Just when you thought things couldn’t get any cheesier, the sequel to Oozefest is upon us, as over 50 of southern California’s prominent restaurants and breweries are gathering in Santa Ana to celebrate all things cheese.
Last year’s event was pretty epic, featuring oozing goodness such as Mozzarella Bun Burgers, cheesy cotton candy and even the world’s tallest grilled cheese stack.
This year’s festival will look to surpass last year’s hype, and if you look at the scheduled line-up, it will absolutely do so.
Oozefest is quickly becoming the premier go-to food festival for cheese lovers, as last year proved that the event could bring out the best in So Cal chefs, asking them to think outside the box, and provide a food experience that cannot be found anywhere else, including their own restaurants.
With that said, it’s time to get your taste buds excited, as this is the cheesy goodness you’ll have to look forward to at Oozefest Pt. 2.
NOTE: This covers a majority of our vendors, but some are choosing to debut an item at the festival. Vendors also subject to last minute changes. Check which vendors are on which day on Oozefestival.com
Grits Fullerton: Grits Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese at a cheese festival is a given, and Grits is coming in strong, stuffing it with bacon, jalapeno grits, jam, cheddar and port salut, all between sourdough bread.
SideDoor 5Crowns: Lamb Cheesesteak Sandwich
Side Door’s lamb cheesesteak is as dope as it sounds. Stuffed with lamb meat and topped with veggies, this cheesesteak is then smothered in a cheese sauce that’ll have you drooling.
Slater’s has built its reputation on crazy burgers, but they’re taking a step back from their forte and whipping out a dope artichoke dip, instead. This thing is going to be loaded with garlic, so this would be the perfect time to check if your date is secretly a vampire.
Elbows Mac and Cheese: QueSo Caliente Mac n Cheese
Mac & cheese is Elbows’ specialty, and they’re rolling into Oozefest with something special. Their macaroni will be mixed with ghost pepper, provolone, and cheddar cheese. Topped with Mexican shredded beef, seasoned taco shell crumbs, guacamole, a tomato and red pepper salsa, sour cream, and house made shredded beef taquitos on the side.
If you’ve never had duck before, you can get your bill wet with Chapter One’s Duck Croquetas. It’s a shredded duck-filled ball that’s breaded and deep fried before getting smothered in lime crème fraîche and queso fresco.
Pour Vida Latin Flavor: Cheeseburger Taco
Cheeseburgers and tacos are perfectly amazing on their own, but put them together and you have magic. With a housemade tortilla, the Cheeseburger Taco comes with shredded cheese, Kobe ground beef, shredded cheese, shredded ice berg lettuce, house made thousand island and a roma tomato.
Puesto Mexican Street Food: Pork Belly and Chorizo Tacos
How do you upgrade a chorizo taco? Add pork belly, of course. This bad boy has chorizo, seared pork belly, goat cheese, creamy jalapeño salsa, salsa negra, pickled red onions, and microgreens on a blue corn tortilla.
Treatery: Strawberry Cheesecake S’more
In the midst of all the festival’s cheese pulls and dripping cheddar, you’re eventually going to want some dessert, and that’s where Treatery is going to come in beautifully. Their s’more is going to consist of strawberries on a graham cracker, with a cream cheese marshmallow sandwiched in.
After loading up on all the fried food, you’ll probably want to invest your body in something a bit healthier, and that’s where Green2Go will help you out. While their mac & cheese is mixed with delicious candied bacon and maple bacon Kettle chips, you’ll be happy to know that it’s egg-free and has zero gluten.
Infinity Sauce: Jalapeno Boats
Infinity Sauce’s Jalapeno Boats will have a cream cheese base, infused with Infinity’s chipotle hot sauce, topped with chorizo, then layered with melted cheddar cheese. The Infinity fun doesn’t stop there, as they’ll also be creating a giant hot sauce tower.
Surfas Culinary District: Wolf Pup Braised Pork Belly with Pomme Aligot
Surfas’ offering is a mouthful to say, but totally worth putting in your mouth. An IPA Braised pork belly, raclette and 2-year-Australian cheddar blended Aligot with parsley citrus salad.
These aren’t your typical egg rolls, as Sit Low Pho is adding some spice to them, and keeping the cheese pulls at a maximum level. Stuffed with cream cheese, mozzarella, and ricotta, you’re definitely going to have fun with this stretchy cheese sensation.
Shuck Oyster Bar: Yakitory Style Shrimp Balls
Shuck is putting together a shrimp and beef meatball skewer that’s covered in cheddar cheese sauce. With three per skewer, you better come hungry and ready to control that dripping cheese.
The Iron Press: Chicken Mac & Cheese Waffle
Walking into Oozefest with some serious waffle swag, The Iron Press is grilling waffles with mac & cheese, chicken, and bacon all hiding within its fluffy squares.
Urbana Anaheim: Choriquezo Doblatida
Urbana’s Choriquezo is almost like a mini quesadilla, stuffed with chorizo and Oaxaca cheese. They top it with a tangy habanero salsa and some crema, giving you a delicious little taste of Mexico with every bite.
