It's that time again. Yes, we're ready to eat at the SFSFF brought to you by the mastermind organizers of La Cocina. You may have caught a taste of what's in store from our post 'Bite Me.' However, even though J.K. and Angela had a heads up of what to expect (and Angela's volunteer shift entailed covering a lot of the layout of the event site–and helping 'build' a bar) we were still a bit overwhelmed at how much food there was to eat. We had put out the call, asking friends to join the festivities in order to help us cover more ground, and a total of 9 people were on board this year (3 passports worth of coupons), but there were still a lot of booths/trucks we missed out on. This event is huge! But without further ado we bring you part one of our eating adventure. Angela volunteered for setup duty, so J.K. arrived early and we walked the length of the festival. Here's the Kasa Indian Truck setting up.
We started out at State Bird Provisions again, to avoid the long line we knew would form. This was the line at 10:40! By the time the Festival opened at 11:00, the line was all the way to the corner and the organizers were trying to figure out how to keep it from stopping the flow of traffic. Interestingly, the phenom of "a line begets a line" was in action in the morning because when we wandered back by SBP much later that afternoon they were still churning out the eats but NO Line. This is an example of how the festival vendors have grown and learned! When vendors run out of food it's a disappointment to eaters, plus the vendors lose money. So even though State Bird Provisions brought the same small and large bites as at last years event, they brought plenty enough to feed the masses. Kudos to being prepared.
Our passport was an especially good value this year. For $105 we got $130 "street dollars" and four coupons for adult beverages. In previous years, the beverage coupons were for nonalcoholic beverages only, so this is an awesome update to the event! We saved our street dollars for food and drank the free juice generously provided by Purity Organic when we needed to slake our thirst in a non-alcoholic way. Once we made to the large bar down at the opposite end from State Bird we took advantage of our passport drink tickets.
State Bird Provisions brought us their popular small bite of Spicy Summer Tomato Giardinier, and their big bite offering was the Hand Pulled Garlic Bread w/ Burrata. The Garlic bread ring wasn't quite garlicky enough for some of our group, but it paired perfectly with the hand pulled burrata cheese which was smooth, light and creamy. We bought two of each so that everyone in the group could get a taste.
Pinx Catering had a shill out front, telling us we'd better buy our maple glazed bacon right away because last year they got cleaned out in an hour and a half. After tasting their bacon, we could see why! We paired the bacon with Brazilian Cheese Bread from Kika's Treats, which was right next door. This was our first case of divide and conquer as we had some people grab a spot at the stand up table, one in line for Kika's and one in line at Pinx (which had a long line going on for the bacon). We firmly believe that Kika should start selling these Brazillian Bread treats (which we remembered from last year!) along side her chocolate desserts! The spread was delightful as well. As for Pinx, well, it's hard to do bacon wrong and a maple glaze can only enhance its porky goodness.
|Pinx bacon and Kika's delicious warm breads!|
Zella's Soulful Kitchen, which last year delighted us with Jacked-Up Hush Puppies, this year "Jilled" them up. These little guys had a sweeter taste that paired well with their creamy sauce. You may remember we had her Buffalo Blue Chicken Sammie at the Bite Me preview night, so we restrained ourselves to the hushpuppies this time around.
|Zella brings us her hush puppy magic.|
Nojo, one of our favorite restos, served us Japanese Fried Chicken. Not as exotic as our dinners there, but very appropriate for the venue. These wings had an extremely light breading. No one could guess what it was! They were super tasty as well. Happily, Dan showed up just in time to eat the last few off the plate so we could save room for the next dish down the line. It seems like this festival had a lot of tempting "Big Bites" so it was fortunate we had a group to help us nosh it all down. Nojo's was also serving their fries, but we had to pass on those carbs and move! We'll shock you with our numbers later, but suffice to say that even though we ate and ate, we also got in some exercise hoofing it around the festival.
|Nojo's Japanese Fried Chicken|
After Nojo's we let the food settle a minute before moseying on to our next temptation! People watching at this event is almost as fun as eating. We didn't see too many celebs, although local Tablehopping Maven Marcia Gagliardi was manning her own booth, ready and willing to give you heavenly hints about where to eat in the Bay Area. Tea Time isn't nearly in her league, but we do have the scoop on the festival, since she was stuck at her table...we think. Stay tuned for more San Francisco Street Food Festival eats!