Harborfest Tacos and Spirits Revolution 2015 - recap

At the recent Harborfest, Bayside Park was the place to be for all day family fun. It was also the location for the Tacos & Spirits Revoultion from 11-2pm. So who makes the best tacos in San Diego? We came out to sample tacos and vote for our favorite! At a reduced price of $15 for food and an additional $5 to add spirits, this was a steal of a deal! Dennis wasn't available this time so I invited a good friend of mine to join me. We also checked out the rest of the Harborfest activities afterwards.

Tacos & Spirits Revolution:

My friend and I checked in and put on the bright purple event wristbands.

Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

A quick look around showed a circle of tents surrounding tables for eating and drinking. A lovely blue ocean and skyline were visible to the west.

We were both ravenous. That morning I taught her some Tasting Events 101 such as "Don't eat right before an event."

mariscos fish taco at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

The first booth we visited had the Spicy Grilled Fish from the Mariscos German Beyer Food Truck. This was my friend's favorite taco of the event. I also enjoyed it except that the spices were a little more than I can handle! The peppers in the background were ingredients of the spicy sauce!

bernini's bistro at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

The next booth was Bernini's Bistro with Chef Mario Medina and crew. I've also seen him at the recent Latin Food Fest in San Diego and the Latin Food Fest in Los Angeles (reppin' SD yay!).

bernini's bistro at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

This savory taco bite had shrimp, octopus, and rib eye steak plus a hazelnut and pastilla sauce, giving it a glorious mix of sweet and spicy. As I snapped this picture, I noticed Chef Mario offering me another plate.

bernini's bistro at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

I guess it's the blogger special because Chef Mario recognizes me after multiple events! Do you see that pinkish red item? These roasted crickets were a first for me - salted and crispy but totally edible!

grilled gourmet taco with shrimp at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

Rubio's had their Grilled Gourmet Taco with Shrimp with the hidden element of bacon bits underneath! This was a much simpler flavor compared to the previous two. The bacon bits didn't bother me much but friend thought they were out of place.

birria don rafa at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

We next tried the taco from Birria Don Rafa which had the addition of pinto beans. On its own, it's a little plain but the salsa really makes it stand out. The server described the salsa as being a seven pepper mix!

El Trebol Mariscos at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

El Trebol Mariscos provided a taco with shrimp, smoked tuna, avocado, and cheese. I heard there was even olives in the seasoning. I think that may have been the source of the saltiness of the taco, plus it was a bit overboard on the shrimp taste. I wasn't a fan of the chipotle mayo sauce.

karina's mexican seafood cuisine at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

I've heard a lot of good things about Karina's Mexican Seafood. We were able to try their tender carnitas taco. Very porky tasting to me. My friend had spilt some salsa on the plate but turned it into an artsy squiggle. Brilliant! I was also amused to see sexy girl calendars at this booth... it reminded me of Faye's conversation with friend.

chef mikel anthony and crew at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

I was excited to meet Chef Mikel Anthony from Savoie French Italian Eatery and his crew, especially after several food blogger friends raved about a delicious dinner there. This picture makes me think of #badasschefs. Or maybe it's those tatts.

savoie french italian eatery at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

A few chefs at the event featured a non-traditional taco. Chef Mikel's version was a crepe taco shell with smoked salmon, dill crema fresca, caper sauce verde, pickled onion, and cucumber. You can really taste the smoked salmon in this bite, while the other ingredients keep it summery.

roasting meat by the taco stand at Harborfest Tacos and Spiritsthe taco stand at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

At The Taco Stand (La Jolla), the pastor meat was cooked on the spit and carved for our tacos! The chef told me it was a mexican pastor recipe straight from mexico. They added pineapple, onion, cilantro, and cilantro sauce to complete the taco. I always love the combination of sweet and savory in tacos!

rockin' baja lobster at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

Rockin Baja Lobster served a spicy ahi taco. My coworker said this was one of his favorites. The sauce on it was a little strong for me because I like the natural poke to shine through more.

blush ice bar at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

Blush Ice Bar had a pork belly and tuna taco. They even made the chips themselves. On this delicious bite was pork belly, spicy tuna, pork skin, house made sriracha, creme. The taste is similar to a normal taco at first and then you hit the really savory place at the bottom.

chef daniel barron and stephen gage at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

Here's Chef Daniel Barron and Chef Stephen Gage showing off their bite size creations. I love seeing the smiles on their proud faces!

catalina offshore products at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

The final food place was Catalina Offshore Products. This was a less traditional fish taco because it used ground opah, seasoned in herb spices and special oils, then grilled. It reminded me of taco seasoning, so maybe contains spices like cumin, coriander and chili powder?

tommy gomes from catalina offshore products at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

Here's one big happy group photo: Ken (man with a pan) Gardon and Rebecca Gardon, Maria Hesse (personal Chef) with Tommy Gomes of Catalina Offshore Products.

