You know how food seems to taste better in the open air – at barbecues, fairs and festivals? Well, the Fallbrook Avocado Festival is no different. Several of the festival food vendors are sure to be blue ribbon winners in anyone’s mind. This story will highlight three of those vendors.
Savory – Smoky-flavored Lau Lau & Kalua Pork!
What was the Avocado Festival missing in the past? Hawaiian Barbecue! This will be L&L Hawaiian Barbecue’s first year at the Avocado Festival. The Chula Vista company is owned by Rudy Arucan, who was born and raised on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu and has been on the mainland for eight years.
This vendor serves BBQ chicken, chicken katsu, ahi poke, kalua pork, lumpia and other delights from the South Pacific. Try their delicious Hawaiian Plate (Lau Lau and Kalua Pork), which is a recipe straight from the islands made with hefty pork chuck wrapped with taro leaf (Lau Lau), steamed to perfection, and served with savory, smoky-flavored Kalua pork.
One popular item is the Chicken Katsu – tender pieces of boneless chicken coated with special seasoning and deep-fried, then served with the special L&L Barbecue Sauce. L&L makes its own barbecue sauce that is a bit of sweet and sour and not too spicy.
For the fresh fish lovers L&L Hawaiian Barbecue offers Ahi Poke, which is raw ahi tuna served with rice.
Sweet – Awesome Funnel Cakes!
The Sweet Stop is true to its name. This company, owned by Al and Liz Larson of Riverside, has been at the Avocado Festival for four years; and now has two festival locations where they offer funnel cakes, cotton candy, smoothies and fresh-squeezed lemonade, among other goodies. Their most popular item is Funnel Cake and they find several ways to make these funnel cakes a delight – adding strawberries, whipped cream and the classic powdered sugar, and sometimes topping them with Hershey’s syrup, and caramel.
My grandmother would call this “gilding the lily,” but the Larsons have developed a way to make their funnel cakes even more decadent! New this year is their Banana Split Funnel Cake that includes classic powdered sugar, a banana, ice cream, strawberries, whipped cream, Hershey’s syrup, caramel, nuts…and a cherry
The Larsons attend 100 events a year and Al said that the Avocado Festival is definitely one of their favorites. “We enjoy it – it is a great event in a wonderful city filled with good and friendly people.”
Avocado – Great Guacamole!
Holy Guaca-moly, a name inspired by the television show, “Batman,” is a local award-winning (almost 30 so far!) company started by George Bamber and his wife, Gayle. They create just one food item – guacamole, but they do it right. Holy Guaca-moly has been offering guacamole and chips at the Avocado Festival since the second year of the festival. The first year they worked the festival, the Bambers set up a camping tent, which was extremely hot inside. But, they improved their booth and returned the next year and the next…and now you will find Holy Guaca-moly at three festival locations.
What makes Holy Guaca-moly so delicious? They do not add any preservatives and use only Hass avocados. (It takes 80 boxes of avocados to make the Avocado Festival guacamole.) George also mentioned that they “keep it chunky,” which adds to the flavor. He said that many of the brands found in grocery stores are not as thick in consistency because they add preservatives to the mix – in order for the preservatives to work the guacamole needs to be thinner. He also mentioned that all guacamole will oxidize and turn color in time. George said that there is a bit of lemon juice in their recipe, but he said that many people add too much lemon juice which ruins the flavor and makes it thinner. Holy Guaca-moly doesn’t “kill” their guacamole with lemon juice. No, it’s just perfect the way it is.
So there you have it. Visit the Avocado Festival on Sunday, April 21 and sample the three food groups – savory, sweet and avocado! Local restaurants will be open as well offering delicious meals for hungry visitors.