Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Food Trucks and Fun @ Boomers!

Hello fellow food crawlers!


This is a last minute announcement for a rare opportunity to discover food from the top food truck Los Angeles and San Diego have to offer!! 


For one weekend only, 10 of the hottest gourmet food trucks from Los Angeles are coming to San Diego and meeting up with 10 of the hottest food trucks from San Diego for the first ever Food Trucks and Fun weekend at Boomers!


Admission Fee:  $5 per person includes $5 in game credits at Boomers that can be used towards mini-golf, go kart racing, video games and more!

Parking:  Parking will be based on a first-come, first serve basis.  We recommend arriving early as we expect the event to get busy!

The Food Truck Line-Up:
FROM LOS ANGELES:
Grill ‘em All - 
The winning truck on Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race!
Lobsta Truck
Tapa Boy
Lomo Arigato
Vesuvio
Lee’s Philly
FrySmith
Ahn Joo
Tropical Shave Ice
Vizzi Truck

FROM SAN DIEGO:
Miho Gastrotruck
Chop Sooey
Ms. Patty Melt
Tabe BBQ
Sweet Treats Truck
Kalbi Q
Food Junkies
Devilicious
India on Wheels
Super Q
SD Street Eats

The Locations and days:

Friday, May 20
4pm-10pm
Boomers! San Diego
6999 Clairemont Mesa San Diego, CA 92111
858-560-4211


Saturday, May 21
4pm-10pm
Boomers! El Cajon
1155 Graves Avenue
El Cajon, CA 92021
619-593-1155

Sunday, May 22
11am-4pm
Boomers! Vista
1525 W. Vista Way
Vista, CA 92083
760-945-9474

They have maps of parking lots for each location on the website: www.foodtrucksandfun.com. Be sure to get there early before they run out of food!! I will be going Friday night. Be sure to leave a comment here if you want to meet me there!

Cheers,

Mel

Friday, May 13, 2011

Benvenuti! May's SD Food Crawl

Hello San Diego Food Crawlers!!

This month is going to be a fun meet-up! So let's cut to the chase! Our May Food Crawl will be at......

The 18th Annual
Sicilian Festival

Sunday, May 22nd
10 am - 6 pm!!!

Sticking together as a crowd may be difficult in the sea of people but if you're interested in Food Crawling with me leave me a comment so we can workout a time & place.


This popular festival features:

FREE ADMISSION...Sicilian Cultural Pavilion...Sicilian Cuisine....Ethnic Entertainment on Four Stages...FREE Children's Rides
& Entertainment...Peroni Beer & Wine Tent...Art, History, & Heritage of the Sicilian American Families of Little Italy
 
 
This year they have a celebrity chef! Giada De Laurentiis will be conducting a cooking demo on the Date Street Stage, followed by a book signing in the Bella Sera Wine Pavilion! So if you're willing to wait in line, bring your favorite Giada cookbook for her to sign.

I hear stories of all the great food that will be there like, "the best Cannoli I have ever had" and the "best Gelato in town". I don't know about you but I'm gonna fast for a day so I have room for all the food the Sicilian Festival has to offer. I have to bring a pack mule, a.k.a my husband to schlep all my leftovers and souvenirs. There's one-of-a-kind shopping to be done at this festival so bring extra cash and get ahead of some birthday or Christmas shopping. This festival will have something for the whole family so spread the word!

Transportation can be a pain. Trying to find parking could have you screaming, "Vaffanculo!" out of your window, shaking your fist in the air. Save yourself from yelling a slew of Italian profanities and take the trolley to the Little Italy stop.

I hope to see you all there!!

Cheers,

Mel

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Trucks, New Tastes & New Food Crawlers!!

Yesterday's April Food Crawl to the Food Truck Extravaganza was a huge hit! I had a big turn out with food crawlers and to my surprise there were new food trucks I've never seen before!


My first stop was to Manga Manga. Marco greeted me with a thick Italian accent. I asked him what I HAD to try from his truck and he suggested 3 things: the Lolly Pops (batter dipped meatballs on a stick) served with marinara, some kind of breaded cheesy rice ball thingy that's deep-fried and served with marinara (my amateur ears couldn't comprehend what he called it in Italian) and I wasn't to miss the salmon lasagna. 

