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Bressi Ranch Resident Restaurant Review of Carlsbad Food Tours

Carlsbad Food Tours

Residents Doug & Lydia Vargo share their different perspectives on this Month’s Bressi Ranch Resident Restaurant Review of Carlsbad Food Tours, which was actually an outing with the one and only Carlsbad Walking Food Tour.
He said: it was a beautiful sunny day as we set off on our Sunday afternoon Taste of Carlsbad Food Tour from the center of downtown Carlsbad. After a quick orientation from our host, Cherie, and some group introductions, we were off with a promise that we were going to be treated to an unforgettable cultural and culinary experience.
She said: I am ashamed to admit that we have lived in the US for over four years and I had no idea the history of Carlsbad. For instance, Carlsbad was actually named after the famed spa in the Bohemian town of Karlsbad in Czech Republic due to its water being chemically similar. Who woulda thunk it? Or should I say, drunk it? (Groan.)

Restaurant Review of Carlsbad Food Tours:  First stop: Caldo Pomodoro…a fascinating place. What used to be one of Carlsbad’s first hotels is now a delicious old school Italian restaurant. From the celebrity photos on the wall (all former clients of the owner back when he ran a hair salon) to the fact that Franky (the owner) can still be found cooking in the back, this stop brought food and history together in a truly charming way. We started with a beautiful artichoke heart, olive and cheese appetizer, however the true show stopper was the phenomenal garlic bread that came next. Voted #1 in San Diego, this incredible “melt in your mouth” bread is so good that it is actually used to draw people into the restaurant by handing out samples to those walking by.Next stop surprised me when I saw it on the list, but was one of my favorite stops – Humble Olive Oils.

He Said: I’m not going to lie – I went back for fourths, it was that good. I would have had more, but I knew I’d have to pace my eating on this tour!

Restaurant Review of Carlsbad Food Tours continues:
She Said: Humble Olive Oils is a family owned store and tasting room on State Street. Inside they offer the ability to taste and buy some of the finest premium and infused olive oils and aged balsamic vinegar’s from around the world. The wonderful lady behind the counter (also the owner) encouraged us to try as many flavors as we wanted…which we did. Nothing like slamming back some oil and vinegar on a Sunday afternoon. From white truffle, fig, and green chili oils (my favorite) to black currant, coconut white, and the Canadian must have – maple! This new discovery will definitely bring a new twist to the Vargo cooking.

He Said: Next up it was across the road to Vigilucci’s new Market next to their Italian Kitchen Restaurant. Here we got to sample of few of the goods they sell in store including the freshly made focaccia (mouth watering) and some of their imported Italian meats and olives (the biggest I’ve ever seen).

Restaurant Review of Carlsbad Food Tours:
She Said: After a few food stops, it was off to my most anticipated tasting…WINE! The Witch Creek Winery Tasting Room in an unassuming industrial building at the corner of Grand Avenue and Carlsbad Boulevard. The room has a great little bar (with grand piano) where we sampled a few of their traditional and blended wines. I was a big fan of Rich’s Big Red, whilst Doug tried to sway me across to the Syrah: 2013. We were told there will soon be a coffee bar on site as well, so really no need to ever leave.

Restaurant Review of Carlsbad Food Tours
He Said: Before our next stop we took a quick pit stop at the nearby Carlsbad Alkaline Water Store for a refreshing glass of this “miracle water.”

She Said: One of the best things about this tour was Cheri and her fantastic story telling and “little known facts” about the town and buildings. For instance, the Twin Inns (built in 1887) was the former mansion of Gerhard Schutte – a co-founder of Carlsbad. Also, Capt. John Frazier discovered Carlsbad’s Alkaline Mineral Water in 1882, which eventually led to a boom in the growth of the city.

Restaurant Review of Carlsbad Food Tours
He said: Next, we had a lightning-fast stop at Gregorio’s, “serving great Italian food and pizzas for 25 years,” where we sampled their famous eggplant sliders. It’s probably something you wouldn’t ordinarily think of making or ordering yourself…but they get my thumbs up. The dish was basically cooked eggplant in a cheese and marinara sauce, lathered between two Hawaiian buns. A simple…but very tasty dish.

She said: Given that garlic bread, dips, oils, panini, wine, and sliders are clearly not enough food for one afternoon…(they warned us to put all diets on hold) we next crossed the street to Senor Grubby’s where we were escorted to a beautiful table on their back patio. Next on the menu? Carnitas street tacos. Served on their fresh tortillas, and with just the right amount of spice, these tacos had a wonderful flavor and I didn’t even mind the pineapple on top. In fact, I kind of liked it!

Restaurant Review of Carlsbad Food Tours
He Said: I could definitely see myself coming back here with the kids on a Sunday afternoon during football season and enjoying a few tasty street tacos (or ten) while enjoying a nice cerveza and sneaking a good look at the NFL on the big screens in the outside patio!
She Said: Last stop on the tour was the Carlsbad Chocolate Bar for a sampling of their salted caramel. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but chocolate and salt together is always a winner in my books. And did I mention the wine? What a selection.

Restaurant Review of Carlsbad Food Tours
He Said: I am the opposite of Lydia and have a raging sweet tooth; one sample of the delicious caramel was never going to be enough. After I inhaled mine, Cheri offered me hers. Safe to say I didn’t pause longer than a microsecond before accepting her offer. Man – it was good!
She Said: A great end to a fantastic few hours, Cheri was a fun guide who really took the time to give us informative and insightful tidbits about each stop.

He said: If you’re looking for a leisurely way to spend an afternoon while eating good food and getting a relaxing history lesson along the way, then this is the tour for you! Other than the quick Wine Bar stop, it would actually be just as good for the whole family. Tours run Thursday through Monday from May through December.
Bressi Ranch Resident Restaurant Review of Carlsbad Food Tours

Carlsbad Food Tours
(760) 215-9433.

Written by Doug & Lydia Vargo, Bressi Resident