How do you top dinner at Azurmendi? Well, you don't really. You just get up the next morning and get breakfast.......
Then walk around town killing time until you check out at noon and catch your bus to San Sebastian at 2pm.
The Missus decided that we should go to Casco Viejo, the Old Town. We decided to walk along the riverside...... Of course, we first had to pass "Fred".
The morning looked overcast and in fact it drizzled off and on until midmorning.
It seems that all dogs walk off leash here....they are very well behaved. Here's a really friendly one!
Most just mind their own business......
The walk from the Guggenheim to the Arenal Bridge, which crosses over the Nervion River takes about 20-25 minutes or so.
This was a quiet Sunday morning......
That's the Teatro Arriaga in the foreground, which greets you as you cross over the river.
We soon found ourselves at Plaza Nueva. This being Sunday, vendors were setting up for the weekly market of used books, stamps, coins, and other miscellanea.
There's something for everyone it seems. If you loved birds, there's a stand for that.....
What, you don't like birds? Not to worry. The very next booth sells slingshots.....
If you're in the Old Town, all streets lead to Santiago Cathedral. It is said that a church was originally built on this site back in the 14th century. There were additions made to the church at different periods and you can see the variations in styles. The church was declared a cathedral rather recently; in 1949.
It's actually fairly difficult taking a photo of the cathedral since the surrounding buildings are rather close. This being Sunday, and rather early in the morning the cathedral is closed to visitors.
As you can figure out by the name; the Cathedral Stands on the Northern route of Camino de Santiago, the Way of St James.
We noticed a little café that was doing some pretty good business and decided to stop for a "caffe" (espresso).
As we sat and relaxed, I noticed the place getting a bit more busy. After paying and leaving, we noticed much more activity in the little alleyways and small arteries in Old Town. Of course! It was Sunday, folks were on their way to church......
We headed out back across the bridge; past the Renfe Train Station....by now I had pretty much finished taking photos. We were just walking. We found ourselves back in downtown....and I knew where we were! Wouldn't you know it, I finally had directions figured out in Bilbao just in time for us to leave!
Oh well. We hadn't seen everything. And there were many more places that I had on my list to eat at. When travelling we always treat a place like we'll return someday....we see the things that are high on our list and don't stress the rest. So maybe.......
Anyway, we returned to our room, packed up a bit, and decided to take a short nap before checking out.
mmm-yoso!!! is a food blog. Kirk and Ed(fromYuma) and Cathy are the usual bloggers. Things pretty much work out that when one doesn't feel like (or can't) blog, one of the others has something they can post. Today, Cathy is writing.
A few weeks ago, The Mister and I were headed to the Vallarta Market in Escondido, planning to eat lunch beforehand either in the store (link is about a different location of Vallarta; but the food court inside all stores have the same food selections) or at the Farmer Boys, which shares the same parking lot...However, seeing this signage at J&M's (also sharing the same parking lot)...well...had to stop. The week after we had been here, this small ad appeared in the Union-Tribune. It looks like a June-only promotion. When looking at the regular menu, chili is not listed anywhere.The interior decor is newer, neat and clean, there is a separate closed room for meetings and wonderful friendly waitresses.
Some of you may remember there used to be a Spires Restaurant (a small Southern California chain of Traditional American Diners, since 1965) in Escondido which burned down in 2012. J&M's opened here in 2013 with the same owner and many of the same employees.
The regular menu is straightforward and has two 'added value' menus at the back for both breakfast and lunch (these special menus are served anytime).Therefore, breakfast it was. The #3 ($6.99). One and a half slices of French toast with two eggs and bacon. This was great, just enough and everything fresh, tasty and quality (and perfectly poached eggs).From the 'regular' menu, the appetizer of onion rings ($4.99). One size only. 20 fresh breaded and perfectly fried whole slices of onion. For the first time ever, The Mister and I did not fight over who got the last one; we were full from sharing this giant serving. THE chili bowl ($5.69). If you know, or care much about chili...this is great. No beans, tomato, peppers (just a hint of the typical mild/red bell pepper flavor and possibly Anaheim chilis), onion, spices of cumin and garlic with a bit of chili powder heat. This would be perfect on a cold day.
We will be going back soon, in case the Chili Extravaganza really is over at the end of the month.
J&M's 1215 E Valley Pkwy Escondido, CA 92027 (between Harding and Ash) (760)745-3710website open 6-11 daily
Thanks for again stopping to read mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are enjoying their own vacations right now. Cathy is writing today's post.
