Browsing articles in "street food"
Jul 27, 2014
Tim Lester

Street Food Festival Sneak Peak

Gearing up for the San Francisco Street Food Festival on August 16? This year, it will be held on a mile-long stretch on Folsom Street between 20th and 26th. La Cocina, nonprofit restaurant incubator kitchen and the organizer behind the delectable festival, says this will be their last year in the Mission District and will be moving to a bigger venue to accommodate the festival’s growing popularity.

7×7 recently published their top eight must-try treats – and it’s mouthwatering. Here’s a taste:

Cotton Candy, Sugar Spun ($3)

Put a wad of this grownup cotton candy on your tongue, and feel it melt almost instantly. Dots of cayenne fleck the light yellow Spicy Salted Mango which makes it look more menacing than it tastes. Biscoff Spread and streaks of ground Oreo-like cookies (Sugar Spun uses the 365 brand from Whole Foods) look like black pepper riddling the Cookies and Cream flavor. Find pre-packed containers of the above as well as Peanut Butter Jelly. Or, order yours spun on-the-spot in options that include Nuetella strawberry, chocolate black sesame, and matcha green tea latte.

Doughnut Sandwich, Frozen Kuhsterd ($6.50) Excess, meet your incarnation. Build your own frozen custard sandwich starting with one Dynamo Donut split and stuffed with your choice of frozen custard and toppings like cornflakes, ube sauce, and nutter butter. Too tired from all that eating to make a decision? Go with the famed “Mission Style” sandwich. A bacon doughnut stippled with apple bits that have been cooked in bacon fat pairs with Four Barrel coffee frozen custard and a glaze of burnt caramel. It’s a smokey, caloric monstrosity that somehow doesn’t taste heavy. You can also grab plain scoops as well as old fashioned chocolate sodas composed of heavy cream, organic chocolate syrup, and carbonated water.

La Luna Cupcakes ($5 for 4 mini cupcakes)

La Luna’s customers clamor for tres leches. Rich vanilla cake soaks in three kinds of milk—evaporated, condensed, and regular—giving it a milky pocket that’s not quite wet, but goes a step beyond moist. At the festival, owner Elvia Buendia will also serve her popular red velvet with cream cheese frosting and smear of chocolate ganache (pictured), summery strawberry, and chocolate mint. For something more portable, try a cake pop. These orbs of blended cake and frosting served on a stick get dunked in white chocolate and sprinkles to resemble decorative golf balls.

The night before the Street Food Festival, La Cocina will also host a Fried Chicken Family Meal on August 15 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the SOMA StrEat Food Park. The event promises to have “every iteration of fried chicken from chefs all over the country,” along with an open bar, unlimited, food, live music and games.

But if you’re still craving more, La Cocina will also have an all-day Food and Entrepreneurship Conference afterwards on Sunday, August 17. The “Sunday Thoughtluck” will be centered around the future of food systems, alongside food entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, city officials, culinary experts, and community organizations from all over the world. Tickets are $100 but scholarships are offered.

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Jul 26, 2014
Tim Lester

Nue Bringing Street Food (and a Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Window) to Auto Row

Cvetkovich has traveled to more than 50 countries, taking notes about his favorite dishes along the way. “I travel pretty much to eat,” Cvetkovich says. While its kitchen will use some “high tech” equipment, Nue’s street food-inspired menu will embrace a range of preparation techniques.

While the concept is in its early stages and he plans to bring on a chef to round out the menu, Cvetkovich says Nue’s offerings will be centered around lesser-known small plates that riff off of dishes found in South America, the Mediterranean, Asia, and beyond.

“Seattle has a lot of cool ethnic restaurants but there’s only a handful of dishes that come back. Everybody know banh mi, everybody knows pho. But when you’re in Vietnam there’s hundreds of others. The idea is to bring those back.”

In addition to room for 30 in the dining room and a full bar, Nue will have a window where you can order from the menu off the street, and a liquid nitrogen ice cream station. The machine will rotate between three or four flavors, including traditional options like lemon custard, and some experiments—Cvetkovich throws out smoked hay as an example. Hanging meats and a walk-in with cut out windows flank one side of the open kitchen; an island will be built out front surrounded by chairs for outdoor dining when weather allows.

