mmm-yoso!!!, a food-centric blog with (almost) daily writings shares posts about various cuisines, new and established restaurants, pubs and other places where food can be found, as well as sometimes home cooking. Today, a short post written by Cathy about a small three-location establishment.
Not that I wrote any posts about the holidays or any New Year resolutions, but now, almost six months into 2015, I feel successful. The free "Steps" app on our mobile phones record how much The Mister and I walk each day and the goal of 10,000 steps a day has become easier and almost regular since about mid-April.
The only thing was, it started getting a bit boring, despite the almost daily weather changes. So, we've become 'those people'- Mall Walkers.Parkway Plaza is covered and air conditioned, Grossmont Plaza is also close to home, but not that interesting to us any more, so one day we drove West to Westfield University Town Center, where we haven't regularly stopped in years.
The Ice Rink and surrounding restaurant choices are new to us and so are most of the shops. (edit- the Ice Rink seating area used to be open to the rink and is now enclosed. Most of the food court restaurants and the food court seating area have been redone since we were last here).
There's also a new movie theater building that was added onto the mall.Down the steps near the entrance (or, exit) of the Arclight Cinemas is Bottega Italiana.
Kirbie visited in January.cc visited the other (Coronado) San Diego location selling Bottega Italiana gelati in November. Faye also mentioned Bottega Italiana in the middle of this post. There is an area selling coffees and San Diego made Chuao Chocolates to take home.The menu is simple, the coffee preparation area is observable, there are a few sweets for sale at the cash register. The gelato is made right here. Daily. The fresh made gelato are beautiful...and overwhelming. We've been offered samples and sometimes that makes decisions more difficult. Fortunately, two flavors can be part of a 'small' size.Also, an affogato (small size gelato ($3.80) with a shot of espresso over it (+$1)) can have two flavors within...in this case, panna cotta (vanilla flavored sweet cream; it's different than (the excellent) vanilla) and hazelnut went perfectly with the brisk shot of concentrated coffee.Another day, a small ($3.80) with Speciale (burnt cream, dark chocolate chips, caramel and sea salt: all able to be tasted in one bite) with a scoop of Opera (pistachio, hazelnut and almond nuts and flavors) was enjoyed at the patio tables out front.
Bottega Italiana is a nice place to stop and get a shareable, excellent treat.
Bottega Italiana 4445 La Jolla Village Drive Suite H-17 (just down from the movie theaters) San Diego 92122 (858)404-0799 website Mon-Th 10-9:30, Fri-Sat 10-10 Sun 10:30-9:30
mmm-yoso!!!, the food blog, is where you have stopped for a moment. The food posting of today is written by Cathy. Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are just not feeling it.
As Kirk has mentioned, our weather had been very strange the past few weeks. Very hot days, very cold days, rainy, windy and now, a bit chilly in the morning and evening but clear and pleasant during mid-day...
On one of the hot days, The Mister and I stopped here, the newest location of a business, (which was a pop up inside Pangea Bakery Cafe just last summer), for a refreshing snack.
Anyhow, you should be able to see the Aqua colored building... Walking into the small storefront, there are a few tables and some bar stool seating. Straight ahead, a suggested menu is available. To the left are the snow shaving machines. Pricing is by the ounce (48 cents/ounce on our most recent visit). Topping choices can be overwhelming. Pretty much anything you'd like is available... There are six main flavors of shaved snow always available: original (condensed milk), strawberry, green tea, lychee, black sesame and salted caramel.That day, I wanted something simple, so a small cup of shaved lychee was mine. (4.5 oz, $2.16)This is a good photo to show you the delicate ribbons formed by shaving the ice block. The snow melts in your mouth and the bright flavor is just wonderfully crisp; not too sweet.Special Selection that day was the 'Frozen Hot Chocolate'. This order weighed 8.7 ounces (and therefore was $4.18; I can do math in my head and not show the work, because I am old).
