Funny, the other afternoon I was driving back from Zion Market with the Missus and I noticed that the old....and really bad VIP Oriental Buffet was gone and something called Gourmet City has taken its place.
Funny, I pass this area almost daily; sometimes 4-5 times in a day, and I never even noticed this place. The Missus said that it looks like an all you can eat hot pot/buffet place. If I recall the space is huge. "All you cannot eat" just isn't my style....so I'll wait and see what other folks think.
Gourmet City 5541 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92117
Well, you've found mmm-yoso!!! and we'd like to welcome you to our blog about food. Kirk usually blogs here and sometimes so does ed(from Yuma). Cathy usually chimes in about meals she has enjoyed when the guys are busy. Today, it's Cathy.
Hello again. I posted about a few lunches at 25Forty Bistro last year. 25Forty has changed since then; it's still open for Brunch and dinner on weekends, closed on Mondays and now is open for lunch on Thursday and Friday only. As part of that lunch offering, one of the menu choices is an all you can eat buffet at an affordable price of $8.
A few weeks ago, The Mister and I had some time and drove to Old Town for lunch here. The seating outside is the same, as are most of the tables inside, but along the back wall is a small buffet area.
We started lunch with iced tea and water. The water, as always, is brought out in glasses and with a large chilled bottle for refills at will. The iced tea is a good, strong brew.
The Mister ordered the All You can Eat buffet. As it was crowded, I did not want to get up to take a photo of the buffet area, but it is not large and on the tables looking like a nice buffet you'd have at a friend's home over the Holidays. This is a bit of everything available: cheeses, olives, pasta salad, salad with chicken, sliced ham, plain salad ) I do like the dressing here), rigatoni with meat sauce (very nice), roast pork (excellent) and mashed potatoes (perfect). The plate is very large and The Mister's second trip to the buffet area only brought back a bit more cheese and walnuts, which he said was his dessert...
I chose the $10 lunch combination, which includes a beverage, a baked dessert and either a salad or sandwich. As in my other post, I chose the steak salad, which I crave. The meat is so tender and perfectly seasoned and placed on top of balsamic dressed mixed greens. The heirloom tomato had wonderful flavor.
The selection of desserts was slightly overwhelming. I walked over to the counter and saw a selection of cupcakes as well as pastries. I noticed that people can order a coffee beverage to go (there were 'to go' cups stacked next to the espresso machine) as well as pastries and apparently lots of people do so. After a bit of time, I chose this Nutella® filled pastry.
As you can see, the pastry was fresh and flaky and filled with the chocolate-hazelnut spread. We shared this. It was a delightful end to this pleasant lunch. We walked around Old Town and "played tourist" before returning to the car. San Diego is a very nice place where we are fortunate to live.
25Forty Bistro and Bakery 2540 Congress Street San Diego 92110 (619)294-2540 Closed Monday. Website
Today Cathy is "blogging" on mmm-yoso!!! Kirk is "working". ed(From Yuma) is "recovering".
Hi. I've posted on Pacific Beach Bar and Grilla few times. They have really good food, lots of beers on tap, televisions everywhere... and technically, the front area is an outdoor patio, covered with a sturdy tarp.
It's been a while since we had Brunch here. It's a buffet. $7.95 on Saturday from 9 until noon and a bit more on Sunday, but then there are more items to choose from. Coffee is $1.95 and a very good French Roast. I don't take photos of people and today it was kind of busy, so only have photos of our plates. From 12:00: Eggs Benedict, thick cut maple bacon, skin-on breakfast sausage (just the right amount of spice; really good), biscuit with gravy (the gravy needed pepper added), a potato cake (not greasy), a banana nut muffin (still warm and with vanilla in the batter), a 'spicy' burrito (it was chorizo and egg filled and very good). The Mister had a cheese/tomato/spinach/mushroom omelet made to order and also picked up a still warm, buttery, crispy chocolate chip cookie. (Counterclockwise from 9:00) I picked up some " scrambled eggs Florentine" which had bacon, onions and spinach in it, some "home fries" made with onion and lots of cheese and a "Jose Benedict"-slice of avocado, Hollandaise sauce, good, runny poached egg and carne asada on a biscuit. See? Poached egg and carne asada. I could eat three of these as my breakfast. Easily. Later (we were watching a *very long* football game), I went back and got some of the omelet add- ins and made myself a salad of spinach, tomatoes, chopped bacon and mushrooms. I also got more of the eggs Florentine and a good selection of tasty fresh fruit. The Mister ordered a Bloody Mary ($3.50). I could taste every flavor in this- the tomato juice, the vodka, the black pepper, the Tabasco...and the olives were marinated in something. Like vodka. It was good, but very strong. I only had a few sips. Then The Mister went back and had a waffle made to order. That strawberry topping is the frozen, sugared, memory triggering childhood strawberries-in-Winter stuff I grew up with. At least He took some pieces of fresh watermelon...
