Preview event where food lovers tasted some of the vendors to be featured at this year's Street Food Festival.

Preview event where food lovers tasted some of the vendors to be featured at this year’s San Francisco Street Food Festival.

Sometimes there is such a thing as TOO MUCH success.

Take the case of La Cocina’s San Francisco Street Food Festival. For the last five years, the Mission incubator for small businesses/food entrepreneurs has drawn thousands and thousands of people for a massive block party on the streets of the Mission District.

It’s going to happen again this year on Aug. 16, but as reported earlier, this may be the last year of the popular food event because of ongoing neighborhood concerns (the event has literally grown out of its neighborhood). There’s a possibility that La Cocina and its executive director, Caleb Zigas, will find a new home for the street food festival come 2015.

But for now, they’re promoting this year’s festival as their swan song. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a preview of the event featuring a selection of some of the vendors who will be feeding the masses in a couple of weeks.

I’ve always enjoyed the festival although the long lines and crowded locale can get tiring at times. But at the same time, the block party vibe of the festival is quite endearing. I hope they find a new home. For the preview event, we gathered in an abandoned warehouse in the city’s Dogpatch neighborhood, and from what I ate, looks like there will be a lot of tasty treats this year.

 

Several vendors provided variations of tostaditos or mini tostadas.

Several vendors provided variations of tostaditos or mini tostadas.

4505 Meats' chicharon is always popular, and this was served with a jalapeno cream cheese.

4505 Meats’ chicharon is always popular, and this was served with a pimento cream cheese.

I enjoyed the cocktails being poured by the guys behind Rye Bar (calling themselves Rye on the Road). I went back several times to try all three specialty drinks offered.

I enjoyed the cocktails being poured by the guys behind Rye Bar (calling themselves Rye on the Road). I went back several times to try all three specialty drinks offered.

I liked the display by Bicycle Banh Mi.

I liked the display by Bicycle Banh Mi.

Everyone went crazy (except me) when Minnie Bell's Soul Movement put out this platter of rosemary fried chicken.

Everyone went crazy (except me) when Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement put out this platter of rosemary fried chicken.

I ran into fellow food blogger Brenda T. of Bites and Bourbon. Here she's taking a shot of vodka from the Anda Piroshki table. Anda required everyone to take a shot of vodka before trying her bite. I did the same and really felt the vodka made the bite taste better.

I ran into fellow food blogger Brenda T. of Bites and Bourbon. Here she’s taking a shot of vodka from the Anda Piroshki table. Anda required everyone to take a shot of vodka before trying her fermented herring bite. I did the same and really felt the vodka made the herring bite taste smoother.

My favorite bite of the evening was this marinated mussel from Sabores del Sur in Walnut Creek.

My favorite bite of the evening was this marinated mussel from Sabores del Sur in Walnut Creek.

Some of the sweets offered up. I enjoyed the mini cupcakes from La Luna (bottom left) with its tres leche and chocolate red velvet flavors.

Some of the sweets offered up. I enjoyed the mini cupcakes from La Luna (bottom left) with its tres leche and chocolate red velvet flavors. And of course you can never go wrong with trying the Dynamo Donut Sundae from Frozen Kuhsterd.

Caleb Zigas (speaking on the microphone) stands with a few of the food entrepreneurs who enjoyed the support of La Cocina.

Caleb Zigas (speaking on the microphone) stands with a few of the food entrepreneurs who enjoyed the support of La Cocina.

More sweets: cheesecake on top and bread pudding on bottom.

More sweets: cheesecake on top and bread pudding on bottom.

I thought Rice Paper Scissors did an ingenious rice roll that captured the flavors of the three dishes they plan to offer at the actual street festival, but all in one nice bite.

I thought Rice Paper Scissors did an ingenious rice roll that captured the flavors of the three dishes they plan to offer at the actual street festival, but all in one nice bite.

It was an enjoyable evening of snacking. I tried to eat every single bite and almost did it.

It was an enjoyable evening of snacking. I tried to eat every single bite from each table and I almost did it.

3 Responses to Preview of La Cocina’s 6th Annual (and Maybe Last) San Francisco Street Food Festival

  1. Carolyn Jung says:

    I hope they find a new venue for that. Such a great organization. And by the way, I could eat about a dozen of those rice rolls. 😉

  2. Brenda Ton says:

    Beautiful photos as always. I had such a fun time at that event. Was surprised to see my photo – vodka’s too harsh for me to drink :).