Bordeaux just seemed to much more than what we expected, with wonderful churches, towers, gates, cheese, and of course wine. After a nice "indoor picnic" lunch and the requisite nap, we headed back out. The Missus decided She wanted to walk along the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe, the 1.2 kilometer long Rue Sainte-Catherine. As whole, we weren't too impressed with the shops and such and some parts were rather seedy. The street ends at Place de la Victoire and the "gate into the city", the triumphial arch; Porte d’Aquitaine which was built in 1753.
The folks who managed our apartment had a dinner recommendation for us; so we turned around and headed back.
Along the way we crossed over to cours Victor-Hugo and came across the Missus's favorite gate in Bordeaux, the Porte de la Grosse Cloche, the "Great Bell Gate". Built in the 15th century, this beloved gateway is on the city's coat of arms. The clocks date back to 1592 and the bell was cast in 1775.
Along the way we took a short break on a lovely square; Place Saint-Projet...apparently, there was once a church at this location. The fountain is quite lovely and it's a nice spot to take a break and relax.
Rue Saint Remi is full of cafes, brasseries, and other eating establishments, so it's really hard choosing where to eat. La Brasserie Bordelaise was highly recommended, so we decided to have dinner there.
Though the exterior looks rather decent in size, this place is pretty large, there's even a downstairs dining area. As we sat at our table, we noticed all the customers were tourists, though it could be the early dinner time. We also saw that the portions were very large and that most people were getting meat....with a capital "M". After seeing the rather generous portion sizes, we spoke to our waiter, who was very nice and very accommodating, and placed our order. We also got a very nice red from St Emillon; which was probably the best item of the night. Also, we noticed a lot of folks getting the Jamon.....we had just arrived from Spain, there was no way we'd be getting jamon here.
We started with the Foie Gras with toast, 12 Euros, which was decent, not outstanding, but you have to remember, we ate a ton of foie gras on this trip.
We also ordered the Farmhouse Terrine (12€), which we didn't enjoy. First off, it was ice cold in the center, second it had a very gritty texture, I know, this is "rustic", right? It was also a bit too earthy for my palate.....which enjoys a whole host of earthy flavors. It just wasn't our thing I guess.
The Missus was in the mood for lamb. We asked the Server about the portion size of the Braised Lamb Shoulder with Beans (26€). He was a pretty funny guy....he told us, "I think it is enough for two, but you would not believe how any people finish this themselves!" So we asked if sharing would be appropriate. To which he replied, "of course.....it would be enough for two."
When it arrived, the Missus looked at me and I said, "of course.....it would be enough for two" and then some. The Flageolet beans, while a bit under-seasoned had a wonderful texture and beany flavor. The lamb was quite deliciously gamey, but was pretty tough and seemed like it could stand for a bit more time in the oven. It also didn't seem much different from anything I'd make at home. The price at 70 Euros wasn't bad, but seemed a bit high, the service was good, but I think there must be much better in Bordeaux at this price point.
La Brasserie Bordelaise 50 Rue St Remi Bordeaux, France
It was actually a nice walk. The sky was overcast, but it never rained.
We crossed the Willamette on the Burnside Bridge and passed the iconic Portland White Stag sign.
Traffic looked pretty heavy along Burnside.
You could tell spring was approaching as the Cherry Blossoms were starting to bloom. It was quite a lovely sight.
Our destination was a restaurant named Davenport, which I had read used local ingredients in simple dishes, with excellent and refined technique. The idea is to let the ingredients shine. The Chef Kevin Gibson is a semi-finalist for the James Beard; Best Chef: Northwest category.
There area couple of interesting things about the place, there's no large sign, you have to find 2215 East Burnside, then look for the "red door". Also, the phone conversation for making reservations was, well, interesting.....a woman picked up the phone with simply "hello"...... I had to ask if this was Davenport. At the end of the process, I noticed they hadn't asked for a phone number, so I inquired if they needed one. The answer, "no....if you show up, you show up...if you don't, you don't." Ok.... Well, we did show up.
The menu is ever changing.....in fact, it changes almost everyday.
We loved the menu and it was quite easy to choose our courses.
We had heard that Co-owner Kurt Heilemann curates an amazing wine list. So we asked our server, who was just perfect, efficient, professional, but not stuffy if he would select a glass to pair with each dish.
