Well, as luck would have it, I stumbled across another little festival.
I was searching for something to do this weekend, and I saw the link posted by WildSwede that lists cultural events in LA. There was a Salvadoran festival in Santa Monica, but the website was for 2004, so I didnt want to risk the drive.
I also saw the link from PoetKitty that showed lots of stuff related to culinary events. I got some ideas, but none that would get me out in the sunshine today.
I saved both links into my bookmarks. Thanks to both of you.
I just wanted to find an authentic spring roll or taco as part of a celebration. Unfortunately, I couldnt find such a celebration.
So I decided to drive downtown and take a walk through the sidestreets of Chinatown. Upon crossing the Hill Street bridge, however, I noticed that Chinatown seemed relatively quiet; and I also heard drums from the Olvera Street direction. So I headed east on Ord and over toward Olvera Street.
As usual, there were lots of people there on a Sunday afternoon. The plaza had a band playing, as normal on a Sunday. But the treat that I had never seen before was a festival at the mission across the street.
There was a band in the courtyard that included the great big wooden xylophone that two guys play. There were lots of people there, and it was a happy gathering.
Okay the chow:
As Ive said before, the hot dogs on the carts outside public events are, in my mind, the best. First of all, youre starving, and secondly, theyre right there. I found a cart with the bacon-wrapped fat dogs right in front of this event. The lady was friendly and happy to have my business. I picked out my dog from her well-used grill; and she prepared it as requested: a few onions (they were also on the grill) and some mustard. It was simple but totally delicious.
After seeing all the hoopla inside, I was walking back to my car on Bunker Hill when I saw a lady selling gorditas. She was right near a bus stop along with others selling corn on the cob and fruit. I approached her and said uno por favor. Her response was con queso, queso y frijoles o (something I didnt understand). I understood queso y frijoles, so I picked that one. I wanted one with cheese and beans.
She picked one of the thick pancakes up off the grill and handed it to me on a paper plate. I looked at the sauces on the edge of her cart and noticed there were no quesos nor frijoles. I was wondering when and how I would get my cheese and beans.
Fortunately at about the same time an older woman approached the cart and inquired about the gorditas. The lady attending the cart cut into one of the gorditas to show the woman the filling. It was then that I understood that what I had in my hand was all I was getting. The queso and the frijoles were inside (duh).
I put some salsa on it, paid the woman and walked away.
This was a wonderful treat. It was easy to hold, tasted delicious, and with the salsa was exactly what I craved: some authentic food on a nice Sunday afternoon.
The hot dog and the gordita were each $2.
I love our version of street food.