Posts Tagged ‘food’

Despite a little wet weather, the Crave Expo went on as planned this past Sunday afternoon at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim. The Crave Expo represents a gathering of food vendors all in one spot for attendees of all ages to check out and dine from. The organizers originally set this up as a ticketed event costing $5 presale or $10 at the gate per person; however, with the weather forecast showing rain all weekend, the organizers decided to nix the admission fee and allow people in for free as long as they preregister; otherwise it would still cost people $10 to enter if they just show up. Once inside, attendees gained access to all the vendors and could eat from whichever they chose. Basically, think of this as a food court, since attendees still needed to pay for any food or drink they wished to consume.

When I first heard about this event, it immediately appeared to me as a food truck fest. Remember food truck fests from 2010-2012? You paid some crazy amount of money to get in, then had to pay again for food. Once people realized that you could visit these food trucks elsewhere for free, people stopped going to food truck fests. Instead, people opted to go to weekly food truck gatherings, or the monthly ones such as First Fridays. Undaunted, I waltzed in to Crave Expo with a little over $40 in cash and checked out what they had to offer. Not surprisingly, I had seen most of these vendors before, either at other similar food events such as Artisanal LA or OC Night Market, or at local food truck gatherings such as Street Food Tuesday. Regardless, I did not want to walk away on an empty stomach. By the time I left, I had over $10 in my wallet.

I do anticipate that Crave Expo will return again in the future, but I advise to keep an open mind about how this event works. Remember that you can indeed find and visit most of these mobile food vendors elsewhere for free, thus avoiding paying for some sort of admission fee just to visit a food truck. Stay active with the local food truck scene by following your favorite food trucks on Twitter, and you will get to visit lots of them without needing to go to another “food truck fest” for some fee.

The Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show returned to the Los Angeles Convention Center this past weekend for its third year running. As the name suggests, this event featured all manners of sweets and desserts, but especially cookies and anything related to cookies. From traditional cookies to cookie sandwiches to cookie ice cream to cookie cups, if it had to do with cookies, attendees would find it here. This year’s event setup largely resembled last year – in the first year, it took place at the Pasadena Convention Center. Due to overwhelming popularity, they moved it to the LA Convention Center, expanded the event to two days, and tripled the ticket price. However, last year’s event STILL sold out. This year, admission went up to $60, and it still appeared as though they sold out once again.

Although now in their third year, it appears that some things never change. For the most part, the organizers have solved the problem of most of the lines. Last year, attendees had to wait in a line outside the convention center to even enter, and then once inside had to wait in a line to scan their tickets, and then wait in another line to get into the expo hall where the event took place. All of that did not exist this time – what lines did remain resided within the expo halls. Despite the best efforts to qualm all the line-waiting that attendees did, no one could avoid the massive lines for the vendors once inside the expo hall. OnceĀ inside, all the attendees faced lines upon lines for the few vendors that had samples. At this Cookie Con, less than half the vendors had actual samples for attendees to try – most of the vendors set up to sell things, such as products or services. Basically, attendees paid $60 in order to wait in lines to spend even more money. At this rate, eating $60’s worth of food would only occur if this event had a quarter of the amount of attendees so that everyone could efficiently reach the front of lines. In reality, it took half an hour of waiting in each line to finally get a sample of a cookie or some other dessert. On the other hand, the few vendors that had savory foods instead of sweets did not have bad lines, so I could easily get food samples such as jerky and tamales.

