When the Missus asks to go to breakfast on the weekend; She doesn't mean pancakes and eggs. No, She wants something from, say Zarlitos or Fernandez Catering. It's nice to have access to a bit of variety around these parts. Here are a couple of places I've posted on many times before.
It took a while to talk the Missus into having breakfast with me at Hinotez. But memories of "Japanese Breakfast" in Japan finally made Her give in. I've already gone into what a simple breakfast of natto, egg, and rice means to me. And while Hinotez no longer serves the simple "Basic Breakfast"......you now have to get a bunch of proteins and the natto, egg, and tororo are add-ons, kind of a bummer, this is the only place you'll get something close to Japanese breakfast in San Diego. And only on Saturday and Sunday.
This ends up being a bit too much food and just like in Miyajima, we just head back to bed afterwards. Also, we've learned to request "half-rice" with this as well.
Anyway, it basically is all about the natto and rice thing....though I got beef and chicken karaage. The beef was tender and there were no complaints. The karaage was fine; crisp and nicely flavored.....but in a real amateur move, they had cut one of the pieces in half to check doneness.
A big favorite of the Missus, she loves the Plato Azteca here....and always gets an order of beans to go. Go figure.
I'd never had the Sopes, so I thought I'd give it a try. It was very good; the combination of lamb and beans just went together well. The rustic thick corn base was also texturally pleasant.
The light milky-tanginess of the cheese helped cut through the richness....though I gotta say this is pretty heavy stuff. I was stuffed after one and a half.
Even the Café Olla didn't help.
The Missus got a Quesataco with Flor de Calabaza, which was very crunchy - creamy, but a bit too salty for me, which basically muted all the other flavors. And of course the Plato Azteca, which I've posted on a good number of times Like always it's huitlacoche and flor de calabaza. She also loves the leftovers as there's no way She can finish all of this.
Aqui Es Texcoco 1043 Broadway Chula Vista, CA 91911
And then the best part.......because we're able to do this on weekends I don't have to go into work.....it's time to roll back into bed!
Having a crazy schedule means that sometimes all I'm able to do is grab a sandwich, at sometimes a rather odd hour, on the way to the office.
Here are a bunch of revisits.
A stop for me when I'm getting to work on the earlier side; like 0530 - 0545. They keep changing the signage in the place, but at least the A la Mexicana, while now a dollar more expensive ($4.99), is still a nice early breakfast option.
A nice, rather light bolillo roll; eggs, salsa, a smear of beans....some jalapenos for a mild kick, melted cheese. Warm and not too filling....I don't want to need a nap when I've just gotten into the office.
I prefer the A la Mexicana to the Chorizo and Eggs, which started nice, but just got monotonous after a while.
Maybe too much of the same flavor.
Still, a nice early breakfast stop.
Best Donuts Bakery & Deli 4714 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92117
Grab & Go - Convoy Court:
While I've had my share of sloppy sandwiches from here. I enjoy the yeasty bread and have gravitated to the "hot" sandwiches. Toasted, sandwiches like the Spicy Cappocolla and the Grilled Cheese Feta.
Crusty bread, a healthy dose of pepperocinis, onions, tomatoes, perhaps a bit too much shredded lettuce, and nicely melted, milky and salty feta. Still, it the bread that makes this machine go.
It does help that they open fairly early.
Grab & Go 7701 Convoy Ct San Diego, CA 92111
Lit’l Pepper Gourmet:
Another place that opens pretty early....like 5am or something like that. The sandwiches here are huge and some of the "specials", as I noted in my previous post are a bit over-the-top. I had Lit'l Pepper cater two of my meetings....no one in either meeting finished an entire sandwich.
During one recent "off-hour" visit, I noticed they had a "Cubano" ($9.75) on the menu. So I ordered it.
As expected, this was a pretty hefty sandwich. Not a fan of the roll they used on this. I'd like something lighter.....not sure that exists in the LPG handbook though. Basically a modified pulled pork sandwich. A bit too much of a good thing, though the ham cut right through the pork and the pickles were nice; wish I could make out more of the milkiness of the cheese and I'm nto a fan of jalapenos on this one.