Chocolate shaved snow (very good chocolate), topped with dark chocolate bits, fresh strawberries and house made whipped cream, along with two fluted cookies. The depth of flavors in this combination was great. Even though I don't crave chocolate, this really did hit the spot for me.
Iceskimo 4609 Convoy San Diego 92111 (858) 216-1111 Mon-Th noon-10:30, Fri-Sat noon-11:30 Sun noon-10:00
Kirk and Cathy are busy elsewhere, so today a short post from the banks of the Colorado River. Although it may not seem like ice-cream weather in much of the US, Ed (from Yuma) and the Yuma Visitors' Bureau want you to know it is always summer here (OK, almost always).
At about the same time Arizona inaugurated a governor who made his reputation and fortune selling gimmicky ice cream franchises (yes, you heard me, Cold Stone Creamery), I thought it appropriate to focus on a local, family-owned, independent ice cream shop in Yuma:
Like Baskin-Robbins, Solano's offers you a lot of flavor choices, but unlike Baskin-Robbins, the friendly folks at Solano's are creative, inventive, and maybe a little weird. Every time you come in there will be at least 18 different flavors of ice cream arranged in tubs with labels explaining your choices:
Here's another photo of some tubs:
While I don't have a complete list (maybe one doesn't exist), we have encountered flavors like balsamic strawberry, sweetcorn raspberry, cinnamon toast, maple walnut, vanilla bean, fruit loops, Yuma Fire Dept (with red hots), malted milk balls, coconut, toasted coconut, pineapple, orange dream sicle, Oreos and cream, sweet cream, rocky road, chocolate, red velvet cake, butter pecan, pistachio, strawberry rhubarb, blueberry habanero, and everybody’s favorite maple bacon (okay maybe not vegetarians’ favorite).
You can buy cups of ice cream with three different flavors – and more than three scoops it seems. If memory serves, on our first trip, Tina chose Yuma fire department , maple bacon, and sweetcorn raspberry:
She liked them all.
More conventional, I picked maple bacon, cinnamon toast, and?:
Maple Bacon is an idea that should spread. Just perfect flavor. The cinnamon toast had the right flavors of cinnamon and toast, but lacked the crunch I was hoping for.
Of course, you can get single scoop waffle cones (maple walnut?):
Or single serving cups – here Solano’s sweet cream:
And if you're really hungry they have a range of Sundaes:
Here's a Sand Dune Sundae (I think):
And a Pecan Grove:.
It took me three evenings to eat this sucker; it was so rich and sweet and filling. And good!
Solano”s is truly a family operation:
I believe I've seen at least three generations working together to make the place of success. I don't have a current price list, but you like good ice-cream, you will find the prices fair and portions large. Some hot evenings in the summer, the service is a little slow, but it is friendly, so I have always enjoyed the weight – correction, the wait.
Solano's Homemade Ice Cream, 1452 South 4th Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364, open noon to 10 PM every day except Wednesday
mmm-yoso!!! is a blog about various foods we (Kirk, Ed(from Yuma) and Cathy) encounter, usually with a short story. Today, because the guys are busy encountering various modes of transportation and trying to organize their photos and thoughts, Cathy is writing about a bunch of encounters with a common food.
Wow, we had a few weeks of horridly hot and humid days. Usually, a nice cold glass of water or tea is satisfying, but there were days when the sweet tooth kicked in and needed to be part of the equation. Walking just inside Mitsuwa Marketplace, there used to be a bookstore to your right. Recently, part of that floorspace was replaced with Matcha Love. Earlier this year, Kirbie and Elmo both blogged about this Japanese based franchise opening inside Mitsuwa locations. Ito-En, the worlds largest supplier of green tea, is the owner of this business. The limited menu assures quality of the product. The limited variations of product assures freshness. This day we ordered the Triple Ice Waffle Bowl ($4.75) which was three servings: matcha, black sesame and vanilla soft serve ice creams. The other flavor, Hoji-Cha, is roasted green tea-traditionally an after dinner flavor and needs to stand alone; the flavors will not go well together. As it was, the strong, tannic matcha flavor, as well as the deep black sesame flavor each -needed- to be 'rinsed' with the vanilla after a few bites. This is 'adult' ice cream and not sweet at all. Very good and refreshing.