Pacific Beach Bar and Grill 860 Garnet Avenue San Diego 92109 Website (warning: LOUD! website)
mmm-yoso!!! is just a blog about food. You get to experience our meals by reading about them. Today, Cathy returns with a real post about a silly day.
Hi. So it was the day after Thanksgiving and we woke up and knew we should be driving. Usually we are leaving from Detroit, and stopping at Crazy Jim's Blimpy Burger in Ann Arbor but this year we were in San Diego. Because of the weather back East.
So, we got in the car and headed north.
About 5 hours later, after a stop at Starbucks, we were in Las Vegas.
We intended to go to the Wynn, where I had eaten about two years ago (The Mister had never been there). But the line had more than 100 people waiting, and the menu was special and $40. For lunch. This horrible economy.
So, we drove across town, to the newer Red Rock, for lunch at $10 each.
First, I went to the salad bar area and got my appetizers: Antipasto, sliced cheese, chilled ham, rare roast beef and turkey slices (all very tasty and not lunch meat-ish), marinated mushrooms, beet salad (made with a touch of orange)(really good) and fresh roll and butter.
Then the 'why play games?' plate-5 spice pork rib (juicy and not overpowering with sauce),an upside down teriyaki chicken though, egg roll, end cut of roast beef (always good, large and with spices on the crust), fried okra and collard greens...I could have done without the egg roll.
Then the schizophrenic, try a bit of everything plate: fried catfish and a hush puppy and some tartar sauce(surprisingly nice), pasta with Alfredo sauce (very nice), a piece of spicy tuna sushi (meh), stir fried noodles (I did not finish) and my favorite-olives!.
A little more schizophrenia via The Mister's plate- more fried catfish, a pepperoni Stromboli (which was excellent), slice of cheese pizza (cheese and sauce was excellent, dough could have been baked longer), antipasto with meat, marinated artichokes, creamed corn, baked fish (very nice), black eyed peas, another roll and mac and cheese.
Then it was about time for dessert, and The Mister got this plate.
All for himself.
I did try that spumoni gelato at the top left there and it was the best I have ever had in my life. Pistachio and cherry and even the chocolate were *so* good.
The carrot cake was excellent.
My "dessert" plate.
Mashed potatoes and gravy (oh *so* good), stuffing with gravy, cranberry sauce, a blondie (unchocolate brownie), pot sticker (excellent filling and dough fried just right) and a piece of teriyaki chicken.
I did not care for the blondie.
and so we had to drive home.
We stopped at the Mad Greek in Baker, for a fresh strawberry shake.
The small is $4.45 now. Worth it.
We got home 12 hours after we left. A bit less than two full tanks of fuel and an exciting day.
We didn't eat at all on Saturday...
Red Rock Casino website 11011 West Charleston Blvd 89135
mmm-yoso is a blog about food. Cathy is blogging today, instead of cleaning up after the fires. There will be more ash out there tomorrow anyhow.
Hi. Here is pretty much what The Mister and I do on Saturday mornings or afternoons, while looking at a bunch of television sets in Pacific Beach. For those of you who don't know, "Football Saturday" is a tradition followed by students and Alumni of most of the colleges here in the States. When you are a student, you usually attend the games (or sell the tickets to get some quick cash, since current students have a priority to buy tickets) and after you graduate, move far away, you try to get together with other Alums to sort of re-live that excitement and have some diversion, all without having to go to the Library to study once the game ends.
