Hello (again). You're (back) looking at the food blog named mmm-yoso!!! Kirk and His Missus are enjoying their vacation in Portugal (and other places). ed(from Yuma) and His Tina are venturing around Yuma and making plans for their next vacation. Today is another post from Cathy and The Mister and their staycation.
The other day, we drove West on the 8, then South, somehow ending up near the Marina. We had passed several restaurants and decided to take a walk. Neighborhood clientele as well as yacht owners hang out near the South end of Rosecrans.
The jacaranda trees are in bloom and just beautiful.
We decided to stop here. It's right across the street from The Living Room, which I posted about last year. Let me just say I wish we had stopped here sooner.
Grabbing a menu, we sat down and...I smelled fresh-fresh coffee...
Slightly confused, because I saw all these pump pots, I ordered a cup of coffee and was told they roast all the beans right here(!)-that's why I smelled fresh coffee. Organic, free trade and bird free, roasted in small batches coffee. We ordered and I took a small (1/2 pump) taste of each of the three coffees that interested me (decaf and a vanilla something flavored coffee are not anything I'd choose, ever). Ultimately, I preferred the middle selection-"Mad Red".
After ordering from the lunch menu, which had an admonition of "We guarantee 'same day' service. Thank you for your patience in preparing your handcrafted meal. Delicious not pretentious slow food." I walked around the small, ten table large interior, finally comprehending the theme.
There was also a very nice outdoor seating area in the back.
Beads on the ceiling, Mardi Gras masks, skeletons and skulls, voodoo. Combined with some of the French named and Cajun spiced items on the menu...the synapses connected-New Orleans.
Of course, the eclectic condiment selection on every table was also a clue.
It did not take too long for our food to be brought out. I must say that every person working here was helping on all the tables and each one was very friendly.
When we ordered, I only slightly mentioned that The Mister and I would be sharing the sandwich and salad we had ordered, and the sandwich was brought out in two baskets. Nice. This was under the 'grilled cheese' part of the menu- a "Cochon" ($9) Provolone and Swiss cheeses...with pulled pork, ham and artisan pepper bacon, on sliced brioche. It's served with a house made jalapeño strawberry jam. No, not a Monte Cristo, not a Cuban, just a great, wonderful, fresh, pork-ham-bacon-cheese wonderful tasty sandwich. The menu has pork belly on it and I suspect the bacon comes from the same place; it was not crispy bacon, but thick sliced, lightly peppered and excellent. Toasted seasoned bagel slices as a side was a very nice, different touch.
The Paleo salad (large, $10). Mixed super greens (kale and spinach and other lettuces) avocado, tomato, a boiled organic free range egg, walnuts and sunflower seeds and the artisan peppered bacon that was on the Cochon sandwich. This photo does not do it justice, but the salad bowl was HUGE and more than enough for us to share.
When we went to pay, I noticed some very nice looking pastries next to the cash register, probably wonderful also. We are already planning a return visit.
Reds 1017 Rosecrans Street San Diego 92016 (619) 523-5540 Website open 6 am-11pm
My lunch at Red Rooster Catfish put in the mood for some fried chicken or pork chops. It also triggered a bit of nostalgia. During the mid to late 90's I did a bunch of consulting stints in Arkansas and Georgia, managing to stop by Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina during the over year and a half I spent in the area. It was a big change for the boy from Hawaii. And while I sorely missed all the good grindz and Asian food.....I recall the folks I work with taking me to a "Japanese" restaurant in Columbus, Georgia that served converted rice....yep, good ol' Uncle Ben! I did gain an appreciation for the hearty, soulful, food.
With that in mind, I decided to hop down to Sister Pee Wee's on Imperial. The last time I'd been here was probably back in 2001. Still, the exterior of the place looked the same.
I think the interior has been changed a bit, though it's hard to put my finger on what exactly it was.
I know there must be at least a couple more bumper stickers, photos, or memorabilia on the walls....
The cherubic, friendly, and smiling gentleman greeted me with a big grin and a "you're early, you must be real hungry today!" And of course there was Sister Pee Wee, peering out from behind the counter.
A couple of things you ought to know about Sister Pee Wee's, the place consists of a single counter, with maybe ten chairs or so, it's cash only, and if you want to know what Sister Pee Wee is serving, you need to check out the grease board, either outside, or the one hanging behind the counter.
