By Shannon Adams
More than 50 food trucks lined Main Street in Manayunk to feed about 3,000 people attending the StrEAT Food Festival, according to Philadelphia police.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. people roamed up and down the blocked off blacktop, trying their taste buds at the various foods which ranged from savory gourmet BBQ to sweet, fluffed desserts.
The air was full with the smell of each truck’s speciality, including fried and grilled foods, sauces and pastries.
One of the more popular trucks of the day was “Oink and Moo,” run by Sean Parker. “Ribs are probably our most popular item,” Parker said. “But we also do really
good brisket and chicken too.” Each year Manayunk features a
seasonal food in the festival and vendors are encouraged to use it as a staple in one or more of their dishes: this spring it was strawberries.
Oink and Moo incorporated the fruit into quite a few of their dishes, including a strawberry slaw, strawberry pulled pork and a strawberry sauce.
Sticking with the savory BBQ theme, Bacon Jams, not so much a food but a delicious bacon themed spread, was also in attendance.
According to creator Mike Oraschewski, the company started in Philadelphia and then began traveling up and down the East Coast, attending events to promote the product, which now has a substantial following.
“Basically, the product is that we put bacon in a jar,” Oraschewski said.” I never liked condiments… but I really loved bacon.”
Among the available flavors are the original, which is a honey smoked bacon flavor, chilli garlic and black pepper.
Also present was the Farm Truck Philly, a seasonal fresh food vendor that is in its fifth year, and that mainly attends festivals.
Farm Truck Philly head chef Shaine Wasico recommended the Anson Mills grits, explaining that they have a fuller depth in flavor than some are used to.
“The last time I was included in the [strEAT] festival was two years ago,” Wasico said. “It’s good to be back out here.”
Vendors, though busy, were kind and approachable and offered suggestions at the ready, if asked about recommendations, and represented not only themselves, but their brands well.
As attendees walked Main Street they could stop and take in the live music, performing on the three separate stages.
Among the 10 different acts were Excursions, Stella Ruze, Alycat and The Jawn.
The Jawn is a local band and are considered to be rock, soul and psychedelic in genre.
The StrEAT festival website suggested that visitors take time out during their trip down food lane and stop into some of the local shops that line the street.
Among those were Vamp, a boutique which provides reasonably priced “night out” clothing; The Little Apple, a vintage home goods shop; and The Spiral Bookcase, which provides both new and used books and also allows visitors to trade in old books.
The Manayunk StrEAT food festival will take place again this fall and feature a seasonal fruit, just as the spring event did.
Joshua Smith contributed to the writing of this article.