Carla and Linda’s Walking Food Tours
Carla Werts and Linda Piña have developed a way to sample the best fare Oceanside has to offer with Carla and Linda’s Walking Food Tours.
Carla Werts and Linda Piña of Carla and Linda’s Walking Food Tours have been together for over 21 years and moved to Oceanside in 2001. Both have day jobs as notaries public and their work has them traveling all over town.
“We would be going around Oceanside doing loan documents and visit different restaurants for lunch,” explained Linda. “Our friends knew we had insight into what was happening around town so we would give them little tours of the places we liked. Then they would tell us they have family coming from out of town, will you take us on a little tour? A light bulb went off and Carla said, ‘Hey we should do food tours!’”
“There are so many places in Oceanside to eat, I wouldn’t want to take them to just one,” Carla said. “Our friends would tell us they had a lot of fun doing the little tours, let’s do it again.”
Linda was unsure how to turn their little family and friends tours into a business.
“The first place I approached with the idea was the Barrel Republic. They had only been open a few months and they said yes. They were very supportive and that gave me the confidence to go talk to the other restaurants. Now restaurants are calling us asking to be included on the tours.
“Another person who has been very supportive is Roddy Browning with the Flying Pig. They also have a restaurant in Vista so that opens up a new area for us and we hope to have Vista incorporated into our tours by the end of the year.”
Carla added, “All of the restaurant owners and managers have been great, very supportive of us. They know the tours help them as well as us.”
The chefs in Oceanside like the idea of the tours too.
“A lot of chefs will take advantage of the opportunity to try out off-menu stuff and see how the people respond. It has been fun being the guinea pigs for all the amazing chefs we have here in Oceanside,” Carla said.
Linda elaborated, “For example when we go to Local Tap House we get the WTF Fries and Brussels sprouts. Those are two favorites, but some places like Masters or 608, we don’t tell the chef anything and they just send us stuff out. It is nice for the tour because people get to meet the chef. They get to try something that is off menu. People just love it and have a good time with it.”
Carla and Linda currently operate three tours. On Friday, the South O tour stops at Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank, Privateer Coal Fire Pizza, Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub and PCH Sports Bar & Grill. Saturday is the Heart of Oside tour with stops at The Miller’s Table, Local Tap House, Bagby Beer Co. and the Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen. On Sunday, the North Oside tour visits places like Petite Madeline Bakery & Bistro, Barrel Republic, 608, Miss Kim’s by That Boy Good, Ty’s Burger House and Hello Betty Fish House.
“There are so many great places in Oceanside, we had to split up the tours,” explained Linda. “Someone at the Privateer told me that our tour is the thread that ties north O’side and South O together. I thought that was really nice.”
The tours take approximately three hours, rain or shine, with the food tastings and a bottle of water included in the price of the tour. Soft drinks and libations are not, so bring along some form of payment if you choose to sample the wide variety of beverages available. The tours do not exceed a mile in travel distance, and at each stop, your tour guide will give you information about the restaurant or brewpub and other local areas of interest.
“Locals will take the tours and learn things they never knew about Oceanside, so that’s fun too,” Carla said.
“Another thing about the tours is we have reservations at all of the restaurants so if there is a line, we just get to walk in and be seated,” said Linda.
The tours have become quite popular so it’s requested that you book your tour ahead of time. Carla and Linda will check to see if you’re a vegetarian or have any food allergies so they can let the chefs know ahead of time.
The price is $49 per person and you can book your tour online at www.shoesandchews.com. Or call 760-401-5968 or email email@example.com for more information.