This year's Eat Real Festival was really yummy. My family and I spent the afternoon soaking up sun, listening to music and stuffing ourselves full of food. This is the second or possibly third yearly East Bay festival put on by a group whose mission is to make real food as accessible and as affordable as fast food, at events held in strategic communities across the United States (that's straight off their website). Notably, it is a for-profit venture, which may have something to do with why we spent sixteen dollars on four measly sample sized ice creams made by somebody up in Marin. But, admission to the festival was free, there were tons of demonstrations on urban homesteading, cooking and eating and most of the food was more reasonably priced. Plus, each year the festival brings attention to many of the Bay Area's less publicized street food vendors.
Sadly, we didn't make it to any of the demos, classes or even the Lit Fest, which I would have loved to attend. Maybe when my children are older I can leave them at home in front of the TV and go by myself. They did enjoy the food, though, we shared all sorts of things including a bacon wrapped hot dog. Also known as a Sonoran Hot Dog, this is an authentic and delicious Mexican phenomenon that we like to eat when in Tucson, at El Güero Canelo. You can see it for yourself in the photo above.
We also ate some tiny chicken tacos, spicy plantain chips, a tasty pork sandwich, a cone full of roasted nuts and the aforementioned ice cream. My favorite, and also the kids' favorite, were the nuts. They were roasting them right there, at the festival, and also sold packages to take away. I am very happy to say that you can also order them online, from Oren's Kitchen. They make great snacks and lunchbox additions, if you are allowed to bring nuts to your school. Definitely not a low fat snack, but full of antioxidants and protein. That's what I would call healthy, when eaten in small quantities.
The most exciting part of the whole event were two specialty vendors. The first was Gerard's Paella, which has the biggest paella pan I've ever seen, complete with a rake for cooking and wheels for towing it home on the road. Then we found the chicken cottages from Holland Hen Houses, which my children fell in love with and demanded we bring home. The cottages are so adorable that if our backyard didn't have an infestation of neighborhood cats, possums, raccoons and rats, I might actually consider moving a family of hens in. The chicken lady at the festival assured me her houses are varmint proof, but I'm just not ready for that sort of responsibility.