So can a newcomer pull it off? “A lot of my people ask me, ‘do all your friends think you’re crazy for doing this?’ because I’ve never run a restaurant before,” Cvetkovich says. “But they don’t. They ask me, ‘what took you so freaking long?’”

Cvetkovich sees business models changing in the restaurant industry. “We have retail entering the restaurant space, we have subscription services. What I’m taking from the tech and game industry is that you have to be tactile, you have to be able to move and change around. Not that you’re going to be flighty, but if you’re agile, I think you can keep on top of it.”

Nue is planning to start serving lunch and dinner on December 1.
· Nue [Facebook]

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Jul 26, 2014
Tim Lester

Street Food Friday: Rice and Beans Three Ways in Costa Rica

No, it’s not the bubbly soft drink – it’s where you’ll pull up a chair for the local cuisine. A “soda” is a Costa Rican cafe, always small and often an extension of a family’s house. It is here that you’ll be exposed to the main traditional dishes, such as those described below, in a very casual roadside setting. Some are more divey than others (think plastic tables and chairs), but as is the case with cafes in many areas of the world, sometimes the less formal a place is, the better the food. When making your way through the country, you won’t be able to go far without seeing a sign for a soda.

Casado

The casado is the main dish of Costa Rica, consisting of beans, rice, salad, plantains, and a tortilla to go along with a piece of either fish, chicken, or beef. “Casado” means “married man” in Spanish, and the dish is said to get its name from the fact that its ingredients are always served together, especially rice and beans. Local Costa Ricans eat a casado in some form just about every day, typically for lunch.

Gallo Pinto

When we were describing a casado, we listed the ingredients of beans and rice separately on purpose. A look at the photo of the casado will back this up – they are indeed served apart from one another. This is important to keep in mind because the Costa Ricans have three ways that they serve rice and beans: Individually, as “rice and beans,” and as “Gallo Pinto.”

“Rice and beans” refers to the Caribbean-style of “peas and rice,” where black or red beans are combined with the rice and a bit of coconut flavor. Gallo Pinto is the country’s most popular and well-known method of mixing the two, and it’s pretty straightforward with no alternate flavors added. The unique aspect of Gallo Pinto is that it is eaten for breakfast by the locals. So when you go to a soda in the afternoon, order rice and beans. In the morning, order Gallo Pinto.

Bocas

When you belly up to a bar to try some Cacique Guaro, ask for the “bocas” menu. Simply another word for snack or tapa, many places offer complimentary (or very cheap) bocas when you order a drink. Options tend to be more Mexican oriented than Central American, like chicharrones or empanadas.

Locally Grown Fruit

Accompanying every breakfast and snack throughout the day is the locally grown tropical fruits. Bananas, pineapples, plantains, and mangoes are the usual suspects, and are very cheap to purchase at roadside farm stands.

[Photos: Flickr/Flickr/Flickr/Will McGough]

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Jul 25, 2014
Tim Lester

An Aleppo Auto King, Now Selling Street Food

A version of this article, “Conversations: An Aleppo Auto King, Now Selling Street Food,” was originally published on Syria Deeply.

By Karen Leigh

He still has the same cell phone, an early smartphone purchased in Aleppo before Syria’s three-year-long conflict turned the life of this formerly well-off businessman upside down. On it are photos of a life now long gone – a happy extended family of Syrian-Armenians posing in its well-appointed home, unaware of what was to come.

In Aleppo, a man by the name of Sako, 60, owned an auto-repair business that employed 15 workers. He made a substantial amount of money, he says – enough to buy four apartments in Aleppo and two cars, and eat out regularly at the city’s pricier spots. Then the war hit his business, forcing him to flee with his wife to Yerevan, the Armenian capital, where years earlier he had sent one of his sons to study to be a pharmacist.

Now he rents and operates a small, tidy falafel and shwarma stand in the center of town, while his wife, a former anesthesiologist, manages another outpost next door. Here, they share a one-bedroom apartment with several other family members. There are no more nice cars, few restaurants, no employees to perform the manual labor.

“It’s like going from a royal lifestyle to a gypsy lifestyle,” he says.

