I'm surprised not to see any posts on ERF 2011 yet. Did people go/are they going? Any favorite items?
I went last night and today, and while it was fun, I think the festival was better last year. They cut from 90 vendors last year down to 60, which they say is to cut down on how crazy it can get, but to me, that just made the event less rich and diverse. Maybe it's because I've tried many more of these vendors over the past year, but I remember being more excited about the array of offerings last year than this year.
None of the lines were absurdly long besides the Chairman Bao line.
I found Jim 'N Nick's quite disappointing compared to last year. The corn was delicious, but neither the beef nor the pork sliders had great flavor. Chop Bar roasted with three pigs this year; $5 got you a rather small chunk of pork with a similarly small piece of cornbread. Liked it better last year when they butchered it more nicely (thinner slices rather than a chunk) and served it with pita bread.
Despite this, I had a good time. There were some nice presentations and DIY opportunities. Starter Bakery offered a pie dough workshop, where participants all got to make their own mini apple pie and take it home (or bake it on the spot). I also liked Vesta Flatbread's grilled chicken with harissa flatbread.