Deep in the heart of Chula Vista is a sprawling, upscale mall with the iconic white tents encompassing the 10th Annual Chula Vista Rotary Food and Wine Festival with over 50 vendors.
It was just starting to cool down and the sun was close to setting when we arrived at the venue. A beautiful setting for some wine and food. As we walked in, there is a table filled with 3 different types of wine- red, white and rose, all in the signature glasses to use for the rest of the evening.
With so many food options, I’m just going to highlight the short list.
Always fantastic. Glitter, alcohol and cupcakes,what more could a girl ask for? This time around they added a strawberry cupcake with a shot of champagne and a salted caramel cupcake. The salted caramel had a drizzle of sticky, sweet carmel with a nice balance of salty. Important to note that one of the cupcake duo is publishing “State of Transgression” by L.A. Walters.
Romesco’s Baja Med Bistro
A Chula Vista native, Romesco’s focuses on Baja cuisine with intense and rich flavors. Tonight they were offering up Taco de Cachete de Res, a beef cheek taco with a spicy, fresh salsa. It was a welcomed wake-up call to the taste-buds in comparison to other heavy foods that were being offered. It was fresh, clean and had a nice heat.
Chris’ Ono Grinds
A hawaiian themed cuisine, they have perfected the art of the macaroni salad. The chicken wings were a little difficult to eat, but a decent Hawaiian BBQ fare.
Miguel’s is part of the Brigantine Seafood Restaurants with a mexican flair. Tonight they offered a carnitas tostada with queso fresca and pickled onions. A great tribute to authentic Mexican food, fresh and well-balanced. The pickled onions offered a nice acidity to the rich carnitas. They also offered a chile con queso with chips, not quite enough spice, in my opinion.
A Malarkey restaurant, brought out their pulled pork taco. It was the best offering at the festival. A sweet and rich pulled pork, with a jalepeno cream sauce on a ridiculously fresh corn tortilla made me go back for seconds.
Continuously impressing me with their fresh, on site preparation of their shrimp taco. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture since I was too busy eating my fresh food.
They were at the last Food and Wine Fest and I still love them just as much. They have a wide array of oils and vinegars that can escalate any dish. This month they debuted their Georgia Peach oil. Light, fruity and just a little sweet it would be perfect for salads or a dessert creation.
Of couse I have yet to address the other half of the festival, the spirits.
Tequila Adan y Eve
Tequila is often a polarizing drink, however, when properly paired and mixed it can be a great spirit. Adan y Eve had one if the best drinks at the Festival. A zesty, citrusy margarita with a chili rimmed glass made with their Blanco tequila. It was a fun, exhilarating drink that was a punch of flavor. Of course, they also have a playful company theme and a grape leaf shaped bottle.
California Fruit Wine
An interesting concept, California Fruit Wines creates wines from non-traditional wine fruits. The Cherry Lipstick wine is a dark, rich and subtly sweet wine that is a fun change from the traditional wine.
Sweet wines and wine cocktails, you just couldn’t go wrong with Quady. Primarily a dessert wine, they paired their Muscats with various juices and spriters to make it a pleasant any time drink. Well played Quady, well played.
On top of having great cane sugar sodas, Reed’s also has some pretty awesome shirts.
Magner’s Hard Cider
I always love hard cider, especially at an event like this when there is so many heavy offerings. Magner’s is always crisp, light and refreshing. One of my favorite drinks at an event, at home and out with friends.
So there you go, the short list of the best food and wines the Chula Vista Rotary Food and Wine Festival has to offer. Some old favorites and some new favorites, but plenty of good music and fun. A great way to spend your Saturday.