Concord’s 9th Annual Spring Brews Fest

I have to admit, I was a little confused when I was invited by Visit Concord to come attend the 9th Annual Spring Brews Festival, put on by Brewing Network. What would I post about since I don’t drink? In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t post alcohol on my blog. But with drinking comes eating, so I got the opportunity to try a bunch of food trucks!

The event took place from 12 – 4 PM at Todos Santos Plaza. This area looked to be the heart of Concord, with this really nice, big plaza and a variety of restaurants around it. I honestly thought Concord would be a little more homogenous, but I saw a Peruvian and a Himalayan restaurant among others in the area – which is great! Parking was surprisingly easy to find, and street parking is free, though there was a garage as well.

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62 breweries were posted up in the festival, each offering their signature selections, and likely some bringing special drinks for the occasion. I walked around for a bit to check the scene out and then focused on what I was here for – to eat as much food as I could before I couldn’t anymore.

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I hit up four food trucks before I was stuffed, so I will mention the ones I wasn’t able to try before I focus on what I ate. Among the trucks there were: Forno di Sbarro Wood Fired Pizza (they had hefty personal pizzas!), S&K Wings (chicken wings, chicken tenders, spiral fries, and more), Caffe Oasis (gigantic turkey legs that I totally could not finish), and Slow Hand BBQ (pulled pork sandwiches, sausage, baked beans, and other BBQ related sandwiches). All of them were pretty busy, so you really couldn’t go wrong with any of the options.

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The first truck I tried was Copper Skillet, a restaurant originated in Martinez and serving the Bay Area since 1973 – and now a food truck. They served up burgers, fries, and onion rings – all classics. My eyes zeroed in on tater tots, I ordered the Loaded Tots with grilled onions, jalapeños, mushrooms, cheese, and spicy sauce. You could also choose to add bacon for an additional cost. Everything is made to order, so it did take some waiting around but probably around 5-10 minutes.

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I really enjoyed these! The tots were nice and crispy, as were the onions, which tasted so good with the tots. And potatoes and cheese is always 100. I do wish the jalapeños were spicier, though that’s not necessarily on Copper Skillet – I just wanted some heat! I would prefer pickled jalapeños so you get that hot and sour aspect with these. I was still eating them when we hit up the next eatery – so addicting!

Next, I stopped by Lantern Catering from Pleasant Hill and got Lobster Roll Sliders. They had a variety of meats in breads, like a chicken teriyaki banh mi to Kobe beef cheeseburgers along with other sides such as crab fries and grilled artichokes.

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I generally don’t eat lobster that often, so I decided to try this out. The lobster looked kinda like a tuna salad in Hawaiian slider buns. I was surprised at how light these sliders were, which left me room to eat more! I was also glad it was light because on a hot day like that one, I don’t want to be so weighed down by heavy foods. I’m already sweating, I don’t need to sweat much more.

Somehow, I still had room, so I made my way over to Tasty Zombies. Their name is honestly what intrigued me first, so I knew I was going to stop by their stand no matter what. All of their “zombies”, are essentially stuffed buns, whether it was their traditional cheesy zombie (filled with cheese), or the cheeseburger zombie like I ordered.

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These came ready made, since it would likely be hard to assemble onsite, but it was nice and hot! I wasn’t sure if I would like this since I was getting full at this point, but I enjoyed it a lot. It was your traditional cheeseburger, but stuffed. I liked how the gooey cheese enveloped the ground beef so perfectly. I kinda wish I ordered a couple of more to take for the road!

The last stop was at Golden Gate Gyro. We all know I love Middle Eastern food, so I couldn’t not stop at this truck. I ended up having the worst timing though since the line was super long! Prime lunch time started up around 1:30. Luckily, they’re pretty quick with serving up their dishes. They had a special posted up, which were Gyro Fries! I know, I already had tots earlier, but I love fried potatoes (any kind of potatoes, tbh).

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For this creation, the fries come loaded with chicken, lamb, and beef gyro pieces, white sauce, and hot sauce. I did end up taking some of this home because I was getting incredibly full, but it was delicious – and almost as good in leftover form. That hot sauce is legit spicy though, so make sure you have something to drink! I love the salty goodness of lamb and beef gyro, and did prefer it over the chicken. This is a dish best eaten right when you get it.

Overall, this festival was great! It was a beautiful day to be outside and enjoy it with friends – whether you’re eating, drinking, or both! So glad I was invited to come out – otherwise I wouldn’t have discovered that this part of the East Bay has so much to offer!

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