolutely great event! Well organized. Plenty of really interesting vendors. Lots of people but the lines were pretty tolerable. Prices were perfectly reasonable for pretty much everything from the food wagons (though there were a couple of crazies at the farmerish market inside Bocanova who had a seemingly overprecious view of their wares). The guy from Nieves Cinco de Mayo had doubled the price of his ice cream but even so, with a huge scoop of his great stuff normally selling for $1.25 getting a huge scoop for $2.50 was still a bargain,

                                    The beer situation looked to be a little difficult but Heinholds First and Last was doing a land office business.

                                    I'm still not completely clear on what "street food" was supposed to mean. But there was a high proportion of vendors who actually worked out of carts. And pretty much everyone was operating somewhere outside the the conventional restaurant context. Each truck, tent, and trailer had an informative "who we are, what we do, and where you can find us" sign tacked up.

                                    There was only one grave bit of disappointment. Right at the entrance, the first tent you encounter, was Chipotle Grill. I sure hope the organizers got their thirty pieces of silver for that, because it seemed to be a terrific mistake.

                                    All-in-all, a fine way to spend a blisteringly hot afternoon. And proof that, given a lot of mistakes to learn from, it *is* possible to invite thousands of hungry people to the same place at the same time and have them leave happy.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: uh ... art

                                      I didn't even see a Chipotle tent, or any tents. Where we went in from the garage the first thing we saw was the horrifying line for Seoul on Wheels.

                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                        Right at the Webster St entrance. Plenty of tents all over the place: 4505 Meats, Chop Bar, the crème brûlée cart, etc.

                                        Chipotle also had a big banner hanging off the second floor balcony of Bocanova. Right over the Korean BBQ truck.

                                    2. We went yesterday, arriving around 11am and leaving around 3. Overall we had a pretty good time and tried quite a few of the offerings.

                                      We all agreed that the tastiest item we tried was the meat pie from The Pie Truck. The zucchini/mushroom pie was decent too but we loved the comforting, rich flavor and meatiness of the meat pie. In the afternoon they ran out of the meat pie so we were glad to have arrived early.

                                      Both the spicy pork & ribeye Korean tacos Seoul on Wheels were okay but not great -- as others have said, the tortillas detracted from the taco. The daikon & kimchee were a nice addition to the meat.

                                      We really enjoyed the hot links from the Jim n Nick's BBQ, especially with the habanero sauce which had a lovely spicy piquancy. Their pulled pork sandwiches were fine but not as flavorful.

                                      The pulled chicken BBQ sandwich from Zella's Soulful Kitchen was a better choice for a bbq'ed sandwich.

                                      The mini lobster roll from Sam's Chowder House had a very generous amount of lobster in it for $5, but it was quite dry and flavorless. They ran out of the lobster roll by mid-afternoon.

                                      I really enjoyed my $2 take on Mexican corn from Jon's Street Eats. Didn't try their other offerings but they looked delicious.

                                      The $1 plate of pickles from Saul's Deli was fantastic! Not too sour, not too sweet, and a nice variety of bread & butter pickles, sour pickles, pickled tomatoes, and sauerkraut. It didn't look like we could buy a jar to take home, which was too bad.

                                      The "Real Eats" pizza from Pizza Politana was tasty and better than the margherita. Nice thin crust with a hint of char, good quality toppings though they were a bit on the skimpy side.

                                      The Mexican fruit cart had a good variety of spiced fruit -- I especially liked the cactus, and enjoyed trying the coconut though it was naturally a bit dry. Could use a bit more lime on the fruit.

                                      I also liked the Indian nuts & rosemary nuts from the nut cart, but my husband preferred the coconut one.

                                      By the time my husband signed up for the beer tasting, they changed the $25 deal from 8 4-oz tastes, to 4 8-oz tastes -- not as ideal. A bit expensive for a beer tasting but oh well.

                                      We tried some ice cream and sorbets too (can't remember from where) and enjoyed the stroll around the indoors farmers market. Really appreciated that they had free water available. Great event overall -- sometimes it was crowded, but if you had patience, there would be times that the crowd would wane. Lots of vendors, and we'd definitely go again in the future.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: PekoePeony

                                        I think the beer people were pouring 8 ounces all along so if you bought your tickets early it was eight eight-ounce pours.