I will say, that even though I'm not an oenophile, I really enjoyed the pairings. I'm not going to go into detail about the wine, though I will say, the first glass...that Riesling, pared with the foie gras mousse was just perfect. It was without a doubt the best pairing of the evening. When I mentioned how beautiful the stemware was, our server told us it's hand-blown Zalto stemware.
The foie gras mousse was nice, smooth, rich, all you could ever want.
The pate was good, quite refined, balanced in flavor.....perhaps a bit too perfect. Loved the bits of hazelnut which gave it a nice contrasting texture.
For us, it was the pickled sunchokes that really got our attention, great crunch, perfect flavor. The salad was my least favorite....it tasted like it had been dressed with plain white vinegar, as it was way too sour; the pomegranate seeds didn't help adding another layer of tart and tannic flavor to everything.
The rapini, which was beautifully charred, bitterness subdued, smokey flavor enhanced was wonderful.
The addition of the breadcrumbs which added more crunch, only to be balanced with the boiled egg white and richness of the egg yolk just elevated the dish in my opinion. The anchovy was a bit too strong for the dish as just a squeeze of lemon was perfect.
We finished with the grilled lamb shoulder.
Slightly toothsome, but still tender enough considering it was shoulder. The lamb flavor made the perfect, "yes, you are eating lamb" statement. It was perfectly seasoned, a bit too rare for the Missus, but I loved it. The salsa verde really didn'y play into the flavors for me.
Overall, a very nice meal. In terms of service and timing, things were just perfect for us. While we enjoyed our meal, which was good, nothing really extended it into the "great" territory for us. Now the prices, well the food only came out to $60! The wine at $45 almost matched the price of the food. We weren't complaining though as in terms of cost, we thought this to be a reasonably priced meal.
Next time, I think something more along the lines of Le Pigeon would be the Missus's cup of tea.
Davenport 2215 East Burnside Portland, OR 97214
Of course, we weren't quite ready to call it a night. Candice had recommended that we stop in at Belmont Station. So the Missus decided we needed to work off at least a portion of our dinner....so add another mile-and-a-half to the tab. The streets looked rather dark on SE Stark Street and Belmont Station shone like a pearl in the night.
Basically an amazing bottle shop, with a huge 1200+ bottle list. Connected to the shop is the "Biercafe" which has a nice selection of items on tap.
Our "beertender" was a very nice...cool guy. The Missus got a sour and I ordered something that looked quite interesting - the New Belgium Cocoa Mole Spiced Strong Dark Ale. I was asked if I like "interesting flavors" and said yes. The guy behind the bar said, "folks here either love it or instantly dislike it". Me, I loved it....
Like a pseudo porter, with a pronounced chili-chocolate aroma. Since I love chili beers, I really enjoyed this. Mild spice that very slowly intensified, but never really got too hot. The flavor was quite complex. Even the Missus, who is not a big fan of porters really enjoyed this one.
It was a nice way to end our evening.
Belmont Station 4500 SE Stark St Portland, OR 97215
By this time, the Missus had figured I'd done enough walking for the day and decided we could catch the bus back. She did have a change of heart as we crossed the Belmont Bridge and decided to ring for a stop. But after all the walking I had done that day. The stroll back to the hotel was nothing.
Such is a typical day for us when travelling...lots of walking and lots of good food....and drinks!
After Donuts and then a Tasty N Alder stop, we were in dire need of some exercise. I took the Missus back through The Pearl and we stopped for caffeine at Barista. No pour over or anything like that available at this location. The Missus had a small coffee and I had an iced coffee while we went over our plans for the rest of the day.
Barista 539 NW 13th Ave Portland, OR 97217
The Missus had seen a couple of shops She wanted to stop into.
Filson is a well known brand, selling some really good outdoor wear. We took a look at some of the bags and luggage, but ended up not purchasing anything. Still, it was fun to browse.
Right across the street is Keen's Headquarters and a large shop called the Keen Garage which we checked out.
By now caffeine had kicked in and we were ready to head to our next spot. I'd already walked about 2 miles or so that morning. Then we walked up The Pearl.