Sako and his wife, also 60, are among tens of thousands of people seeking refuge in Yerevan. While hundreds of thousands of refugees wear out their welcome in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan, the government of Armenia, which considers itself the global center of the diaspora, sees the thousands of Syrian-Armenians fleeing the conflict as undertaking a homecoming of sorts. UNCHR has estimated that there were up to 80,000 Syrian-Armenians living in Syria before the conflict, and that 11,000 of them have moved to Armenia.

On a hot summer day, Sako served falafel on the shady, tidy patio of his kiosk and discussed adjusting to life now – and dealing with memories of a different time:

I left Aleppo two years ago and came directly to Armenia, it was September 11, 2012. We were doing very well. We had four apartments in Aleppo. We had a spare car-parts business in the industrial area. That’s where our garage was.

Business was very good. And it was good even after the conflict started. People still needed auto parts. But when violence finally reached Aleppo, it stopped. Six months before coming to Armenia, the business just stopped. Because of the lack of security on the roads, we weren’t able to go to our workplace. It was 15 kilometers away from my house, and the journey was very dangerous. I won’t give you an exact figure, but I had a 93 percent drop in profits. There, I had 15 workers. Here, it’s just me. I am the only worker.

I had two cars, a Hyundai Sonata and a Kia. Then cars for my wife and my son. At least once a week, we went to nice restaurants and cultural events.

Before we came, we were very connected to Armenia because my oldest son studied pharmacy here. I sent him here to study. A year before coming here, we applied for Armenian passports. We came here to sign the papers and things got even worse in Aleppo, so we couldn’t go back. We stayed for good. Remember, Armenia is not taking all Syrians, it’s taking only Armenian-Syrians.

A lot of Syrian-Armenians who are here now who came after the conflict are not finding proper jobs, it’s been a lot more difficult. After we came, we were here for nine months doing nothing. We had savings. [Still], we didn’t have enough cash, but I had relatives who loaned me money. After nine months I realized I wasn’t going back to Aleppo and I would be here a long time. I knew I could prepare good food, good sandwiches, so I decided to rent this place and start the business.

I used to wake up at 8 a.m. and go to work at 9 a.m. At 5 p.m. I would close. But I did nothing with my hands, I was the boss and managed 15 workers. Now I wake up at 7 a.m., I go to the market at 8 a.m. At 10 a.m. I come here and open the kiosk and I work until 12, 12:30 a.m. at night.

Now we go out maybe once a month. In the winter, I never go out at night but in summer, once a month. Still, this all hasn’t affected me much psychologically, because I like to work.

We are living in a one-room apartment, all of us together. We’ve been trying to find another place close to this area but everything is too expensive. Our main residence in Aleppo was 170 square meters, six rooms. We had central heating and air conditioning. My kitchen was as big as this [restaurant]. Our things are all still there, locked in the apartment.

The other three apartments, I bought for my sons. My biggest worry now is to be able to get back to Aleppo to sell everything and to have money for me and my sons for the future. Everything is standing still, locked, I can’t sell the apartments or do anything. I only wish to go back to Aleppo in order to sell my homes and my workplaces. At the time we left, I was in the middle of expanding my business.

Some of my workers went to Latakia and are working in different places, some are in Beirut and some joined the Free Syrian Army. I’m only in contact with the workers who are still in Latakia.

I miss my home, my lifestyle, my freedom, my social life. Some of my friends are still in Aleppo, others have gone to Beirut, to the U.S. At night when I can’t sleep, I stay awake and I talk to them. Before the conflict, I didn’t have too much to worry about. Everything was on track in my life. My sons had finished their military service, I had secured their futures. I had done well.

I don’t have one particular outstanding fear. I’m healthy and working and good. My major concern is to be able to go back and sell my belongings so that I can buy a home here and establish myself. I’m not thinking of going back, or staying here. I’m thinking about emigrating to the U.S.

*****

*****

Sako’s name has been changed and his answers have been edited for clarity. Katarina Montgomery and Syria Deeply contributor Abu Leila contributed reporting.

Karen Leigh is the managing editor of Syria Deeply.

[Photos courtesy of Neil and Kathy Carey, Ashnag, and Jursist]

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Jul 25, 2014
Tim Lester

Italian street food coming to Fashion Mall area

Upscale Italian fast food is coming to Keystone at the Crossing.