                                      2. Got there today around 11:45 and the lines were very easy. Tried a lot of stuff...a lot of it was cold from standing around but I can understand why...the fear of getting slammed. Not really an endearing "pavement cuisine" situation but so it goes.

                                        Not going to get too deep into it because the intentions were a bit different (fun, awarenesss, etc.) -- but to me street food has to be hot and that's essentially the charm; getting fresh, hot food, for a low price, quickly and conveniently while going about your day. A nice fast, comforting reprise and quick break. In that sense waiting around sort of kills it. Overall the food I sampled was good to very good...but yuppie-hipster carnival would have been a fair description.

                                        Any way, by 1 p.m. it was a zoo and had to leave. It looks like the event was run pretty well and JLSq was a nice pick, but given the crowd size a bit small.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: ML8000

                                          I got there around 9:30. Went to the farmers market first to look around. At 10, the seoul on wheels truck was selling and there was no line, so i bought a taco. Not sure what the big deal is, the tortilla crumbled in my hand, but to each his own. A lot of the other stands were not open yet, so i went inside to the farmers market portion of the festival. What a contrast to the real farmers market at JLS. High prices for the produce and a lot of gourmet items. I could get pesticide free peaches at the farmers market for $1.50 and they were selling them inside at ferry plaza prices ($3). The funniest thing was seeing Kashiwase Farms selling fruit at $3 outside and $3.50 inside! I did try cmbsweets chocolate chip cookies, per the suggestion on this board. Very good cookie for only $1.

                                          I wanted to try the pupusa at estrellita, but they took too long to set up. So, i tried the chicken pupusas at a place near the chipotle stand. This place did not have a eat real menu sign, so im not sure if they were an official vendor. Nevertheless, the pupusas came warm and soft. I then tried the roasted pig on flatbread at chop bar. Great and probably the best thing i had. I then had the corn empanada next to estrellita (not bad, but not great). Lastly, went to the farmers market and got a scoop of sorbet from scream.

                                          Much better than the sf street food festival last week. Still a lot of yuppies, but by far more diverse. More families and older individuals. And a more diverse ethnic distribution (about 99.85% asian or white at SF....all wearing tight shirts and wearing large, bug eyed sun glasses). This is likely due to the area (east bay vs sf) and due to the regular consumers at the farmers market next door (which more families, older couples and minorities attend on a weekly basis).

                                          Overall, pretty good food at decent prices. Not too crowded from 10-12:30. About 10x better than the SF food fest last week. I hope those attending tried the street fish tacos at cholita linda, not an eat real vendor but a regular at the JLS market.

                                          1. re: majordanby

                                            The organizers get props for keeping the prices reasonable. High prices for street food is a bit of an oxymoron but they addressed it. Sure some portions were small but given the cost of ingredients and how many people being served it was reasonable. Smallish portions and a fair price is agreeable, smallish portions and high prices...no so much.

                                            1. re: ML8000

                                              It looked like some of the vendors thought they were supposed to price everything at either $1 or $5 while others charged $2 or $3 when it made sense.

                                              The dill pickle and lemonade for $5 seemed particularly odd.

                                        2. Now having gone to both events last weekend and this weekend, I must say I more thoroughly enjoyed Eat Real Fest. For anyone who worried about JLS not being the right sort of venue for this couldn't have been more wrong. Lots of space for all the vendors, lots of space to sit around, lawns, chairs, haybales. Lines were far shorter in Oakland at the longest lines than the lines we saw last week in SF. My one complaint might be that there was a more commercial presence in Oakland with various freebies given out, but I don't think it was a big deal.

                                          Though the menu items weren't as fancy sounding at Eat Real than at Street Food, it definitely felt more street foodish with most items in the $3-5 range and maybe a half dozen or so items in the $1-2 range. I had the chance to tryout some nice grilled prawns topped with some sort of aioli for $4, pulled turkey sliders with whole grilled corn on the cobb $5, B.L.A.T. $5, pork on corn tortilla taco $2 and watermelon fresca $2, small scoop of coffee ice cream on a sugar cone $2.

