Street Fare Extraordinaire at Connoisseurs’ Marketplace

Menlo Park’s popular Connoisseurs’ Marketplace street fair will live up to its name again this summer with a mouth-watering variety of food and drink. The July 19-20 festival along the city’s charming, tree-lined Santa Cruz Avenue will feature 16 vendors, from artisanal and ethnic to down-home American.

Barbecued Chicken with Vegetables
Festivalgoers will find spacious seating areas with umbrella tables and chairs located throughout the festival.
Festival Food Booths and Tables

Festivalgoers will say ¡olé! when they taste the authentic paella from new vendor Nora Cocina Española. This classic from Spain is loaded with shrimp, chicken and chorizo, slowly cooked with the highest quality Spanish bomba rice and saffron. Their patatas bravas—deep-fried potato cubes—come with a spicy smoked paprika aioli.

B&G’s Fish and Chips, also new this year, is famous for its light and crispy beer-battered cod, accompanied by homemade tartar and cocktail sauces. A twist on traditional “chips,” theirs are made with sweet potatoes and served with blackberry BBQ or chipotle aioli sauce.

A third new food booth features the enticing Bankok Night Market, a sweet and spicy creation with Thai curry and chilies, lemongrass, kaffir lime and galangal in a coconut milk base. The surprise? It’s one of the more dramatic popsicle selections from The Pop Nation, modeled after the South American paleta. The vegan, gluten-free pops use locally sourced ingredients when possible in their alluring flavors, such as sea-salted dark chocolate, strawberry lemonade, and aprium, the hybrid apricot-plum fruit from local grower Capay Organic, spiked with a hint of citrus, cayenne and chili.  

Spices also lend the signature flavors to India Gourmet’s classic chicken and lamb curry, served with naan baked on site in a clay tandoor oven. Their robust vegan curry is a blend of eggplant, spinach, mixed vegetables and garbanzo beans. Looking for a wholesome treat for the kids? Try the crispy vegetable samosas with a refreshing mango lassi.

Food Booths
Kettle corn

B Food International celebrates Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food with succulent lamb gyros served with sautéed onions and tzatziki, as well as falafel and spanakopita (spinach/ricotta pie). A lighter option is the Greek salad with plenty of traditional feta cheese and olives.

For Asian fare, there’s Thai Kebab Barbecue, with its choice of chicken, pork or beef grilled with a barbecue-honey sauce. Or check out the crispy fried Thai-style chicken and Thai curry. For Japanese and Chinese offerings, visit California Gourmet, where the teriyaki chicken comes on kebobs, in a rice bowl or over noodles, and the sweet-and-spicy Peking chicken is served in a wrap.

The Tamal Factory specializes in Mexico’s quintessential street foods. Their handmade tamales use fresh corn masa stuffed with delicately spiced chicken or pork, and the vegetarian classic— cheese with jalapeños. They also offer chicken or carne asada soft tacos, burritos, quesadillas and traditional rice and beans.

There will be plenty of old-fashioned American fare as well. Sweet Delights is famed for their hand-dipped foot-long corndog and enormous funnel cakes. And their burger selection has something for everyone: Angus beef, turkey, salmon and veggie.

Aroma Concessions takes a trip down to New Orleans, with succulent barbecued oysters, plump crab cakes, crispy fried calamari, massive smoked turkey legs, and sumptuous sandwiches stuffed with tri-tip steak or portobello mushrooms.

And what’s a street fair without sausages? The folks at Lockeford Meat & Sausage are the masters, with their smoked pork and beef bratwurst served up on a hoagie roll with sauerkraut and onions. Pair that with some corn on the cob or a well-dressed baked potato from California Corn Roast, along with some hand-shaken lemonade from Barrett’s, and you’ll be set for at least a few hours.

Suitcase Ron’s will satisfy your sweet ‘n’ crunchy cravings with their addictive kettle corn. And if you’re looking to cool off from the July heat with something sweet, visit Kurlander Soft Serve for frozen yogurt flavors from comforting vanilla and chocolate to zippy piña colada or daring blue goo. Little Beez makes non-dairy, fat-free delizioso with Italian ices in cherry, blueberry, lemon and mango.

Festivalgoers will find spacious seating areas with umbrella tables and chairs located throughout the festival to relax and enjoy a bite to eat.