The Lolly Pops were fantastic! The meatballs were flavorful and moist. The generous size is filling and perfect for sharing. The marinara is different from what I was used to in that it's on the watery side. The meatballs were so tasty they didn't need the marinara in my opinion. The rice fritter things were very good. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. These were made from rice and seasoning and maybe some cheese mixed with a red sauce, rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried. I was told it was given to him by his grandmother who wrote it on a small piece of paper and was told to make it. Grandmama's recipe is perfect for light eating, not boasting bold flavors but reminds you that this is what she calls "good comfort food". Marco said his favorite lasagna was the salmon lasagna. Salmon isn't something that's common in lasagna so I thought I would give it a try. It was a piece of heaven!! Not overwhelming in the fishy flavor department at all. It was lasagna with salmon, not the other way around. The salmon didn't overwhelm the dish which I thought would be the case, but no. These Italians pulled this off perfectly! A welcoming entree for those celebrating Lent like my friend Jeff. 


Jeff went to explore more of what Manga Manga had to offer. He cradled something colorful from the truck in his little paper food boat. I was curious and asked what he bought, turns out he bought a little spicy piece of buttery heaven. He was kind enough to let me have the 1st bite of his Deep Fried avocado with mango salsa It was lightly breaded, delicate and buttery. The mango salsa was fresh, sweet with a spicy kick to the end. If I were him, I wouldn't have shared but I'm glad he shared with me. Thanks Jeff and Thank You to Marco and Enzo of Manga Manga! I will be back for more!
              

My 2nd stop was to Super Q. This food truck was the buzz of the night with long lines of people dying to get there hands sticky with their tasty BBQ sauced sandwiches. I spoke with J.R. the owner of Super Q and he kind enough to make me a special 1/2 size sandwich to help me pace myself on my food crawl. I always ask what items do I HAVE to try and they suggested the Mac & Cheese Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich. What?! Mac & Cheese and BBQ? They somehow made two of my favorite things co-exist? Done and done! I had to try this. Sure enough, I took one bite into this generously filled sandwich and it made stop in my tracks, close my eyes, take a deep breath and smack the table I was standing at. I told J.R. that his sandwich was "smack yo' momma"  good! Stephanie, my new Navy foodie friend probably thought I was insane, but food that good makes it impossible for you to hold in your approvals.
My friend Brian needs to do things on his own terms and so he ordered something special from the Super Q truck: This is what looks to me like sweet potato fries, slaw, BBQ pork and jalapeƱos. I didn't try it but with all those good ingredients how can you go wrong? He seemed to enjoy it. Well done Brian. My girl Stella ordered their carne asada fries. These were Super Q style and Super delish! I could pick out the fries, the BBQ, cheese, salsa and jalapeƱos. It was a glorious mess, it was hard to pick out each ingredient. Thanks to J.R. and his team for serving up some of the best BBQ sandwiches I have ever had. I hope to see you at next months Food Truck Extravaganza. I will be ordering a full sized sandwich next time, I promise. 
 




I ended my food crawl with some desserts from my favorite dessert truck called Sweet Treats. Jennifer and Chris offer some great treats that range from fancy to kid comfort. I bought my chocolate covered bacon strip, the deconstructed banana split cupcake and Mocha Toffee cupcake and my husband picked out the huge fancy eclair for his birthday treat. The Banana Split was light and the Mocha Toffee was very rich. I had a bite of each and shared the rest. They disappeared in seconds. I also stopped by Joe's On the Nose. Its a coffee shop on wheels and they handcraft capps, espresso, mochas and iced drinks. I ordered  a blended iced not so hot chocolate with espresso, mac nut and coconut, caramel and whipped cream. It was like Hawaii in a plastic cup. It was refreshing and light. A perfect ending to my night of food crawling.
 

I want to thank all of my friends for coming out to meet me for my 2nd San Diego Food Crawl meet-up. It was a lot of fun seeing all of you there. Thank you to: Ting-a-ling, Cy, Jeff, Burrito, Daidai






Next time I will bring a REAL camera. Phone cameras suck. :)


Until next time....


