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Review: Tin Roof San Diego

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Tin Roof San Diego: a bar with live music in the Gaslamp District where you can get good food and drinks at decent prices. For Mardi Gras Tin Roof San Diego is sponsoring the Krewe du Vieux Live Music Stage and is the host of the official after party.

Stuck in the snow? Want to spend Mardi Gras where it’s nice and warm? Already done Mardi Gras in New Orleans? Come enjoy Mardi Gras in San Diego.

Disclosure: Thanks to McFarlane Promotions we were guests of Tin San Diego to preview their San Diego Mardi Gras Dinner and Drink package in exchange for my unbiased review.  All opinions are 100% mine. 

San Diego Mardi Gras

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Photo Courtesy of McFarlane Promotions

The 22nd Annual San Diego Mardi Gras Parade & Celebration in the Gaslamp District is on Saturday, February 6, 2016. The party starts at 5pm and ends at midnight. But we all know that doesn’t mean the fun stops. You can still buy tickets for the event:

  • General Admission ticket for $50 ($55 on February 6)
  • VIP ticket for $85 ($95 on February 6)
  • Active duty military (with ID) General Admission tickets for $40 ($45 on February 6)
  • Active duty military (with ID) VIP tickets for $75 ($85 on February 6)

Food and Beverage Package

But the best value is the Food and Beverage package. Because for $5 to $10 more, you get a $30 voucher for food and drink (tax included but not tip) at one of these downtown bars and restaurants (more to be added):

  • Blue Point Coastal Cuisine
  • Blush Ice Bar
  • Florent Restaurant
  • Henry’s Pub
  • Los Panchos de Charly
  • Maryjane’s
  • McFadden’s
  • Ocean Pacific Grille
  • Sadaf
  • The Field Irish Pub
  • The Melting Pot
  • Tin Roof

Tin Roof San Diego: A Live Music Joint

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Live music, bar games, and food. What more could you ask for?

On the corner of 4th and G Street in the Gaslamp District, Tin Roof San Diego (known as “The Roof” to regulars) is a “live music joint” that popped into the San Diego bar scene in 2014.

Tin Roof San Diego is a casual, lively bar, that on first glance might strike you as another Dick’s Last Resort. But unlike Dick’s, at Tin Roof San Diego adults can have a good time without looking foolish.

You can enjoy live music seven nights at week, take a painting class (every Thursday night), play beer pong, or giant Jenga. Or simply hang out to eat and drink (not necessarily in that order).

Tin Roof San Diego had prepared a special table for us. It offered a great view of the stage and was close to the bar. Because the closer you are to the bar, the sooner you get your drinks.

Getting the Most Food & Drink at Tin Roof San Diego

Mardi-Gras-Tin-Roof-San-Diego-food-beverage-package I’m all about getting value. Whether it’s an awesome travel deal or a food deal, I look for where I can maximize my money. And you can definitely get your money’s worth during Mardis Gras at the Tin Roof San Diego.

The menu was created by Chef Al Kellenberger, formerly of La Puerta, with input from General manager Keegan Hunter (who has a background in mixology) on the cocktails.

Here are some possible food and drink combinations to get the most from your $30 voucher at Tin Roof San Diego:

Light Bites

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Enjoy a few light bites at Tin Roof San Diego during Mardi Gras

If you want to eat healthy, you can get all this and still stay on your diet.

G Street Tacos

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7 types of G Street Tacos to choose

You can get one G Street Taco for $4 or 3 for $10 (plus $1 for the Surf & Turf). My husband chose the Carne Asada, Loco Pez, and Surf & Turf.

These aren’t your typical street sized tacos (3 inches). Not only are they tasty but they are light and a great way to start your meal. Where some places skimp on ingredients, Tin Roof is generous. Their street tacos are like mini tostadas where the food is piled high on top of a soft corn tortilla.

You definitely need a fork because when you fold these puppies, some food will escape.

Berry Salad

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The Berry Salad is a healthy blend of field greens, fresh berries, crumbled goat cheese, red onion, and candied pecans with a raspberry vinaigrette.

Unless you are a salad fiend, the Berry Salad is a meal to be shared. It is HUGE!

You’ll be happy you chose this salad. It’s not only a feast for the eyes, it’s a feast for the soul. And you won’t have to hunt for berries with the Berry Salad.

The berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries) are sprinkled liberally throughout the salad along with 1 inch chunks of goat cheese, and candied pecans.

Basil Berry Moonbounce

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Basil Berry Moonbounce: Moonshine, fresh lim, simple syrup, basil, berries, and Red Bull. Oh, yeah!

And to make sure you get plenty of antioxidants, get a Basil Berry Moonbounce.  Think mojito but with moonshine. And a nice kick in the pants because it’s topped with Red Bull.

If the Basil Berry Moonbounce doesn’t give you a spring in your step, you need to go home.

Food Coma

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$30 gets you a serious food coma at the Tin Roof

After a long night of partying Mardi Gras style, it might be time for some serious food. Here’s what we recommend.

