Street food fanatics descended upon the Mission on Saturday for the San Francisco Street Food Festival 2009, a day-long block party presented by La Cocina. With free admission and food/drink costing no more than $8, well over 5,000 eaters of all ages came out to celebrate SF’s vibrant street food community. The sheer numbers that turned out was a tad overwhelming, but it was also heart-warming to see what good eaters we have here in SF. Lines snaked up and down the block, but surprisingly, the crowd seemed to be generally good-humored and calm (unlike the foaming-at-the-mouth angries at the Great American Food Fest a few months back). Patience was handsomely rewarded, and street food, glorious street food, was consumed.
I braved the Aziza line and although their Squid Salad with maras pepper, preserved lemon, cabbage, mint and cilantro ($3) was sold out by the time I got to order, I was nicely satiated by the huge Moroccan "Taco" ($8) Chef Mourad Lahlou was serving up. The beverage pairing of iced Sweet Mint Tea hit the spot and cooled off the heat from the taco's harissa. For dessert, I followed the scent of sugar and fried dough to Endless Summer Sweets’ Funnel Cake with sweet strawberries and cream. If there was any question on whether the line was worth it, my doubts vanished as I saw satisfied customers milling about with showers of powdered sugar on their arms and traces of whipped cream on their faces. Scavenger Hunt friends... Silent Auction was set up inside La Cocina’s kitchen during the festival. Bids are $100 and up...pricey, but some prizes are pretty phenomenal – like a day in the kitchen of Chez Panisse, Delfina’s Craig Stoll making dinnner for 10 in your own home, or pig butchery with Ryan Farr. The auction will close online Thursday 8/27. Proceeds will benefit La Cocina. The SF Street Food Festival brought people together, across the spectrum of class and culture, to celebrate in the everyday food that we all eat and love. Here’s hoping that this is the first of many! SF Street Food Festival 2009 Saturday, August 22, 2009 Folsom Street, between 25th and 26th (in front of La Cocina)