Taste

And the Latin Food Festival tasting continues from part 1...

We hit all the food stands in the main area so headed to the back for even more!

Fogo de Chao was a popular tent with a huge line waiting for the food. Can you guess why? Look at this "sample" of steak, chicken, and sausage plus sides! I think that's half a dinner right there!

It was a HOT weekend but luckily this year's Latin Food Festival (LFF) was within reach of the ocean breezes and a gorgeous view! Embarcadero Marina Park North provided a great spot for LFF, which was held on September 13 between 11-3pm. We purchased our second ticket and invited readers and friends to join us!

After picking up wristbands at the entrance, we headed into the event. The main area had two rows of tents, one with food vendors and the other with drink vendors. Since we hadn't eaten any breakfast, we decided to start with food first! Drinking on an empty stomach is *risky* business!

Our first stop was the Smoke Fusion Catering booth. What's a Latin festival without some tacos, right? These carnitas tacos were only the beginning of that trend...

Saturday May 31 was the 1st Bacon and Bacons event in San Diego. I've never volunteered for an event before but decided to sign up myself. A group of us helped during the morning shift which started at 8am!

Once our shift was over, we were set free to raid the event! Early bird admission allowed us to get into the event at noon and regular admission started at 1pm. Since I was starving by this time, I decided to visit all the food booths first! At the entrance we were given environmentally friendly dining tools: a compostable plate, biodegradeable plastic cup, and the wrapped utensils we made earlier. The event is a zero waste event so all trash was divided into compost, waste, and recycle bags.

My first stop and closest to the front was the Duck Dive booth. They were serving their Three Little Piggies sandwich from their menu. I thought it was a little dry, maybe because the applewood smoked bacon, roasted pork loin, and pork belly were overpowered by the ciabatta bread. Cooked spinach and white cheddar rounded out the rest of the sandwich.

The Pork Belly and Waffles from West Coast Tavern immediately caught my eye! It even contained a dollop of BACON BUTTER! The combination of fatty pork, batter, butter and sweet syrup together was heaven to me and one of my favorite samples that day. I wish I had gotten a second helping later but was too busy exploring all the other tents!

I've heard of the Bite San Diego walking tours before and was finally able to check one out last week. The El Cajon Boulevard tour we signed up for is a new tour held on Wednesday during dinner between 6-9pm, compared to the rest of the tours held on the weekend's early afternoons. This particular one was right around the corner from trendy North Park area, which has so many good eateries as is!

The starting point was the beautiful and historical Lafayette Hotel and validated parking was available if needed. We easily found close parking on the side street though. Our tour guide Eddie was at the entrance, keeping a lookout for us and making it oh so simple to join with the rest of the group.

Only a week after stuffing ourselves at College Area Taste, we were back for more at Taste of Hillcrest! This year’s Taste of Hillcrest was on April 19th 2014 between noon and 4. Dennis and I came out with Oh-So Yummy’s Cathy and Dave, who also joined us last year for Hillcrest’s Taste N Tinis. It seems the Hillcrest events just happen to occur around our birthdays so we’ve been gifted tickets twice! A happy foodie thanks to Cathy!

We already had printed tickets so we started closest to where we parked, at Brazen BBQ. They were promoting a new item to their menu which I think was sweet and spicy tri tip? It was tender but we thought it needed a tad bit more seasoning or maybe a stronger rub flavor. Typical tasting beans were paired with this sample.

Next was the indian buffet at Bombay. I always remember this as the place where you self-serve and possibly eat too much! Everything was fresh because we were first in line! I am always a fan of saag. Cathy commented that the tofu wasn’t that great but the rest of the sauces were. The lychee mousse dessert was sweet and fluffy.

I got lucky and won a pair of tickets to College Area Taste from the SD food blog This Tasty Life. We also bumped into Mary herself (and Jake) at the ticket pickup and joined their posse for a few hours! Awesome!

For a while I thought this was Taste of College Area, similar to the other San Diego annual taste of x events, but it's actually called College Area Taste! Sneaky! Anyway, it is a food sampling trek and was held on Sunday April 13, 2014 between 11-3pm near San Diego State University (SDSU). Tickets are normally $25 pre-sale and $30 the day of. Will-call was located outside of the College Area BID Office (4704 College Ave) and was very quick. About half of the locations were right around the corner from the pickup location.

We started out at the Living Room Coffeehouse...

If you're a foodie like us and prefer mixed drinks over beer, then Hillcrest's Taste N' Tinis is for you! Pick up a ticket, walk, eat, drink, then take the free trolley to hit the other side of Hillcrest for the rest of the participating locations.

And the Tequila Trail continues from part 1!

Inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel bar area, they were serving El Jimador, which actually did well in the competition in previous years. It's funny that once you learn about something, all of a sudden it's everywhere! I've been noticing this brand in the stores ever since last year...

The Spirits of Mexico Festival is in its 10th year of production with this being the 3rd year of participation for San Diego. We attended the Tequila Trail 2012 last year and had a blast!

To start, we picked up our tickets at will-call, which was located off San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street. Just look for the big pop-up tents and workers, then pick up your will-call tickets or purchase them on the spot. Then you can take a look at the printed map and visit any of the locations in any order you please! On the back of the map was a list of restaurants and tequilas and we were pleased to see more than half of the tequilas were new to us! How exciting!

Welcome to Tequila Trail 2012, the kickoff of a week-long celebration of the "Spirits of Mexico" as well as a fundraiser for the Old Town Chamber of Commerce. Apparently, no other town in the US serves as much Tequila as San Diego! Doesn't that make you proud to be a San Diegan?

For our listening pleasure we heard familiar Mexican melodies from these talented ladies. Notice that spikey plant on the right? You'll see that later too!