Our next leg would take us about a mile and three-quarters, all the way down Alder and over the Morrison Bridge. You could tell that spring was on it's way as the Cherry Blossoms were starting to bud. All the "SW" avenues, became "SE" as we headed up SE 2nd Avenue and found our "light" lunch stop Olympia Provisions.
Regardless, they still have one of my favorite signs......
This shop tucked away in a restored warehouse-industrial building was recommended to us by a number of folks. And since the Missus is really into Her charcuterie/salumi it became a must visit for us.
We decided on the French Board, since the Missus loves Her rillettes and pates. The pork rillette is nicely made, decent salt, not overly seasoned, and quite porky. The pate was the Missus's favorite.
I actually enjoyed the saucisson, which we much more tender than I usually find around these parts. The flavors, while nicely seasoned and spice, just didn't seem overly salty. The garlic sausage was fine if a bit bland.
Seeing pickled egg on the menu; well, you know me, I had to order it. This was a mighty fine pickled egg, just the right amount of sourness with a nice pickling spice. Great flavor and texture.
The Missus wanted to try a cheese. We decided to get something from Oregon. The only choice was Opal Springs from Ancient Heritage Dairy. Made from raw cow and sheep milk, I was told that this is aged 60 days and the rind is brine washed. It was quite smooth and very mild for a washed rind cheese.
This was very easy to eat, though the mild flavors were wiped out when eaten after the cured meats.
Overall, we really enjoyed this meal. Wish this was in our neck of the woods. We'll be sure to drop by again next time we're in Portland.
Olympic Olympia Provisions 107 SE Washington St Portland, OR 97214 Hours: Monday 11am - 3pm Tues - Thurs 11am - 10pm Friday 10am - 10pm Saturday 10am - 10pm Sunday 10am - 9pm
Bellies happy, we headed off to our next stop....it was time for a beer!
I usually don't take photos in these type of restaurants. I hate bothering other customers and feel strange with a ton of people around me (i.e. Juniper and Ivy). These have been lying around for a while so I thought I'd just do a photos post.
Very different in terms of cuisine; but some common ties. The service at both places was good. And I thought the salads were the best dish. Strangely uneven and somewhat underwhelmed overall.
The Smoking Goat:
The cassoulet was probably the meal in a microcosm, some of it was excellent, the andouille melted in your mouth, almost etheral, the lamb was just amazing. However, the duck confit was dry and too salty, and the "stewed" flageolot beans, I love the usual firmness giving away to a nice creamy testure, were in this case undercooked and hard, not tough, hard....loved the breadcrumb crust. A hundred bucks later, we left scratching our heads.....
The Smoking Goat 3408 30th St San Diego, CA 92104
For some reason, I really took to the tableside Caesar Salad, it just had the right balance of flavors for me.
Other than that, I can't really say I was impressed.....
Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro 4346 Bonita Rd Bonita, CA 91902
mmm-yoso!!! is the name of this food blog. Kirk is extremely busy today. Ed(from Yuma) is also very preoccupied with things to do, so Cathy is sharing a recent Happy Hour meal.
I've posted about Bella Vista Caffe and have been here many times, just not documenting the wonderful meals here. If you read the prior post, you know the Caffe is located in the medical research office park area of La Jolla, near UCSD and the Torrey Pines Glider Port and serves brunch on the weekend (when we usually visit). (Be sure to bring your parking ticket to the restaurant; it will be validated).Above is a view from the balcony. Yes, that is the Pacific Ocean.One recent evening, just after 4 p.m. we decided to stop in (actually we were avoiding traffic after leaving the County Fair) and the menus given to us included Happy Hour pricing. (The craft beer was $3.70 on the receipt; I'm unsure of the regular price).Well, $2 off the 'antipasti' part of the menu and craft beer and wine discounts were an unexpected surprise. In addition, we had never seen this menu before. After a day of eating unusual food at the Fair, we were in the mood for ordering things we never had tried before.
