By Margie M. Palmer
Event features culinary treats, craft breweries, food drive
The 10th Annual Taste of Morena will take place on April 26 and as with Tastes of the past, this year’s event will feature an array of savory food samples, drink specials and delectable sweets from several local eateries.
For just $25, attendees will be able to partake in a culinary adventure that spans 23 restaurants, breweries and bars including Bay Park Coffee, Pita Pit, Andres Restaurant, Baci Ristorante, Bay Park Fish Company, Siesel’s Old Fashioned Meats, Bull’s Smokin’ BBQ, Dan Diegos, JV’s Mexican Food, La Gran Terraza, Luce Bar & Kitchen, Tio Leo’s, Offshore Tavern & Grill, Sardina’s Italian Restaurant & Bar, zPizza, Fiji Yogurt, Home Brew Mart by Ballast Point, The Clutch Bar, Side Car Bar, and Poseidon Project.
New participants include the cafe and bar at San Diego Tennis and Racquet Club, Pho Kitchen and tastes from Waters Fine Foods, which will be featured at Morena Storage.
Siesel’s Old Fashioned Meats deli manager Robert Cabanas and Ballast Point Brewing Company Home Brew Mart general manager Jim Johnson said that being part of the Taste of Morena is something they enjoy doing for the community.
“We’re part of the Bay Park community and if people don’t know about us, they can come out and try some of the stuff we make here. It’s all in good fun,” Cabanas said.
“We participate because we are part of the local business community here, and have been for 25 years,” Johnson said. “The Morena district has seen fantastic growth in the diversity and quality offered by its local businesses, and the ‘Taste’ is a great chance to showcase that.”
Taste of Morena event coordinator Barbara Oulette agrees, adding that it’s a great way for attendees to see what the area has to offer.
“It’s a pretty hip area and it’s becoming very popular. It’s fun and people love having a good time with their friends while being able to discover what’s here,” Oulette said.
She also encourages would-be attendees to get their ticket early, as Taste of Morena usually sells out.
“We sell about 600 tickets and we limit ticketing otherwise it makes it really hard for the restaurants if too many people show up,” Oulette said. “We encourage everyone to come out because many people don’t realize all the restaurants we have in the area. There is a lot of variety that spans from barbeque to pho. The Poseidon Project has a tasting showroom and the San Diego Tennis and Racquet Club has a café and bar, which most people don’t realize is open to the public. The area has Mexican food, Italian food and seafood. Whatever you want, you can get it there.”
For the third year in a row, Taste of Morena will also serve as a food drive that will benefit the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. Anyone who drops off non-perishable food items, diapers or baby formula at the donation bins at Morena Storage will be entered to win four tickets to the San Diego Blues Festival in September.
Food drive participants will be provided with raffle tickets, Oulette said, adding that the winner will be announced within a week.
The Taste of Morena will take place on Wednesday, April 26, 5–9 p.m. The event will be held in the Morena District along Morena Boulevard, W. Morena Boulevard, Linda Vista Road and the surrounding side streets.
Complimentary Old Town Trolley shuttles will take guests to the participating restaurants and a special tram from University of San Diego will be on hand to shuttle guests to La Gran Terraza on the USD campus.
Tickets are available for $25 and can be purchased with cash or credit at Jerome’s Furniture and Morena Storage. Cash tickets are available for purchase at Max Folkers RE/MAX Pacific. Online ticketing is not available. Tickets are expected to sell out. For more information call 619-892-8037 or visit exploremorena.com.
—Margie M. Palmer is a freelance writer who has been racking up bylines for over a decade. Reach her at email@example.com.