I was recently contacted by Kristi of Dishcrawl San Diego to do a giveaway on my blog and to try out Dishcrawl for myselt. The second San Diego Dishcrawl took place in Hillcrest, a diverse urban neighborhood. I have been to a few restaurants in Hillcrest but none of the following. I now feel as if I have a much better feel for the neighborhood and their fantastic cuisine.
View of the Empire House Bar
About Dishcrawl “Food, Fun, and Exploration! We here at Dishcrawl aim to provide you with a premier culinary social experience by bringing together neighborhood restaurants, local chefs, regional food producers and fellow food enthusiasts. Join us if you’d like to embark on a one-of-a-kind gastronomic adventure!”
Dishcrawl does not tell you where you start off your culinary adventure until 48 hours prior to dinner time. All you know is that you will be trying out 4 restaurants in a specified neighborhood. There is a bit of a thrill not knowing where you are going especially if you have not tried out very many places in that neighborhood.
Our first stop was at Busalacchi’s A Modo Mio and holy canoli this place is fantastic! I have been thinking about that butternut squash ravioli ever since. The Costatine short ribs on top of a potato cake with creme fraiche also made my day. I will definitely order these items again. The ambiance and outdoor patio was beautiful and also worth going back for.
Busalacchi’s A Modo Mio
Butternut squash ravioli | Amaretto sage cream, toasted hazelnuts
Costatine | short ribs, chives, potato cake, creme fraiche
Bruschetta | hummus, tomatoes, garlic, grilled rosemary ciabata
Our second stop was RGang Eatery. The smoked gouda mac n cheese was melt in your mouth delicious. The hint of smoked gouda really makes this dish a show stopper. I would also go back for those tasty blackened ahi tacos.
Smoked Gouda Mac n Cheese | Toasted Butter Cracker Crumb Topping
Mini Ahi Tacos | Wonton shells, blackened seared ahi tuna, soy ginger glaze, wasabi whipped cream, micro greens
Cheddar & Chive tot | chipotle ranch
The delicious tastes of Empire House. Photo by From Under the Willow Tree
Our third stop was Empire House. The co-owner Larry Malone gave us a background on the restaurants history and seems to be very proud of his establishment – as he should be. This place has a very unique, vintage styled farmhouse feel which I loved. The food was delicious. I really enjoyed the pulled pork taco with the pickled daikon and the BBQ Cast-iron burger with red-miso BBQ sauce.
BBQ Bacon Cast-iron Burger | glazed with our house made red-miso BBQ sauce, bacon, havarti cheese, garlic aioli, lettuce, pickled red onion on a seeded bun
Tater Tots | Original Style
Pulled Pork | pulled braised pork, cilantro slaw, diced tomato, pickled carrot and daikon, cotija cheese
The Babycakes dessert sampling. Photo by From Under the Willow Tree
Our fourth and final stop was Babycakes. They had a smooth and satisfying mini blood orange cupcake with a little blueberry in the bottom along with a brownie and cookie bar for their tastes. Babycakes is also unique because not only is it a full bakery but it is also a bar – fun concept!
Mini blood orange cupcake
Rocky road bar
Night Views of Hillcrest Photo by From Under the Willow Tree
Overall, San Diego dishcrawl in Hillcrest was very fun and filling! They had a great assortment of food tastes which made up one fabulous meal. Interested in doing a Dishcrawl? Check out their website for the next event.
Cheri and I getting our third tastes at Empire House. Photo by From Under the Willow Tree