Friday, July 30, 2010

Just because...

This will be short and sweet.  Filipino style roast pig, which is like special big party event food. This was taken in line at Tita's on Plaza Blvd.  Its super good especially with the sweet sauce, but I cant eat any of the extremities or head parts.  Only the main body section b/c I'm a weanie and cant stand to be reminded of where my food really comes from.  Tip: I have also seen them sell the head as it is for $15 which is a good deal since its at least 10 times that expensive for the whole pig.  Happy eating =)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bonnie Jeans's Soul Food- San Diego

You have probably driven by here a dozen times and not bothered to go it, didnt really notice it, etc.  I know since I was in the first category...until today.  The other day, one of those restaurant coupon sites had a special with this place and I finally had a reason to try it.  My co-worker egged me on with her praises of this place so I caved.  Their website is on hiatus currently but just google it in a few days.  Off the bat, it had one strike- it didnt open on time.   They dont open till lunchtime on the weekdays so I timed that shizz.  The wait for the food took about half hour but I can tolerate some of that since I had skype, an iphone 4 and not too big of an appetite.  Plus I had visions of delicious soul food running through my head.  

This is the interior.  A random collection of tables.  I should have taken a picture of the one I was sitting on since it was red, white and blue with yellow cushions in the form of a picnic table.  I was a fan of the chandellier in the back of the restaurant myself.  They also sell a few hallmark-ish novelty items in the front area i.e. bookmarks, tshirts, frames, etc.  

Fried chicken basket.  It came with a thigh and a drumstick.  Freshly fried with a very light interesting skin.  Not as thin as panko but way less dense than like KFC/ Popeyes style.  I was tempted into eating the skin, which i never do.  I liked it with my hot sauce alot.  

I ordered the cole slaw with it.  Another interesting variation.  They added tomatoes and red onions to the slaw mix.  I am going to copy the tomato idea for sure.  It was mayo based for sure but the tomato definitely helped cut the creaminess of the slaw.  The only mark against it?  The cabbage was browning a bit...even the mayo cant hide that.  

The other item we got was the hot links platter.  I have to preface this with strike 2.  They didnt have ribs!  Apparently they were getting ribs in later today from the market....that was the one thing I was craving when I planned to come to this place.  So I opted for hot links since its still pork.  Decent flavor.  Sadly, it just made me crave ribs more since the bbq sauce was pretty freakin tasty.  The collard greens are damn good...not bitter or too vinegary.  Strike three you ask?  They gave me the wrong sides.  I asked for mac and cheese, not the greens.  But since I ended up liking the greens, I'll stay quiet.  The red beans and rice in the corner?  Decent.  Not the best.

Overall, I would come back sometime.  I already know what I want too.  Ribs plate with collard greens, mac and cheese, and either fried pickles or green tomatoes to start. Who's coming???? 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Daily Grind Cafe- College area

Having a friend who went to SDSU comes in handy at times.  She stayed at my bed and breakfast this weekend and instead, we went to eat bfast at this little gem called Daily Grind.  She swears by it.  At first glance, I was skeptical.  FROM THE OUTSIDE, it looks small and quaintish (in a bad way).  Inside, the atmosphere is more like the old Craftsman house with their own unique traits and it was pretty full when we got there.  No wait though at 1030 Saturday, but my friend attributed that to SDSU being out for the summer.  They dont have an official web page that I could find but here are some of their particulars:

6695 El Cajon Blvd
(between 67th St & Montezuma Rd) 
San DiegoCA 92115


See what I mean?  It just looks like one of those older businesses that are around that neighborhood.  But take a trip inside, you will probably be happy you did.  

My friend got the eggs, pancake and 4 bacon combo but she only wanted them to give her 2 of them! Blasphemy! The eggs were very creamy tasting, bacon chewy and pancakes were of decent diameter.  Overall a very decent rendition of the classic eggs and pancake duo.  