There used to be a wonderful restaurant in Ocean Beach- The Belgian Lion- (link is to a 1992 Los Angeles Times article) run by Belgian born, classically trained French chef (and former computer programmer) Don Coulon and his wife, Arlene.
Three of Don and Arlene's granddaughters, Chef Anne-Marie, as well as Jacqueline and Dominique Coulon now own and run Little Lion, a small (there are 19 seats inside and two tables out front which can hold 6-8 people) charming cafe on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard at Bermuda Avenue (one block North of Point Loma Avenue). Anne-Marie's husband runs Griffin Farm, which supplies the greens for the menu.
The common denominators of these Coulon businesses: local, fresh, quality.Driving by, you will probably notice the black and white striped awning. Stepping inside, the simple decor and counter in the back will catch your eye. The simple menu for breakfast and lunch served during the week seems to have changed a bit from when Little Lion first opened; I believe the menu is seasonal. (Dinner is going to begin being offered in June; I'll add details at the end of this post once I know more).Organic drip coffee ($2.50) is served in the clear glass cups with real cream.The smoked salmon plate ($12). The house cured, house smoked salmon was topped with creme fraiche and plenty of capers. It was served with toasted slices of La Brea Bakery baguette and shaved onion.
The side salad was topped with shaved fennel and shaved radishes.The classic Croque Monsieur ($10) was made into a Croque Madame (adding a poached egg, like a Lady's hat) ($2).
This traditional breakfast sandwich, made with ham, Swiss cheese and Béchamel sauce on top of what looked like a half ciabatta. At first it looked like a very thick slice of bread, but then using the serrated knife to view a cross section revealed there is more ham than bread to this sandwich. The Bechamel sauce was to-the-letter perfect.
Accompanied by a simple salad and two types of pickles, Nicoise olives and a swirl of strong, old fashioned (Dijon?) mustard, this was a wonderful meal.
Words cannot describe how perfect everything was. We will be back to try more of the menu.
Little Lion Cafe and Bar 1424 Sunset Cliffs Blvd San Diego 92107 (619)756-6921 website open Tues-Sun 8-3
**Updated Hours** Beginning June 2, 2015, hours will be Tues-Saturday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Thank you for (again) stopping and reading mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Kirk is gathering photos and food memories to share. Ed(from Yuma) is preparing to take photos and write stories about his food adventures. Cathy is here today, writing about photos and a meal which has happened.
More than seven years ago, I wrote about a semi-regular part of our rotation, Wired Bistro. It closed, turned into some other French Cafe (which I did not write about) and recently has come to life again, in the form of a French Cafe Bistro named Cocotte. (Notice the first "o" in the signage. A cocotte is a covered heatproof dish or casserole, with two handles.) There is seating both inside and out in front.Fresh pastries are in the refrigerated case when you walk in. The Wine Bar area behind the counter and ceiling covered in burlap coffee bags remain as decor; same as the prior iterations.Double espresso ($2.50) using Lavazza beans was perfectly pulled.Bacon-Cheddar omelet ($9.50) comes with a fruit cup, oven roasted rosemary potatoes and slices of fresh baguette. The three egg omelet is made in a way we are now going at home. The bacon (smokey and thick pieces) seems to have been in the pan first, with the whipped eggs placed over those pieces, then cheese is placed on top of the cooked eggs and then folded, resulting with cheese in the middle and bacon on the outer edges of the fluffy omelet.Ordering the Meli-Melo crêpe ($8.50), I wasn't expecting much. The menu description of 'two crêpes filled with scrambled eggs and melted Swiss' seemed generic. Wrong! The perfectly cooked, slightly sweet extra large (instead of two) crêpe was packed solid with softly scrambled eggs smoothly mixed with a nutty tangy Swiss cheese. Those sides of a fruit cup and rosemary roasted potatoes made this quite a large meal.
I hope you'll all have a great weekend. Thanks for reading.
Cocotte Cafe Bistro 8935 Towne Center Drive 92122 (858) 450-0880 Open 7a.m.-10 p.m., 7 days
This is the breakfast menu, which will magically appear upright if you click onto it (my iPhone update combined with Typepad are having some wonky issues).
Here we are once again, mmm-yoso!!! and you, the reader of our food blog. Kirk is still having a good time in Europe (enjoying a long needed vacation). Ed (from Yuma) is planning to paint the town red (not in Yuma) and Cathy is delighting in places available in San Diego County and sharing with you.
