Meatopia Report and More From Oakland's Eat Real Fest, Going on All Weekend
Meatopia's first West Coast event was less hedonistic than its New York brother, but we still enjoyed food from some of the best meat chefs in the country last night during the Eat Real Fest in Jack London Square. Our far-and-away favorite bite was the pulled pork shoulder, cheesy grits, and vinegar-y barbecue sauce from Rodney Scott and Jim-n-Nick's Bar B-Q.
Josh Ozersky Rodney Scott's North Carolina pork and grits.
We also enjoyed dinosaur beef ribs from award-winning barbecuer Harry Stewart, which were fatty, meaty, and some of the best beef ribs we'd ever tasted. At the next booth over, Oakland's Pizzaiolo put out a luscious meatball that contained pine nuts, which added surprising texture and flavor.
BBQ champion Harry Stewart with his amazing beef ribs.
We loved the sweet-spicy seasoning on grilled bacon (above) at Chris Lilly's stand, but wished the BLT it was destined for had a little more bacon. And though the flavors were well-composed in the duck boudin noir salad from Kim Alter at Haven, the ambitious dish had so many components (frissee, duck confit, heart, liver, cracklings, and a duck vinaigrette) that it was difficult for the team to turn them out quickly, and the elements didn't quite cohere together.
Satiated, we then walked around the rest of the festival, which focuses on culinary entrepreneurs and the best food of the Bay Area. There were dozens of food trucks and stands from local restaurants. People selling artisanal pickles and jams seemed to be everywhere. We sat and listened to a panel about local beer with some of the area's best brewers, and then headed to the nearby beer tent to get one of the ultra-local brews.
Anna Roth Craft Marketplace at the Eat Real Fest.
We stopped by the Whole Beast to get the lamb poutine we'd enjoyed at Outside Lambs and hadn't quite been able to get off our mind since.
Anna Roth Lamb poutine from The Whole Beast.
And then we just sat on the grass and watched the sunset like everyone else.
Anna Roth No filters necessary.
The Eat Real Fest is going on all weekend. This afternoon features the Bare Bones BBQ Contest, Meatopia organizer Josh Ozersky's purist barbecue competition; a butchery contest; DIY classes on using sourdough starters and bitters; and plenty more. Head over to Oakland (pro tip: the ferry from the Ferry Building drops you off right at Jack London Square) and check it out yourself.