As for me, I went with one of their 10 versions of eggs benny.  Mine was with corned beef hash and eggs with no runny yolk.  If memory serves me right, they also have a version with a sausage  patty, meatless, avocado, etc.  It comes with house potatoes (cooked to nice doneness but a bit bland in taste).  The bread could have been a bit heartier since it got mushy pretty quickly.  The hollandaise sauce was good (the best sauce I ever had was from this place in Virginia Beach).  The corn beef was probably the canned kind but I like that sometimes.  We ordered a side of fruit to break up the grease pockets in our food.  The fruit was very fresh and ripe.  

Overall, I'd definitely come back.  Maybe try another benny dish or maybe french toast.  Its pretty cheap overall.  On the board when you walk in, they list specials for the day.  That day, it was a 7oz steak with eggs for around 7 bucks.  Not bad these days my friend.  

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Denny's 2468 menu

Let me preface this by saying I LOVE A GREAT DEAL. I know Denny's is...well Dennys.  Kinda like that old pair of tennis shoes in your closet that still serves a function so you cant bear to part ways with it and gosh darn it, its still comfortable too!  So when they came out with their new promo of menu items for 2, 4, 6, 8 dollars, I have been trying to find time to get over to there and see if it lived up to the hype.  

Here is a link to their special promo menu:

I wasnt too hungry so I just got 2 items off the menu, the cheese fries and the red white and blue poppers. See below.  

Our wavy-cut French fries smothered in cheese sauce and shredded Cheddar cheese.  For 2 bucks, an equal portion size.  I dont really like the new shape of their fries...what was wrong with the old straight fries?  Cheese sauce was pleasant.  I cant imagine eating a whole plate of these fries b/c they are kind of heavy but nice mild flavor to the cheese sauce.

(Couldnt find it on their online menu)I wasnt sure that I would like these but the white chocolate chips drew me in.  Plus it was fried and in tiny portions.  Basically had no choice in the matter.  They were fresh out the fryer when they arrived on the table.  Nice crunch on the outside, soft and cake-donutey on the inside.  There were probably about 5-6 in the cup.  The brown stuff on the side?  pancake syrup.

I'd go back and try the biscuit and gravy with eggs or hash brown for $2.  Seriously, 2 bucks???  What else were you gonna do with that pocket change?  

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fairouz Cafe- Point Loma

Fairouz Cafe Website
3166 Midway Drive #102 
San Diego, California 92110
Phone: 619.225.0308

A friend and I went here for lunch one Friday afternoon after she had eaten here once for their lunch buffet.  Who am I to disagree on a great review of lunch buffet for 8.99? Its on Midway in a small plaza on the east side of the street.  Its a relatively small place and has cool art work for sale and display on the walls.  The buffet looks like a pretty small selection but surprisingly, we were surprised by the variety as well as how stuffed we got.  Also, the manager was super nice and just so welcoming that it made you feel like you were old friends coming by for some QT.  On to the food...

Okay so I know the pictures are not swell and they certainly dont do the food any justice.  However, I only took pictures of the buffet items I or my lunch mate enjoyed.  The potatoes were flavorful, properly cooked but not mushy and had a tomatoey savory base.  The cabbage was a surprise with a nice lemony flavor.  The soup reminded me of asian porridge with the lemon incorporated in the soup base.  Would be great comfort food.  I went back for seconds on the potatoes and my friend went for seconds on the cabbage.  

The gyros meat was juicy and flavorful--only gripe was that the meat was shaved on the smaller side (not as pretty).  The chicken was lemony and fall off the fork cooked.  The tomato with eggplant has a KICK! If you cant handle spicy, stay away.  I liked it alot but I'm a pepper fiend.  Its served room temp I believe.

Last item: Bas Bas is a wheat, honey and yogurt dessert.  Intense honey taste, with a texture similar to cake/ muffin hybrid.  My friend loved it, but I have a love hate honey relationship.  They also have fruit and yogurt in the dessert area.  Generic desserts.  I was hoping for more of a nice dessert variety.