The last time I was here, over a decade ago, it was the smothered pork chops. Today, I went with the fried chicken, with all (3) the sides ($10). Sister Pee Wee asked me if I wanted some fruit punch, but I decided to do without all that sugar; I'd be getting enough calories as is.......
I really took to the concept of "meat and three" when working down South. And why wouldn't I? Doesn't this kind of look like a plate lunch?
In terms of the sides. The green beans were typical canned and cooked, the gravy was nice, but the rice a bit hard. I really enjoyed that potato salad, tangy and creamy, it really did well by me.
I was warned that the chicken was going to take 15-20 minutes, which didn't bother me...this isn't KFC! The batter was crisp, with the flavor teetering on the edge of salty without tipping over. The meat.....all dark meat I'm glad to say was very moist. It was good basic eats, nothing fancy, but I really didn't want nor expect more then decent grindz.
Since I was the only person in the place, Sister Pee Wee came out front when I was almost finished with lunch. We had a nice chat....well really, Sister Pee Wee did the talking, I did the listening. Last time I was here, she told me about adopting some kids. Today it was about driving up to Yuma to go fishing. Sister Pee Wee has been doing this for over 30 years......there's lots of stories to keep you entertained as I was on this day. Just like the menu, you never know what the special (story) of the day will be. That's part of the experience here.
Which for some obtuse reason got me thinking about that Japanese restaurant serving Uncle Ben's. Wonder what the sushi was like? Well, perhaps I'd better not...I shudder to imagine! Now the world has gotten a lot smaller since then and things have probably (hopefully) changed. But there are some things that shouldn't and hopefully won't....... like Sister Pee Wee's.
Sister Pee Wee's Soul Food 2971 Imperial Ave San Diego, CA 92102
Posted Hours (I understand that they'll close when they are out of food): Mon - Fri 8am - 7pm Saturday 8am - 5pm
So there I was on a bright sunny Saturday afternoon, exploring the empty Jacob's Center off of Market.
There's absolutely nothing going on here on Saturday about 1130, so why the heck was I here? Well, I was searching for a rooster....not any rooster, but a Red Rooster, a place named the Red Rooster Catfish. I'd heard about this place from two different people. One of them gave me the address 404 Euclid, which looked real nice on the GPS. It's not until you look around a bit that you realize that 404 Euclid is actually the Jacob's Center, which is set a good distance away from Euclid, with the main entrance on Market.
Which left me wandering around the Jacob's Center with some major doubts about finding the Red Rooster. There was nothing that even looked close to a restaurant.
Until I turned a corner........
And saw this sign in the window......
And it still fooled me enough that I went around the corner thinking there'd be door to a restaurant or somethin'.
Which was not happening.
It's then I realized that this take-out window was the place and the two tables were it!
So I went back to my car and drove to this side of the parking lot. At about 1135 the place opened, two girls rushed out of nowhere and got to the window in a flash....I guess this was Red Rooster.
I had exactly what I wanted in terms of the mains in mind.......just about everything on the menu is fried. I just didn't know which side to get. The really friendly and tall gentleman named Joris recommended the spicy fried green beans. So of course that's what I ordered, the 3 sets of legs and fried snapper plate ($14). You should know that you don't rush things at places like this, so I had a fairly quick fifteen minute wait. During which I could contemplate things like....if this is "where mmm kisses aah", would "mmm-yoso" do the same?
I gotta say, these were fried very well. It wasn't 100% cornmeal, so while crunchy, the breading wasn't gritty. On the snapper it was perhaps a little too hard, but well seasoned and nothing to really complain about. The batter holds up rather well, I just can't put away all of that fried food like I used too, so over half of it came home for the Missus to try.
The spicy green beans were crunchy, nicely seasoned, slightly spicy, and went well with the mustard - aioli concoction called "mmm sauce".
The snapper just tasted like it had been frozen for a while, from the rather mushy texture to the fishy-slightly sour taste, it really wasn't my thing.
The frog legs on the other hand were really good. Crunchy, moist, and very mild in flavor. It lacked the rather off sourness of "old amphibian/reptile" and was very pleasant to eat. I saved a, ahem, "nice set" for the Missus who really enjoyed it. Loved the meaty parts where the legs, joined, the ah...well how to put it? I guess it's "where mmm-yoso kissed rump"? Something I'm sure many folks always wanted to see......
