Friday, June 18, 2010

Pambazos and World Cup this Sunday(6/20): Angeli Caffe and Evan Kleiman to Host Fundraiser for Breed St. Alum, Nina's Food.

After the first annual Los Angeles Vendy Awards, Nina Garcia, a Breed St. alum, took the top honors for her Mexico City style pambazo. I ran into her the next day cruising Boyle Hts. and she was beaming ear to ear, and righfully so, after 20 years cooking on the streets of Boyle Heights, she was finally recognized for her cooking.

But, with success often has its challenges. The spotlight put on Nina brought an extraordinary amount of police pressure, to the point that Nina and her family couldn't do business at all without getting rousted.

Nina was one of the stars of Breed St., the street fair that first came to the attention of the non-Latino world right here on this blog post. I started Street Gourmet LA so that I could write about my find, Breed St., and share it with LA's non-Latino communities.At the time,back in 2007, all five of my readers were in the know!When Breed St. got shut down in 2009, Nina moved to Chicago St. near the corner of 4th, and then Breed St. just south of Cesar Chavez prior to the Vendys, where she currently is parked in a temporary truck. Oh, and for a minute she was on Soto, a hop-skip-jump from the Soto Metro stop.

Evan Kleiman contacted me and told me what had happened and decided that we should hold a fundraiser to get her into a truck, permanently. Nina is currently renting a truck so she can operate in the interim.

Evan offered up her restaurant, Angeli Caffe, to hold a fundraiser in cooperation with Erin Glenn of the Loncheros Association, and has taken it upon herself to go all out,buying the ingredients for the fundraiser and having someone install cable that day so we can watch World Cup! I have been shuttling back and forth to Boyle Heights acting as messenger/interpreter, so with our guerilla staff of three,Evan, Erin, and I, we are creating a microfund that we plan to continue as a way to support other street vendors in make the transition into fully legal operations, until such time as Los Angeles can come up with reasonable regulations that can make street food legal.

Come out this Sunday and celebrate Father's Day with Nina's pambazos(the Mexican spicy french dip sandwich), real Mexico City style quesadillas, and sopes(masa discs). Huitlacoche(corn smut),flor de calabaza(squash blossoms), hongos(mushrooms), chicharron prensado(pressed pork skin), and tinga(spicy beef). All items cost between $3.50 and $6.50, with all proceeds being held by the Loncheros Association in assisting Nina in obtaining a truck, and any left over funds will be saved for use by other street vendors in need of assistance.

Come join us at Angeli Caffe this Sunday, stop in and have a beer and watch World Cup with your dad. Have a pambazo, pick up some of Nina's salsa de semillas(salsa of nuts,seeds, and dried chiles to go, or simply drop off a donation on your way to dad's house.

WHEN: SUNDAY, JUNE 20 from 11am – 3pm – yes Father’s Day
WHERE: Angeli Caffe – 7274 Melrose Ave (at Poinsettia)
WHY: Made a difference and eat delicious food

If you can’t make it and want to make any size donation please make your check out to Nina Garcia and send it to:

Nina’s Food
c/o Carl Berquist
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
2533 West 3rd Street, Suite 101 | Los Angeles, California 90057

Nina's fundraiser on Daily Dish

Look at this? Pick up some salsa de semillas(seeds) at Angeli Caffe this Sunday, to go.

Breed St. just south of the buzz of Cesar Chavez, where Nina tries a truck on for size.

Earlier in 2010, Nina grills up some Mexico City magic out on Chicago St.

Breed St. at the height of its glory, where there were upwards of 40 vendors. You could sample regional Mexican from Mexico City, Puebla, Michoacan, Jalisco, Guerrero, Sinaloa, and more. But Nina's was always on my list of Breed St. legends:Nina's, Antojitos Carmen, the pozole stand,and Alma's tacos of guisado stand.

On a Sunday night, Breed St. was the place to be, for those who missed out, I shed a tear for you. We listened to mariachis, laughed, mingled, and ate like kings.

Watching Nina's masa shapes man, Gil, churn out quesadillas, sopes, gorditas, and huaraches was a favorite pastime of mine.

See you this Sunday.

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