Thank you for stopping to read mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Today, Cathy is writing, because Kirk is just too busy and has no time to write, while Ed (from Yuma) is doing something associated with retirement (in Yuma) .
Yes, there are many, many,many small 'pubs' near the Jack MurphySan Diego Chargers football stadium.Each of these purveyors of adult beverages are open during daylight hours and serve food. I did post about Camel's Breath Inn back in 2009, am now less fearful of taking photos and figure an update is due.
People familiar with the area of Friars Road East of the Stadium may have noticed an Armstrong Nursery just along Friars road, with a Stuart Anderson's Black Angus Steakhouse on the corner. Camel's Breath Inn is located with other businesses in that parking lot. There's a theme to the decor here. There are specials listed on the chalkboard (to the left in the third photo up) and usually there's a placard on the tables. This is a link to a current menu. We were here on a Sunday (but not during football season, when there are even more specials between 9 and 10 a.m.). Brunch was available.However, The Mister wanted a burger and ordered a 'build your own burger'($9). The 1/2 lb hand formed fresh ground beef patty, topped with His choices of cheese, avocado and mushrooms along with the standard lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles (bacon as well as a number of other items are choices and all for the same price). The burger comes with a choice of sides and, as you can see, slaw it was. The burger was cooked to a medium rare char on a flat top grill, was very good flavored. The lightly toasted sesame seeded bun was fresh and held up to the burger and toppings. The slaw here is very good. Still on my Benedict craving, the carnitas Benedict (alternately called a 'pulled pork' Benedict on the table menu) ($8) was my choice. Placed on top of a sliced and toasted slider bun, the large amount of in house cooked pork carnitas, topped with two perfectly poached eggs and a house made Hollandaise, was just right on that chilly morning. The sides of refried beans and home fried potatoes were plentiful and most were taken home as leftovers that day.
The food and atmosphere here are improved over our previous visits. There is a definite competition between the 'taverns' in the one mile radius area (yes, there will be more posts) with more quality food as well as beverage offerings.
Camel's Breath Inn 10330 Friars Road, #106 San Diego 92120 (619)281-1722 website
mmm-yoso!!!, the food blog, is where you have stopped for a moment. The food posting of today is written by Cathy. Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are just not feeling it.
As Kirk has mentioned, our weather had been very strange the past few weeks. Very hot days, very cold days, rainy, windy and now, a bit chilly in the morning and evening but clear and pleasant during mid-day...
On one of the hot days, The Mister and I stopped here, the newest location of a business, (which was a pop up inside Pangea Bakery Cafe just last summer), for a refreshing snack.
Anyhow, you should be able to see the Aqua colored building... Walking into the small storefront, there are a few tables and some bar stool seating. Straight ahead, a suggested menu is available. To the left are the snow shaving machines. Pricing is by the ounce (48 cents/ounce on our most recent visit). Topping choices can be overwhelming. Pretty much anything you'd like is available... There are six main flavors of shaved snow always available: original (condensed milk), strawberry, green tea, lychee, black sesame and salted caramel.That day, I wanted something simple, so a small cup of shaved lychee was mine. (4.5 oz, $2.16)This is a good photo to show you the delicate ribbons formed by shaving the ice block. The snow melts in your mouth and the bright flavor is just wonderfully crisp; not too sweet.Special Selection that day was the 'Frozen Hot Chocolate'. This order weighed 8.7 ounces (and therefore was $4.18; I can do math in my head and not show the work, because I am old).
Chocolate shaved snow (very good chocolate), topped with dark chocolate bits, fresh strawberries and house made whipped cream, along with two fluted cookies. The depth of flavors in this combination was great. Even though I don't crave chocolate, this really did hit the spot for me.
Iceskimo 4609 Convoy San Diego 92111 (858) 216-1111 Mon-Th noon-10:30, Fri-Sat noon-11:30 Sun noon-10:00
mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog, tries to entertain and sometimes amuse you with almost daily posts centered about food. Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are not blogging today; it's Cathy writing this post.
You've probably seen signage while driving along the freeway or along side streets. Perhaps you've been curious. Here's a post giving you reason to stop.