We can't forget about the second part of the Tacos & Spirits Revolution... the Spirits!

fortaleza tequila at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

A personal favorite of mine is Fortaleza Tequila, which I'm always happy to enjoy.

forty degrees vodka at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

For Forty Degrees Vodka, if you make purchase in store, you can get that nifty branded mug! Anyone feeling like a cold mule now?

joya sangria at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

Joya had both a red and a white sangria sample. The best one was the white sangria, very welcome on this hot day! I couldn't resist getting a couple more samples.

don ramon tequila at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

Tequiponch representing along with Don Ramon Tequilas. I like how the bottle cap looks like a bling ring in his left hand!

six one nine vodka at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

Locally made Six One Nine Vodka. She's completely decked out with a logo'ed hat and shirt and the bottles. Now that's how you rep it!

pure vida and diabolo reps at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

These ladies present Pura Vida Tequila and Diabolo sparkling sodas. I sampled a few of their yummy soda flavors that day. With a little vodka too.

pretending to be pure vida reps at Harborfest Tacos and SpiritsLiberty Call Distilling Co at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

This is us pretending to be spirits ambassadors! And next to it is my 'artistic' shot of Liberty Call Distilling Co's Spiced Rum. They were another local spirits company participating that day.

shaved ice teaser at Harborfest Tacos and Spiritsshaved ice at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

We saw this sign for shaved ice and were so excited! Then I noticed that it wasn't part of the festival... $3! Friend still got one and shared. Thank you coolest plus one ever!

taco logo shirts at Harborfest Tacos and Spirits

There was also taco-related items for sale. Taconnoisseur anyone?

After the tasting was over, we were stuffed and listened eagerly for the announcement of the winners.

Food: People's Choice - The Taco Stand; Judges Traditional Choice - Mariscos German Beyer; Judges Revolutionary Choice -  Blush Ice Bar

Spirits: Don Ramon Tequila

Tacos & Spirits Judges: Chef Chad White, Candice Woo, and Chef Ricardo Heredia

Congrats to all participants.


We'd never been to Bayside Park before and parked in one of the furthest lots. We missed the shuttle so decided to walk over instead. Along the way we took a look at the rest of the Harborfest festivities.

radio station prizes at Harborfest in Chula Vista

There were tons of vendor booths. Friend is lucky and won a prize from the spinning wheel!

classic cars at Harborfest in Chula Vistaclassic cars at Harborfest in Chula Vista

Cars cars cars! Lots of beautiful classics for those who are interested.

giant cylinder water toys at Harborfest in Chula Vista

It's a giant hamster bubble thing! Anyone know what it is actually called? Would you get in one of those?

inflatable play areas at Harborfest in Chula Vistaplayground at Harborfest in Chula Vista

Kids activities galore including inflatable playpens and the normal park playground.

outdoor laser tag at Harborfest in Chula Vistabubble pools at Harborfest in Chula Vista

Outdoor laser tag for the older kids. Bubble fun in soapy pools for the younger kids.

zipline at Harborfest in Chula Vistaparachute rocket at Harborfest in Chula Vista

Huge zipline for the adventurous. I have no idea what a parachute rocket is but it was also available at Harborfest.

food trucks at Harborfest in Chula Vista

Food trucks for everyone else (we were too full of course).

agua fresca at Harborfest in Chula Vista

A refreshing drink of agua fresca to end our hot day.

Harborfest seems to be nice event in Chula Vista. It was a fun day with my friends and we took some actual *people* pictures too, such as this one.

lynn at Harborfest in Chula Vista

This is Lynn signing off... have a great weekend!

Share this post on...


Jinxi's picture
Submitted by Jinxi (not verified) on Sun, 09/06/2015 - 10:32pm

Lol when I saw that hamster bubble picture I thought it was a corn on the cob... Hahah

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 09/08/2015 - 5:18pm

at first i thought you had foodie brain (hehe) but then i rechecked the picture and it DOES look like corn on the cob! i'm not sure if those were provided by harborfest but they looked fun!

Soo @ hungryones's picture
Submitted by Soo @ hungryones (not verified) on Mon, 09/07/2015 - 10:05am

Wow! That was alot of tacos! You should have taken photos of the sexy girls calendar. Makes your documentary more complete. ;-) Awesome photos of the vodka and tequila girls. :-) Nice to see they have some shaved ice refresh yourself with after all those tacos. Happy Labor Day!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 09/08/2015 - 5:24pm

i did take a photo of the calendar but decided not to post... somehow the sun/shade combo highlighted the bodies but not the faces... i can't distract my visitors from the food! hope your weekend was a blast, especially the hotel stay! :)

Gwen's picture
Submitted by Gwen (not verified) on Mon, 09/07/2015 - 10:23pm

I love Mariscos German! We should totally get food together sometime! :)

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 09/08/2015 - 5:26pm

It was my first time trying them. I really want to try tacos el gordo too. I'll be in touch to set up a food meeting :)

Faye's picture
Submitted by Faye (not verified) on Tue, 09/08/2015 - 3:59pm

You ate crickets?! Wowzers - did you know that before you sampled it? I heard chocolate covered crickets taste pretty good. This looked like a great event for $15. Gosh those were nice big taco samples ! How were the lines to get the samples?

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 09/08/2015 - 5:30pm

They certainly looked like crickets on the plate. If a chef offers you something, you eat it! The lines here weren't long at all plus very little walking! The price was BOMB, especially if you considered the nearby food trucks were around $8-12 with smaller portions.

Add new comment