Yep, neither of us has ever had beef carpaccio before ($8.95 Happy Hour price). We will order this from now on- the thinly sliced raw beef, topped with arugula and shaved Parmesan and a dressing of lemon and olive oil was so wonderfully decadent. The very flavorful marbled raw beef was plentiful, the peppery arugula was crispy fresh and the shaved Parmesan complimented everything so very well. L'Argentino empanada plate ($8.95 HH price) was wonderful. The menu states there are four empanadas, with choices of fillings- we asked for two beef, one chicken and one spinach and received two smaller spinach empanadas. The aioli in the center was (I think) sun dried tomato flavored. It complimented the crispy baked empanada crust. The fillings were plentiful and richly flavored, as if each had been a very tasty stew before being placed inside the crust, which was baked to crunchy perfection. The spinach had an excellent flavor, was not watery and was as good as the meat varieties. You can see the onion and bits of red pepper and herbs in the fillings. I will order this again, but in addition to trying other items from this menu. The food was familiar yet new again. We really like it here.
Bella Vista Social Club & Caffe 2880 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive La Jolla, CA 92037 (858) 534-9624 Website
A strange thing happened over the last year or so......it seems that the Missus has been sucked into the Craft Beer movement....well, maybe not San Diego craft beer per se, She loves Belgian style Ales, Dubbels, and such. She's even gotten into sours after enjoying what I call the "gateway sour", Monk's Cafe. Strange, after all these years I have a beer buddy....and it's my wife!
During one evening at work, one of Her coworkers highly recommended Brabant in South Park. I contacted my buddy Candice, who also gave her seal of approval, so it was off to South Park and Brabant, housed in what used to be Vagabond.
For some reason, I've taken to the warm tones of the place.
There are 15-16 brews on tap and an absolutely huge bottle list. I quickly took to....well, I really consider him quite a bit more than "barman", perhaps "tenancière de bar", heck, let's just call him Adam, who is gregarious and enthusiastic about....well, just about everything! He is a gregarious embassador of Brabant, who happens to really know his beer.
The beer list is a literal binder, with tasting notes for various bottles all written in house, no plagiarism here I'm told. There's a pairing list for the various dishes, all wonderfully set-up for us, folks who are just starting to enjoy Duvel's, Rochefort's, et al....just in case you were wondering what to pair with Rabbit Saddle....I just know you were.
While sitting and enjoying our first beer, I got word from Candice that she'd be joining us, how nice....better to enjoy a variety of dishes.
We went ahead and ordered a couple of dishes while waiting for Candice. First up were the Mussels with Duck and Frites. The mussels were of the smaller type, which I tend to prefer because of the more intense flavor. In this case the mussels were over done and tough, sad because the white wine, cream sauce was balanced enough not to over power the mussels. The duck "rillette" was much too salty, though we loved the crisp duck skin, something that I love and is easy to make as a by product of rendering duck fat.
It was the other "part" of the dish that got me hooked, as I really took to the frites here.
We all have different preferences, this one pushed the right buttons for me. The outside fairly, but not overly crisp, the interior fluffy, there's a richness, that goes to the brink of being greasy, but never crosses that line.
The Missus really enjoyed the Bratwurst(which, like everything else is made in house) with Stoemp. She enjoys a rustic style sausage and being that there are perhaps a hundred or so variations of Bratwurst, the coarse, toothsome cut of the meat reminded me of the Franconian/Bavarian style Brat I had many years ago. The seasoning was spot on, the Missus loved the greens and caramelized onions, I the mashed potato (stoemp).
Things didn't fare so well with the "Pork Pudding", which was basically a pork aspic (gelee). This really lacked a nice texture, it was like eating pork jello on bread, which for us was a much too sweet brioche. We'd have preferred something more rustic and substantial like a rillette, more savory that sweet.
Candice went full speed ahead and ordered the Briased Rabbit. In my experience, rabbit can be a mixed bag, it can be really, really gamey and dry, or well balanced in flavor, keeping the flavor of the pasture, with a toothsome texture. I'm actually all for barding this type of meat.
What really saved the rabbit for us was the stuffing which was moist and fairly rich. I'm not the biggest fan of offal, but on our trip to Malta this past year we had a seared rabbit liver salad which was delicious. I could taste that wonderful, grassy flavor in the stuffing.
We had a wonderful time as great company elevates the meal. The Missus added Bacchus to Her "beers that I enjoy" list. Adam was a fantastic host and I was craving those frites a couple of days later.
So I returned. Adam remembered me and exactly what I drank...scarey. When I asked him for a recommendation, he told me to try the Klokke Roeland, nothing to mess with at 11%. I loved it, to me I could make out orange-clove-molasses-honey, but it wasn't too sweet. Man, this was good, but no more than one.....
