(Published in the June 2010 issue)
Diet-defying foragers are about to take a bite out of San Diego, again. It's the 17th annual Taste of Gaslamp, a two-day food fest where attendees stroll the streets of downtown enjoying two- to four ounce samples of signature dishes from dozens of diverse restaurants serving everything from creamy gelato to tongue-scorching curry.
There's no schedule or stringent set of rules. You pick the restaurants you want to check out and the order in which you want to take them on. It's as easy as pie-or cake, or ice cream, or whatever other treats you pluck from the dozens of participating restaurants-and easily the best way to wrap your taste buds around such a broad array of eateries.
"We look forward to Taste of Gaslamp every year," says Martin Gonzalez, owner and executive chef of Acqua Al 2 and TOAST Enoteca and Cucina. "It's a fantastic opportunity for the community to come together and enjoy the best the Gaslamp Quarter has to offer."
With restaurants and bars specializing in cuisines of all origins and nationalities, there's something for everybody, including plenty of drinks to wash down all those good eats-attendees can sip specialty cocktails at any of the participating venues or sample an assortment of brews at the Samuel Adams beer garden.
This dine-at-your-own-pace sampling spree has been so satisfying and successful that it's served as the prototype for a slew of similar culinary-driven community events in neighborhoods including Hillcrest, Little Italy and North Park. So bring your appetite, prepare to loosen your belt and see what's kept this event on the menu for 17 straight years.
Taste of Gaslamp takes place on Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27, from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person per day and can be purchased online at gaslamp.org or by phone at 619.233.5227. Proceeds from the event benefit the Gaslamp Quarter Association, a non-profit organization established to enhance and protect the historic district.