I'll be back to Red Rooster Catfish the next time I'm craving some good fried frog legs and perhaps try a good variety of the sides.....most of them fried. Joris is very hospitable and friendly. I hope this literal "hole in the wall" does well. I know they fry well......
Red Rooster Catfish 404 Euclid Suite 119 San Diego, CA 92114 Hours: Tues - Sat 1130am - 7pm Sunday 1130am - 5pm
Everything is fried to order. Call ahead at 619-795-8684 if you don't want to wait 20 minutes for your food.
Man, here's another one that really dates us....... I first posted on Bud's, when it was Bud's Louisiana Food Shoppe on Kettner back in August of 2006. We then visited a couple of itmes after they moved to Tierrasanta in August of 2008. We thought the food had slipped a bit and before we knew it, Bud's was gone.......
Only to find out that Bud's Cafe had reopened on a small side street of Balboa Avenue in an area that looked like a business park.
After the move to Tierrasanta, the hours had gotten a bit different, and here it was Monday and Tuesday, breakfast and lunch, 7am to 3pm. Wednesday thru Friday 7am to 9pm, and Saturday 12 noon to 9pm. Since I'm fairly close to the location, I decided on grabbing some lunch to see how things were at Bud's.
It's the same paintings and furniture, but for some reason, I liked it in this setting more. There's also a nice outdoor area, for those non-rainy, winter months. The menu looked pretty much the same and I've always enjoyed the option of a cup of gumbo or bisque to pair with a sandwich. So I went with something I hadn't had in a while, a cup of Jambalaya ($4).
This was better than I recalled; a nice tang, decent seasoning.....the food at Bud's has never struck me as spicy, so I didn't expect that. It was a decent bowl, even overcoming my dislike for converted rice.
I paired that with the New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Po' Boy ($9).
The sandwich came with some "by the book" Cajun seasoned fries. The bread was crusty and the shrimp was just plain perfectly sauteed. I had forgotten that Bud's tends to drench stuff with tartar sauce......the BBQ sauce wasn't particularly spicy and this isn't a "super stuffed" sandwich, but I wasn't expecting that. Not bad.....
My server was excellent, friendly, but not too buddy-buddy, efficient and professional. I thought the service was actually a notch above the food.....
I returned a couple of days later and ordered a Spicy Andouille Po Boy ($10).
The bread was again crusty, whole grain mustard went well with the sausage, which I was told was Comeaux's Andouille, a pretty well known brand out of Lafayette. The spices were nice, with a bit more ooomph then I expected. The only thing I didn't enjoy was the very tough casing of the sausage, which was really hard to bite through with pulling the whole darn thing out on your lap. Nitpicky perhaps, but overall a decent meal.....
I had mentioned having lunch at Bud's to the Missus. She was curious to see if the food had changed over the years......and I noticed that Bud's has a Happy Hour from Wednesdays through Fridays, from 3pm to 6pm. 15% off appetizers.....I thought some appetizers would be enough for a meal for me and since they also had the lunch/dinner menu, She went for the Crawfish Etouffe ($15).
This seemed a tad lighter (in a good way) then what we'd experienced at Bud's before, it was not as rich, but the great flavors of the shellfish base came through nicely. It was also devoid of the gummy textured, floury taste that sometimes came along with this pretty looking plate. The Missus thought the crawfish taste came through better as well.
I almost forgot about the Caesar Salad that came with the etouffe.......it was actually decent in size. But take a close look and you'll find that the romain lettuce is dripping wet. It hadn't been dried well after rinsing......watering things down.
The cup of Red Beans and Rice was a total fail for us. Other then the nice tasting Andouille, I really thought it second rate. First, there was a total lack of flavor in this....no beans, no spice, no smokiness. It was more watery then creamy, and the beans were tough..... I mean c'mon, this is something I make at home all the time. I know it can be done better.....
I was fascinated by the Creole Caviar, so of course I ordered it.
I loved the flavor of the "pate", a blend of shellfish base with shrimp, crawfish, the Cajun trinity....it was rich in a good way. The Missus didn't care for it at first, mostly because the "toasts" were a bit too buttery, taking the richness over the top for us, and making the dish a bit too salty. This would have been great with just plain bread ot toasts. It didn't seem like much, but sure filled us up. We'll have this again....though maybe order a baquette instead of the toasts.
