Oakland’s Eat Real

Oakland’s Jack London Square, after years of suffering from a lack of business despite its enviable location (waterfront and connected to San Francisco by ferry), is finally attracting more events. Hopefully, when the Jack London Square Market opens, if it ever does, it’ll bring consistent foot traffic that attracts more businesses.  One of the newer things to happen to Jack London Square is the Eat Real Festival. The big thing in the food world, along with the movement to eat local and organic, is the food truck revolution. Having lived in Los Angeles for many years, food trucks are not a new thing for me. Down there, food trucks making cheap tacos and burritos tempt passerbys with the smell of carne asada and all its accompanying fat and grease in almost every corner in some areas. What is relatively new are the food trucks serving other types of cuisines. In some cases, there’s fusion cuisine. Only in California will you have Korean-style burritos. Instead of cheap food filled with oil, many of the new food trucks serve food that would not be out of place in a proper sit-down restaurant. The Eat Real Festival is a celebration of food trucks and REAL food from local purveyors.

I jumped on a Google deal that gave me three drink tickets, a hot dog from Belcampo and a mug souvenir. Arriving on a Sunday around 4pm, the festival was pretty crowded, with long lines at some of the food trucks. Besides a big lineup of food trucks, the festival had live demonstrations, music and vendors selling their fares. The wine flowed freely into my mug. The Wagyu dog from Belcampo unfortunately sounded more good than it was. The best part of the hot dog was the brioche bun from La Boulange that they wrapped the dog in. The meat itself was thin, kinda dry and seemed to be boiled. A hot dog with no juice and snap is not a good thing…

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One of the live demonstrations was what seemed to be a butcher contest. I wasn’t really sure since I didn’t get too close. They were explaining all of the different cuts of pork and the best way to use them. While I’m a foodie in training myself, butchering whole pigs is something that I’m not even remotely close to.

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