Cheers,


Mel

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Update on April's Food Truck Extravaganza Part II

Attention San Diego Food Crawlers:


If you plan on joining us on Friday, April 15th for April's Food Truck Extravaganza here are a few details:


We will be meeting at 6:30pm in front of the Sweet Treats Truck. The venue opens at 5pm and is open until 10pm. These trucks push out gourmet food that often sells out before 10pm. If you want to stake your claim on some BBQ or that Lobster Grilled Cheese without waiting in long lines then get there as early as you can. 


Location:  Fifty Seven Degrees Wine Bar, 1735 Hancock St. The extravaganza takes place behind the building of Fifty Seven Degrees in their back parking lot.


It’s $2 to get in, but make sure to bring some cash as some trucks are not set-up to take credit cards yet. When you do get in you can save your red ticket stub to get $2 off any $10 purchase at the wine bar.


Parking is a pain, so if you don't get there early then take the trolley to save you a hike. If you take the Old Town trolley up one stop to Washington St. you will be 1 block away from the venue. Its a hassle free way to get in and out quickly.


Spread the word and invite your friends and family to join you. This is an event that everyone young and old will enjoy! 


See you soon!


Cheers,


Mel

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Food Truck Extravaganza Part II

The March Food Truck Extravaganza was a great success and so much fun! They had so many food trucks that I was only able to sample from a few. Soooo just for easy sake and to get people into the groove of the San Diego Food Crawl I want to announce April's food crawl:


Food Truck Extravaganza: Part II !!


I'm giving everyone a heads-up and ample notice for this food crawl. If you've never been to the Food Truck Extravaganza you won't want to miss this! 


April's Food Truck Extravaganza will be on Friday, April 15th at Fifty Seven Degrees Wine Bar, 1735 Hancock St. The extravaganza takes place behind the building of Fifty Seven Degrees in their back parking lot.

It’s $2 to get in, but make sure to bring some cash as some trucks are not set-up to take credit cards yet. When you do get in you can save your red ticket stub to get $2 off any $10 purchase at the wine bar. 

I called Fifty Seven Degrees and spoke with the bar manager. He confirmed the date for me and also informed me that they sell a nice variety of micro-brew beers as well as tapas-like tidbits for you to eat while you get toasty. This is a plus for me since discovering my allergy to wine in culinary school. I know, very unfortunate right? So this month I think we should all pay Fifty Seven Degrees a visit before, during and/or after the Food Truck Extravaganza. This all starts at 5pm and ends at 10pm. I would love to see more San Diego Food Crawlers there to show their support of good local  food. While you're there visit Jennifer at the Sweet Treats truck for the tastiest sugar high of your life and make sure to tell her I sent you! :) 

So... Friday, April 15th? If you're game, meet me there!

Cheers,

Mel

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A sale you can't pass up.

While @ Food 4 Less I saw my favorite beer on sale. Its a super sale so be smart and stock up if you know good beer like this never gets this cheap. Your welcome.

Cheers,

Mel

Street Food At Its Finest

Bye-bye roach coach! Helllllo Gourmet Food Trucks!!

The Food Truck Extravaganza was like street food on steroids. It's a far cry from your typical "roach coach" that sells wilted salads, suspicious triangle shaped tuna sandwiches, reheated frozen burritos and potato chips. Nope, those are history. Say hello to the new and improved food truck! These hipsters are slinging gourmet tidbits from blinged out colorful trucks. I have to say these food trucks are impressive. It's like the roach coach went on Pimp My Ride and came out looking like a million bucks.



I took my son with me so we could have some bonding time. I'm secretly trying to get him to like different foods besides chicken nuggets, carbs and candy. I also met SD Food Crawlers Jeff & Grayce there. They gave me good feedback on some of the food I didn't have any room to try. So thank you Jeff and Grayce for being the 1st SD Food Crawlers on our 1st outing! Your support means so much to me.

