Tacos are one of the eating vessels of choice when you’re in San Diego. Whether it be unique creations or straight outta a truck, tons of places are cramming their food inside of tortillas.
One of the more innovative ones is coming out of the minds of a local food star, who’s put together barbeque, mac and cheese, and tacos for a whirlwind combination of flavors.
This Smokey Pork & Mac Taco comes from the mind of Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien. A local and nationally recognized TV and online food show host, he has his own place, Not Not Tacos, where he brings his zany culinary creations to life.
For the taco, Zien brings together creamy mac and cheese, pulled pork, sour cream, Sriracha, and green onions for a zesty, creamy, and tangy bite.
If you’re interested in trying this taco out for yourself, it’s being given away on the Hubert’s Lemon A Go Go Truck on Saturday, November 17th, nearby SDSU. It’ll be paired alongside bottles of Hubert’s Watermelon Lemonade.
When the Museum of Ice Cream first opened, everyone went nuts trying to get their tickets and capturing that sweet experience for all to see on social media. It seems we might be in for a similar treat this summer, especially if you’re a fan of avocados.
The Cado is said to be an immersive pop-up museum experience dedicated to California Avocados set to open this June in San Diego, CA.
At 6,700 square feet, the museum will feature seven rooms each boasting large-scale interactive art installations. Created from 16 shipping containers, the Cado will be entirely mobile.
The entire experience is described as traveling through the entirety of an avocado from skin, to fruit, to core — hopefully similar to The Magic School Bus. I can dream, can’t I?
Some sensory highlights from the museum include: sight (a 40-foot wall of cassette tapes to take Instagram photos with), sound (a grove-to-grocer audio experience through a vintage Walkman), touch (the textured walls of the ‘Ripe Room’ stimulate what it’s like touching a real avocado and determining ripeness), smell (taking in the fragrance of a real California Avocado grove), and taste (California-inspired avocado foods from local San Diego restaurants in the middle of an avocado grove).
Tickets for the summer Cado opening are now on sale through their website. Part of me hopes there will be a giant guac pool in one of the rooms. It’d be like living out a childhood dream.
When it comes to food and culture, people take things very seriously. Lately, several culinary controversies have been fueled by aspects of cultural appropriation. From Kylie Jenner cooking soul food for Tyga, to an Oregon-based burrito shop closing down after people accused the owners of stealing a tortilla recipe. Let’s not forget about the two bros who tried to add “bodegas” to our lives a few weeks ago.
Now, thanks to a racially tone-deaf and culturally insensitive Kickstarter campaign, Jenny Niezgoda, a wellness and travel blogger known as @TheBarefootBohemian on Instagram, has canceled funding for her project less than three days after the initial launch.
Shortly after the project launched, the video became a focal point of ridicule on Facebook, gaining unwanted attention for passively promoting gentrification, while “whitesplaining” the concept of a “Mexican Fruiteria.” The video was removed from the crowdfunding site within 48-hours.
However, FOODBEAST was able to find a downloadable link to the video that was still available on The Crowd Funding Center’s website.
“I always dreamed of opening my own cafe, to create something from the ground up – that I could truly call mine. And now, that will be a reality.” — Jenny Niezgoda, Kickstarter
La Gracia is slated to open in San Diego’s Barrio Logan, a region plagued by aging infrastructure and a large homeless population. However, Niezgoda claims it has become, “the most vibrant and up-and-coming neighborhood of San Diego.”
Niezgoda planned for La Gracia Fruteria t0 become a, “plant-based cafe that nourishes community, conversation, respect, positive thinking and togetherness,” according to the Kickstarter campaign page.
As innocently as Niezgoda tried to present her concept, the project remained largely ignorant of the fact that this could be accomplished anywhere in America — without the misappropriation of Mexican culture.
Nothing about this project, other than the name — and the theme created by Niezgoda — felt rooted in Mexican tradition.
Adding to that, Niezgoda claims she gained inspiration for this entrepreneurial venture by traveling to “Mainland Mexico,” after leaving the security of a full-time job in the hospitality industry.
Despite removing the video, La Gracia Fruteria’s Kickstarter campaign was still accepting pledge donations for a day, or so — with a pledge goal of $35,000. However, as of Friday Oct. 27, the funding had been canceled — with a total of $812 from 14 backers.
