Monday, August 20, 2012

Our Bites From the 2012 San Francisco Street Food Festival, Part 1

Once a year La Cocina plays host to the best street food San Francisco has to offer, so this Saturday was the day to head off to the Mission District and prepare our stomachs for the fourth annual San Francisco Street Food Festival.

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 jalapeƱos, 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.

La Cocina Executive Director Caleb Zigas welcomes everyone to the San Francisco Street Food Festival. Off the Grid founder Matt Cohen lent his truck to Farm 255, but he stayed around to offer his support.

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?

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