The Pacific Beach Bar and Grill has been around ..well...forever it seems. The restaurant has daily specials, outlined on their website, however, since The Mister and I have been married, for like, forever, we aren't much into the weeknight bar scene, although I would like to try the food and probably will eventually. For now, here is a typical Saturday with food we eat, while watching the University of Michigan play their games. You can see the area we sit is is merely a covered patio.
If a game is starting at 9 a.m. (noon back East), the bar is open and there is an all you can eat brunch for only $6.95. (This is on Saturday- brunch costs more on Sunday). Coffee is $1.50 and there is a monthly beer for $2.50 (Sam Adams Oktoberfest right now) and all other pints on tap are $3. Yes, beer at 9 a.m. College Life all over again.
The brunch area was full so I did not take photos of the individual hot trays, but here are photos of a sampling of what we selected.
There are three different sausages, bacon, at least two different scrambled egg combinations, home fries and hash browns, crepes (this particular weekend had chicken and avocado crepes, but there are beef and sometimes crab crepes in the steam trays), fresh fruit and cookies and muffins, all made from scratch and quite delicious.
Then there is a separate cooking station, where you can have an omelet, crepes, waffles, pancakes or a quesadilla made for you.
I chose to have an omelet made with cheese, spinach, mushrooms and red peppers. The veggies were sauteed in butter first then the egg added and just before being put onto the serving plate, the shredded cheese was added and the egg and contents folded over it, causing the cheese to melt. I topped it with some slices of avocado from the area where you choose the fillings.
The Mister got a strawberry waffle made for himself. With whipped cream. There were fresh strawberries on top,, and the waffle is made fresh and hot with a nice batter that cooked up to a nice crispy shell.
If a football game starts at noon here (3 p.m. East Coast time) then there are some lunch specials- $3 off of appetizers with a coupon from the Reader, a free magazine out here and, of course the beer specials. If we are coming for a noon game and hungry, we try to get to the Grill early and get a couple of brunch plates and quesadillas made for us.
On this visit, though, we opted for the Brie appetizer ($8.50 ). (OK, every time it is an afternoon game out here, I want the Brie appetizer...)
A toasted and sweetened hazelnut crusted wedge of a warmed, good quality Brie cheese served on top of a peach chutney (red pepper spicy) with chunks of mango and served with some olive oil toasted baguette pieces... it is soooo good-creamy, warm, salty, spicy and sweet ..
We tried the Ichiban Kabobs ($ 8.95 ), served with "firecracker rice", which was too spicy hot/filled with chili flakes to be appreciated as rice. The ahi was marinated in a ginger soy sauce, yet overcooked, so kind of dry and not as good as I would have liked it to be. It was served with some pickled ginger and ancho chili sauce, which just overwhelmed the flavors.
Of course, our beverages of choice are as diverse as The Mister and I are...
The Guinness on draft is mine and the Pear Cider is his...
If there is an evening football game, starting at 4 or 5 p.m., well you don't need a coupon and actually seven days a week, all appetizers are $3 off from 4-8 p.m...so, last weekend, when U of M was playing the Fighting Illini at 7 p.m. (their time, in Illinois), we went crazy for food.
The Seafood Martini ($9.95) is a large martini shaped glass, filled with lobster, shrimp, real crab, cucumber, celery and a spicy cocktail sauce with a little Absolut Peppar (vodka) added. It was quite filling and very fresh.
The Mediterranean hummus ($7.25) is made fresh, with garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice and garlic and served with that ramekin of feta, hot pita wedges and a mixed green salad topped with a raspberry vinaigrette. Excellent. Fresh. All of it.
This past Saturday, it was another game that started about 12:30 San Diego time, so no discounts, except for beer and if you remembered to find the coupon...so we just got the
Hot Crab Dip ($8.95)- fresh blue crab, cream cheese, bell peppers and some spices, topped with green onion and served with warm, thin tortilla chips. This was excellent, also, with lots of crab. More than I expected.
We also got a basket of onion rings ($3.95). Made with whole onions and fried in a cornmeal based batter, giving the rings a good crunch. I did ask the nice bartender (we ended up sitting at the bar since it was so crowded) for some Chulula sauce to dip the rings in after a while, since the basket was quite large and ketchup, salt and pepper wasn't doing it for me...