I fully expect Cookie Con to return next year, and likely with increased admission once again. When Southern California has food fests similar to this that cost like $175 or more to get in and sell out all the time, Cookie Con can just keep raising their prices, and would still sell out. If paying exorbitant admission fees to see these vendors sounds bad to you,Ā just independently support the businesses on your own, such as Maya Brigadeiro or Bad Pickle Tees. The Cookie Con site (linked above) has a full list of all the vendors. By directly supporting the vendors, you omit the admission fees of going to an event, and you get to select what you want to see without the hassle of dealing with crowds of people and the dozens of strollers taking up space.Ā Plenty of other dessert events will come up soon in the greater Los Angeles area, so check out my weekly events post every Monday to see how you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

Americans love their coffee. Visiting and inhabiting coffee shops represents a traditional American pastime. Business meetings, clubs, and first dates all do well with coffee in hand. Americans love their coffee so much that they dedicated events towards the love of coffee, such as at CoffeeCon LA 2017. Taking place at The Reef in Los Angeles this weekend, this java-themed event features all things coffee, from various types of coffee to coffee edibles to coffee equipment and more. Dozens of vendors may sample their brews, both hot and cold, while a handful of other vendors will exhibit their coffee complements, such as candy, desserts, and other food. Many other vendors exhibit coffee equipment, such as machines or presses used to brew coffee. Throughout the day, seminars take place detailing various topics about coffee, from the origins of certain types of coffee to how to utilize coffee in the culinary sense.

Due to last year’s overwhelming attendance, CoffeeCon has made some changes this year to accommodate attendees. They have expanded CoffeeCon from one day to both Saturday and Sunday. Admission for one day costs $15 per person, while two-day admission costs $20. A $40 ticket exists that grants one-day admission plus access to a coffee tasting seminar at 2pm. This seminar can only take up to 100 people each day, so if this interests you, act fact before it sells out. Last year’s CoffeeCon took place in the basement of The Reef, a small, tight, and compact space. They have not yet specified where in The Reef that CoffeeCon will take place this year, so prepare for a tight space again if it comes back to the basement. Attendees should bring extra cash if they intend to buy anything here, since most of the vendors will sells things and not necessarily sample their goods. Parking at the venue costs $10 per vehicle, but visitors can find street parking in a residential neighborhood about a block away, and can avoid paying to park.

For more information regarding CoffeeCon events both in Southern California and the rest of the nation, check them out on Facebook and Twitter for other updates.

The 3rd Annual Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend. As the name suggests, this all-ages event features all manners of sweets and desserts, but especially cookies and anything related to cookies. From traditional cookies to cookie sandwiches to cookie ice cream to cookie cups, if it has to do with cookies, attendees will find it here. The price of admission actually went down this year from last year’s $50 admission. However, they have introduced multiple levels of attendance, from as low as $20 up to $60. I do not understand why, as they sold out last year even with the $50 admission. Parking at the convention center costs $20 per vehicle.

As anyone can guess, this event draws massive attention from the local populace. As of the time of this post, Saturday has already completely sold out. For anyone planning to attend Saturday, expect wall-to-wall people with long lines at every booth. I highly suggest early arrival, as the line to get in to the building takes about half an hour to clear through, and then you have to face another line to enter the convention hall. Once inside the actual event, you will have to endure even more lines to get to the vendors. I hope you bring your patience this weekend, as well as comfortable shoes, and cash since you will have to pay for the food you consume here. By the way, very few of the vendors actually bring samples – the vendors need to make a profit, after all!

Do some research about the businesses that will attend Cookie Con. Local businesses such asĀ Velvet Rope Bake Shop or Bad Pickle Tees often set up at other cheaper, less crowded events. The Cookie Con site (linked above) has a full list of all the vendors. By directly supporting the vendors, you omit the middleman, and you get to select what you want without the hassle of dealing with crowds of people and the dozens of strollers taking up space. Plenty of other dessert events will come up soon in the greater Los Angeles area, so check out my weekly events post every Monday to see how you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

This Saturday afternoon, the 13th Annual Belmont Shore Chocolate Festival returns to Long Beach from 12pm to 4pm along 2nd Street, rain or shine. Set up similarly to Stroll & Savor, this all-ages festival features a Homemade Chocolate Dessert Contest and various Pie-Eating Contests, in addition to the restaurants up and down 2nd Street sampling their chocolate goodies. Chase Bank will host the central hub, where guests can purchase ticket booklets and find more information regarding the fest, as well as locate the dessert contest entries and pie-eating contests, which start around 3pm. Anyone wanting to enter the dessert contest should fill out a form found on the aforementioned website link. This year, the organizers have removed the extra activities such as the Cake Walk and Valentine Heart Walk, and will focus solely on the tastings and contests.

