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Oct 23, 2010 08:57 PM

Artisanal Food Festival This Weekend Downtown

Went by today, and it's like a farmers' market without the produce.

They have about 50 booths with interesting local and sustainable foods and products. There is a beekeeping booth that shows you how to make your own honey, a booth to show you how to build a raised vegetable bed (and will sell you the stuff to do it), as well as actual food booths.

I bought some fresh, thick-sliced bacon. They had just cured it, and had samples of the cooked Cajun bacon. It was delicious. I bought a package of the Cajun, and a package of the maple bacon.

And I bought a jar of onion and bacon preserves from the "Chicks with Knives" booth. It goes on anything from a cheese sandwich to a hamburger.

There was stone ground dark chocolate, and various pasta sauces and olive booths. Several cake and cupcake places, and a booth that made meat pies.

Cheeses, salsas, pickles, barbecue sauces, cotton candy, nuts, chocolate, trail mix.... There was a lot to see. The only thing I didn't see was a bread baker.

And they have demonstrations. While I was there, they were showing how to butcher a whole pig. I'm sorry to miss the pickling demonstration Sunday.

It runs through Sunday at the historic Cooper Building downtown. Tickets are $15 at the door, and bring more money as you'll want to buy a few things while you're there.

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  1. Concur on the bacon being absolutely delicious, the cajun was my favorite as well. That was their first foray into selling bacon. The13 buck price tag (bacon and rub) stopped me from buying it though. Did buy some pesto and curry sauce that was more attune to my budget. Also brought home a ton of herb sprigs that they were being given away for free.

    1. Sounds awesome - thanks for the review.

      Thinking of going tomorrow. Was it really crowded?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Obessed

        I was there at 3 pm and it was the perfect amount of people to be able to enjoy yourself. Forgot to mention above what my favorite beverage was- Coffee ice cubes in a Mexican Coke. Zing!

          1. re: LaLa Eat

            Sorry I didn't see this until it's now too late, but I completely agree with LaLa. I was there at about 4:00 p.m. Saturday, and there were enough people to make it a happening event, but not too many to be crowded. Frankly I really dislike crowded anything, and I wouldn't have had as nice a time if it was too crowded.

            There were booths that were mobbed, but I could go to booths with no one else there, and have a nice discussion with the proprietor. And then when I went back to the booths that were previously mobbed, in most cases they were open and I could get in and learn about what they offered.

            I hope Obsessed experienced the same thing today.

            1. re: lil mikey

              Thanks again for the tips. We got there around 2pm on Sunday and it definitely wasn't too crowded. I did think the $15 price tag was a bit much, but overall enjoyed sampling from all the local vendors. I was bummed that they weren't selling the bacon anymore...or at least I couldn't find it. My favorite find was meeting "Lindy & Gundy" who will be opening a organic, grass-fed butcher shop on Melrose & Fairfax (my hood) in December. Can't wait!

        1. Homeboy was selling bread. Went both days... Sunday was a bit busier because of the positive buzz and Sunday being market day anyway. Either day though, had a GREAT time. LOADS of generous samples and some REAL surprising and delicious finds. The one thing P. HAD TO HAVE was a Spicy Jelly, he HATES Jelly... but this was so unique and utterly delicious, he can't wait to have it with some Lamb Skewers later in the week... :)


          4 Replies
          1. re: Dommy

            Hi Dommy!,

            Don't know if you've been to the Mar Vista FM lately, but Homeboy has a spot now, on Pacific Ave, just west of Grand View. Been trying their goods and must say that I hope they decide to permanently set up here. They've perfected their craft.

            1. re: bulavinaka

              We got an Epi from them at Mar Vista which we had with the Rillettes from Villebois Kitchen and that was dinner. Yummy! Also we think we saw someone from Earl's Gourmet come by asking them about wholesale.

              1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                Wow - sounds like you folks had a great dinner! Did Villebois mention anything about distributing their product in or around the Westside? Also, I've been very satisfied with everything I've tried from Homeboy's table. I surely hope they make their mark here on the Westside. Aside from being a great group, they have the skills.

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  Yeah, we have been BIG supporters of Homeboy and Homegirl Cafe for YEARS now. So we were THRILLED that they set up shop in Mar Vista. The Epi was SO FRESH and delish, we tore a couple of leaves and snacked on as we went through the market. The boyz are HILARIOUS too... They are having too much fun kicking it on the Westside. A guy with a pretty cute bulldog passed by the booth and they shouted at him, "We'll trade you some bread for that dog!" His look was priceless as we nearly doubled over with laughter...


          2. We went on Saturday and had a great time. I completely agree with the other assessments of the crowd - it was just the right amount of people for it to feel busy and energetic, without becoming obnoxiously overcrowded and claustrophobic. The samples were fantastic. I really enjoyed, among other things, the pico de gallo and the spicy popcorn (can't remember the vendors names - sorry). It was also really fun to drool over the Italian seed packages and fantasize about the market garden I will someday have. We bought pepper bacon and the spicy sauce from Antichucos - I can't wait to grill a pork loin to serve it with. Great event!

            1. I don't have anything earth shattering to add but want add to the praise. Everything I tried was delicious. The event was thoughtfully put together, fairly priced and not too crowded. So many food events badly planned and overcrowded but this one was beautifully organized and a real pleasure. And even for a great cause! (school gardens). I hope the organizers are as thrilled with the results and plan another similar event soon. It was obvious that attendees were in hog heaven (but hopefully the we shall put bacon in everything craze will fade away soon) and all of the vendors I asked said they were very glad to have participated. Bravo!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Layne Murphy

                I thought I saw you in passing! But my Husband was calling me for the Jelly! LOL!!

                I spoke to the founder for my Squid Ink piece. She said the next one will probably be in January or early 2011 with the eventual goal of making it quarterly! :) My photos from the event are now up for those who missed the event! :)