Taste of Downtown 2016

Another minion post from a new minion… meet Minion Maile! I gave her tickets to go check out Taste of Downtown (thanks to McFarlane Promotions for the tickets!) and sampled the goodies it had to offer. Here’s her recap on the event!


Last night, my friends Shawn and Cynthia accompanied me to Taste of Downtown. This event is a walk-about in Downtown San Diego which features local restaurants who offer sample-size servings to attendees.

Rustic Root

Porcini Dusted Scallops

Oyster Shooter at Rustic Root | Taste of Downtown

This was the start of Taste of Downtown and, truth be told, a complete teaser. When you start with oysters you expect the whole tour to be fancy. Anyways, while the idea of an oyster shooter is a bit odd…this was quite tasty! The oyster didn’t taste like the sea and nothing was grainy. Cynthia thought it had too much mayo. She may or may not be correct. Personally, I like mushrooms so this would have gotten a 10 in my book regardless.

Henry’s Pub and Restaurant

Pulled BBQ Pork Slider

BBQ Slider at Henry's Pub | Taste of Downtown

The beginning of the end for poor Shawn, who has Celiac’s (he can’t eat Gluten). Thinking back, not sure why they didn’t offer to give him the pork plain without the bun…probably a plating issue. Who knows. Anyways, these were tasty but nothing spectacular. Cyn and I both thought it had way too much bread. Look at that grain to meat ratio, c’mon! Redeemed themselves with avocado as a topping but I think something crunchy would have been better to break up the texture.

Ciro’s Pizzeria and Brewhouse

Margherita and BBQ Pizza

Ciro Pizza | Taste of Downtown

Basic. The crust, however, was really nice and flakey. I believe they have more inventive “flavors” (or whatever you call it for pizza), but this was not part of the sampling. We were told they have the largest selection of craft beers downtown. This may or may not be true.

Tin Roof

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken Waffles from Tin Roof | Taste of Downtown

Disgusting. We did arrive a little late so perhaps this was when shit hit the fan for their kitchen.

Searsucker San Diego

Chili Lime Duckwing

Chili Lime Duck Wing from Searsucker | Taste of Downtown

AMAZING! Not super spicy but had enough kick for an almost effervescent tingle on your lips after eating…most likely from the grease sticking. Duck was a little chewy so we had to work for the meat to come off the bone, but not a huge deal. Will go back for these.

Royal India

Vegetable Korma and Chicken Tikka Masala on Basmati Rice

Korma and Tikka Masalsa from Royal India | Taste of Downtown

Finally, a place where Shawn could eat! Giving this place extra points because they provided water. Both dishes were cooked well and fell in line with the traditional Indian fare. Personally, I thought it was a little watery, but Cynthia and Shawn both loved their plates. I might be a bit pickier since I eat Indian food all the time, and they do not. Even so, the veggies weren’t soggy and both of the sauces were flavorful without being overpowering.

Gourmet India

Chicken Kabob, Roasted Vegetables and Aloo Tikki

Kabobs from Gourmet India | Taste of Downtown

Smelled better than they tasted. These were extremely spicy due to the sauces, however they did warn us so that was our fault.

Carne Asada Bravo

Carne Asada Tacos

Carne Asaa Taco from Carne Asada Bravo | Taste of Downtown

Delicious and authentic! We watched as they cooked the beans in a ceramic pot and made corn tortillas fresh. Solid tacos.


Kimchi Pancake with Korean Shortrib

Kimchi Tart from PARQ | Taste of Downtown

Tasted exactly like…the microgreens. That was the garnish on top. Not sure what happened to the other flavors but they were nowhere to be found. Perhaps this was sitting out too long?

Rei De Gado Brazilian Steakhouse

Filet Mignon wrapped in Bacon

Brazilian Meatball from Rei de Gado | Taste of Downtown

There was other stuff that came with this incredible morsel of food but I cannot remember and nor does it matter. The winner of the evening went to this place. Perfectly cooked and extremely savory…if I hadn’t been so full I would have gone back for seconds!

And that’s it! We only managed to make it to 10 out of the 41 restaurants, aside from getting there late, we were full. Not sure if I would ever attend this event again, but it was certainly worth the experience.

Disclaimer: Minion Maile received two complimentary tickets to Taste of Downtown in exchange for this review. All opinions stated here are the writer’s own.

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