We’ve reached the dog days of summer, a stretch of blissful sun-kissed days punctuated by vacations, beach days, and crisp, cold drinks. At least that’s the goal right? Well, let us get you closer to that summer utopia with a recipe for ultimate lamb sliders by chef Lance Roll. Switch out the skillet for the grill to sizzle these burgers over the flames. While the lamb burgers (or wild rice hamburgers) marinate in their spices, consider this no-cook Mango, Red Bell Pepper, and Cilantro Rockfish Ceviche as an appetizer. Wong Farms, in Mecca, CA  grows some of the state's premier mangoes and they peak in flavor during the next few weeks. Your seafood for your surf and turf summer meal could be procured locally as well from the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market on Saturday or at Tunaville Market and Grocery Wednesday through Sunday. Sip it all down with Olivia Hayo’s cunningly quenching watermelon limeade. You’re welcome.

Watermelon Limeade with Tajín Rim. Image: Olivia Hayo.

Get ready to spend some time outside, this lineup of events are exclusively al fresco to savor every drop of the season.

For a Thursday evening out of the house, pop over to the San Diego Botanic Garden at 6pm for their Summer Nights live music program. Every Thursday until Aug. 17, the SDBG will feature a unique musical act with optional charcuterie flights and alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Stroll the garden at golden hour while a live band serenades you into wishfully forgetting about your Friday obligations. Concerts on the Lawn are free for members and complimentary with paid Garden admission. Concerts in the amphitheater require tickets in advance.

Also on Thursdays are the MAKE Cafe’s Woodfire Grill Dinners in North Park. MAKE Cafe is a social enterprise of MAKE (Merging Agriculture, Kitchens + Employment) Projects, a job training social enterprise that prepares refugees and immigrants to achieve their dreams. Chef Andrew Gerdes guides a team of cooks-in-training to transform ingredients grown onsite at their urban farm and from other local farms into a delicious and meaningful meal. The cafe is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays but their Thursday evening offering is centered around the fire. The menu changes weekly and often highlights their team’s colorful and vibrant family recipes. Eat well and do good by making a reservation for their next woodfire grill dinner.

Image source: MAKE Cafe.

Speaking of doing good, you can do berry good by scooping up a ticket to the Berry Good Food Foundation’s Seeds for the Future Dinner on Sunday, Aug. 6. Proceeds from the nonprofit organization’s dinner will help fund its annual school garden grants. Since 2017, Berry Good Food has awarded more than $65,000 in grants to 30 schools and educational organizations with garden projects. Nearly every ingredient in the evening’s four course meal is sourced locally, sustainably, and thoughtfully and the menu is a collaboration of three local chefs. It is surely a not-to-miss affair.

Did you know San Diego has a Soul Food Festival? As a matter of fact, it is in its third year. The festival began in 2021 when friends Alysse and Ashley sought to highlight and celebrate the uniquely delicious cuisines of the African Diaspora. The event features live music, conversations with an author, and food vendors cooking creations from across the Caribbean, Africa, and America. The function takes place in City Heights on Saturday, Aug. 5 from 11am to 5pm. Don’t miss out!

Panelist at San Diego Soul Food Festival, San Diego Soul Food Fest. Image source: San Diego Soul Food Festival.

Round out your month of outdoorsy adventures with Seahive Station’s Second Sundays Vintage and Maker’s Market. On the second Sunday of each month you’ll find a vintage market takeover with over 100 vendors in the parking lot of Seahive in Liberty Station. Browse records, clothes, art, and furniture all under the San Diego sun from 11am to 4pm on Sunday, Aug. 13. While you peruse the booths, keep an eye out for the city’s trendiest sauce, Romolo & Remo. San Diego and Rome native, Chef Nico brings together his Italian and Chilean heritage with four artisanal tomato sauces that are sure to pique your palate. Even more reason to visit Seahive for Second Sundays. See you there! 

Seahive Station Second Sundays Vintage & Maker’s Market. Image source: Seahive Station.

Hopefully now you’re full…full of ideas of how to spend the next few weeks in San Diego.

Cheers to summer and all the possibilities that come with it.

No items found.
About the Contributor
Ryan Rizzuto
Ryan Rizzuto is a chef, entrepreneur, and event curator in San Diego. You can taste his work at his own soul food popup, Southside Biscuits. Chef Ryan was nationally-recognized as a 2020 Food Hero by Edible Communities and Niman Ranch for his Covid-19-related hunger relief operations at Kitchens for Good. Follow him on Instagram at @chefryanrizzuto and his soul food and public events at @southsidebiscuits.