The Unvegan

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LA Food Fest 2016

Attaboy Sandwiches - Fried Chicken Sandwich
Attaboy Sandwiches – Fried Chicken Sandwich

It seems like every day brings the world a new food festival. Some may say there are too many, but I say that is crazy talk and then go on my way to eating at another. The LA Food Fest is one of the biggies and took place this past weekend in Exposition Park – right next to USC making it easy for Metro-goers. As media I got in an hour early and took the time to figure out what looked good, with the help of my trusty assistant.

Bobby Ray's BBQ - Tri-Tip Sandwich
Bobby Ray’s BBQ – Tri-Tip Sandwich

One of the huge benefits of said assistant is the ability to split up food and try even more, which we did. For some reason, we tended towards sandwiches and there were a couple of clear winners. Attaboy Sandwiches made a Fried Chicken Sandwich topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles and jalapenos and when I asked for them to stick the pickles and lettuce on the side I was told all the sandwiches were made to order and this wasn’t possible. This, of course, is the opposite of what I expected, but I dealt with it. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t as good as the other two sandwiches.

BCN Spanish Sandwich Co. - Jamon Serrano Bikini
BCN Spanish Sandwich Co. – Jamon Serrano Bikini

The first of these was Bobby Ray’s BBQ, which dished out tri-tip sandwiches. There were a couple of sauce options and I took the recommendation of the guy at the booth who said to get spicy BBQ and horseradish. He was right and it was damn good. I don’t eat tri-tip too often and now wonder why.

We also had a sandwich from BCN Spanish Sandwich Co. This was the Jamon Serrano Bikini, which included manchego cheese, sliced portabellos and truffle aioli. This place was actually made to order and they happily removed the portabellos from the sandwich. It wasn’t quite as good jamon iberico bocadillos, but it was still pretty stellar.

Beaucoup Crawfish - Crawdads from the crick
Beaucoup Crawfish – Crawdads from the crick

Along the way we also took down Beaucoup Crawfish, which is exactly what it sounds like. We snagged a bowl of the river lobsters that were coated in Cajun seasonings and listened to the rambling/singing of the dude at the booth that happened to have a microphone and amp. The crawfish was good and had a great cajon kick to it, but eating was just too much work. Especially when there was so much else to eat.

Fritzi Dog - Black Garlic Fries
Fritzi Dog – Black Garlic Fries

Fritzi Dog made an appearance in our eatinerary, but not for actual hot dogs. Instead we sought the place out for some of their Black Garlic Fries. These were clearly not made for a hot date, as they were also topped with fried crispy onions. In any case, they were very well-received in my belly, especially as the beers were starting to add up. Oh, I didn’t mention the beers? Well they were all craft and they were all highway robbery at $9 a pop.

Jeni's Ice Cream - Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks
Jeni’s Ice Cream – Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks

Finally, there was the dessert and because I couldn’t find an awesome churro spot (note for next year!), I settled for a few bites of Jeni’s Ice Cream. This was no ordinary peanut butter ice cream, but rather Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate flecks and was even better than it sounded, with such a strong peanut butter taste I almost forgot the chocolate was there. Plus, it wasn’t overly sweet, which is the way to my heart.

The LA Food Fest did a great job of bringing in reasonably-priced dishes to give everyone a chance to try multiple things. Literally the only thing I would change would be to have more affordable beer options. Oh, and also to get more Pokemon Go spots in the venue. There’s only so many times you can stop at the 1984 Olympics Bench for more poke balls.