While the video itself established a sense of entitlement, the Kickstarter page was also plagued with culturally misrepresented words and Spanish 1 level phrases that were included within the pledge incentives.
For example, by donating at least $175, La Gracia Fruteria supporters become “Especial,” which includes two La Gracia Fruteria T-shirts, a smoothie, and a sticker.
For $500, supporters are considered “Tu Eres un Big Deal.”
“La Gracia will work with you to create a special menu item named after you! Menu item will be up of one month [sic] and you will get 10 bowls of it for free + one La Gracia signature pineapple sticker + invite to our pre-grand opening fiesta,” according to Kickstarter.
This campaign seemed like the quickest way to commit entrepreneurial suicide, and essentially, since funding has been canceled, it was. I find her disregard for racial sensitivity offensive. As someone raised in a Mexican-Italian culture, but is identified as “white,” it’s sad to see a cultural disconnect so drastic, someone actually tries to profit off it.
Regardless of her inspiration, her concept is equivalent to a smoothie bar that could exist anywhere in America. Why does this project belong on Kickstarter to begin with?
Race aside, this is lazy entrepreneurialism that shouldn’t be condoned — nor supported.
For years, we’ve been chasing the best bowl of tonkotsu ramen here in the United States. It seems we found a pretty big lead in the search, as world-acclaimed food travel host and chef Andrew Zimmern dropped some major ramen praise.
A recent visit to Menya Ultra prompted Andrew Zimmern to exclaime that the:
Best tonkatsu ramen in America might just be in San Diego!
This praise should not be taken lightly as Zimmern himself has been around the block a few times. The culinary authority has hosted such Travel Channel series’ as Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Bizarre Foods America, and Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World.
It might be pretty safe to say he knows what he’s talking about.
Summer has officially kicked off now that fair season is upon us. The San Diego Fair has just opened its doors and quite a few dishes have caught our eyes. Taking place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, some of the new offerings at the fair has us drooling.
Like with most fair foods, a huge chunk of these delicious dishes are deep fried. Last year, we were blessed with deep-fried Starbucks coffee, chicken waffle cones, beer gelato and a ton of other greasy goodies. So much for that summer body.
While these items can only be found at the SD Fair, at the moment, some will be carrying over to the Orange County fair in mid-July.
We’ll be updating as fair season gluttony goes on.
As March draws to a close and April is more than ready to spring into action, our anticipation for Foodquart is intensifying by the second. You can practically feel the heat coming from the fire that’ll be going down in San Diego this Saturday.
Food—20+ restaurants from San Diego offering tastes of what they can do, plus drinks provided by cool people like Sailor Jerry and Mike Hess Brewing (and did we mention the Build Your Own Bloody Mary bar?).
Fun fun fun—fine folks such as yourself will be there (assuming you’re in SoCal, but hey, come from near or far) that you’re going to want to party with.
Right now we’re taking a look into a few of the younger Foodquart participant restaurants: San Diego Poke Co, Pop Pie Co, Supernatural Sandwiches, and The Baked Bear. These four have only opened within the last few years but have already found huge success among the competitive snacking scene in San Diego—and they’re only growing bigger, each looking into opening in additional locations. You’ll have the delicious opportunity to check ‘em all out at Foodquart:
A photo posted by San Diego Poke Company (@sandiegopokeco) on
Bringing “…a mix of traditional and new style of poke,” you can often find San Diego Poke Co. serving bowls at Scripps Ranch Farmers Market or Hillcrest Market. Their first brick and mortar location will open in Mission Bay this April, so there’s a fair chance you might get to taste a menu exclusive at Foodquart!
A photo posted by The Baked Bear (@thebakedbear) on
Baked Bear is making plenty of noise: 4 locations in San Diego alone, plus a newly debuted San Franciscan location, and a soon-to-be debuted Scottsdale location. Though, their website says they’re expanding to multiple locations nationwide. Get your taste exclusively in San Diego’s Foodquart before the rest of the world can!
What do 20 impeccable restaurants, incredible live music, and the beautiful city of San Diego have in common? One. Epic. Night.
