Last week I was invited to come and check out a little preview dinner at Blush Ice Bar for the special Gaslamp Quarter Mardi Gras Celebration that is happening THIS WEEKEND on February 6th, 2016. Quite frankly I’m in shock that it’s already February. 2016 is really zooming along!
In case you don’t know about the crazy Mardi Gras Celebration, here’s a little recap. There will be a huge block party in the Gaslamp spanning about 10 blocks with 5 live stages with music and a big Mardi Gras parade with floats. Many of the bars and restaurants will be having special drink and food deals with a New Orleans/Cajun theme. You can add a super cool food & drink package to your general admission Mardi Gras ticket. Mardi Gras tickets are $50 for general admission and for $10 extra bucks you can get a $30 credit to use at Blush Ice Bar (plus a few other restaurants – you get to choose which one)! Just think – along with a fun block party, big Mardi Gras parade, and live music – you can fill up your belly for just $10 more bucks! It’s a great deal if you’re planning on going to the Mardi Gras party this weekend. Food in your belly is an important thing and this a great deal for the Mardi Gras Celebration!
Below is my preview of the food you COULD get if you decide to go with the food & drink package for Blush Ice Bar. Let’s check it out!
Blush Ice Bar is located off Market Street between 5th and 6th Avenue right in the heart of Gaslamp. It’s a perfect spot that will also be hosting a VIP pre party (4-7PM) before the big Mardi Gras celebration this weekend.
Stacey and I came to visit on a quiet Thursday. I’m sure it’s rare you’d see Blush Ice Bar this empty! We had a nice view of the bar area which was surrounded by TV’s.
Blush Ice Bar really went all out when they decorated our table, filling it up with mardi gras beads, chocolate coins, masks, and more. How fun and festive!
Dinner package deals for the Mardi Gras celebration. Considering a general admission ticket is $50, upgrading to a $60 package is a steal since you get $30 worth of food & beverage for just $10 extra bucks!
Here’s Stacey and I having a little fun with the Mardi Gras beads and masks.
Let’s peek at the menus for Blush Ice Bar:
Happy hour menu at Blush Ice Bar. Good for future reference.
My favorite part – the food! Food Menu Page 1.
And Food Menu Page 2.
[blushing mule / $10.25]
Between the two of us, we had $60 bucks to spend as part of the Mardi Gras package. With the special Mardi Gras deal you get to pick and choose whatever you’d like off the menu – food or drinks – up to $60.
This drink is $10.25, it was a Thursday, and I’m a lightweight, so Stacey and I shared the drink. This seemed like the best course of action since we wanted to try a drink, but we also wanted to try out a few food dishes as well.
This is their “Blushie” Mule which contained Jack Daniels whiskey, lime, and ginger beer. Their “blushie” drinks have this kind of “slushie” ice thing that goes into the top of the drink that you stir around into it. It helps keep the drink cooler for a lot longer and makes it a refreshing beverage. This was quite strong for me, though Stacey didn’t think it was as strong as I did (remember, I’m the wuss). It had a nice flavor and wasn’t too sweet so we both enjoyed it.
[filet mignon potstickers / $12]
Stacey and I agreed on a few dishes and just shared all our food. I’m big into sharing stuff. I want to try everything! The first thing we agreed on were some Filet Mignon Potstickers.
The potstickers had a nice crispy bottom and were filled with juicy filet mignon steak pieces and veggies. They were a little hard to dip into the sauce since the filling kept trying to fall out, but the overall flavor of the potsticker was really tasty. I loved the crisp bottoms as well for that lovely texture.
[smoked duck leg bao / $11]
Bao buns are a thing that I love so it was an easy choice to get these Smoked Duck Leg Bao buns. These tasty little buns came with guacamole, pickled onions, garlic sauce, and crispy onion strings. I picked the bright pink pickled onions right out and tossed them onto Stacey’s plate since I wasn’t putting that into my mouth. My mouth is, after all, a no pickle zone. Once I was rid of the offensive-to-me pickled veggies, I was more than happy to stuff this bao into my face.
The duck leg has got a bit of sweet flavor going on – it was a tad too sweet for me but luckily the guacamole and crispy onion strings brought it back down a little bit. I loved the tender, soft, bao bun with this and thought that overall it was a tasty little starter.
[house special garlic noodles / $10]
Stacey and I also sprung for the garlic noodles since we’re both lovers of all things garlic. I was a little disappointed with this dish though because when I think of garlic noodles, I think of something EXTRA garlicky – something that will practically bite me back and keep the vampires away. The garlic flavor was too toned down in this dish to me and tasted more like soy sauce noodles rather than garlic noodles. It wasn’t a bad dish – it just didn’t scream “garlic” to me and it wasn’t what I was expecting.
[gonestraw farms chicken diablo / $18]
For our entree, we shared the Chicken Diablo. It was tender, crispy pieces of chicken with peppers, peanuts, and cilantro with a side of rice. This dish had a spicy-sweet chili sauce on it and there was a bit of a spicy kick to it. I loved the addition of the peanuts which gave it an additional crunchy texture that I loved. Stacey thought the nuts were weird, but she doesn’t like nuts in her food like I do.
“Diablo” may conjure up the idea of a super spicy dish, but it was a tolerable amount of heat for me. If you’re a super spicy lover you may think this was a bit on the weak side but I enjoyed the simple level of heat it had. Stacey thought it could have used a touch more heat but we both agreed it was a very tasty dish.
[asian funnel cake / $9]
We were a little over our budget at this point but it’s too hard to pass up dessert! The interesting dessert of the choices we had was the “Asian Funnel Cake”. This came with dollops of goat cheese whipped cream, raspberry ginger coulis (aka sauce), and chocolate rum ganache. Stacey and I weren’t really sure what made this “Asian” – our guess was it the ginger in the coulis?
Also… I was totally expecting something that looked more like a funnel cake, not just crispy fried pieces of dough, which is what this was. The dough was hot and fresh and you could taste a bit of the hot oil once you bit into it. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? On one hand you know it’s crisp and hot and fresh, but on the other hand, you’re tasting fried oil. The powdered sugar helped offset that though and the chocolate ganache was quite tasty with it. There wasn’t really enough raspberry ginger sauce on the plate to allow you to really taste it. Overall this dessert fell kind of flat for me and didn’t live up to my expectations of funnel cake at all. At least there was yummy chocolate sauce to gobble up!
While there were some misses with our meal, there were some definite hits that I would enjoy again – and maybe you will for Mardi Gras! You can check out all of the Mardi Gras food and beverage packages here. Make sure you check it out and buy them now since they won’t last for too much longer!
Blush Ice Bar
555 Market St.
San Diego, CA 92101
Disclaimer: Our meal was complimentary up to $60. In addition to a complimentary meal, I also received complimentary tickets to the Gaslamp Mardi Gras Celebration. All opinions stated here are my own.