San Francisco Street Food Festival this past Saturday and had the opportunity to taste a multitude of dishes representing various ethnicities and flavors. Had the crowds been a bit lighter and the lines a tad shorter at the event presented by La Cocina, I am sure I could have stretched my tummy a bit more to enjoy even more of the delicious offerings. Still, in the six hours I was there, I ate my way down Folsom Street. The following are some highlights of my day.
I already shared the amazing food porn that was the Sweet Potato Pie Waffle from Pinx, the tamales from Alicia's Tamales los Mayas and the Watermelon Gazpacho from Commonwealth (read Part One here). While those were my top three favorite dishes of the event, there were many other hard-working vendors who also had amazing dishes that I was fortunate enough to try.
|Roasted Corn Quesadilla from Mission Tortilla|
Continuing on down the street we grabbed a plate of Organic Roasted Lemon and Thyme Hummus with pita chips from Love & Hummus, which was full of lemon and garlic for a robust and homey flavor. I then stopped at 4505 Meats for a Chicharrones Party Bag, which I intended on saving for later. Well, that lasted me all of about a minute before I tore into the bag for the smoky, slightly spicy, melt-in-your-mouth sensation of the puffy pork rinds. The rest of the bag didn't last long, as my toddler kept reaching up into my purse to grab another chicharron, then another, until they were all gone.
|Fried Oysters from Nettie's Crab Shack|
Crossing 24th street I came upon the shared booth of the festival's four Vote Your Vendor competition winners. I tried Pinx's waffle first and then stopped by Rau Om to try their Nem Chua (Vietnamese cured beef). It was completely not what I expected at all, as I erroneously pictured it to be more like beef jerky, but the citrus flavors were pleasant and the meat texture interesting. The fresh Vietnamese coriander gave it an herbal punch. I was also able to finally meet Jessica Shain from MAD-Abroad, whose business donates a portion of its proceeds to a different charity each month. For the San Francisco Street Food Festival she served up a wonderful Tuna Tartare on a crispy wonton, with sales benefiting the Touch a Life Foundation. I am a huge fan of tuna tartare, and I thought this was fantastic and fresh!
|Chocolate Babka from Wise Sons Deli|
I was quite full at this point, but then I saw someone carrying what looked to be a giant piece of chocolate decadence. With my map I figured out that this must be the Chocolate Babka from Wise Sons Deli. One bite and I felt like I was in a Seinfeld episode with Jerry and Elaine. It was really yummy! Plus, Wise Sons gets bonus points from me for offering pickle juice shots, which I gladly accepted. I knew I was not the only one who likes to shoot it from the jar once the pickles were eaten! And to think, I used to get yelled at as a child for doing this...
|Salts from Sal de Vida|
I now made my way back along Folsom and stopped in at Alicia's for a plate of three tamales. While I was eating I engaged in a conversation with two guys who were also enjoying what Alicia had to offer. After opining on his favorite dish of the festival (Kati Roll from Kasa India), Jason Arrick and his friend invited me to try some more food. So we made our way to Chaac Mool, where we all sampled their Taco de Cochinita Pibil, a slow-roasted Neiman Ranch pork taco, dry rubbed with Yucatan spices. This was really flavorful and delicious, and my taco swam in the juices of both the pork and the salsa.
|Tacos de Cochinita Pibil from Chaac Mool|
I was officially stuffed to capacity at this point, but as I made my way back to my car, I couldn't help but grab a few Grilled Pork Banh Mi from Nom Nom Truck for us to eat at home. What can I say? I crave these sandwiches, and I could eat them every day and never tire!
|Arepa de Queso from the Arepa Lady|
Who else ate at the festival? What were some of your favorites, and what had you running back for more? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.
San Francisco Street Food Festival (@streetfoodsf)
Love & Hummus
4505 Meats (@4505_meats)
Rau Om (@rauom)
Nettie's Crab Shack (@nettiescrabshak)
Wise Sons Deli (@wisesonsdeli)
Sal de Vida
Chaac Mool (@chaacmoolsf)
The Arepa Lady
Nom Nom Truck (@nomnomtrucksf)