Thinking that I hadn't had a fried item here, I ordered the Soft Shell Crab Appetizer, a simple floured and deep fried soft shell crab. First, I thought the tartar sauce in this case really helped the soft shell crab....the capers in the sauce did wonders, mainly because the flavor was pretty mild. We also didn't enjoy how this was fried....preferring light and crisp, over gummy and chewy. Sad, I'd always thought they did a good job of frying here....perhaps this is an aberration.
Dinner did seem a bit of a mixed bag, but we left in a positive state of mind. Service had been nice and professional, and though I've heard folks complain about the price to quantity ratio......I'd point to our $30 tab for two burgers we recently ordered at the bar, which was more expensive then this meal!
We'll probably be back in the near future....I still need to see if their gumbo and seafood bisque is still any good.
Bud's Louisiana Cafe 4320 Viewridge Ave San Diego, CA 92123
mmm-yoso!!! is a foodblog. Kirk posts the most about his cooking and eating at home and in restaurants around the world. He lets Cathy and Ed (from Yuma) post about eating and cooking as well. Today, Ed is sharing a favorite easy meal he likes to fix.
I still remember the first time I ever tasted stewed greens. I was picking up an order of fried chicken to go, and the clerk asked which two side dishes I wanted. On a whim, I decided to try the greens because I had heard about greens but never tasted them. It was love at first bite.
Since then, I have worked at learning how to make greens. Nowadays, some version of stewed greens is my default choice to bring to a Super Bowl party or other potluck. Of course, I never make it exactly the same, but I thought I would share my basic recipe with my friends at mmm-yoso!!!
To make a mess of greens as a main course for two or three people, I would start with a couple of bunches of greens:
The greens on the right are collards, the ones on the left mustard greens. Collards tend to have a firm texture and a very mild cabbage like flavor. To my taste about 1/2 to 1/3 of the greens should be collards. Mustard and turnip greens have a more pronounced flavor and a softer texture. I usually choose whichever one is available and looks the best in the store. It is perfectly okay to mix all three.
Then I remove all of the large central stems. I know some people leave them in, but the stems have little flavor and cook at a different rate:
Then I always wash the greens:
One thing that can really ruin greens is having dirt and grit in the final product. Rinsing also gets rid of any dust and reduces lingering pesticide – if any – I hope.
I then spread the leaves on top of each other on a cutting board and cut through them horizontally and vertically so that most pieces will be 1-2 inch squares:
The other ingredients are even easier to prepare. I cut an onion in half, peel it, lay it down on the cut sides, and slice it lengthwise:
Then slice it horizontally to produce a pile of onion:
Half an onion would have been sufficient for two bunches of greens, but little extra onion doesn't hurt.
To make good greens, I always use some type of smoked/salted meat. My absolute favorite is Bruce Aidells Cajun Style Andouille smoked pork sausage:
This sausage adds complex spicy notes to the smoked meat flavors. I think of it as Looozanna style greens when fixed this way. This particular evening, I sliced up three links to put in the pot:
The number of sausages can vary without changing the basic recipe. In general, one to two sausages per bunch of greens is great if I'm serving the dish as a main course. If I'm bringing it to a potluck or serving it as a side dish, I might use one sausage link for every 3 or 4 bunches of greens.
The cooking process for the greens is very simple. On this evening, I used Tina's 12 inch Dutch oven:
I began by sautéing the onions in a couple three tablespoons (I actually did not measure) of oil:
After they were softened and turning translucent, I added the sliced Andouille sausage and just cooked long enough to warm the sausage slices:
I then put in the collards, nearly filling the pot:
After I stirred them quickly, I dumped in the mustard greens:
Now you can see why using a large Dutch oven or similar stewpot comes in handy.
At this point, I always add some chicken stock. This particular time, I used Kitchen Basics unsalted broth since the sausages are salty themselves:
Two scant cups of stock were plenty of liquid:
I also added a half teaspoon (or so) of black pepper and at least as much red pepper. Sometimes I have used Korean crushed red chilies, sometimes Italian style hot pepper flakes, but Tina's friend Krystal had sent us some excellent spicy and flavorful Basque ground red peppers, which added a nice zing to the dish:
When the greens began to stew, they still had a fresh green color:
45 min. later, the greens were cooked tender and looked like this:
Just before it was time to serve them, I added 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar:
The finishing touch was some freshly grated nutmeg:
A bowl of the greens looked like this:
Tasty. Even the broth (called pot liquor) is really flavorful. Add a pan of cornbread, and this is a meal for 2 adults and a couple of kids easy.