The Pacific Beach Bar and Grill has generously donated a portion of all the income received from the University of Michigan Alumni during these Saturday games to the San Diego Scholarship fund all the years we have been meeting here, and this year we have already raised over $10,000 dollars. It is nice for a local merchant to be so generous to our little group.
Pacific Beach Bar and Grill 860 Garnet Avenue San Diego 92109 phone: (858)2PB.Grill
mmm-yoso is the blog. The bloggers are Kirk and friends. Kirk is on vacation. Cathy took a short vacation also and here is her accounting of a day in her life.
Before I start this post, I would like to take this opportunity to thank whomever thought up/invented the money losing proposition called Satellite Radio.
So, my brother (hereafter referred to as "Mr. Bally", because he asked me to) was going to be in Las Vegas for some sort of business trip two weeks ago. He told me like three days ahead of time. This has happened before.
I asked what day he would be free from business so that we could have lunch together and Tuesday was the day. I left Santee at 9 a.m. , just after traffic had cleared.
I drove. Yes. Here is the usual view when almost out of Escondido and into Temecula, just past Lawrence Welk Land.
I drove, stopped at a Starbucks someplace for coffee and then just drove.
I was alone and so I didn't want to stop and eat. Besides, we were going to have a late lunch. Mr. Bally was staying at a company paid hotel (read: Holiday Inn Express) and I met him there.
We drove to Sunset station. It is one of the Station Casinos that are popular with the locals in Las Vegas. I do prefer the luxurious Green Valley Ranch casino out of all of the ones Station has to offer when I travel to Las Vegas and stay overnight. Then again, I don't have an expense account and usually do not bother to stay overnight. (It was a 4 1/2 hour drive one way).
So, anyhow, we ate. Here are photos:
The buffet was $12.95 each (it was dinner time by the time we got there) and there is an option of an additional $6 for your choice of a steak, pound of crab legs or pound of chilled shrimp. We opted for the shrimp:
You will notice there are no dessert plates. I was tired, we were full and I had a long drive ahead of me.
But, there was one place we *had* to go to- Pinball Hall of Fame- It is run by one of the brothers who ran the most popular Pinball Arcades (Pinball Pete's) in Ann Arbor and East Lansing starting back in 1970. It was very nostalgic for Mr. Bally and I. There are about 200 pinball machines in the building in a sort of run down mall just off Pecos, out of his 1200 machine collection. Photos:
There is a great article in the May 21 2007 edition of Forbes Magazine, describing the operation and its costs and that the Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 organization (a non-profit) that donates all of the money made from the machines to The Salvation Army.
It was just a fun place to go, re-live some great memories and I got to spend time with my brother and then drive home.
There it is. Another day in my life. If some of you are taking Friday off, I hope you have a nice Memorial Day Holiday and weekend. For the rest of us, I'll still be posting about something.
*** European Bistro has since closed. Chef Axel currently does catering only.
As is our "tradition" we had our "time change" Sunday Brunch. Only thing, this year we're going to Daylight savings a month early, which not only caused a wave of panic within the various technology sectors, but totally discombobulated our scheduling. And so we were left at noon today, without brunch reservations. In cases like this Jim's San Diego Sunday Brunchmaster site is a godsend. The Missus was in mood for something a bit "different", so she finally came up with European Bistro in La Mesa. And we were off.
European Bistro is in kind of a strange setting, a "store-front" strip mall, and you can park literally 3 yards from the front the door of the restaurant! Since we'd arrived late and with no reservations, the little bistro was humming, and it seemed like everyone was a "regular". Lucky for us, we didn't feel like champagne, and so were able to sit outside, on the little table on the sidewalk. We kind of enjoyed sitting there, since it was such a warm and beautiful day...the only thing a bit disconcerting was the proximity of pedestrians walking by on the sidewalk(luckily there weren't very many)....they could have bent over and grabbed a spoonful of spaetzle if they so desired. But let me tell you, the service was very warm and friendly, Helen and Chef Axel kept dropping by to see how we were enjoying ourselves.
The buffet itself is rather small with a dozen cooked items, a salad, a selection of sausages, cold cuts, breads. and cheeses, a soup, and several desserts. I also understand that the kitchen will whip up an omelet on request. Still, we enjoyed the selection....
For a typical listing and more info on the brunch, I'll refer you again to Jim's posting on His website. There were several items we enjoyed....