Matcha Love inside Mitsuwa Marketplace locationsWhile walking down Adams Avenue, after a delightful lunch, we saw this storefront I had read about on cc's blog. Since it was going to be another hot day, we dropped in. Moosie is a nickname of a grandmother of the owner and the ice cream is "super premium hand made" by Alhambra based Fosselmans Ice Cream Company.Lemon custard and pistachio almond were our shared choice this day. The prices are fair for this quality (fat content) of ice cream. The location is in the middle of an area with an overwhelming selection of interesting restaurants.
Moosie's Ice Cream 4073 Adams Avenue San Diego 92116 (619) 634-4185 open noon-10 p.m. dailyDriving East on University, stopping at the signal light was the only way I noticed this signage. I had read Kirbie's opening day post as well as three posts written by cc about this newly opened North Park gourmet ice cream selling destination.Hammonds offers 89 flavors of Tropical Dreams brand super premium ice cream and sorbet, made in Hawaii (super premium means 18% butterfat). Even though you can get samples of the flavors, it's so difficult to decide and Hammonds has the perfect solution!The Hammonds 'Taster'- three, four, five or six small scoops of your favorite flavor on a (very) small cone. ($1.30 each) Our choices this day were all ice creams (we decided next time it will be all sorbets, based on our samples). Cherry Royale, Rum Raisin, Pistachio and Kona Coffee Almond were chosen, so that we tried nuts as well as fruits and all with the various ice cream-iness. Hammonds serves a quality product with great variety.
Hammonds Gourmet Ice Cream 3077 University Avenue San Diego 92104 (619) 220-0231 website open noon-10 Sun-Thurs, until 11 on Fri-Sat
Realizing my most recent post about Niederfrank's was in 2007, I thought another stop (with documentation) was due. Kirbie wrote about her 2009 visit and CC has by far outdone me in Niederfrank's postings since she lives nearby. Niederfrank's has been in National City since 1948 and supplies ice cream to many San Diego County area restaurants and snack shops.The original storefront is barely changed, as the primary business of quality ice cream is unchanged. This day, we chose 'Almond Joy' flavor (coconut with almonds and chocolate) as well as a yellow pistachio and dark cherry. As always, fresh, good and a happy feeling afterward.
Niederfrank's 726 "A" Avenue National City, CA 91950 (619) 477-0828 fax (619) 477-0876 Opens at 11 a.m. daily. Click here for website.
I hope you're having a nice (and extended) weekend!
mmm-yoso!!! is the name of this food blog. Kirk and Ed (from Yuma) just have no time to blog today. Cathy has plenty of time, so she's sharing this little food find.
One overcast morning last week looked gloomy, but was going to be warm, according to the weather report on the radio. Planning ahead (and satisfying a craving), The Mister and I drove toward Mira Mesa Boulevard. The mall across Black Mountain (same side of MMB) from Lucky Seafood seemed to be a good place to stop.
When you walk in the door, you see the usual frozen yogurt serve yourself stations straight ahead.
The Mister took a small amount of yogurt flavors to try. The plain yougurt is wonderfully tart, the way I like it. The chocolate had a very pronounced cocoa flavor. His third choice, strawberry, had no artificial color (as you can see) and it tasted very much like fresh (not artificial) strawberry.
Turn to the left when you walk in and there's the area where you order, pay, get toppings...and in the far corner to the right-see it?
The snow ice shaver. We ordered a small mocha flavored snow and the nice lady went to the back and brought out that rounded block of ice creamy goodness, placed it in under the clear dome and started the machine going with the foot pedal.
We were given a choice of two toppings, one from each side of the divider. (Sweetened condensed milk also comes with the shaved snow, but I thought that would take away from the flavor and declined).