Hi Everyone! :) It's Vicky again... blogging about my gluttony up here in the Wonderful SF Bay Area. Actually not too wonderful as we're getting another storm pass through.
So my workplace placed us in teams and challenged us to a weight loss challenge.. a "Biggest Loser" or sorts. Before the challenge started, I managed to get one more wonderful delicious brunch in. Being that I LOOOOOOVE Cajun food, we made a trip up to the city to go eat at Brenda's Soul Kitchen. (Keep in mind, this place is in a shady place.... The Tenderloin... and you'll get taunted at as you wait outside for an hour for your table... We've had more than one hobo walk by and go "Man, who would spend 15 bucks on breakfast! You're nuts!" Seriously? I'd spend 15 bucks on my breakfast... especially from Brenda's!
The cafe is a tiny little place; you bump shoulders with everyone around you and you better get there right when they open or an hour before they close at 3PM so that you don't have to wait eons for food. Oh yeah... and out of towners, go on Sunday or have a Handicapped placard cause those meters are sharks!!
We finally settled in and Sam ordered the Andouille Sausage Omelette with a biscuit. I LOVE their biscuits. Flakey... light, buttery, oh so delicious!! It came topped with a smokey cajun-y salsa. Yum!
I ordered their special for that day: Bananas Foster French Toast. OMG it was French Toast heaven... Delicious and completely out of this world... The bananas were tender, well balanced with a hint of rum, and had a wonderful carmelization to them.
Being a Southern cafe, Brenda's also served biegnets. OMG... Biegnets.... Strangely, I hate doughnuts but LOVE biegnets. Something about the chewiness of them just totally appeal to me. Brenda's offers plain, Ghiradelli chocolate filled, cinnamon sugar and apple filled, and spicy Creole Crawfish and Cheddar filled. For those who can't decide, they also make a biegnet flight.. You get one of each!
I guess my days of eating Brenda's is now on hold...
Brenda's Soul Food www.frenchsoulfood.com
652 Polk Street San Francisco, CA 94102-3328 (415) 345-8100
Hello! It's Vicky again... This time not writing about the amazing food we get up here in the SF Bay Area. Sam and I took a trip to visit his family in Texas. The last time I was in his neck of the woods was back when I was 3. It was a fantastic trip and he scheduled around my stomach... and balanced it all out with some great sightseeing.
Sam chose a great Cajun seafood restaurant to show me what REAL Cajun food tastes like. Also... it was very apparent that Texas definitely has huge portions! We met up with his parents at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen near Sugar Land. We started out with huge crusty loaves of piping hot bread served with butter.
We ordered a Blackened shrimp and crawfish cheese fondeaux (notice the play on words!) to start. Obviously we were digging into this dish before I scrambled to get a picture of it. Glorious! Melted cheese, which is always a good thing, mixed in with crawfish tails and shrimp. I was regretting not packing my fat jeans on this trip.
I ordered the Salmon Diablo which was a portion of Char-grilled Salmon topped with crab mean, crawfish, and pico de gallo in a lemon garlic sauce served with dirty rice. The dish was delicious... the only issue I had was that at the center, my salmon was severely undercooked. The server was pleasant and immediately brought out the dish completely redone. I was never a fan of crawfish out here in California but this trip made me enjoy mudbugs. The crawfish there was amazing... juicy, flavorful, delicious! The topping had huge chunks of blue crab meat. The lemon garlic sauce rounded off the spice very well and it was my first time enjoying dirty rice!
Sam chose the soft shell crab served two ways and had it prepared as a blackened version and a fried version. The blackening and cajun spices they used in Texas were amazing... I still haven't found a comparable brand out here yet. The softshell crab was fresh and delicious. I was especially partial to the cajun blackened one.
His parents split an entree, knowing how large the portions were going to come out. They ordered the Opelousas prepared with Mahi Mahi instead of catfish. It was a mahi mahi steak blackened with oysters, shrimp, and crawfish in a lemon butter sauce with dirty rice. We shared and I have to say... blackened seafood is now one my favorite lists of things to eat...
