Sunday, September 5

Eat Real Festival 2010 - Oakland

 My my, so I'm gone for a few days for Labor Day Weekend and the blogosphere is abuzz with entries on Labor Day sales. I'll have to hit up some sales tomorrow but for now, here's what I ate last weekend.
Oakland has a reputation for having one of the higher crime rates in Northern California and I'm proud to say, I survived a day on the streets of Oakland - the little streets of Jack London Square that is...

I followed up my weekend at the SF Street Food Fest with more street food at the Eat Real Festival in Oakland. The weather was better and this one was a bit more scenic with the waterfront as a back drop and live music performed in front of a grass lawn.

I'm glad the boys of our group didn't deter MT and I from getting in line at the first appealing truck. I figure all these people can't be wrong about the Chairman Bao bun truck.

By this time, I was starving and the menu looked so delicious I bought all three buns.

($3.50) Pulled pork with pickled daikon bun. This was my absolute favorite bun, and food of the entire day. I've never gone wrong with pulled pork but the daikon is what really gave it the extra oomph. Who would have figured this combo works so well together. You got the crunchy pickled daikon with the savory pork and that creamy white sauce - it just all works!

($3.50) Red sesame chicken with scallion and bok choy. This was pretty good but the chicken itself was just ok. The spicy marinated scallion leaves were a nice touch.

($3.50) Crispy Tofu and Miso greens bun. The miso is in the dressing on the greens. This was my least favorite because its rather bland biting into a big chunk of tofu even if its crispy on the outside. The miso greens didn't stand out to me. It's not too bad but pales in comparison to the others. I loved the peking duck-style buns though.

Oh, Gerard and his paella

I was in awe of how they made mass amounts of paella in huge industrial pans. There are three different types of paella pictured but sadly, I did not see the menu to describe for you.

(price unknown) I wasn't in the mood for paella but I did sample a bit of my friend's seafood paella. I found the rice to be unflavorful and they complained of difficult to peel shrimp and lacking seafood.

(2 for $5) El Salvadorian Pupusas looked very interesting. They look like tortillas but taste like tamales with chicken or pork, beans, and cheese stuffed inside. Finished with a topping of tomato sauce and pickled cabbage. This one was a struggle to finish. I have never been a fan of tamales and was surprised by the tamale taste. For tamale lovers though, I hesitate to dismiss the pupusas as unappetizing because other pupusa vendors at the festival had much more attractive looking ones. It could have been just this stall. And I didn't taste any cheese or beans so maybe they ripped us off.

Where's Buta? Here it is! Having gone to two food festivals two weekends in a row, I was growing tired of tacos, buns, and sliders so seeing the Buta ramen stall was a refreshing sight for sore eyes.

($5) Pork Ramen. I guess this was a day to give things I normally don't like a second chance, like ramen. The verdict? It is confirmed that I still don't like ramen. It's not that I have a particular thing against ramen, I've just never eaten a bowl that impressed me. We're talking fresh ramen, not the dried instant stuff that always satisfies the MSG fiend in me. Fresh ramen has always been disappointing. This pork ramen was no different. It was not a pork based broth but rather just pieces of pork in a soy based broth. The ramen was chewy and clumpy, cooking outdoors at a festival may be to blame for this.

We kicked back on the lawn for awhile before each buying a cup of sorbet or gelato (not pictured) and heading home.

SF Street Food Festival had better foods but the Eat Real Festival had a better atmosphere. It was a larger event with more vendors so lines at each vendor were significantly shorter. However, even some of the same vendors who cooked well in SF did not cook as well at Eat Real. It just wasn't their day I guess. After two festivals in a row, I'm ready to retire from the festival eating business for at least a year.

1 comment:

  1. nice roundup, i'll be in SF next week doing some crafting and eating. if you're ever in nyc i'm curious about what you would think of the ramen since there are so many that i love here!



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