Still, I was able to share with someone else in the office. So we got two meals for the price of one. Maybe I should be like "Sandy" and stick with their "Classic" sandwiches. Curiosity gets the better of me it seems.
Lit’l Pepper Gourmet 8911 Complex Dr San Diego, CA 92123
After having a fun evening with Kat and Satoshi we got up fairly early and headed out. The Missus wanted to revisit Kiyomizu-dera to check out the fall colors. We got on the Keihan Line and got off at Kiyomizu-Gojo. The Missus was up for walking all the way up to the temple. But I had already done that the last time and I talked Her into taking a cab! Whew.....
We decided to check out a few areas we missed the last time we visited.
We headed to the Jishu Shrine, which is dedicated to Ōkuninushi, a gentle-hearted god, who along being "in charge" of farming and business, is the prime deity of match-making.
Here we found the "Love Stones"......you can read all about it....
The stones are actually set about 10-15 meters apart. If walk from one to the other with your eyes closed, you'll find true love.....miss...and "sorry Charlie".
Two young ladies actually tried when we were there.....to rather humorous results. I'm kind of relieved the Missus didn't try. With Her sense of direction, I'd probably go up in a puff of smoke!
Speaking of true love....check out this affectionate little guy.
He is truly a pampered pooch......
The main reason folks come to Kiyomizu-dera is for the view. Man, the main viewing hall was a lot more packed than the last time we were here.
The views, whether from the Main Hall or along the trail are quite beautiful.
We meandered along, stopping now and then to take a photo. We'd been here before and it seemed so familiar. And yet, we were able to stop at places that were quite busy the last time around. Like the Three Story Pagoda. I think folks were focused on the views and I don' blame them in the least.
Even with all the folks around us; there's a sense of tranquility.
You get to appreciate the beauty of it all.
Soon enough, buses of non-Japanese visitors started arriving and the noise level started increasing. It was time to head on out.
Just as on our previous visit, we headed back via the side streets of Sannenzaka and Nannenzaka. There's always something interesting to see.....
On this day, there were a couple of wedding photo shoots going on.... This one went for a more dramatic, glamorous look.
While this couple and their photographer were really friendly and nice.
And when I went a displayed my camera, even flashed nice smiles for us. It was adorable.
We headed on back to Shijo-dori. There was some shopping the Missus needed to get done. It was, however, still a bit early. As we passed a coffeeshop, I noticed that the place had "morning service". We'd enjoyed the morning service at Komeda's Coffee in Kamakura, so we decided to stop and get some breakfast. From what I understand, this practice of providing toast, perhaps an egg, salad, yogurt, or something similar originated in Nagoya.
We shared the toast, yogurt, salad...the Missus had a coffee, I got tea. I don't recall what the name of this place was, but this held us until dinner!
Soon enough, a couple Salarymen came in and started smoking....it was time to get the Missus's shopping done.
We then headed back to the apartment, took our usual afternoon siesta....and headed off to Nagoya for dinner. Which we'd be having at a place with ties to San Diego.
During the short week between Christmas and New Year, I decided to take Calvin and JohnF out for lunch. We usually eat along the rather close confines of Kearny Mesa....but this was the Holiday Season, so why not relax a bit (even though they had to stay at work even longer on this day)? John is from NorCal and Filipino.....the big joke with him is that when it comes to food, he says, I'm "more Filipino" than he is. He is also a pretty big eater, so I thought a visit to Villa Manila would be fun.
Ordering was to the point; bagoong rice (sorry no photo, though JohnF said his wife loved the leftovers), and of course Crispy Pata (a small portion).
From the looks I didn't think this was going to be as good as previous versions I've had here. But man, this was worth the "meat sweats". The skin was crisp, all that gelatinous goodness was there, the meat was moist, what more could you ask for?
I had to order the Bicol Express....which is not quite what is used to be.
