Latin Food Fest 2014 - recap part 2

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!

Another stop was for Rosarito Beach Hotel, which is located in Rosarito B.C. Mexico! I love that I got to sample food from restaurants in Baja California! They were serving this experimental fish dish that may have been coconut flavored but whatever it was, it sure was tasty! Definitely add to the menu please!

Chef Felipe Raul prepared vegetarian paella for everyone! I felt this one had a curry taste which was interesting though I still prefer a little meat in my dishes! The sign said "Spring 2015" so I'm thinking they are going to open La Casa Rusa next year in Valle Guadalupe, B.C. Mexico? I should have asked!

La Diferencia had catcus salad with fried pork skin, salad and blue corn tortilla. As a heads up, catcus is normally on the slimier side and this was no exception. It may be an aquired taste.

Iozhka Bistrot de Concina Local hails from Ensenada B.C. Mexico and had fish ceviche for us to taste!

And now we're back to San Diego places again with the West Coast Tavern booth. This is their El Pastor Taco with abodada pork, salsa verde and freshly fried green onions. They gave us a coupon to use too. Yay!

Northgate Market had a large tent where they offered five different drinks including some kind of rice drink and jicama. The liquids were much appreciated!

They also served fried pork skins, tacos and shrimp ceviche.

In the VIP area, Deckman's had "la tostada sustainable" containing all the stuff on that sign. I tried to translate it for y'all but all I got was cultivated mussels and black cod. Unfortunately I can't read the artsy writting that well...

Edible Arrangements was both in the front area and the back VIP area and had dessert consisting of granny smith apple wedges dipped in semisweet gourmet chocolate!

We were near the VIP area and Dennis saw this by smoker by Barrelly Made It! This immediately caught his attention since he's big into smoking meat (such as our smoked pulled pork recipe). Too bad this comes at a hefty $1,825 price tag, a little out of range for us boo hoo!

By this point we were done with food (finally huh?) so it was time to check out the alcohol booths. We happened to run into Randy from our Solare Ristorante visit and he mentioned that one of our favorite tequilas was at the festival... and off we went! 

Fortaleza Tequila is one we discovered last year at the Spirits of Mexico Grand Tasting. It's very smooth with a mild flavor and is great for sipping. We even had a blind tequila tasting recently at home and it was both our favorites, beating out Patron anejo and Herrudera reposado!

We've also tried Montalvo Tequila at the Spirits of Mexico Grand Tasting and found it to be another enjoyable liquor.

I remember paying attention to the AsomBroso Tequila flavors, thanks to the ambassador walking us through the tasting. One had a chocolate finish that was a bit fruity, while the other was vanilla with a little bit more spicier. They also had a cocktail with grapefruit bitters which was pretty good. There was a special display case for their 5 year special anejo bottle that costs $250, and even older versions not showcased that go into the thousands!

 

Partida Tequila gave tequila samples as well as a mini cocktail called the Partida Paloma, which was their tequila mixed with lemonade. I liked that combination.

The many colors of Reserva de Don Ramon Tequila made me think of Skittles! They created a couple of specialty bottles such as the breast cancer awareness bottle.

Don Ramon also makes El Aguijon Tequila which are also pretty cool looking.

Here's Cerritos Tequila.

The Pisco Porton tequila bottle makes me think of Picasso... maybe because all the P's and there's art on it?

They made a bloody mary mix with Clasico de Centinela.

Dirty Tequila was made into a cocktail. You can taste cinnamon in there. I also got a free tank top from here!

Here is more tequila from Alquimia Tequila and Tres Los Tonos Tequila.

There were more alcohol booths but we had hit our limit so we missed out on flavored sveda vodka amonst a couple other vendors. Wish we could have tried them all...

In both the regular area and the VIP area, there was a Coco Jack demo. The guy showed us how to use the hammer and lid component to open up the coconut within a minute!

And here I got to enjoy the fruits of labor without lifting a finger! But if I HAD done it, the effort would be minimal! The fresh coconut water was so refreshing, especially with the shortage of water at the festival! There were also two other non-alcoholic drinks availble, Squirt and Clamato plus the two we mentioned in Latin Food Festival part 1.

If only you could image how stuffed we were after 50+ food and drink samples. Oh wait, all the pictures help right? And don't forget that there was unlimited sampling, which meant we could go back for our favorites, if only we had room! What a festival. It was quite relaxing due to the small rowds and close proximity between booths. I also met up with a couple of friends and kept hearing how awesome this event was. Yep I totally agree. Only 11 more months until the next Latin Food Festival...

Disclaimer: We got a complimentary ticket to the event but paid for our second. The opinions are strictly our own.

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Comments

J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats's picture
Submitted by J.S. @ Sun Dieg... (not verified) on Tue, 10/07/2014 - 8:10am

I need to buy that coconut thing for my sister! She is obsessed with fresh coconuts and always buys them / makes a mess in her tiny NY kitchen opening them :)

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Wed, 10/08/2014 - 3:14pm

I often see coconut type items in your recipes but I guess you're not cracking them open yourself huh? Otherwise you'd need one as well! The tool isn't all that cheap but considering hubby paid around $75 for a thirfty's ice cream scoop (makes it look like a cylinder), this aint so bad!

Mary's picture
Submitted by Mary (not verified) on Tue, 10/07/2014 - 11:02am

Wow, there's even more! Intense event, lots of samples though! That's good, I have been to some festivals that had less food (boo) and more booze. I'm sure your trusty tupperware made an appearance here!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Wed, 10/08/2014 - 3:23pm

I only brought my stomach with me this time. The unlimited samples thing is nuts though! I prefer these events. Unlimited booze is less useful to me though *semi-lightweight*

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