I know that my timing tends to suck......I have a tendency to do these posts right after the New Year. It's really not on purpose...really. What happens is that I try to close out the previous year and always seem to have some of these "one-off" type photos, so I basically have stuff for a "COMC" (Clearing Out the Memory Card) type of post. So anyway, here's some "stuffs" from the last quarter, of last year.
Carmen's Mexican Food:
A couple of folks have mentioned Carmen's to me and I tell them that I had eaten at Carmen's back when they were located in Linda Vista, across from what is now K Sandwich. I really wasn't impressed with the food, which seemed more Am-Mex, then Mexican. Eventually that whole area was razed and Carmen's was gone. I did feel a twinge of sadness, because even if I didn't care for the place, a lot of folks did. Then a couple of years ago, Babylon Cafe closed down, and Carmen's reopened in that location.
I was still not really motivated to eat there, but more than one person mentioned how good their Carne Asada Fries were. After my post on Yesenia's, I actually received two recommendations for Carmen's. So after a short CAF recovery period, I decided to drop by for lunch.
The crew here was friendly and all the customers seemed to be regulars, talking about kids, vacations to Disney, Disney cruises, relatives, not seeing "so and so" for a while....you know, that kind of stuff. I actually kind of felt like an outsider, but this gave me an understanding of how the place has cultivated a customer base over the years.
Everything was cooked to order so it took a couple of minutes before my Carne Asada Fries were ready.
This really wasn't my cup of tea. First, thought I love my dinner fries, I'm not fond of them in my CAF. Since there's always some guac-crema-salsa action going on, I prefer a higher ration of crispness. Second the guacamole was kind of pasty with no flavor. Third, the carne asada was a lot more tender then it appeared, but was rather tasteless. I'm sure they make their own salsa here, but for some reason it reminded me of Pace Picante. Nothing against Pace, but several decades ago I had a coworker whose second favorite hobby was....how shall I say it...partaking of the "cash crop". We'd go over for beers and would instantly know when he was enjoying himself....he'd be having this concoction of melted Philadelphia Cream Cheese mixed with Pace Picante and chips. Ick......
The rather substantial pool of oil at the bottom of the plate could either be an added treat or not...depending on your point of view.
Still, like I've said many times...there's a big difference between "favorite" and "best" and I understand that. There are many reasons why folks hold a place close to their hearts and the food may not be the main reason(hey, I'm just as guilty). Based on the rapport between the two guys working on this day and the regulars, I'm thinking this is one of those places.
Carmen's Mexican Food
4937 Diane Ave
San Diego, CA 92117
Harry D'z BBQ:
During one of the early days of the Morena's Farmer's Market.....having not been back in a while, I'm wondering if it still running? I passed a couple of weeks ago and na-da?? Anyway, it was getting close to evening and I hadn't had lunch and this little stand looked interesting.
Actually, there should be some kind of law against sticking pork in front of a starving man's face.....
So I decided on the pulled pork sandwich, which was a reasonable $6.50.
The pork was quite moist, but I had a hard time believing it was really smoked based on the mild flavor. The sauce was too sticky sweet and what seemed molasses heavy for me......
The Caliente Burger at Tommy's:
I'm not sure what it is about San Diego's Tommy's, but it just doesn't seem to be the same as the Tommy's back in LA...even the one in our old neighborhood. But there I was, standing in line at Sprouts and the two customers in front of me were going on and on about this "new" burger at Tommy's that was "oh so good, but so spicy". Now what kind of bonehead would actually go visit Tommy's after overhearing two women talking about something "oh so good"??? Hello, I'm bonehead, nice to meet you......
The young lady at the counter was really friendly and told me that they top the chili burger with pickled cascabel chilies and chipotle cheddar. She was very nice and even gave me a little tray with some extra chilies in them. Funny, these reminded me of the bottled Del Monte Chilies I used to eat when I was a kid.
The burger was actually better then I had during my last visit, maybe five or so years ago now. The chilies weren't really that hot. I've kind of noticed that the chili at this location is heading into two divergent directions....as it becomes more and more like refried bean glue in texture, the flavor becomes more watered down. Right now it just seems like heartburn fuel.....though I've only had heartburn once in my life(a funny story) and it wasn't from Tommy's
Serves me right to eavesdropping on folks in the grocery line......
7415 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92111
So there you go....man, that's more then enough calories and saturated fat...sheesh.
I think I'll go and quietly have my plate lunch in the corner now.