The San Diego Public Market Throws Epic Street Food Market Event

Photo by Jen Dery of

March 31, 2013

At the inaugural Street Food Market event at the San Diego Public Market, the compilation of chefs, entertainers, and food and beverage purveyors organized under one roof was unbelievably impressive to say the least.  For those who missed it, 43 plus chefs from Baja to San Diego converged on San Diego's new and constantly improving public farmer's market - the San Diego Public Market - for what was an evening of amazing tastes, entertaining performances, and so much more, all to benefit the growth of a permanent public market fixture akin to Seattle's Pike Place and Philadelphia's Reading Terminal.

Petting zoo photo booth!
Street Food at the San Diego Public market was a dynamic event, and in addition to food and beverage vendors, there was a mini petting zoo, several bands, including a mariachi group, Flamenco dancers, stilt walkers,  fire dancers/eaters, and many other buskers.  The smoke filled setting was bustling with liveliness, almost overwhelming in the amount of sights, sounds, smells and tastes to experience, grasping the true essence of a street fair.  In comparison to San Diego Public Market's February 2013 Taste of the Market event, the only similarities besides the setting was the presence of the market's Kickstarter funders and delcious food, as the Street Food event was like a bacchanal celebration compared to the much more tame Taste of the Market.  

Miho Gastrotruck's Beef tongue Parmesan
Photo by Jen Dery of
In addition to slinging their famed carnitas bao bao sandwiches, Gaijin Noodle House operated the central bar throughout the night, in celebration of their recently acquired liquor license.  Patrons lined up in droves to use their limited drink tickets and to purchase innovative beverages throughout the night. The only complaints of the evening were heard from those in this queu, as it remained lengthy even when all others subsided.  Patrons could have found satisfaction elsewhere though, as Tequila samples from Apocalypto Tequila were being poured, cocktails were being concocted by  Snake Oil Cocktail Co., and Nate Howell from Cusp Dining & Drinks was mixing up brandy infused Camomile tea with grapefruit oil and agave syrup as well as gin infused ginger and green tea with honey.

Dirty South Chicken N' Biscuit
Of the ungodly amounts of food being slung, Miho Gastrotruck's Beef Tongue Parmesan slider was one of the most delicious and interesting.  Usually apprehensive of offals, I sunk my drunken teeth right into this slider as soon as we arrived (we were at the MVCBF Fest all day!) and was in awe at its perfect texture, the tongue patty crispy on the outside and so tender and moist inside.  Moving along, everyone was talking about Chef Matt Gordon's (of Urban Solace, Solace & The Moonlight Lounge in Encinitas, and soon-to-be Sea & Smoke in Del Mar) Dirty South Chicken n' Biscuits - a whiskey marinated fried jidori chicken tender biscuit sandwich with sassafras aioli, pickled onions and wild arugula.  The Lodge at Torrey Pines/A.R. Valentien's Chef Jeff Jackson wowed the crowd with his beautiful pie on a stick, while Pastry Chef Jennifer Costa was offering gorgeous macaroon treats.  NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar's Chef Jason Knibb offered roasted 'Jerk' chicken that was a crowd favorite, so moist and filled with sweet and savory flavors.

Sabina Bandera and Brian Malarkey
Having recently made the trip south of the border to taste their tostadas, we were super excited that the world renowned La Guerrerense was in attendance from Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.  Owner Sabina Bandera's was seen lighting up the market with her smile, and even local celebrity chef Brian Malarkey couldn't stay away.  Those in the know returned to Bandara's stand for serving after serving of the famed seafood tostadas.  Soooo good!  You have to taste them to understand.  These unique street tacos are worth the trip to Ensenada.  Being able to get them right in San Diego made our month!  

The Street Food event at the San Diego Public Market was certainly one for the ages.  Thanks go out to co-chair Andrew Spurgin, Melissa Mayer, and Market co-founders Catt White and Dale Steele for putting together such an exciting event.  Keep track of the progress of the San Diego Public Market, as we'll be sure to see more amazing events offered in the future.

For more information on the San Diego Public Market, visit the website and follow Facebook and Twitter.  Check out the video below to see scenes from the Street Food Market event!