4:35 PM

eat'real festival in Oakland

The past few weekends the bay area has been delivering when it comes to things to do.  This past weekend I decided that I wanted to hit up the eat'real festival in Oakland.  I had never been before and had heard about the event a few weeks in advance and had tentatively put it on my lists of things to do list instead of sitting at home in the house.

When checking out their website this is what they had to say about the eat'real festival:

"Eat Real combines a state fair, a street-food festival, and a block party to create a celebration of good food. At the Eat Real Festival, participants learn where food comes from, who grows and makes it, and how they make it. Eat Real Festival attendance is 100% free of charge, all food at the festival costs $5 and less, and all food incorporates regionally-sourced, fabulous, and sustainably-produced ingredients.

Eat Real is a social venture business with an affiliated non-profit focused on promoting and teaching food craft. Eat Real’s mission is to help revitalize regional food systems, build public awareness of and respect for the craft of making good food and to encourage the growth of American food entrepreneurs."

So I thought why not check it out…  I had a couple people in mind who might be open to checking out the festival and trying some of the yummy cheap eats. Well unfortunately I couldn't manage to round up any folks to go check the event out. I'm not sure what it is… but it seems hard to find folks who have just an open mind a tinge of excitement to try something new. I'd say that finding folks to hang out with has been one of the harder things to do in my late twenties and now early 30's. I don't need to be out in the streets all of the damn time.. but I like to try new things and just enjoy myself. Why not? 

Normally, I'd give up on the idea as I'm not fond of hanging out at public events alone but this time I said what the hell and headed on down to Jack London Square in Oakland. I mean.. hey gotta give it up to Oakland for putting together a positive, popular well organized event. Especially considering the seemingly lack of awesome things to do when you compare Oakland with cities like Berkley or San Francisco. Don't get me wrong.. sure Oakland trys and does succeed at some of the events it hosts but the city has a bad rap and its not as popular as other parts of the Bay. 

So.. I got ready, pulled some cash from an ATM and on an empty stomach made my way down to the festival. The festival was ending around 8pm and I figured 1 1/2-2 hours would be long enough to wonder around checking things out by my lonesome. 

So.. first impression..  definitely worth the trip! There were approximately 30 or so food trucks set up all up and down the area of Jack London square. Folks seemed in a good mood, food and awesome smells were all around and there was a decent sized crowd. 

After making my way through most of the event I spotted my first $5 grub!  It was a food truck called Curry Up Now. Who woulda thought.. indian street food. I'm sure there are these specialty modern style food trucks springing up all over but in Oakland.. normally you're limited to the good ol Taco truck.  I ended up ordering a Tika Masala burrito for $5.  It wasn't bad, the size was average but the taste was pretty good. Not a bad find. 

So what next? I honestly hadn't eaten anything of substance all day and figured I'd at least donate a good $20 to the cause :) Thing about this festival is that the trucks that seemed to be hot and in demand had the lines to back it up. This is where coming there with someone would have came in handy. You could snack on your food, chit chat and wait in the long line for your turn to order.  I didn't have that  luxury so I just kept it moving reading the signs of the different food spots seeing where I was stopping at next. 

I ended up eating at restaurant thats already there called MissPearlsJam House. I had eaten there a couple of times before in the past. They do Caribbean food. I ended up with a hotlink w/ no bun and a small spoon of cajun cole slaw for $5.  I got something there because #1 I was at the other side of the event and two there was no line and the food was fresh off the grill. 

While eating that I made my way over to a small place that sold home made ice cream bars. I got one for $3 called sweet potato chai, it sounded good. The taste.. well that left a little to be desired but the coldness of the ice cream bar helped kick that fire of the hot link. 

On to my next find..  by this point I was feeling pretty full though I hadn't ate tons. I figured though I just had to wait out at least one of these long ass line to find out what all the hype was about. I ended up at The Q Crew… who can resists the smell of BBQ and Roasted corn out in the open. This truck boasted one of the longest lines but I figured why not. So for $5 I got a small BBQ pork slider and the side of roasted corn. It was worth the wait!  Not even sure what was better.. BBQ is great but sweet roasted corn.. is damn good too. By the time I finished this I was ready to just take a nap. I was full and was ready to just roll on home literally :) but.. I said to myself.. hey you might as well stick out ONE more line.. I mean you can take it home if you can't finish it. 

It was another one of the longest lines at the event.  I ended up in the line for A Crepe.. it had been forever since I had a sweet crepe and the looks on peoples faces after they picked theres up made me envious I just had to get me one. So.. there I was standing in another line.. honestly I think this one was even longer than the BBQ one.  I ended up ordering the strawberry crepe with Nutella spread, almonds with powdered sugar on top. Like all the other folks I was happy when I FINALLY got mine.. but I was also full.  The little organic fork didn't quite do its job. I found that it was hard to eat the crepe but I managed. So.. I sad down and finished it all.  I don't even know how I made it back to the car.. but overall I was happy I went and though cruising the festival alone was a tad bit awkward at moments.. it wasn't a big deal.  

I just remember thinking to myself.. how many people actually did come here by themselves cause it seemed that almost everyone was chit chatting away with someone. Maybe next time..  but I'm not gonna let folks stop me from having fun.. or seeing what this bay area has to offer. 


NightFall914 said...

Great post. Now Im hungry.


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