FOODQUART, going down April 2 at Quartyard San Diego, will be a magical evening that will bring together the SoCal savants of LOCALE Magazine, music personalities like KCRW’s Jason Bentley and Bag Raiders, and your favorite digital food news publication (that’s us), all for a gloriously gluttonous celebration of LOCALE’s March issue release. We’re celebrating the only way we know how—with food, drinks, music…and more food.
You’re going to want to get your tix A$AP Rocky, obviously. Just check out the sensational food vending participants below and see what’s in store at the first ever FOOD QUART.
Who: Foodbeast x LOCALE Magazine x Sailor Jerry, featuring guests Jason Bentley and Bag Raiders
* Admission includes 5 tokens to choose your restaurant and you can buy an additional 5 for $20 at the venue.
It’s at Supernatural Sandwiches where ingredients are transferred from “sea to sandwich.” Each of their incredible seafood sandwiches is made fresh to order and uses local and sustainable ingredients. To get you psyched for their soon-to-be-debuted FoodQuart dish, here’s their ‘Siren’—a spicy garlic shrimp sandwich with a fried egg!
West Coast Tavern
West Coast Tavern is where any well-minded San Diegan would look for great grub, drinks, and a good time in North Park. The urban eatery will be serving Chili Rubbed Hamachi Tostadas at this year’s FoodQuart, made with Fava bean purée, cabbage, hibiscus chipotle sauce, cotija cheese, and radish.
A photo posted by Breakfast Republic (@breakfastrepublicsd) on
Pancake flights, beautiful brunches, and boozy breakfast drinks for daaays pretty much sums up SD’s Breakfast Republic. Taking tasty twists on classic American breakfast dishes (ie: Oreo Pancakes, Chicken Wing Breakfast Bowls, S’mores French Toast), it’s no surprise they’ve already got a second location in the works. We can’t wait to see what they serve up at FoodQuart.
Numerously dubbed “Best Thai in San Diego” by a multitude of outlets, Lotus Thai Restaurant will be bringing exotic Thai flavors to this year’s FoodQuart. Pictured are their gloriously colorful springs rolls, with rice paper, Vermicelli noodles, fresh shrimp, bean sprouts, and crispy cucumbers.
Named quite appropriately, Sol Cal Cafe is pure sunshine and happiness. The vegan market and juicery uses organic, local, and unrefined ingredients that are free of gluten, GMOs, dairy, and soy, to offer deliciously clean eats that will suit any and every palate. We’re cool with that.
Baked BearThe Baked Bear has been making sugar-coated dreams come true since 2012 with their custom ice cream sandwiches. Now our sweet wishes have been granted, since they’ll be chillin’ with us at FoodQuart! Here are their red velvet and funfetti cookies sandwiched with vanilla ice cream, Fruity pebbles and sprinkles, to get your sweet tooth a-hankering.
A photo posted by Katie Dillon ✈️ (@lajollamom) on
Bugsy’s’ ‘Pitmaster’ Jake Green has worked with some of the nation’s top spots for good ol’ fashioned American BBQ. He currently utilizes that experience in addition to a red-hot fiery passion for smoking meats at Bugsy’s. Our mouths are already watering as we fantasize what succulent meats/treats they’ll be sharing at FoodQuart.
Board and Brew, makers of fine sandwiches and providers of amazing craft beers, will be struttin’ their stuff at FoodQuart this year. If you dig their California Delight, with Turkey Breast, Cream Cheese, tomato, Lettuce, Sprouts, Secret Sauce (as seen above), you’re not going to miss them at the event.
A photo posted by San Diego Poke Company (@sandiegopokeco) on
When you’re in San Diego, you do seafood, and you can’t properly “do” seafood without dipping your toes into Poke waters! San Diego Poke Co. will be in the house this year at Food Quart to share some fab fish.
This video alone should explain why we are so pumped to have Notorious Burgers be a part of FoodQuart. Their “Capone Burger” has Brandt beef chuck, habanero jack cheese, crispy onion, pan fried cage free egg, avocado mash, and sriracha aioli. Burgers this finger-lickin’ fantastic ought to be criminal.