The small mocha flavored snow ($4.99) is quite a substantial size. The 'larger' size is $2 more and basically you can have another flavor of snow, served on a large plate(it looked to be 7"x7"). The snow had a very good combination of coffee and chocolate as its flavor. The chopped almonds seemd a natural topping to mix with the flavors and the side of sweet choices had a coffee jelly among choices, but also had those cute, multicolored mini mochi. The above photo doesn't quite show how large a serving is, but The Mister and I shared and neither of us went home hungry.
Now for pictures that will clarify any descriptions. Shaved. Slices. Snow Light, thin, easily melt in your mouth goodness of cold ice cream.
Through and through your serving bowl, light airy, flaky. This is a wonderful cold treat and I will seek out other versions around town, but am very happy here at Yogurt Swirl.
Yogurt Swirl 9168 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego 92126 (858) 693-9999 Mon-Th noon-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 am-10 pm, Sun 11 am-9 pm
Here you are reading the blog mmm-yoso!!! It's where Kirk, ed(from Yuma) and Cathy (as well as a few others) share posts with an underlying subject of food. Today, Cathy is sharing.
One afternoon last week, The Mister and I drove West and found a place to park near The Crystal Pier, a public pier (where you can fish) as well as a hotel at the end of Garnet Avenue, in the Pacific Ocean.
It's quite a walk down and back the 872 foot long wooden pier, quiet and beautiful.
We left the pier, walked straight ahead, past a few restaurants, took a left on Mission Boulevard and saw this building and sign next to the Fatburger.
Well, I had never heard of this place...and we had just had a nice walk, justifying an ice cream sandwich. Had to...
Spacious, clean and not crowded. A nice young lady at the counter asked us if we had been there before. She then told us a common ordering method-pick a cookie flavor or two different ones, then pick an ice cream flavor...and I started to read the flavor choices on the menu board-
The first and second main sandwich choices: Cookies, brownies OR waffles!!!
When I was growing up in Detroit, one special treat my brother and I would sometimes get was a waffle ice cream sandwich at the counter at Kresge's, a Five and Dime store. (Here's a photo). Oh, I knew what I wanted.
The cookies were freshly baked, and the waffles (under the cover to the right of the cones) were already made...but...well, you'll see. Cones and cups were also available...for people who are here for the ice cream and not a sandwich.
The selection of 12 ice cream flavors. Premium ice creams, from different companies; a very nice detail. We chose butter pecan.
The soft, fresh waffle had one side already crispy toasted. That side had the ice cream placed on it and then the waffle was folded over the ice cream, then it was placed on the flat toaster (above; like a panini maker without the ridges), to get the exterior of the waffle warm and a bit crispy...and perfect.
I know people are buying the cookie sandwiches -the cookie selection was tempting- but the waffle is absolutely my idea of an ice cream sandwich.
The waffle was just enough crispy to not turn soggy and the ice cream was a very good quality of butter pecan- salty and not too sweet with crispy pecans. The waffle stayed intact and we were able to share the sandwich without a sticky meltdown. It really was perfect.
Fond memory #2: I sent my brother the above photo attached to a text message...with no words... and he immediately texted back "Kresge's!!!" Yes, he also remembered our special snack outings.
The Baked Bear 4516 Mission Blvd San Diego 92109 (858) 886-7433 website
The rest of the story (3rd memory)-
I call Mom daily. When I told her about The Baked Bear ice cream waffle, she immediately relayed a story about the horse drawn waffle cart that used to show up on Fridays in the Detroit neighborhood where she, my dad and my brother and I grew up. She told me the man would yell from the cart "Rzecz naleśnik", which is "pancakes" in Polish. She said the cart also had ice cream.
After some research, I found This Blog Post with a photo of a New York horse drawn waffle cart. It was a memory she hadn't ever shared before. I realized Food carts are not a new invention, nor are waffle ice cream sandwiches.
mmm-yoso!!!, the blog about food, is the website you have selected to read. Kirk, ed(from Yuma) and Cathy share food experiences here. Cathy is writing today because the guys are busy with appointments galore.
