There were so many open parking spaces, and yet..... Go figure. Not even close to Paris Bakery, none of the other businesses open, just decided to park here. Actually saw the guy parked in the Handicap stall struggle a bit to get out.
Doesn't quite make sense, does it? A couple of months back, while grabbing something to go it occurred to me that there's quite a few places that have been around for years that I'd eaten at, but had never done posts on. These places are mainly convenience stops for me, places I don't usually visit. For a few, it had been over a decade......like Karihan for example. Karihan is one of those "old school" turo-turo joints that have been around forever. I hadn't been here since maybe right after we moved to San Diego. First off, the parking at Grove Plaza can be pretty terrible, but that doesn't mean I hadn't tried visiting in the past. I recall huge portions of rather mediocre food, except for the Kare-Kare which I thought was decent.
So made up my mind to do this pseudo-revisit......man, they don't use MSG here....so says the sign dated 11/09! And when did that Japanese looking booth thingy arrive in the dining area?
Good lord, how can anyone polish off all this food? Look at all that lechon.....
I found the pancit to be very bland, though the texture of the noodles wasn't too bad. I should have just gotten rice, though it might have fed us for a week! The skin on the lechon was hard as rock and the meat quite dry. The Kare-Kare had a nice piece of tender oxtail meat on top, no tripe, a few small pieces of pork hock, and the rest of it was mostly bone, the texture a bit on the gluey side, a nice amount of green beans, but one tiny piece of eggplant, and this was on the bland side as well. I was searching for any trace of savory flavor that I enjoy in a good Kare-Kare. No amount of bagoong could revive it. I don't recall things being quite this bad before?
Has the arms race for portion size caused this? I mean, Tita's is a few yards away? Kind of sad; the young ladies working here were a lot friendlier than I recalled. I'd say this place is definitely for the quantity over quality set. MG once told me that "Karihan" meant something like "Cafeteria" in Tagalog. On this occasion it was that all right......but not in a good way.
Karihan Filipino Food 2220 E Plaza Blvd National City, CA 91950
And I was surprised to find that in addition to the simple, rather divey dining area.....
They've added additional seating out on the street, where there once were some 15 minute parking. They call it a Parklet and I rather like it.
I had my usual, the Garlic Chicken Wrap, now $7.25. You can tell I've been doing this blogging thing for a while....at the time of my first post on Mama's, the wrap was $4.99!
And while I had mentioned that the chicken in this wrap had gotten rather scarce back in 2012; there seemed to be even less of it on this day. And while I do enjoy the garlic paste and claim that it would make cardboard tasty, this is still a "chicken wrap". It just seemed to have less of everything, though the flatbread/wrap, made fresh on the "Sajj" was still warm when I opened it up and had a nice stretch to it.
It just didn't have enough filling. And as the saying goes; "Man does not live by bread alone".
I did notice another thing. I'd always thought that the "hot sauce" here tasted a lot like Louisiana style hot sauce. These days they leave the hot sauce dispenser out....it's Trappey's. I do like the way the hot sauce works with the wrap.
Mama's is one of those places that seems to have been around forever. We used to drop by every so often when we first moved to San Diego. A bit before my first post on the place in 2005, the place changed hands, to what seemed to be no detriment to the quality of the food. The folks here have always been pleasant. But it seems, at least in my mind, that the garlic chicken wrap has not aged well.
Mama's Bakery & Lebanese Deli 4237 Alabama St. San Diego, CA 92104
I've been having to work weekends sporadically over the last couple of months. On those days, because I'm able to take my sweet old time going into work, I'll often take the "really long route" to the office. On one of those mornings, I stopped by Pinoy Fiesta. Another place I haven't been to in a while.
I noticed that a pan of kare kare had just come out, so I got that....and in a moment of weakness, even though I didn't care for the sisig during previous visits, I decided to give it another shot.
Man, that kare kare was really bland and the meat super tough, not a fan. And while the flavor of the sisig wasn't bad this time around, denotes, though it could have had a bit more spice, it was ice cold and super waxy...."fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice......"
