Monday, August 24, 2009
San Francisco Street Food Festival
Ventured to the San Francisco Street Food Festival this fine weekend. The street festival was a great opportunity to draw attention to the sorry state of street food in the city of San Francisco as the city lags behind many other American cities due to some complicated and expensive licensing laws.
We arrived at the cordoned off block and it was mobbed. If attendance was any indication, San Francisco people are very excited about the prospects of street food. Unfortunately, the massive crowds made the prospects of eating slim indeed.
For us, the problem wasn't just the crowd, but how contrived it all seemed. Fancy cocktails and creme brulee was being served to diners who usually pass the unlicensed vendors in the mission without a second thought. While some vendors were selling legally for their very first time, others were not so lucky.
From my rather cynical perspective, it did seem like a high concentration of upmarket establishments had plopped down for a day only to move back inside the day after and bask in the PR. Would the first time vendors be legal thereafter or left out in the cold?
On our way home we passed a familiar (and illegal) churro vendor. Several paleta vendors were milling about nearby. Business was slow. Nobody had invited them to the party.