Dining For Everyone in the Heart of The Village in Carlsbad
“Community is not just about being together. It’s about doing life together.” -Jen Schmidt
The days of mall food courts are long gone. While they provide a variety of food to feed the masses, the movement has shifted to a more modern scene. Let’s join in saying goodbye to the mass produced and low-quality fast food, and hello to food vendors using locally sourced and organic ingredients. Carlsbad’s new “it” spot, Park 101.
This venue is adult friendly, family friendly, and dog-friendly. The layout and seating areas are very multi-dimensional and multi-functional. From picnic tables to community tables, bar stools and high top tables, fire pit and patio seating, you’re sure to find a comfy spot to kick back and enjoy some great food and drinks.
The upstairs deck, known as the Tamarack Deck, has a full-service bar for drinks and shareable plates (after 5 pm). The rooftop not only provides a bird’s eye view of downtown Carlsbad but also has a hip and sophisticated vibe.
Their menu features great shareable options. A charcuterie board is a staple in my book, so of course, I had to check that out. I love the presentation and the ingredients on their board. The offerings of cheeses, meats, fruits, jams, pickles, and more were fresh and really complimentary of each other. We also opted for the Zucchini Caprese, a nice twist on the traditional Caprese.
On the front exterior of the building is Deli and Dough. The walk up window opens at 6 am for your morning caffeine and/or sugar rush with freshly made donuts and organic coffee. Park 101 sources their coffee through Café Virtuoso, the only certified organic coffee in San Diego. I enjoyed a delicious Iced Hazelnut Latte. Bonus, they use the “fancy ice,” i.e. the nugget ice.
Later in the morning, the deli opens for all those wonderful grab and go options. Providing ready made food options like protein boxes, salads, sandwiches, and more.
What would make this deli even better? Ice cream, duh! Deli and Dough is serving up ice cream sandwiches with on site freshly baked cookies. The ice cream has no artificial flavors or preservatives and is locally sourced through Niederfrank’s ice cream. Check out this bomb cookie ice cream sandwich I had with funfetti cookies and blackberry twist ice cream.
Feeling thirsty? Of course you are because it’s HOT outside! Stop by the Garden Pub and get yourself a cold beverage. I’m personally partial to the watermelon mimosas! I was pretty stoked to witness some behind the scenes action for the making of these mimosas. Real watermelons in a giant bucket met their fate with the biggest immersion blender I’ve ever seen to be enjoyed in a frozen and delicious manner for all those over 21.
Watermelon mimosas aren’t the only cool beverages they offer. They have a huge selection of beer and wine options on tap as well as some pre mixed cocktails. If you’re looking for a refreshing drink, try out the Park 101 mule. It has a great ginger flavor and is really refreshing with cucumber and mint. And if you want to be super hipster, the frosé is the perfect summer drink.
The main source of food offered at Park 101 is their cafeteria line also known as Smoked Meats. Executive Chef Ryan Tuskan is pumping out freshly made sides, salads, and in house smoked meats. Meats are smoked on site anywhere between 2-12 hours depending on the meat. Tuskan makes all of the rubs and barbecue sauces from scratch.
The Chef’s sampler is definitely the way to go if you’re looking for some delicious barbecue. The pork ribs, tri-tip, and brisket are soo tender that they melt in your mouth. Be sure to try the homemade mac and cheese with a béchamel cheese sauce, roasted brussel sprouts, cauliflower with goat cheese, and potato salad.
Whether you’re bringing along a date, a group of friends, or the family, check out the lower level turf area featuring lawn games like Connect Four, Jenga, Corn Hole, and Dominos.
Can’t wait to have a girl’s night out with a glass of wine and another cheese board. The venue is looking to bring in entertainment, which would be an extra incentive to hanging out here with friends and having a fun evening. Park 101 is the place to be this summer, and I’m willing to bet you’ll have as much fun as I did.