We both enjoyed the prosciutto, cold sausages, German potato salad, "home fries", and the green beans! Man, those home fries were really good, with onions that have been perfectly fried and caramelized. I thought the Frikadellen(ground meat patties) were very moist, but kind of low on flavor. The Missus enjoyed the Hungarian Goulash, but I thought it bland, and not full of the spice, onions, and other flavors I'm used too..... Still the meat was very tender and moist.
The Missus absolutely adored the green salad, especially the Raspberry Vinaigrette, to the extent of eating three plates of it.
As you can tell, we enjoyed the appetizers and side dishes, much more than most of the cooked main courses...but that doesn't mean you won't. Other main courses offered today was a tilapia, penne carbonara, and of course schnitzel(on the dry side).
The Missus also had 3 desserts, a slice of cheesecake.
And two slices of the Chocolate Cake(looked like a bundt to me), with Cherries Jubilee on it.....
As busy as they were, Helen always had time to stop and chat, and answer any questions. There is also a small "deli" case with sausages and various meats for sale.
Now here's the "kicker", so this a champagne brunch, and you can get mimosas and the like, along with the standard orange juice and coffee(which the Missus liked)......for $15.95! Which we think is an excellent price. The restaurant is small, but very clean, and has a neighborhood bistro feel. And did I mention Helen was wonderful!
Now at that price for Champagne Brunch, combined with excellent service, can you really go wrong?
mmm-yoso is not on vacation. Cathy is out of town, and apparently eating all she can. Read and live vicariously.
Hello again. Still in Vegas, and eating from recommendations of friends. Mr. C, who I know from my job, and I had lunch at Lucky Seafood a couple of weeks ago...yes, it was the first time I was eating pho with only one hand because of the cast still being on up to my shoulder....anyhow, Mr. C works for a company in San Diego that sends him out to Las Vegas for weeks at a time and he *has* tried every buffet out there. I asked him what was the best and he immediately replied-"The Wynn"..at at lunch, when its cheaper..and it isn't cheap... $22 each, but, you get what you pay for, we wanted great food, and we got *great* food...I only wish I could eat like this all the time. (The Buffet (that's what its called, original, eh?) is $34 for dinner and $38 on weekends).
The first plate, but I thought the most creatively loaded of all my photographs...First the salads are pre-mixed and served in those small glasses-so creative..You might notice the silverware and that the serving plates are asymmetrically shaped..all just kind of beautiful. Oh, the food- there is a cheese tray (the blue and goat cheeses were*excellent*, the cheddar was mild) then a bit of everything. The albacore tuna was a overdone, and probably not meant to be, and the only non-perfect item out there... the mahi mahi was exquisite. The prime rib of beef from the carving station was sooo tender and flavorful, as was the rack of lamb. The carrots were not mushy and cooked just right in a buttery herb-ed sauce ..the zucchini were so flavorful and the green beans with chopped tomatoes and still crispy almond slices were as as fresh tasting as I got from my garden this year. The asparagus was very, very good, stir fried and still slightly crispy.
Here is my appetizer plate, with smoked salmon (almost candied..), smoked trout, an excellent potato roll and a different salad. There selection of 5 different salads was overwhelming I got one made with white anchovies , roasted yellow pepper strips and another with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and chopped olives.
OK, here are photos of the various stations: smoked trout, anchovies, capers chopped onions...all to go with the nice fresh bagels.
More of the smoked salmon/cream cheese/bagel topping area, which I used more as my appetizer area..
Oh and the sushi area.
The Italian foods area was quite crowded, so no photographs, but I liked the food there best. Kobe beef meatballs...oh my, they were so good! I suppose the sauce helped, and it was light and complimented/did not overpower the meat flavor...I got this photo of the Asian stir fry area...not exciting to look at, but extremely tasty with use of many spices. It was very un-Americanized.
Oh yes, the chilled shrimp-perfectly cooked, and served with superb cocktail sauce and tartar sauce too...both made fresh at the restaurant.
Oh, there were desserts..and you know I am *not* at all a sweets eater...
They make the eclairs fresh..with real custard..eggy and still warm custard...
some desserts were served on individual plates..flan, sweet potato pie, chocolate peanut butter something (*dark* chocolate, people...dark chocolate)...and the strawberry cake, lemon bar and something else...oh it doesn't matter..
