Tag Archives: Penn Club of San Diego

Penn Club of San Diego Goes South of the Border for Street Eats

By B. Bea Rajsombath, C’99, club president

There are a lot of great things about living in sunny San Diego, including over 70 miles of beautiful coastline, the nice Mediterranean climate, pockets of diverse neighborhoods with their own vibe, mountains or beaches within miles of each other, great restaurants and bars, its proximity to Tijuana, and so much more.

The Penn Club of San Diego works on creating events and activities that feature the neighborhood gems and life in San Diego; events any of our alumni can appreciate, whether they recently moved here or are returning natives.

In November 2013, the Club joined Turista Libre for a wine tour in Valle de Guadalupe. Based on that successful and fun adventure, we had requests to organize another event south of the border. As Turista Libre (TL) focuses on organizing tours highlighting the local aspects of Tijuana and surrounding areas, we worked with them to deliver another event for our alumni. Passports in hand on March 22, Penn alumni and friends met up with TL at San Ysidro, the last US stop before reaching Mexico, about 15 miles south of San Diego. We were joined by a few other TL guests to walk across the border to board a small school bus operated by TL to start our adventure tour: TJ Street Eats.

Penn Alumni and friends

Penn Alumni and friends

We started our day with a birria taco from a busy food truck stationed on a non-descript street by a Staples. It was simple, yet bursting with flavor. A cheese quesadilla was offered to our vegetarian guests. The tacos were so delicious most of us wanted more, but we were advised by TL to limit ourselves to the one because we had a number of stops to make. A few of us couldn’t hold out though and had to try a second taco.

A birria taco

A birria taco

Our second stop was at Kokopelli’s food truck, for black Harder ceviche de lenguado tostada. Our vegetarian guests feasted on grilled Portobello mushroom tacos. At this point, more guests were losing their willpower to hold off on just one item and explored some other offerings from Kokopelli’s. A few also ventured to try a seemingly, innocent pink-colored salsa…and suffered through the burning from a habanero-beet mixture. TL also offered up some Tecate beer for refreshments before we headed to our third stop.

A tostada

A tostada

Before we reached Tio Pepe, a wonderful bottle of tequila was shared. Some of us are still searching for the bottle on this side of the border. Tio Pepe is a neighborhood gem with plastic tables and chairs, friendly staff and a bustling lunch crowd. I would love to go back…if I can find my way there! Here, we sat down to enjoy Guadalajara-style torta ahogadas, a few rounds of Corona and some ventured off to order additional tacos. I don’t know where they found room.

Torta Ahogada

Torta Ahogada

After indulging ourselves, we still had two more stops! The next was at Tepoznieves, an artisan ice cream parlor with more than 100 flavors. Unfortunately, I was too busy sampling the flavors and enjoying my selection of three small scoops to capture any photos to share. On the way to our last stop, another bottle of tequila was brought you to be shared. Finally, we made it to Baja Craft Beers for a sampling of house brews. We essentially had the place to ourselves so early in the afternoon. The brewery had great space and a long list of local and international beers available.

Baja Craft Brewery

Baja Craft Brewery

Alas, our great little adventure came to an end by 5pm and TL returned us to the border to make our way back across to the US. We definitely enjoyed our TJ Street Eats tour and working with Turista Libre again. We already have requests to repeat both the wine tour and the TJ Street eats.

The Penn Club of San Diego and Turista Libre

The Penn Club of San Diego and Turista Libre

These are just a few of the activities and events the Penn Club of San Diego organizes for local alumni in the greater San Diego area. If you are interested in learning about these and other events, please contact us via email, join our email listserv, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter.

Our next event is a yPenn Happy Hour on July 10th. We hope to see you there!



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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Clubs, Food Fiends, GAN, Guest blogger, Penn Clubs, Photos

Penn Clubs Welcome Class of 2016

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

This week, Penn’s Class of 2016 is arriving on campus and moving into their dorms, meeting their roommates and hall mates, and exploring all that Penn has to offer. Before they made their way to Philadelphia though, many Penn Alumni Clubs around the world welcomed them to the Penn family and celebrated them at summer student send-offs. Here is a sampling of some of the west coast celebrations.

San Diego

Penn Club of San Diego president Robby Koeppel Foss, C’92, GED’92, writes, “It was exciting to meet so many talented new students! The families and students enjoyed hearing more about Philadelphia and our helpful hints for moving to the East Coast and Penn favorites. The San Diego Alumni that spoke: Gina Tapper, Troy Morrison and Jaleisha Jacobs gave great perspective on their different experiences. I just loved giving out, Philly style cheese steaks, Tastykakes and Soft Philly style pretzels to local San Diego natives who never had tried them!! I was grateful to the Philadelphia Tourism Board and Campus Philly for sending me helpful guides to hand out to the families!”

Introducing San Diego students to Philly soft pretzels.

New Penn students in San Diego were also treated to TastyKakes.

Penn Class of 2016 students from San Diego

Orange County

In Orange County, CA, local alumnus Alfio Rossetti W’01, hosted students and their families at his family’s restaurant Roma d’Italia in Tustin in a now annual gathering organized by the Penn Club of Orange County.

Delicious Italian fare at the OC gathering at Roma d’Italia.

Students mingling and meeting each other at the Orange County send-off event.


In Washington, the Pugent Sound Penn Alumni Interview Program hosted a dinner for students and parents at the home of Janie and Raymond Lee, PAR’14, in July.

Co-chair of the Puget Sound Penn Alumni Interview Program David Blum, W’74, writes, “These freshmen were excited to meet each other, along with several Washington upperclassmen, and to learn more about undergraduate life at Penn. Students from Washington are excited to leave soon for Philadelphia. The weather was beautiful and everyone enjoyed themselves!”


In Washington, there was a red and blue cake.

Puget Sound Penn Alumni Interview Program co-chairs Bill Winkelman, C’83, WG’90, PAR’15, Deborah Garber, W’09, Belinda Buscher, C’92, and David Blum, W’74

Penn Class of 2016 from Washington State!


And in Portland, John Vosmek, C’61, president of the Penn Club of Portland shared these photos from the Penn Club of Portland 2012 Summer Lawn Party (and New-Student Send-off) at the home of Taizoon, EE’83, and Munira Doctor. Four of the area’s eight members of the Class of 2016 and three members of the Class of 2015 joined alumni, parents and friends on a typically beautiful Oregon summer evening.

Panoramic view of the Penn Club of Portland Summer Lawn Party


Penn students from the Portland area: left to right, front: Vidushi Bhargava, Eng.’15, Catherine Yee, Eng ’16, Arthur Halin C’16
rear: Hanna Seminario, C’16, Alex Lyons, Eng ’15, Andy Liu, Eng ’15, Eric Chang, Eng ’16


This is just a sampling of the many freshman welcome events that took place all over the world this summer. While their students are at Penn, Penn Parents are welcome to join our regional Penn Clubs – and we hope in four years the Class of 2016 will join their local Penn Club and continue this tradition.

Find out more about our regional Penn Alumni Clubs here: http://www.alumni.upenn.edu/club/index.html

For our most recent alumni, join your local Penn Club and attend a First September event welcoming the Class of 2012 in your town: http://www.alumni.upenn.edu/club/firstseptember/index2012.html

Follow our Penn Clubs on Twitter!

Penn Club of Orange County: @PennClubOC

Penn Club of San Diego: @PennClubSD


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Filed under Clubs, GAN, Kiera R., Penn Clubs, Photos, West Coast Regional Office