Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eat Real Festival - Truck Pageant

Best Looking Truck?

Trucks at the Eat Real Festival 2010- A Sampling

Ritual Coffee Roasters - always a long line, and one of the the few coffee specialists I could find.

Vamos Primos

Chairman Bao. Saw the line. Said FORGET IT. The longest line I saw:

And the picture doesn't show how the line bends--it's longer than it looks!

Kung Fu Tacos. Not much a of a line.

Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q

Curry Up Now from the side. Wanted to try it but I was too full of bhel poori.

Curry Up Now's side view.

Filipino eats

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Eat Real Festival: Review & Tips

Imagine a waterfront parking lot filled with trendy and popular San Francisco area food trucks and farm products. That's Eat Real for you. Scroll down for tips and what to expect, including photos from the farmers' market there.

Proselytizing "sustainable," "local," and "organic," these trucks feature everything from Indian burritos to Pan-African vegetarian food to empanadas to lumpia to steamed dumplings. Reflecting the LA Korean food scene, there were also many Korean eateries featuring fusion.

All-grass fed dogs from Let's be Frank - Been wanting to try this LA-based truck (a stand here) since I heard about it on Good Food a few years ago!

Argentine Asado at Primo's Parrilla

  • Trendiest trucks, including the crazily-mobbed Roli Roti, all in one place.
  • Can try lots of samples. People--vendors and customers are friendly.

Bhel Poori from Soul Cucina. Sanitized version of Indian Street food.

Soul Cucina stand

Tried the dulce du leche. Flakey and buttery...delicioso!

This is what happens when you wait too long.

  • Lots of people.
  • Long lines for the popular trucks.
  • Portion size could be smaller and prices cheaper. Most entrees were $5 and large enough for a meal (for a petite person or child). Hard to try everything you want without risking being gurney-ed out.

Tried this last year. Fun to see the gargantuan-sized pans. But I didn't find the paella to be flavorful though not bad for having been made in such a ginormous quantity. But I wasn't going to wait in line for this again.

Drink tickets are obtained in a separate booth, centrally located. I found out the hard way, but it was easy enough to purchase my drink ticket.

Pomegranate kombucha. I am not enough of a connoisseur to know if it was high quality kombucha or not (I have only had GT's before)...it reminded me of beer without the alcoholic kick, flavored with pomegranate essence... Not unlike GT's.

Barlovento Chocolates from Oakland

Fresh, hot noodles

Organic Mexican

Vesta Flatbread

"Seasonal, local, sustainable"

Straus Farms - the dairy that lots of high-end restaurants seem to use.

If only I had more stomach space...

The Farmers' Market at the Eat Real Festival

The farmers' market at Eat Real is "inside" and features produce, olive oil, baked goods, and prepared foods.

Gorgeous colors, as are typical of Bay Area farmers' markets in summer.

These swirly "Spicy Veggie Wraps" from Tofu Yu, new to the food scene and local, are light and appetizing, making for a great summer snack. The veggies inside taste crispy fresh.

Bolani (flatbread) from Bolani (company)--my new obsession. The spinach bolani is their best seller and man! It is no wonder why. I bought a package that day and then went to Andronicos that week and bought three more packages. I had it for dinner four times that week. Will be writing more about this place in a coming blog.

Quesero Salazar

How could I not photograph these blue beauties. I have no idea how they taste but they make for great camera candy.

For the drive home, at 300 Webster Street, a quick walk away.

Eat Real Festival - Oakland

August 27-29, 2010 - Jack London Square
The Northern California Food Scene

Coming soon...

Trucks, people, sunshine, dogs, and sustainable, organic food galore.

El Porteno - Empanadas

Curry Up Now - Indian Burritos

Dozens more photos to come!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mo' Mo' Milkbar

Gaga for Momofuku, we sampled some treats from its Midtown and East Village milkbars.

East Village Milkbar

"Corn Cookie"

Imagine corn bread in cookie form. That's the Momofuku Corn Cookie.

The East Village location, at 207 2nd Avenue, is a bit bigger than the one in Midtown at 15 W. 56th.

Inside the East Village Milkbar

Inside the Midtown Milkbar

Kimchi & Blue Cheese Croissant

The Kimchi & Blue Cheese Croissant has a salty sharpness to it, the way lox and cream cheese does. This puppy must have a half stick of butter in it--it is heavy as a brick and flaky. Divine.

Milk that tastes literally like cornflakes in milk. But made with high fructose corn syrup. What's up with that? My impression from dinner was that Momofuku takes exceptional care to get the finest ingredients. So this kind of thing puzzles me. Whatever. This stuff is terribly yummy. Also tried the "Cereal Milk" soft serve, which is like the milk in different form. So simple and so good. Okay, next...


The cornflake cookie had been off the menu but is back recently, by popular demand. Very sweet, soft and gooey.

"Compost Cookie"

My sweet-n-salty favorite, with "pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch and chocolate chips."

Ssam Bar is right next door at the East Village location.

"Momo" means peach in Japanese. This place certainly is a peach.


Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 2nd Ave
New York City

"Greek Sardine - arugula, strawberry and toasted rice"

We went to dinner here at 9PM on a Monday night, and the place was full. But we had better luck here than at The Daily Show, and, as soon as we arrived, a table in the corner--adjacent to the kitchen with a long view of the restaurant--opened up.

View from the corner table by the kitchen.

Originally we had gone to Balthazar in SoHo, but were turned off by the touristy atmosphere. And it looked a bit like a deluxe version of TGI Fridays. In contrast to the website photos, there seemed to be no feeling of intimacy there. So we pulled our name from the reservation list and headed to Momofuku, another of Vicki’s favorite restaurants.

"Warm Silken Tofu - heirloom tomatoes, myoga, watermelon"

The service was knowledgeable, unpretentious and endearingly disheveled-looking. Our waitress had a nose-ring, tunic and sparkly eyeshadow; and our two other servers were dudes in baggy cargo shorts and sneakers. They knew how to present a steamed bun to the woman at the table--open faced towards her.

"Blackened Bluefish Sandwich - iceberg lettuce, potato chips" -- A to-die-for fish sandwich.

The restaurant is connected to a milk bar (more in the next blog), which features items like "Hawaiian BBQ" shakes, "Banana Green Curry Bread," and "Crack Pie" (“toasted oat crust and gooey butter filling”). There, a clerk was wearing a huge blue bow around her head earlier on in the day.

"Steamed Buns - pork belly, hoisin, cucumbers, scallions"

Open plea to David Chang: please open up a restaurant in San Francisco.

Pork Steamed Bun - A special of the day

In Short

Food: Small plates of creative fusion (not just Asian-fusion); they call it American food
Bathrooms: Clean but small
Ambiance: Local, sophisticated, creative crowd
Quirks: They serve no hot water!
Other: Lots of meat (pork) on the menu. Vegetarian plates are limited.