At GoPago we get our livelihood from local small businesses, good food and the entrepreneurial spirit. Those three things were alive and well this past Saturday between the 20th and 26th blocks of Folsom Street at the 4th Annual San Francisco Street Food Festival. The event was presented by La Cocina, “a non-profit incubator kitchen providing affordable commercial kitchen space and industry-specific technical assistance to low-income and immigrant entrepreneurs who are launching, growing and formalizing food businesses.”
We heard amazing stories and tasted some delcious food from across the city. One of our favorites was from Maria of Estrellita’s Snacks. She was an immigrant from El Salvador, who was lucky enough to live right across the street from La Cocina, she wandered in and started a business with $20. She now has packaged yucca and plantain chips, sells tamales and pupusas at the Alemany farmers market and is opening up a restaurant that has already been home to Woody Allen, A-list actors and the rest of the production crew. She told us in Spanish to wait till the movie gets released because her and her restaurant will be making a cameo. The dream was so tangible and actuated that we could taste it!
We actually started the food festival a bit early on Friday with the first ever Night Market, it was a bit chilly out but we found comfort in our office neighbor Soup Junkies’ Crab & Tomato Noodle Soup. It’s always surprising how sometimes you wait a while to try great food that is so close by.
The next day at the event we had some terrific bites from Nojo, who were kind enough to cut the crusts off all the bread for the Tonkatsu sandwich. Three Twins ice cream had the most awesome pint man to accompany their ice cream. Onigilly also made us very happy with their rice balls and even happier when we learned that their brick-and-mortar store will be opening up near our office in the FiDi in a few weeks. A big highlight at this event were the trucks and carts; as we indulged in: Kung Fu Tacos, Southern Sandwich Co, Brass Knuckles, Hapa SF and The Creme Brulee Cart. With our mobile storefront up and running, our next frontier is helping these businesses on wheels.
The best named and tasting bite that summed up our whole day was the Yes Please from the Creme Brulee Cart; with the nutella and strawberry creme brulee on our spoon we said a big “Yes Please” to the event, the vendors, the sponsors, La Cocina and the city of San Francisco!