Tacos are one of the eating vessels of choice when you’re in San Diego. Whether it be unique creations or straight outta a truck, tons of places are cramming their food inside of tortillas.
One of the more innovative ones is coming out of the minds of a local food star, who’s put together barbeque, mac and cheese, and tacos for a whirlwind combination of flavors.
This Smokey Pork & Mac Taco comes from the mind of Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien. A local and nationally recognized TV and online food show host, he has his own place, Not Not Tacos, where he brings his zany culinary creations to life.
For the taco, Zien brings together creamy mac and cheese, pulled pork, sour cream, Sriracha, and green onions for a zesty, creamy, and tangy bite.
If you’re interested in trying this taco out for yourself, it’s being given away on the Hubert’s Lemon A Go Go Truck on Saturday, November 17th, nearby SDSU. It’ll be paired alongside bottles of Hubert’s Watermelon Lemonade.
Fluffy bao combine with crispy chicken in an explosive combination of flavors in this handheld delicacy.
These Fried Chicken Kimchi Bao were created by celebrity chef Brian Malarkey, who runs the greenACRE Campus Pointe restaurant in San Diego, California. His take on the fluffy bao bun adds levels of texture and taste with each component.
Malarkey starts off with double-breaded tempura fried chicken that’s tossed in a furikake seasoning. That’s topped off with a spicy aioli, kimchi, pickled Fresno chili, and some fresh vegetables for multiple layers of crunch. The sweet bao bun intermingles with the heat of the aioli and kimchi for a delicate and delectable balance of flavor.
If you’re interested in checking this item out, it’ll be given out for FREE via the Hubert’s Lemon A Go Go Truck, where it will be paired with bottles of Hubert’s Raspberry and Strawberry Lemonades. For more information on the giveaway, head to foodbeast.com/huberts.
Kids, plus sand, and water are a natural equation for hours of fun for everyone! This list has it all for the water babes in your life: from picnicking to exploring or carnival rides and cotton candy! Choose your favorites and set a plan to visit one, or all of them! Plan ahead by checking the seasonal openings of each before hitting the road… Many of these are California state parks!
Hearts Desire Beach, Point Reyes Cove, San Francisco Bay Area-
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On the eastern side of the Point Reyes National Seashore, Hearts Desire faces gentle Tomales Bay and the hills of Marin County. Your kids will enjoy the freshwater stream running along the shore and into the bay, and the walk down through the beautiful trees to get there. While not warm waters, the lack of waves make for great wading and swimming and certainly warmer waters than the nearby Pacific! Easily find a hiking trail that leads to a neighboring beach. Parking can be tricky on weekends and holidays, carpool with family or friends when possible. Cellphone service isn’t reliable, so make plans ahead of time to meet and coordinate.
Carmel Beach, Carmel, California, Monterey Peninsula-
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Carmel Beach offers up its gorgeous, soft sand in an enchanting setting. The abundant cypress trees frame the adorable downtown district perfect for strolling, grabbing an artisan pastry from a local bakery, and shopping too! Your kids will love to build sandcastles and splash in the surf that is typically tame along the one mile crescent-shaped beach. Bring your canine- Carmel Beach is great for dogs and kiddos alike! Hours of fun can be had with your furry pal and kids tossing a ball and chasing waves. Be sure to check the local weather- during the summer, you will sometimes find fog during the day that burns off into the afternoon.
Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach, Orange County-
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Feel free to stretch out and explore along the 3.2 miles of oceanfront sprinkled with tide pools and secret coves! Fly a kite, play in the friendly surf and beach comb for natural treasures. Hike along a network of trails that head inland but offer sweeping views of the pacific. There are popular routes for biking, hiking and horseback riding! Hungry after all of that activity? Head to the Beachcomber restaurant that sits on the sand and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or, check out Ruby’s Shake Shack on PCH overlooking Crystal Cove for a delectable milkshake that will have you returning on your next visit!