There's not quite the same amount of bagoong alamang, so the flavor while still on the salty side, doesn't have as much of that savory finish. The pork is still tender, though the portion size has gotten smaller.
And then there is the Nilagang Baka, the beef shank soup. Calvin, whose Missus is Vietnamese really enjoyed the beefiness of the broth. You should have seen the look on his face when they came to refill the broth!
Overall, still a nice meal. Even though VM is not quite what it was before.
Villa Manila 500 East 8th Street National City, CA 91950
So, the Missus didn't believe me when I said that Zarlitos made some decent poke. But an interesting thing happened. During the nice Bitter Brothers Anniversary dinner, Candice mentioned the poke at Zarlitos to the folks sitting with us. Turns out it was Keoni Simmons (and yes, his dad is from Hawaii), who confirmed my belief that the poke Zarlitos makes is legit. And so that conversation with the Missus went on as we headed to Hogetsu Bakery. So She relented and we decided on stopping at Zarlitos.
Where she proceeded to eat a pound of poke. Now, even though I make Spicy Tuna Poke for the Missus, I'm not a big fan. The Missus enjoyed the version here.
First off, the quality of the fish is decent, no fibrous "suji". I think this would do fairly well "back home". These days, I put a bit of wasabi in my spicy tuna poke and that's what the Missus was missing....no major complaints on this though.
The Limu poke was a bit more problematic. The fish was of decent quality, but there was too much sesame oil in this...and yes, it wasn't salty enough...when was the last time I mentioned something not having enough NaCl?
Also, this version of "limu" poke used wakame....I mean, really? Even Poke Etc down the street used Limu Kohu. Still, this was much better than those "Chi-Poke" places that have sprung up everywhere.
Of course the Missus needed some rice; so I ordered the Longsilog.
This is a food blog named mmm-yoso!!! Cathy is writing today; things are busy in the worlds of both Kirk and Ed(from Yuma).
Not much of a story as to how we found Pegah's-driving through Escondido after a trip to the Swap Meet: World Marketplace, traffic was backed up, took a side street and passed this small restaurant, made a mental note to go back when nearby.
If you take the Ninth Street/Auto Park Way exit from the 15 (and go East, on Ninth) you'll see this restaurant at the corner of Redwood. Open from 6 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., the parking areas next to and in front seem to always be full. There's a small counter area, booths, tables and a sort of larger area to the right with a few tables pushed together, where we saw some groups of people meeting. The tabletop condiment selection indicates both breakfast and lunch are served. There's a White Board at the entrance, indicating daily specials. Pea Soup was available on one daily day...and you know we had to have some. This is a Bowl ($5.99) (cup is $4.99) It was a vegetarian pea soup (good, because this visit was on Friday, when I don't eat meat) and quite excellent, made with carrot and a bit of onion. The Mister had been craving fried chicken and ordered another whiteboard special plate ($9.99) perfectly fried in a light, not spiced batter, fresh and hot along with the vegetable of the day and (real) mashed potatoes with gravy, this satisfied cravings. I was more in a 'breakfast' mood so ordered a 'Sunrise Breakfast'($7.99) which came with two eggs and home-style potatoes. I substituted raisin toast ($1). The potatoes were made perfectly, as were the poached eggs. Of course, raisin toast is always my choice. When we returned, The Mister seemed to still be in a 'fried chicken' mode, but made his choice a the chicken strip salad with Blue Cheese dressing ($10.99). This was very large, filled with fresh ingredients (the chicken strips, again a simple batter fry and served hot on top of the cool, crisp salad ingredients). I liked it a lot when we traded plates. Being more in a 'comfort food' mode, the hot turkey sandwich ($9.99)was my choice. Served open face, on top of toasted, buttered, de-crusted sourdough. Thick sliced, skin on, fresh roasted turkey along with a wonderfully 'thanksgiving-seasoned' gravy, more of those real mashed potatoes and the similar vegetable of the day really hit the spot.
