We spent a lovely but hot afternoon enjoying Latin food, wine and spirits at the 3rd annual Latin Food Fest Grande Tasting in San Diego. This event was held on August 15 between 11-3pm and for one price gave all-inclusive access to over 50 restaurants/businesses. Our experience with last year's Latin Food Fest San Diego as well as this year's Latin Food Fest Los Angeles meant we were no strangers to this tasting event! The event was held at the Broadway Pier, a heavy tourist area next to US mid-way and other San Diego sightseeing places. A parking lot with $16 all day parking was across the street from the main entrance.
This post is divided into the following sections: 1) Food, 2) Drinks, and 3) Awesome People. There were several celebrity chef sightings plus a mini interview!
We came hungry and feasted our eyes on all the delectable samples awaiting us... then our mouths carried forward the mission to eat from every booth!
Cafe Sevilla's seafood paella and patata bravas were both beautiful and enjoyable.
At West Coast Tavern, we found chicken sopas - very nice and crispy on the outer shell with shredded chicken inside.
Earlier this summer, Dennis and I joined other San Diego food bloggers for a dinner sponsored by Specialty Produce and held at Caffe Calabria in North Park.
Specialty Produce is a family owned and operated food service and retail fresh produce supplier. The above is an example of what you'd find in one of their Farmers' Market Boxes, though they also have a smaller Farmers' Market Bag available.
We were privileged to have Chef MJ Testa of Caffe Calabria and guest chef Javier Plascencia (left) with Chef Claudette Wilkins Zepeda (right) prepare the food for the evening. Items from the Farmers' Market Boxes were the inspiration of the dinner that night!
After basking in the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon, we headed out of that wilderness into a different kind of wild... the lively Las Vegas strip. After a few hours on the road, we finally arrived at our hotel, the MGM Grand.
The main reason we selected the MGM Grand Hotel? It was listed as having one of the top 10 pools in Vegas!
Presenting the long and winding lazy river in the Grand Pool Complex...
Even without tube rentals, you can easily ride the gentle current while traversing the various areas including the simulated rain droplets or occasional spouting fountains.
With the coming and going of restaurants, it's always amazing to hear about how one restaurant is still thriving after many years. Dennis and I attended a special media dinner last week because Curry World in Pacific Beach is celebrating its 20th year of business. That's about twice as long as I've lived in San Diego!
Passion Roots PR planned the event and even provided transportation! Pacific Beach is not the easiest area to park in so this was definitely a plus! A white van from "the DD" ie, Drunk Driver van service pulled up to our house and off we went! We made a quick stop to pick up fellow blogger Mary from This Tasty Life. I was a little surprised that we were heading AWAY from Pacific Beach but found out we were meeting up with the rest of the group in the North Park area.
There, a Black Limo Style Mercedes Sprinter awaited us there.
Last month I attended the Lemon Zest and Garlic Fest because Faye's Fork had an extra ticket (actually there were two tickets, but Dennis couldn't go). Food festival? Yea, I'm there! Little did I know how fun the weather would be that day...
I woke to some rumbling, thinking the neighbors were moving around their trash cans loudly but quickly realized it was a thunderstorm... what?! That's not typical San Diego weather! As luck would have it, that day's weather report showed rain at 8am (when I woke up), between 11-4 (when the festival was going on) and nothing the rest of the day. The timing was crazy! I packed an umbrella and headed out, ready to face the world. And eat lots of food.
The festival was held at San Diego Waterfront Park, which I've never been to before. It's about a block away from the SD Trolley station so I took public transportation that day. It was a little drippy when I arrived but nothing I couldn't handle! After picking up my ticket, I headed inside!
Two key fundraising events August 15 and 16 in downtown San Diego will feature a live music performance by Todo Mundo and the region’s top Latin restaurants - with a portion of proceeds going to The YMCA San Diego’s Childcare Resource Service.
SAN DIEGO – California’s premier annual Latin culinary classic, ¡Latin Food Fest!, has partnered with YMCA San Diego, which been named as the exclusive non-profit partner of the 2015 festival.
Bringing the Fest’s signature events, “Grande Tasting” and “Family Fiesta,” respectively, to the Broadway Pier this summer, the Latin food, wine and spirits extravaganza will take place August 14 through the 17th with 100% of the silent auction proceeds to the YMCA San Diego’s Childcare Resource Service.
“The Festival is delighted to be working with YMCA San Diego,” said Richie Matthews, President of DIÁLOGO Public Relations, which produces the event. “Collaboration grew between our organizations’ overlapping goals to help people live healthier, and supporting our neighbors are fundamental to strengthening communities.”
¡Latin Food Fest! 2015 Grande Tasting Agenda
The Lincoln Motor Company Grande Tasting featuring Tasting Tents & Culinary Demonstrations
The 3rd annual Grande Tasting is a showcase for 100 restaurants, chefs, artisanal foods makers and renowned wine and spirit purveyors. Mixologists and distillers will hold tastings of Bacanora, Cachaça, Mezcal, Pisco, Rum, Sotol and Tequila while chefs and sommeliers will demonstrate on-stage, emceed by chef and national Univision host Tati Polo. Music performance by Todo Mundo.
A VIP ticket grants early admission and access to the “VIP Lounge” where each guest will enjoy a gift bag, pours of sparkling wine, organic Tequila, gourmet bites such as oysters and Spanish Jamon and hand rolled cigars and in a lively setting with live music.
This event is Saturday August 15 from 11-3pm (VIP) or 12-3pm at the Broadway Pier (1000 N Harbor Dr, SD 92101).
Come to the spectacular Broadway Pier for a fun-filled day of food, music and learning at Family Day featuring the Kids Kitchen. Family Day guests can purchase Mexican, Caribbean, Latin American and Spanish food, dance to live music, explore the food garden, learn the basics of a healthy lifestyle at chef workshops and get their hands messy in the interactive Kids Kitchen.
VIP tickets gets you access to VIP Lounge for unlimited samples of tapas, a Cooking Demo, oysters, organic Tequila, Chandon sparkling, massages and live music.
This event is Sunday August 16 from 1-6pm at the Broadway Pier (1000 N Harbor Dr, SD 92101).
Tickets are available for $150 VIP, $20 for adults and $5 for kids (babies are free) online at www.latinfoodfest.com/family or by calling 858.461.1970 (phone sales open Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM PST). Prices are $30/$10 at the gate.
A one hour wait for food? Been there, done that (Burger Week at the original Carnitas Snack Shack in North Park). When the new location opened last year in Del Mar, friend and I anticipated a huge line on Friday night of opening week...
Lucky for us, there were only a few people in front of us. The wait was a mere 5 minutes! What a relief! We checked out the menu including the dessert specials at the front. It was easier to read than the menu behind the counter.
This place also has custom sodas in their fountain drink area so I'm sure Dennis would be interested in sampling those!