Best of San Diego 2015
San Diego Magazine hosts this event annually to feature the magazine's top picks for food and beverage vendors, as well as local businesses. The event was held at NTC Liberty Station in Point Loma, which is a beautiful area. When we arrived at the event, I had no idea what to expect. I have a very love-hate relationship with networking and was a little nervous. I saw some people really dressed up too, which made me feel self-conscious in my casual dress and sandals. However, when we walked in and were handed a tasting glass and a bag to keep our goodies in, I knew we were in for a treat.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to meet all of the contacts we planned to (it gets difficult to find one person in a crowd of hundreds), but we did get to walk around the event for a few hours, stuffing ourselves full of tacos, donuts, pizza, and alcohol and burning off some of it with copious amounts of laughter (so many photobooth fails).
It was such a great introduction to San Diego. I still am finding my way (slowly but surely), so this was great to have so many "must-go" places to eat laid out. Clearly, we know what my priorities are in a new city. More than that, people were warm and generous and I finally got a vibe for the city (or at least part of it). I had been missing Southern hospitality, but everyone was so nice and mellow. Best of all, I had the best time laughing with my coworkers. It was just really fun.
I kept the list of the magazine's 137 "best of's," so I can expand and try some new places in new neighborhoods.
Here were my favorites at the event!
- Stone Brewing: This was my first tasting of the entire event. I've tried Stone once before at Flying Saucer in Nashville, but I couldn't remember if I liked it, so I tried again. I didn't like it - I loved it! They had samples of their saosin and their IPA, and of course, I had the IPA. It was so good! The brewery is right by where I live too! Definitely a must-have local brew.
- The Donut Bar: My co-worker hyped this place, so I was excited. I'm a donut girl, but sometimes I'm all about the classics, so I was unsure if I would like a specialty donut place known for innovative flavors. I chose the maple-bacon donut. Oh my gosh -- I'm drooling writing this. This donut was wonderful! It wasn't overly sweet and the flavors balanced each other out so well. Perfect consistency too. I will definitely be going back here to try their French Toast donut -- I am so intrigued -- it has a shot glass of maple syrup in the middle!
- Nomad Donuts: Clearly, I like donuts. Oops. This was my third donut of the day too. It was so, so good though. This donut was a Taro Sugar French Crueller with Coconut Haupia and Toasted Coconut. This donut was light and sweet. The coconut haupia added just the slightest subtle taste and complemented the taste of the taro! Yum! Nomad is known for really funky flavors, so I'm excited to try some more!
- Lucha Libre Taco Shop: This was my first food sample and probably the best. This taco shop is Mexican wrestling-themed - I was drawn in by their fun colors on their sign's display honestly. I had a shrimp taco, and it was so good. Whatever sauce they put on the shrimp and on the taco was amazing! Word to the wise: grab a napkin...this taco gets messy!
- Herringbone: This was my last sample of the day, and I'm glad I ended on a good note. This place features a Top Chef and served up a wonderful octopus salad. I've only ever had octopus in soups, so this was a new treat to me! The octopus paired really well arugula and was finished with a nice light vinaigrette. Yum!
Thanks San Diego Magazine for such a wonderful time. I can't wait to try the other restaurants and breweries!