                                          There was lots more I wanted to try, I saw at least 3 different cupcake purveyors, coffee, the Seoul on Wheels truck, RoliRoti, Sam's Chowderhouse, the Pie Truck. With the apparent success of the event, I can't wait for this next year.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: nicedragonboy

                                            I can't believe how amazingly organized this festival was. So many vendors, there wasn't any need to wait in long lines. The only one we waited awhile for was Chop Bar's pig on a flat bread, which was well worth the wait. At this point though we had eaten at about 10 other places, and had full beers, so waiting wasn't a problem.

                                            The other stand outs were Saul's pickles (especially the tomatoes), and Soul Cocina's Puri cones. Congrats to the organizers for suck a great day, I was a little leery after the long waits at SF street food, but this was probably the best festival I've been to all summer. Can't wait for next year.

                                            1. re: Piperdown

                                              I arrived early, before 10am, and had a chance to talk to the vendors as they were setting up, including peeking at the whole pig inside the caja china, learning more about St. Vincent's mission (the truck makes the rounds of the thrift shops), and asking lots of questions about the farinata and chaat preps.

                                              Chop Bar's pig and Soul Cocina's bhel puri were my top picks of the day too. The smoky notes on the grilled to order flatbread for the pork plus those delicious sauces/condiments took it over the top. Third ,goes to Liba falafel and hummus. Quantity/valuewise, the hot link from Jim 'n Nick's was the best deal.

                                              A shy hound inquired about whether I ate everything shown in my photos. Naw, I hooked up with some other 'hounds and we shared tastes. I also had a chance to try the s'mores, a sample of pork sausage from Sonoma Direct, Massa's peach crisp, Claravale's raw milk, and probably other stuff that I'm forgetting. Bought a few items at the farmers market too.

                                              Did anyone try the tapas from Whole Foods truck?

                                              Anya Fernald says the crowd was 70K.

                                              A few more photos that were not part of the slideshow:

                                              It was fun to see the trucks and other mobile conveyances. Sort of a car show combined with fast food.

                                          2. nice review in the Oakland Tribune/Conta Costa Times/Mercury News:


                                            1. I had originally intended to check out the fest on Saturday, but the heat scared me off. Sunday morning, I had the opportunity to sample a number of eats, and though I have no point of comparison to the other recent food festivals, having gone to none of them, I very much enjoyed this one.

                                              Tried the ribeye taco at the Seoul on Wheels truck - meh. The whole package was nothing special, and cold to boot, which made eating the tortillas like noshing on 20-grit sandpaper. Loved the roast pig on grilled flatbread at the Chop Bar kiosk - they were hoisting the whole pig out of the Caja China, which drew a (drooling) crowd that soon lined up for a taste. The grilled flatbread was nice, sorta like a mini-naan, but that pork....yum. That whole roast pig was probably the best advertisement Chop Bar could have had for their impending opening. I know I'll be checking it out soon! Next door was the "Creme Brulee cart guy", who had a comparable-sized line, even well before lunchtime - no complaints about the chocolate creme brulee I got, though it seems to be more about the novelty of getting creme brulee from a cart than anything else. Other highlights were the corn ice cream at Nieves Cinco de Mayo (a bit icy, but tasty), the chocolate cupcake with pecans and drippy caramel topping from the Sweetface Bakery truck, and the warm cashews with coconut and chili from the Oren's cart. Was too full to try the tonkotsu ramen from the truck next to Seoul on Wheels , and couldn't bring myself to brave the long line for the paella from the ginormous paella pans at another spot. Good beers to go along with the food, too - Bear Republic, North Coast, Moonlight, plenty of other good suds to try.

                                              All in all, a very positive experience for me, and it sounds like the organizers learned quite a bit from the mixed outcomes of the previous food festivals around the area.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Spatlese

                                                We ended up going on Saturday and found the crowds bearable as well as the heat. I had a tasty fish taco from Sam's and then Salted Almond gelato / Strawberry Rhubarb sorbet from Cici's. The beer shed was over-run with people, but no surprise there. I especially liked the indoor farmer component to Eat Real. We munched on seabeans at the forager table and then meandered down to Quetzal for Padron and Shishito peppers. All in all, it was a fun event with cheap eats, made all the more fun by the live mariachi band... :)