I've only ever been to the Rose Bowl to run races so this was a complete 360. Hold on, I take that back. This event is kind of like a race in that it is a game of how well you can pace yourself when faced with more food than your stomach can possibly hold. Sure, you can try to strategize and plot your plan of attack and many do but you won't win because it's mathematically impossible with over 100 vendors. Needless to say, this event had me beat half an hour into the eating fest. By the end of the second hour I couldn't even stand to look at another piece of food. Oh but what a day it was!
Dante Fried Chicken (Sock-It-To-Me Fried Chicken) - served w/ a tiny little biscuit covered in honey. There was a lot of hype about Dante's since they were a vendor from last year and many food bloggers said that they were a must-try, so it was on my short list of pit stops but it was just okay for me. I went back to try to get another sample but they ran out pretty quick.
(left) Starry Kitchen (Singaporean Chili Crab Gumbo w/ Buttermilk Beer Beignets) - this was one of my favorites. The buttermilk beer beignet was rich and fluffy and I could have eaten a million of them.
(right) Short Order (Mini Pork Belly BLTs) - this sandwich had a very good flavor with one slice of bread smeared with an avocado cream and the other with BBQ sauce.
Then we entered The Taste of Mexico Area. Fasten your seat belts because it is about to get even more caliente!
La Casita Mexicana (Green Ceviche & Ceviche Nayarit-style) - the green ceviche was made with a white fish, while the other one was made with shrimp. Both were excellent! Nice lime flavor.
Ceviche Project...oh boy was the line for this ever so long! I think we waited about 30 minutes to get a sample. The chef was very meticulous with prepping each sample, which explains why the line was moving so slow.
Tuna Tiradito w/ Spiced Plantain Chips - the tuna tiradito was amazing! It was topped with sorbet. Unique! The shrimp ceviche was not as good. The shrimp tasted weird, it had a mucky taste that I didn't care for. Maybe some of the uni sauce got on it by accident. I don't do uni, I don't care how unsophisticated that makes me sound. It is just a taste that I never got accustomed to and I eat Japanese food pretty regularly.
The master at work.
John Sedlar/Rivera - Tortilla Florales Tacos
Look at the neat edible flowers pressed right into the tortilla topped with a sweet Habanero jelly. So good!
Badmaash (Badass Butter Chicken) - I love Indian food and this is one of the reasons why. I could have eaten an entire plate of this stuff.
Fred 62 (Slow Smoked Pork Belly w/ Rojas con Crema Macaroni & Cheese) - what's not to like about a fried mac n' cheese ball stuffed with smoked pork belly? Absolutely nothing. This was another vendor on my short list and I'm glad I got a chance to taste this. They also put out these tiny pop-tarts later in the evening that I unfortunately forgot to take a photo of that were pretty tasty.
Dang Brothers Pizza
Mariscos el Mazateno (Tijuana, Mexico) - Taco de Camaron Enchilado - this vendor came all the way from Tijuana to take part in this event and let me tell you...this taco ranked very high with me. I'm pretty sad that they are so far away.
A collage of all the amazing foods that never made it into my belly.
Ice Cream Social Area - did someone say dessert? So many dessert...no...too many dessert is more like it...so little stomach space.
The Donut Snob - what can I say, they were worth the 50 miles I'm going to have to run this week in order to burn off all this food.
Cupcakes from the Cupcake Vineyards truck - this is what it looks like when two cupcakes kiss.
Later that day, I passed out on the field of the Rose Bowl in a food coma. The grass is so well cared for that it is amazingly soft and feels just like carpet. Yeah it's just like passing out in your living room floor but better because it's the Rose Bowl and how often can you even do that.
What a day! See you next year!