DEL MAR — With two dozen area restaurants offering samples of everything from appetizers to desserts, and tickets only $25 or $30, the annual Del Mar Taste & Art Stroll is one of the best bargains in North County.
The Oct. 6 event, held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along the city’s main downtown thoroughfare, also featured live music on various stages, a new Fido Festival for man’s best friend and local and regional artists and crafters who showcased paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and more.
Culinary offerings included chilled cucumber and grape soup from Sbicca, slices from Del Mar Pizza, Jake’s blue crab and mango salad, margarita or ham and cheese crepes from Crepes and Corks, a Peruvian-style vegan paella created by the owner of Café Secret, Nothing Bundt Cakes samples and Brigantine’s mocha brownies, to name a few.
Crowd favorites were Kitchen 1540’s beef cheek sliders served with beer cheese on a house-made pretzel roll and prime sliders with barbeque butter sauce and a sampling of sweet potato casserole from Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
One taste at each stop was a meal for the day.
But food wasn’t just available to two-legged participants. The Fido Festival, set up along 15th Street, provided dog tastes, specialty pet products and services and a “puparazzi” photo booth.
As Del Mar residents Dave and Cindy Patterson enjoyed the restaurant samplings, their two children were lobbying them to take advantage of another offering — pet adoptions from local shelters and organizations.
Hosted by the Del Mar Village Association, the event supports the organization’s downtown improvement projects. Tasting tickets were $25 in advance or $30 the day of the event.