All I really wanted were frites, but man does not live on spuds along so I got the Pulled Rabbit Sandwich.
I have to say, the Levain (wild yeast) bread really didn't thrill me and the Mr Cottontail was on the tough side. I did enjoy the acid of the tomatoes, and of course the frites......always the frites....
I enjoyed the place so much that when my Birthday came around....a very low keyed day, my good friends and I enjoyed a rich, but nice meal at Brabant..... Mr Q even had a cocktail with Absinthe!
We got to the bottle list.....
And had a great time. Thanks for sharing the moment with me!
The food is on the "rich" side, but those frites call to me. I enjoy the folks here, they make me feel comfortable. South Park is a wonderful walking neighborhood, you can sit back and watch folks walking or driving by.
We had been a bit disappointed with Carthage and caught the TGM, the light rail back toward Sidi Bou Said. But instead of getting off there, we just went to the end of the line to La Marsa. We had really enjoyed the "vibe" and folks in that little seaside village when we visited. We were also lining up lunch. Rafael, that regular visitor to Dar Amilcar, recommended a restaurant in La Marsa named Le Golfe.
So we got off in La Marsa and like before were totally confused. We knew the address and hailed a cab. But after trying to converse with us for about 30 seconds he drove off. Just then a friendly looking gentleman eating an ice cream cone walked over and asked us.....
"you speak English?" We both immediately answered, "Yes, do you?" He smiled and nodded side to side, "No....." It was really funny. He put his hand up with a single finger pointing to the sky and placed a call on his cellphone. A few minutes later a young lady, obviously his daughter appeared. Alright, she must speak English, right? The first thing she told me was.....
"I don't speak English!" Me, laughing: "But, you are speaking English!" Her: "That is all I speak....."
This was hilarious. We were all laughing. Finally, I displayed the address of the restaurant. I didn't know that I had the phone number on the listing. The nice gentleman used his own cell phone and called the restaurant and got directions. I recall hearing some thing about "tourists...." He then hailed us a cab and gave the driver directions. Our cabbie was very serious looking. The drive was very short, the restaurant was a couple of blocks from the waterfront in a very upscale looking residential area. The fare was just 1.5 TND, about 95 cents! I gave the driver 4 TND and obviously thinking that I didn't know how to calculate prices tried to give me back my money. I explained to him that it was all for him. After all, the distance was so short. 4 TND is basically $2.50. We really enjoyed La Marsa.
The restaurant is very understated. In fact, we would have probably walked right past it.
The look is very modern.
We'd arrived before lunch service, but the nice woman told us to go ahead and have a seat. So we took the table overlooking the beach just steps away.
You gotta love the view.
We had a seat and just took in the view and the breezes from the Mediterranean.
Then the woman came up to us and told us it would be a short while for lunch since service hadn't started yet. We were just happy that they let us in and we were able to take in the wonderful view. But she also brought over some water and even asked us if we were going to have wine with lunch. They could get us started on that right away. So of course we got the Blanc Magnifique. They even brought bread over.
How nice was that? We would have been happy just to have waited, this gracious hospitality just made this experience so nice.
The Missus and I decided to just go for it and order whatever we felt like.
Since we've ordered it everywhere, we decided to get the Salade Mechouia (10 TND ).
Loved the presentation, down to the drizzle of balsamic vinegar and the capers, a local staple, which really added to the mechouia.
Overall, this was good, but not the best we had in terms of just plain flavor. A good salade mechouia has a very pleasant savory-smokiness, this one was good.
The Salade de la Mer (21TND) was very nice and refreshing.
Our favorite dish of the meal was the Seches Grillees (14TND).
Baby cuttlefish, so tender and full of flavor, simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and yes, a good amount of cumin. Grilled over olive wood, which seems to impart a nice smokey flavor which really brings out the sweet aspect of salt.
Goodness, this was possibly the best thing I ate in Tunisia!
The Missus had some reservations over my ordering Les Carpaccio de Bouef (20TND). But they were out of Carppacio de poisson on this day. We were rewarded with a refreshing and delicious dish.
Served on a ice cold slate. This was excellent.
Like the mechouia, because we order it everywhere, we got the merguez (11TND).
