26th Annual Taste of Point Loma

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How familiar are you with the Point Loma restaurant scene?  Got any favorites?  Any places you’ve been meaning to try?  Well, on April 22, you’ll have the opportunity to do just that, when more than 20 restaurants, cafes and bakeries will offer samples of their finest and most popular menu items at the 26th annual Taste of Point Loma, hosted by the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. Continue reading

San Diego Restaurant Round Up

By Wendy Lemlin

Spring has sprung,

the grass has ris,

this is where the good food is!

Spring always means a flurry of restaurant happenings, new seasonal menus, and new openings.  Here are some of the goings on in the San Diego Restaurant scene. Continue reading

Feeling Flaky

By Wendy Lemlin

(Published in About Town Magazines, Winter 2015 as “Let It Snow”)

Winter rains at the coast can mean snow in San Diego County's eastern mountain areas.  Photo Credit: Wendy Lemlin

Winter rains at the coast can mean snow in San diego County’s eastern mountain areas.

Ah, the joys of winter: sledding, cross country skiing, making snow angels and building snowmen… think you can’t do that in San Diego County? Well, think again—-and head for the hills!

When rare winter rains drench the city and the temperatures drop at the coast, it’s highly likely that snow will cover the tallest mountain peaks in the eastern reaches of the county. It may only happen a few times a winter, and any accumulation will certainly melt within days after a snowstorm, so, if you’re yearning for the quintessential snow day, be ready with your call-in-sick-to-work excuse, put on those layers of clothes and drive east ASAP!

Here’s a flurry of snow-possible locations, each only about an hour’s drive from San Diego—close enough to spend the day and still be back at the beach by sunset. Continue reading

Indulge at 11th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival This Week!

  By Wendy Lemlin

Anyone who doubts that San Diego has finally outgrown the culinary “children’s table” and is now welcome to sit with the grownups, has only to look at the events scheduled for the 11th annual San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, running November 16-23, to see how far the city’s food and spirits sophistication has matured.

The international showcase of the world’s premier wine and spirits producers, nationally renowned chefs, culinary personalities, and gourmet foods benefits culinary arts and enology scholarships awarded by The American Institute of Wine & Food and the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.  Over 200 wineries, breweries and spirit companies, 70 of San Diego’s top fine dining restaurants and 30 gourmet food companies will participate in the 2014 Festival.

From seminars and cooking classes to celebrity chef dinners and Grand Tastings, the festival promises to whet—and satiate— the appetites of all who love to eat, drink, and make merry.  With event tickets ranging from $40 to $550, there is something for every palate and every budget. Continue reading

A Toast to TOAST Enoteca & Cucina

by Wendy Lemlin

street view of Toast Enoteca & Cucina

Toast Enoteca & Cucina in East Village

TOAST Enoteca & Cucina, serving modern Italian Cuisine in San Diego’s East Village has been on my “must try” list for quite some time, and after finally doing so last week, I can only ask myself, “What the hell took me so long?”  It seems I’ve been seriously missing out for the four years the wine bar and restaurant has been open. Continue reading

Info for Attending Tijuana Innovadora

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If you’re planning to attend Tijuana Innavadora–and if you’re a fan of Baja, innovation in the arts and technology, the exciting culinary scene, and so much more, you should be!—here’s what you need to know to attend this incredible conference which takes place Oct. 16-26:

The innovation conference Tijuana Innovadora will present 200
innovators in technology, health, education, business, food, fashion and more on Oct. 16 to 26 at the Centro Cultural Tijuana (Cecut), although the Culinary Battles will take place at the Arena Tecate/Hipódromo Caliente (Caliente Racetrack).
The purpose is to highlight the innovation in the Tijuana-San Diego region and to promote cross-border business opportunities. This year’s theme is a celebration of the contributions Mexican immigrants have made in the United States.
The speakers are leaders in their field in Latin America, the United States and the border region.
Lectures and panel discussions will be available in English through simultaneous translation.
Special events will highlight innovation in specific areas:
Batalla Culinaria – Oct. 18 and 19, featuring top chefs from the Baja California and San Diego.
General seating $30; VIP seating $47
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Campus link (Oct. 21 and 22) : Speakers and activities aimed at college students focused on Internet technology, given by leaders from Google, MIT, National Geographic, and founders of successful site and apps.

