Local beer folks are all in agreement that the San Diego Brewer's Guild Festival, happening this Saturday at the World Beat Center in Balboa Park, is the best beer fest in town, both for brewers and drinkers. All San Diego breweries are confirmed to be at the event, which starts at 7 p.m., including AleSmith Brewing Company which just won Small Brewing Company of the Year and Brewer of the Year at the recent Great American Beer Festival. The $25 pre-sale ticket gets you 10 tasters of rare and specialty beers, plus free food samples from beer pubs and beer-centric restaurants including The Linkery, Hamilton's Tavern and O'Brien's. There will be live music and free parking, too. Buy tickets online at www.sandiegobrewersguild.org.
Eclipse Chocolat is celebrating its first year in business this Saturday, Nov. 8 from 7 to 10 p.m. with a complimentary wine-and-truffle tasting. The shop recently got its wine and beer license, and will be offering three featured wines paired with three artisan truffles, including the new Vanilla Bean Sassafras truffle. You'll also be able to sample some savory chocolate dishes from upcoming tasting dinners, save 10 percent off all retail chocolates and receive a two free truffles with every box of 10 you purchase. Eclipse also recently added a weekday happy hour, from 4 to 7 p.m., when every beer or wine purchase includes a free truffle. 2121 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. eclipsechocolat.com.
The San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival starts next week on Wednesday, Nov. 12, with a wine party at the W Hotel, and continues with a series of wine tasting and cooking classes on Nov. 13 and 14. It all culminates on Nov. 15 with a huge food-tasting event held outdoors in Embarcadero Park. Sixty San Diego chefs and restaurants, 30 gourmet food companies and 150 wine and spirit producers will be giving out food and drink samples. Oof, better put on the elastic pants. For tickets or for more information about any of the events, visit www.worldofwineevents.com.
A new African restaurant has just opened in University Heights, at the previous site of Vinbladh's Café on Park Boulevard. Muzita Abyssinian Bistro is a family-run restaurant serving Ethiopian food in a cozy café setting. 4651 Park Blvd.
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