By Jeff Clemetson | Editor
On May 18, the popular Taste of Navajo will return to the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center for the ninth time. The near-decade old event that is a fundraiser for enrichment programs at Green Elementary in San Carlos has seen a lot of growth over the years.
According to event chair Erin Liddel, the first Taste of Navajo only offered five or six vendors but now averages around 14 or 15 and continues to attract new restaurants, breweries and wineries.
“I think the biggest thing is that we have some new vendors, which is exciting,” Liddel said, adding that the event is even gaining traction with neighboring eateries. “We are the Taste of Navajo but we have some [vendors] from surrounding areas, too.”
New this year is local barbeque restaurant The Pioneer as well as Terra American Bistro and Dirty Birds from the College area. The newcomers will join the list of returning vendors such as Antica Trattoria, Basil Thai, Gold Coast Bagel Co., Longhorn Bar and Grill, Los Primos, McGregors Ale House, Nicolosis and more.
The 21 and up event will also feature beers from Lagunitas, wines from Calloway Winery and, new this year, hard ciders from Poochies Hooch Urban Cidery which recently opened on Mission Gorge Road.
In addition to the great local foods and libations, Taste of Navajo will feature entertainment, including guided telescope star gazing with a local astronomer, live music from soul singer Cedrice and a fun raffle with gifts from sponsors like title sponsor Sycuan Casino.
The Mission Trails Park location will also be featured more this year.
“A lot of the food vendors this year we’re going to put outside on the patio there, so we’re really hoping for no rain,” Liddel said.
In addition to offering the community a way for neighbors to gather and support a local school, it is also a way for foodies to discover new places to dine in a region of San Diego that lacks a central district.
“In the San Carlos, Del Cerro, Grantville — the Navajo area — it is kind of hard to find a place to go out sometimes because they’re all kind of scattered,” Liddel said. “So this is nice way to let people know what’s going on.”
Taste of Navajo is held 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18th at the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor and Interpretive Center, 1 Junipero Serra Trail. Tickets for Taste of Navajo are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Advance tickets and information can be found at tasteofnavajo.com.
— Reach Jeff Clemetson at email@example.com.