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Gourmet Ghetto Spice of Life festival (Sun 10/17) and Gourmet Ghetto walking tour?

I never knew there was a Gourmet Ghetto website. Has anyone been to the festival in the past? Has there been one in the past? I don't see anything about it on Chowhound

Some sort of email I get from the East Bay Express mentions the festival. Here's more info because the promised info on the website doesn't seem to exist.... such as the full list of street carts and lineup of the Chef's stage

Anyone taken the walking tour? Is it worth the $60?

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  1. Here's the vendors list + cooking demo schedule:


    The food vendors have been pretty lame in the past but it looks like they're getting serious about it this year: Chairman Bao, Hapa SF, Jon's Street Eats, Namu, Paul's Paella, Primo's Parrilla, Scream Sorbet, Tru Gourmet amongst others. I'll definitely stop by for lunch.

    439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

    Scream Sorbet
    5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

    Tru Gourmet
    San Francisco, CA, San Francisco, CA

    Jon's Street Eats
    Pleasant Valley Ave Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

    Primo's Parrilla
    Oakland, Oakland, CA

    Chairman Bao
    San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

    Hapa SF
    San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: Morton the Mousse

      Thanks. I won't be there this year, but maybe next. Hope a few people go and report back. Hmmm ... the vendors Moonlite Bakery and Coração Confections are new names to me.

      Damn .. they stole my idea (though it was Gautemalan granizados) Skylite Snowballs – www.skylitesnowballs.com – Baltimore-Style Snowcones with Homemade Syrups

      Didn't know Baltimore had a special type of snowcone.

      Good for Catahoula Coffee for showing up. I like them but always worry they keep too low of a profile.

      Your favorite place ... I say that dripping with insincerity .. Bistro Liason is serving duck and fig sandwhiches.

    2. Moonlite Bakery and Coração Confections I've seen at the Berkeley Farmers' Market. Moonlight on Saturday and Coração (raw chocolates) on Tuesday.

      Berkeley Farmers' Market
      2530 San Pablo Ave office), Berkeley, CA

      1. That "festival" has been around for way more than a decade. It used to be on Shattuck from about Cedar to Rose. It was no FBD then and I'm sure it still is. Forget about shopping at Andronico or having lunch at Chez Panisse Cafe when it's going on.

        Chez Panisse
        1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

        9 Replies
        1. re: dlglidden

          Really? It is being advertised as the 8th Annual... Was it just called something different before then?

          1. re: CarrieWas218

            I think it was just called the Shattuck Street Fair and it certainly predated the term "Gourmet Ghetto" now used to describe that part of Berkeley.

            1. re: dlglidden

              "Gourmet Ghetto" dates back to the late 70s and was a more apt name than it is now back when Lenny's, The Pantry Shelf, Pig by the Tail, Cocolat, and Vivoli were there and Bruce Aidells was at Poulet.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Yeah, the good old days. I was thinking about Lenny's just yesterday.

                1. re: wally

                  I think fondly of Lenny's every time I use my Leonardo de Meatici large wooden mallet.

                2. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Lenny's! Ah for the good old days. Even though we were "starving students" back then we could enjoy/afford veal chops parmesan with attached kidney using the recipe from the Co-op Cookbook and get the chops with kidneys from Lenny's. I've been trying to purchase them for the last 10+ years without success.

                  From the reports of this year's street fair, it seems obvious that it's a pitiful shadow of its former self. Pity.

                  1. re: dlglidden

                    We get our veal chops with attached kidneys at Lunardi's in Pleasant Hiil. . . the meat counter reminds me of Petrini's (dating myself now),

                    1. re: Stephanie Wong

                      Wow! Thanks so much Stephanie. I just called them (they're actually in Walnut Creek at Geary & Pleasant Hill Rd.) and they say they almost always have them but to call ahead to check and reserve the chops before driving all the way out there. And that's just what I'm going to do. And BTW, isn't that the location of the old Walnut Creek Geary Rd. Co-op grocery store (also dating myself now)?

              2. re: CarrieWas218

                Before it slowed to a walk, it was a running race called the "Brie to Bakeries."

            2. I went last year


              seems like they are stepping it up a notch this year in terms of street food vendors. most of the vendors last year were shattuck restaurants, like the solano stroll with solano ave restaurants.

              1. Nice variety of food. Scored early,finally, at Chairman Bao with baked pork belly, steamed duck and pork. Tutmark coffee tasted and found quite good. Nasty winter weather somewhat of a downer with umbrellas galore. Is this usual or is this "Climate Change"?

                Chairman Bao
                San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

                1. I remember more local restaurants last year than this year. all the street food trucks were lined up on shattuck after vine. chairman bao had a steady line. i tried their duck baked bun...should have eaten it there as i took it home and whatever that sauce they put inside made the sandwich soggy. next time, i'll stick with their steamed versions. also tried the paella (paul's paella?) ...better than venga and the version served in the beehive market on saturday's.

                  weather wasnt as good as last year's...probably lessened the crowd.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: majordanby

                    Duck confit with mango salsa. Ripe mango will do that. It kept sliding out of my steamed bun.
                    Paul's is correct.