My *absolute* favorite...
The Floating Island..oh yes, a homemade marshmallow, with a buttery caramel sauce, floating on a vanilla sauce and topped with toasted chopped hazel nuts.
We ate so much more and I guess I was trying to take photographs and waiting for areas to be less crowded but areas were with people and I don't take photos of people...All of the food was excellent and so fresh, Mr. C gave me a great lead on a wonderful buffet. Thanks Mr. C!
Hi, Cathy here, on an iBook, in an obscure hotel in Las Vegas, with plans for something exciting tomorrow night.
I'm blogging what I ate, and then some...I left San Diego in the wind this morning..and stopped in Baker, to view the World's largest Thermometer (and get a cup of coffee at Starbucks).
Dinner was at "Feast", the buffet inside Green Valley Ranch Casinos Resort and Spa. $17..and worth it. The Buffet was suggested by Mr. brother, hereafter referred to as "Mr. Bally"who, along with a few others, have made some suggestions as to where I should try to eat while here. Mostly photos...limited descriptions for now..I have to take a nap!...and no photo of the crab legs, chilled shrimp or Mongolian BBQ... I don't take photos of people...smoked salmon, giant caperberries, fennel chicken salad...there is a lettuce part of the salad bar also...this was *far* more fun. My salad plate(s)..the carving station selections, well some of them anyhow...The Asian food section offered a wide variety of some great tasting food...Then the Italian section...That sauce in the back to the left (not the meatballs) was artichokes, mushrooms and olives...and soooooo goood! The a sample of desserts: Ah, so what am I doing here???Well, there is this competition...more tomorrow. Green Valley Ranch www.greenvalleyranchresort.com
Okay, I know it...I got some nerve doing a post on a Buffet right after Thanksgiving! Guilty as charged. And admittedly, I'm not quite the expert on Buffets and Brunches as Jim the Brunchmaster, who should probably write a "Brunches and Buffets for Dummies" book. But I've had photos of Fairouz just taking up space on my hard drive, so.......
Fairouz has a regular menu, but we've mostly stuck to the buffet, which is $8.99 for lunch and $12.99 for dinner. And in the realm of the Hometown Buffets and various Chinese Buffets, I think that Fairouz is a nice change of pace. Though the sign says "Greek Buffet", I'd say that there are almost as many, or more Lebanese and Mediterranean buffet items.
On this visit to Fairouz, I noticed that the interior had been painted, and some additional lighting added, giving Fairouz a brighter cleaner looking interior. It had obviously been a while since my last visit.
If you think the interior slightly resembles an Art Gallery, you wouldn't be too far from the truth. The Owner of Fairouz, Ibrahim Al Nashashibi, is quite an artist, and his acrylics and water colors adorn the walls of Fairouz.
As for the buffet, there is a nice variety of items, with slight changes everyday. One thing I always notice are the description cards for the buffet items are not always placed correctly...for instance, on this day the Moussaka was labeled as Okra. For some reason I always find humor in this.
And though there are several meat items, like the Kofta Meatballs and Roasted Chicken pictured above, I usually end up enjoying the various starches and vegetable dishes more than the protein items. As you head for the buffet warm toasted pita magically appears on your table.
Okay, two types of potato, and saffron rice...do you think I got enough starch? I should practice what I preach, the Gyros meat was the only item that I really didn't care for. I enjoyed the Fava and Garbanzo beans, the Okra, and the Eggplant dishes.
Though my favorite dishes at Fairouz are the cold Garlic Potatoes, a vinegary, salty, and slightly garlicky "salad", and the various pickled cabbages.
I also enjoy the Rice Pudding with Rosewater as a refreshing end to my meal.
What's that red thingy? It had a sweet, fruity flavor, with a touch of rose water flavoring. I had to ask....it's Fruit Punch Jello! The yellow version is licorice flavored jello......
As buffets go, I think Fairouz is pretty good, and Al Nashashibi is a very mellow and nice Guy. So if you have a group of people, with vegetarians in tow, Fairouz may not be a bad option.
Fairouz Restaurant & Gallery 3166 Midway Dr San Diego, CA 92110