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Sep 25, 2013 02:25 PM

Eat Real Fest [2013, Oakland]

I'm back in town briefly looking for good food to eat and I know the Eat Real Fest is coming up this weekend. Surprised to see no discussion here. Can anyone advise on why I should or should not go? If you're familiar with the schedule, are there any not-to-be-missed highlights?

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    1. Two years ago my friends went to jsut check it out for lunch and came home with a chicken coop and three hens!
      So clearly they had a great time ;)
      I have heard that the butchery contest is excellent to watch and very educational if you can keep up with what they are doing....

      3 Replies
      1. re: jupiter

        The chicken coop anecdote truly made me laugh out loud :) Had 'adult beverages' been consumed prior to the purchase???

        1. re: c oliver

          probably ;) but the chickens have really paid off for them and now are considered part of the family.

          1. re: jupiter

            Oh, I totally get it and think it's great!

        1. The only thing I can add is go early on Friday or early on Sat/Sun, or plan on spending the afternoon there because the lines can be crazy long.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ML8000

            The lines were so long it was a huge turnoff for me, and for many others I assume. Not sure if I'll go back.

            1. re: vincentlo

              Last year I arrived on Friday afternoon about 4pm and there was lots of street parking and you could have shot a cannon down the aisle and not hit anyone.

            2. re: ML8000

              yup, what's fun about standing 2 hours in a line in JLS for restaurants you can walk into most days without a wait? they should sell tickets for food entries and restrict the supply. otherwise it's just a mess.

            3. This year the line-up of prepared food vendors seems to be all local, mainly food trucks, and since I can seek them out whenever I want, it is not compelling. In prior years there was also a smattering of non-local vendors (my favorite was a bbq/small chain from the south, whose name I do not recall) that made it much more interesting/worth the crowds. As you are from out of town, it could be worth it to try different items, but heed the advise to go early or be prepared to have long waits.

              5 Replies
              1. re: foodeye

                That would be Jim n Nick's from Alabama, and it's on the schedule all three days.

                It's my one "must" as well for whole hog barbecue. And I'm trying my best to get back in time today.

                Jim n Nick's were out here for last month's street food fest in SF, and I was embedded as a volunteer in the barbecue pavilion. Guess I should post about the last food festival before heading to the next one! Anyway, they brought out their own pigs. They are raising a Mangalitsa/Berkshire cross. The meat is wonderful. I hope they're supplying the pigs again this weekend.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Thanks a lot for this info....maybe I do need to go!

                  1. re: foodeye

                    I believe that Jim n Nick's has participated in each ERF since the first one in 2009. That year, they used a Marin Sun Farm hog. While Nick had been thinking about switching to a more sustainable meat source, the back story I've been told is that the fuller flavor of that hog compared to his usual convinced him to take the plunge.

                    Even if the hog isn't brought out from Alabama and one from a local farm is used instead, I'm sure it will be very tasty.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      the pork we eat at home is Marin Sun heritage breed (their shop almost always has both heritage and normal). it's both lean and full of flavour, better than what most restaurants serve in their fanciest pork dishes.

                      1. re: moto

                        Is there really such a thing as lean heritage pork?