Taste of Hillcrest – In the eyes of our winners Mavette and Mary!

[ Hi all!  We had a giveaway a few weeks back for Taste of Hillcrest and Mavette and Mary were kind enough to give us their firsthand review of the event.  So we at SDF would like to give a huge thank you to them for letting our viewers in on the experience! ]

I had a feeling it was going to be a good day. I was right. The “Taste of Hillcrest” was a fun and filling day out. I tasted Ethiopian food (@Bayu’s Authentic Ethiopian Cuisine) for the first time; drank wine (@ Wine Steals), a yummy  Margarita (@Baja Betty’s), and a “Cherry Poppin’ Lemonade” (@Gossip Girl) within a span of a couple of hours and didn’t get drunk; enjoyed an array of dishes (some of which I will definitely have again); and man, was my sweet tooth satisfied at the end of my taste bud journey.


Our tasting journey began at Urban Eats Plates & Bar, where we got to sample the Pulled Pork Slider. A sweet bun filled with pulled pork topped and coleslaw. I enjoyed the overall sweetness of the slider; however, I would have liked a little to taste more of pork flavor rather than just the bun and coleslaw.

Next on the tour was Tandoori Hut. They served Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Curry on rice with side of Naan.  Though both were good dishes, it was the Chicken Curry that was deliciously memorable. It was perfectly spicy, flavorful, and I wanted more of it on my plate. Tandoori Hut was one of our favorites of the day and we’re definitely coming back for their lunch buffet soon! On a side note, the restaurant had a very homey feel to it, which added to its appeal (at least for me) along with the music, saris, and other visuals of India.

At Nami Sushi Bar& Fusion Japanese, neither the Chicken Teriyaki nor the California Roll left much of an impression on our palates. Granted, neither of us are big fans of the California roll in the first place and these two items may not speak for their entire menu so may still be worth a visit.

Next on the tour was Taste of Thai. They served Vegetarian Pad Thai, Cucumber Salad, and Chicken Satay. We enjoyed the flavors offered here – the Pad Thai was on the sweeter side but tasty nevertheless; the Cucumber Salad was refreshing and tangy, and the Chicken Satay was rich in flavor without being too savory.

City Delicatessen was next on the tour. As I’m typing this, I cannot help but smile and salivate at the thought of eating the Vanilla Custard Cream Puff here again. Being that I’m a big fan anything custard, when I say it’s good custard, it IS good custard. They also served a rich chocolate fudge brownie that was perfectly sweet.

Maybe I’ve been too spoiled by the Italian food in Little Italy, but neither the Marinara nor the Alavata from the Taste of Italy left a great impression. The Marinara was too pasty for my liking and the Alavata was just ok, nothing memorable.

At The Range Kitchen & Cocktails they served us the Local Greens Salad. A small plateful of beautiful, local greens tossed with bacon bits, blue cheese, the juiciest and sweetest tomatillos I’ve ever tasted, and a refreshing balsamic vinaigrette. So tasty and refreshing and so good that we are definitely coming back to try out the rest of the menu.

Next on the tour was our favorite of the day, Amarin Thai Cuisine. Beautiful ladies in traditional Thai attire served us Shrimp with Mango Salsa, a Golden Triangle, Chicken Satay, and Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango. All dishes were mouthwatering! Were our palates satisfied? Hell yeah! Are we coming back? Hell yeah! Should you try it? Double hell yeah!

At Mama Testa Taqueria they served us Yucatecos, which translates to pork marinated for 20 hours topped with red onions and radish, served on soft flour tortilla. Though the way it was served didn’t look appetizing, I was happily surprised that the pork was tender and flavorful, and the red onions and radish complimented it perfectly!  To add to that, the salsa had a good amount of heat without overpowering the dish!

Next door was Baja Betty’s. Here, they served us Carnitas (carne or chicken) and a margarita. The carnitas was juicy and tender and having the option from a handful of different salsas to choose from was a good touch. As for the margarita, well, that was yummy!

At Gossip Grill the Hotdog Weenie was a little too salty for our liking and the drink was a little too strong, but that’s just us. But I would come back, know why? I love the feel in this place. The art work on the wall is playful and humorous.

Next on the tour was Ono Sushi, where they served us Salmon Spicy Poke. Based on the taste of the poke, I think I’d be game to come back and try the sushi and sashimi here.

Golden Spoon was a great way to recover. I mean, how can you go wrong with frozen yogurt, right? Dutch Chocolate and Strawberry are always my “go to” for frozen yogurt and Golden Spoon sure didn’t disappoint. Delicious!

We ended our tour at Bread & Cie. I love Macaroons and this place served it well! One word: scrumptious!

All in all, the Taste of Hillcrest was not only a great opportunity to try different, and tasty foods – but also allow us to explore the fun and unique shops and restaurants that make up Hillcrest.

About Darren

Fooood! I love it if you can't tell already. I love everything about it. The taste, the smell, the look, the feel, the satisfaction, the gratification, and ultimately: the fun! I've been in San Diego for about 10 years now and it amazes me that there are still places to uncover. Traveling, eating, and taking pictures of food has always been a hobby of mine. So naturally Michael and I thought it made sense to share what we found with all of you. I tend to side with the savory but never shy away from a knock out dessert. If you have a place you think we haven't tried let us know! We're always on the lookout...

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