2009 Alt Foodie Trend No. 1: Coming Together to Eat

Categories: Trend Watch

This is the last of our series counting down the top 10 alternative San Francisco food and restaurant trends of 2009. Eager to judge the flavor of the year that was? See also: No. 2: Confidence Check; No. 3: Going Primal; No. 4: Major DIY-ness; No. 5: Profit Margins Crashed; No. 6: Beer Busted Out; No. 7: Twitter Ruled; No. 8: Sportin' Wood; No. 9: Street-Food Busts; No. 10: Porn Star Chefs

Steve Rhodes/Flickr
August's S.F. Street Food Festival on Folsom: We came, we queued, we chowed.
S.F. Alt Foodie Trend No. 1: Group Scarf
If there's anything San Francisco loves, it's a party. Especially one devoted to face-stuffing. With the reality of a battered fine-dining scene, we got creative, and got together. The summer's two major street-food festivals were an altogether more delicious (and less smack-talking) version of baseball's Bay Bridge Series. In August, La Cocina's S.F. Street Food Festival brought together licensed and unlicensed street-food vendors, chefs, and damn near everyone else for a marathon day devoted to local foodcraft. The lines were ridiculous ― many of us gave up and wandered off to 24th Street for tacos ― but the day helped define a movement that saw the line between formal chef and informal vendor get less distinct. A week later, the Eat Real Festival in Jack London Square was more structured and not quite as nuts-to-butts bananas, but no less a reminder that the most satisfying food is inevitably grounded in authentic experience ― wherever you find it. The twin fests laid down a challenge for all of us in 2010: How do we protect and reward the entrepreneurs (restaurant chefs and others) who capture the flavor of life in San Francisco in the here and now?

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