                    1. re: wolfe

                      thanks. the sign on that photo on paul's facebook page says $6 for paella....i paid $7 for mine!!!

                      1. re: majordanby

                        Old sign. Gourmet Ghetto,Shattuck and Vine. is the high rent district.;-)

                  2. We went. Stuff we tried:
                    Chairman Bao - tofu steamed bun + Pineapple Salted Caramel drink. Fine. Longest line.

                    Cheeseboard Pizza was Open, we ate inside. Live Jazz. It's normally Closed on Sun so happy to get some slices. $2.50 a slice. Cash or check only.

                    Paella - $7 tried it, still hate Paellas. Crunchy rice.

                    Lush Gelato - tried all the flavors. Got 1 scoop $2.95 of Banana Basil Gelato - Card given - Buy1 get 1 FREE scoop! Good 10/18-11/17.

                    Ciocolata di Vino Chocolate chip cookie $1.5 - just ok & small. Not that good.

                    John's Street Eats - mac & cheese cake w/ salad $3. Just ok. Pork taco $3 - ok.

                    Scream Sorbet - tried Seascape Strawberry & Peanut Brittle. Fine. Lady told me they will have a shop at 51st & Telegraph near Bakesale Betty - not sure when.

                    Moonlite Bakery had the best looking desserts - anyone try them? Chocolate Chunk cookie $2; Chewy Ginger Cookie $2.

                    I had fun, would recommend it.

                    Bakesale Betty
                    5098 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                    Lush Gelato
                    4184 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

                    Scream Sorbet
                    5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                    Chairman Bao
                    San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

                    1. I braved the rain and was there early this morning.
                      I had a falafel sandwich from Chick O Peas for $5. It was delicious, as their food always is, especially the Lebanese slaw inside. But, I miss the real highlight of eating there - the amazing "salad bar" of condiments and salads to go with the felafel. The owner was very sweet and gave my son some felafel to try.
                      We had mint chip gelato from Lush, delicious as always.
                      My son tried a delicious looking all-organic ingredient chocolate chunk cookie from Moonlite Bakery. He said it was great, but he wouldn't let me sample!

                      We also tried all the varieties of nuts from Oren's Kitche. (disclosure - I know with the owner). I hadn't tried the whole product line in the past, and man these are delicious. I especially adored the macademia nuts with coconut and spices. I will certainly seek these out in the future.

                      1. 10 min wait for Chairman Bao made it worth braving the rain. I liked it much better this time than when I tried it at Oakland Eat Real - I think the more reasonable crowds resulted in a better crafted product. Pork belly was just fabulous - really nice crispy/fat balance on the meat. Braised pork and duck confit were also lovely. I'm starting to understand what all of the fuss is about.

                        Scream sorbet was fabulous, as always. I am continuously amazed by the pure flavors and smooth, creamy texture of their product, particularly the nut sorbets. It's the only place out there that has helped me and the Mrs. cope with our Sketch Ice Cream withdrawal. Their Temescal store has been "coming soon" since June, and I can't wait until it finally opens.

                        Sketch Ice Cream
                        1809 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

                        Chairman Bao
                        San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

                        1. Because of the rain (and sparse crowds), my booth-helper was able to leave quite often to get us treats. What we tasted:

                          Duck Rillette - sorry, have no idea where it came from. AMAZING.

                          Okonomiyako - Namu. LOVED it. Crunchy, rich, fresh, and just plain wonderful.

                          Scream Sorbet - Strawberry and Chocolate. I have loved these folks products from when they first started selling at the Fillmore Farmers market. Sorry they aren't there any more.

                          Suckling Pig - Liaison. Meh. The cornbread was warm but a bit too spicy, the coleslaw overdressed to the point of being a puddle. The pork itself was not bad but I was grateful that I had brought a sharp knife to butcher around the fat.

                          Duck confit baked bun and steamed tofu bun - Chairman Bao. Honestly, folk, what IS the big deal? I was really, REALLY not impressed. The baked bun on the duck was huge and tasted more like a hamburger bun that had been lightly glazed with a bit of sweetener. The duck was tough and the spicy mango out of balance and bit too mushy, tending to detract rather than enhance. I thought the bun just overwhelmed the meat and it should have been made smaller for more balance. For the steamed tofu bun, I found the bun itself to be hard with crusty, crunchy edges and desperately in need of more of the flavorful greens (of which, I think I got three tiny limp leaves). I can't remember every having had such a forgettable steamed bun before.

                          A nice customer at my booth gave me a bite of paella which seemed okay and made me want a bit more and I saw several passers-by with samosas that looked good.

                          Not a bad day except that it was way too cold and wet.

                          439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                          Scream Sorbet
                          5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                          Chairman Bao
                          San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: CarrieWas218

                            I didn't go to the festival, but tried Chairman Bao in SF. Here's the photo of the steamed tofu & greens bun, overflowing with filling and considerably more than three tiny leaves. I preferred this version to the pork belly one, and the fresh bun had the tender, baby butt quality that steamed buns should. No hard edges.

                            Chairman Bao
                            San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              I'll get around to downloading the picture I took in a day or so... It was truly pathetic.