Flavor Brigade: Italian Ice in Oakland!

Flavor BrigadeItalian ice hasn’t quite “become a thing” the Bay Area — at least not yet. In fact the only place we know of that specializes in it is Flavor Brigade on Fruitvale Ave in Oakland. We make it a point to try and position ourselves in the vicinity of Flavor Brigade as often as possible so we have an excuse to stop in for some Philly style “water ice” (another name for Italian ice). If we lived closer, I’m pretty sure we’d be there ALL the time. Continue reading

Summer Food Festivals Coming Your Way

Hungry and looking for something to do? You’re in luck. This weekend is the San Francisco Street Food Festival, Next weekend is Eat Real in Oakland, and you can catch Off the Grid every Friday night at Fort Mason. Check out our earlier post for more details about these yummy events. See you there!

See You at These Summer Street Food Festivals!

There are so many tasty events coming up that we just had to mention a few that are already on our calendars. This barely scratches the surface since there always interesting things (tastings, classes, and other food happenings) going on over at places like CUESA (Center for Urban Education on Sustainable Agriculture/Ferry Building Farmers’ Market), 18 Reasons, and Omnivore Books. Check out their event calendars.

This is the best time of year to take a trip to a farmers’ market to grab some of that gorgeous summer fruit, luscious tomatoes are on their way, too! During this peak season, you can hit a market pretty much any day of the week, so here’s a nice, comprehensive list of Bay Area Famers’ markets from SF Gate.

Happy summer eating! Love, Simran and Stacie

SF Street Food Festival

August 21st 11am to 7pm (Folsom between 25th and 26th Streets)

San Francisco’s Street Food Festival is back and bigger than ever. Come with an empty tummy so you can eat your way through the deliciousness from 4505 Meats, Beretta, Curry Up Now, Slanted Door, Kasa, Flour and Water, Kung Fu Tacos , Delfina, Creme Brulee Cart, and more!!! It’s good for the soul too! The event is hosted by La Cocina, a great nonprofit business incubator that’s helping to nurture low-income food entrepreneurs.

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Eat Real Festival

August 27th, 28th, 29th, Jack London Square (Oakland)

A celebration of delicious, affordable and sustainable food. Music, food craft demonstrations (think pizza tossers, noodle pullers, butchers), “urban homesteading” (if you’re curious about canning, jamming, fermenting, pickling — this is for you!), and of course great eats. Some of the Bay Area’s best street food and restaurant vendors will be cooking up amazing (and affordable!) dishes: tacos a hundred different ways, BBQ, flat-bread, noodles, curry, falafel, ice cream and more! We’re excited to try Pizza Politana, Adobo Hobo, Sam’s Chowder Van, and Ici Ice Cream just to name a few. Find the whole list of who’ll be there right here.

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Off the Grid

Fridays, 5-9pm, Fort Mason Parking Lot

We love this evening street food market for a fun alternative to Friday “pizza night” for the family. For more flavor on this event, check out the guest post from our friend Liz Farrell. Bring a jacket and a bunch of cash because you’ll want to taste a little of everything. Get there early to make sure you get your pick of menu items.

Giant Sundaes on a Sunday

I am surprised it took me so long to hear about Fenton’s Creamery in Oakland – it is supposedly a Bay Area institution.  And of course, once I found out I was on a mission to go on a food ‘venture.  Ria and I got ourselves all fired up by looking at the photos on Yelp and the Fenton’s website (do check out & drool).  The strategy was laid out – which sundaes we were going to eat and how we were going to share the entree so we would have plenty of room for ice cream.  The whole week was spent obsessing about the dream sundaes.

We begged and prevailed and Papa took us one Sunday evening across the bridge for our great ice cream adventure.  At Fentons, we were greeted by spectacular crowds and immediately the strategy changed.  Dinner at Little Shin Shin restaurant (supposedly the best Chinese restaurant in Oakland) down the street and takeout sundaes afterwards.

Finally the moment of truth came, we ordered a junior black & tan.  While we waited, Ria and I walked around and gawked greedily at other people’s cartoonishly large sundaes.  Ria even before eating a bite kept saying, “Let’s come back with (insert name of friend)”.   Ok, stop already.  She definitely possesses some of my more annoying traits.

It wasn’t great ice cream.  Maybe the giant expectations I had ruined it for me. Great to look at, but unfortunately not great in the mouth.  Maybe, we are spoiled by Bi-Rite and homemade ice cream.  I was so ready to be won over but wasn’t.  Ria, on the other hand had stars in her eyes and could not believe that she was being allowed to eat so much ice cream.  That in itself I think was enough for her.

As we drove away, I was thinking how Fenton’s is everything that is good and bad about America all in one sundae.  I swore never to eat ice cream again (yeah, right).  That brought to mind Berthillon in Paris where they give you such tiny scoops that you leave and 10 years later you are still dreaming about their ice cream.  While I was waxing philosophical on ice cream, Ria prattled on and on about how much she loved Fenton’s and wanted to go back, maybe for her birthday party.  I guess for some of us, size is everything.