Comin’ to Comic-Con? Hop Over to The Hopping Pig!

Happy Friday the 13th!! Oooooooo!!!!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the date: Friday the 13th!  Cue scary music!!  I love horror movies, especially Friday the 13th.  I’m hoping to talk my husband into watching that movie tonight for the 1 millionth time.  We’ll see. (I found this photo on a cool movie blog: http://www.gmanreviews.com/. So much fun stuff to read out there!)

You might have other plans.  Are you going to Comic-Con?  That’s the big question around town now.  If you live in the San Diego area, you know about it.  You might know about it if you live out-of-state or even out of the country.  If you’re unfamiliar, let me fill you in.  I’ve never attended the event, but I’ve been downtown when it was in full swing a of couple years ago .  Comic-Con started in San Diego.  So there’s a lot of local pride with the event.  In addition, local news channels cover it about as much as they cover Mitt and Barack’s daily agendas.  Here’s the link: http://www.comic-con.org/cci/  To sum it up, approximately 125,000 people at the Conference Center in the Gaslamp District attend meetings, Q&As, seminars, and exhibits dealing with comic books, anime, and gaming.  There’s a blood drive, a zombie walk, art exhibits, etc, etc.  Many of the people are in costumes – everything from Super Man to characters out of one’s own imagination.  As you can guess, it’s a great people watching event!  Many people go to the downtown area just for the people watching and celebrity sightings (which there are many!!).  One year, Dennis Miller walked by us while we were having cocktails at Morton’s, and then my party was seated next to Chevy Chase’s table .  Many celebrities are promoting a movie, but it seems a good number attend as fans of the event.  (By the way, Chevy was really nice and cracked a few jokes.  That was cool.)

If you are either going to gawk at the crowds or if you are attending an event downtown, you might wonder where to grab a drink and a bite to eat.   This past Sunday, Franz and I went to a ballgame at Petco Park.  Since it was a gorgeous day, we decided to walk around the popular Gaslamp District (http://www.gaslamp.org/).   I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of downtown.  It’s usually crowded (and this weekend, it will be mobbed!), people can be a little sketchy, parking is a pain (especially if you are like me and hate to pay for parking), and, in general,  it’s just not my scene.  Having said that, there’s some great people watching even when Comic-Con isn’t in town!  I saw a woman wearing stilettos – it was early afternoon on a Sunday!  Who does that?  People downtown, that’s who!  And it’s interesting walking past all of the restaurants and clubs – I love seeing what types hang out where and how the interior is decorated.

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We decided to check out a place I’ve heard lots of good things: The Hopping Pig Gastropub (http://www.thehoppingpig.com/site/).  A sign at the front door announcing their happy hour specials was a great start.  Walking inside, I felt like I left downtown behind me.  The mason jar lighting gave off nice warm light, and the windows and entrance allowed the natural light outside to come in.  There were three separate parties that had children (and I must add, the kids acted far better than some adults I’ve seen downtown!), and all of the employees were very friendly.

The sign outside and the server informed us that certain local beers were at the happy hour price.  A couple of the beers on special were technically not local, but who am I to argue?  Franz and I opted for Victory Helios, a Saison.  It was a perfect choice for a hot day and paired well with the small plates we ordered.  Out of the 3 things we ordered, I was loving the carnitas taco ($3.50 on special) and pulled pork sliders ($4 on special).  Tacos and sliders came 2 to an order.  I could have had a dozen.  My least favorite was the fish taco made with tilapia.  Fresh corn tortillas are the base for these delectable bites, and they are perfect.  I’m not a fan of store-bought tortillas being served to me.  I want a corn tortilla that isn’t dry, has a super fresh corn flavor with a hint of lard, and I want it to be able to handle the toppings coming its way.   The pork in the taco was juicy,  flavorful, and a just a touch smoky.  The toppings, salsa verde and pico de gallo, were fresh and full of Mexican-flavor goodness.  The bun for pulled pork sliders – bravo!!  I love a bun that can multitask:  be tough enough to handle a mound of pulled pork and the brandied coleslaw, but soft enough to create that feeling of homemade baked bread.  Did you see the photo I took?  I still get a little teary.  And I’m not sure why I didn’t like the fish taco.  Great tortilla: Check.  Fresh pico de gallo: Nope, but it did have a tasty mango and papaya salsa, so Check.  Crisp shredded red cabbage: Half Check (I prefer red and this one had the standard white cabbage.  When you are married to a man with a 100% German ancestry, you become an expert on cabbage.).  Flavorful Sauce: Check.  Lightly breaded fish: Check.  Overall, it just was standard.

If you want more ideas for good beer places, check out http://hoptologysd.com/.  My friend, Mr. HoptologySD, knows his beers and really knows his comic books.  He’ll be at Comic-Con, so I’m sure he’ll be posting or tweeting some helpful information.

Be careful out there!  And if you happen to sit next to Green Lantern at a bar, take a picture and send it to me!

Take Care and Happy Eating!

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7 thoughts on “Comin’ to Comic-Con? Hop Over to The Hopping Pig!

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