The only thing hotter than the sizzling temperatures at last weekend's Eat Real Festival in Oakland's Jack London Square was the amazing street food on mouthwatering display — lavender creme brulees, Caprese salads, and crisp margherita pizzas, crusts blistered from a lingering sojourn in a Neapolitan wood-fired oven.
This wasn't just some gathering of taco trucks. Eat Real's foodie salute to healthful, sustainable, local fare featured 40 street food vendors who tote their Chowdermobiles, ice cream carts and, in the case of Petaluma-based Pizza Politana, a trailer with a wood-fired oven, to farmers markets, festivals and street corners around the Bay Area.
In other words, Eat Real may be over, but you can still dine on Soul Cocina's vegan Bhel Puri, a chaat that is popular on the streets of Bombay. On Sunday, chef Roger Feely was filling newspaper cones with puffed rice topped with potatoes, tamarind, heirloom tomatoes, and three chutneys for a sweet-and-savory delight. Follow him on the festival circuit and throughout San Francisco at www.twitter.com/soulcocina.
Inside the Good To Go Market, housed in Jack London Square's in-the-works foodie marketplace, we satiated our sweet tooth — and cooled off — at Kika's Treats (www.kikastreats.com). Brazilian-born baker Cristina Besher knows her way around cacao. Her s'mores, made with caramelized graham crackers dipped in milk chocolate, were unbelievably tasty. She assured us we could find them at Whole Foods locations.
For savory, tender-loving-care in truck-form, follow Jon's Street Eats at www.twitter.com/jonsstreeteats. Chef Jon Kosorek spent six months launching his custom-built, mobile kitchen and food cart. He parks it in various Oakland neighborhoods during the lunch rush, providing on-the-go eaters with a healthful and seasonal selections of salads, sandwiches, salads, and snacks. His concept is simple.
"I like to give people a main dish, a healthy side, and a drink for around $10," he said on Sunday, spooning chicken liver mousse on a crostini. All plates and utensils are biocompostable, and you'll find no potato chips or high-fructose corn syrup sodas accompanying his hand-pulled, fresh mozzarella sandwiches.
"I get to cook good, quality food," he said, "and have face time with my customers."
Look for Kosorek and the others at farmers markets and track their trucks on Twitter.
In The East Bay