This year, San Diego Comic Con was from July 19-23, 2017. SDCC tickets are notoriously difficult to get but the number of free activities outside the con have increased as well. Check out the available free activities as well as some highlights from my one day inside San Diego Comic Con 2017!
Free San Diego Comic Con Activities
Walking Dead exhibit! I don't do zombies but other people enjoyed this one.
Huge balloons from Cartoon Network! I recently started watching Thre Bare Bears and it's so amusing!
After a quick transformation period over three days, Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina opened in LIttle Italy, taking over the space previously occupied by the popular Bracero Cocina de Raiz. We were invited to check out the new brunch menu and immediately noticed one familiar item after another... especially the Albacore Two Ways. Our knowledgeable server James confirmed that the menu carried over many signature dishes from Bracero but also added in special dishes from Romesco in Bonita. We asked several staff about their favorites but with so many delicious options, not even they could agree on just one or two!
The sashimi made the initial cut for appetizers. The thickly sliced tuna showcased fresh fish with a beautifully seared edge. We loved the texture of the sesame seeds along with the subtle jalapeño bite.
Despite being close to the border, I have never been to Mexico. This summer, I finally took the plunge for a foodie day trip led by Scott Koenig, frequent traveler and author of A Gringo in Mexico. After picking up two friends in Mission Valley, my assistant navigators directed me to to the last highway exit before Mexico. The border parking lot had cheaper rates on weekdays, only $8 instead of $15, for up to 12 hours, with payment secured by credit card. Scott picked us up there and away we went! The border gate delay was short going into Mexico, which mostly consisted of being asked purpose and length of time for our trip.
Tijuana was our first stop. Mariscos Ruben truck, one of the top 50 street vendors per Scott, had an extensive salsa bar with over 15 flavors to spice up your meal!
The Rail in the Hillcrest neighborhood recently added a weekend brunch between 10am-3pm, headed by two Vegas chefs, Chef Chad Brunette and Sous Chef John Hamaker. The restaurant is next to the long standing breakfast/brunch spot Crest Cafe but carves its own path with a creative spin on its brunch menu. The business (formerly known as The Brass Rail) underwent a huge remodel last December and looks fantastic. In the evenings, the space returns to the energetic nightclub vibe.
The bartenders can mix up fun weekend cocktails to accompany your meal. We didn't order our usual drinks this time but will partake in a future visit.
Shrimp & Grits ($12) | cheese grits served with tomato chutney, poached egg and grilled shrimp
This brunch item came out piping hot served in a mini glass jar.
After many years of using porcelain coated grates on my gas grill, I decided it was time for a replacement. I will be reviewing GrillGrates, which are made in the USA and advertised to provide even heat, completely eliminate flare-ups and never rust.
Old Grates Setup
My gas grill's porcelain coated grates were starting to chip and rust. Fortunately, I already own and have been using a set of GrillGrates that I had purchased alongside my Rec Tec Pellet Grill last summer. These grates allowed me to sear meats and skewers easily on my pellet grill and gave me plenty of fantastic results.
Last month, Common Theory Public House celebrated their three year anniversary as well as rolled out a revamped menu. I've been dropping by for 2+ years ever since finding their Chicken Wings and burger, but my favorite promo is their progressive happy hour with 32 rotating taps. The happy hour discount for beer was $3 if you ordered between 3-4pm, $2 between 4-6pm and $1 til 7pm.
One of the recent changes I immediately noticed was this beautiful new artwork of a dragon. The artists were Alex Banach (@buddhaselfie) and Gloria Muriel (@gloriamuriel) so check their IG for more of their work!
There was also a huge poster for guests to sign as part of the anniversary weekend party Friday-Sunday. After being seated at one of the tables, we peered at the new food menu.
BIGA Cucinato A Legno has been on my "hot" list ever since a fabulous dinner with the cousins during last year's Comic-Con. I've visited several times since, including a recent Wednesday lunch sandwich popup with Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado (GOBYA is one of the best BBQs in San Diego)!
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner as well as weekend brunch but does close on Mondays. There's a gelato and pastries display on the left and freshly baked bread to your right before the line to order. Along the way are huge wood fired hearth ovens which are the powerhouses for the bakery here. My friends had already ordered and sat down while I still had a hard decision in front of me. Which GOBYA collaboration item should I order? There was the LBJ with smoked tri tip, The Peanut with smoked hot links, or the Grand Ole Biga Turkey sandwich...
The San Diego Fair brings in huge crowds each summer with food, rides, exhibits, shows, and concerts. The theme of 2017 is "Where the West is Fun" and changes every year. I decided to explore fair food this year and invited a friend to "Taste of the Fair." Every Thursday between noon-5pm, each food booth offered $3 "taster portions" of favorite Fair foods. Time to fill 'er up!
With a western theme AND me being from Texas, I had to give these fried potatoes from Texas Tater Twisters a try. The taste was 1/3 the size of the regular stack...