Oozefest Returns to Santa Ana With Gooey Cheesy Extravaganza

Last year's People's Choice winners will return to Oozefest with a lobster taquito. / Courtesy Oozefest

Last year’s People’s Choice winners will return to Oozefest with a lobster taquito. / Courtesy Oozefest

If you are craving out-of-this-world, ooey-gooey grubs, this weekend’s expanded two-day Oozefest in downtown Santa Ana should do the trick. Now in its second year, the cheese-obsessed food fest returns to Orange County Oct. 15 and 16.

The rain-or-shine event provides exclusive cheese-infused bites from dozens of eateries from SoCal restaurants, food trucks and chefs, along with craft beers from local breweries.

Santa Ana-based food blog Foodbeast presents this festival (along with 100 Eats) featuring Santa Monica’s Chomp Eatery with its multi-colored “Unicorn” grilled cheese, 4th Street Market’s Sit Low Pho with a jalapeño popper ham and cheese egg roll, The Iron Press with chicken macaroni and cheese waffles and much much more.

Last year’s popular choice winner, Orange County-based seafood restaurant Slapfish, which won over stomach’s with their lobster mascarpone beignet, is returning to the festival with another unusual dish.

“We are going to do Maine lobster taquitos with a cheesy chowder queso,” Andrew Gruel, founder and chef, of Slapfish said. “You’re going take a taquito fresh rolled with avocado and mix it with Maine lobster and cheesiness so that after you break it open, you’ll dip it in this queso fundido with a claim chowder base.”

The event also has a full schedule of activities like nacho-cheese dunk tank, a photobooth with 20-foot bed of cheese, an Instagrammable grilled cheese contest and a pizza-eating contest.

The festival is divided into two sections, one that’s pay-as-you-go and one that’s all you can eat, each with their own lineup of vendors. Along 5th St. is the Marketplace and down Bush St. is the VIP section. For $50, you get access to the VIP section for all you can eat food and drink from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Entrance to the Marketplace is $5 and you pay the vendors as you go from noon to 10 p.m.

Parking is $7 at all structures on Saturday and free on Sunday.

To purchase tickets or for additional information, go to oozefestival.com.

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