Thousands showed up for this year’s version of the Eat Real Festival – everyone except the sun, that is.
After two years of perfect late summer weather along Jack London Square’s waterfront, where this smorgasbord of food truck and street food love takes place, this year was overcast skies and quite a bit of wind.
But that apparently didn’t damper the spirits of people who stood in lines, as long as an hour at times, just to get some gourmet bites. I felt that the lines were longer this year compared to last, and it might be because there seemed to be fewer food vendors.
Eat Real occurs over three days, and some of the vendors are rotated out during those days. So while the entire list of Eat Real participants might look impressive, it’s not like they’re all out in force at the same time.
Spots where there were food booths or trucks last year were now taken up by corporate sponsors, like a whole section dedicated to the Prius. And really, was it necessary to have a Chipotle booth? I find the fun aspect of Eat Real is when you discover a new small business food vendor. I don’t need to see food from Whole Foods, even though they support the sustainability movement. (With fewer food booths, some of the popular regulars had the longest lines, such as Chairman Bao, Homeroom, and surprisingly El Porteno’s Empanadas.)
Despite the growing corporate feel of Eat Real, I did enjoy some of the bites I had when I went on Saturday, like the Silog Taco from the WOW truck (owned by Chef Tim Luym). I liked the garlic fried rice with the Niman Ranch beef tapa and free-range fried egg.
I titled this post “craving a salad” because most of the food offerings leaned toward the heavy side, like lots of pork (there were competing whole pig roasts from Chop Bar and The Whole Beast), hot dogs, hamburgers and tacos.
Of all my bites, the one that made me smile was La-Loo’s goat milk ice cream, specifically its “strawberry darling,” a luscious strawberry ice cream with a swirl of balsamic reduction. Ah. Maze. Zing.
So another Eat Real Fest has come and gone. If you went, what were your favorites and how long did you stand in lines?
Still hungry for more food porn? Check out more of my photos from the Eat Real Fest in my Exhibits page.
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