Farmer Boys first opened in 1981 in Perris, California. Founded by the five Havadjias brothers, the idea of 'Farm to Table' wasn't spoken of as part of the dining experience, yet that's been the business philosophy of this small (79 store) Southern California, Central California and Nevada restaurant chain of both company owned and franchised locations. Yes, it's a chain, but with locations primarily California, it fits into my 'new year resolution' of patronizing locally.There are two locations in San Diego County, both in Escondido. The 'newer' location, pictured above, is near a Home Depot and in the same parking lot as the Escondido Vallarta Market location.You walk up, order and pay and your food is brought to the table. The decor is country and home-like, as is your freshly prepared meal. The restaurant serves breakfast all day, and my go to item is the 'Daybreak Sandwich' ($4.19 or $4.99 with meat). Pictured above, the Daybreak with a sausage patty (other options are bacon or ham). It's on a potato bun and made with two eggs and a slice of American cheese. Good any time of the day. I really like the sausage served here; it's not greasy and has just the right amount of spices.The hearty pastrami sandwich ($6.99) is served on a toasted garlic ciabatta roll with mustard and pickles. The oven roasted, smoky pastrami is of excellent quality.
That's a 7 piece side of 'Colossal onion rings' ($4.19) [a four piece side order is $3.49 if you want to avoid temptation and/or can't do math]. Not only are those rings colossal in size, but also in flavor...the fresh hand battered rings are usually ordered with any meal here. The fry is perfect and never greasy. There are also zucchini and harvest fries available as sides; both are also excellent, fresh and never frozen.The menu has had a 'Natural' (hormone free, antibiotic free, fresh never frozen) burger ($6.29) on the menu for quite a long time. It's 1/3 lb, served on the potato bun (all other burgers are served on sesame seeded buns) with American cheese, onion, pickle and 1000 island dressing. Juicy and flavorful (and *much* better than the Carls Jr 'Natural'), this is my burger of choice here, even though the 'Bacon Boy' and 'Farmers Burger' are a bit heavier and larger in size, the Natural Burger has the flavor I enjoy.The Mister and I came here on a Friday and ordered the 4 piece hand battered fish dinner ($9.99) to share. Hand battered, wild caught, pollock filets (each filet was quite large; the above photo shows two pieces; one is butterflied so it would cook evenly. The photo above it has all four filets as it was originally served.) served with Harvest Fries, two onion rings,the garlic ciabatta bread, toasted...andyour choice of soup or salad. The soups are made fresh daily. The choices are almost always clam chowder or cream of broccoli. Both are excellent.
The menu has enough choices to satisfy almost any craving or dietary restriction. The shakes are made with real ice cream, need I say more?
Farmer Boys 1333 East Valley Parkway Escondido 92027 (760)739-0770 Mon-Sat 6-midnight, Sun 7-midnight Website
If you are looking for something by Kirk or Cathy, today is not your lucky day. If you want to read a fairly long post by Ed about a new brewpub in Yuma, sit back, relax and enjoy.
The old town/downtown area in Yuma was economically devastated by the sprawl caused by modern roads and highways and the explosion of population in Yuma in the post-World War II era. When I moved to Yuma 15 years ago, the area was still pretty desolate – a lot of for rent signs, empty buildings and vacant storefronts. These days, however, the area is undergoing a renaissance. Not only are new businesses opening, but a lot of places – wine shops, restaurants, and galleries seem to be doing very well.
One of the newest additions to Main Street is The Prison Hill Brewery. Located next to Da Boyz on Main Street; you can enter via the front door:
or the back door:
There is a dog friendly outdoor patio area:
as well as a large dining areas with bars and table service. Here's the bar area:
The main room:
I have been wanting to post about this place since the beginning of January, but I have had other things going on and then it seems like every week somebody else wants to eat at Prison Hill Brewery, so I keep accumulating pictures. Today, however, I am going to put them all together and try and do a post with as few words and as many pictures as I can get away with.
All of the sandwiches and many of the entrées come with one or two side dishes, so let's start with sides. The healthiest side is the grilled mixed vegetables, crispy tender and lightly seasoned, here pictured next to the decent thick chips which are served with many of the sandwiches:
Maybe my favorite side are the Sidewinder fries:
Though not made on premises, these fries are some of the best in town because each end is crunchy while the centers are potato fluffy.
The coleslaw is spicy hot with mustard (and cayenne?) and is fresh and tasty:
I also like the sweet beans:
but I think the macaroni salad is a little bland. Others however tell me that they love the mac salad because it goes with the stronger flavored menu choices. To each . .
The appetizers are kind of a mixed bag. For example, the giant pretzels are outstanding – it'll bring out the German in almost anyone:
Likewise, the tortilla soup (often a special, and sometimes available other times) is an excellent version of this Southwest favorite:
Remembering the soup, the word abundance pops into my head. It was packed with tortilla strips, the tomato Chile broth was outstanding, and the toppings were attractive and tasty.
