November is an exciting time for food bloggers, with Beaufort Street Festival and Gourmet Escape, plus this year found Eat Drink Blog being hosted in Perth for the first time. Needless to say I've been excited in the lead up.
Unfortunately it seems the food gods haven't been on my side, with a nasty flu striking me unable to attend Eat Drink Blog at the last minute (yes cue devastation) and my best friend's wedding falling on the weekend of Gourmet Escape. At least I had Beaufort Street Festival still and when the event rolled around, I was giddy even despite the heat. My stomach was raring for all the delicious treats that the festival had to offer.
Coleslaw preparation for Cantina 663
If you haven't been to Beaufort Street Festival before, it's a fantastic annual event that basically shuts down the Mount Lawley section of Beaufort Street from traffic, promoting the local restaurants and stores, as well as inviting a variety of food vans. It is a culinary feast and a great day of fun.
Jeremy and I last year made the mistake of ignoring the hot weather and going to the festival around lunchtime, meaning we only lasted a couple of hours and it wasn't quite as fun as it should of been. This year we headed down at a much more appropriate time of 5pm, which was cooler - but still completely jam packed with patrons. It's so nice to see everyone supporting this festival - I heard there was over 120,000 people in attendance - crazy!
Jeremy and I love Beaufort Street in general, with some of our favourite restaurants being located on here - Beaufort Street Merchant, Cantina 663, El Publico and newby Ace Pizza. We started our walk up from the Brisbane, taking note of the Butty's food truck nearby which we didn't realise at the time but we'd end up there at the end of the night.
We start things off with something cold from El Publico, who are onselling for La Paleta, a particularly enjoyable treat I'm rather partial to. Naturally it's the salted caramel ($5) flavour that we pick, and one bite in I'm sent into a sugar dream of creamy, sweet and yes salty goodness.
Next door to the El Publico stand is their brother store, Cantina 663 which was offering an outstanding sounding Porchetta Roll ($9 I think). It's a freshly baked bun, with pesto, coleslaw, slow cooked pork and crackling.
Yes it tasted as amazing as it sounds.
For both Jeremy and I, this was the highlight of the day. Sweet coleslaw, tender juicy pork and a crackling that was oily, salty and oh so decadent. I really want another one of these right now as I'm typing this, it was that memorable.
Jeremy and I make it all the way up to the top of the street and start heading back before we spy the next thing we'd like to eat.
I've heard some great things about Marcelita's Empanadas, but somehow have not been able to try them out - the timing never lines up. They were at Eat Drink Blog last week but my stupid flu rendered me unable to attend and subsequently get to eat all the goods on offer.
The line for Marcelita's is long but moves quickly, though we did find ourselves waiting for our fresh order about 15 minutes. I don't mind though, it was all part of the day and we enjoyed the lingering sunshine and people watched with smiles on our faces.
Eventually our order was up - 3 Empanadas ($10. We choose one of each of their three flavours to try - Pork & Lime, Beef, and Potato, with Guacamole dipping sauce.
If you haven't tried an empanada, they're a Colombian treat that have a maize flour shell and fresh ingredients and spices inside. Out of the 3 on offer, the pork and lime is my favourite by far, I love the punchy lime flavour that comes through the soft pork. Jeremy's favourite is the beef which has a good hit of paprika and is well seasoned.
Some more exploring and drinking, we finally found ourselves back at Butty's Food Truck. I've heard some rave reviews about this food truck from other bloggers, but have yet to try their famous rib burgers for myself.
Again as we did with the empanadas we line up, order, and wait. It's not quick but the smells coming from the van are incredible and I'm salivating despite already having eaten the other items.
For my order, I choose the 15 Hour Slow Cooked Beef Ribs & Coleslaw ($10). They come as two big chunky rib pieces with a generous amount of meat attached. It's fatty and sadly the cooking process hasn't broken the fat down enough making it a little tricky to eat while hot and with my plastic fork. Once it cools down though I dig in.
The sweet BBQ sauce is amazing, definitely the star of the show. It's sticky and sugary, coating the meat and residing in a pool underneath perfect for dipping the meat into. It also works really well with the coleslaw on side which is nice and cold on the palate.
I also order a side of Cheesy Fries ($6) which I insist Jeremy shares with me once I realise how big my serving of ribs is! Haha not that he was complaining. The cheesy fries are crinkle cut and have caramelised onion tossed throughout, coated with a cheesy sauce that almost tastes like thousand island dressing. It's so different to anything I've had before, but I really enjoy munching away as we watch the sun come down.
Beef rib burger
Jeremy chooses their famous Beef Rib Burger ($10) which contains chunks of the 15 hour slow cooked beef ribs, coleslaw and BBQ sauce on a glazed soft bun. My photo doesn't do it justice, but the taste is lovely and sweet, with a good amount of filling in ratio to the bread. I can see why people rave about these rib burgers, they're small but they pack a punch. It's a great way to finish off our eating journey at the festival.
As usual I had a ball at BSF, with eating very much the priority of the day but the overall vibe and festivities make it worthwhile on their own. And once you're done eating, there's so many great places you can kick on for drinks at until late into the night. Can't wait til next year to do it all over again!