Friday, September 23, 2005

Taste of Downtown - Wednesday Sept. 21st

Note: Welcome to my first blog (and who knows, it may be the last entry) and the first non-dog entry on what I hope to be mostly a foodie blog for Chowhounders (yes, all 3 of you!) and others that stumble across it. Grammar will be a weak point and terribly constructed run-on sentences will be the norm.

The San Diego Taste of Downtown ended up being sort of a bust for us. This is our 5th “Taste of…” since moving to San Diego 3 years ago. We did the Taste of Gaslamp twice (the first was a great time since we got to experience so many restaurants in a short time and it served as a nice intro to the Gaslamp Quarter both on a culinary level and on a décor level), also went on a rare rainy Taste of Hillcrest in 2004 and Taste of Adams Ave. once. All are fine once, but please someone kick me if I mention going to one of these again – just too much rushing around especially since this one covered Little Italy, Gaslamp and the so-called Financial District. (The others I’ve mentioned are fine primers to the area restaurant scene in their respective areas).

Anyhow, on to the food. After picking up our tickets we hopped on the shuttle bus to Little Italy. 7 restaurants participated here and as you might expect it was heavy on pasta. Not terribly interesting but some tasty bites anyhow. Most served on their outdoor patio space. One place let us inside to a small serve yourself buffet – I think it was Po Pazzo. Seems like a nice space.

I’ve pictured the serving from Café Zucchero and Trattoria Fantastica (next door, same owner). I’m not sure how food bloggers go about taking pictures of their food. I guess I just don’t quite have the alls for that yet.

We hopped back on the shuttle to take us back to Horton Plaza to continue on our food quest. A couple of restaurants were located off the normal route: Karl Strauss and a dreadful looking Sabrina Café & Deli so we didn’t get off at this stop.

Next was Le Fontainebleau at The Westgate Hotel. This was a staggering step up from Little Italy. A little too much for me, but provided the biggest spread of the evening (that I saw), escargot on pastry puff, shrimp, scallops, and a couple of meats (sausage, prosciutto and the like). They also provided each attendee with a $25 gift certificate good along with the purchase of 2 dinner entrees. Surely the menu is pricy, but if anyone wants them shoot me an email and I’ll send one off to you. I didn’t dare take a picture here. I just didn’t want to stand out.

Next up was RA Sushi which I believe has gotten low marks on Chowhound as being too trendy and not being outstanding in any food way. We just beat the rush here and I did manage to snap off a picture. We popped into the House of Blues for a second, saw what they were serving and dashed out of there with a few others.

Café Cerise seemed was a nice surprise but off the beaten path, so to speak, except my wife nearly choked on the serving of small scallops with some sort of corn and herb mixture. I’ve provided a picture of the worst sample of the night, franks and beans from Sixth Avenue Bistro next door. I threw it away immediately.

Yet I took a picture of it.

We hopped (I don’t know of another word to describe the act of getting on a bus) the next shuttle to the southern part of Gaslamp, popped into Acqua Al 2 to find more pasta – once again hightailed it out of there and found ourselves eating a bit of fudge from a Chocolate Factory and then at Lou and Mickey’s who seemed to be doing gangbusters business with regular restaurant patrons, not just tasters. One single spicy shrimp was the taste here, followed up by a mushroom risotto at Soleil@K and a quick buzz up to the 22nd floor to check out the view. All this was washed down by a shot glass of gazpacho at Chive (I think they ran out of another sample) and a variety of snacks (none of them cheese though) at The Cheese Shop. Mr. Tiki Mai Tai Lounge (spicy chicken leg/wing) and Dakota Grill (sample of garlic mashed and steak) finished up the night.

We probably made it to half of the 43 featured restaurants. Surely I missed something here and my I admit it, my descriptions are vague at best. All in all, around 20 restaurants participated in the Gaslamp area. I did see other non participating restaurants were quite busy on a weeknight. We have to get down here for a night out.

I had hoped to take more pictures but either the opportunity wasn’t right or I forgot. I guess I’ll just take pictures of the hot dogs and mac and cheese casseroles I lovingly prepare at home.

But upcoming I’ll tell you about a dandy time at the Macy’s School of Cooking: Autumn Appetizers.


Blogger KirkK said...

Nice start Scott! I rarely go to these, mostly because of the reasons you outlined in your post. We do enjoy Le Fountainbleau's Sunday brunch - just to fell oh, so refined for a few minutes, until I go to Sam Woo again.

September 29, 2005 11:06 AM  
Blogger crazysalad said...

Hi Scott--

Welcome to the world of blogging. Nice to see another one San Diego--keep writing!

October 14, 2005 7:11 AM  
Blogger sdcoastal said...

Hi: Interesting blog. I’ll save it in my favorites. I too have a blog about San Diego downtown condos . Through this site you can view every San Diego mls listing offered for sale. Another new site is about San Diego vacation attractions Our third site is, guess what? Yes, also about San Diego. This site is an information site devoted to San Diego cosmetic surgery doctors. Needless to say, please stop by and visit our sites. Thanks Bob

November 02, 2005 11:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home