A La Carte & Art Continues Its Tradition of Fine Festival Fare
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Mountain View will celebrate the 21st anniversary of its famous A La Carte & Art downtown street festival this year on May 6-7. Veteran patrons will enjoy reminiscing about the early days with classic festival fare from their favorite longtime vendors, while a quartet of new booths will mix up the weekend’s menu with flavors from Brazil and Hawaii.
Enjoy local artichokes cooked up in a variety of ways, fresh roasted corn on the cob and much more!
First-time vendor Samba Brazilian BBQ will be a big hit with carnivores, offering Brazil’s prized picanha steak. This prime cut—the top of the top sirloin—has a generous layer of fat, which flavors the skewered meat when cooked on the grill. The steak comes with rice topped with classic chimichurri sauce (a jalapeño-flecked blend of parsley, garlic red onion, olive oil and vinegar) or on a bun spread with the same sauce. They also grill delicately spicy linguiça, the sausage that traveled to Brazil from Portugal along with a new national language. Meat-eaters and vegans alike can indulge in the distinctive chimichurri fries.
Hawaii BBQ is another new food booth, with crispy chicken and pork kebabs marinated in a secret family recipe for teriyaki sauce. The all-meat sticks will be served over fluffy jasmine rice.
Another new entry from the aloha state will be Kona Ice, a shave-ice truck with twelve flavors on tap. The talented Kona Ice team can concoct up to 100 flavors by mixing the syrups in different combinations. Their syrups are only 25 calories per serving and are infused with vitamins C and D.
Frozen treats are also the specialty of new vendor Cool Beads Ice Cream. A hot trend in ice cream, the beads come in a rainbow-colored assortment and are a little larger than a peppercorn. Uniquely ultra-freezing, they can be stored at –40 degrees, allowing them to be poured individually into a bowl and melt less quickly than traditional ice cream. Flavors range from Cookies & Cream and Banana Split to Rainbow Ice and Thai Ice Tea. Many are vegan and gluten free.
Lemoine Crêperie has been bringing a taste of Brittany to Mountain View since the pioneer days of the festival. The traditional French crêpes are made to order with all of the classic fillings. For a light lunch, the savory filling options—cheese, spinach, mushrooms, ham and bacon—are delicious alone or creatively combined. When it’s time for dessert, fruit lovers can opt for fresh strawberries, cherries or bananas and whipped cream, while those with an even sweeter tooth can indulge in rich chocolate or the addictive favorite, Nutella.
Another longtime vendor, Sweet Delights, is ever popular for its all-American selection of jumbo hot dogs and foot-long corn dogs, as well as three types of burgers—beef, salmon and veggie. Funnel cakes are another big hit, made irresistible with a huge dollop of whipped cream adorned with bright berries.
Stick Up (formerly known as Blue Mango and Thai Stick) has attracted a steady flow of fans year after year with its succulent skewers of teriyaki chicken, offered with an optional bowl of rice or noodles, or rolled with crispy veggies into a wrap.
Chicken and lamb with Greek seasonings and the garlicky-yogurty tzatziki sauce are the specialties of Hot & Sizzling Grill, where the meat comes either in a pita sandwich or a freshly made salad. Cooked-to-order falafels are another juicy sandwich option, with homemade tahini sauce, lettuce and tomato.
Handmade masa farina dough is the secret to the delicate texture of the namesake dish of The Tamale Factory. They are filled with mildly spiced pork or chicken, or the traditional vegetarian option, jalapeño and cheese. Filling out the menu of Mexican favorites are beef or cheese quesadillas, chicken or carne asada tacos or burritos, and bean-and-cheese burritos.
Gaspacho’s brings another Mexican classic street treat: mango-on-a-stick sprinkled with chili powder, lime juice and salt. This year they’re also offering strawberries on a stick from their family farm in Watsonville. Like a fruity gazpacho soup, they put together a refreshing and surprising combination of chunked mango and strawberry with bits of carrots, cucumbers and jicama.
More stick-to-the-ribs fare can be found at California Corn Roast, where the aroma of roasted corn on the cob entices passersby and baked potatoes beckon with their line-up of satisfying stuffings. And who can pass up a bacon-wrapped hot dog?
Kettle corn is another festival treat that calls out to just about everyone, and Sandy’s Pop Shop promises nonstop popping.
And, finally, not to be confused by the vendor’s name, festivalgoers looking for a quick, nonfat refresher can visit Posh Bagel of Almaden for Hawaiian shave ice in every fruity flavor imaginable, as well as thirst-quenching fruit drinks and drippingly sweet pineapple-on-a-stick.