Now that the 4th annual San Francisco Street Food Festival has come to an end -- and we've finally woken up from our food comas -- we're pleased to share with you the findings of our very un-scientific eating experiment.
Listed below are our favorite five entrees from the festival, along with pictures above (when we were sufficiently focused on anything other than chomping down on deliciousness to remember to take them in the first place).
Note that we sadly didn't get to try everything our greedy little hearts (and humongous but somehow still not big enough stomachs) desired. These dishes are listed in alphabetical order (not in order of tastiness, since that would have been just too hard).
4505 Meats: Best Damn Cheeseburger
The hard-at-work chef at 4505 Meats was nice enough to share the secret behind his amazing burgers -- the house-made "wild brioche" buns, which include scallions, pecorino cheese, sesame seeds and lots and lots of butter. Add in 100 percent grass-fed beef paddies, secret sauce, gruyere cheese and all the usual fixins, and you've got yourself one heck of a tasty, tender, buttery burger.
Co-owner Cesalee Farr told us that 4505 has participated in the food festival every year since its inception and that her company has, from the start, had a tight relationship with La Cocina, the non-profit culinary incubator that organizes the food festival. 4505 Meats got help early from the non-profit and has even taught classes there.
Azalina's: Chicken Kaya Panang Chilaquiles
All we can say is wow -- Azalina's chilaquiles combined the delightful flavor of her Malaysian chicken curry with fried bread/chips, veggies, secret sauce and some raspberry jam on top to truly heavenly effect. The line of hungry eaters waiting to get their hands on Azalina's concoction was far too long all day for us to get too many details on the secrets behind the magic, but this dish may have been our favorite from the whole festival.
Hella Vegan Eats: Fry Bread Tacos
Coming from one of the best-named vendors at the festival, the fry bread tacos were a wonderful surprise for our definitively non-vegan tasting crew -- warm, fresh fry bread topped with spicy black beans, yams, bell peppers and kale. We were unfortunately too distracted with the amazingness in our mouths to snap a photo, but we overheard some pretty good reviews of their Pad Thai Spring Rolls, too.
Kika's Treats: Brazilian Cheese Bread
Paired with a surprisingly sweet and delicious tomato jam, Kika's cheese bread lived up to our recollection from the media preview: cheesey and savory but also light and puffy-delicious. Owner Cristina Arantes (a.k.a. Kika) told us she prepared about 3,600 rolls of the bread for the festival, of which she had sold at least 3,000 or so with about an hour remaining at the festival.
La Torta Gorda: Huitlacoche Quezadilla
Seasoned with pasote, this piping-hot quezadilla was filled with corn, oaxacan cheese and huitlacoche, a fungus that grows on corn that the owner of La Torta Gorda said is akin to Mexican truffles. With the vendor's tasty green salsa and super-spicy red sauce, these quezadillas were literally dripping with cheese and savory goodness.