During certain months of the year, it's easier for me to meet clients elsewhere than an office. Usually that place ends up being a Starbucks, but sometimes I am offered a meal and am asked where I'd like to go. Being aware of their financial situations, I have tended to recommend The Lunch Box, a small, family owned place on the Southwest corner of La Mesa Boulevard at Jackson in a strip mall anchored by a 7-Eleven. It's been here since 2009 and the food is great.The Lunch Box opens at 7:30 daily (closed on Sunday), closes by 2 (at 1 on Saturday) and starts serving the lunch menu at 8:30 in the morning, for those true 'early birds' among us. The seating area is filled with tables and chairs (no booths) and people who arrive in larger groups can make their own size seating area.
I finally decided to bring The Mister here one day, so he could see the menu and I could take photos of a meal.
The raisin French toast, topped with bananas ($4.95). The toast consistently has a lightly crisp exterior and soft, fluffy interior. I think I've mentioned only one time ordering raisin bread, as well as paying the extra 10¢ for a raisin filled cinnamon roll. However, if I ever am given a chance to order raisin filled anything, I just do it. Adding two eggs and a sausage patty ($2.95) balanced out the French toast, making it a meal. The sausage is mild in flavor, the eggs are always perfectly made.The Mister opted for the $5.95 weekday special with 2 bacon, 2 eggs and 2 pancakes. Again, very nicely made and just right. Coffee is $1.75 and constantly refilled.
All in all, this is a nice, local place which, again, has withstood the test of time. I tend to post more about these sorts of places because they are comfortable and comforting. I bet you have someplace in your part of town that is similar.
Hope you are going to have a good week. Thanks for reading us all these years!
The Lunch Box Cafe & Deli 8751 La Mesa Blvd La Mesa 91941 (619)463-4013 Open Mon-Fri 7:30-2, Sat 7:30-1 Closed Sunday
Hello. You are looking at the food blog named mmm-yoso!!! and we thank you. As you read this, Kirk is being conveyed, Ed (from Yuma) is planning transportation and Cathy is pretty much stationary.
Yes, The Mister and I are enjoying the sights of San Diego and having our own 'Staycation'.This overcast day brought us to Shelter Island. At Shelter Island Drive aand Anchorage Lane-the first intersection when you enter the island-there is parking on your right (and if you head way back, there are no meters) and the restaurant, to your left, is unmistakable. The Red Sails Inn, which has been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in this same location for almost 70 years. It is uncrowded at the 7 a.m. daily opening time until about 9 a.m. We are breakfast people.Nautical decor, unchanged for possibly decades, somehow is comforting and nostalgic.The outdoor patio area is a perfect place to bring visiting friends. The Mister ordered the chalkboard special ($7.95), an omelet with ham, bacon, sausage and cheese. It came with hash browns (or breakfast potatoes or cottage cheese or refried beans) and toast. This was an amazingly large overfilled omelet. The sage-flavored breakfast sausage is made here, and it is good. (Coffee is $2.25).However, this day, I was recalling my catfish breakfast at Smokey's Lake Wohlford Cafe in Escondido and ordered the Fish & Eggs breakfast ($10.99). Two quite large, meaty sole filets, lightly floured and fried along with (of course) poached eggs, rye toast and more hash browns (I wanted the crispy edges). This was wonderful, fresh and so good.
A great start to another beautiful San Diego day.
Red Sails Inn 2614 Shelter Island Drive San Diego 92106 (619)223-3030 Open 7a.m-10 p.m. dailyThe tartar sauce is made here, with wonderful dill pickle pieces. It's the only tartar sauce I will eat straight from the container.
Our last morning started just like the previous one did. The Missus slept in a bit and I took a walk, much shorter this time, and no donuts. We would be grabbing breakfast before checking out and heading to the airport. The Missus really wanted to go back to Tasty N Alder yet again. However, they didn't open until 9, which would be cutting things a bit too close.
So instead we walked one block over to Cheryl's on 12th which opens at 8am on Sundays.
The space reminded me a bit of the London Plane, not as fancy or hip, but this was part market, bakery, deli, as well as restaurant.
We were greeted with a bright smile and led to a nice little table.
Ordering for me was quite easy, though the Missus needed a bit of time.
Meanwhile, our coffee arrived along with some very light, warm, beignets.
