For the last many, many months (you know, when I wasn't eating burgers), I've been working tirelessly with La Cocina to organize the city's first ever San Francisco Street Food Festival. Now, with the big day less than 48 hours away I'm thrilled to be able to tell you all that we're ready. Bring on the pupusas, the barbequed oysters, the agua fresca the...well, here are my top seven picks for things you really, really shouldn't miss when you come and join me and fellow food-lovers at the festival (THIS Saturday, August 22, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Folsom Street between 25th and 26th).
1. If you are as addicted to Kika's Treats as I am (this just in: Kika is now making miniature versions of her chocolate-covered coconut shortbread and caramelized grahams, now sold in the bulk bins at Rainbow Grocery) then you'll want to make a beeline to this stand, where Kika herself will be making S'Mores with her signature treats.
2. Two Words: Fry station. Two More: Pizzeria Delfina. Anthony Strong and Craig Stoll will be presiding over deep-fried calzones (both vegetarian and meat versions will be available) and zeppole filled with mascarpone pastry cream.
3. In the beer, wine and spirits garden the crew of Cantina, led by Duggan McDonnell, will be slinging libations of all kinds. Do not miss the rum-spiked spiced horchata. Bonus: 4505meats will be serving bags of chicharrones—but only in the bar area. You've got to be in it to win it.
4. Speaking of being in it to win it, gather a group of friends and check out the silent auction items on offer within La Cocina. Together, you can bid on crazy items like a private dinner cooked by the Nopalito crew, an all-you-can-eat taco party from Tacolicious, a cocktail party for 20 catered by Rye, and much, much more. There will also be exclusive day-of items to bid on, including gift baskets, certificates and other goodies. Check it out. While you're there, pick up your "I CART STREET FOOD" t-shirt.
5. Have you ever had skewered, grilled beef heart? Here's your chance—try it, and a Chilean empanada, at the Sabores del Sur booth.
6. En route to the port-A-potty, linger for a minute to admire the large-scale murals celebrating street food, designed and created by Root Division.
7. Five spice-bacon oysters? Yes please. Find them at the Poleng Lounge booth.
For all this (and much, much more—there are over 20 vendors), head to the festival. Admission is free, none of the food items cost more than $8, and if you buy a passport now you'll get a even more for your money (plus avoid the otherwise inevitable ATM run). See you there!