Just about every neighborhood in San Diego hosts a “Taste Of…” festival each year, and Taste of Adams Ave might be my favorite. After attending the Gaslamp and Downtown events, I finally learned how to do these events right: be picky, share samples, and know when to quit. This time around, I focused most of my efforts on trying mostly sweets, a relatively easy feat since only a handful of places were handing out desserts.
The best taste of the day, by far, was at Mariposa Ice Cream in Normal Heights. The scoop shop was handing out cups with any two flavors. We tried rocky road, raspberry, mint chip, and peanut butter fudge. All four varieties were delicious, but the stand-outs were the raspberry (so full of fruity flavor!) and the mint chip, which I was happy to see didn’t have a bunch of green food coloring in it. The mint was cool and refreshing, and the chocolate chips throughout gave the smooth ice cream some crunch.
Romi’s Soft Serve Heaven served up three samples of soft serve ice cream: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. The soft serve had a creamy texture, and I liked how light it was. The richness of the chocolate made it the best flavor, and even though the vanilla and strawberry were tasty, I like the frozen yogurt versions of these flavors a lot more. Still, Romi’s is a great option for vegans, because they’re one of few spots in town to offer vegan-friendly soft-serve.
Viva Pops had a constant line outside during the event, and with flavors like chocolate banana and strawberry basil, it’s no surprise. This was the spot I was most excited about trying, and the pops did not disappoint. The chocolate banana was milk based, and tasted like a frozen chocolate banana smoothie. The strawberry basil was dairy-free, and chock-full of fruit. Both pops tasted exactly as advertised. I just wish I got there when the lavender lemonade pops were available!
Lestat’s had cups of iced coffee (much appreciated) and these little brownies. I love my brownies any way I can get ‘em (straight up, iced, mixed with peanut butter, or topped with ice cream) and these were pretty good. I could totally see myself getting cozy with a regular-sized brownie and a mocha sometime in the near future.
When I saw a doughnut shop on the list, I was intrigued. Since moving to San Diego almost a year ago, I have not had a decent doughnut, by which I mean a doughnut as good as Tim Hortons. Well, Gold’s Doughnut opened my eyes to what a doughnut is supposed to taste like…. and I learned, in just a few seconds, that what I’d thought of as a good doughnut was actually not very good at all. After sampling their glazed doughnut and French cruller, my mind was completely blown. “What have I been eating my whole life?” I exclaimed. “This….THIS is a doughnut!”
The final taste was several cheesecakes from The Incredible Cheesecake Company, including mocha, fudge brownie, reese’s peanut butter cup, and the Merv Griffin (chocolate). Despite filling my belly with everything from grass-beef sliders to jalapeno cheddar corn bread, I found room for these slivers of cheesecake, and it was totally worth it. Every flavor was insanely delicious. The cheesecake was rich and smooth, and had the ideal balance of cheesiness and sweetness. I will definitely be back.
Thank-you, Lisa of The Gonzo Gourmet, for the tickets!