This was very nice, though in line with other versions we had during our trip.
We enjoyed a nice relaxing meal. The place started filling up with what seemed to be a combination of ex-pat/foreign officials and well to do locals. In all we spent about $70 US.....we've spent more at a "gastro-pub" in San Diego that didn't even come close to this in terms of food and service. This was by far the best meal we had in Tunisia.
We walked back to La Marsa and the TGM. As we crossed one of the streets I heard the honk of car horn. A cab passed me by, arm outstretched, waving to us. It was the cabbie who dropped us off at Le Golfe! In fact, everytime he'd see us, we'd hear a honk and without a doubt he'd be smiling and waving to us. For a $1.50 tip, we had a friend for life it seems! Such was life in La Marsa I guess.
One of the places recommended to us by Rafael was Au Bon Vieux Temps. Located right off the main tourist street of Rue Hedi Zarrouk, the place has a nice, almost romantic feel.
Perfectly in character, we arrived just at the beginning of dinner service. We enjoy the quiet before the chaos.
Though folks rave about the views, I really didn't think it that great from where we sat on the patio.
The menu featured both French style and Tunisian style dishes. The prices were the highest we'd encounted in Tunisia, but still pretty reasonable by US standards.
We were still in search of a Tunisian wine we really enjoyed. Not really knowing where to start and wanting a "blanc", we simply ordered the most expensive bottle on the menu at 42 Dinar, which was about $25 US at the time. It turned out to be a good choice as this bottle of Magnifique was light and refreshing, with a crispness to it. We ended up getting this whenever we saw it on the menu.
As the meal goes, we found that we preferred the Tunisian style dishes to the French preparations, like the Fruits de Mer (18 TND - $10 US) which was kind of waterlogged and mushy.
The Duck Pate, a bargain at 10TND, think six bucks, had some potential, the flavor was decent, but the texture was a bit too waxy.
For me, the best dish of the night was my Lamb Couscous (26TND - $15).
This was by far the best couscous we had on our trip. It was light and fluffy. I thought the vegetables were going to be somewhat onerous, but they were fork tender, not mushy, but yielding perfectly under my fork. The lamb was simply flavored, but was also very tender....loved the gamey flavor. It really didn't need the spicy sauce provided, which actually covered up all the wonderful flavors.
The Missus loved Her stuffed squid (22 TND - $13US).
The squid was very tender, we don't really remember much else about this dish.
Right as we were finishing our mains, a gentleman who claimed to be the owner came up to us and started a conversation. He talked the Missus into ordering a dessert, which She loved....probably because of all the pistachios and the rose water. Since She obviously enjoyed the rose water so much, he brought Her a glass with a bit more of it to pour over the dessert....
He also told the Missus She should check out the upstairs VIP area where Presidents, King's, Queen's, and Prime Ministers have eaten. He was a pretty smooth operator.
The Missus managed this photo....perhaps you'll recognize someone.
Overall, this wasn't bad. Perhaps if the prices were a lot higher I'd complain a bit more about the place. On the bright side, we found our favorite Tunisian wine and that makes this meal worthwhile. And as you can tell; we didn't leave hungry.
We admired the sunset as we walked back down the hill.
We were amazed at all the folks sitting and still having coffee at the busy cafe across from Place du 7 Novembre.
Folks laughing and carrying on, chatting as they ended the day.
Meanwhile, right across the street, it was time for prayers at the Mosque.
An interesting contrast for us. Such is life in Tunisia........
Well, so much for Don Diego. Coincidentally, just a few months after "the Don" opened up, Dan joined the party. I was curious, especially after seeing the shamrock logo and then the sign that said "Euro Cafe & Pub"......
The first time I visited was on a rainy Friday. I was greeted with a friendly smile and hello. I saw they were full, so I told them I'd be back some other time....but the really nice young lady manning the front and the very friendly gentleman, who I was to later find out was Larry, the owner would have none of that. They had the staff set-up a little two top in the corner, which they did with a smile. Man, this was a very nice first impression.
To me, the menu really defines what Dan Diegos is, a neighborhood pub with grub. All appetizers ring in at five bucks or less and all entrees at $10. The beer list is rings in at over two pages and there are about ten beers on tap. I do wish they'd have more local stuff on tap. On my visits the only local representation on tap has been stuff from Societe. I mean, Ballast Point and Coronado are just down the street.