InnovaModa – Oct. 25, featuring Mexico’s famed Pineda Covalín brand as well as local designers. General seating $29, VIP seating $42. Package of four designers’ talks (Oct. 24) is $33,students $17.
TICKETS
Conference tickets can be bought through the website: Tijuana Innovadora or at Cecut box office. $27 for conference block of speakers and panels (generally morning or afternoon), per day. $54 for Rudolph Giuliani or César Millán; InnovaModa and Batalla Culinaria have separate pricing (see above).
Expo — free
Workshops – more than 40, free (in Spanish)
Chats — most free
TRANSPORTATION FROM SAN DIEGO
Individuals – May drive across the border and park at or around the Centro Cultural Tijuana, minutes away from San Ysidro border crossing. Parking will be extremely limited, however.
Uber: Individuals may take the trolley or Uber San Diego (a conference sponsor) to the border and from there Uber Tijuana to the cultural center.
Mexicoach: Individuals may leave for conference venue throughout the day from
the Mexicoach office in San Ysidro, 4570 Camino de la Plaza, 92173. Round-trip ticket is $5,with expedited crossing.
Groups — Transportation will be provided by Mexicoach with expedited border crossing, leaving from Inspiration Point in Balboa Park, for $15 per person. Reservations:
http://goo.gl/forms/kfQu7aaHlK; email is: groups@tijuanainnovadora.com
OTHER EVENTS
Neon Run 5K (Oct. 18) Runners and walkers will light up Tijuana streets.
TEDxTijuana (Oct. 21) — $26 for 16 speakers on a variety of subjects.
Cosplay Parade (Oct. 26), 3 p.m. “Comic-con”-style parade of Tijuana cosplayers.
Complete program at Tijuana Innovadora.

Chef Profile: Martin San Roman

by Wendy Lemlin

Chef Martin San Roman in his kitchen at Dobson's .

Chef Martin San Roman in his kitchen at Dobson’s .

There are cooks— and then there are chefs.  Creative cooks abound these days, but truly talented chefs, with a culinary education, a firm foundation in the basics, and years of executive experience in running all types of kitchens, from hotels to intimate dining rooms, are few and far between. Martin San Roman is a highly accomplished chef, in every sense of the word. Continue reading

Taste of Downtown Happening this Week

The food scene in downtown San Diego is eclectic, to say the least.  From sports bars to fine dining, from hot and trendy to long-existing chains, there’s a wide range of flavors and preparations, appealing to tourists and locals alike. Sample a bit of everything at the annual Taste of Downtown, on Thursday, Oct. 2 from 5-9pm, when over 50 restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter, East Village, Financial district and at The Headquarters at Seaport Village, set out to entice you with bites of their best stuff. Some of the participating eateries include: Comun Kitchen & Tavern, The Blind Burro, Florent, Meze Greek Fusion, Royal India, Whiskey Girl, Zanzibar Café, Dobson’s Bar and Restaurant, and Eddie’V’s Prime Seafood. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 day of, and available DowntownSanDiego.org.

Spreads & falafel at Meze Greek Fusion

Spreads & falafel at Meze Greek Fusion

Mexican style potstickers at Blind Burro

Mexican style potstickers at Blind Burro

 

Vegetable Samosas at Royal India

Vegetable Samosas at Royal India

Food Without Borders: Culinary Battles at Tijuana Innovadora Conference

By Wendy Lemlin

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Come October 18 and 19, there will be some cross-border battles raging in Tijuana— but don’t be alarmed; it’s a very good thing!  In fact you could say a delicious thing, as some of the finest chefs from San Diego and Tijuana compete in three separate Iron Chef-style competitions, or Batallas Culinarias, as part of the biennial Tijuana Innovadora Conference, which showcases innovation in technology, industry and culture. Continue reading

¡Latin Food Fest!

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San Diego Hosts the Largest Latin Food, Wine & Spirits Event in the U.S.

By Wendy Lemlin

    It has passion, it has flavor, and it has sass. You could say it’s downright sexy. Latin cuisine is super hot in the culinary world these days, and we’re not just talking about the chiles that give heat to so many of the dishes.

Here in San Diego, we tend to think of Latin food as “Mexican”. The Latin world, however, is a big one, and the food of Spain is very different from the food of Peru, while Puerto Rican cuisine differs markedly from Argentinean.

To showcase the full diversity of flavors from Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America, on September 11-13, the 2nd annual ¡LATIN FOOD FEST!’s culinary extravaganza will take place in downtown San Diego, featuring some of the world’s best chefs, distillers and vintners, as well as the region’s top Latin restaurants. ¡LATIN FOOD FEST!  will once again educate palates and entertain patrons in high style at six events, including an Opening Party, Educational Seminars, Cocktail Parties, Chef Dinner, Chef Demonstrations on the Celebrity Cooking Stage, Silent Auctions, Culinary Grand Tasting Event, and Wine Reception. Continue reading