For food lovers craving seriously creative eats over Labor Day weekend, the Millbrae Art & Wine Festival, September 1-2, has it covered. Everything from wings to waffles will deliver culinary whimsy and wonder. Check it out.
The national chicken wing craze has inspired endlessly innovative approaches to this once maligned chicken part. Chicken and the Farm, a new festival food stop this year, is sure to elicit some clucking in the crowd with their over-the-top flavors. There’s honey-walnut, sweet ginger-garlic, mango-habanero, and blue cheese with green onions and buffalo drizzle, as well as their most popular—The Dirty Birdy—an Asian coating doused in a sriracha-sesame mayo sauce. All flavors are available on wings, boneless chicken bites and cauliflower bites. They’ll have salads as well: a snazzy Chinese chicken salad with the Dirty Birdy sauce and wild rice with almonds, peas, artichoke hearts and water chestnuts.
Time traveling back to one of the most ancient sauces known to modern-day foodies, Hot & Sizzling Grill makes a sublime garlicky yogurt tzatziki to top off classic Greek herb-marinated lamb and chicken, as well as their crispy falafel.
You’ll have your choice among several Asian cuisines at Sonoma Teriyaki, offering Japanese teriyaki chicken-on-a-stick, Chinese vegetarian chow mein and Filipino lumpias. They add some more variety with tri-tip tacos, quesadillas and deep-fried zucchini.
Continuing in the international arena is Stick-n-Grill. They grill teriyaki-marinated chicken and fry garlic-tossed tofu and serve them over rice, noodles or greens, or in a spinach-tortilla wrap with rice and greens. Love your tofu deep fried? They’ll do that too, and toss it with garlic and a sweet-and-sour or teriyaki sauce.
Meat lovers appreciate Mike Hutslar for his tried-and-true American fare—half-pound smoked pork and beef sausages smothered with grilled onions and sauerkraut, corn dogs, curly fries and fried zucchini.
Continuing with the big-on-meat scenario, there’s Aroma Catering, where tri-tip sandwiches and turkey legs tip the scales, and burgers, hot dogs and fried calamari feed the less ravenous appetite. Don't want meat? No problem—just dig into the towering Portobello mushroom sandwiches and crispy fried zucchini and artichokes.
Fans of fried calamari get a special treat at Gourmet Faire, where they marinate the mouthwatering mollusks in Key lime juice and top them with lime-watercress pesto. Seafood specialties also include crab rolls and crab fries.
Another first-timer at the festival will be the Waffle Puffs booth, where folks will discover the wacky waffle (also called “egg puffs” or “bubble waffles”) that was recently ranked the most popular street snack in Hong Kong (dating back to the ‘50s). Instead of the traditional honeycomb form, waffle puffs feature oval “bubbles,” a fluffy, eggy platform for all kinds of sweet toppings and dips. A notably versatile vendor, the booth will also feature bahn mi (the Vietnamese meat and vegetable sandwiches on a baguette), elotes (Mexican corn on the cob), churros and root beer floats.
Bringing a refreshing taste of Mexico to the festival, Gaspachos sells hand-cut fruit cups and blended fruit drinks. Get creative with your order and request a custom drink with any or all of this year’s fruits—strawberry, mango, jicama, cucumber and pineapple.
It’s likely to be a toasty weekend, so Snowie Snow Cones of Napa will be in great demand, especially with captivating flavors like wild cherry, blue raspberry, tiger's blood and watermelon. More cooling-off options will be at Rainbow Snow, where the custom-flavored shaved ice sits atop a rich layer of vanilla ice cream.
The Juicery will have organic slushies on tap, such as their Arnold Palmer Freeze and Red Hibiscus Frost, as well other thirst-quenching drinks like fresh watermelon juice and limeade.
Satisfy your summertime fresh corn craving at Ear-Good Corn Roaster, or maybe dig into one of their massive baked potatoes. Suitcase Ron and Olde Tyme Kettle Corn are perennial favorites with their salty-sweet snack, but don’t miss out on the other Olde Tyme options: fruit smoothies, bubble teas and mangonadas—mango sorbet topped with fresh mango and a whisper of chili salt.
Another great summery treat is the Dole Whip at Shake & Pop. Made famous at Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room (once sponsored by the Hawaiian pineapple giant) it’s a nondairy pineapple soft serve ice cream, with a splash of pineapple juice as an added option. S&P also fries mini donuts right in their booth, serving them nice and warm with a dusting of cinnamon sugar.