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Taste of Third Avenue and Art Walk is once again eclectic, diverse Phillip Brents | Fri, Oct 01 2010 01:22 PM

What do a fabricated green dinosaur and a scoop of delectable strawberry cheesecake ice cream have in common? They were both spotlighted at this year’s Taste of Third Avenue and Art Walk.

The self-guided walking tour, sponsored by the Third Avenue Village Association, took place Sept. 23.

The faux dinosaur was courtesy of Fabricated Concepts, one of the artisans showcasing their work at this year’s event, and occupied a prime corner spot where Santa and elves will dance in about a month as Christmas-time decorations start to adorn downtown Chula Vista.

The strawberry cheesecake ice cream was courtesy of Sweet Life, one of 15 participating eateries.

Two new establishments were showcased this year: Teriyaki Grill and Edible Arrangements, both located along Third Avenue between Park Way and G Street.

Two popular Mexican eateries, Tacos El Poblano and Don Pedro Taco Shop, did not participate this year.

For those who took the stroll (the promotion lasted from 4 to 8 p.m. on a surprisingly mild September evening), they were rewarded with some tasty samples. In fact, demand exceeded  available goodies at some locations such as Fuddruckers where guests lined up in bunches for grilled sliders.

Owners Adam and Kathy Sparks once again greeted guests at Mangia Italiano on Third, where they served up tasty portions of vegetarian primavera and rigatoni fra diavolo, the latter which always has a spicy kick.

Mangia Italiano also was the first site on the tour to spotlight an artist, in this case sci-fi/fantasy illustrator Lee Kohse, a Chula Vista High School graduate whose mother, Norma Morgan, works at the restaurant.

If you are a fan of the Star Wars or Lord of the Ring franchises, you likely have seen Kohse’s officially commissioned artwork. He’s produced thousands of full color paintings and ink drawings. In fact, he completed 1,500 images in four weeks for a recent job. It’s all quite stunning.

Next down the sidewalk while heading south on Third Avenue were servers America Zamora and Lizbeth Ayuayo from El Comal Mexican Restaurant. Their offering included delicious samples of rolled tacos, gorditas and sopes.

The bulk of the participating restaurants were located between F Street and Park Way — eight to be exact. They included The Soup Stone, Marie Callender’s, Red Lobster, Sweet Life, Fuddruckers, Jimmy’s by the Park, California Sushi and Maya Chiang CafÈ and Bakery.

Old reliables just a block further down Third Avenue included La Bella’s Pizza and El Primero Hotel along with newcomers Edible Arrangements and Teriyaki Grill (which has started to gather a following in just a few short months).

L& L Hawaiian BBQ was the last stop on H Street.

Marie Callender’s showcased a sampling of its creamy chicken pot pie filling with perfectly-cooked broccoli.

All we could say to all this food, was yum.

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