Eat Real Festival & The Food Truck Phenomenon, SF (EATS)

August 29, 2010 § 2 Comments

Yep, that pretty much sums up how we spent our sunny Sunday afternoon. In a word: heaven.

My husband and I went to the Eat Real Festival in Jack London Square in Oakland. The festival, held this past weekend, was in some ways like an urban state fair: they had a goat milking demo, a hog butchering contest, animals and various booths educating festival-goers about “urban homesteading” (making your own cheese, growing your own veggies, preserving your own food). They even sold laying hens and chicken coops.

But the food truck phenomenon was in full effect as well, the trucks dishing out tons of tasty eats. Think crunchy hippies-meet-urban-foodies with some families thrown into the mix.

On the hippe side, given my dream of one day owning dairy goats, I was thrilled to see the pen of four Nigerian Dwarf goats, milked and bred by a woman who keeps the animals on a lot in the city of Oakland (really, you gotta love Oakland).

Nigerian Dwarf goat

And given my other dream of learning to butcher, I loooved watching the hog butchering contest, where some guy referred to only as “Dave the Butcher” went head to head with a dude who butchers at Avedano’s, a butcher shop in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood owned by three women that sources local animals:


Gettin' out the saw!

But, onto the food! While today was the festival’s last day, I wanted to share with you what we found to be the top food trucks, because you can still enjoy their tasty treats at Off The Grid, a weekly event featuring gourmet food trucks held on Fridays at Fort Mason in San Francisco, and at various locations across the Bay Area (which you can find by following them on Twitter). The other cool thing about these food trucks is that they’re using local and in many cases organic ingredients.

I have a love of food trucks that began when I was an undergrad at Brown, where the only food available late at night back then was from the Silver Truck. It was a food truck that parked on a campus corner that served things like griddled bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches at 2 a.m., crispy from the grease in which it was fried. Writing about it now, I have to admit that I’m salivating just a tiny bit.

The food trucks at Eat Real that made us salivate:

  • Adobo Hobo: One of my favorite comfort foods is some kind of braised meat, especially in an Asian-style sauce, with rice, and their chicken adobo over rice hit the spot. For $4, we got two chicken drumettes stewed in soy sauce, vinegar and garlic and a scoop of rice topped with the savory gravy. The chicken was so tender the meat fell right off the bones. Great way to start!

Adobo Hobo's chicken adobo over rice

  • Senor Sisig: This is a relatively new food truck on the S.F. scene, started by a Japanese American and Filipino duo. Sisig is a Filipino dish of meat diced and sauteed with onions, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice and jalapenos and seasoned with salt, pepper and other spices. The truck offered tacos at $2.50 each and nachos. For the tacos, you choose among chicken, beef or pork sisig, which is placed in corn tortillas from La Palma Mexicatessen and topped with shredded lettuce, chopped onions and jalapenos and cilantro crema. The pork was, in my opinion, the best.

Senor Sisig tacos -- so good that my husband took a bite before I could snap a photo!

  • Good Foods: From my All Bacon Dinner post, you know that I love what Good Foods has to offer. My husband liked their food so much that he asked the company he works for to cater in Good Foods for lunch. Today we sampled the pulled pork slider ($4) and “BLT” pork belly slider ($5). The pulled pork was tender and tangy, with lovely crispy, salty bits, balanced perfectly with red cabbage slaw and a dollop of barbecue sauce. The pork belly had the right mix of fat and tender meat and was accompanied by a mess of fresh mesclun (which made you feel almost virtuous) and a slathering of sweet-and-smoky tomato jam. Yeah, I’m going to dream about those sandwiches tonight!

Good Foods' pulled pork slider with red cabbage slaw

Dontaye Ball, the mastermind behind Good Foods

  • Chairman Bao: We didn’t eat here today because the line was insane, but we’ve had their food before — their truck offers fancy-pants fillings such as five-spice duck confit with mango salad sandwiched within a slightly sweet, toothsome bao. I’d definitely recommend trying them if they’re parked near your office during lunch hour or if you find your way to Off The Grid.

Adobo Hobo, Follow them on Twitter: @AdoboHobo

Senor Sisig, Follow them on Twitter: @senorsisig

Good Foods Catering,, e-mail:

Chairman Bao, Follow them on Twitter: @chairmantruck and Facebook:

Avedano’s, 235 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco, CA. 415-285-MEAT (6328).

Off The Grid, Fort Mason. Ongoing Fridays, 5:00-9:00 p.m. Follow them on Facebook:

Eat Real Festival, Eat Real’s mission is to make real food as accessible and as affordable as fast food at events held in strategic communities across the United States

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§ 2 Responses to Eat Real Festival & The Food Truck Phenomenon, SF (EATS)

  • Tracy Park says:

    Hey Stephanie! Great blog!! After reading this, I’m definitely going to try and head to Fort Mason for Off The Grid (didn’t even know about it until now) on some Friday. I’m so hungry now. 🙂 Hope you’re doing well. Sounds like you are!

    • Tracy, Thanks for stopping by! Off The Grid is worth a try, but be warned that is super packed the later it gets. And, bring a sweater. My favorites from 2 weeks ago: Senor Sisig pork tacos & Happy Dumplings (cabbage & pork).

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