The Missus went with the Wild Mushroom Omelete ($9):
While it kind of looked like a hot mess, the flavors were good, sweetness from the caramelized onions and the milky-salty feta cheese balancing out the earthy mushroom flavor. The potatoes were mediocre, bland, greasy, and without color or and crispness.
Minus the avocado and this could have easily been served at, say, Like Like Drive-In, or some other local spot on Oahu. There was a generous portion of sliced and nicely sautéed sausage, decent flavor, nicely spiced, lot's of sausage in the fried rice as well, though the rice was much too hard and needed some shoyu to kick it up a bit. Still, the Missus poached a good amount of the sausage (and the avocado), and this was well worth ten bucks.
Cheryl’s On 12th 1135 SW Washington St Portland, OR 97205 Hours: Mon - Sat 7am - 8pm Sunday 8am - 4pm
In retrospect, we could have easily spent a few more days in PDX. As it was, we missed a few places we had on our list....unfinished business as it were.
The Missus had worked quite hard in the weeks up to our trip to Portland. I'm a terminal early riser, so I decided to let the Missus get some additional shut-eye, while I took a morning walk.
Much like Seattle, Portland seems to rise late.....it was still a bit dark when I started my walk at the Paramount Hotel.
I headed out for The Pearl, we'd walked around the area a bit the day before and really enjoyed ourselves, and were probably headed here later in the morning, so I thought why not? Though I'd been up this way before, I'd never been up NW 13th Avenue.
A former street full of former warehouses, turned into restaurants, shops, and businesses....I really liked the transformation.
For some reason, the area seems much more developed than when I last visited.
Walking down Burnside past the North Park Blocks, I descended on the area known as Old Town and Chinatown. Things seemed to have changed a bit since my last visit; it's much cleaner, less (though still a bit) gritty....there seemed to be quite a few bars and art galleries, so I'm certain that additional gentrification might be coming up.
Looking up NW 6th Avenue; I was surprised to see Union Station was a few blocks away! On previous visits; Union Station just seemed much farther away.
Perhaps all those "death marches" with the Missus (I calculated I walked 9 miles on this day...stay tuned) has changed how I calculate distance?
Anyway, walking into Chinatown, I saw that The House of Louie was still there!
And of course, one of my favorite signs....... Hung Far Low. The restaurant, once the oldest restaurant in Chinatown (opened in 1928), is long gone. But I guess there's something, well, unique and special about the sign....it is without a doubt a landmark, and the sign has been preserved. I understand that the city even contributed to making sure that Hung Far Low kept on hanging, high and proud in Chinatown.
Walking past the Chinatown gate, I received a text from the Missus. She was up and about, so I headed back......not directly mind you, there was one stop on the way.
I do wish some of the food carts on 10th and Alder were open for a substantial breakfast....but like their customer base, they seem to wake much later as well.
Seeing food carts in Portland always brings me back to this wonderful post from which Portland Food Carts site was established in 2007. Lizzy Gaston is no longer involved with the little empire that is Portland Food Carts, but I will never forget.
Heading down Washington Street, I came across the SW Portland location of Blue Star Donuts. The Missus isn't a big fan of Voodoo Donuts, so I thought I'd get something from here as a wake up treat for Her.
This was the most folks I saw in one place at this time of the morning in Portland!
The artisan donuts here use a brioche base.
I bought three for the Missus. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but thought the cinnamon and vanilla sugar was the best; the Missus agreed. The raspberry filled with peanut butter powder was our least favorite.
You can read about the North Portland location of Blue Star in Mary's post.
Blue Star Donuts 1237 SW Washington St Portland, OR 97205
So after some donuts, the Missus decided where She wanted to eat Her breakfast.......it was Tasty N Alder again!
So we waited until just before 9am and walked the couple blocks up to Tasty N Alder.
Our Server was the same......so wonderful. She welcomed us back and we explained that we came back for the Radicchio Salad. In a very nice touch, she brought us some coffee cake, telling us, "this is on the house....welcome back...and thanks!" Wow, really?
And so the Missus got Her Radicchio Salad.......half portion ($6)
Of course the Missus loves eggs.....so I decided to order the Cast Iron Frittata ($10).
Good sized....not too big, loved the nettles, the caramelization helped to smooth out the bitterness and develop the sugars, the caramelized onion brought some sweetness, and the asparagus was present in a restrained amount. A nice, light, frittata.
And $16 for a breakfast for 2? And that coffee cake? Priceless......
