Monday, August 31, 2009
Eat Real Festival -- SO GOOD!
The Eat Real Festival was amazing!
Saturday morning dawned nice and hot -- so rare in San Francisco. I put on a sundress and a hat, slapped some sunscreen on my shoulders, and we headed to the East Bay for the entire day.
First we ate farinata "5e5" -- chickpea flatbread seasoned with salt, pepper and rosemary (from FARINATA ON WHEELS).
Then (hot already!) we had a spitzy ginger ale and padron peppers, pan fried, and sprinkled liberally with salt (from LOCALICIOUS). They are a favorite of M's from Spain and are hard to find. They are like little pepper poppers and are very tasty.
While we were in line for the peppers M. hopped over to the next booth and came back with a taste of something delicious. Very sadly, I don't know what it was, nor do I know which vendor it came from. M. called it Indian snack food -- a mix of daal, peanuts, the tiniest cubes of fresh veggies, and some crunchy sticks of ricer cracker. It was all wrapped up in small cones made from Indian newspaper -- so charming! I loved it and would love to know how to make it. If there hadn't been so much good food I would have eaten lots more of this.
Next we had an amazing taco from CHOP BAR. Thicker, almost pita like bread cooked on the grill held big chunks of pork and a bevy of salsas, grilled peaches, and peppers. This was another good one stop... we wanted another, but continued on.
(At this point you might be wondering if I stretched my stomach for Saturday. The answer is no. The best thing about Eat Real was that nothing cost more than $5; thus, the serving sizes were very small. I had a bite, maybe two, of everything. It was like a roving tapas feast.)
I had just a bite of pizza from PIZZA POLITANA -- I'd been standing in line for beer -- then two small fried fish while dipping my feet in a fountain on Jack London Square.
Now we were starting to feel a little full. We had the tiniest cup of diced beets, hummus, and falafel from LIBA FALAFEL TRUCK, then stood in a long line for something to-die-for: fresh pulled buffalo mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. It might have been my best tomato-cheese-basil moment of the summer. It was so salty and tasty I almost wanted to eat the compostable plate.
Finally, it was time to think of something sweet. I had a perfect melon horchata popsicle from JAYME'S POPSICLES. M. had an avocado kefir lime pop which was amazing too. Very refreshing for a hot summer afternoon.
The lines were growing longer which, if you just arrived, could be a negative, but for us was perfect. We had time to walk around, pick our next bite, then stand in line for a bit and let some room in the belly develop.
Our final bites were the tiniest (only about 2 inch square) bambini goat milk ice cream sandwich, and a small scoop of Cajeta de Leche frozen goat milk yogurt with chunks of texas toffee brittle from LALOO'S. The toffee spiked caramel yogurt was unbelievably good and I don't think it can ever come in this house or I will risk eating the entire delicious pint.
Our favorite beer of the day (consumed out of charming eat real mason jars): Organic Golden Wheat from Thirsty Bear.
What we did next: crawl to a movie theatre in Berkeley to watch "Funny People." It was cool and dark and, in a stroke of luck, was one of those theatres with couches so we could lounge and relax for the entire movie.
It was an amazing day!