Will It Be The Eat Real Festival or The Street Food Fest This Weekend? Or Both?

Lines could still be an issue, but better to be on your feet than in your car
Lines could still be an issue, but better to be on your feet than in your car Photo: Ricardo Diaz via Flickr

To help you defy your mayor by luring you outside this weekend, there are two big food events planned, both sharing a similar M.O. of celebrating street food. The Eat Real Festival will take over Helm’s Bakery complex this Saturday and Sunday, with an emphasis on global streets eats, sustainable ingredients, and handmade products. Even before we learned about the urban gardening lessons, farmer introductions, live bands, and urban chicken coop demos, the two-day festival sounds instantly appealing, as it’s free to attend, with promises that no dish or beverage will be priced over five dollars.

Demos are planned around making your own cheese, local wines, and a butchering a whole pig with The Yard’s chef, Top Chef vet Chris Jacobson. Attendees include Big Mista’s, Nom Nom, and Me So Hungry, while market and bar components will include Homeboy, bacon-y goodness from Devil’s on Horseback, Ballast Point, Stone, and Craftsman. Complete details are online. And how about the return of The Street Food Fest?

We said never again after the first one, but see that the Street Food Fest organizers are working very hard for a hassle-free experience. Held on Saturday at The Rose Bowl’s Brookside Park, $60 buys unlimited access to food and drink over two sessions. The festival is now split into a daytime festival with families in mind and an evening session for dates and conceivably younger folks. The price includes food, as well as beer, spirits, cocktails, juices, and water, along with parking and entry into some giveaways. Also, to avoid the pain of that inaugural event, attendance at both sessions is limited to 1,500 guests.

There will be 65 street food vendors on hand, and due to the founders’ relationship with the Test Kitchen crew, attending chefs include participants include the Two Hot Tamales, The Great Ricardo Zarate, and L.A.’s obsession in Tijuana, Javier Plascencia (plus our own hot tamale obsession, Marcela Valladoid, who will judge a cook-off with Jonathan Gold and Los Angeles mag’s Lesley Bargar Suter) It’s encouraging to see that the Street Food Fest has not only food trucks, but true L.A. street eats like MexiCali Taco Co. and Antojitos Carmen. The lineup looks phenomenal and clearly, the work has gone in, as they’ve even scored hotel discounts to keep Westsiders out of the Carmageddon nightmare. Tickets are available online.

So, two excellent events are going down this weekend with similar themes, but very different approaches. Fortunately, if either sounds appealing, hitting each one is only as complicated as your drive to Pasadena.

Earlier: L.A. Street Food Fest Tests A New Model [GS]
L.A. Street Food Festival Promises to Circle More Than Just Wagons [GS]

Will It Be The Eat Real Festival or The Street Food Fest This Weekend? Or Both?