I was less impressed by the combination appetizer plate:
The pretzels were excellent, of course, but the pieces of fried chicken breast were just adequate, and the two kinds of meatballs ranged from pretty good to pretty mediocre.
Similarly the hummus:
There are a few things that I love as much as good Middle Eastern hummus with the natural flavors of chickpeas and tahini – San Diego has many good Middle Eastern restaurants whose hummus I love. Prison Hill’s dry version lacks soul, and has a background citrusy taste that I suppose masks the missing flavors and freshness. Not to mention the tired and doughy bread.
On the other hand, a bunch of us really liked the poutine (good food, bad pic):
Covering the Sidewinder fries with a dark guinness gravy and patches of melted cheese only makes them more irresistible – if somewhat less healthy. To be honest, I have no idea how this dish would match up to the real thing in Canada, but it works for me in Yuma.
My salad eating friends like the salads – they are not just some "healthy" item to balance out the menu. Our friend Stacy enjoyed the vegetarian Big House Salad, impressed by the freshness and variety of the greens:
Tina loves the Cobb salad here:
In this case, she added smoked tri-tip to her salad, but she was also impressed by the mixture of greens and insisted that I take this picture to show how abundant and fresh they were:
Speaking of the smoked tri-tip, smoked meats are the main ingredient in most of the sandwiches and entrées. Behind the restaurant stand two full-size smokers, so all the smoked meats are smoked on premises:
Two of their popular sandwiches are the Verdict (brisket):
and The Tip (tri-tip):
I actually preferred The Tip because it seemed to have more going on; The Verdict was just a bit drier. The smoked meats in both, however, were perfectly flavored for my tastes, smoky without being only smoky, if you know what I mean.With sandwiches like these, your results may differ based on which piece if beef was just pulled from the smoker.
The cold smoked turkey sandwich (the Jailbird) is excellent also with bacon, tomato, lettuce, and mild cheese, sort of like a smoky club sandwich:
Though not the best I've ever had, the pulled pork is moist, smoky, and porky and topped with coleslaw :
Sometimes, the restaurant has a smoked turkey leg, sort of entrée at sandwich prices:
Lauren thought it was really good. Similarly, one of my favorite dishes on whole menu is the entrée they call The Quartermaster:
Along with the sides, you get a perfectly smoked, moist, tender chicken leg quarter. I loved it.
Of course, not everything is smoked. They make a good chicken salad (here pictured on a sandwich, but perhaps even better on a salad):
(Sorry about that picture)
The menu also includes burgers, hand formed thick and meaty. The American classic is like nothing from my childhood:
And the Shank has a cheese and bacon stuffed patty topped with a deep-fried avocado (yes that's yummy):
When I finish a meal at Prison Hill, I usually don't think about desserts, but the restaurant does do churros:
and a sundae:
and my memory tells me that both were sweet and tasty.
How did I get to the end of a post about a brewery without mentioning beer?
Oops! Prison Hill currently brews several different beers, however their brewing process takes a month and their production facilities are limited, so that they offer usually only one or two of their own. However there is a varied selection of other specialty beers. My beer drinking friends always leave happy, sometimes very happy if you know what I mean:
There’s also an adequate wine list – for small brewpub. The service, occasionally slow, is very professional and sometimes downright friendly. Truth be told, this is a place where I feel comfortable stopping in by myself or with friends. I consider the prices reasonable: sandwiches and burgers (with sides) run $9-$13, salads are generally under $10, entrées range from $11-$14, and appetizers from $6-$12.
Prison Hill Brewery, 278 S Main St, Yuma, AZ 85364; (928) 276-4001. Opens 11 am daily - closes at 10 pm most nights and 2 am Friday and Saturday.
As I said before; that logo looks a bit familiar, but I just can't place it.
In addition to the décor; the menu is typical of your neighborhood pho shop...pho, bun, rice......
I went with #3, rare steak, brisket, tendon, and tripe ($6.75). Man, when did pho hit the seven dollar mark? The Dac Biet here is like $7.75. Regardless, I liked the look of my bowl when it arrived.
Kind of sparse on the sprouts and herbs....but is that Ngo Gai I see? A rarity on the Mesa.....
The broth looked dark and rich, flecks of oil dotted the surface....the fragrance was quite "onion-ny". Nice first impression. The broth was mildly beefy, faint anise, onion-forward, though, as is the norm in San Diego, a bit heavy handed on the MSG. It was also super scalding hot.
