Saturday, September 28, 2013

Eat Real Festival

Angela had such a good time volunteering at the San Francisco Street Food Festival that Tea Time volunteered for the Eat Real Festival in Oakland. Due to Angela's work schedule, we signed up for the pre-festival set-up shift, starting our stint by stuffing goodie bags and then performing other tasks as needed.

Angela then had to work on Friday, so I attended the Festival alone, because I wanted to avoid the weekend crowds. It's very easy to get there–take BART to 12th Street Oakland and walk down Broadway to the end of the street, then turn left. There's also a free (you can't miss itit's green) shuttle bus along Broadway that runs every 15 minutes, but it's only a 15 minute walk.
If you can't find the Festival, head for Heinold's.
It's in the middle of the action.
SpongeBob's Car.
Answer a few questions and you're entered to win one.
Plus, you get a choice of trinkets.
It can get very hot in Oakland, and while there are vendors selling soft drinks and adult beverages, the Festival provides free water. Bring your own cup or bottle, though.

After checking out the booths on Palm Plaza (and acquiring some swag), it was time for lunch. My first stop was The Whole Beast, which offered a seasoned lamb rib with persimmon/pomegranate coleslaw. There was also lamb poutine, but Tea Time is very fond of ribs, coleslaw, persimmons and pomegranates, and there they were, all in one very tasty dish!
 The signage was as good as the food.

 This was the "lamb lounge." It was a very sunny day, which made photography difficult, and the sign didn't make it into the picture. 
On the way to discovering the lamb booth, Fat Face popsicles had caught my attention, so that was my next stop.
It wasn't an easy choice, but
I finally settled on Strawberry Lemonade.
Then I decided to check out the Market, and was delighted to find Bittersweet Cafe, which Tea Time used to frequent when they were on Fillmore Street in San Francisco. I bought a Brownie and ate it while walking around looking at the other booths.

That's my brownie on the righteven bigger than the sample!
Other treats!
Next I discovered Starter Bakery, which had a large selection of Kouign-Amann in many flavors. But it just wasn't a possibility after that brownie, so I bought two (original and double chocolate) to take home and share with Angela later.

Two views of the ones I brought home:
Peter Brydon at Barlovento Chocolates plied me with samples of his excellent chocolate, but it was just too hot to attempt to bring chocolate home. I hope to encounter him again in cooler weather.
I had really thought I was finished eating for the afternoon, but when I took one more walk around the Festival to see if there was any thing else I wanted to photograph, I noticed that there was no line at The Chairman's truck, and I couldn't resist the Pork Belly bao. This is the first time I have ever seen The Chairman without a line, and it probably won't ever happen again.
You can't miss The Chairman's truck.
While I was waiting for my bao, a large group of people appeared!
The pork belly is hidden under a generous serviing of turmeric pickled daikon.
 And then I spotted the Stroopie booth, but by then I really couldn't eat another bite!
I can't explain this.
Extreme flagpole climbing?
Swag! We were pleased to learn that the goodie bags were for all the volunteers, so we each got to take one home. Yes, another bag, courtesy of Whole Foods, which also donated the Kettle Corn. Other highlights of the bag were the official Eat Real apron and a wooden spoon from Anolon.
Festival swag was equally generous. Toyota gave a choice of SpongeBob trinkets (I chose the rear view mirror dice but there were also sunglasses and dual keyrings), another Festival apron, silk screened on the spot, and another choice of trinkets after rolling giant dice. I won hand sanitizer, but was able to trade it for yet another bag. There were also lunch bags and sunglasses. I also won a bag from Love with Food (please, let me know if you need a bag!), which had packets of pickle salt (for use on food, not pickling salt) and some candies inside. Also another scraper, this one from East Bay Municipal Utility District and Our Water Our World. Lip balm from Fans of Lamb. And organic string cheese from Organic Valley, who were also pouring glasses of milk.
The highest food price at the Festival is $5, but if you're having a whole meal, it can add up. Here's my breakdown for the afternoon. Well, not including BART fare.

Lamb rib:     $5.00
Popsicle:      $3.50
Brownie:      $4.00
Bao:             $4.00
Kouign-Amann (2):  $7.50