Taking a detour and finding local, family owned, established in 1987 with friendly servers and quality food. Such good fortune.
Pegah's Kitchen 912 S. Redwood Street (at Ninth) Escondido 92025 (760) 739-9265 Open daily: 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Website
mmm-yoso!!!, one of many food blogs on the internet. This one is written by three friends, two of them (Kirk and Ed (from Yuma)) are too busy and/or tired to post today, so Cathy is writing a short post on this gloomy, wet and cold day. If you've been to East County, you might recognize the symbol.
It looks like it was taken off of the original Mary's Donuts in Santee, which closed almost a year ago after being in that location more than 30 years; the new Santee location has it. The newest location is in Lakeside, near the end of Highway 67, on Maine Street; that's a new donut symbol. cc was there at the Grand Opening! Yes, these photos were taken over the December holiday season; the windows were decorated and red and green frosting was used in a festive way. The selection of donuts is tremendous, fresh and, as always, tasty. (That giant one, next to the apple fritters on the top shelf is a 'Birthday Donut', $10) At the cash register, I noticed signage regarding sandwich choices. Not just donuts for lunch! The sandwiches are $6.99 and this turkey with cheddar choice was really good; a good amount of high quality thinly shaved quite flavorful turkey. Standard toppings of lettuce, tomato, mayo, no onion. It was served on a fresh, toasted croissant, probably from Costco. I like basic, good quality sandwiches.A ham and egg breakfast sandwich, with lettuce and tomato and mayo really hit the spot. Again, a good amount of high quality ham along with the freshly scrambled eggs. A great meal. Of course, we came here for donuts. My favorite, a French cruller ($0.95), with green frosting (just to be festive; if blindfolded, I would not know if it were plain glazed or frosted, much less color) and the ever popular, quite large, quite apple filled, apple fritter ($1.90), which was shared and taken home to be shared again later.
A great, local place. Stay safe!
Mary's Donuts-Lakeside 10101 Maine Avenue Lakeside, Ca 92040 (619) 334-5272 Always open
mmm-yoso!!! is the name of this blog. Kirk is not posting today and neither is Ed (from Yuma); Cathy has free time.
There are several diners that The Mister and I tend to frequent. I wrote a short post about Gus's in 2011 and we've been here many times since then. You'll see menu specials on the exterior windows and there's a sandwich board at the door... along with the menu above the cash register, which mirrors the one handed to you and there are more specials listed on an inner wall.We seem to be here for breakfast most of the time. The Top Sirloin and Eggs (now $10.99) is (still) a good deal, served with home fries or hash browns and toast or pancakes. French toast with eggs and sausage (that is a very large, very flavorful sausage) or bacon ($8.25) is also a tasty choice.
Most of the lunches come with a choice of soup or salad and the house made pea soup is always a choice. Liver and onions ($8.95) is also a choice of mine at many lunches. The calves liver here is prepared nicely: tender with a floured/light crunch. The gyros topped Greek salad ($9.25), served with garlic toast and a very good (house made) dressing usually results in leftovers and my enjoying another meal later that day.
One of the exterior window specials is for a large (one topping) pizza and salad ($11.99) and that is a definite meal with leftovers for us. The pizza over here is cheesy and is nicely crispy. The crust sometimes seems a bit 'fluffy' and tastes better the next day, but really I have no complaints. The sausage topping is, again, unique in flavor and texture; really good.
The pastrami sub (12 inches, $12.75) is one of the best we've ever had. Fresh bread, toasted and brushed with mustard and layered with a plentiful amount of quality smokey pastrami, griddled thoroughly, with crisped edges and melted provolone which is then pressed before serving...it is perfection. Taking home half results in enough meat for two omelets the next morning.
Ending this post with a rather sloppy set of photos is not intentional. A 1/2 lb chili cheese burger with fries ($9.95) is a comfort meal sometimes. The chili is made with beans and has a good spicy kick. The charred part of the burger went with the chili. The fresh, toasted bun and side of fries made from gigantic potatoes is, again, more than enough food for a single meal.