Still, nice folks, but I'll wait a while before coming back here.
Thanks you for stopping by to see what and where mmm-yoso!!! is writing about today. Kirk is still having difficulty going online, Ed (from Yuma) is busy writing another post and Cathy has this post about some meals.
I'm always wondering if I am cooking Filipino food correctly and will stop at one of many Filipino markets, food stands and restaurants when able. The closest to our home is in Mira Mesa.
The South East corner of the 15 at the Mira Mesa Boulevard; that mall was rebuilt/modernized in 2012. Manila Sunset is in the first part of the mall as you turn in off of Mira Mesa Boulevard (Trader Joe's anchors the second part).
Walk up, order and pay. You'll receive a table marker with simply the name of a colonial town (Vigan) or location ( Intramuros is the original Manila -a walled city- and you get there via a Rotonda - a roundabout): Something you can research on your phone while waiting for your order to be brought to you.
The interior is both beautiful with art and quirky, with shoes hanging off of an overhead electric wire just above a small 'hut' table area.
Many people think of lumpia as only being a fried item. There is such a thing as "Fresh Lumpia"- it's not fried, but a light crepe, wrapping sautéed mixed vegetables, topped with chopped hard boiled eggs and peanuts and covered in a slightly sweet (not crazy sweet) sauce ($3.25). I have had other versions, but like the Manila Sunset version best.
Here is what the 'Shanghai' Lumpia ($2.65 for six pieces) looks like. Each piece, approximately the size of your little finger, is freshly fried, filled with pork and vegetables finely minced. These are a good option if you want some protein (the larger fried lumpia are like the fresh-all vegetable filled). A longaniza and fried egg plate ($6.95). The longaniza here is unique (as are all Filipino longanizas, which vary the spices by region) and nicely garlic-y. Three large pieces, two scoops of rice and a bowl of vegetable soup accompanied the hard fried egg.
The pork inihaw plate ($6.45) also came with rice and soup. Charbroiled pork slices which were marinated in vinegar and garlic are the primary component- good tasting and tender. There is a grill in the back with a glass window where you can watch the char grilling happen; photos came out cloudy.
You can buy individual skewers of BBQ meat (beef, pork or chicken) for $2.05 each, or a plate which includes three skewers, rice and soup for $6.45. I do like the vegetable soup here. Every part of it, from broth to the leafy vegetables is just so flavorful.
A simple, dish, Pancit Malabon ( a rice noodle dish from originating in the City of Malabon) is known for its crab fat/fish sauce sauce ($4.15). This isn't a large dish, doesn't come with soup and those three shrimp you see are only half shrimp, but it is filled with flavor and just enough food. I wrote about Bibingka, a traditional filipino dessert, in a 2013 post (and probably in a few other posts) because I try it whenever I can find this traditional Christmas dessert. The version of Bibingka ($3.25) here is 'Royal' Bibingka- topped with cheese (which accounts for the dark colored top). A bit of savory in addition to the sweetness of the traditional rice flour, eggs, sugar and coconut milk baked in a banana leaf. This was served warm with raw coconut shavings on the side. So good.
CC says almost everything here is a comfort food for her and it is for me, too.
Manila Sunset Grille 9837 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego 92131 (858) 578-6200 open 10 am-8 pm daily Website
Other bloggers have been to Manila Sunset Grille too! Faye had a recent post and Kirbie visited in 2013.
Back to the Poseidon Project and the Haad Sai Thai Food Truck:
The Missus ended up working on a recent Friday evening at the last minute, which left me alone at 630 pm on a Friday. So I headed out looking for a place to eat.....as I figured everyplace was packed. I even tried Pacific Time, but there was no parking. As I rolled up Morena, I noticed a Food Truck in front of The Poseidon Project, I thought "why not"?
Turns out it was a Thai truck called Haad Sai Thai.
The guy running the truck was really friendly and several folks in Poseidon were eating noodles; a couple of folks even doing take-out from the truck, so I ordered some drunken noodles with chicken, bought a bottle of one of my recent favorites....I was surprised at the price, cheaper than what I recently paid for a bottle at Keg and Barrel at $9.53 with tax, and had a seat.
