Today I was lucky to be apart of the inaugural The Block Urban Gastronomy foodie festival held in Inglewood, CA. The Block food festival highlights emerging tastes and cuisines influenced by LA’s inner-city youth culture from Inglewood, Gardena, Compton, East LA, and Carson. This event was made possible by tireless organizer, ReeCee. So a big shout-out to her and also a big thank-you for sponsoring a pre-event tasting for fellow foodie Michael Walsh and I. Michael runs Eating Around So Cal and will be on-air KTLA 5 at 6am and 8am tomorrow (11/6). Be sure to check it out!
With all new events there is a real fear of low turnout. Not so with this food festival. The event was overflowing with people; there was a line stretching half-a-block of people trying to get in. I think this speaks to the strength of the food vendor line-up that the organizers of THE BLOCK Urban Gastronomy brought together.
The first thing I tasted were the Lemon Garlic Shrimp fries and Bacon Ranch fries from Mr Fries Man. Mr. Fries Man offers an interesting twist on a dish so quintessential to American food culture. They take this otherwise tasty but normally monotonous dish and add an artisan touch using over a dozen different fries toppings like melted cheese, shrimp, bacon, lemon garlic, etc in mind-blowing combinations.
Garlic Shrimp noodles from the Bleu Kitchen.
No foodie festival would be replete without the sweet, wonderful smell of BBQ. A.P BBQ of Gardena provided the honors, Texas style.
Probably the least spectacular of my pics, but I was compelled to post it because the fried chicken at Not your Mamas Kitchen was AMAZING. There’s just something extra special about their fried chicken batter secret sauce. Extra crispy, salty but not too salty, not too oily and with a touch of pepper. The home-made touch of the macaroni and cheese was a delight as well.
Time for the desserts! There were more funnel cakes than I could count on my fingers. The inner kid in me kept saying, “Please! Please! Please!” and I couldn’t resist. I ate an entire one. And then another. That’s right, I had more than one! The temptation was too great…
The first funnel cake had a scoop of ice cream drizzled with caramel with bits of hot apple, pecan, and sweet crumblings from the funnel cake truck “I Love Funnel Cakes!!!” My made to order funnel cake was ever so so decadent and so so yummy. I love it when oven hot dough presses against and slowly melts the surrounding ice cream. It reminds me of youth; worry free youth and county fairs.
Speaking of county fairs, I did what like every kid did at county fairs; I nagged my parents for a funnel cake. It was the reward for (in)patiently persevering through the boring, scorching hot summer day while the folks took interest in the latest culinary shows, trinkets, gadgets, and farm exhibits. Below are funnel cakes from Fun-Diggity Funnel Cakes. They’re tastier than the run-of-the-mill funnel cakes you’d find at the major theme parks like Disneyland and also a notch above the country fair and carnival funnel cakes too. At less than half or a third of the price. These funnel cakes only cost $5 to $7, seriously! And, a portion of the proceeds go to help disabled veterans find housing. You’re supporting a good cause while eating funnel cake!
I had a gastronomic experience at THE BLOCK Urban Gastronomy event in Inglewood. Be sure to get there early for the next The BLOCK Urban Gastronomy event as the crowds come fast!
THE BLOCK: The Urban Gastronomy Experience
Millennium Shoes 234 W. Manchester Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90301
Featured Restaurants and Food Trucks:
A.P BBQ- Instagram: @apbbq
333 East Rosecrans Ave
Gardena, CA 90248
The Bleu Kitchen
Mr Fries Man