Oak-Smoked Tri-Tip Meets Nitro Coffee at Mountain View’s Foodie-Friendly Festival
The air will be filled with the sweet—and tangy and spicy and smoky—smells of summer over the weekend of September 9-10 when the Mountain View Art & Wine Festival comes to Castro Street for its 46th year. Several new vendors will kick up the culinary quotient, with unique menu options and new twists on the classics.
Gaspachos comes to town for the first time this year, featuring classic Mexican street fare. The “gaspacho” melds chunks of mango, jicama and pineapple with lime juice, orange juice and chili powder. Or the combo could be watermelon, jicama and pineapple. Hand-cut fruit cups and blended fruit drinks are refreshment pure and simple. A little fancier is the trendy dessert called a mangonada—mango sorbet topped with chopped fresh mango and a whiff of chili salt.
Also new to the festival is Uncle Nino’s BBQ, where oak-smoked tri-tip comes on a sourdough-y telera roll with Havarti cheese and 1/3-pound hamburgers and jumbo hot dogs are grilled over an oak fire. A plethora of condiments includes Nino’s secret BBQ sauce and red chile salsa. Another Mountain View newcomer, The Real McCoy’s, will be grilling a multitude of sausages, accompanied by fries with a serious sprinkling of garlic.
Some of the longest participating food vendors are the good ‘ol boys from the Mountain View Kiwanis Club. Year after year they cook up plump Polish and chicken-Portobello sausages from Dittmer’s Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus, a local hangout in Los Altos.
Earthly Delights has generated a following with their famous chicken breast sandwiches—barbecued, cooked with Italian herbs and garlic, or combined with apple and brie and a drizzle of blue cheese buffalo sauce. And kids go crazy for their battered, deep-fried chicken strips with a side of Parmesan garlic fries.
Corndog aficionados line up for the traditional and hot-link dogs at Gourmet Faire, where the homemade batter makes them extra crispy. They also offer addictive beer-battered garlic fries tossed in garlic-parsley pesto or topped with decadent crab aioli and Dungeness crab salad, as well as new sweet-‘n’-tangy Vietnamese fries. Plus a crab salad on a buttery grilled French roll with Bibb lettuce and green onions.
The folks at Indonesian Satay BBQ grill satays of chicken, pork, beef and lamb with the perfect balance of tang, salt and sweet. Japanese flavors come out in the teriyaki chicken on a stick at Stick-n-Grilled, served in a rice bowl or over noodles.
B Food International specializes in Mediterranean and American flavors, with overstuffed Greek gyros, ½-pound sausages and plump Philly cheese steaks. Aroma Concessions shares a similar bi-cultural influence, with Italian-inspired fried calamari, zucchini and artichokes, along with all-American smoked turkey legs.
Hot & Sizzling Grill goes Middle Eastern with its pita sandwiches filled with grilled chicken, lamb or falafel, lettuce, tomatoes and tzatziki. Their fusion-cuisine chicken tender plate includes fried mozzarella sticks and jalapeños.
Lemoine Crêperie, a beloved foodie fixture at the festival, prepares crêpes à la française, made to order with classic combos like butter sprinkled with sugar and hazelnut-y Nutella, or savory options like Swiss cheese with a grind of black pepper or a handful of fresh spinach.
Ear-Good Corn Roast offers sweet corn-on-the-cob hot off the grill, as well as super-sized baked potatoes with “the works.” The kettle pops nonstop at Sandy’s Pop Shop with everyone’s favorite sweet-salty popcorn treat. Old Tyme Kettle Korn is another option for the caramel-y corn, as well as peanuts roasted in the shell.
Barrett’s Lemonade is always a popular thirst-quenching stop with its fresh-squeezed lemonade and blended strawberry lemonade. And this year they have a new blueberry lemonade.
Another booth with a welcome cool-off option is the Mountain View High School Choir booth, where you may hear the teens singing Hawaiian tunes while serving up their 20 flavors of authentic shaved ice.
Trivia fans love discovering that former Mayor John McAlister is the owner of the local Baskin Robbins and is always on hand scooping vanilla, chocolate, jamoca almond fudge, mint chocolate chip and rainbow sherbet, as well as crafting their delectable root beer floats.
More fun desserts can be found at the Frozen Fantasies booth, where frozen chocolate-dipped fruit kabobs are on offer with ice cream bars and whole-fruit smoothies.
Coffee geeks will find their fix at the first-time booth hosted by Boast Coffee Company, featuring cold brew coffee and cold brew hibiscus tea. And for the ultimate in trendy coffee-drink desserts, check out their nitro coffee float—cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas over 24 hours to create a creamy, frothy effect, then poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Prepare to be dazzled.