The drunken noodles were nothing to write home about, though it was decently spicy at a heat level 7 and at least the noodles weren't mushy.
The chicken was dry, not enough "wok hay", other than the heat level, missing the sweet and salty of drunken noodles, and a bit over-priced at $9, but the savings on my bottle balanced things out for me. The portion size was quite large though and I got to watch a beer nerd ("bro") get a bottle of Delirium and match it with a California Burrito from Santana's across the street....a first for me.
Plus, the folks working here are great. I'm really warming to the place. Even though they only currently have 8 pulls, the bottles seems nicely priced.
Poseidon Project 4126 Napier St San Diego, CA 92110
Plus I just can't help but keep humming this song.
Thanks for stopping by to read mmm-yoso!!!, food blog. Today, Cathy is writing a short post, not about any particular restaurant, but about some particular food items. Ed (from Yuma) has a nice post coming up tomorrow. Kirk is still out of the country and enjoying his international vacationing.
In 2011, Kirk wrote a great post about fried animal skins, quite a few were -ahem- less than common and difficult to find unless traveling internationally. I thought that writing a short post about commonly found chicharron would be nice. Dropping into any Mexican Market, you can probably find a variety of both pork and beef fried skins, some with meat attached (the far left) and some just the skin (second from left). Those are sold by the pound and can simply be eaten while wrapped in a corn tortilla, with or without some hot sauce.
The above is the counter at Northgate Gonzalez, a family owned and run Mexican grocery chain which I haven't posted about yet. Sometimes, in this same Mexican Markets, there is a steam tray area with stews and there is usually a choice of rojo (red) or verde (green) chicharron stews called guisados, which can be served taco style. Because the fried skins have been stewing, they are softened and not crispy, but still flavorful. The above are from Krist Liquor and Market. You can always order fresh made chicharrones by the 1/2 pound at Carnitas Uruapan.Long ago, I had mentioned fried chicken skin, dilis and bulaklak sold by the pound at Kababayan Market, which is now located in Spring Valley (I'll have a post about the new location soon).Fried chicken skins are my weakness and backup snack for just about every situation. I have also mentioned purchasing fried chicken skins at Chic-Boy in National City, because I know where to find fried skins when the craving strikes. Then there was the day we were at TJ Oyster Bar and I noticed the 'Starters' section of the menu while waiting in line at the newest location (again, I have a post forthcoming)...the second item, 'Chicharron Fish'.Hoping it would be a plate of these (above) fried fish tails, I was disappointed to see...this gigantic plate of more or less fish nuggets. But, oh what wonderful, meaty, lightly breaded nicely fried nuggets these were. The dipping sauce- umami- a deep, fishy, tart, lime-vinegar mix which went perfectly with the sliced raw onions. Not really skins, but fried and tasty.
I hope your long weekend is going well. It's not over!
This is mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Kirk needs a break, Ed (from Yuma) is on a break and so Cathy is writing the posts for a few days.
As mentioned in prior posts, The Mister and I choose a different ethnic market each week when it's time to go food shopping. There are severallocations of Seafood City in the county, but the one in Mira Mesa is closest to home. There is a (new) food court inside, but just next door is a storefront location of Chowking, which I've posted about, a couple of times. Chowking is a subsidiary of Jolibee, the largest fast food chain in the Philippines. Straight ahead in this photo is the front door to Chowking; there is another door where you can enter from inside the Seafood City store.The menu is pretty straightforward and contains breakfast and lunch/dinner items as well as snacks and sweets. There's even a small freezer which holds Siopao to take home (Filipino-Chinese buns that can be steamed or heated in the microwave for a few seconds).This is what we ordered for one lunch the other day. That's a coffee milk tea (because I can never decide). I like how the styrofoam packaging is manufactured with steam holes, so the contents, if fried, will remain crispy.The 'Chinese Style Fried Chicken' plate ($4.99) is pretty much my go-to item here, because the fry is always fresh, crispy, not greasy and so very tasty. It's 'Chinese' because of the spices used-and because Chowking is (and initially was only) a fast food Chinese restaurant before it was bought out by the Philippine based company (notice the Chinese lettering on the front of the counter, two photos up). The steamed rice, with egg and vegetable is always fresh.The Garlic Chicken Lauriat ($5.99). A 'Lauriat' is a rice meal, so is essentially the meat (nicely battered and fried dark meat chicken pieces) and rice along with veggie Canton noodles, two small veggie spring rolls and two red bean paste filled sesame balls...not lumpia, not pancit...Chinese food... Remember this hot days we had not too long ago? The mango shaved ice here is only $2.99. Quite large, with lots of ice, mango and condensed milk; it's a refreshing break.