As far as the general public goes, guests may purchase booklets of 12 tickets for $10 on the day of the fest at participating businesses along 2nd Street.Guests will use these tickets to redeem food items from participating businesses up and down 2nd Street. Food items will range in ticket cost, with most items costing one ticket and larger food items costing four or more. Sadly, the public may not try any of the desserts from the homemade dessert contest due to the health code. However, the food from the businesses should more than sate your appetite. For most people, one $10 booklet should suffice. For those with a larger appetite, I suggest arriving early and acquiring two booklets in order to have time to eat everything before the participating businesses run out of food for the event.

A handful of events will take place in or near Belmont Shore this month, ranging from food to shopping to pets to art and more. Get the latest news on Belmont Shore events by checking them out on Facebook and Twitter.

We live in an age of technology, the internet, social media, and smartphones. The days of face-to-face interaction have died with the past, as most people spend their time in public with their faces buried in their smartphones. People use this as their means of interacting with others, and social media provides an outlet for that. Social media has also paved the way for one-upmanship, or posting something to gain more attention than the previous person – basically, “Oh yeah? Well check this out!” Especially today, we have Instagram food – basic foods made to look pretty so that customers will share it online. With the premise of one-upmanship, Instagram food keeps getting weirder and wackier, from rainbow grilled cheese to donut ice cream sandwiches to rolled ice cream and more. You take an existing food item and make it look different while tasting the same, and you have Instagram food. If you want the perfect example of Instagram food, endure some traffic to reach The Loop: Handcrafted Churros.

Oddly located in a heavy Vietnamese area of Westminster, The Loop: Handcrafted Churros takes the basic churro and fancies it up for customers to snap away at it. Sure you could go to, say, a Costco and get a simple churro for a dollar, or you could spring $3 or more for a curled churro! What makes The Loop’s churros better than any other churro you can get anywhere else? Why, the fact that you get your churro bent to form a loop that you can hold with a paper holder! For just $4.50, you can sample one of The Loop’s Glazed Churro. The Loop takes one of their ready-made churros, dips about half of it in a glaze of your choice, and coats that part with a topping of your choice. It just looks so cute and fancy that you will want to share this with the digital world before you actually bite into it! Check out The Loop on Facebook and Twitter to see tons of posts of people tweeting their churros instead of eating it! Perhaps if you tweet your churro enough, you will get featured!

In today’s generation, those growing up aim to set their own trends instead of following in their parents’ footsteps. For the most part, parents raised their children with what they (the parents) learned growing up, passing on their behaviors and lifestyles on to their children. However, as the children grow up, they start to desire independence from their parents, and as such they will want to develop their own wants and desires, usually opposite from their parents. For example, while parents will likely want to eat something familiar such as pizza and burgers, the children may want something special, usually something different or fusion. Today, fusion food exists in many restaurants, which combines two different foods into one concept imagined by the chef. Instead of trying to divide parents from children, why not make a place friendly to both, such as Pizza Port?

Bearing no relation to the pizza place in Disneyland with the same name, Pizza Port resembles a true Southern California staple. Not only do they craft their own family-friendly food, but they also brew their own huge lineup of craft beers. This makes Pizza Port a great place for the entire family – the children can enjoy the fun food as well as the games inside the restaurant, and the parents can enjoy the fantastic food as well as a cold one or two. While Pizza Port revels in the awards they win for the beers they brew, their food ought to win awards as well. When you see their BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza, you will understand why both parents and children love this dish. This pizza pie comes with tangy barbecue sauce, beef meatballs, diced bacon, chopped red onions, and mozzarella & cheddar cheese with red onions. All of their pizzas can come on traditional pizza dough or their beer-infused whole grain dough.

You can enjoy this savory pizza pie at any of Pizza Port’s locations for $9.50 for a small, $18.25 for a medium, or $22 for a large. Check out what else Pizza Port has serving up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.