We're loving the holiday season in San Diego. Earlier this month we took a stroll through Hillcrest with a buddy for the Taste N Tinis event... yummy nibbles and a glass cocktail refilled at every stop. Great way to get into the spirit of the holidays and have a good time in the neighborhood. You can also check out last year's Taste N Tinis 2014.
We'll let the pictures speak for themselves...
Mediterranean salad and chicken skewers at Luna Grill. We also received a coupon for a free chicken skewer on our next visit!
Dennis and I wanted to celebrate our 10 year dating anniversary and picked out Pacifica Del Mar, OPPOSITE the direction from the traffic madness of December Nights in Balboa.
Pacifica Del Mar is in the Del Mar Plaza which has a parking lot underneath. The restaurant can validate your parking for up to 2 hours free so we thought this was very useful for a busy Friday evening. We took an elevator up to the shops then used maps to find our way to the restaurant.
I loved the glow of the bar inside Pacifica Del Mar. The whole place was packed with diners on this chill Friday night.
We ordered drinks at our table. Dennis picked the Bendistillery Crater Lake Vodka old fashioned while I sipped on a yummy Chocolate Martini.
Dennis and I are fans of the build your own pizza trend. For Black Friday, PizzaRev offered pizzas for only $5 each! We hit up the nearest location (Scripps Ranch) soon after opening and ordered four for the two of us. We weren't worried about finishing it all since pizza works fantastic as leftovers.
The concept is simple. Start from a pre-designed pizza and or start from scratch. Either way, you can customize to your heart's content at one set price, currently $8.25.
The employees assemble the pizza in front of you and can provide suggestions if you need ideas.
Here is one of our customized pizza ready to go into the oven!
Crest Cafe has been featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We've had our own little sneak peak during a few Taste ofHillcrest events. This family run business has been open for years but only recently did we sit down for an actual meal inside the retro diner.
Initially, we met a few familiar faces at a mini blogger dinner coordinated by Passion Roots PR (from our Curry World review). The Crest Cafe owners, Cecelia and Ruben, gave us free reign over the menu, allowing everyone to pick whatever caught their eye.
Soon the food arrived. After a flurry of photos, we dug in. Thankfully it was a relatively small group. The more bloggers, the longer it takes before we can taste the food!
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.
- excerpt from Wikipedia
The California Center of the Arts housed a public Yelp party in honor of this holiday. There were memorials throughout the building.
I thought this one in particular was interesting due to the runway aspect. To add to the spirit of things, some Yelp attendees dutifully donned the masks, face painting or attire.
I was happy to find Soo and Maggie from HungryOnes.com (left, middle) at the parking lot. I enjoy a familiar face to start out the evening though I wander at my own pace as the night goes on.
As usual for Yelp events, there was ample food and drink samples available for attendees.
The hostess would direct us to the left, where the bar and samples were.
And that's about as far as we usually got into the restaurant...
... until a tempting $20 off coupon email showed up to celebrate a "half birthday" ie 6 months before/after your actual birthday. Friends know that I just love coupons. This eclub deal was good for 3 weeks with the expected "can't be combined with happy hour or other specials" restriction. No minimum required!
I kept hearing about Coop's West Texas BBQ from local food bloggers so I mentioned it to Dennis. I'm down he said. Time passed. I read over and over again that it was one of the best by members of Eating Drinking San Diego! Let's goooooo he said again. More time passed.
Then I finally said "Let's go Sunday." Dennis's eyes lit up. Time to venture out into EAST COUNTY, a galaxy far, far away... or so I thought. Google maps estimated 30 minutes to drive without traffic, which isn't bad at all! We carpooled with my brother because another Texan would provide more perspective of TexasBBQ. Plus, more people equals more food. Win.
Coop's BBQ was quite busy when we came in on a Sunday at 6:15pm. There was a line to order and we noticed people taking food to go in HUGE bags.
The best deal looked to be the Knockout Combo for $30.99. It offered six meats (a total of 3 lbs) plus two large sides and cornbread. The box we received was PACKED!