Piada Italian Street Food serves salads, pastas and thin-crust pizzas made-to-order in a bright, contemporary European-style setting. The new location opens Aug. 22 at 8601 River Crossing Blvd., at River Road, the company reported.

Guests order at the counter, where they have three choices: a pasta bowl, a chopped salad or the “Piada,” a stone-grilled, thin-crusted dough made from organic flour and extra virgin olive oil.

Diners next customize selections with assorted grilled items such as steak, salmon and Italian sausage; sauces including tomato, pesto and alfredo; sautéed and fresh vegetables; and garnishes like Italian bacon and parmesan cheese.

Pepperoni bread sticks, fried calamari and lobster bisque are among snacks and side dishes.

The Farmer’s Market Salad will be offered for a limited time after the opening, featuring mixed greens, roasted chicken, grilled corn, avocado, strawberries, feta, and spiced pecans in a lemon basil dressing.

As a grand opening promotion the first 100 guests will receive 52 vouchers for a Piada entrée, a prize billed as Free Piada for a Year. Customers will be allowed to wait overnight, Chick-Fil-A-style, starting on Aug. 21. Find details at mypiada.com/keystone.

The 3,000 square-foot Keystone spot seats 73 inside and 24 on the patio. Décor blends white subway tiles, Carrara marble, brushed aluminum, and painted brick with dark wood furniture and stained concrete floors.

The restaurant’s hours are 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Piada Keystone will employ 40 workers and is the second Indianapolis location. The first is on South Rangeline Road in Carmel.

Piada has eight locations in Columbus, Ohio, as well as other locations throughout that state and in Michigan.

Call Liz Biro at (317) 444-6264. Follow her on Twitter: @lizbiro.

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Jul 24, 2014
Tim Lester

5 Most Delicious Delhi Street Food

In terms of delicious and miscellany of street food in India, the metropolitan capital city “Delhi” unquestionably overruled the country.

Yes, different people have different approach, opinion, and assumption regarding street food but no soul will rebuff that Delhi is no gastronomical capital of India. Perhaps the urban city’s street foods flavor might alter according to season reminiscent of winters are partial with no crispy Aalu Tikkis where summers are finest with gol gappas, bhalla papdi etc and in monsoon season the pakoda’s , bhel puri savor are just ideal.

Among the famous street food places, Chandni Chowk is one of the most famous places where the streets are wrinkled up with a selection of chaats, namkeen, paranthas, Gol Gappe, Chole Bhatoore, Dahi Bhalle, Aloo Tikki, Poori Kachori, Chaat, Pakoda, Bhel poori, Samosa’s and numerous more where Chinese cuisine like Momos and Chowmein are also eminent.

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Jul 24, 2014
Tim Lester

Street food in a cosy ambience

To be honest, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about attending a thattukada festival. I mean, what do they serve at such roadside eateries except pazham pori, parippu vada, omelette, tea, coffee… An ongoing thattukada fete at Cafe Jade, Hotel Hycinth, changed my perception about the range of dishes available at such stalls, however. There were more on the platters than the ubiquitous dosas and porottas.

“Different regions of Kerala serve different eats at such eateries. For instance, chicken kurma, Thalassery meen curry and neichoru are served at the thattukadas in Malabar, while in Kottayam, varathu arachu curries, theeyal, kappa… are popular. In Thiruvananthapuram, thattu dosa, omelette and puttu are some that feature on the menu,” says a chef of the restaurant.

The restaurant has tried to recreate the feel of a roadside eatery by organising live kitchens on mock push carts. Rustic woven coconut fronds, film posters and a board with the day’s menu written in chalk…, all that was missing were long benches and tables, kerosene lamps and old Malayalam melodies.

“Most people enjoy eating at thattukadas once in a while. Thattu dosa, puttu-kadala, kappa-fish curry… everyone has a favourite dish. The monsoon is currently playing spoilsport and many cannot grab a bite at their favourite stall. At this fete, we hope to serve customers not just a feel of eating at a thattukada but the flavours as well,” says the chef.