Potato Chip Chicken Tenders (or Chicken-N-Waffle Nuggets)

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Potato Chip Chicken tenders coasted in crushed potato chips with fries and honey mustard

When I heard that I was invited to try the food at Tin Roof San Diego for Mardi Gras, I started salivating and anticipating getting to try their Chicken-N-Waffle Nuggets. Give me chicken and waffles any day. But, they had run out. 🙁

Instead I settled on the Potato Chip Chicken Tenders. And while they weren’t chicken-n-waffle delicious. They’ll satisfy your need for some fried chicken.

You get two strips of 3 inch long thinly chicken strips that have been coated in crushed potato chips along and fries. The potato chips added a nice crunch giving the soft tender chicken a contrasting texture.

Surprisingly they weren’t salty despite the potato chip breading. It’s almost like they’ve been dipped in tempura.

The Potato Chip Chicken Tenders are filling and give you a nice base for a night of drinking.

The Roof Wings

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The Roof Wings house rubbed and hickory smoked

“The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.”

All the meat at Tin Roof San Diego is smoked in house. The smokiness lends to the flavor without being distracting or overwhelming. And because it ain’t a bar visit unless you get wings, we ordered the Roof Wings.

You can choose from a chili bbq, buffalo, kentukyacki, or bourbon buffalo sauce. I choose the buffalo sauce. With buffalo sauce, the Roof Wings have a smoky bite that will shock and delight you.

Brisket Grilled Cheese

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Brisket Grilled Cheese: grilled white bread, slice house smoked brisket, Cheddar and American cheese

After a night of drinking you want comfort food. Nothing says comfort more than a hearty grilled cheese.

Although calling the Brisket Grilled Cheese Grilled Cheese is a misnomer. This is a perfectly toasted sandwich without the greasiness of a grilled cheese. Because who wants greasy hands? The Brisket Grilled Cheese makes it easier to grip those drinks.

This is not a meal for the light-hearted. Each sandwich triangle half is about 6 to 7 inches and has a good helping of brisket. The smoked brisket is sandwiched between a slice of American and Cheddar cheese (I left off the tomato) and comes with your choice of sweet potato fries, seasoned fries or a house salad.

Since I had already ordered the Berry Salad, I went with the fries. A girl’s gotta to do what a girl’s gotta do.

Middle of the Fence

When you want a mix of healthy with a dash of fried. Because you can.

Tempura Dills

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Tempura Dills: flash fried pickles and chipotle ranch

Because fried pickles are a Southern snack, we had to try the Tempura Dills.

The tempura added a nice crunch to an already crunchy dill pickle slice. These were dill-ish-ous. A definitely must try! YUMMY.

The only thing that could make these Tempura Dills better would be to dip them in chocolate and maybe add a little bacon.

Carriage Cobb with grilled chicken

We didn’t try the Carriage Cobb salad but if you want a little more protein than the Berry Salad, the Carriage Cobb would be a good choice. You can add grilled chicken, brisket, or shrimp to all of Tin Roof San Diego’s salads.

Ode to Nashville cocktail

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Ode to Nashville: George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey, peach liquer, fresh lemon juice, and a sugared lemon wheel

The Ode to Nashville is a gentile version of a Long Island Ice Tea. But with a Southern twist and half the calories and types of alcohol. Because less is more.

Normally I order beer (stouts or porters) but decided to try the Ode to Nashville cocktail. The Ode to Nashville is a nice sippin’ drink.

Great for sitting on a porch in a rocker watching the world go by. Or sitting on the beach watching the surf.

Liquid Diet

Because sometimes you just wanna drink your calories.


These beers give you the biggest ABV (alcohol beverage value) for your buck. Because you may as well get the most alcohol if you’re drinking.

  • Ballast Point Sculpin 7% ABV
  • Lagunitas Little Sumpin 7.5% ABV
  • Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Stout  5.3% ABV
  • Modern Times Coffee Stout 5.8% ABV


Wines have an ABV ranging from 9% to 16%. But most wines at Tin Roof San Diego have at least an ABV of 13.5%.

  • BV Coastal Pinot Grigio 13.5% ABV
  • Chalone Vineyard Chardonnay 13.5% ABV
  • Sterling Cabernet ABV 14.5% ABV

Tin Roof San Diego is located at 401 G Street, San Diego. If you stop by, be sure to tell them you read my review and that Debra Schroeder (Traveling Well For Less) sent you. I don’t get a commission or a kickback nor will you get anything special. But they’ll be stoked to hear that you read this post.


San Diego Mardi Gras is in the Gaslamp District from 5 pm to midnight on February 6, 2016.

You can purchase General Admission and VIP tickets on the San Diego Mardi Gras website. Discounts are available for active duty military with ID.

For only $5 to $10 more, you can buy a Food and Beverage package ticket. Because you’re going to want to eat. And the amount of food you can get for a few extra bucks at one of a dozen bars and restaurants (more being added), especially at the Tin Roof San Diego, is totally worth it.

I’m looking forward to going to Mardi Gras. Look for me in the crowd. And no, I don’t plan on earning any beads. Hope to see you there!

Have you bought your Mardi Gras Food and Beverage package ticket? Which restaurant are you going to use your voucher?

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