The noodles were over-done and on the mushy side.
As for the proteins; the tendon was good, decent texture; the rare steak was cut too thick and dried out quickly in the broth. This was the most tripe I've seen in a bowl on the Mesa since forever.
The flank and brisket were unremarkable, both flavorless and on the dry side.
Still, it seems that these folks aren't just going thru the motions and are really trying to put out a good product.
A few days later I returned and tried the Banh Mi Bo Kho ($6.75). Man was this super dark.
This was too salty for my taste, it was also very thin, lacking in anise tones and any vestige of tomato flavor. The meat was on the tough and dry side.
I'd probably stick with the pho.
The young man and young lady who served me were very nice. I know I've been around a long time when I recognized Her from Van Hoa and K Sandwich...sheesh. The service here seemed a level above your typical pho shop. I like the hours, since my schedule often calls for an early lunch. This location seems to have some bad juju; in the course of two years it has been Viet Bakery and Pho, then V Bakery. I hope the place can break that spell. I also hope the pho is just as good, or heck, let's shoot for the moon, maybe even better next time around. You see, I'm not looking for a "pho paradise" here; just a decent bowl.
Pho Paradise 3904 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111 Hours: Mon - Sat 9am - 10pm Sunday 10am - 9pm
So last week the mercury was flirting with the 80's. I was thinking about which taco shops I needed to visit. This weekend it's cloudy and now it's starting to rain. Go figure......
The one silver lining....this gave me a chance to revisit a couple of ramen shops.
Since they are open all the way through from 1130 on weekends, I decided to check them out at 4pm, thinking they'd be fairly calm.
I surprised to see how busy they were....not a full house, but at least 3/4 full. They had the seat yourself thing in place, so I had a seat......they saw me, but still, I waited, and waited......and waited. Another group arrived after me and they had water served and orders taken......a couple sat on the table next to me....and they waited......while I had my order taken and another group who had come after them were being served...the woman decided to take matters into her own hands and just grabbed one of the servers......so they could finally get some water and get their orders taken. The place just seemed much more disorganized than I recalled, even with three working front of house. They seemed to spend a good deal of time huddled at the POS and doing things like organizing chopsticks while dirty tables sat.... They were really nice kids, but it seemed like they needed someone running the front of house.
When I did get my order taken - Kotteri, with Kakuni Pork, noodles extra firm, things went fairly quickly.
The Hakata style noodles were exactly as I like them. While the broth isn't quite what I'd call "kotteri" it was passable, if a bit too mild in the flavor department. Two things kind of killed this for me. While the broth was served at a decent temperature, the egg was ice cold....now if you serve it on the side, I'd be ok with that, but in my soup, no thanks. Ditto with the buta kakuni, which was adequately tender, if a bit on the bland side.....but ice cold.
Ramen Yamadaya 4706 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92117
Yes again. Though the Missus is over "the Santouka effect" and is now, kinda, sorta, back on planet Earth, we're able to enjoy Santouka in context.
This was the status quo.....on this day, they were giving out the eggs......overcooked for us. The pork cheek was tender and porky, the noodles had a great chew. The broth, shio, which ironically is the least salty of all choices was scalding hot...the thick ceramic bowl kept the temperature "right" for the whole meal. The broth coated our tongues and bellies....and while it would not make us forget the best of what we had in Japan, it did the job.
Santouka Ramen 4240 Kearny Mesa Rd(In the Mitsuwa Marketplace) San Diego, CA 92111
On our third day in Rome, we set out for Vatican City. The Missus wanted to walk there...from Termini Station. We had the metro one block away! Luckily, I got myself out of a 5k walk first thing in the morning and we caught the metro. From the metro station, the walk to the gates of Vatican Museum took about ten minutes.
When it comes to most of our travel; the Missus tells me what She wants and I do the logistics, planning, and She just basically shows up. The visit to the Vatican Museum was a good example. I got tickets online ahead of time....we entered right when the place opened, going to the line for "Entrance with Reservations". We grabbed a map and headed to the one place the Missus really wanted to see; the Sistine Chapel, where we stood alone in the rare air where the Papal Conclave takes place. The Missus just stood staring at the ceiling as other visitors piled in around Her. I took a seat after a minute or two, when my neck started stiffening up. I grabbed the Missus to leave when I heard "huuuuaaackkk p-tew".....one of the Chinese tourists had just spit on the floor of the Sistine Chapel! Good lord!
