Welcome back to mmm-yoso!!!, the food blog. Kirk and ed(from Yuma) are working. Cathy is playing Tourist today.
Hi. On a weekday not long ago, The Mister got a bunch of time off from work. We are members of the Zoological Society of San Diego and usually only go once or twice a year with out of town visitors. Since there are no rules about when you can go, we decided to pretend we were tourists.
We found close parking and walked between the elephant topiaries to the entrance, and went to see the flamingos straight ahead. The youngest ones were molting and just turning pink.
Then we walked to the left and visited the tortoises
while they were eating lunch...and stared at the Monitor Lizard across the way...
then popped into the hummingbird exhibit (there is one hummingbird feeding on the left side of the orange flower in the center right of this photo.).
Then we walked on the Trail through the Lost Forest, passing the Gorilla Exhibit, following the signs to Albert's Restaurant (named after Albert, a silverback gorilla who came to the Zoo at 4 months of age, was hand raised and lived here for about 30 years and was the Patriarch of the Gorillas). The fanciest place to dine at the Zoo. Cloth napkin fancy. The only full service restaurant here. We had to wait a few minutes to be seated, as the restaurant had just opened and others were being seated.
Everyone ahead of us took seats outdoors, in the treetops, and we got the view from inside the building-see the waterfalls all the way in the back?
Warm, crispy crusted, mildly sour sourdough and whipped butter was brought out after we ordered.
Soon, our artichoke heart appetizer ($7) arrived. Artichoke hearts, red pepper strips and garlic cloves which had been carmelized olive oil. Served with three crisp crostini. Very good.
The Mister ordered a Cobb Salad ($14). Romaine lettuce topped with the traditional Cobb toppings (Bleu cheese chunks, chicken breast, bacon, tomato, avocado and hard boiled egg). The chicken and the avocado were very cold. Chilled I suppose. If those had been room temperature, the flavors would have melded better. (It tasted much better at the halfway point, when the temperatures of the avocado and chicken had 'warmed' and was really good at the end.)
I chose the vegetable linguine($13). Zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli and onions in an opal basil cream sauce. I could have added chicken or shrimp, but didn't want to and this was excellent. The vegetables were not mushy nor too crisp. The sauce was just the perfect, complimentary richness.
You know how when you order onion rings and one french fry shows up? Or when you order cheese popcorn, there is one piece of carmel popcorn in the box? That happens with noodles too!
It was a fancy, fun, no-rules day for us. I hope you can have one of those soon.
Albert's Restaurant in the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park 2920 Zoo Drive San Diego 92101 619-685-3200 Website