California To Do List – Del Mar Race Track

In the interest of checking another thing off of our California To Do List , last weekend Peter and I headed to the Del Mar Race Track to bet on some ponies.

Del Mar RacetrackThe bonus? A Food Truck Festival featuring almost a hundred food trucks taking place on the grounds of the race track!

Normally when we go to Del Mar (ok, the two other times we have been there) we have bought our tickets ahead of time. This was sort of a last minute decision to go so we decided to just buy tickets at the gate.

We strolled up to the clubhouse ticket booth and saw a giant sign that said


Ruht-Row! We may have made a huge tactical error.

We asked a security guard what our options were given that the clubhouse was not available.

He directed us to the “Stretch Run” entrance and said we could pay for admission there and find some benches to sit on.

OK… not ideal but we’re here, let’s do it.

We purchased our admission and asked the ticket agent where we could go to sit. Again, we were told that there were a limited number of benches along the track but they are first come, first served.

The Food Truck Festival was calling so we decided to eat first and find seats later.

Oh the sea of possibilities!!!! It was almost too overwhelming.

We were both drawn to the Cousins Maine Lobster truck after having seen the owners pitch their business on Shark Tank. Unfortunately, about a thousand other people had the same idea. The line was crazy long, we were hungry and it was hot!

Plan B.

Peter chose a brat with sauerkraut. He loves sauerkraut and I never cook it because the smell of it is gross. Peter was in heaven.

I am pretty powerless over a grilled cheese sandwich so that is the direction I chose. I was going to go for a basic, simple, no nonsense grilled cheese but then I thought, “This is a Food Truck Festival. I should step up my game.”

I ordered a cheddar and maco cheese grilled cheese sandwich. With tater tots! Oh mama was it good!

With full bellies we headed back over to the track area to scope out the bench situation. Not only was every seat taken but the entire thing was in full sun and this gal doesn’t do “full sun”. Ever.

We asked a THIRD staff member what our options were. He basically said we were out of luck.

Bummer! This was not turning out to be the day we hoped for.

We plopped ourselves on a bench in the entrance just to cool off and make a plan. After sitting there for a few minutes, Peter noticed a line of people leading up to a ticket window of some kind.

Checking things out, he discovered that the line led to the ticket booth at which you could buy seats in the stretch run area. In the shade. Do you think one of the three Del Mar folks we asked could have mentioned this?!?!

No matter. All was well, we settled into our great seats just steps away from the betting windows.

And bet we did! Not big bucks but a little something on each race.

The good news was that we chose the winner in every race. One of those winners was a horse called Sista Stroll. I bet on Sista in memory of this gal and of course that fine horse came through with the win!

The bad news was that most of those winners were the favorites and didn’t pay much in return. In other bad news, we also bet on a bunch of long shots who finished at the back of the pack just as they were expected to do.

Oh well, we had a lot of fun and still lost less than the cost of an evening at the movies.

We ventured down to the rail to watch the last race. It gives you quite an amazing perspective.

At the rail

To wrap up our day we headed back over to the Food Truck Festival and, more specifically, to the Cousins Maine Lobster  (as seen on Shark Tank!) food truck.

The line was down to a manageable level and we decided to hang in there.

Holy Lobster Roll, we were glad we did! These guys did not disappoint.

We ordered the Massachusetts Lobster Roll (cold with mayo) vs. the Maine Lobster Roll (hot with melted butter). It was served on a buttered, split top roll and was pure dining bliss.

Cousins Maine Lobster Truck

To think that the Cousins could keep up this level of perfection after having served throngs of diners for over five hours was just remarkable!

Barbara Corcoran (as seen on Shark Tank!) really picked a winner!

I wonder if she ever bets on the ponies?

Have you ever been to Del Mar Race Track? Or a Food Truck Festival?

I heartily recommend both.

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