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Monday, September 27, 2021

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CultureFood & DrinkGood Taste: How to skip the line at this...

Good Taste: How to skip the line at this smokin’ hot Oakland BBQ joint, more

Plus: Eat Real Fest postpones, Fantastic Negrito’s street food fair returns, SF gets new po’ boys from Boug Cali and Vegan Mob

Hey, welcome back to Good Taste! Our weekly local food column gives up all the secrets to snacking pleasure around these parts.

Smoked brisket and hot links from Horn Barbecue.

Why wait? The weekend line for Oakland’s Horn Barbecue can be a beast, but if you simply plan ahead and take advantage of the pre-order schedule, you can breeze right past the line and walk around to the side, where your multiple pounds of meat will be ready to go. The restaurant is open Thursdays through Sundays, but you can pre-order for Friday (place the order from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning), Saturday (order from Tuesday afternoon through Thursday morning) or Sunday (order from Thursday morning through Saturday morning). You can eat outside or drag it back to your lair from there. A little foresight will save you a lot of time.

Boug Cali’s Supreme Crispy Lobster Po-Boy.

Lobster reigns supreme: In my ongoing quest to try something from all the woman-owned food businesses in the new La Cocina Municipal Marketplace, which now offers delivery, I got reacquainted this week with Tiffany Carter’s Boug Cali, which she describes as West Coast Creole. Carter originally started by selling plates at her uncle’s Bayview church and now has her own spot inside the Marketplace. I was right to go for her new crispy lobster Supreme Po-Boy, an option she added to her sandwich lineup a few days ago, and I encourage you to copy me.

Boug Cali’s $5 Daily Plate of red beans and rice with Andouille sausage.

I also ordered the delicious $5 daily plate of red beans and rice made with smoked turkey and served with a half link of Andouille sausage (which is available as a pay it forward add-on if you would like to feed a stranger in the area of the Marketplace) so that you can see what it looks like. Each of the food businesses offers a lower cost meal in addition to regular offerings (Carter’s Supreme Po-Boy, in comparison, is $12 and well worth it).

Vegan Mob’s Da’ Renz, a shrimp po’ boy

Mob takeover: With a food truck now in San Francisco and pickup and delivery options in the South Bay, Oakland’s Vegan Mob has significantly expanded this year. Because I’ve been in a po’ boy mood and wanted to support the Mob’s personally anticipated foray to this side of the Bay, I hit up the SF truck for Da’ Renz, a plant-based fried BBQ shrimp po’ boy served on Dutch crunch. I think the Dutch crunch part needs a little fine tuning (you’ll see in the image that it doesn’t look very “crunchy”), but that fried faux BBQ shrimp has a wonderful texture and flavor. The truck is located at Valencia and 18th Streets Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and I’m glad it’s here.

You’ll have to grab your slathered fries at next year’s Eat Real Festival

See ya in ‘22: Respect to Oakland’s Eat Real Fest, which will sit this year out and save the comeback until 2022. “We are excited to see the Bay Area opening up again and to once again share food, drinks and hugs with the people we love, and we hope that this means that festivals will return again too,” wrote event director and owner Vanessa Larson in a statement. “However, as a small business we feel it is just too risky to try to host Eat Real Fest this year. Even if we are allowed to do it within local, state and federal regulations, we don’t feel secure about being able to make a profit this year. Financially, losing money on the festival after the past year of losing money due to the pandemic is not something we can take on.” Take your time, we’ll be ready!

Chef Aaron Stewart from Oakland’s MexiQ.

Fantastic food: Oakland recording artist and Grammy winner Fantastic Negrito hosts a Storefront Market at his Storefront Records (3431 San Pablo, Oakland) on the last Saturday of each month. This weekend from 12-5 p.m. on May 29, it’ll be a street food fair featuring Oakland locals like chef Aaron Stewart from MexiQ catering, who rocks his BBQ with Mexican influences, and Hella Tea, a line of packaged teas that honor local rap icons with flavors like HumpTEAHump and E-4Tea. 

Are you eating inside restaurants yet? Aside from a quick bite from Daeho inside the new H Mart food court, I haven’t eaten inside a restaurant since March 2020. But now that UCSF Department of Medicine chair Dr. Bob Wachter, my pandemic oracle, has started dining indoors himself (and my full vaccine superpowers have kicked in), I will begin doing the same starting this week. I have accepted a kind invitation to return to a restaurant I enjoy for a comped meal, and that restaurant happens to have particularly high ceilings, so between that and this restaurant group’s consummate hospitality, I know it’ll feel good.

If you’re still hungry, you might wanna eat before checking out Tamara’s site California Eating.

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