San Diego County Fair Alternative Coming this Summer

An alternative version of the San Diego County Fair is coming to the fairground this summer.

In a statement released on the fair website, “The 22nd District Agricultural Association is getting back to our roots to present HOME*GROWN*FUN, a four-week celebration of community and agriculture offering a taste of what San Diegans have grown to love about the annual fair.” 

Last summer, officials canceled the San Diego County fair due to the Coronavirus pandemic because gatherings of any size were prohibited.

The cancelation was detrimental to the fair because it’s the largest annual event in San Diego County every year (next to Comic-Con).

Photo Credit: @sandiegocountyfair on Instagram

While we are still in a global pandemic, things are improving. This year, the fair will operate; with modifications.

Capacity limited with timed entry required (to prevent overcrowding) and parking passes purchased in advance online. Tickets for parking will go on sale beginning May 1, 2021, on their website.  

The fair, “HOME*GROWN*FUN will offer famous “fair food favorites,” shopping, food concessions, Ferris wheel, a carousel, and various agricultural-themed exhibits. 

The modified fair event will run from June 11 through July 4 (Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays).

Admission is $10, with children 5 & younger are free. All guests heading to the fair will be required to wear masks and practice physical distancing from other guests.

For more information regarding the fair, please visit their website at sdfair.com

Photo Cover: San Diego County Fair by Israel Palacio on Unsplash

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

ICYMI: San Diego Hits the Orange Tier

San Diego County has officially entered the “moderate” orange tier of COVID-19 restrictions as of April 7, 2021.

Now that San Diego is in the orange tier this is excellent news for more businesses that can officially open up or increase capacity.

  • Restaurants: Open for outdoor service and indoors, however, limited to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer. Live entertainment allowed.
  • Hotels and lodging: Open. Fitness centers in hotels can open at 25% capacity including indoor pools.
  • Offices: Open indoors, however teleworking is encouraged.
  • Gyms and fitness centers: Indoors are open at 25% capacity. Indoor pools can open.
  • Place of worship: Indoors can open at 50% capacity
  • Hair salons and Barbershops: Open with modifications
  • Personal services (including nail salons, tattoo, piercing): Open with modifications
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums: Open Indoors at a 50% capacity
  • Movie theaters: Indoors open at a 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Breweries, wineries and distilleries that serve food: Indoors are now open at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
Photo Credit: Mike Petrucci on Unsplash
  • Bars that do not serve food: Open outdoors only
  • Family Entertainment centers (including bowling allies): Outdoors open. Indoor open with a limited capacity at 25% or 50% if all guests test negative or show proof of fill vaccination with additional restrictions
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering: Indoors open at 25% capacity
  • Limited services (Laundromats, Dry Cleaners, Car Washes, Auto repair): Open
  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Open. Sales of food drink, or alcohol allowed. Campground are also open.
  • Indoor playgrounds (Bounce centers, ball pits, laser tag). Open with a max capacity of 25%
  • Amusement parks: Open at 25% capacity
  • Live events, including sports or entertainment: Open at 33% capacity in assigned seating.
  • Entertainment Production: Industries, studios, and other related establishments such as establishments that provide content for professional broadcast can operation without live audiences.

Cover Photo: Stephen Leonardi on UnSplash

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Sunflower Seeds: A Soon to be Farewell

As I soon say farewell as an undergraduate student, I would like to thank San Diego State University for the best four years of my life. As I am currently applying to full time opportunities for post graduation, I am reminiscing on the time I had throughout the years.

My freshman year was the biggest learning year for me.

It was my least favorite year, but I was still figuring out who I was as a person. I was mentally, physically, and emotionally unhealthy. The Freshman 15 was more like the Freshman 30, and I did not take school seriously. I did not pass a class that year and I never felt good about myself. However, the summer following my freshman year I got myself back in shape! I put my well-being first, and that was the best thing I could have done. 

Sophomore year was a bit interesting at first because I felt like I was starting over again.

I had cleansed myself from the negativity that I brought upon my freshman year, so I almost felt like I was starting as a newbie again. However, this was a great year for my growth. I made new friends that happen to be some of my best friends today! I joined new clubs like KCR College Radio, I and explored more of what San Diego had to offer. The books came first and I raised my GPA so I could stay in the business school. I felt more like myself and I am so thankful that I pushed my limits to get out of my comfort zone to do those new things.

Junior year was by far my favorite year. It was a year of doing what I wanted and it payed off.

I went to New York with KCR, Stagecoach Festival (if you know me you know that I used to hate country), and on a fun road trip in Arizona. I pushed myself to try new things every day. This was the year that I really got back into playing beach volleyball, so I was happy I could connect with something that I had always loved. Junior year was the first time that I was able to start taking my major classes too. I am so happy that I stuck with marketing after taking countless accounting and calculus classes. I felt well established and I was thriving in whatever I did.

As a senior I am thankful for my time.

I would have said this is my favorite year, but I do find it quite stressful applying for jobs. This is the first time in my life that I don’t know what I am doing after the school year. I find it very scary but also extremely thrilling. The opportunities are endless and I am here for the adventure.

I wish everyone that I have met over these four years the best of luck in the future. Also, I’d like to give a huge shout out to my parents for supporting me though out the years and especially college — I couldn’t have done it without them and their love. Lastly, I would like to thank myself for following my dreams and believing in me.

Written by: Nina Capuani
Me live on Sunflower Hour 🙂

FoodieBooty: Doggies and Free Sprinkles at Stella Jean’s

Double Scoop cone with Matcha Pistachio (top) and Grapefruit + Cranberry Sherbert (bottom)

Hello, my lil snacks! It is a new semester and a new age for FoodieBooty! This week highlights the magical ice cream shoppe, Stella Jean’s.