A photo posted by RoofTop600 at Andaz (@rooftop600) on
You know Rooftop600 as the ultra hip and classy rooftop bar that makes Andaz SD—and h*ck yes, you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll be gracing us with their ultra hipness at FoodQuart! Or should we say, top dollar? Get it? Rooftop? Either way…#blessed.
Pies are always a great idea because it’s physically impossible to eat one without smiling. Here’s a Chicken Pot Pie from participating FoodQuart vendors Pop Pie—may your day be merry and bright, and may this video hold you over until next weekend.
Not only does Puesto serve Mexican street style food with a unique twist (swordfish or octopus tacos, anyone?)—the SD eatery also makes sure to prepare their signature dishes using all-natural meats, sustainable seafood, and local organic greens. Here’s their Lobster Taco, as if we needed MORE reasons to love them (and tacos)!
Yes, these desserts are actually delivered straight from the skies above. How else could you explain their New Orleans Bourbon Bread Puddin’, or the 18k Raspberry Cheesecake? Dessert is our religion, trust.
A photo posted by L’Auberge Del Mar (@laubergedelmar) on
With an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine, a Gold Medallion for Best Hotel Restaurant in Fine Dining from the CA Restaurant Association, and a Best Hotel Restaurant title awarded from San Diego Magazine, Kitchen 1540 is sure to bring some foodie flair and turn some heads at this year’s FoodQuart.
And of course, you will be able to DRINK at FoodQuart:
Of course, our favorite rum will be stocked at the FoodQuart bar as well.
Bloody Mary lovers, you’re in luck. LAVA, the locally produced, better for you, craft Bloody Mary Mix, will be hosting a build-your-own-Bloody-Mary bar at FOODQUART. We’re already feeling all warm and tingly inside.
Pop’s Liquor Cabinet is not only San Diego’s smallest bar, it’s arguably the tiniest official place serving alcoholic drinks in the country. Even their reservation page on Popsbarsd.com reads, “reserve your stool.” It’s not a marketing ploy — there are in fact only three stools in the entire 157 sq. foot place.
One fateful night out in San Diego (this is a retelling, so let’s pretend that night is tonight), my friends and I left a drunken dinner at a restaurant nearby with grand hopes of finding a big, fun and vibrant bar to continue our debauchery.
Somehow, we ended up at Pop’s Liquor Cabinet instead.
Courtesy of Pop’s Liquor Cabinet, San Diego, CA
Where is this place?
In the heart of the whale’s vagina Californian town of San Diego lies the Gaslamp Quarter, 16-square blocks of Victorian-era buildings intermingled with modern skyscrapers, hundreds of amazing restaurants, and Pop’s Liquor Cabinet: the smallest of small bars sandwiched between two massive night clubs on F. Street.
What’s it look like?
Courtesy of the Pop’s Liquor Cabinet. Here you see them definitely pushing the legal capacity of the joint.
Upon arriving, we were already a bit tipsy. We saw a glow of an ATM from the street parked right outside of the Pop’s Liquor window and, like moths-to-a-flame, we entered the modest dwellings.
Inside, the decor was basement-chic, a faux window set high against the wall, three bar stools, a wall mounted karaoke machine that also doubles as a photo booth for space-saving. Then there was the bar, which was tiny with no visible entrance for the bartender, everything was within arms reach. After my first drink I asked her, “How did you get behind there?!”
The kind face responded, “I hopped over the counter.”
Me and my Foodbeast friends using the jukebox / photo booth.
What to drink?
Everything is craft here — there is a menu on the short counter top with some key cocktails, you can’t go wrong with any of them. They have a mini fridge of beer in the back if you’re so inclined, but the bartender was real proud of her concoctions and rightfully so — the whiskey sour was music to my lips.
Cash only, thus the ATM at the entrance. Also, expect people to walk in during the night just to grab some cash — you won’t be lonely, even if you’re alone at the bar.Also, there’s no bathroom. If nature decides to call you, just tell the bartender you need bathroom access. She’ll radio over to the neighboring club and you’ll get to walk into their VIP bathroom.
With a capacity of 8, maybe 6 people comfortably, this place is a must if you want to tell tales of how you and your friends shut a bar down on your last trip to San Diego. Best of all, the photo booth can be your proof of the best night ever — in the smallest place ever.