With its namesake natural rock bridge that sits just offshore, Natural Bridges Beach offers an abundance of unique features that make it a must see! Make a point to visit during October through February to view the 100,000 Monarch Butterflies that are naturally attracted each year to the milkweed plants off a nearby grassland trail. Your junior naturalist will be captivated by the fascinating finds in the tide pools, in the Monarch preserve and by the dozens of pelicans making their perch on the rocks. Picnic on the sand or tucked away in the pine and eucalyptus trees. Also a great breezy spot for flying kites and catching a colorful sunset on the right day.
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Come for the safe swimming, amateur surfing, and the opportunity to cast a line here at the spot also known as Hendry’s Beach. Play around on the sunny sand, break at the shady picnic area and enjoy the playground. You and your kids will want to explore trails and stop at the Watershed Resource Center which offers educational highlights about the importance of protecting California’s beaches and shores.
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Just like the kids, the action at Crissy Field is always ON. Bring the family dog, they can romp off leash here. The inviting waters edge of the San Francisco Bay offers Golden Gate views, picnic space on grassy open spaces, and room to romp. Check out the expert surfers as they ride waves under the bridge or kite surfers catching a breeze. An ideal spot for views of Alcatraz, watching sailboats and freight liners, and admiring California’s most iconic bridge. Bring a thermos with hot cocoa, sit back and enjoy the national parkland that was once a paved-over airfield for The Presidio.
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An island getaway that is easy to reach, Coronado Beach is easy to explore and enjoy in an ultra-family-friendly environment. The small island feels like a private enclave wrapped with soft sand beaches and a historic hotel- the Hotel Del Coronado. Enjoy a delicious Sunday brunch, and views of the pacific, and then explore by rented bike. Pedal past mansions with tended gardens, or visit Orange Avenue dotted with shops, theaters, restaurants and galleries.
Why not try surfing in the friendly breakers with the Coronado Surfing Academy? Kids will love splashing around on the calm waters on the San Diego Bay side, or learning to hang ten on the Pacific side. The side known as Crown Cove offers sand around warmer waters conducive to running around and building a bon fire on the beach with the family. The heart-pounding, wide blue surf of the Pacific side, is the perfect opportunity to have the best of both. To access the bay side, you will access pedestrian tunnels- be prepared to carry your gear from the parking area to your chosen spot. Pavilions, picnic tables, grills and fire pits are available.
Catch the sunset while strolling on the iconic Santa Monica Pier as the twinkling lights of the amusement park create a nostalgic feeling against a pastel sky! Pacific park offers the perfect setting perched on the edge of the pier to make lasting memories of fun for the whole family! Not too-scary rides and coasters will have the kids grinning and giggling with delight. Don't forget to dazzle your senses with the incomparable views while riding the pier’s solar powered ferris wheel. Check out some 100 species of fish and aquatic life at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium under the pier. Lastly, but certainly not least, the broad expanse of yellow sand will beckon the entire family to its 3.5 miles of coastal greatness. Rent a paddle board to explore off the shore and get a VIP experience with your own Perry’s on the Beach Butler Service.
A popular beach stop for California families since the 20’s, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a smorgasbord of entertainment options for the entire family. Add to that a perfectly splashable shoreline, rides, food galore, beach volleyball and arcades, you may never get the family to leave for home! Within the countless attractions, the Big Dipper, a giant, burly, wooden roller coaster has been drawing thrill seekers since it’s first days. When the squealing fun has become too much to tolerate, relax high above it all on the overhead Sky Glider, offering drone worthy views of all the action, surf, and nearby mountains. In the summer, make a plan to catch a free outdoor movie on the sand- Wednesdays or free concerts- Fridays on the beach! Be sure to make the short walk to the wharf for fresh seafood, clam chowder in a bread bowl and salt water taffy!
