I got some last minute tickets to go to Taste of Hillcrest courtesy of McFarlane Promotions a couple of weeks ago. It was my first time going to a “Taste of…” anything and I’m happy that Hillcrest was one of our first “Tastes”! With over 50 restaurants available to visit it seemed pretty daunting at first. But Jake and I decided to just go with it and visit as many as we could before we were A) full and B) our parking meter ran out.
The Taste of Hillcrest is a great way to sample from a variety of restaurants and to see what kinds of food they serve. I hadn’t been to any of the restaurants that we tried that day and there are already a few that I want to go back and try out the rest of their menu.
Since it’s a lot to take in, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.
This is a pasta with crab in a tomato cream sauce from Busalacchi’s A Modo Mio. Usually made with angel hair, they tossed it with penne for the Taste of Hillcrest for easier serving. It was, in a nutshell, delicious.
Jake and I then headed a few blocks away to the Tractor Room, where they were cooking outside.
Skewers of polenta and pheasant & cognac, rabbit sausages with chives and a squeeze of mustard. I stuffed the whole bite into my mouth and was rewarded with a really mouth-watering bite. The mustard really gave it to the kick it needed to make this superb – I definitely want to come back here and try their other menu items!
Next up, we headed over to Raku Japanese Fusion Cuisine. They had bowls of veggies out and we thought that’s all that had so grabbed that. It was Spicy Garlic Edamame (good flavor, but really hard to chew?) and sesame asparagus (tasty). Then we were given some freshly made Teriyaki Chicken Wings and we were in love. Super crispy with a light drizzle of sauce – this was our favorite item of the whole day. We tried to go back the next day to get these again, but was way too early. We’re still planning on going back!
Hopped over to Lotus Thai Cuisine for this Summer Salad and Thai Corn Fritter. The summer salad reminded me of chicken salad in a way, since it was mostly chicken but in a light, lovely Asian sauce. The corn fritter was cold and not very appetizing, but I bet it’s delicious when it’s freshly made. Had a nice glaze/sauce on it, reminiscent of a plum or orange sauce.
We looped around and went to feed the meter… and then stopped at Au Revoir French Bistro for Beef Stew and Chocolate Mousse. It was all right.
Jake popped over to Einstein Brothers Bagels for some bagel tastes, which I did not find interesting enough to go get myself.
Then we started heading to Brazen BBQ… but stopped for some Mini Cheeseburgers from Burger Lounge. You could get either a cheeseburger or a veggie burger, but we got the meaty kind. They were cooked to a perfect medium and it was really tasty. I thought it was a cute size, too. Bigger than a slider, but smaller than a regular burger. They don’t look very pretty in the photo, but they were delicious. I had to remind myself to not eat the whole thing if I wanted to survive the day.
THEN we got over to Brazen BBQ for their Smokehouse Toastada, which was on the toastada that I could not bite through. It had pulled pork, sauce, cheese and other stuff, but since I could not bite through the toastada, I deemed this too pretty to eat. Okay, not really. I did eventually bite through but the toastada threw me off so much that I ended up not liking it, which was a shame since I did think it was so nice looking.
This is from Freebirds. Chips = good; Salsa = bad. The salsa was too thick and chunky for me and had no discernible flavors, other than tomato.
We got there when they had just run out of burrito samples so they sent us inside for a whole mini burrito (kid’s size). We went through the line and had them specially made for us and we got to pick all of the toppings. My favorite was the Cilantro Rice. The rest of the stuff didn’t really do it for me since the burrito was cold. It kind of reminded me of Subway… but with burrito making instead.
Bread & Cie was one of my “must have” stops since I had never been there before. I know, how silly. They had chocolate chip cookies and macaroons. I got the chocolate chip; Jake got the macaroon since he says he doesn’t like chocolate (!). The cookie was delicious – perfectly crisp and fresh. Since we were in there, I also bought a loaf of sourdough bread to use for later (it was delicious bread and I used it for many sandwiches and avocado on toast breakfasts).
Next up: Pizza from Pizzeria Arrivederci. They had a couple of pizzas out. Jake got a Hawaiian slice with ham and pineapple. Nothing looked very appealing to me, so I just grabbed a cheese slice. It was cold and lacked any real flavor so I wasn’t really into it.
Was at Pinkberry. We were parked right in front of Pinkberry, too, so it was a perfect way to end our Taste of Hillcrest trip.
Jake got Peach with Blueberries and I got Lychee with Granola. The lychee was perfect – tasted exactly like the fruit but not too sweet or overpowering. The granola gave it the crunch that I so desire in many, many things.
Still alive after all of that food! Hope we can attend it again next year!
Disclaimer: I was given complimentary tickets to attend the Taste of Hillcrest from McFarlane Promotions, Inc. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.