Serious Eats Forced to Eat Humble Pie Over Food-Fest Fail

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The lines at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party mightve been a bit trying (a Chowhounder reports an hour wait in the Fast Pass line for Salt Lick, which ran out of brisket by mid-afternoon both days), but for the most part New Yorkers took it in stride. (At least, Danny Meyer certainly did thats him with two of his kids, and we also spotted Marco Canora braving the crowds, unless that was just a heat hallucination.) Not the case over in San Francisco this weekend, where Serious Eats tried to bring cult favorites like Katzs, Juniors, Pinks of L.A., and Tony Lukes of Philly together for the Great American Food and Music Festival. A swell idea, but it did not go well.

In case you missed the flood of irate comments over at Serious Eats (at least one of them comparing the event to Altamont), MenuPages San Francisco has a report from the scene: A big mob of people with no food at a food festival didnt seem right, so we decided to go back out and see if we could find someone that had actually eaten something. It was hard. To add to that, even those who did score a pastrami sandwich questioned its authenticity (didnt L.A.s disastrous Carnegie experiment teach West Coasters not to try to import New York deli sandwiches?) Ed Levine apologized that an electronic payment system failed early in the game, but it just wasnt good enough for a commenter who wrote, Please try to just admit it was a royal screw up all the way around. Maybe Katzs shouldve brought its time-tested paper-ticket system with it? Phew. Anyway, lets hand it to Levine, a bona fide food lover, for good intentions. And, so we can put all of this behind us, lets focus on something positive: Ed Mitchell manhandling a giant slab of pork.

Photo: Melissa Hom

Hurry Up and Wait at the Great American Food and Music Fest [MenuPages San Francisco]
Earlier: A Look Back at the Block Party, and at Jim Mamarys New Cue Spot