The kitchen is busy as the chefs prepare puttu, appam and dosas as per the guest’s requests. A waiter dressed in a white t-shirt, a colourful lungi and a thorthu wrapped around his neck takes my order. I ask for a thattu dosa and an omelette.

My dosa comes piping hot with a side of coconut chutney. The aroma from the dosa holds promise and I am not disappointed. The soft dosa goes well with the delectable chutney. The omelette, however, is passé. My friend, who has ordered a plate of puttu is served steaming hot puttu with banana.

The thattukada festival is part of the restaurant’s regular dinner buffet. So, one can start with soups and work their way down to desserts. My friend tries the Kozhi rasam soup. I take a sip. Although I get the flavours of rasam, I don’t get any from the chicken.

I give the salads a go too although there is an interesting array prettily arranged on the platters. My friend tries a bit of the Papdi chaat and the Chutta kappa salad. She gives both a thumbs up. I ask for an appam and team it with the Thalassery meen curry. Unlike the fish curries I have tried before, this one is different. “We use tomato and tamarind as a base; there’s no coconut used in this dish,” says the chef.

I ask for another appam. This time I dip the appam in Malabar chicken korma. A rich gravy (it has cashew nuts, poppy seeds and fresh coconut paste), the korma is creamy and one gets the predominant essence of coriander in the curry.

The neichoru goes well with the varutharacha mutton curry and urulakizhangu varuthathu. The curry is nice and spicy with Chettinad undertones. The pieces of meat are tender and cooked to perfection, the meat falling off the bones. Urulakizhangu varuthathu is thin, fried potato wedges seasoned with chilli powder and salt.

Although there are Chocolate chip tarts, Coconut burfi, Besan ladoo, Black current mousse and more on the dessert menu, I help myself to just chocolate pudding. I don’t regret my decision although my friend says the Pineapple and mango cake, she is having is rather scrumptious. The pudding is perfect for a monsoon evening – warm, gooey and rich of chocolaty goodness. A perfect end to a good meal. The fete is on until July 27.

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Jul 24, 2014
Tim Lester

Nightspots: Hudson Valley food truck festivals

Savoring a cilantro-sprinkled, pork shoulder-topped flatbread as I perched on the steps outside a comic book store in Rosendale, I felt my penchant for more formal dining shift. Up until that moment, I’d preferred booths over bar stools, timed courses over hurried service. All that changed when I tasted the Puerco, a creamy, fresh and flavorful pizza-like snack from the Black Forest Flammkuchen Co. food truck. Voracious for more information about this new style of dining (unfamiliar to me and fairly novel for the Hudson Valley, too), I gathered information about other on-the-go eateries and the festivals where they gather.

Hudson Valley food truck festivals

Hyde Park’s food truck festival is on the first Sunday of every month through October, with Aug. 3 set as the next date. Grab lunch or dinner (or both) and enjoy live entertainment from noon to 7 p.m. at 4390 Route 9, across from town hall. Call 845-229-8612 for more information.

On Aug. 21, Sept. 18 and Oct. 16, the Hudson Valley Food Truck Festival will be held at Cantine Memorial Field, 20 Court Drive in Saugerties from 3-10 p.m. Of course, there’ll be food, but you’ll also be treated to live music, entertainment, and a beer and wine garden. Call 845- 399-2222 for more information.

3 not-to-miss food trucks at festivals and beyond

Ate O Ate serves the perfect summertime fare, such as shrimp Po’ Boy sandwiches, corn chowder and chilled orzo salad. See current menus and find out more at AteOAteCatering.com. Follow them on Facebook to find out where they’ll travel to next.

The Black Forest Flammkuchen Co., my personal favorite, tops flatbreads with local ingredients, such as roasted spring onion greens, hot-smoked pulled turkey and goat milk ricotta. Visit BlackForestFlammkuchen.com for their schedule — they’ll be in Bangall and Poughkeepsie near the end of the month.

Slidin’ Dirty: Order breaded and fried avocado with chipotle cream, cheese-filled spicy egg rolls and an array of sliders. Keep up with their schedule at SlidinDirty.com — they’re usually in Albany and Troy, but they do make their way down to Poughkeepsie from time to time (they’ll be at Vassar College on Sunday).