Ever since we've been doing a good amount of travel internationally, the Missus really hasn't been too keen travelling much in the US, other than heading "home" to visit Her parents and such. But, we had such a great time on our recent visit to Seattle, a city we used to visit almost yearly, that the Missus asked me if I'd like to take a belated birthday trip to Portland. I'd heard that the food scene in PDX has really taken off in the last couple years and it had been over 7 years since our last visit. In other words, we were overdue. I always enjoyed the city, folks are very nice, almost borderline too friendly at times....even the street kids are often quite polite. We did notice a few changes since our last visit immediately; many, many, more hipsters.....man, I don't think they sell many razors in PDX anymore. Folks seemed even more eccentric....some of the outfits wouldn't be out of place in Shibuya! Loved the gal who walked out of one of the business high rises; briefcase in tow, rockin' shiny tap dance shoes featuring bright red bows, a polka dot mini skirt, and a mouse-ear barrette! Keep Portland Weird indeed....or were the folks just doing a reverse satire of Portlandia?
Did I mention the easy $2.50 Max Red Line from the airport to downtown. That, added to being able to check in at 945am at the Paramount, and things were starting out well.
We were of course starving....and downtown Portland is a very easy walking town. Tasty N Alder had been on my list for a while and the Missus and I enjoy family style......
The place was quite full when we arrived....mid-morning and all. Our Server was the most amazingly cheerful and friendly woman. I wish I got her name....friendly, efficient, did a great job talking to us about the menu. She made our visit so pleasant and pleasurable.
always on the look-out for veggies, we started with the Radicchio ($6), which turned out to be the Missus's favorite dish of the trip. In fact, She requested a return visit just for this supposedly simple looking salad.
This dish was just so subtly excellent, from the nice crisp thick cut bacon lardons, to the ice cold radicchio, prepped perfectly, without any of the bitter bite. Topped with crumbled egg...you know how much the Missus loves Her eggs, right. The manchego cheese was shredded so fine that I asked if it was done using a microplane (it is). The cheese melted into the wonderful dressing thickening it....I also think there's some bacon fat in the dressing as well. It was thick and rich in a pleasant way......almost like the best possible Caesar dressing. Wonderful!
Curious, we ordered the "Saigon Brussel Sprouts". Actually, the flavor is more Thai influenced.
The Missus took one bite and said, "I know this flavor....you know this flavor....you make stuff using these flavors". This indeed had the Palm Sugar-Fish Sauce-Garlic flavor I use for making my Thai Garlic Shrimp. Though this is much more sweet and is glazed. I loved the idea and knew I'd be making this after we returned home.
The Smoke Trout Board ($10) was our least favorite item of the day. The trout was decently smoked, but nothing special, the 6 minute egg was over done, though the pickled beets are really great with a nice, balanced flavor.
I was fascinated with the Patatas Bravas, which turned out to be a huge portion for $7. And to make the Missus even more happy it was topped with....you guessed it, two more easy over eggs. That make about five eggs if you're counting.
The garlic aioli had a wonderful "punch", the potatoes had the great texture of spuds that had been twice fried as the interior was fairly creamy. It was a bit too salty and the sauce seemed a bit heavy handed with regards to paprika, but you can't say it was bland.
So this with coffee....what do you think this would cost in San Diego? Here it was $33.......almost a shocking bargain for us. Plus no sales tax. I'd forgotten how reasonably priced things were in Portland.
Like I mentioned before, the woman who waited on us was just a joy. While the Missus went to the restroom, she stopped by and we had a nice chat about the food scene in the city. She told me that the last 3-4 years have been quite amazing for the city. Man, I was looking forward to the rest of our trip.
After brunch we headed off to see some familiar sites and to make one important stop....Powell's Books. To quote something from an earlier post that included Powell's; "yes, it's all true; the bookstore takes up an entire city block. And yes, you do need a map to get around. And yes.....used books are mixed in with the new. And yes, I think there are people living in Powell's, that may have not left in years" I managed to pull myself away from Powell's.......
Powell's Books 1005 W Burnside Portland, OR 97209 USA
I really enjoyed the "Pearl" district on my previous visits so we walked on over....man, it's gotten even more upscale since our last visit. Lots of development. The Missus couldn't resist dropping by the Whole Foods to take a peek and even bought some goji berries which were $7/lb cheaper than in San Diego.
The beer selection was pretty darn good as well. This looked like a nice Whole Foods.
We walked a bit more, then headed back to the hotel for a nap. We both woke a 4am to catch our flight, so a nap was in order......
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