Citizen Kitchen: Caciocavallo Impiccato
When a dish is hard to pronounce, you know it’s good. Citizen Kitchen’s hanging Caciocavallo is spread on a white truffle-yeast donut (not cake donut, so it’s more like bread than a sweet donut). Then it’s topped with sliced Granny Smith Apples, house dried oregano and white truffle oil. The videos circulating online from various Oozefest previews have been receiving hundreds of thousands of views:
Sgt. Pepperoni is going balls deep with a cheese-stuffed meatball that’s covered in a deep fried cheese-dough dome. A side of marinara lets you dip your balls, and get a cheesy sensation like no other.
The Unicorn Grilled Cheese is a colorful mix of four cheeses that looks like someone melted a rainbow and smashed it in between a couple slices of bread. Get your camera phone ready, because this one has “Instagram likes” written all over it.
Nacho Nation: Los Angeles Pizza Nachos
What’s a cheese festival without nachos? Nacho Nation is going to hook you up with their Los Angeles Pizza Nachos. These aren’t your standard, run of the mill, 6-year-old’s birthday party kind of nachos, these consist of fresh corn tortilla chips, spicy marinara sauce, shredded mozarella cheese, sliced pepperoni, beef chorizo, black olives, oregano, and a ranch & marinara sauce drizzled over top.
Bruxie is a OG in the Orange County waffle scene and they’ll be at Oozefest, offering another crazy creation. Their B.A.M.F. lives up to its name as the waffle will be topped with fried chicken, cheese and their buffalo sauce.
The legendary food truck that fused Korean and Mexican food, will be making a special appearance in the Oozefest Marketplace, slinging a Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich. If you’ve never had a chance to try the Godfather of food trucks, here’s your shot.
This monstrous grilled cheese will be stuffed with not just mac & cheese, but pulled pork mac & cheese. This thing has some serious girth, and if you’re planning to take a picture of it, you better clear out some space on your phone for this massive sandwich.
If you’ve ever been to a Slapfish, then you’ve probably heard of chef Andrew Gruel. Gruel is the owner of seven locations of the fast-casual seafood chain. The restaurant is known best for their lobster rolls and chowder fries, but Gruel posted a fun photo last night of a potentially new item that could be a hit on the Slapfish menu.
Because National Seafood Month is here, the fast-casual seafood joint Slapfish is offering a new Lobster Mascarpone Beignet.
Traditionally, a beignet is a deep-fried pastry either filled with something sweet or savory. One of dopest things about a beignet is how many different ingredients you can stuff into it. Slapfish’s variant was first spotted at Oozefest this past weekend. There, it took home the trophy for Best Food at the cheese festival.
Slapfish’s founder and chef Andrew Gruel had this to say about the dish:
The Lobster Mascarpone Beignet was created for Foodbeast’s inaugural Oozefest event, which took place earlier this month, Little did we know that the beignet would be such a tremendous hit and earn Slapfish a first place trophy at the event! We’re thanking everyone who voted for us – and everyone who was not able to partake – with the opportunity to enjoy the Lobster Mascarpone Beignet for the last two weeks of this month in conjunction with National Seafood Month.
Lobster Mascarpone Beignets will be available beginning Monday, Oct. 19 through Saturday, Oct. 31.
On a boozier note, taking home the prize for Best Beer at the festival was 32 North Brewing Co. Their selections of beers included Raspberry Landfall and Saison Du Nord.
The Landfall clocks in at 4.1% ABV and features a lactobacillus which adds to the tartness of the beer. Their Saison Du Nord is lighter than most saisons. The brewery uses a lighter yeast strain to get a bit of white pepper and wet hay flavors. It boasts a 7.3% ABV.
SlapFish, the former food truck turned restaurant, is an Orange County-based seafood establishment in Southern California. The fast-casual restaurant is known for their sea-fresh menu, following the motto, “From Boat to Plate.” SlapFish is taking a page from the recent craze of stuffing ramen into your food with their new Black Cod Ramen Burrito. Ramen got cool again, right?
An Instagram peek gives us a look at the upcoming burrito, which features crispy black cod, lettuce, hot sauce, scallions and, of course, ramen noodles. They’re essentially swapping out rice as a starch and replacing it with ramen noodles. We’re sure this baby is also stacked with other goodies that aren’t noticeable in the video.
Now we’ve seen Ramen Burritos before, but damn if this doesn’t look glorious. We’ll keep you posted when this baby officially comes out.
Sorry to induce drooling during the lunch hour, but here’s a look at a Lobster Grilled Cheese sandwich, the latest item from Southern California food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar-restaurant Slapfish.
This sandwich features lobster, cheese and avocado on brioche and is served with a side of creamy spiced tomato bisque. The description notes the sandwich is “California Comfort Food,” and comes from the same folks known for their once-mobile operation that has now turned onto a brick and mortar location out in Huntington Beach, CA. The Slapfish brand made headlines nearly a year back with product offerings like a Chowder Poutine and the now infamous “Lobsticle.”
Do well with your food truck, open a brick-and-mortar location? Could this be the M.O. of all future food trucks? We’ve seen it with a few different Southern California food truck brands, including Jason Quinn of The Lime Truck, who opened his own restaurant Playground , and now we’re seeing trucks like SlapFish follow suit.
Announced via the SlapFish Facebook page, truck owner Andrew Gruel plans to shut down his truck for the winter in anticipation of an early 2012 opening. Location, exact opening date are still up in the air, but Gruel told OC Weekly that the brand is “99 percent finished” with their paperwork.
More information on the restaurant opening as it is made available.