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Carnaval still Chow-heavy

Gary Soup | May 25, 200312:54 AM

A reminder that this is Carnaval weekend, and it's half over. It's my favorite street festival, dominated by food and foot-tapping music, with pedlars' booths secondary (lots of nice Guatemalan sweaters, though).

I did a quick census, and counted 25 booth serving hot foods, not including fruit juice bars, churro carts and soft pretzel carts. Foods included Mexican, Brazilian, Caribbean and Salvadoran fare, not to mention teriyaki, generic BBQ (mostly skewered meats), Louisiana and Polish sausages, even fish 'n chips, Philly Cheese Steak and Pizza. The ubiquitous garlic fries were there, of course, and one place had Hawaiian shave ice.

I sampled a chicken and a pork pastel (kind of a thin fried meat pie, $2 each) from the Brazilian booth. They were served cold, but the ground beef version had plenty of heat in the spicing. Still craving hot food on a cold day, I doubled back to the place with the biggest lines, an unmarked booth near 21st St., which was selling pupusas and tamales. I bought two bean and cheese pupusas, hot off the griddle, with cabbage garnish and salsa for $3, possibly the best bargain at the festival.

Carnaval Street Festival
Harrison between 17th and 22nd Streets.

(Oh, yes, there's that little parade as a bonus tomorrow ;-)

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