Back to the menu....it's basically Irish Based and on this evening I started with the Irish Beef Stew ($5).
Not my favorite version of Irish Stew, it tasted a bit too "raw" with regard to the Guinness which made the broth bitter. In my opinion, it was also a bit too loose and watery and could have used a few more layers of flavor, perhaps a bit more salt. Of course I was missing the lamb in this thing.....
I was also curious about the Open Faced Reuben ($10), which made kind of crack up when it arrived as the pickle was actually larger than the "Reuben".
It's basically some house made corned beef....kind of bland and waxy served on a ciabatta like slice of the house soda bread, which wasn't bad. The best thing was the horseradish "Russian" dressing. The fries were fried to perfection and the portion size of SYSCO spuds was quite large.
Usually, I'd kind of cut my losses here......but my Server, Shauna was so very nice, as was just about everyone else in the place. It also seemed like fried items were the way to go here. So I returned....ended up with the same table and Shauna to boot.
This time I went with the Fish and Chips ($10):
This wasn't bad. The fish was moist, it was nicely fried, though the tartar sauce was a bit too mayo heavy. The fries were to the SYSCO standard. For ten bucks I'll take it.
As before, the service was very warm and friendly.
About a week later, Candice, MrQ, and I met up to plan one of our "events". We started at the new Coronado tasting room and decided on checking out Dan Diego's. Along with the Fish and Chips we got the Irish Cheese Fries with Corned Beef ($7.50):
They lost their frying mojo on this one as the fries hit the table on the soggy side. Combine that with waxy-greasy corned beef and cheese sauce, this suddenly becomes stoner food.
Speaking of stoner food....let's hear it for a place willing to put something like "Crunchies" on the menu. Did you ever want to just eat fried batter? Well, here's your chance.
Dan Diego's seems like an okay neighborhood pub; Larry told me he lives in the neighborhood, which is nice to hear. It looks like a quieter place for folks who don't want the crowds or the scene at the High Dive, don't like the corporate feel of Offshore, or the crowd and over-priced food of Luce's. Larry told me the place is named in memory of his late son, so you got to want them to succeed. Hopefully, the food will improve and Dan Diego's can steer a steady course. Right now it's really not worth going out of your way for.
Well, you have found mmm-yoso!!! and are probably wanting to read about food. Cathy is blogging today; Kirk and ed(from Yuma) are busy with other things.
The other day, The Mister and I found ourselves in Escondido around lunch time. I recalled that I had met a friend for lunch somewhere around here a few years ago and thought I had enjoyed it. So we parked, we walked and then I recognized the facade. It seems that there are several newly opened restaurants on Grand Avenue, this main street downtown, and even the ownership of A Delight of France has changed recently.
The interior is neat and clean and looks like I think it would look if located in France.
As with bistros, you walk up, order, pay and find a seat. I also fetched my own coffee and water and silverware. A very nice lady (I think the owner) came over and asked if I would like some bread. This half a baguette of still warm, crisp crusted French bread, along with strawberry preserves and butter was brought out while we waited for our food.
Soon, my plate- the French Deli plate ($10.75)- was brought out. A large plate filled with a selection of four meats, including pate, saucisson, ham and turkey, a grainy mustard as well as Brie and cheddar cheese , a hard boiled egg, tomatoes, cucumber, pickles, olives, cornichons and a small scoop of a wonderful egg salad. This was a fresh, tasty selection and filling lunch.
The Mister ordered the Quiche du Jour ( a choice of ham and cheese or spinach this day) ($8.95). It comes with the side salad which is lightly dressed and, as you can see, a salad made of a variety of lettuces, cucumber, celery and tomatoes. The quiche was deceptively large/deep, filled with ham and cheese and a nutmeg flavored custard with a wonderful flaky light crust.
We did not have room for dessert, but the selection was beautiful and plentiful. Business was brisk, with the seating area filling up just after we had ordered. All in all, a nice lunch on a beautiful street that is reinventing itself. We will make an effort to visit more, especially the newer restaurants.
A Delight of France 126 West Grand Avenue (between Broadway and Maple-Broadway is the divider between East and West) Escondido 92025 (760)746-2644 website