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Street Food Festival Review

The Best of the Fest

By noon Saturday, the San Francisco Street Food Festival was in high gear. Lines began to form in front of most of the 46 local food businesses setup in the Outer Mission — five blocks starting on Folsom and 24th Street, including a Kids area in Garfield Park.

From some of the San Francisco’s famous eateries, to an array of ethnic dishes normally served out of food trucks or carts throughout the Bay Area, vendors served a gamut of delectables.

For some vendors, it was their first day of business, and many received support from festival beneficiary La Cocina, a Mission-based nonprofit dedicated to assisting low-income entrepreneurs launch their food businesses.

The woman behind El Haurache Loco started out by selling authentic Mexican street food in the Tenderloin, she proudly served a delicious Taco de Alahambre at the festival. The woman from El Buen Comer started out by cooking out of her Mission District home, she served a tasty Tostada de Tinga. Both ladies were participants in La Cocina’s entrepreneurial program, and nine vendors at the festival are now sold at local Whole Foods.

An additional range of cultural treats were bountiful. Azalina’s Malaysian satiated one’s thirst with beautiful rose milk. Anda Piroshki cooked up one of the best spinach and feta piroshkies this Russian Jew has ever tasted. Her staff and a handful of additional vendors were dressed in clothes from their native homeland.

Most of the vendors’ have mobile food businesses. However, there were only a few actual trucks (probably due to space) on hand. Ritual Roasters provided a jolt of caffeine for the Saturday morning hangover, Curry Up Now provided a little Indian spice and zest, and Roli Roti had a smorgasbord of cooked butchered meats proudly displayed.

Some of San Francisco’s trendier haunts were also in the mix, including Beretta and Flour+Water. French Bistro Chez Pa Pa Resto served figs wrapped with Prosciutto. La Mar boasted one of its mouthwatering ceviches.

It was a true treat to have this eclectic mix of food artisans housed in the same place for one day. This week, most of these hidden gems will go back to their normal locations — street corners or parking lots in their respective neighborhoods, but several of the participating festival vendors are now located at Off the Grid, in the Fort Mason Parking lot Fridays from 5pm to 9pm.