This year, the free outdoor concert series, Cloverdale Friday Night Live, upped its food game with a new array of Sonoma County mobile vendors.
Cloverdale Live runs through Friday, September 2, in the plaza. The adjoining street is blocked off for food vendors.
Healdsburg's Kinsmoke is the barbecue vendor this year. The St. Louis ribs were a bit overcooked and too soft, but tasted great with a good balance of smoke, non-sweet sauce and salt. These were much better than my previous experience with brisket in its restaurant.
Nellie's Oysters brings fresh seafood from Tomales Bay Oyster Company.
I've been a customer of Nellie's at various local farmers markets. They're some of the best shuckers I know, as can be seen from the pristine condition of these babies on the half shell.
I also love Nellie's barbecued oysters. My usual order is with just garlic butter, foregoing the red sauce.
The Michoacan-style corn vendor continues to please year after year. I order mine "en vaso" meaning cut off the cob and served in a container, dressed with mayonnaise, lime, cotija cheese and chile powder.
Eatin' Street was completely new to me. It makes Thai-style food from this cute trolley car.
Fried prawn cakes were delectable, served with sweet chile dipping sauce. I especially liked the side of ripe mango salad as an accompaniment.
I've also tried the pair of beef sliders. The beef patties were studded with bits of sweet pepper and onion and seasoned with exotic spice. They're grilled to medium-rare. The "potato pillows" turned out to be steak fries, in random cuts served with sriracha mayo.
Fat Boys is actually a hot dog stand. But I was there for the tamales.
I tried a pork one, and was offered a bit of the complimentary jalapeño chile sauce to kick up the heat.
Very nice tamale packed with juicy shreds of pork in salsa roja that went beautifully with spike of jalapeño.
And lastly, I love that my favorite paletas from Frozen Art Gourmet Ice Cream in Santa Rosa come to town on Fridays.