Gus's Subs and Pizza 5620 Baltimore Drive La Mesa 91942 (619)462-4877 Open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. 7 days
Thanks for taking a break to read this food blog, mmm-yoso!!! Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are too busy researching places to post about so Cathy is writing today's post.
In early October, cc and I met up for a Saturday breakfast at a location which has changed owners and business models a few times in the past 30 years. (In the late 80's, The Mister and I came to this location for fried chicken every Sunday and I also recall it being only a coffee shop for a short while, until the Starbucks opened across the street). Located across the street from Ralphs (and on the other side, from Starbucks) in the general area of SDSU, you may have noticed the small building with a large sign on the roof if stuck at the signal light. The interior hasn't changed much over the years. It isn't hipster, just clean and comfy. Family owned, with customers from the neighborhood as well as from the University, Daily Grind(s) is steadily busy.
That Saturday morning, cc ordered her usual, a chicken fried steak and eggs plate ($9.95) -tender cubed steak with a crispy, light batter topped with a good peppery sausage gravy. I ordered the pancake special($9.95)-three fluffy (with lightly crisp edges) pancakes wrapped around a filling of scrambled eggs and sausage (there was a choice of sausage or bacon). This was a quality, tasty basic breakfast.
A few weeks ago, there was finally time for The Mister to come back to this great place with me. It was a weekday and there is a special Monday-Thursday menu offered.
He chose the bacon and cheese omelet ($6.95) which comes with home fries and toast. This was a large, heavy omelet and very filled; I only have blurred photos of a cross section, though. I decided on the french toast plate ($7.95) which comes with two eggs and a choice of bacon or sausage. The french toast was properly made (crispy outside and fluffy/gooey innards), the eggs were properly over easy and the bacon was of good quality; thick and smoke flavored.
All in all, a really nice neighborhood diner.
Daily Grinds Cafe El Cajon Blvd San Diego 92115 (619)697-0750 Open Daily 6a.m.-4 p.m.
While I might grumble about the food and restaurants here in San Diego from time to time; I do realize that there is a nice variety available to you if you take the time to enjoy things. Take breakfast/brunch for example. Over the last couple of weeks, I found myself getting something different from the usual noodle soup while doing my Saturday morning errands.
It's easy to overlook El Borrego. The street parking is limited and it's in sort of a no-man's land right before the main City Heights shopping area. Heck; it's been about four years since I've last visited.
But with temps now dipping into the 40's at night, I just wanted some Lamb Consomme.
The lovely warm embrace of the gamey lamb broth ($2.25) was just the thing I needed to warm me up and get me going. As was the Mexican coffee.
Being a bit hungry, I also ordered two Quesadilla Rellenas ($2.75/ each); one with flor de calabasa and the other with; of course, huitlacoche....I'm thinking that Black Belt Jonez comment on huitlacoche had me craving it.
The huitlacoche here is fairly mild with just a bit of that fungi flavor; the squash blossom goes really well with the cheese; which adds in a slightly milky touch. That salsa roja is no joke either.
Nice and comforting, but not too much food; it was what I needed to get all systems ready for my errands.
El Borrego Restaurant 4280 El Cajon Boulevard San Diego, CA 92115
The Garlic Rice was decent; miost and the garlic wasn't too burnt and bitter. The steam table eggs weren't bad; still soft and runny in the middle; though I do enjoy my eggs with crisp edges. The eggs weren't seasoned, so adding your own salt is a must. The standard issue longanisa was fine; I'd prefer bit more char, but it had a nice snap, wasn't dried out, and had that sweet longanisa hamonado flavor.
Manila Fast Food and Desserts 8979 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92126
The "Moco Loco" at the High Dive:
So, I've been going into the office during most weekends since we got back from vacation. Some were necessary; on other days, it was just to catch up on admin stuff. I ran to Birdrock on Morena to pick up some coffee beans for the Missus. I'd done my Sprouts - 99 Ranch Market - Nijiya - Costco shopping and was going to grab something quick and head off to the office when I decided to "F that"......I deserved a day off and maybe a nice long weekend nap.