This Food Truck Extravaganza is going to be held the third Friday of every month at Fifty Seven Degrees, 1735 Hancock St. It's where the old Pier 1 outlet use to be and the event is in the back parking lot. $2 gets you in and make sure to bring enough cash, not all vendors take credit cards yet. 



My first stop was the super cute, super sweet truck called Sweet Treats. I met the owner Jennifer and she was a doll. We talked about the event and she shared her favorite treats and pointed out which trucks I could get them from. They offer deconstructed cupcakes, cookies and various desserts that look too pretty to eat.  I looked into the display case and purchased my 1st food truck goodie. The chocolate covered bacon strip. It was actually really good. The sweetness of the rich, smooth chocolate was perfectly paired with the salty/smokiness of the bacon. I normally don't go backwards eating dessert before my dinner but I couldn't pass this up once I saw it through the window. My son loves chocolate and bacon but together was questionable. I had him take a bite... he wrinkled his nose, chewed, then took another bite because he wasn't sure if he liked it or not. By the 4th bite I knew he was sold. Success! Although its like candy, he found something new he likes! Thanks Jennifer of Sweet Treats! We will see you next month for some more. 


My 2nd stop was a truck called Two For the Road. They advertised a lobster roll and a Disneyland Monte Cristo sandwich. To my surprise they offered each in a half size so I thought it would be an economical way to try both. First the Disney Monte Cristo, it was awesome. The batter was light and crispy, slightly sweet. The cheese was melty and paired well with the thinly sliced ham inside. It comes with a side of raspberry jam and together it goes from great to magical. The Lobster Roll was decent. I wouldn't say it was my favorite. I expected the lobster salad to be thicker instead of on the watery side. Although some people like my fellow Food Crawler Grayce, like it with less mayo. If that is your preference than this would be perfect for you. The bread was soft on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. The lobster salad needed more flavor, maybe some salt or Old Bay? I have never had a Lobster Roll so I have nothing to compare it to. At the end it was just o.k. It made me wish I had saved my money for the other lobster dish I was about to discover...


My 3rd treat was the Truffle Tots from Devilicious. The buzz talk about this truck is that it is popular, there is always a line so get there early, and they always run out of food so again, get there early. The menu was impressive. They offered a Lobster Grilled Cheese sandwich, which in talking with fellow foodies, this sandwich sells out quick because it is THAT good. Since I've already eaten that lobster roll I admired their Lobster Grill Cheese from afar and decided that will be mine next month. I have a slight addiction to truffles. I'm not talking the kind that are made from chocolate. I'm talking the kind that are rare and found hidden under forest floors. The kind that are worth more than gold and rightfully so. I scanned their hand written menu and I lit up when I saw Truffle Tots. At a reasonable $4, I had to try them. They were little nuggets of goodness. The Tot broke down as little balls of seasoned mashed potatoes rolled in panko bread crumbs with red pepper flakes then drizzled with truffle oil. I would have liked more truffle oil but a little does go a long way. They were a great side dish, crispy with a kick and the truffle taste is a back note and subtle. It was an elegant twist to fried mashed potatoes. Devilicious, I will be back for that Lobster Grilled Cheese next month. :)

My last stop of the night was for my son. He was being such a good sport that I let him pick out a cupcake. He saw the Corner Cupcake truck and picked out a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting. I went for the unusual Buttermilk Bacon cupcake with Maple frosting. The concept of their cupcake truck is that you pick the cake and the frosting and have it made to your liking. They came in cute little Chinese takeout boxes with a wire handle. My son opened his and gasped at the sight of a bug in the frosting. We took it back and they immediately apologized and exchanged it for a new one. The cashier proceeded to give me my money back and then handed me my replacement cupcake. I thought, "Now that's customer service!" But when I got home, my son's replacement cupcake was a bacon w/maple frosting, not his chocolate/chocolate frosting. Poor kid was out a cupcake. I tried my Buttermilk Bacon Cupcake with Maple frosting and it was so disappointing. The cupcake was dry, reminiscent of cornbread. I first cut the cupcake in half because I wanted to check to see how evenly distributed the bacon was going to be. I couldn't find any at first, then I found it at the bottom of the cupcake which is sad. They need to find a way to suspend their bacon bits in the batter so there is bacon throughout instead of laying at the bottom. The frosting was good, a bit gritty but it definitely had lots of maple flavor. I wouldn't go back for the bacon cupcake and I'm not sure despite their best efforts if my son would ever go back to get his chocolate cupcake. I wasn't impressed and for $2.50 a pop and being on the small size, it wasn't worth it. Sorry Corner Cupcake, you just didn't make the cut, even for a 9 year old.

