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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.
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."
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
Here's Chef Daniel Barron and Chef Stephen Gage showing off their bite size creations. I love seeing the smiles on their proud faces!
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?
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!
A personal favorite of mine is Fortaleza Tequila, which I'm always happy to enjoy.
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 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.
Tequiponch representing along with Don Ramon Tequilas. I like how the bottle cap looks like a bling ring in his left hand!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
There were tons of vendor booths. Friend is lucky and won a prize from the spinning wheel!
Cars cars cars! Lots of beautiful classics for those who are interested.
It's a giant hamster bubble thing! Anyone know what it is actually called? Would you get in one of those?
Kids activities galore including inflatable playpens and the normal park playground.
Outdoor laser tag for the older kids. Bubble fun in soapy pools for the younger kids.
Huge zipline for the adventurous. I have no idea what a parachute rocket is but it was also available at Harborfest.
Food trucks for everyone else (we were too full of course).
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.
This is Lynn signing off... have a great weekend!