My only quibble about this place was that they let the bins get too low so you would sometimes end up with the bits and pieces on the more popular items.  To be fair, it was lunch time so maybe thats why it was harder to keep things replenished.  They had a fair assortment of teas as well.  If I had more money I seriously would have walked away with a piece of art from the walls.  They also sell simple made jewelery on site as well.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Old Venice- Point Loma

Old Venice Restaurant- Point Loma

2910 Canon Street
Point Loma, California 92106
(619) 222-5888

Truth be told, this is my third time here.  Some friends of friends frequent this eatery often and even work there.  I will still be as objective as the next person however.  We were only here to eat a few appetizers this time but I will add some commentary about other items we tried in the past.  They have a decent menu size with pasta, pizza, sandwiches, seafood, salads and other meat dishes.  I notice an Italian fusion kind of theme based on my limited experience.  We went on a Friday night around 730 and sat in the main dining area--they also have a bar area as well as an outside garden area.  On this friday, they had a great dj playing nineties hip hop which was random as the crowd was not a typical hip hoppy crowd.  By the time we were leaving around 10-1030, there was a live musician preparing to play on his keyboard.  The crowd is...random.  I hear its known for cougars and for may december romances.  Again, just what MY observations were.  If you know the area, it seems very plausible given the Point Loma money and the boating community down the street.  Beautiful houses in the area by the way. Now on to the food already! 

Steamed mussel, dinner portion.  Comes with a sesame garlic toast loaf.  Here is the menu description: STEAMED MUSSELS . . . . . $12.75
New Zealand green lip mussels steamed in a garlic, tomato,
basil, and Madeira wine sauce

Here is the lowdown.  Delicious.  Probably about 8-10 per order.  Not overcooked and very refreshing.  Tastes fresh and you can definitely pick up the wine undertones.  We halfway contemplated asking for a spoon to finish the sauce, but we exercised a modicum of self control this time.  This time.  

FOCCACIA . . . . . small $11.50, large $13.50
Italian herb bread baked with pesto, mozzarella and
parmesan cheeses, fresh roma tomatoes, basil, and feta cheese

This is fan-freakin-tastic by the way.  The crust is thin with crunchy on the outside edges and soft on the main part of the triangle.  Sorry the picture has a weird glow.  Apparently we were too hungry to wait for a untouched picture of the food to be taken before digging in.  Large chunks of feta, thin slices of tomato and large ribbons of fresh basil.  Im normally not a pesto girl, but this dish works.  We ordered the small size and I want to say it yielded 6 slices but I could be wrong.  Get it (I noticed on their website that their lunch menu has a lunch version for about 3 bucks cheaper).  

 HOMEMADE COOKIE . . . . . $3.25
A giant 6 ounce chocolate chip, walnut, oatmeal cookie topped with
more chips and covered with pecans....heavenly when heated and topped
with any flavor of gelato

The cookie was chewy in a perfect way.  Cookie was warm, vanilla gelato was perfectly sweet and creamy and toasted pecans a nice touch.  See the vanilla beans speckles?  If we werent so full, we would have licked this plate clean too.  

I have also had in the past the following items:
  1. Roasted Garlic Bulb: roasted garlic and brie cheese with house bread.  Thumbs up
  2. Walnut Gorgonzola Salad: Tomato, caramelized onion, red potato, caramelized walnuts and
    imported gorgonzola on gourmet greens with blue cheese vinaigrette.  The potato makes it.  
  3. Proscuitto Penne: garlic, onions, peas and proscuitto sautéed in a roasted tomato sauce
    over penne pasta.  I only had a bite of this but I know that my friends who go here frequently have this almost every time.
  4. This last item, I dont see on the menu.  My other friend swears by it.  Its a squid ink pasta dish with linguini noodles.  Ask the waitress and see what they say.  
Okay, so thats it folks.  Parking can be limited sometimes depending on the time of day.  There is a back parking lot which is where we parked although Im not sure if you were supposed to.  Its not super cheap here but doesnt break the bank either.  If I lived closer, I might stop by a bit more.  

Some BBQ food porn

Im sure that many of us had a grilling experience on the 4th.  Good times with good friends.  Even if there was one person sorely missed in my long weekend celebrations, we made the best of it.  The spread: mac and cheese, pineapples, ribs, burgers, chicken, corn, rice, lemon pound cake and brats.  Enjoy!