|Penang Curry Bomb from Azalina's|
The evening began with a tour of Off the Grid, where selected vendors prepared food for us to sample. I purposely visited the vendors who I hadn't tried in the past, which meant I bypassed two of my favorites, Onigilly and Curry Up Now, but I wanted to see what the others had to offer. The highlight for me came from Azalina's, where she served up the Penang Curry Bomb, a delicious and creamy spicy coconut chicken curry presented with blueberry and cucumber pickles on a golden bun. I liked this Malaysian treat because of all the varying flavors: sweet, tangy, creamy and of course, coconut! The sweetness of the blueberries added a refreshing sweetness to against the bun. And what a bun it was! It was baked, steamed and then fried to give both sizzle and crunch, and it gave the dish the extra something special.
|Jello Shots from Sweet Collection|
The passed appetizers which topped my list included the Brazilian Cheese Bread from Kika's Treats and the Jambalini from 15 Romolo. The Cheese bread was warm and toasty for a melt in your mouth treat. Think Red Lobster, but then take it up about 100 notches! The Jambalini, while not exactly your typical street food since they hail from 15 Romelo's brick-and-mortar bar, were an interesting twist on the Italian arancini, but instead made with jambalaya rice and served with a Creole aioli.
|Jambalini from 15 Romolo|
I can hardly believe it myself, but I did manage to at least try all of the food presented and even finished some of the ones that were a particular favorite. While they were all great, a few lingered on my lips and left me wanting more. Topping my list were the mini tamales from Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas, who will be opening her new food cart at Justin Herman Plaza in the next few weeks. The tamales were fresh, flavorful and topped with a green avocado sauce that tasted like a lot of time was put into it. Even in my fullness I was able to eat my entire portion because it was so delicious!
|Tamales from Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas|
Lastly, what would dinner be without dessert? And I can always muster up space in my "dessert stomach" for some sweet treats even if I was completely saturated with dinner foods. The winner was, of course, the alfajores from Sabores del Sur. The cookies were flaky and buttery, the dulce de leche filling was sweet and creamy and this fantastic South American cookie just melted in my mouth. There were eight of us at a table for 10, so we always had two of everything leftover. When the servers came to take away the tray, I pounced on it to claim one of the two extra cookies. Come festival time, I will be first in the queue to take home a bunch of Guisell Osorio's masterpieces.
Celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit of San Francisco's street food scene, the Third Annual San Francisco Street Food Festival takes place August 20th, 2011 on Folsom Street between 22nd and 26th Street. Bring your appetite, a wad of cash (or prepaid passport) and a bag to take home some tasty treats!
San Francisco Street Food Festival (@streetfoodsf)
Sabores del Sur
Kika's Treats (@kikastreats)
15 Romolo (@15romolo)
Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas
El Buen Comer