I hope your week has gone well!
Chowking 8955 Mira Mesa Boulevard San Diego 92126 (858) 653-4977
I was in National City recently looking for a specific ingredient...had no luck at Seafood City, but I noticed this new "turo-turo" (point-point) place had opened up.
So I decided to stop and grab some breakfast. Man, this restaurant is huge......
The woman working the counter was very friendly and the food looked decent....so I went with the Longanisa and Chicken Tocino....I had to stop her from piling on the garlic rice and still ended up with a load of carbs.
And the egg of course, which had been sitting in a steam tray. The garlic in the rice was burnt, thus making the whole deal quite bitter. The longanisa was as expected, a meaty-juicy pouch of loveliness. The chicken tocino was really tough, it had been cooked down too long. It was also more salty than sweet.
It was quite obvious, this was one of those quantity over quality places.
No big deal......I made a note to revisit one day...no rush.
Funny thing happened the following week. I saw an old coworker of mine. She dropped off lunch from this "new place" to try.....it was from Manila Resto.
She got me the Bicol Express and the Beef Kaldereta, two dishes I love. She even told me they went easy on the rice....it was still way to much for me.
Bicol Express combines wonderful savory (from the fermented shrimp paste- bagoong alamang), with spicy (from chili peppers). This one kind of weak.
This was really tough, lacked spice....I mean it was really whimpy, and though it was salty, it could have used more bagoong.
The Kaldereta was slightly better; though it was still on the bland side. I enjoy mine a bit tangy from the tomato with a beefy edge. The pieces of beef were huge and had to be cut into pieces before eating. It was also a bit too greasy for my taste.
You won't go hungry after this.....but it's obviously more about quantity than quality here.
Manila Resto 1420 E Plaza Blvd Suite D2 National City, CA 91950
mmm-yoso!!! still blogging about food after all these years. Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are each enjoying this weekend in other states while Cathy is in California, continuing to write blog posts.
Driving to the Naval Base San Diego is different than driving to MCAS Miramar, in direction as well as the surrounding neighborhoods and their food options. Miramar is where many civilians can enter the base and watch the Blue Angels annual Airshow, afterwards perhaps stopping in at one of the many restaurants listed in the Miramar/Mira Mesa area, while the closest many civilians get to the 32nd Street Naval Base is East Village or Downtown. Many national chain restaurants are located close to that Base and it's great to find a local, family owned restaurant or coffee shop in the Barrio. Filipino Food & Bakery has been in the corner of this mall, at Main Street near 28th, since early 2013. It's pretty large inside and can get busy during the week. The pan de sal, a sweet, yeast-based bread as well as several other types of pan and several dessert products are baked here daily. More or less a typical Turo-Turo (point-point) restaurant, Filipino Food and Bakery is also typical in its food preparation-every Filipino place (restaurants and homes) where I have had a meal prepares their traditional, similar recipes just a bit differently (as I do with meatloaf).The lumpia here (two for $1) are fresh and tasty. The crisp, thin wrapper is an excellent conduit for the mostly fresh vegetable filling. The plates and cutlery here are throwaways, but useful in that we always have leftovers. The above two item combination ($8) includes either garlic rice or (as above) thin rice noodles with various vegetables (pancit).
