get on your eating pants, people

Hope you all enjoyed a relaxing Memorial Day weekend, because the season for food & drink events in San Diego is upon us!  The next six months are already chock full of fun things to do, from the San Diego Spirits FestivalInternational Beer Festival, and San Diego Festival of Beer, to CityFest, San Diego Restaurant Week, and the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, with more great events on the way. 

“But Ish!” (I hear you ask)  “Where can I go to find out more about fabulous San Diego food events?”   “What if I’m planning a trip and lack Googling ch’i?” Fear not, readers – just go to our Food Events page for regular event roundups plus calendars of major events in San Diego and beyond! 

event roundup (memorial weekend edition)

saturday, may 28

9am-11pm.  Get a cultural start to the weekend at this year’s Lebanese Festival!  This three day festival includes Lebanese food (kebbeh, tabbouleh, hummus, grape leaves, kafta), musicians, and cultural performances, including dabke (literally “stamping of the feet” in Arabic), an extremely popular folk dance performed at weddings and other celebrations.  Complete festival schedule and list of vendors/performers at

10am-7pm.  The Santee Street Fair gives you another reason to venture east with over 300 vendors, plus rides, music, and wine & beer garden.

If you were one of the many that missed out on this morning’s Veritas 009 release at The Lost Abbey, why not console yourself at Vintage Bottle Weekend at O’Brien’s Pub?  Event includes limited vertical flights, including a 7 year vertical of Fuller’s Vintage Ale (2004-2010), a 4 year vertical of Unibroue’s anniversary ales, and vintage bottles such as 2008 North Coast Old Stock Ale, 2008 Rodenbach Vintage, and 2009 Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme.

sunday, may 29

10am-5pm.  Celebrate the 31st Ethnic Food Fair at Balboa Park’s House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.  Event features food for sale from over 32 nations, as well as ethnic music and dance, costume, and cultural presentations.  Click here for a complete list of entertainment, participating groups, and food for sale, and someone please save me some alfajores.  And, okay, some varenyky and galabki while you’re at it.   

If you happen to find yourself in North County instead (or just fear the crowds at Balboa Park), head over to the Strawberry Festival in Vista and celebrate all things strawberry from 9am-4pm with music, costume and pie-eating contests, vendors, food, dance, art, fashion shows and more.  Once you’ve had your fill of strawberries, swing by Green Flash Brewery’s Vista location and say goodbye to the old brewery at their Relocation/Customer Appreciation Party from noon to 4pm.  Enjoy complimentary food, prizes and beer as the company looks forward to the opening of their new Mira Mesa location next week.

monday, may 30

This Monday is Memorial Day, a day we pause to remember all those who have gone before, particularly those who have given their lives in armed service to the United States.   Several memorial events are scheduled throughout San Diego County; you may notice that the flag is lowered to half mast, but only from dawn until noon.  “The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country.  At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.”   At 3pm local time, a national moment of silence is observed throughout the country. 

Why not celebrate Memorial Day this year by challenging yourself to at least one day of volunteerism in support of service personnel, including the more than 40,000 wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan?  The United States Department of Veterans Affairs offers several programs to donate or volunteer, including supporting President Barack Obama’s United We Serve initiative, or check out these other great ways to help:

  • Operation Gratitude seeks to lift morale and put smiles on faces by sending care packages addressed to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed in harm’s way.
  • Freedom is Not Free is dedicated to assisting wounded service members and their families, and the families of the fallen.
  • Operation Stand Down brings homeless veterans together in a single location and provides them access to community resources to begin addressing their individual problems and rebuilding their lives.  Veterans Village San Diego is currently recruiting volunteers for Operation Stand Down San Diego on July 15, 2011 to support the more than 2,000 homeless military veterans in San Diego County.

If other eyes grow dull and other hinds slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us. Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon the Nation’s gratitude—the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.” 

– John Alexander Logan, May 5th 1868 

so what’s happenin’, mama? (17 feb)

thursday, february 17

9pm-12am.   Mad Men Thursdays at The Pearl.   Throw on your best vintage 60’s party gear and head to The Pearl for their weekly Mad Men party.  Mad Men on the big screen over the pool, 60’s jams, and specialty “Mad Men” cocktail menu.  Email for the chance to win a $100 Mad Men party food and beverage credit.

friday, february 18

5pm – 8pm.  Fifty Seven Degrees Wine Bar is hosting San Diego’s largest (and, uh, first?) mobile food gathering ever.   Our friends over at San Diego Food Trucks speculate that Friday’s event will see feature debut of two new delicious, delicious trucks! 

saturday, february 19

5:30pm – 9:30pm.  The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum’s 15th Annual Banquet celebrates Yuan Xiao Jie (Lantern Festival) at Pearl Restaurant.  Musical performances, silent auction, and a ten-course Chinese feast.  Tickets start at $60 to celebrate fifteen years of preserving Chinese culture and history in San Diego. 

sunday, february 20

10am.  San Diego Mycological Society celebrates all things mushroom at  their annual Fungus Fair at Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.  Event includes mushroom cultivation and cooking demos.

1pm – 2:30pm.  Curds and Wine hosts free hands-on winemaking event at their Clairemont Mesa location.  Class goes through all of the basic steps of making wine from kits, from start to bottle.  RSVP at the link.

monday, february 21

4pm – 12am. Classic Cocktail Party at URBN to celebrate the release of their Classic Cocktail menu.  Check out URBN’s Facebook page for the details and a list of classic cocktails that will be $6 all night.   If you were looking for a place to wear your suspenders, bowler hat, and handle-bar moustache while eating coal-fired pizza and drinking a Sazerac, this is your night!  Extra points if you arrive on an old time-y bike.

6pm.  With more than 75 combined years in the meat business, Stan Glenn (master meatcutter and supervisor of meat operations at Iowa Meat Farm and Siesel’s Old-Fashioned Meats) and Chris Brill (Chef Instructor at San Diego Culinary Institute and Chef at Siesel’s and Iowa Meats) present meat information and tasting at Great News cooking school.  $59.

wednesday, february 23

3pm – 7pm.  Adams Avenue Certified Farmers’ Market.   Fruits, vegetables, eggs, fresh baked bread and pastries, fish, meat, cheese, flowers, spices, olives and sauces, local artists and craftspeople, live music.  Check out the San Diego Farm Bureau for a complete daily listing of farmer’s markets around town.

thursday, february 24

7pm.  Dinner with 6 Strangers.   Fifth in the series, this three-course, family-style meal at Alchemy offers paired dinner and drinks and conversation with 5 people you’ve never met, with the goal of  uncovering “a well of conviviality, with deep pots of food and laughter.”  Reservations at the link – this event is limited to 3 tables of 6, so sells out early.  $48.


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