Holiday Fun 2016 - Taste 'N' Tinis and Toast of Gaslamp

Oh my... what is there to do during the most festive time of year? Why not have a food and drink adventure in San Diego? For the fourth year in a row, we ventured to Hillcrest for Taste 'N' Tinis on December 8th, 2016 between 4-9pm. Event ticket and martini glass in hand, away we went! Not long after, we were out and about for Toast of Gaslamp on December 10th, 2016 between 1-5pm. Suffice to say, it was a fun weekend! Highlights for each event are below!

Taste 'N' Tinis

One thing we noticed this year is that each location had a huge cooler pre-filled with the drink of the night. This kept the drinks flowing quickly so there was hardly any wait! Also, some locations added ice after pouring to keep the drinks refreshingly cool! You can check out our event posts from 2015, 2014 and 2013 as well.

martinis at Taste N Tinis

Santa would love this kind of 'milk' and cookies... a little something to keep you toasty warm for the night!

martinis at Taste N Tinis

Hillcrest was the place to be on this night!

martinis at Taste N Tinis   martinis at Taste N Tinis

A little bit of cinnamon was added to this moscow mule at Crest Cafe, plus we sampled their mac & cheese and brisket chili samples. Happy elf was the name of this melontini decorated with a bright red cherry!

food and wine from The California Fruit Wine Co

There was even a wine sample from The California Fruit Wine Co. I entered their raffle and found out I had won a few days later!

martinis at Taste N Tinis

Several retailers participated and had discounts available for that night. This picture seemed worthy of our gallery.

food and drink at Pardon My French during Taste N Tinis

Food AND drink were available at the restaurants! Pardon My French was actually our last and final stop of the night.

smoothie and strawberries at Edible Arrangements during Taste N Tinis

Edible Arrangements served a piña colada smoothie to drink and both a chocolate covered strawberry and apple slice of yum. 

shank pork at Bull and Grain during Taste N Tinis

One of the newest restaurants in the area was Bull & Grain, whose chef is Daniel Barron (met at Tacos & Spirits Revolution last year). This pork shank was SO DAMN GOOD. I think a revisit is in the plans!

Rolled Up sushi burritos at Taste N Tinis   bread pudding from Uptown Tavern during Taste N Tinis

I liked the Rolled Up burrito samples, especially the crunchy roll one. Uptown Tavern had a delicious bread pudding and I need to go back for more.

food and drink at Lotus Thai during Taste N Tinis

Tasty noodles at Lotus Thai and a little red sippy for the adults.

Oh-So Yummy with santa during Taste N Tinis

We also found santa at Blue Stocking Books!

During the event, we chatted with some of the other revelers and one particular group found out it was my birthday. We heard a greeting of "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" every time we ended up in the same restaurants, which was quite often! It made the night even more fun as we hit every spot on the map. Success!

Toast of Gaslamp

Last year I attended this with one buddy but this year it was part two of my birthday month fun. A couple friends came out to hang out as we ventured to 19 different locations for samples! Similar to the other event, we had a printed out ticket that was marked off for the food and drink samples.

Rustic Root samples during Toast of Gaslamp   Henry's Pub samples during Toast of Gaslamp

Rustic Root had a really good oxtail ravioli sample. Pochteca Liqueurs and Martin San Roman Tequila were both available standalone here and were one of the event sponsors. We also saw St. Petersburg Vodka in a few of the other cocktail drinks. Another favorite was the lemon herb chicken bites from Henry's Pub, which had a thai-inspired taste for me. 

Le Parfait Paris samples during Toast of Gaslamp

A delicious little cream puff with berry sauce and whipped cream awaited us at Le Parfait Paris.

BIGA samples during Toast of Gaslamp

BIGA is the first wood fired bakery in San Diego and their bread was excellent, especially paired with the succulent porchetta!

Don Chido samples during Toast of Gaslamp

Another favorite bite was this excellent Mini Tijuana Dog from Don Chido.

The Field samples during Toast of Gaslamp   Bandar samples during Toast of Gaslamp

The Field had their yummy guinness beef stew again, which I may have had three samples of. Bandar provided their lubia polo (basmati rice, diced filet mignon and organic fresh green beans) in a to-go box so we munched on this flavorful mix between a few stops.

Gourmet India samples during Toast of Gaslamp

I am such a fan of the perfectly bite sized mini aloo tikkis (potato pancakes) and the flavorful chicken kebabs from Gourmet India.

Blue Point Coastal samples during Toast of Gaslamp

I loved the presentation of this seafood tartlet with lobster sauce from Blue Point Coastal Cuisine. It was paired with a vodka cocktail.

Maryjane's at The Hard Rock Hotel samples during Toast of Gaslamp

Maryjane's at The Hard Rock Hotel served up a meaty grilled cheese with a shot of roasted tomato basil plus a tasty strawberry infused cocktail.

I didn't post all the pictures but we visited every single location in the allotted time. It turned out to be another fun little get-together with our friends and we were stuffed! Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays!

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Comments's picture
Submitted by (not verified) on Tue, 01/03/2017 - 6:48am

The Toast was a fun event! That's good you had lots of free drinks at the Tini's event.

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Wed, 01/04/2017 - 10:58am

plenty of drinks but not free. price was only $25 per ticket but we used a promo code for $5 off

Fran @ G'day Souffle''s picture
Submitted by Fran @ G'day So... (not verified) on Tue, 01/03/2017 - 7:15am

Amazing amount of good food being offered in San Diego! I haven't been to Hillcrest in decades- sounds like it has become a 'trendy' place! Happy New Year, Lynn!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Wed, 01/04/2017 - 10:59am

happy new year fran! looking forward to more of your recipes and hope to make at least 1-2 this year if they arent too daunting!

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