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Bites on Broadway kicks off weekly summer mobile food fest

on June 13, 2011

Like one giant neighborhood picnic, “Bites on Broadway” officially launched its weekly food extravaganza last Friday. People laid down blankets on the grassy lawn of Oakland Tech High School in Temescal and sampled food from a handful of different food trucks and tents, including El Taco Bike, Fist of Flour Pizza Company, Sue’s Sassy Pies, Go Streatery and Tina Tamale.

While Go Streatery served slow-roasted pork shoulder sandwiches topped with a cherry relish and slaw, Sue’s Sassy Pies baked up hand-held pies filled with sautéed apples, brie, toasted walnuts and covered in a mango chutney. There were also all sorts of other goodies, including meatball torta sandwiches from El Taco Bike topped with mozzarella cheese and a cilantro herb sauce and hot wood-fired gourmet pizzas from Fist of Flour Pizza Company.

Bites on Broadway’s organizer Karen Hester said the goal is to “throw a summer food event that I would like to go to and that my neighbors would like to go to.” In addition to eating fresh hand-made food, on Friday people from the neighborhood also stopped by while walking their dogs and brought their kids to run around and play games with each other. “It is as much about community as it is about the food,” said Hester.

The Broadway corridor of Temescal gets far less foot traffic and has fewer dining choices than Telegraph Avenue side of the neighborhood, said Hester, so another focus of the event is to bring more healthy and affordable food to Broadway. “It really dove-tailed nicely with what’s been happening in the mobile food scene in Oakland and also what’s happening in Temescal,” said Hester. “I’m trying to have more choices in terms of healthy food.”

Around 500 people passed though on Friday and Hester said she hopes the momentum stays throughout the summer. The vendors will rotate from week to week between El Taco Bike, Guerrilla Grub, 51st State, Sue’s Sassy Pies, Go Streatery, Fist of Flour Pizza Company, Vesta Flatbread, Tina Tamale, Boffo and the Grilled Cheese Guy.

“I hope that different people will come and experience and go away with some pride in Oakland,” said Hester.

Bites on Broadway will happen every Friday at 45th Street and Broadway from 5:30 to 8:30 throughout the summer until October 21. For more information go to


  1. Chris C. on June 13, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    What a fluff piece! You basically say exactly the same stuff in this article that you said in the article you wrote leading up to the first Bites on Broadway event. There’s nothing here at all about how the event actually WENT — e.g. not very well if you got there at 7:15 like me and three of the 5 vendors were already out of food, with hour-long lines at the other two. Plus, there was no music, I didn’t see any games, and the lawn where they held the event was one big, cramped mud puddle. I was really excited to have this event in the neighborhood. I hope they’ll get it together for future weeks!

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  4. 49th St on July 16, 2011 at 8:19 am

    So – how has it been going? I live two blocks away and I must say: this is not an area underserved by foot traffic! The kids from tech walk ALL over the place – they go to Burger King, Wendys & the pizza place right on Broadway – and sometimes down to Telegraph to Jack-in-the-box!

    Personally, I walk down to Telegraph/49th for nice meals – knowing that anything within view of Safeway is likely to be crap.

    The first festival – well, the vendors were SOLD OUT of many things within the first hour – the lines were long and there were not really any vegetarian/vegan options.

    I heard the music last night – but didn’t bother to go, preferring to eat my homemade marinara with homemade basil pesto & gnocchi instead of standing in line for overpriced food I can’t eat anyway. Good luck!

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