The car took over and parked alongside the High Dive. And my 11am Ommegang Gnomegang clinched the deal.
I haven't been the biggest fan of the food here, but hadn't seen the Brunch menu before. THD opens at 8am on Saturday and Sunday and they had something called the "Moco Loco" ($15)....you know me and Loco Mocos.
This really was a mixed bag. The egg seemed kinda small, but was fine, the yolk still runny. The gravy was straight up mushroom gravy which had a decent texture; not overly gluey, and wasn't too salty. It was just a tad over lukewarm though. The rice had an odd texture......not sure what was going on.
The best item was the burger; which, while being pretty lean and toothsome, had a really nice char with a good beefiness to it.
One word of warning; if you're ordering this and can't take something less than medium, I think you should let them know as what I got was pretty darn rare. Though it didn't bother me.
High Dive Bar and Grill 1801 Morena Blvd San Diego, CA 92110
Well, at least I actually did take a "day off". And I got something other than noodle soup for my weekend breakfast.
In the same mall as THH, where we stopped for breakfast before the first road test this year, the Kolache Factory has its sole California location. Kolach, Czech or Slovak in origin, are soft, puffy, slightly sweet dough 'circles' filled with various ingredients. These portable, almost 'hand pies' are fresh made all day. As you can see, quite a variety are available. In the back, a sausage, egg and cheese ($3.19), the middle is a 'Kolache of the month'-turkey with stuffing- ($3.88) and in the front is a cream cheese kolache ($1.62). Each of these were warmed, so very fresh and really tasty. We have such a variety of places to choose from on that street (Cream Pan is less than a mile away, just East of the 5) Kolache Factory 14091 Newport Avenue Tustin 92780 (714) 730-2253 Website We got to the Rose Palace as the sign-in area was being set up. Just inside, the Crew Chiefs were getting last minute instructions. This barn would be busy soon. The Lions Clubs International float: 'Celebrating 100 Years of Service' is magnificent! Shriners Hospital for Children, with the float titled 'Anything Is Possible' is so whimsical. The Odd fellows and Rebekahs float, 'Through The Ages' features a gazebo, wedding cake, diploma and mortarboard and a book with pictographs of prior events. The Lutheran Laymans League has their 67th entry into a Rose Parade with the float 'Celebrate Jesus', observing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The American Armenian Rose Float Association has a parade entry for the third year, 'Field of Dreams'. The United Sikh Mission, with its float 'Together We Rise' is also in the Rose Parade for the third year. This float will be so beautiful! All that stuff in the foreground of that photo? Construction in the barn. It's the NHL float (which The Mister and I really had hoped to work on).
Then there is the Farmers Insurance float. It looks so ...'plain'...just like a large Recreational Vehicle (especially compared to the 2016 float (at bottom of this link). We were specifically asked to not photograph the secrets of this float while decorating, but the title of 'We Came, We Saw, We Covered' is a clue. You'll love it when you see it! So what did we do this day? "Dry Decorating", or "Detail Decorating" is its own job. Scissors and glue... Beans, peas, poppyseeds, dry flower petals...more glue...In a cold barn for eight or so hours. It was fun, but a long day. By the time we got down Colorado Boulevard, the sun was setting and we were hungry!The Original Tops, (Since 1952) is always a tasty stop (I wrote about breakfast here two years ago). The meal was simple, a bowl of chili ($4.59) (made from scratch daily; no beans, a bit of heat and unique great taste), 1/4 lb burger ($3.79) charbroiled on that constantly used grill, imparting a delightful flavor on the toasted bun and simple toppings and a SMALL order of onion rings ($3.39) Thick cut onions in a light, seasoned batter. We had leftovers and were so satisfied.
The Original Tops 3838 East Colorado Boulevard Pasadena, CA 91107 Open daily 6:30 a.m.-11:00p.m. Website