In the morning, Sam took me to a long time Texas establishment. Now keep in mind that I am not a fan of donuts... I never really enjoyed Krispy Kreme... but just thinking about this donut makes me drool. Shipley's!!! The donuts were light and fluffy and had a good chew to them. Absolutely delicious!!! You can see my eager teethmarks before I finally remembered to take a picture of it first. Lastly... I'll leave you with a lovely portrait of their family dog - I would hear so many stories about her. She would hang out underneath the kitchen table as we ate. It was great to have seen Houston and hang out with his family.
Imperial Fish Market is a favorite of a FOY (Friend of Yoso), he swears by the Fried Snapper here. I arrived at the shop located on Euclid just at opening time.
When they say, "you buy - we fry" they're not kidding! A good variety of fish and other seafood is displayed in a large case.
I placed my order with the older gentleman at the register.... he hollers out the order, one of the young men grabs the fish I ordered and passes to another young man, who asks me "plain or spicy" (need I really say how I ordered it?), dredges the fish in what looks like a cornmeal based breading.
And I go and check out the hot sauce collection.....
And for me to file away that they carry Crystal Hot Sauce and Camellia Beans for future reference. My order was ready with a pretty quick turnaround. As I grabbed my package, the gentleman pointed to the dispensers and told me to, "make sure you get some sauce and ketchup."
Staring at the package sitting next to me on the drive home, I wondered how our lunch would stand up after the twenty minute or so drive home. Taking the package to the dining table, I opened up the paper bag, and opened up the paper covering our lunch.... and was met with two slices of wheat bread!
Wheat bread? What was this, health food????
Nah.... after pushing aside the bread I saw my Two Piece Fried Red Snapper Basket ($8.99):
The fries were straight from SYSCO-land, not that I expected otherwise. The cornmeal breading held up well from the trip home. It was on the thick side, quite gritty, but still crisp. Even though I ordered the breading spicy, it was quite mild, and needed a good dose of hot sauce. The filet itself was dry, and tasted on the fishy side, not a good sign for a usually mild flavored fish.
I also ordered a two piece basket choosing Sand Dabs as the fish:
I haven't seen Sand Dabs much in San Diego. The Sand Dabs were much better than the snapper, moist and mildly sweet. Of course we had to contend with bones and such, but this wasn't bad.
I also got an order of Deep Fried Okra ($3.99):
Like the other items, the breading was very thick and gritty, not necessarily a bad thing, but the okra was underseasoned and the flavor of stale oil was prominent. Not good eats.
Next time I visit Imperial Fish Market, I'll take a good look at the fish in the case rather than just looking up at the menu and ordering. Lesson learned.....
Imperial Fish Market 494 South Euclid Ave San Diego, CA 92114
You'll be able to tell, how long ago our visit was based on the photos, thus the "COMC" (Clearing Out the Memory Card) preface. We've been meaning to return but I don't forsee that happening in the near future, so I thought it was about time I posted. Actually, getting to Stockdale's was an interesting enough story. Stockdale's had been on my list for a while, and one day the Missus came to me asking about some of those restaurants. I mentioned Stockdale's, and told Her that the restaurant was located in the former location of Papa Doc's.The Missus told me that Stockdale's sounded like a great idea, and made plans for dinner..... without me! A couple of weeks after Her dinner with friends we made it to Stockdale's:
You can tell by the "decoration" about when this was, right? The interior didn't look like it had changed much since it was Papa Doc's.
Because the Missus had tried a bunch of things with Her friends, She was able to make some suggestions regarding the menu.
Based on Her previous visit, She had determined that the Fried Snapper was the best of the trio of fishes offered. and went with a Fried Snapper entree ($11.95):
The Missus was right, the snapper was moist, the breading well flavored, it was spot on. The Missus got Hushpuppies and Collard Greens as Her two "sides". The collard greens were bland and disappointing, and I thought the hushpuppies bland, and on the greasy side. The Missus, who has never met a hushpuppy She didn't like, thought they were fine.
I ordered the Fried Chicken ($11.95). I was told that the Chicken is cooked to order, even on buffet nights, so it would be a 20 minute wait. For piping hot fried chicken? No problem:
The chicken was delivered piping hot, and each piece was fried to a perfectly. I found the flavor to be on the bland side, and the batter to be very light, but not in an unpleasant way. I had also gotten the collard greens. I also ordered smothered red potatoes, which was pretty good. I wish the potatoes were a bit softer, as some pieces were hard. The gravy was also light, but had a nice flavor. In fact, I think smothered chicken might be the way to go.