Months ago, I signed up for my first of many 5K races this year and was completely psyched – I even compiled the perfect playlist for running. However, upon waking up this morning, I was greeted by steady rain, constant winds, and a dreary forecast:
Of course, the easiest alternative plan to take for such a catastrophe would be to spend the first Saturday of the month indoors, in fleece pajamas, sipping hot chocolate while binge-watching House of Cards on Netflix. However, if you’re desperate to get out of the house today, there’s a variety of activities you can look into that won’t involve having to be outdoors to bear the cold weather and has your brain constantly engaged, leaving no room to be depressed over the climate.
Here are a couple of suggestions on what to do on a rainy Saturday in California, for your consideration:
To cater to the kid within, take a trip to Presidio, San Francisco and visit House of Air. It is an indoor park that features jump structures comprised of more than 40 trampolines, including a few on the sides for maximum fun. You can freestyle, play trampoline dodge ball, and take classes! There’s even a Bounce House for kids ages 3 to 6.
Fun, huh? Normally, weekend tickets sell out fast and House of Air recommends that you reserve slots ahead of time, but I took the liberty of checking today’s schedule, and it looks like there’s a lot of slots available! Go to the website and buy your tickets ASAP.
The Winchester Mystery House is a mansion in San Jose that used to belong to Sarah Winchester, widow of William Wurt Winchester, a gun magnate. Construction of the mansion took 38 years (from 1884 until Winchester’s death in 1922), mostly due to the widow’s belief that her family and wealth were constantly haunted by the ghosts of those who died because of the Winchester rifles and that building the house for their spirits would appease them.
You can choose between touring just the mansion or the entire grand estate, both of which include a look into 110 of the 160 rooms in the house, windows built into floors, staircases and doors that lead to nowhere, and upside down posts! You can even learn a little bit more about the history of the place through a special behind-the-scenes tour. Day-of tickets must be purchased at the counter, but you can call ahead to ask about availability.
If you’re the athletic and outdoorsy type and really looking forward to getting a workout in this weekend, you can check out MesaRimClimbing & FitnessCenter in San Diego, a place that boasts to be the largest and tallest climbing gyms in the west coast. With over 200 routes, 150 boulder problems, and 450 lead bolts, any mountain climbing aficionado would love the scaling the walls of Mesa Rim.
The facilities include a center for yoga classes, a ping pong table, board games, and a library. Their rates include an all-in-one day pass that give you access to climbing, yoga, and fitness
Who says you have to be outdoors to skydive? iFly Hollywood gives you an idea of what it’s like to jump out of an airplane 2,500 feet high, only you’re indoors and safe within the confines of a booth with a strong blower.
It’s a lot more fun than it looks and requires less courage to actually do if you’ve been dreaming of one day giving skydiving a try and are always finding excuses to bail. You can book your flight today. Other locations in California include one in San Francisco and one in Perris Valley.
"For over 25 years, California Donuts #21 Inc. has been proud of serving only the greatest of donuts… All of our donuts are traditionally hand cut to perfection, made with the finest ingredients. With our focus on quality, we assure that with eat bite… you will enjoy the sweetness & fluffiness of the one and only 'California Donuts'."
Located at 3540 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Koreatown, Wilshire Center
Sidecar Donuts and Coffee
"Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee is a specialty doughnut and coffee shop that infuses an exciting, soulful energy into the art of doughnut making, while using only the finest ingredients possible. From the moment you bite into one of Sidecar’s delectable treats, you will surely agree that these are no ordinary doughnuts!"
Located at 270 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
"Donut Bar is a completely different kind of donut company. While focusing on the real ingredients, flavors, textures and design of artisan donuts, Donut Bar promotes and celebrates an artisan baking culture that first appeared in Europe and America in the 1940s which has recently been revived by small groups of like minded out of the box thinkers in America."
Located at 631 B St
San Diego, CA 92101
b/t B St & 7th Ave in Downtown
What are you favorite donut places in California? Do you like them plain and simple, or filled and covered with goodies?
Let us know in the comments!