Lindsay Pietroluongo writes about nightlife in the Hudson Valley for the Poughkeepsie Journal. E-mail her at lindsaypietro@gmail.com

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Jul 24, 2014
Tim Lester

The Great Outdoors

EatStreet, photo by Paula Mourenza

Providing something simple, cheap and good to eat in Spain is easy – as long as there’s a proper fire exit and plumbing. Life is harder for street vendors and food trucks: Spanish law permits cooking and selling fresh (unpackaged) food in street stalls only during festivals or events or in markets run by an organization.

With the street food phenomenon at a fever pitch everywhere else in the world, the restrictions in Spain are proving to be a serious drag for itinerant chefs, urban culinary entrepreneurs and their would-be fans here. The growing demand among these groups has spurred a number of initiatives whose ultimate goal is to change Spanish law – but for now, the new projects operate within its confines. This means using private spaces, as with Michelin-starred chef Koldo Royo’s food truck El Perrito Cervecero, which serves gourmet burgers out of a supermarket parking lot in Palma de Mallorca. It also means street food markets, like MadrEAT in Madrid (date and location to be determined), and collaborative food festivals, such as EatStreet in Barcelona, inaugurated just this year and held every two months.

We just attended the summer edition of EatStreet, which is organized by the fresh, independent and trilingual (Catalan-Spanish-English) cultural magazine BCNMES. The third edition of the event was held in collaboration with Flea Market Bcn, mixing food, secondhand clothing and vintage objects with DJs and local craft and commercial beers – something for everyone on a sunny Sunday in a location next to the Museu Maritim and amidst sea breezes in the pleasant atmosphere of Raval.

Fogò de la Terra's spelt pasta with trout, photo by Paula MourenzaThe food vendors offered a huge range of international cuisines, with stands representing local restaurants Tonka and Mirilla (both Mediterranean), Tlaxcal (Mexican), Sri Lestari (Indonesian), La Vietnamita (Vietnamese), Funkychiken (Caribbean), Galanga Cooking Atelier (India), El Fogò and Café Mandacarú (both Catalan), as well as California street food specialist Eureka! and independent operators like Japanese chef Kentaro Terajima. Some offered dishes with precooked ingredients assembled without the use of a kitchen: ceviche, couscous, salads, rolls and cold soups, all for under €5, in just the right portions for tasting a little here and there.

We especially loved the dishes from the Fogò de la Terra stall, which was formerly installed in another great flea market – and a permanent one – Los Encants. It served traditional summer Catalan specialties made with local produce from direct suppliers. We had a cod esqueixada salad with arbequina olives, sun-dried tomatoes from Vall d’Arán and beans from La Segarra. There was also a lovely Japanese-influenced dish of Catalan spelt pasta with trout from the Tavascan River (located in the Pyrenees of Lleida province), dressed with rice vinegar. We washed it down with some Raval India Pale Ale from Barcino Brewers and ate in the company of old and new friends.

EatStreet, photo by Paula MourenzaOn the one hand, it’s certainly true that Spain has a strong sit-down dining culture (or at least we’ll find a way to anchor our elbows to a bar), and we like to take our time at the table and under a roof if we’re going to eat. But on the other hand, we’ve got great Mediterranean weather and a world-class roster of chefs, so it totally makes sense that we would welcome this street food phenomenon with open arms – and mouths. So while we wait for the law to change, at least we have the next EatStreet to look forward to.

(photos by Paula Mourenza)

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Jul 24, 2014
Tim Lester

8 Must-Try Treats at the SF Street Food Festival

Pull on the stretchy pants and get an early start if you want to beat the hungry hordes that will once again invade the Mission for the sixth annual San Francisco Street Food Festival.

During this daylong party on August 16, over eighty food makers and restaurants will set up booths to present creative, cheap, global street snacks to an expected crowd of 80,000.  La Cocina, a nonprofit incubator kitchen that provides subsidized commercial kitchen space to help low-income and immigrant food entrepreneurs launch their businesses, hosts the event. It alleges this will be the festival’s final year in the Mission.  

While it’s easy to overload on steaming momos, fried chicken bahn mi, and curried noodles, save some space for dessert.

