The kids may be back in school, but it’ll still be party time at the Mountain View Art & Wine Festival, September 7-8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Castro Street. Nearly two dozen vendors will be strutting their culinary stuff in the heart of downtown, transforming Castro Street into an al fresco feast of global cuisine.
Mountain View’s own Ava’s Downtown Market & Deli will join the event for the first time with a Thai-themed booth called Sweet Basil. They’ll feature barbequed beef accompanied by sweet-tangy papaya salad, traditional pad thai and that addictive cool drink, Thai iced tea.
Also new this year is Hot & Sizzling Grill. Greek fare is their forte, with pitas stuffed to overflowing with grilled chicken, lamb or falafel, lettuce, tomatoes and the yogurt-cucumber-garlic sauce called tzatziki. Kids love their plate of chicken tenders with fried mozzarella sticks.
Big Ed’s Buzzard BBQ, with its just-opened restaurant in Santa Clara, is another first-time entry for the festival. Hard-core carnivores would be willing to brave hail, sleet and snow (luckily, not a problem here) for their sandwiches filled with succulent pulled pork, tri-tip or brisket of beef.
Meat lovers will also hit the jackpot with three of the area’s charitable and fraternal organizations. The Kiwanis Club is now featuring sausages from the famed Dittmer’s Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus of Los Altos. Pick up a Polish beef or chicken portobello sausage along with some roasted sweet corn and you should be good for a few hours. If you’ve got kids, chances are they’ll sniff out the bacon-wrapped hot dogs from Silicon Valley Lion’s Club, and they always feel cool ordering an Arnold Palmer. For something a little more exotic, check out the Armenian Trex Fraternity booth, where just-grilled lamb and beef comes served in lavash flatbread with onions, tomatoes and parsley.
The protein fest continues at Pedemonte & Company, with its impressive selection including Polish sausage, mild German bratwurst (pork and veal), hot links, chicken-apple sausages and all-beef organic hot dogs, plus their signature cilantro-garlic fries and the new mint limeade. The sausage sandwiches at Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too are in true Italian form, overflowing with sautéed bell peppers and onions. (They make a mean brownie, too.)
Earthly Delights offers home-style sandwiches with either chicken or slow-cooked barbecued pork, with a kicky side of Parmesan garlic fries. At Sweet Delights, you can truly have your burger your way, with options including Angus or organic beef, salmon, veggie or portobello mushroom with blue cheese. Looking for something rib sticking but gluten free? Dig into their Salvadorian pupusas.
More no-gluten offerings from south of the border can be found at The Tamale Factory with fillings of seasoned pork, chicken, or cheese and jalapeños. Their corn-tortilla tacos are piled high with carne asada or grilled chicken, with rice and beans optional on the side.
If you’re a leg man (or woman), check out the hefty smoked turkey legs at Willow Street. Or for daintier appetites, there’s fried calamari, zucchini and artichokes. California BBQ gives a nod to Asian cuisine with its teriyaki chicken served atop rice or stir-fried noodles, as well as grilled chicken and pork kabobs. The folks at Blue Mango grill delicately seasoned strips of chicken and pork and offer them either in a wrap or a rice bowl.
Strolling the street with a hot slice is some people’s idea of heaven. Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria answers the call with its New York–style thin-crust pizza. French cuisine, even the street food, always has a romantic allure, and Lemoine Crêperie is no exception. It’s easy to become smitten with these made-to-order delicacies with fillings ranging from savory spinach with bacon to strawberries, Nutella and vanilla pudding.
The street food equivalent in the U.S. is most often some version of corn. At Ear-Good Corn Roast you can find freshly grilled sweet corn, plus plump baked potatoes. And if you like your corn popped, sweet and salty, you’ll have a choice between Old Tyme Kettle Korn and Sandy’s Pop Shop.
For dessert, the theme is cold, cold, cold. Frozen Fantasies will offer frozen chocolate-dipped fruit kabobs, ice cream bars and whole fruit smoothies, and Baskin Robbins will serve everything from chocolate and mint chocolate chip to Oreo cookie and cream and rainbow sherbet, as well as root beer floats. Looking for zero fat but big, sweet flavor? Try Barrett’s Lemonade, with their classic fresh-squeezed lemonade as well as new blended versions with fresh strawberries or blueberries.
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