Last weekend we went to the annual Eat Real Festival in Oakland. They had it for three days, we went two. And we still couldn’t stuff everything down. The idea is to show that real, good food can be affordable like fast food. The reality is no matter how small each portion was, we ended up walking slow.
Some things were delicious. Like the Korean BBQ tacos from Seoul On Wheels. Ebony loved the chicken, Mudpie swooned about the spicy pork, I adored the bulgogi, all served on a corn tortilla with some lipsmacking sauce for $3. Follow their tweets to know their locations.
Near Seoul On Wheels were Curry Up Now and a Whole Foods‘ truck. Mudpie just couldn’t resist a chicken tikka masala burrito ($5), then drank a whole bottle of water afterwards. I was enticed by the hiramasa (hamachi) ceviche and grilled figs from Whole Foods, $3 each, served in a cone with tortilla chips for dipping.
The ceviche is on the right. It had cubes of hiramasa fish marinated in lime juice, vegetable and spices. The texture utterly resembled boiled fatty pork, so refreshing in a sunny afternoon. This was also my first time having a whole fig. It’s sweet and gummy, pretty similar to prunes. The higo asados (grilled figs) were smothered in a balsamic reduction sauce, fresh goat cheese, and topped with almonds, said the menu (but they tasted more like peanuts).
Speaking of goats…
They had some walking around leisurely in a sandy pen and refusing to show their faces to my camera. There were mommies and babies, goat milking and goat-milk-ice-cream making on Saturday afternoon, just before we arrived. The goats spoke Spanish. 😀
And boy was it sunny both days. But amidst the heat and smoke from humans and grilled meat did we find something refreshing. The Raw Daddy Foods‘ truck was facing away from the setting sun, and offering only, well, raw foods. In cones.
It’s worth noting that the festival was full of tacos (and other Mexican foods). There must have been at least ten trucks with the crunchy half moons. But this one has the most catchy name:
I actually had my eyes on the looking for this truck since I saw the list online. And I actually hate am troubled by the cheesy-advertising-trend-following usage of the word “Kung Fu” in anything, like Kung Fu Panda (hate have an aversion to the movie too, just from watching the trailer). Think “Vampire Burrito” and you may see my point? Anyhow, the tacos from Kung Fu Tacos looked shiningly attractive.
It was either Chinese-style chicken or pork, I can’t remember, on two tiny corn tortillas for $4. The taste was well worth the price, though. Besides, the line was quite short, much more so than Kara’s Cupcake two trucks over, however longer than Ebbett’s Good To Go, who should win Best Decoration with flower pots on bright blue:
We opted for vegan banh mi ($4) with tofu, Thai basil pesto, and pickled carrots. It was nowhere near banh mi, as they spelled it “bahn mi” anyway. Nice try.
BUT, it was still pretty acceptable. Tummy filling at the least. I wish I could say the same about Le Truc‘s one-bite-sized hoppy cheesecake, delivered fresh and fast from a big cheddar school bus:
Look good, eh? Taste like hop. Now maybe it’s good if you’re into beer, but none of us liked it. It’s not the sweet luscious cheesecake we expected. It was stinging bitter at first, then if you haven’t expectorated it already, thick and salty like old cheese on the tongue. The shiny brown sauce was even worse. Consider $4 flipped into the trash.
On the other hand, what was good was excellent. Like the fried plantains ($3) from Soleil’s African Kitchen.
No need for words. The line was fifty persons long under the blazing sun, and kept on growing. But I would do it all again for these salty sweet little beasts. My only complaint: they don’t have a restaurant that I can frequent!
To conclude the day, what’s better than some ice cream?
Nieves Cinco de Mayo let you sample their colorful snows before committing to the scoops. Guava was unexpectedly similar to strawberry, both in hue and in taste (unlike the green apple guava Vietnamese school kids munch with chili pepper salt). I opted for the rose petal flavor, which was more exuberantly rosy than Ici’s cardamom-rose version. It’s the pleasant awakening of every taste buds for merely 3 bucks.
Things we didn’t do at Eat Real Festival this year: