Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival

 The fan favorite of this years event is overwhelmingly the "Frushi" or Fruit Sushi from the Strawberry Patch booth.  The chef told me she was helping to roll the nearly 500 they sell daily that very morning.  I paired it with the Strawberry milkshake with popping boba.  YUMMY!

The fan favorite of this years event is overwhelmingly the "Frushi" or Fruit Sushi from the Strawberry Patch booth.  The chef told me she was helping to roll the nearly 500 they sell daily that very morning.  I paired it with the Strawberry milkshake with popping boba.  YUMMY!

I have a massive sweet tooth, everyone knows this.  No one gives me a better sugar high than Disney Parks, they just outdo themselves constantly with flavors and whimsical details.  Lately Disneyland's sister park DCA has been throwing down a string of festivals centered around food, but the OG Food and Wine is still King of this magical kingdom.  Starting in Florida's 'Epcot' Food and Wine became a mecca for foodies and disney fans alike and the international flair was a perfect set up for trying small "bites" and dining around the world.  In SoCal we do things a bit differently.  California has so much to offer so FaW here is a culinary journey through the state.  We have Napa Wines, San Diego brews, LA eats, and Mexican Inspired desserts.  Add live musicians, chef demonstrations, and the overall theme park festivities, this show is just a dream and takes Disney regulars on a whole new ride for the ears, eyes, and taste buds.  So please, watch your children, keep all hands and feet inside the ride vehicle at all times, and lets get right to the FOOD!

 Kisses for the Sip and Savor pass for AP holders.  46 Bucks for 8 tabs good for food and non-alcoholic drinks.  Pro tip: buy one of these, if an item if 6.50 or more use a tab-if not, buy it outright.  Mickey Mouse Economics!

Kisses for the Sip and Savor pass for AP holders.  46 Bucks for 8 tabs good for food and non-alcoholic drinks.  Pro tip: buy one of these, if an item if 6.50 or more use a tab-if not, buy it outright.  Mickey Mouse Economics!

 The Guac Burger from the Avocado booth.  Tasty and substantial.  Keep in mind they only make them Med-Rare!  Use a pass coupon for this.

The Guac Burger from the Avocado booth.  Tasty and substantial.  Keep in mind they only make them Med-Rare!  Use a pass coupon for this.

 Carl in his element, the Beer Garden.  This is a lovely and heavily shaded area.  They have beers from 27 craft breweries.  Full size food options are nearby with YES, VEGAN dishes.

Carl in his element, the Beer Garden.  This is a lovely and heavily shaded area.  They have beers from 27 craft breweries.  Full size food options are nearby with YES, VEGAN dishes.

 Some Limited Edition art in the artists corner, which is your favorite?  It is so hard to choose!  But DOLE WHIP;)

Some Limited Edition art in the artists corner, which is your favorite?  It is so hard to choose!  But DOLE WHIP;)

 So many activities for the kids too.  I had to join in on the fun with this Chef Mickey hat! 

So many activities for the kids too.  I had to join in on the fun with this Chef Mickey hat! 

 Chicken Teriyaki slider with spicy Dole® pineapple jam, Korean Barbecue Beef Short Rib Tacos with kimchi slaw, Mango Agua Fresca (non-alcoholic), Carl really liked these from the LA Style booth.

Chicken Teriyaki slider with spicy Dole® pineapple jam, Korean Barbecue Beef Short Rib Tacos with kimchi slaw, Mango Agua Fresca (non-alcoholic), Carl really liked these from the LA Style booth.

 BOOZE!  Mimosa Flight with fruity flavors.  I don't drink but these three were given two thumbs up by Carl who really knows his bubbly. 

BOOZE!  Mimosa Flight with fruity flavors.  I don't drink but these three were given two thumbs up by Carl who really knows his bubbly. 

 This was the only "miss" for us.  Wasn't a fan of the Orange Chicken from the Citrus booth.  Just a bit too tangy and the meat was over fried.  We followed this with the lemon macaroon from the same booth and that was sooo amazing, it had a surprise blueberry filling! 

This was the only "miss" for us.  Wasn't a fan of the Orange Chicken from the Citrus booth.  Just a bit too tangy and the meat was over fried.  We followed this with the lemon macaroon from the same booth and that was sooo amazing, it had a surprise blueberry filling! 

 Some Food and Wine swag I picked up for a lucky winner over at @Michelleashleyhoughton on Instagram!  Happy Eatings friends.

Some Food and Wine swag I picked up for a lucky winner over at @Michelleashleyhoughton on Instagram!  Happy Eatings friends.

Get Back...Corvette Diner Serves More Than Retro Vibes

Corvette Diner

They had me at Corvette, I'll admit.  We had a sleek silver one parked in the garage growing up and nothing brings me more excitement and nostalgia than seeing one of those beauties in classic form, old school candy colors, and oozing effortless style.  The Corvette Diner in Liberty Station packs flair alright, but the place is so much more than a homage to the beloved American vessel, it's a true blast-from-the-past experience.  

Walking into the Corvette Diner is  walking into a Rat Pack/Grease movie mashup, in the most transporting, wonderful way. Neon signs for Coca-Cola and craft cocktails with enticing names like 'The Twist' and 'The Kings Cadillac' adorn the walls and a smooth cat behind the DJ booth plays songs from Jackson 5, even taking the occasional request.  The place is really hopping, even on a weekday, mostly families and people celebrating.  The staff are dressed as sock hop girls and greaser guys weave between kids with balloons dancing to Doo-wop hits.  

As a date night, the vibe is a more energetic night of 'going steady' then candlelight dinner-but hey, isn't that exactly what we want in a milkshakes and burgers kinda joint?  I didn't indulge in the arcade but you better believe I ordered up an Elvis milkshake, complete with marshmallow and peanut butter.  What's even better, they give you the shake AND the metal tumbler they blend it in.  It's enough for two, and at 6 bucks, well that's almost old school prices.  

Cruise down, check out what all the buzz is about, and even dress up in Rockabilly style if that's your thing.  Tell them Miss Monroe sent ya.

 

IMG_1923.JPG

The New Napa? A Weekend Getaway to the Heart of Valle De Guadalupe.

  Baja California is a favorite spot of San Diegans looking for a new beach to explore, or cheap eats to indulge in.  The coastal town of Rosarito is a short 20 mile drive from the city and from the moment I moved to San Diego I kept hearing of friends spending the weekend partying and drinking at this spot without blowing their budgets.  Being more of a cowgirl than clubber at heart another aspect of Mexico appealed to me,  the wide open rural "ranchos" of the more inland regions of our southern neighbor.  I dream of Mexico less in the way of spring break resorts, and more of the way of sun drenched desert towns, where horses and cattle outnumber people.  My boyfriend had mentioned a wine route along vineyards and ranch homes just 2 hours time from our home.  Valle de Guadalupe.  It rang a bell,  I recalled stories of Catholic settlements taking place here, and acres of grapes growing divinely up from the arid soil.  We grabbed our passports,  he was dreaming of sweet red wines and I of Azteca Sporthorses.      There are a few things to consider when visiting Mexico if you are driving.  The first is border wait times,  we were lucky and left early morning to avoid these.  Secondly US car insurance is not valid in a foreign country.  You can check border crossing times and insurance rates online.  We crossed at Tijuana on our way to Guadalupe and Tecate on our way back.  The drive was breathtaking.  We drove along the coast with unobstructed views of the ocean from the highway cliffs.  Colorful beach homes peppered by surrounding shanty homes with multimillion dollar views, Mexico was unlike anything you would find along our I-5 to LA.      Once inland the Valle de Guadalupe was rows upon rows of dormant grape vines rolling down sloped hill country, large estates planted at the center of each.  Many of the roads are unpaved, and street dogs run alongside your car as you grip the steering wheel and bump along feeling like you finally entered the real wild west.  We booked a stay at Hotel Boutique mainly because they were outfitted with horses, gorgeous grounds, and close proximity to wineries.  Our first day there we dined at Finca Altozano, where they have goats and views aplenty and the al fresca menu includes fish so recently scooped from the sea the head clearly stares back; salads so tender they use new springs of lettuce from the garden right off the patio.  I highly recommend this spot, they have 6 USD glasses of fine local wine and your experience begins with complementary fresh rustic bread and an array of homemade salsa dips.  Warning, these are far spicier than the usual domestic fare.  During our meal we met a family that realized were weren't from the area and kindly recommended the Las Nubes winery.  Las Nubes means 'clouds' in Spanish and it was appropriately named,  the views from high upon the hill were breathtaking and really felt as if you were high among the Nimbus and Cumbulus.  They had several red wines, the Syrah 2015 which most pleased my partner, and he purchased a bottle to bring home.  Tourists from the US must keep in mind only 2 bottles per person are allowed under stated laws to cross customs.      On our 2nd and final day in the valley we booked a high tea at the Adobe Guadalupe bed and breakfast and a trail ride at our resort.  I would recommend  switching those two.  Enjoy your ride on the superior grounds at Adobe and have a meal at Fuego on the grounds at Hotel Boutique.  A few tips that we will take advantage of upon our next visit:  We are going to visit early summer where the grapes will be in stunning green bloom and will stay at an AirBnB in the neighboring town of Ensenada, only a few minutes away from the vineyards but with ocean views and even cheaper rates.  If Napa is your glass of choice, Valle de Guadalupe may just be the diamond in the rough you've been missing!  Salud! 

Baja California is a favorite spot of San Diegans looking for a new beach to explore, or cheap eats to indulge in.  The coastal town of Rosarito is a short 20 mile drive from the city and from the moment I moved to San Diego I kept hearing of friends spending the weekend partying and drinking at this spot without blowing their budgets.  Being more of a cowgirl than clubber at heart another aspect of Mexico appealed to me,  the wide open rural "ranchos" of the more inland regions of our southern neighbor.  I dream of Mexico less in the way of spring break resorts, and more of the way of sun drenched desert towns, where horses and cattle outnumber people.  My boyfriend had mentioned a wine route along vineyards and ranch homes just 2 hours time from our home.  Valle de Guadalupe.  It rang a bell,  I recalled stories of Catholic settlements taking place here, and acres of grapes growing divinely up from the arid soil.  We grabbed our passports,  he was dreaming of sweet red wines and I of Azteca Sporthorses.  

There are a few things to consider when visiting Mexico if you are driving.  The first is border wait times,  we were lucky and left early morning to avoid these.  Secondly US car insurance is not valid in a foreign country.  You can check border crossing times and insurance rates online.  We crossed at Tijuana on our way to Guadalupe and Tecate on our way back.  The drive was breathtaking.  We drove along the coast with unobstructed views of the ocean from the highway cliffs.  Colorful beach homes peppered by surrounding shanty homes with multimillion dollar views, Mexico was unlike anything you would find along our I-5 to LA.  

Once inland the Valle de Guadalupe was rows upon rows of dormant grape vines rolling down sloped hill country, large estates planted at the center of each.  Many of the roads are unpaved, and street dogs run alongside your car as you grip the steering wheel and bump along feeling like you finally entered the real wild west.  We booked a stay at Hotel Boutique mainly because they were outfitted with horses, gorgeous grounds, and close proximity to wineries.  Our first day there we dined at Finca Altozano, where they have goats and views aplenty and the al fresca menu includes fish so recently scooped from the sea the head clearly stares back; salads so tender they use new springs of lettuce from the garden right off the patio.  I highly recommend this spot, they have 6 USD glasses of fine local wine and your experience begins with complementary fresh rustic bread and an array of homemade salsa dips.  Warning, these are far spicier than the usual domestic fare.  During our meal we met a family that realized were weren't from the area and kindly recommended the Las Nubes winery.  Las Nubes means 'clouds' in Spanish and it was appropriately named,  the views from high upon the hill were breathtaking and really felt as if you were high among the Nimbus and Cumbulus.  They had several red wines, the Syrah 2015 which most pleased my partner, and he purchased a bottle to bring home.  Tourists from the US must keep in mind only 2 bottles per person are allowed under stated laws to cross customs. 

 On our 2nd and final day in the valley we booked a high tea at the Adobe Guadalupe bed and breakfast and a trail ride at our resort.  I would recommend  switching those two.  Enjoy your ride on the superior grounds at Adobe and have a meal at Fuego on the grounds at Hotel Boutique.  A few tips that we will take advantage of upon our next visit:  We are going to visit early summer where the grapes will be in stunning green bloom and will stay at an AirBnB in the neighboring town of Ensenada, only a few minutes away from the vineyards but with ocean views and even cheaper rates.  If Napa is your glass of choice, Valle de Guadalupe may just be the diamond in the rough you've been missing!  Salud!