Comic Con. It’s a household name in San Diego. And that’s saying something because we’re America’s Finest City! ;)
But bragging aside, there really is something to be said about the transformation this city undergoes every year once a year for the beautiful mania that is Comic Con. The streets of the Gaslamp District are overflowing with people but not with just mere mortals, no sir. For these 5 days a year, you’ll find witches and warlocks, dragon-rearing queens, anime characters, or your childhood hero and/or heroine.
Nightmare-sized figures of monsters and magical beings are erected, and just sit there like any other cultural art piece you might usually find downtown.
Celebrities suddenly become accessible to the average person with tons of celebrity panels.
From the illustrious to the insane, EVERYONE goes a little gaga for Comic Con.
But, of course, what I crave in any event, and really, my favorite part in it all, is the food. So after working up an appetite walking and people-watching through the Gaslamp, I picked a spot whose name alone piqued my interest.
Nick and I walked into Werewolf and smiles immediately threatened the tips of our lips. Werewolf is an eclectic joint with quirky details in every corner. It becomes fairly obvious that the entire restaurant itself is like one big cartoon and movie mashup. It was mismatched wallpaper abound, with one looking almost like gold lamé to a rather campy one of trees. On one particular wall, there hung what looked to be an antique painting of a creepy-looking man but one which Nick pointed out to actually have been featured in the Ghostbusters 2 movie.
The hallway to the bathrooms hung a poster of Chuck Norris, proclaiming that this place had “Kick Ass Food”, and the bathrooms themselves looked like they were ripped from out a comic book.
It was a sight to see in itself, which only made me that more excited to chow down on what looked like a delicious selection on their menu. In the spirit of Comic Con, it seems that they even changed their menu to fit the event.
My eyes were nearly bleary from all the options I wanted to try but eventually, they zeroed in on two things: the Papas balls and the Triple Threat burger. Now does that sound like deadly combination or what?
But did the real deal live up to the mouth-watering descriptions?
The answer is a partial resounding YES and a disappointed no. (Which is really answer to almost everything, isn't it? Annoying sometimes.)
The Papas balls were lightly coated balls of mashed potato, mixed with bacon, scallion and cotija cheese, and topped with Werewolf’s very own house sauce. I read it and immediately thought of my Bita’s (Bita is what I call my grandma - short for abuelita) heavenly croquetas. And perhaps that was my mistake. My imagination linked it to a dish that already has a special place in my heart, and it failed to live up to it. I was expecting a delightful crunch right as I bit into one of them, but the crunch never came. Though they weren’t dry, there was just a complete lack of real flavor, especially considering the jackpot list of ingredients I saw on the description.
However, what really got those drool ducts going was the description of the burger. 1/3lb patty. Maple glazed PORK BELLY. Pause for swoon. Fried egg. OMG. Greens and Blue Cheese aioli. Be still my beating heart! Wait, am I having a heart attack?
Either way, the clogging of my arteries seemed well worth it for this baby:
The first bite was like an experience of art. The burger itself looked pretty simple but as your tongue and teeth collide with the burger’s contents, it was like an explosion - an explosion of taste, of emotion, of sheer joy that you are where you are, eating what you are eating.
It was magnificent. And each bite just got better.
The blue cheese in the aioli was surprisingly toned down, probably the egg yolks and other ingredients, but it did so much to bring out the taste of the meat even further. The yolk of the fried egg drenched the pork belly as I bit into it and somehow only intensified the delicious maple smokiness of it.
I was down to my last bite in about 5 minutes flat.
Though the burger came with a side of fries, I upgraded them to garlic fries, since I had heard good things about them. Unfortunately, these were the most disappointing of the meal. When you hear garlic fries, you think tons of flavor but there wasn’t much in the batch I had.
I took it as a sign that I should quit with the fries and just all my love and attention to the Triple Threat that was definitely the burger.
I also ordered a drink since something cold sounded heaven sent in the heat of the day, so I opted for one of Werewolf’s specialty drinks. It was called the Down South Kiss, and provocative as it sounds, it turned out to be a sweet-looking, girly pink drink that was every bit as tasty as it looked. Strawberry puree was mixed in delightfully with ginger beer, creating a truly refreshing and perfect day drink.
Altogether, Werewolf was quite a character that I couldn’t place. Though the burger alone is worth a visit, I’d say choose wisely in terms of the menu. You can tell that this establishment takes their alcohol seriously (It even had a bar with rows of alcohol backlit in multicolor) and boy oh boy, could they mix a drink.
I do think, however, that this is a prime place to spend a Comic Con afternoon. One of the awesome things about Comic Con is that you don’t even have to attend the convention to join in on the fun. There are plenty of setups outside of the Convention Center to partake in, and best of all, the people-watching is just prime this time of year.
Summer seems to just bring on this craving in San Diego for something exciting, and Comic Con is the answer to its urges. Whether it’s the crazy costumes, the revamped menus of Gaslamp restaurants, there’s something to draw everyone in.
|Come on in....|
HUGE thanks to my Tita (Auntie) Diana Bolido Barrera for allowing me to use some of her pictures! This blog post just wouldn't have been complete with your help, Tita! :D
627 4th Ave. San Diego, CA 92101