The Food Truck Extravaganza is catching on and more vendors are added every month. My son counted 13 trucks and there was no way I was able to eat my way to each one. That is why the 3rd Friday of April I will be there again to sample from those I never got around to. So, April food Truck Extravaganza... are you game?

Thanks again to my SD Food Crawlers Jeff & Grayce! Our 1st food crawl was awesome!!

Cheers,

Mel

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Food Truck Extravaganza!!!

Hello SD Food Crawlers!

Sorry for the short notice but this will be my 1st impromptu Food Crawl announcement.

Food trucks are all the rage in NYC and Los Angeles. It is now slowly creeping into San Diego and this is how we are going to get to taste food from each and every one of them!!! I accidentally found this on the Sophie 103.7 website this morning. Email me if you want to meet down there. Bring cash too! This is gonna be exciting!

Article says:

Over 12 San Diego food trucks will be at the Food Truck Extravaganza and is the perfect chance for you to see what the fuss is all about.

The Food Truck Extravaganza is happening this Friday, March 18th from 5 to 10 pm. The plan is to have it occur the third Friday of every month at Fifty Seven Degrees, 1735 Hancock St.
It’s $2 to get in, but bring some cash so you can taste dishes from a variety of trucks. Including: Tabe, Miho Gastrotruck, Sweet Treats, Corner-Cupcakes, India on Wheels, Devilicious, Chop Soeey, Super Q Food Truck, Greasy Wiener, SD Street Eats, and Patty Melt.
You may want to take the trolley which stops only a block away on Washington Street.

So who's coming with me?!

Mel

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Wheels are in Motion

I had this idea turning in my head for quite sometime now. I've decided to dedicate my own blog to food. Not just any food, San Diego's food: the undiscovered hole in the walls, the places your friends and family rave about, the place where your Facebook friends took that awesome picture of that mile high BLT. It's all there, waiting for us to explore new flavors, textures and presentations.

I love to share my hidden gems in San Diego and I often suggest to friends where they should eat. I also ask other foodie friends where I should go when I'm not familiar with the neighborhood I'm in. Since my immediate family aren't adventurous when it comes to food, I rely on my foodie friends to share in the experience with me.
So, here's my idea: Why not get my friends together to meet once a month for a "Food Crawl". Like a pub crawl, we work our way through 3 different places to eat in one day, trying new foods, meeting new people and finding your new favorite spot to eat. So I welcome you to the San Diego Food Crawl.

I would love to hear suggestions on where you think the SD Food Crawl should go. Eventually every month will be themed. For example: North County Crawl, Breakfast Food Crawl, Dessert Crawl, Fine Dining Crawl and maybe a Progression Crawl (apps, salad, entree & dessert all in different places). I plan on posting information here to the upcoming months of a Food Crawl, what restaurants will be covered, their pricing, location and other details. You pay for what you eat. BYOM (Bring. Your. Own. Money.) Sharing is encouraged so that you can taste as many things as you can. You will be given a notes sheet for you to fill out during or after your meal. Tell us about what you tried, what you like or didn't like and if you would return and suggest to a friend. You will need to RSVP for some of the restaurants so that we can secure seating. I also encourage everyone to check-in to the places we eat as a crew using various social media networks. There are lots of people out there who rely on a review. Its a chance for you to be a food critic so leave your opinion. It means more than you think, especially when it comes to food.

Anyone can join so if you know someone who would love to be part of the SD Food Crawl, invite them.

So my foodie friends, are you ready for an exciting culinary adventure around San Diego? If so, I'll meet you there.

Cheers,

Mel