So here we are. Eat Real a distant flavor savor on some Oaklandish hipsters mustache who hasn’t showered since.
And what of the GrilledCheezGuy? How did we fare at our #1 biggest and most favorite event of the calendar year?
The answer. A lotta proud. A lotta hopeful. And a smidge bit lost in the fray of the food scene. Here’s why.
This marked the 4th year of the beautiful and best food festival the bay area has to offer and the 2nd year it had the best grilled cheese on site to offer. But certainly not the only grilled cheese. But more on that fun fact later. Eat Real Festival is put on by a bunch of wonderful and passionate people that do a top notch job of not only putting on an amazing show for everyone who attends, but also making sure the vendors are satisfied and doing well too. Power is always scary for us as we have learned. We have the ability to take down buildings and businesses when it comes to our energy consumption like some type of Food X-Men. Our scares from some S and S people were quickly quelled by the fantastic electrical team and the reassurances of my Eat Real Rep. We were rocking four Food TV grills full throttle and the line never stopped on Saturday and took a few breathers on Sunday.
I was flattered to hear some fans share their stories of the first time they had met us or how they always looked for us at the Oakland Art Murur despite knowing each time we wouldn’t be there. (Reason: Food Politics…but thats another blog). My favorite fact about Eat Real is that last year we debut our grilled peaches with a balsamic reduction (and hint of orange extract) topped with goat cheese and it was a big hit. This year the peach was in full force yet still I converted a lot of newbies who had never tried nor heard abou this delectable dish. Saturday I mostly ate real with at least 7-8 pork chops from S + S Gastro Grub but Sunday the slower crowd allowed me to dine on my favorite food trucks of the festival. That mostly included a handful of Doc’s of the Bay burgers and as MANY AS FREAKING POSSIBLE OF CURRY UP NOW‘S CHICKEN TIKKA BURRITOS. No, I did not just let my fat fingers slip on the caps key, I really do like them that much. If I could live off them like Jared from Subway, I would live off that shit.
While on my way to get my score of burgers and burritos, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. I walked into an area of Eat Real and stumbled upon my icon and my good pal Iso Rabins of ForageSF doing his thing in his booth. My hurried feet allowed me to only read the sign which included some fried smelt and a porcini grilled cheese, except the porcini was haphazardly crossed out with a pen, leaving only the words “grilled cheese” behind. I happened to make a few jokes about how it was hard to forage grilled cheese in the woods considering how much they tended to reside in places where Phish or young children resided. That didn’t go well but it was all in good food jest. Upon returning with my bounty I just happened to notice something all too familiar going on in the back of the ForageSF kitchen. It was not just grilled cheeses going down, it was grilled cheeses going down underneath the wrath of wrapped bricks. Bricks of tin foil bricks. The very bricks that had made me the man I was today. The GrilledCheezGuy/Man. Now I was witnessing the man who had found my business a home in SF doing the dirty with my bricks on my side of the bay. Was I miffed? Yes, a tad. But imitation is the best form of flattery and if Mr. Rabins was recognizing my rewarding way of cooking and sharing it with the masses in good form, then so be it. If it wasn’t for watching him at my first Wild Kitchen Dinner doing his thing I would never have the spontaneous dining event that is Behind the Cart. It was a very full circle of life kinda moment that I definitely had mixed feelings about, yet hope that it only means that I am on the right track with my business and we will continue to see success.
We witnessed, or at least heard about such success at Eat Real on Saturday when rumors spread that our name was called during the Pickling Awards. It wasn’t until Monday or Tuesday that Sean of Punk Domestics confirmed the rumors. Our pickle hadn’t taken the top of the charts with best overall, but had performed a reach around and grabbed Best Fermented Pickle category. Will we take sloppy seconds, yes ma’am. This now brings my little biz to 8 trophies overall, 7 in the category of grilled cheese and 1 in the category of pickle. Once we hammer down the secrets to soup we will be the trifecta that America has been waiting for.
But wait no longer, as the Melt marches onward now with not only shops but full scale buses serving up their salty version of my victorious sandwich in the very city that made me who I am. So now, we have started Kickstarter to try and raise HALF the money it will take me to get us on the streets for battle. With you, we can serve a variety of sammies daily alongside a daily dose of our now award winning pickles either iced or FRIED (only possible with a truck), our savory soups, and some desserts that will compete with the rest of them. Not only that but I have set some personal goals of 50,000 will get us a pinball machine in the side of the truck and 100,000 will get us a USA Tour with the new Truck. Hopefully by then someone from Food Network or the Cooking Channel or something along these lines will have finally given us a spot in the limelight so we can show our true cheesiness to all of America, and not just the bay area, Canada, and Pakistan like our Facebook statistics report.
So with that, I hope you enjoyed our run at this year’s Eat Real Festival and thank you to the patrons and people who put on the show. Now I hope you will help us to get ourselves in high gear with a full scale operation here in the bay area. One huge bonus and promise is that I would have the ability to serve up much more cheesy gossip here on my blog about the going-ons if this was my full time deal.
So take a moment and donate to our Kickstarter, share it with friends, and tell em to give up eating one meal with us today to actually enjoy a full meal with us anytime they want tomorrow.
PS – If you don’t see me at Forage SF Underground Markets anymore, it is only because Iso could not take a good joke. I hope to see him helping me get my fundraising goal so I can go from Underground Market to Off the Freaking Grid.