Eat Real Festival, Oakland

The smell of food is in the air and you can’t avoid it when you’re at the Eat Real Festival in Jack London Square in Oakland.  This weekend was the second annual event.  The tagline for the Eat Real Festival is “Putting the food back in fast,” meaning you don’t have to give up quality when you eat fast food.  It’s a free event and everything is $5 or under.

I missed most of the festival because I was out of town, but I decided this afternoon to go to the Festival and have a snack.  My sister and I walked around the various food trucks and stalls to see what was available.  We passed the Korean taco truck, the Argentinian Parilla truck, a pizza stall to name a few.  Thousands of people were in attendance.  What kind of snack would we pick up?  Which vendor would we stop at? 

4505 Meats had me at “Chicharrones.”  They were serving something called a zilladog, which is a beef hot dog with kim chee topped with crispy chicharrones.  The other offering was their cheeseburger.  I inquired about their beef and my ears were happy when they said their beef is grass fed and comes from Sonoma County.  My sister and I decided to get one of each to share. 

This was my first beef hot dog in many years, so my expectations were pretty high.  I didn’t think the hotdog itself was that great.  It was definitely missing the juice when you bit into it.  I thought the kimchee was an interesting and worthy substitute to the traditional sauerkraut, but the star was the chicharrones that topped it as they were light and crispy.  

While I was waiting for my food, two different people came back to ask about their burger.  “Is this cooked?” and “Can I get this cooked well done?”  The gal at the booth told them both that all their burgers are cooked medium rare.  I agree that the perfect burger is medium rare and my burger from 4505 Meats was perfect.  The burger was glistening as it came right off the grill.  It was juicy and melted in my mouth.  Wow! 

I also give kudos to 4505 for being well organized.  They had a good system and the lines went really quickly.  Some of the other booths had more than 50 people in it and they didn’t seem to move either.  4505 appeared to always have about 8-10 people in line consistently. 

 If you missed Eat Real and if you missed the booth at 4505 Meats, they are at the Ferry Building farmers market on Thursdays and Saturdays.