Eat Real Festival, Jack London Square, September 22-24, 2017

Oakland is all about craft – food, beer, art – and there was no better way to celebrate it than at the 9th annual Eat Real Festival. The Eat Real Festival is basically a big smorgasborg of local food trucks and stands and an introduction to some truly delicious wholesome and local sourced products. We lucked out with some beautiful weather this weekend, by far the busiest spots were Humphrey’s ice cream and Fat Face gourmet popsicles, unfortunately after we consumed both lunch and dinner, we didn’t have the room for dessert (Blasphemy! I know). You’re kind of doomed when you start the day with a $5 bowl of bomb paella from Gerard’s Paella, those giant vats of paella cooking almost floored me: I’ve never had my mouth water looking at a bunch of raw chicken. Yea, exactly.

So what did we think? Well, after the comedown from our carb-o-loading fried fantasies, we’d have to say we were more impressed by the product sampling than the food stands/trucks. Mainly because the street food is typically overpriced here in the Bay Area, it was pretty cool to learn about (and of course taste) what’s going on in the gourmet food industry. Like who knew that a simple 6 ingredient Rosemary Flax Seed Cracker would be so delicious? There wasn’t even any oil in it! Those guys were great, and offered a special festival price — other stalls supposedly were doing the same, but while searching online for their links I discovered something heartbreaking…

One of the products we bought and were super stoked about was the drinking chocolate from Cacoco, absolutely delicious. They told us they were giving a special deal, $15/box at the festival, buy 3 get 1 free. So of course we bought the 3 pack, but only to go online and see that their store is selling a box for $13.99/box, and they also offer the 3 pack. Rude. Granted you’d save on the $6 shipping, but imagine my disappointment, when I thought this post would be able to celebrate our finds and make heartfelt recommendations for you guys, but now I feel like the brand isn’t quite honest. They’re delicious, though, but not the most transparent. Insert dramatic violin music. Well, learn from our mistake, know that it’s not a special deal and just purchase them for what they are.

On to happier things! Our favorite empanada truck was there – El Porteño’s – you can find them at most food truck events and also at some of the farmer’s markets. Whatever they have on the menu, get one of each. We’ve never been disappointed by any of the savory empanadas. Another food stand that caught our attention was Belcampo, they’re a restaurant and butcher rolled into one, so you can’t be more locally sourced than that! They also held a tasting at the festival, but unfortunately we arrived too late. We’re keeping an eye out for it next year! Cheers to more food adventures, we hope to see you at the next one!

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