After attending the preview dinner for this event, K and I actually left our house on the weekend (gasp!) and went to the full festival. Here were our thoughts:
- Lots of vendors means lots and lots of food.
- Helpful, well organized, uniform signage throughout the festival and at each booth helped to communicate information and make sure it was obvious what was offered at each booth.
- Varied vendors made for a wide range of food offerings.
- Extremely well organized arrangement, complete with information booths at appropriate intervals.
- An entire event where food is the main deal instead of the sideshow. Brilliant idea.
- Way, way to many people in attendance.
- Immensely long lines for nearly every vendor.
- While the signage was good, some of the dishes were listed in Spanish. This is not helpful to me.
- Descriptions of each dish would have been good, but this may have been present in the festival guide that I did not pick up (which I should have). Descriptions were not present on the signs at each booth.
Basically, it seemed to us that the idea of the festival was great, the execution was pro, but there were just too many people there to make it wholly enjoyable for hermits like us. Lots of people seemed to be enjoying themselves, evidenced, indeed, by the magnitude of the populace. But we weren’t having it. We were hungry, damn it. We wanted to eat now, not in 45 minutes when we arrived at the front of the line. But that was our problem. So we went to Cafe Gratitude instead.
We did manage to seek and eat one particular dish at a food cart called Onigilly. I love this place. It serves little triangles of rice which contain a bit of something savory in the middle (teriyaki chicken, spicy shrimp, eggplant, etc.) and are covered in seaweed. See?:
They have these in Japan and sell them at 7-Elevens, which is awesome. They’re small, healthy, and a really great snack. Onigilly makes them fresh to order so they’re warm and delicious when you get them. Their roving food cart (which I must find) makes a meal out of them by offering three onigillys, edamame, and miso soup. I want to go to there.
If you have some wine, you can endure the long lines and crowds better. It also helps take away the hunger.