San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival Holds One of a Kind Taco Tuesday | The San Diego Classics: Fish Tacos & Craft Beers Featuring a Fish Taco TKO Challenge at Stone Liberty Station

Sandbar's winning creation
November 27, 2013

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Liberty Station sectioned off its massive, back rock garden on Tuesday, Nov. 19 for San Diego Bay Wine & Food Fest's The San Diego Classics: Fish Tacos & Craft Beers featuring a riveting Fish Taco TKO Challenge between 11 fierce competitors. Attendees were each provided 3 tokens to vote for their favorite seafood taco(s), each paired with a craft beer option by Stone's resident cicerone and pairing master "Dr." Bill Sysak. At the end of the night, Sandbar Sports Grill from Mission Beach reigned supreme, with The Blind Burro taking a close second, followed by third place Casanova Fish Tacos. It was truly an epic Taco Tuesday!

Tequila Bar's abalone taco
The fish taco is a staple of San Diego, and craft beer is one of our biggest businesses, so it's only sensical that the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Fest would throw an event to honor both. We persevered through all 11 taco samples, filling our bellies with beer along the way, and although we didn't agree with the overall results (our picks were 1) Tequila Bar & Grill; 2) Spike Africa's; 3) Tie between Casanova and The Blind Burro), we really didn't care because taste is subjective and all participants put out amazing product.

Sandbar's winning taco was mammoth and definitely won for best presentation. A cotija cheese-crusted flour tortilla was piled with marinated and grilled dorado, roasted chipotle aioli, beer brined escabeche slaw, spicy guacamole, crispy tobacco onions and more cotija cheese, all served on a corn husk. We thought it was a bit overwhelming, but it was evident early on, based on the line and accumulating pile of wooden tokens, that Sandbar would take home the title at this year's event.

Spike Africa's taco
At the end of the evening, we hoped to jump in there and construct a taco of our own, sourcing individual ingredients from all the competitors. We would take the fresh made tortillas from Fat Fish Cantina, top it with fresh grilled Mahi from Spike Africa's, a bit of brown garlic butter and a few abalone from Tequila Grill, some of Romesco's extra spicy habanero sauce, finished with the avocado and mango salsa from PB Fish Shop. Pair this bad boy with Casanova's fortunate pairing of Russian River's Pliny The Elder and you may have your winner.

The San Diego Classics was an event that we hope will return for many years to come. At the cost of $45 for unlimited food and beer samples, it was an amazing value at one of San Diego's hottest locations.

Check out our photos of all the tacos on SanDiegoVille's Facebook Page, and be sure to visit San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival's website for details on next year's events.