I just got back from the SF Street Food Fest and man, I’m exhausted. There were a ton of people! I’m not sure how many, but enough for me to get my Super Swarm Badge and of course the street food badge, Ziggy’s Wagon.
I wasn’t able to try as many things as I hoped, I got there late and the lines were just to long to sample everything. But here is a sample of what I did try.
Purple Hibiscus: Scotch Egg
A Scotch egg is a shelled hard-boiled egg, wrapped in a sausage meat mixture, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. I could be wrong, but the meat tasted a bit like lamb. I do know the seasoning was just the right amount of spice. The outside was wonderfully crispy the inside moist and delightful, very impressive for mass produced street food. I am a little confused why a UK snack food was at a West African stand, but happy for the opportunity to try.
Flour+Water: Summer Melon with Duck Prosciutto and Lardo
This was a lovely simple dish with strong flavors. Again, I was supprised by the quality of the items. The melon was perfectly ripe and crisp. The clean flavor played nicely with the rich and salty cured pork fat (Lardo) and duck prosciutto. I never had prosciutto that wasn’t pork so I was excited to try the duck. It was very interesting, it tasted a little richer and gamey, but overall not bad.
Curry Up Now: Chicken Tikka Masala Burrito
Folks in the Financial District line up during their lunch breaks, sometimes for their entire lunch break, for one of these bad boys. I have to say, it wasn’t my favorite dish of the day, but it wasn’t bad either. The chicken was great, moist and well seasoned. But the rice was dripping in sauce and just a tad spicier than I would have liked. I also wish there were more pickles and onions, or something to break up the dense chicken and rice. I can’t imagine getting any work done after having one of these bad boys for lunch.
ClairSquares: Mini Squares
I had a bite of Clairsquare’s signature treats to cool my tongue down after the curry. This was the moistest shortbread I’ve ever tasted, it was delicious! A clairsquare consists of Irish shortbread topped with a layer of caramel and then covered in yummy chocolate. It was FAB! I do wish that the caramel was a bit more pronounced, with a hint of vanilla perhaps. I am pretty in love with my vanilla, so I’m very critical of other people’s caramel. On the plus side, they do not use trans fat or corn syrup in their treats, the high quality natural ingredients are noticeable in every bite.
Endless Summer Sweets: Funnel Cakes
First off, they should change the name to endless line. It took me an hour to get my cake, I had to shlep through two lines – one to pay and one to pick up and both were 30 minutes long. UG! Obviously it was a brilliant idea to have funnel cakes at this festival, but they really should have kicked the production into gear once they experienced the demand.
When I finally got my cake, it was perfectly brown and crisp with a light dusting of powdered sugar, fresh sliced strawberries and whipped cream. The cream was hand whipped, which is nice. But was scooped out of a 10 gallon bucket and oozed all over. I’m not sure if that was the desired consistency of the cream (half whipped and drippy) or I just got the dregs of the bucket (which I did), but it was very unattractive to watch them ladle out the serving. Again, it would have been nice to taste some vanilla or other seasoning in the cream, or have it whipped firm with little sweetener and cold – to contrast the super sweet cake, but nope.
The funnel cake was exactly like you would get at any fair and great quality if you put it in those parameters. But I just had some amazingly high quality street food and I was hoping for a knock my socks off dessert. Alas, nope. The first bite was exciting, but every bite after became increasingly gross, and I ended up dumping shortly after. I should have grabbed a cone from Bi-Rite.