When does a food fest feel more like a big party? When it’s Sabor de Baja, silly! The 5th annual edition of Sabor is coming up Wednesday, August 30, in the oceanfront gardens of the venerable Rosarito Beach Hotel. We felt fortunate to attend last year; read our take-aways here. We were very impressed with the thoughtful event planning and the careful pairings of delicious dishes with Baja wines and craft beers; we can hardly wait to see what’s in store for this year! Expect fun live music, distinguished judges, and the opportunity for YOU to cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award. From what we’ve heard, participating restaurants will include Valle de Guadalupe’s Latitud 32, Mixtura, Tahal and the new La X, plus Rosarito’s Pasta y Basta and from Ensenada, Planta Baja and Mantou, winner of last year’s top prize. Wineries will include AliXima, Relieve and El Cielo, to name but a few. Gold level tix have already sold out, and we hear silver level tix are in short supply! Find out how to get tickets and check out the ticket/overnight packages. And, hey – don’t forget to wear white!
The 4th annual Sabor de Baja takes place Wednesday, August 31 from 6 to 10pm in the oceanfront gardens of the venerable Rosarito Beach Hotel. It’s brought to us by the fine folks at Mi Casa Supper Club in San Antonio del Mar, Chef Bo and husband Dennis. Billed as a friendly culinary competition among Baja’s top chefs, Sabor is unique: each dish is paired with wine from Valle de Guadalupe or one of Baja’s unique craft beers. Two awards will be presented that evening: one by a panel of distinguished celebrity judges, and the other, a people’s choice award. Warning: if you’re attending this event, you must wear white! We’re really excited to attend (it’s our first time, and it looks so casually elegant) and we plan to interview the judges and chefs before the event, so stay tuned! Check out Sabor’s Facebook page for updates on participating chefs; tix are available at locations in Rosarito and via PayPal at Sabordebaja@gmail.com, but Sabor sold out last year, so we recommend you get your tix now!
We in the U.S. may be back to work and school, but the fun in Baja is never-ending. Here’s a quick look at happenings on the eatdrinkbaja radar screen. And I hope you’ll subscribe to receive future posts via email! Click on the “subscribe” button on the “rail” on the right side of my home page. Gracias!!
11th Annual TJ Beer Fest this Friday 9/18 & Saturday 9/19. Caliente Stadium in Tijuana. About $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Organizers claim there will be 200+ beers. An event worth checking out!
Festival de Queso, Vino y Cerveza Artesanal this Saturday 9/19, noon – 9 pm at the Baja California Center just north of Rosarito. FREE, but not sure – do you pay for your tastes? Live music! Local productos artesenales! And a good reason to check out the beautiful new Convention Center.
Ensenada International Seafood Festival this Sunday, 9/20, spotlights local restaurants and celebrates the treasures of the sea. We hear this will be across from Riveria del Pacifico on Blvd. Costero. We believe this is free; you pay for individual tastes/drinks, but usually prices are low and portions are grande. Warning: it is listed in San Diego Magazine, but we can’t find anything else about it online. Hope it wasn’t on hold this year due to . . .
Festival Baja Seafood, culminating in the Baja Seafood Trucks Festival Sunday, 9/27 from noon at the Museo el Caracol, which (I believe) is also across from Riviera del Pacifico on Blvd. Costero in Ensenada. FREE event; betcha gotta to pay for your tastes, but they are usually reasonably priced, delish and substantial.
Bajamar Wine Tasting, Saturday 10/3, 3 pm. Sounds like a nice event! Six wines from Nativo in Valle de Guadalupe, with food pairings and live jazz at Bajamar, north of Ensenada. Looks like Nativo’s Benjamin Pena (one of our new BFFs) will be pouring and serving as your wine concierge. $50 for the experience.
7th Annual Fiesta de la Paella, Folklore y Vino, Sunday 10/4 from 1 pm. This event, in the Jardines del Riviera in Ensenada, looks fun! About $10, not sure what’s included. If you check it out, let us know how it goes!
Baja Culinary Fest, Thursday 10/ 8 through Sunday 10/11. This annual event toggles between Tijuana and Valle de Guadalupe. This year, looks like most events will be in/around Tijuana’s CECUT. Traditionally there is a public tasting event to close the Fest; we’ve been to them @ Encuentro & Vinas la Erre in the Valle, as well as @ CECUT in TJ. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about this year’s events!
14th Annual Tequila Expo Tijuana, Wednesday 10/14 – Sunday 10/18 – Right on Revolucion @ 7th, bigger every year and now five days!! A nominal cover charge ($6, mas o menos) gets you plenty of tastes from dozens of tequilarias. Food, full-sized beverages available for purchase; fun music and entertainment provided, and some of the best people-watching on the west coast.
What a weekend we have in store! Saturday is the Baja Blues Fest at Rosarito Beach Hotel, with music from noon to 8pm. Hope we’ll get there for Bayou Brothers w/Michelle Lundeen, and gotta stay for headliner Tommy Castro. Then Sunday we’re down to Viñas de Liceaga in Valle de Guadalupe for the venerable, ever-popular and sold out Fiestas de la Vendimia Paella Contest. It’s been more than 15 years since I last attended; will it be as cool? Maybe even better? 50 wineries, 80 paella-making teams! Check back for the scoop.