I come happier, hungrier, and with a little bit of stress, so that means more food, more posts, and more reckless spending of my savings account to get some tasty yummies in my tummy. 

Anyways, back to the food. 

My latest food venture came from my ice cream obsessed friend who we’ll call Rico like the guy from Hannah Montana (and yes I am rewatching it on Disney plus). Rico is one of two friends of mine who can authentically relate to seeing ice cream as a passion, or more likely a way of life. Every time we taste new ice creams, we talk about its texture, flavor profile, color, aftertaste, and our feelings post first taste. We discuss the worth of a split scoop and the appropriate heft of the average scoop. We don’t just eat ice cream, we experience it.

Rico was the person who pointed me towards remarkably delicious ice cream places such as Salt & Straw and previously reviewed, An’s Dry Cleaning. This time she led me to a place called Stella Jean’s Ice Cream. A small batch, completely handmade ice cream shop in the heart of Park Boulevard. I went not knowing what to expect, but I left enamored with the style, flavor combinations, and free sprinkles! 

The Experience

I visited the shop two days after Valentine’s Day with my non-dairy boo. The storefront has an old school feel from the outside with crisp white paint, a contrasting pink ice cream cone saying “Stella Jean’s” and a large window with gold and white lettering saying “ University Heights Handmade Ice Cream.” As soon as we walked in, the old school feel faded and gave way to a modern and vibrant ice cream shop which has been called one of the top ten ice cream shops of 2019 in the U.S. by USA Today.

The smell of freshly baked waffle cones pervaded the air and the name of fourteen different flavors called out my name. Luckily, enough for my non-dairy boo, six of the fourteen were vegan flavors!

As our server explained, all of the ice cream is made in house and in small batches with a lot of love and care. Both the vegan and non-vegan flavors can be paired up with a sugar cone, gluten free vegan cone, or cup. The flavors change with the seasons and you can try as many of them as you like before deciding which one you want to order, which is a very important detail when you take ice cream as seriously as I do.

The flavors include: 

Grapefruit + Cranberry Sherbert (V)

Sweet Mint + Cacao Nibs (V)

Mango + Sticky Rice (V)

Brown Butter Pecan

Earl Grey Citrus Tea Cake 

Salty Caramel Corn 

Mango Sorbet (V)

Tarragon Apple Jam 

Double Chocolate 

Matcha Pistachio (V)

My non-dairy boo and I tried all of the vegan flavors the first time I went… But I sneaked back with Rico a couple days later to try some of the milky ones for all of you guys. Duty calls. 

The Tasting

I’ll start with the vegan flavors because those came first. My favorites were the matcha pistachio, the grapefruit and cranberry sherbert, and the mango sorbet. The matcha pistachio is the glory of all glories and the reason I will keep coming back to Stella Jean’s until the end of my days. It is the perfect ice cream for those fans of matcha who think that most matcha products don’t taste like matcha at all. It is earthy, velvety and at times crunchy due to the pistachios delicately spun into it. It is perfectly sweet but not too sweet. The grapefruit and cranberry sherbert is incredibly refreshing yet incredibly tart so it is not for the faint of heart. If you love citrus and you love IPAs, you would probably love this sherbert for its sharpness and tang. The mango sorbet is just one of the brightest and most cheerful ice creams I have tried in the past year. Tasting it just made me smile instantly. 

From the milky flavors, my favorite flavors were the earl grey citrus tea cake and the salty caramel corn. Earl grey enthusiasts will LOVE this ice cream flavor since it perfectly delivers on the floral and tea-ish notes of earl grey. Tasting this ice cream brought me distinct memories of sitting by my window in 9th grade, reading Salinger, and sipping earl grey tea with a fat splash of milk. The salty caramel corn flavor is a beautiful creation which truly celebrates the natural flavor of yellow corn. Paired up with a dancing ripple of salty caramel, the corn ice cream shines through and perfectly infuses with the salty and sweet notes of the caramel. If you’re expecting the taste of popcorn, do not order this flavor. What you get is a lot different, and in my opinion, A LOT better.

My least favorites from all the flavors were the chocolate covered banana with almonds and the sweet mint with cacao nibs. It feels bad to say least favorites because I actually did like these flavors but there was just something about the combinations that felt a little lackluster in contrast to the other INCREDIBLE flavors. The cacao nibs were a bit of a nuisance in an otherwise perfect sweet mint ice cream since they are very hard to munch on and also very bitter by nature. I loved the concept which played on a classic mint chip ice cream, but the actual delivery was not my favorite since I wanted less cacao and more chocolate.

Banana in general is a flavor which I find extremely tricky to deal with in ice cream, since it is so easy to have it taste completely artificial and treacly. I give my props to Stella Jean for having one of the most natural tasting banana ice cream profiles I have ever tasted. Yet, I found the chocolate flavor profile in the ice cream too weak and the almonds in the ice cream not offering the right texture as a contrast to the smoothness of the ice cream. 

The Verdict

Overall, Stella Jean’s is an unequivocal landmark of quality, depth of flavor, and originality within the San Diego ice cream scene. From seeing the shop to tasting the flavors to ordering your cone, Stella Jean’s delivers a beautiful ice cream eating experience that is minimalist and cheerful in nature. With its original and tasty flavors, free sprinkles option, reasonable prices ($7.00 for a double scoop on a waffle cone), and excellent customer service, Stella Jean’s is worth a million visits! It is a small, local ice cream business that makes all of its flavors in house with so much passion you can actually taste it. I give it a closed 4 booty points out of 5!

I now leave you with a watering mouth and all the information you need to visit Stella Jean’s below. 

With love,

FoodieBooty

Stella Jean’s Ice Cream 

Instagram

(619) 501-8252

4404 Park Blvd ste b

San Diego, CA 92116