The rest of my time in the Vatican Museum was a blur of antiquities, lavish paintings, just an astounding amount of items on display. I was overwhelmed by the extravagance. I kept telling the Missus, "geeez, these folks sure have a lot of money..."
I do recall enjoying the ceiling art and spent a good deal of time just enjoying those and the paintings over doorways.
I think one needs to spend a least a couple of days here if you really enjoy this stuff. I'm sure Ed from Yuma could probably walk these halls for months!
Anyway, we worked our way back to the beginning and started out with the Egyptian Rooms, officially called the "Gregorian Egyptian Museum", which were among my favorites. After all, who doesn't like mummies, right?
I found the various hieroglyphics and of course the mummies fascinating....it touched off a the faint flicker of the little boy in me, who would spend hours pouring through books at Kaimuki Library.
The Egyptian's deities manifested themselves as various animals based on characteristics. The God Apis took the form of a bull.
I was quite fascinated with these displays.
Things just seemed really packed in.....there was something to see everywhere...
Then we went through the halls with Greek and Roman sculpture. Tons of statues....my head was spinning.
One of the most famous statues is Apollo Belvedere which was once considered to be the most aesthetically perfect sculpture of a man after being found in Italy in the 15th century.
Right past all of this was an interesting area called the "Hall of Animals". The Vatican Museum's website states that the hall "was set up under Pope Pius VI (1775-1799) with antique works of art, often much restored and sometimes completely re-worked, with the aim of creating a 'stone zoo'. Many artists worked on the sculptures in this display during the 1700s, the most important of whom was Francesco Antonio Franzoni."
On your way to the Round Room, you'll be confronted with this remnant. This fragment of a statue known as the Belvedere Torso has been revered through the centuries by Raphael and even Michaelangelo, who it was rumored, was asked to restore the statue by Pope Julius II, but refused saying it was too beautiful to be changed. He is quoted as saying, "This is the work of a man who knew more than nature!” It is said that the torso was an inspiration for Adam in Michelangelo's fresco in the Sistine Chapel.
Right past this sculpture is the "Round Hall". Here's a panoramic shot that you can click on to expand.
Look familiar? Well, it was built to resemble the Pantheon.
By this time Museum fatigue was setting in. I pretty much stopped taking photos and it's quite telling that one of the few photos taken by the Missus was Rapheal's "The Liberation of St Peter".
The one thing the Missus, a fan of Angels & Demons, had to take a photo of was the Double Helix Staircase.....which is how you exit the Vatican Museum.
Next up was St Peter's Basilica, which was easy to find. Just follow the crowds.
St Peter's Square is quite impressive....and crowded.
And of course, to get into the Basilica, you had to go through security and metal detectors and all of that as well.
It was getting to be a pretty warm day. The security points for St Peter's were moving quite slowly. Then, a group of Chinese tourists pushed their way to the front of the line, and tried to just walk through security. The guards rushed up, linked their arms and physically pushed back the crowd. Then they closed the gate......I don't know if it was protocol or just spite, but man, I was just over it. Now don't get me wrong, the Missus is Chinese, as you all know if you've read long enough, from Qingdao. None of Her family, or even family friends who have visited act this way. 'Nuff said.
Anyway, by the time we got to St Peter's, I'd had my fill of the crowds, the heat, etc....
Still, the Missus has always wanted to come here. And I truly want the Missus to see and visit everyplace She's dreamed of. I hope that Vatican water tasted sweet.....
By now we were both starving.........but I had a place in mind. One that had been on my lists for ages... Pizzarium.
This place takes Pizza al Taglio - pizza by the slice to the next level with some wonderful ingredients. You just tell the guy behind the counter how much you want....it's really hard not to go overboard.
While it was still a bit too "bready" for our tastes, some of the ingredients were wonderful and we especially loved the tomato sauce....man, that was nice.
The prosciutto....the greens with the mozzarella...really good. Worth the 15 minute walk from the Vatican. Plus, the Cipro Metro Station is close by.
Pizzarium Via della Meloria 43 Rome, Italy
Returning to our room, I badly needed a shower. After that and rehydrating, we headed off, just to hang around the area near Termini Station.
And have a little snack.....
After taking quite a long walk, we decided to stop by the nearest Hosteria and have a simple meal.
Sometimes those spur of the moment places work out quite well. Some times not. Having no idea of this place....well, it was the latter.
Oh well, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, right?
Man, that carbonara was not to my liking....so I guess this was a lose.
It was not quite the send off I wanted. The next day, we'd be back on the Leonardo Express, then to our flight to Malta....yes, Malta.