Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Preview of the 2012 San Francisco Street Food Festival

The good thing about the upcoming 2012 San Francisco Street Food Festival? There will be over 75 vendors serving up delicious cuisines from all around the world. The bad thing about the upcoming festival? With so many treats, it's impossible to choose! Last week, La Cocina hosted a preview event at Fort Mason to give the media, bloggers and sponsors a chance to sample the food and meet the chefs. The room, which was set up to mimic the festival itself with vendors divided into individual "blocks," was jam packed with so many samples I found myself stuffed before I could sample them all. I did get to eat a lot, however, and while I was munching, I was impressed at the passion that so many of these chefs possessed. 

Each vendor at the Festival will offer both a big and a small bite, and all are priced at $8.00 and under. Here's a sneak peek at what you'll find. What are YOU planning on trying?

Isabel Caudillo and El Buen Comer brought Esquites for their big bite. This delightful corn in a cup is served with cheese and mayonnaise and garnished with a wedge of lime.

Native Colombian Constanza Ortiz of Maite Catering brings a personal favorite of mine, Arepas topped with Carnitas. I wanted to eat the whole plate!

I have had the pleasure of trying many dishes from Azalina's, and they are consisently delicious. She brings Maylasian Chilaquilesscallion flatbreads topped with Chicken Rendang, her coconut jam and a piece of raspberry.

Yes, they taste as good at they look! The Spicy Paloma comes courtesy of Espolon Tequila and was prepared by Rye on the Road, a San Francisco based cocktail catering company. Made with tequila, jalapeno, fresh grapefruit, fresh lime, seltzer, salt and a sweet pepper garnish, it was the perfect accompianment to the night's cuisine. I had four!

Though it's actual name was a Mint Julep, I prefered to call it a Mint Snowcone because that is what it reminded me of. Rye on the Road mixed this up with Wild Turkey, organic mint and cane sugar.

Eji Altaw of Eji's Ethiopian brought her vegan treat, Misir Wot with Injera. The dish includes split red lentils simmered with carmelized onions, chili powder, garlic, ginger and other Ethiopian spices. They were served on traditional Injera flatbread.

What's better than a Hush Puppy? A Jacked-up Hush Puppy from Zella's Soulful Kitchen, of course! These deep fried corn fritters are comprised of pepper jack cheese, onions, jalapeno and fresh corn, and then drizzled with a remoulade sauce. They were spicy and delicious, and a must-try at the festival.

The pork Lomito comes courtesy of Sabores del Sur, the catering company of Chef Guisell Osorio. These mini-sandwiches consisted of braised organic Chilean pork and topped with tomato, avocado, aji and mayonnaise. They were the first treat that I tried this evening, and was a great way to kick off the dinner.

I picked up a few jars of Sal de Vida gourmet salts at last year's festival, and have been enjoying them since last August. This year, Adriana Lahl brings some new creations for her fans to sample.

This is just a smattering of the choices that will be offered at the 2012 San Francisco Street Food Festival. Go early with a full wallet and an empty stomach!

The 2012 San Francisco Street Food Festival is free to attend, and all food items will be $8 or less. Discount passports, tickets for the San Francisco Night Market on August 17th, and entrance to the Food & Entrepreneurship Conference on August 19th and 20th are available online.

San Francisco Street Food Festival (@sfstreetfood)
La Cocina (@lacocinasf)
El Buen Comer (@elbuencomersf)
Maite Catering (@maitecatering)
Azalina's (@azalinamalaysia)
Rye on the Road (@ryesf)
Eji's Ethiopian (@ejiskitchen)
Zella's Soulful Kitchen (@zellaskitchen)
Sabores del Sur (@saboresdelsursf)
Sal de Vida (@saldevidag)

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