Taste

We've always enjoyed food events and Taste of North Park is no exception. Heck, we've visited in 2017,  2015, 2014, etc so we are constantly revisiting to see what's new in the area! This year's event was on October 13 between 11am - 3pm. There were separate $20 beer and $40 food tickets, as well as a combined beer/food ticket for $50. My brother joined us for this crawl and we were all eager to eat and drink!

I've been looking forward to San Diego Reader Burgers and Beer since March! We purchased early bird VIP tickets back then as well as received media passes later this year! As experts on food festivals, we also attended the last two years (2017, 2016). The event has grown from 30+ burgers with one fistful of beer options into a balanced burger to (more) beer ratio! I feel like it just gets better with age! ;)

The annual San Diego Latino Film Festival is hugely popular and recently introduced a foodie festival as part of the week's events. This year marked the second annual Sabor Latino food, beer and wine festival. Similar to Latin Food Fest, there were plenty of fabulous chefs, local and across the Mexican border, sharing their heartfelt creations and spreading their fondness for food. The full ticket also included unlimited beer and wine tastings from the participating vendors.

I've never attended any festivals in Mission Valley so ended up parking farther than anticipated (near the trolley station) of Fashion Valley Mall. Tents were actually set up between two parking structures just south of the AMC theater and food court area.

My plus one and I had general admission tickets which let us in at 2pm (VIP enters at 1pm). We were lucky enough to stop by for some paella from Paella Villa de Cervantes before they ran out! The portions were plentiful which may have contributed the short supply.

I love how this shot of Chef Daniella from Cocina Secret turned out. With their tent's background, it was almost as if we were in some resort being personally served by the chef!

Here's a closeup of her shrimp and quinoa ceviche with mango coconut cream plus a touch of curry. Yes it was tasty.

It's been a decade since we first did our first Taste of Downtown in 2006! It's usually held on a Thursday evening for four hours, giving you freedom to choose which places you want to go. This year didn't seem too busy or maybe we managed to beat the crowds! I think there were 40+ restaurants participating this year! There were also several locations that served alcohol samples as part of the taste! It was already sounding like a fun night before we began!

One of the best samples was from Tender Greens. They always come up with very creative bites like this duck confit on brioche toast with a savory sweet pepper jelly and pickled fennel! What a glorious bite!

Whiskey Girl got their wings down pat with the sweeter Thai Chili sauce.

Latin Food Fest is one of the events we enjoy attending because there's plenty of tasty food, not much walking, AND alcohol is included! Dennis wasn't feeling well that day so I found a last minute replacement to join our little group. It was unbelievable that I was introducing THREE people to the world of food tasting that day. Luckily they were coming out with a pro taster!

We started off with a big smile after our very first sample at Cocina 35. This was definitely one of the winners of the day and set off a tingle of heat but I couldn't stop eating anyway!

There was also a fantastic sample from Havana Grill with succulent roast pork and cuban rice and beans. The banana treat was also pleasantly sweet but the yucca was a bit too starchy.

I'd like to think I've been to all the "Taste of" events by now but it's my first time attending Taste of Point Loma! Mary from This Tasty Life asked me to be her plus one for some tickets she had won. You wanna feed me yummy food for free? I'M GAME girlfriend.

It's always fun going with another food blogger too. We think and do things a certain way. Here's a sneak peek of how some of us food bloggers roll!

Ticket will-call was outside of The Portuguese Hall and we entered the building for our first samples. I got to try Portuguese cheese and TWO variations of octopus (pickled octopus and grilled octopus), all delicious! The pickled octopus had a great marinade that was not sour. I tried to convince her but Mary still would not partake in ANY pickled things. We also sampled refreshing Sumol fruit juice. I need to buy some for Dennis to drink!

I admit I get consumed by the idea of sampling EVERY location at a Taste event. I've conquered a few neighborhoods over the years but Hillcrest has eluded me 3 times (2015, 2014, and 2012). Nevertheless, it was time for attempt #4... Official info about the event is here.

This year, our tickets came with a lanyard/clip which meant no worrying about misplaced ticket (and yes, that has happened multiple times). Each participating location was assigned a number which was marked off the ticket to receive your sample.

Our first stop was Napizza with their delicious truffle porcini and margherita pizza with a crunchy crust. We also had two thin crust pizza slices from Wine Steals.

It's about that time again. San Diego Restaurant Week for the fall starts on September 20 through September 27, 2015.  Over 180 restaurants are participating! Check out your favorite restaurants or try something new! The prix fixe lunches are either $10, $15, or $20 and the prix fixe dinners are either $20, $30, $40 or $50!

The theme of Restaurant Week is "Celebrate Local" and I was able to check out a few samples ahead of time at the SDRW Launch Party at Go Green Acres. Browse the tasty creations below and something may inspire you to check out a new or old restaurant favorite!

Get a kick out of the tomato gazpacho with olive tapenade on a caper crostini from Blue Point Coastal Cuisine.

We've attended many "Taste of" events over the years but last week we had quite a difficult choice to make... Taste of Old Town or Taste of Downtown? They were unfortunately on the SAME night this year! In the end, we decided to eat, drink and be merry in historic Old Town San Diego. I suspect my interest in latin inspired food and alcohol has been increasing following events like Latin Food Fest San Diego and Tacos & Spirits at Harborfest.

The San Diego heat was still beating down on us at this event. I had gotten some kind of "flash flood" weather alert that morning, and came to find out it was only for INLAND San Diego. Old Town (as well as the rest of the city) was still hot and sticky but at least no umbrella was needed.

We came early enough to find great parking and pick up our wristbands and maps. There were 13 places to visit and 3 hours to do it. This year they seemed to be emphasizing the rules of two alcoholic tastes per person per station, even if there were more than two samples available. I thought we were able to try all varieties in the past. Most places remembered to mark off the map under the food and drinks columns.

Barra Barra Saloon has really amazing food based on the previous year trends.

Food, Wine & Jazz. I already like the sound of that. This was an outdoor event held on the beautiful St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort that featured the culinary talents of world-renowned chefs, wineries and boutique vintners. We attended as reps for sdcheers and made the 1 hour drive north to Dana Point. The last time we stopped in this area was for our Catalina Island birthday trip, which I recommend checking out.

We joined a huge line of cars waiting to get into the resort. We soon found out the reason - self-parking lots were full from the vendors so guests had to get valet instead. I have NEVER seen such hard-working valet workers as these guys. They were running back and forth to take care of the massive collection of guests for this event! Parking is yet another reason why you arrive at events early! 

After dropping off our car, we made our way through the resort building through the help of signs.