Knowing that the Missus loves Fried Okra, I ordered some Okra as an extra side:
These were lightly battered and a bit short on the seasoning, but not bad.
We were the only customers in the place during our visit, and found the service to be very warm and welcoming....in a downhome way. Stockdale's claims to serve "Alabama style" Southern Cuisine, but I'm not quite sure what that is. The location is in the corner of a strip mall off of University with there's lots of parking. Stockdale's also offers "all you can eat" buffet nights - I believe 6-8pm Mondays is AYCE Fried Chicken and Fridays is AYCE Fried Catfish, you may want to call to verify. Overall, I thought the food ok, and perhaps we'll return, but I'm not sure when.
Stockdale's Fine Southern Cuisine 6523 University Ave San Diego, CA 92115
I'm sure you've felt this way.....totally pooped, half-way wiped out, hungry, and looking for something close to home. Which is why I ended up at Lightning Jack's, in the "food court" area of Clairemont Town Square.
I'm not quite sure why I decided to pick up dinner here...in the words of Captain Jack when I told him I bought BBQ from Lightning Jack's; "what the hell were you thinking?" Yeah, what was I thinking? I walked into the tiny restaurant, looked around, and almost decided to turn around.....but something kept me there.
And the gentleman running the place was very friendly...so I made a decision to just go for it. Looking over the menu, I noticed that the ribs were "St Louis Style", which made me understand that the type of ribs used were Spareribs. But I wondered if the sauce was St Louis style, a basic spicy-sweet tomato based sauce....sort of like what Phil's uses(more of that in a future post). A friend once gave me a bottle of Maull's which is supposed to represent that style of sauce. So I asked the Gentleman behind the counter what style of BBQ Lightning Jack's serves. His response? "Ummm...uhhh(blank look), we use a lot of liquid smoke!" Not very promising, but I ordered a half-rack($10.49), which came with a roll, and a side. I chose Baked Beans, which the Missus loves.
The ribs were dry and tough, and the only smoke I could detect was from the super liquid smoked sauce(the Guy wasn't kidding).
My eyesight is getting pretty bad, but I couldn't detect a "smoke ring". Which kinda goes against what the menu says:
I think I need to see the "pit smoker" if I ever eat there again.
The Missus enjoyed the beans, which I thought was very bland. I also ordered some Steak Cut Fries ($1.80), which was a very generous portion of thick cut fries which was probably the best thing about the meal.
I also ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich ($5.99), which came with 1 side. I asked the Guy if I could just get some Hushpuppies with it, and being the amicable Gentleman, he said, "no problem".
Before the big sandwich reveal, let's read what the menu says:
For me that says a Hickory Smoked Pork Butt....... I haven't had North Carolina BBQ in North Carolina, but have had said style at Mike and Ed's and Country's in Columbus, Georgia, and Dusty's in Decatur, Georgia (near Emory University - Brunswick Stew....). And I can honestly tell you, this wasn't it. The pork was on the tough side, and you really could only taste the sauce......same sauce as the ribs. And no "pile of coleslaw"......
The Missus thought the Hushpuppies were okay. Since the Gentleman was nice enough to give us this instead of some other side, I'll give it a pass. I will say that I'm glad I still have my teeth after eating them.
In retrospect, perhaps I'm being a bit too harsh. But I try to be consistent....if you say you make Sichuan food, I'll expect Sichuan Peppercorns or at least something that is representative of the basic 23 flavors of Sichuan cuisine. Likewise, if you say something is North Carolina style BBQ..... If I didn't know better, perhaps my opinion would be very different.
I really don't even qualify as a novice when it comes to BBQ, and I've only eaten in 1 of those hallowed BBQ havens. I had lunch at Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City in 1997. I did have decent BBQ at a couple of places in Fort Smith, Arkansas (the only one whose name I can remember is Jerry Neel's), a couple places in Atlanta (i.e Dusty's and Fat Matt's Rib Shack), Columbus, Georgia, and one really good shack in Fayetteville, Arkansas. So take my opinion with a grain of salt. Still, I think I've come far from the kid who only had Tony Roma's while growing up in Hawaii.
As for Lightning Jack's, the service was nice and friendly, and the prices are relatively reasonable.
Lightning Jack's BBQ 4705 Clairemont Drive (In the Clairemont Town Center) San Diego, CA 92117