Here are eight treats to look for:

Doughnut Sandwich from Frozen Kuhsterd ($6.50)

Excess, meet your incarnation. Build your own frozen custard sandwich starting with one Dynamo Donut split and stuffed with your choice of frozen custard and toppings like cornflakes, ube sauce, and nutter butter. Too tired from all that eating to make a decision? Go with the famed “Mission Style” sandwich. A bacon doughnut stippled with apple bits that have been cooked in bacon fat pairs with Four Barrel coffee frozen custard and a glaze of burnt caramel. It’s a smokey, caloric monstrosity that somehow doesn’t taste heavy. You can also grab plain scoops as well as old fashioned chocolate sodas composed of heavy cream, organic chocolate syrup, and carbonated water.

Cheesecake from Crumble Whisk ($3)

Newcomer Crumble Whisk manages to make cheesecake exciting without resorting to deconstructionism or bizarre flavor combinations. I Cart NYC has the flavor of a classic New York slice but a fluffy texture that keeps it light.  A chopped strawberry basil compote mixed with a bit of ginger drips down the top of each square piece.  For a richer option, try the Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla speckled with little black vanilla bean dots. Both fillings rest upon owner Charles Farriér’s thick and buttery homemeade shortbread crust. One taste, and you’ll wonder why graham crackers have dominated the cheesecake crust market for so many years.

Frozen Banana from Kika’s Treats ($3)

The carnival classic returns and tastes even better than it did when you were a kid. Order your creamy, cold banana in a dark or milk chocolate cloak with or without crumbles of Cristina Arantes’s buttery coconut shortbread cookies (“with” is the correct choice). If the fog decides to party crash, try Cristina’s hot chocolate spiked with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and a twinge of chile or her famed homemade marshmallow s’mores, torched onsite and slid between one plain and one chocolate-covered caramelized graham cracker.

Ice Cream Sandwich from Three Twins ($5)

Party like it’s 1990 with an ice cream sandwich reminiscent of the kind served at your childhood pool parties. Organic madagascar vanilla ice cream squishes between two soft homemade chocolate wafer cookies. Alternatively, you can go with a scoop of one of Three Twins’s new flavors: chocolate chip cookie dough, land of milk and honey, or brownie batter chunk.

La Luna Cupcakes ($5 for 4 mini cupcakes)

La Luna’s customers clamor for tres leches. Rich vanilla cake soaks in three kinds of milk—evaporated, condensed, and regular—giving it a milky pocket that’s not quite wet, but goes a step beyond moist. At the festival, owner Elvia Buendia will also serve her popular red velvet with cream cheese frosting and smear of chocolate ganache (pictured), summery strawberry, and chocolate mint. For something more portable, try a cake pop. These orbs of blended cake and frosting served on a stick get dunked in white chocolate and sprinkles to resemble decorative golf balls.

Tequila Jelly Shot from Sweets Collection ($5)

Art and booze collide in these jello shots for classy folks. Rosa Rodriguez uses a small knife to etch flowers into each one, which she pumps with milk custard. At the festival, she’s juicing them with tequila and flavoring each with lemon and grapefruit.

Almond Crack from Nosh This  ($3.50-$13)

Chopped organic almonds stud these squares of buttery toffee wrapped in dark Guittard chocolate. A salty finish lingers thanks to Esprit du Sel (grey sea salt) that’s cooked into the candy. Nosh This will also sell its beloved bacon crack made with applewood-smoked bacon from Zoe’s Meas. You’ll find single pieces, boxes of four, and bags of Crack Rocks.  

Cotton Candy from Sugar Spun ($3)

Put a wad of this grownup cotton candy on your tongue, and feel it melt almost instantly. Dots of cayenne fleck the light yellow Spicy Salted Mango which makes it look more menacing than it tastes. Biscoff Spread and streaks of ground Oreo-like cookies (Sugar Spun uses the 365 brand from Whole Foods) look like black pepper riddling the Cookies and Cream flavor. Find pre-packed containers of the above as well as Peanut Butter Jelly. Or, order yours spun on-the-spot in options that include Nuetella strawberry, chocolate black sesame, and matcha green tea latte.

 

Follow Alissa Merksamer on the blog Glamorous Snacker or twitter @glamsnack.

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