That item in the left is pork adobo. (Adobo is essentially a marinade containing vinegar, garlic, salt/soy, bay leaf and black pepper; hence the variations by different cooks) and on the right is sisig (pork cracklings or head meat or liver marinated in sour or vinegar then grilled). I've enjoyed the versions here...many times. This ad, aimed at Comicon visitors, appeared in late June. The brunch menu began on July 11 and still is available on Sunday. I've been most curious about one item... This looks familiar, you say? Why, yes, a Scotch Egg, but made with longanisa, a sausage, similar to chorizo, but in the Philippines, longanisa is made with various meats and regional flavorings. This one? Garlic (and probably pork)! This version of Scotch egg is wonderful. Perhaps ube (purple yam) waffles with a piece of fried chicken along with the Eggs Boni...we enjoy the food and flavors here!
I hope you are having a good weekend.
Filipino Food & Bakery 2852 Main Street San Diego 92113 (619) 549-5665 Website Open Mon-Sat 8-8, Sun 8-5
Things have been pretty busy the last year and a half or so. I've noticed that I eat more lunches at my desk than I ever did before. Yes, I know it's spposed to actually hurt productivity. But there are those things called conference calls, web meetings, and the ever looming and shifting deadline.
Most often, I'll run out and pick up something from Nijiya; probably at least once a week. So many of the lunches I have at my desk look like this.
I'm definitely not complaining about this one....it's comfort food.
Nijiya Market 3860 Convoy St Ste 109 San Diego, CA 92111
"MG" is a good family friend; the Missus is one (I didn't know that folks can have as many as seven) of her son's Godmothers. We used to work in the same department and had some really fun potlucks. We're now in different departments, but she will sometimes drop by to make sure I'm getting fed. Like bringing me hamanado and tapa from Tita's for lunch. Good lord......how in the world was I able to finish this before?
For some reason, it seems time, at least in my mind, hasn't been good to Tita's...the grey color, the tough beef...though I still like the hamanado. In spite of it being on the tough side I like the mild sweetness and the salty tones.
Yes, it's pretty much about quantity....the love of abundance. It's enough for at least two meals.
Tita's Kitchenette 2720 East Plaza Boulevard National City, CA 91950
One day she dropped off this:
I recognized it immediately...I asked if it was from Tem's and was told "no, it's from Nanay's". Which left me a bit confused, until I found out that Tem's is now Nanay's and apparently the food is basically the same. I will say I enjoyed the "spicy chicken" much more than the pork version I had when the place was Tem's. The "BBQ" chicken kind of reminds me of food court stuff, but it's not terrible....which the rice was, with quite a bit of hard grains in it.
Nanay's Best BBQ 6715 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92121
Speaking of bad rice.......
Just because I have to eat at my desk doesn't mean I can't have stuff to post on. So on the way back from a meeting I stopped by Yum Cha Café. I hadn't been here in ages. I got the Hainan Chicken Rice....mostly because I must be a glutton for punishment. I mean, the place used to have passable cheap grub, but if this is any indication, they've really taken a dive. Dry tasteless chicken...the rice was hard and dry....ick.
Yum Cha Cafe 6933 Linda Vista Road San Diego, CA 92111
And then there are the times I get to follow-up on a place I had been wondering about. In this case Artisan Bento. I got the Delux Bento...which clocks in at $13.95! I chose Ginger Pork, Shogayaki...which, being on the more salty side really reminds me of what my mom used to make.
I gotta say that these folks seem to have it down. From the time I ordered to leaving the place, less than 10 minutes!
I still enjoy the ohitashi. The kyuri (cucumber) was really bland. The miso soup seemed much more watered down. I usually cringe at the thought of multi-grain rice. But for some reason, I like the version at Artisan Bento....sheesh...what next? Macramé???
For dessert I chose the strawberry cheesecake which I proceeded to give away. I think I can do the regular bento next time.
Artisan Bento 2505 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92103
One change from my previous post. They now open at 11....so no more walking in at 10 to find out they don't serve food until 11.
So, let me ask you.....do you eat at your desk? If so, what's your go to meal to have there? and what do you think about having to eat there?