Making it through a food festival with 85 vendors requires a certain skill at pacing yourself without getting overwhelmed and full too quickly. Luckily, each vendor served both a small and a large bite (all $8 or under) so people could vary up the amount consumed at any one time. For the first time, a smartphone app was also available for free from La Cocina and developer 99 Apps to help navigate the dizzying array of dining options. Even so, it was a good thing the festival lasted from 11am until 7pm, because our stomachs needed several breaks to manage all the good food. Here are some samples:
El Buen Comer had three kinds of tostadas for their $8 big bite: chicken tinga, mole, and picadillo. The first two are pictured above.
Everybody wants to capture some memories, including the staff from Hawker Fare. Their Siamese Peanuts ($3) were roasted and prepared with fried baby anchovies, scallions, and house made chili jam.
The Grilled Squid Veracruz ($8) from Tacolicious drew me in just from the smell of the sizzling squid, but the taste even outdid that. Prepared in a traditional Veracruz style with tomatoes and jalapeños, it was incredibly spicy but also amazingly flavorful.
It was a food festival, so you know there was going to be a lot of fried food. For me that means chicken wings, and 15 Romolo hit the spot with Chicken Wings "Boriquas" as their $3 small bite. Served alongside a piece of plantain, the wings were topped with a sauce of coconut creme, cilantro, lime, and hot sauce. The Puerto Rican-inspired bites weren't too spicy, but the coconut brought a little bit of the tropics to the Bay.
EuroTrash came to the festival from Portland. Here they are frying up Nan-Nan chips ($3) and topping them with green onions and aioli. Delicious!
Jarred's menu consisted of a Mixed Pickle Cone ($3) and a Pickled Fried Green Tomato in Lard with 4505 Chicharron ($8). Their drink was a house made Mexican Cherry Cola ($3).
These are just some of the great eats we sampled at the 2012 San Francisco Street Food Festival. Stay tuned for more delectable dishes. What were your favorites?