Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eating well at the Eat Real Festival

We celebrated the waning days of August by indulging in some good, fresh, delicious street food Sunday at the second annual Eat Real Festival at Jack London Square in Oakland.  It was a foodie's paradise and, for us, just another reason we love life in the Bay Area.

A delicious spin on
 macaroni and cheese
Eat Real is a social venture designed to inspire us to eat tasty and healthy food.  By wetting the appetite of thousands of foodies with small, affordable (everything was priced from $3 to $5) portions in a wonderful urban outdoor setting, filled with ample sunshine and a summer breeze, nobody went home hungry.

My wife and I certainly didn't.

The Eat Real Festival provided everyone who attended with an opportunity to support a lot of inspired culinary artisans. It was also a chance to learn about the craft of making food, and to sample a lot of tasty, fresh, handmade food ~ everything from fish tacos and paella to pork belly buns and gumbo.  Even vegan ice cream.

Food options at the East Real Festival were plentiful ~ there were nearly 100 different food vendors spread across the festival site ~ and in searching for something as common as a taco, one could choose many different variations, from Hawaiian to Indian to Korean.

BBQ pulled pork slider
and grilled sweet corn
from Jim 'N Nicks
During our two hours at the Eat Real Festival, we shared portions of falafel (Liba), BBQ pulled pork sliders and grilled sweet corn (Jim 'N Nicks), a chicken tikka masala burrito (Curry Up Now), macaroni and cheese (Homeroom) and cupcakes (Kara's Cupcakes). We also tasted wine from a local Oakland vintner (JC Cellars).  There were hydration stations that offered free cups of water.  Between us, we spent about $30.  Believe me, it was money well spent.

Kara's Cupcakes:
Fresh-baked, sustainable, yummy
While the Eat Real Festival is all about celebrating eating well, it's also about learning how to make some of the food that was showcased as well as growing it.  Throughout the three-day festival, there were demonstrations designed to highlight a "do-it-yourself lifestyle" as touted by the Eat Real website.

"Trailer Mac"
from Homeroom
For me, the highlight of attending the Eat Real Festival was the opportunity to savor a bit of good, classic comfort food from Homeroom, a new macaroni and cheese food venture that hopes to open a restaurant later this year in Oakland's Temescal neighborhood, serving ~ what else? ~ mac and cheese.  At Eat Real, the Homeroom crew served up a delicious helping of "Trailer Mac" consisting of two-year aged Spring Hill cheddar, sliced Prather Ranch hot dog, topped with crushed potato chips.

Like the rest of Eat Real, the mac and cheese at Homeroom was pretty awesome.


  1. So happy you enjoyed our trailer mac! Yay!!! Are you going to the Underground Market at SOMArts on 9/11? We'll be there cooking up some more mac + cheese. If you post one of your photos on the homeroom facebook page we'll give you a free mac next time we see you :)

  2. I think you should be a food writer/critic--seriously!! Great story--will keep my eyes open here on the Cape for similar events...probably not until next summer now however.

  3. @Allison: Thank you so much for taking the time to discover my blog and read my post about Eat Real. Of the many things I sampled on Sunday, the Trailer Mac was my favorite. Who knew eating mac + cheese could be so much fun? Looking forward to the opening of your restaurant! In the meantime, I've posted a photo I took to your Facebook page. Thanks for the shout out on the Underground Market at SOMArts ~ hope to be there. Cheers, Mike

  4. @Sandra: Thank you so much for your comments and taking the time to read and follow my blog. As you know, I enjoy sharing my thoughts about food as much as being a foodie, and appreciating new and different culinary treats. Eat Real is a truly fun event to enjoy, a great way to wind down summer. Cheers, Mike