The other day, I was craving something sweet and The Mister figured how to use the maps app on my iPhone. While I was driving, he did a search for 'desserts', saw the pin drops and told me to take a right from Convoy onto Vickers Street. Lo and behold, I found a place to park along this street of mostly Commercial/Wholesale/Maintenance businesses.
Up2Yoü Cafe is closer to Convoy on the North side of the street; you may pass it at first, but since Vickers is a Court, you'll see it when driving back...
When you walk in, you'll notice random, eclectic decor throughout (yes, those are black and white photos of Beatles)...
We happened to walk in when a large group was leaving and had a choice of seats in this 29 person capacity space (which oddly has about 36 seating spaces). That's the cash register, with card and board games on the counter. Pay attention to that pink and blue signage on the back wall; I'll get to it at the end...
The menu is simple and easily changeable, each section hanging by "S" hooks.
Quite a few beverage combinations are available. I selected the sweet orange tea($2.75)- it was freshly, perfectly brewed. (It's not sweetened, just the flavor is 'sweet orange', and it was very pleasant.)
Served in a *huge* cup, along with our order of a crepe ($3.50), filled with Nutella®($50¢), banana ($1) and topped with vanilla ice cream ($1),
Here's a blurry photo of a cross section. You can see that whipped cream was also inside the crépe.
The crépe was very good on its own, quite overfilled and the whipped cream was *fresh*. The vessels for conveying the various toppings are honey toast (which The Mister and I estimated to be 4x4x2 inches in size) and waffles. There are also banana splits and something called a fried banana cheesecake: nothing savory here. It was very good and we will be returning to try other items in various combinations.
(After I wrote this, I saw that Kirbie's Cravings had done a post in October last year; she has a great photo of the honey toast and a link to Erin's post on Serious Eats. It looks like snow ice is either gone or just one of the easy changes from the menu board. )
Up2Yoü Cafe 7770 Vickers Street San Diego 92111 (619)663-6388 Closed Mondays. T-Th 12:30-11, Fri-Sat 12:30-midnight Sun 12:30-10
It was quite a scene, Avenue Habib Bourgiba......the Missus was taking a rest, as I wandered back out to pick up some "eau de mineral....no gas", that would be bottled water. On the map, there are streets perpendicular to Habib Bourgiba, but many of them are almost alleyways. Right around the corner from the Hotel Carlton was one of them Rue de Caire. On these sidestreets there are tons of restaurants and one of them is Restaurant le Caire. Not in the mood for more busy places, this tiny restaurant close to the hotel, not too busy, away from the crowd on the street, was where we decided to grab something to eat.
The restaurant had a couple of tables filled, it seems by locals or Tunisian tourists.....not much French being spoken, they were ordering in Arabic. Looking at the menu, this appeared to be Sfaxian as well. The guy running the place was really friendly and as soon we sat he brought out a tray with "today's catch".
We placed our order based on what we saw.....funny thing was, later during our meal, the plate was brought out to the table next to us and it looked like exactly the same seafood, in exactly the same position on the plate was brought out. I'm guessing these were the "stunt" fish....used for ordering purposes.
Soon enough the bread and Harissa was brought out.
This was a bit better than lunch, with a mild garlic taste, but still rather monotone in taste.
The Missus had also ordered a salad, I thought it was mechouia, but She had ordered Salade Tunisienne....which kind of freaked Her out when it arrived with what looked like canned tuna topping it.
The Missus hate canned tuna. In fact, there's only one brand I eat, She must dramatically leave the room! So I knew this was going to be interesting....well, there's not only one brand of tuna I eat, I do enjoy many of the Spanish, Italian, and French labels of canned tuna, but sheesh, they cost an arm and a leg. I knew this was mediterranean tuna, so I told the Missus, "I think it's worth a try." Not the best, but the Missus thought it not bad. She did enjoy the ripe tomatoes, diced cucumbers, olives, with just some olive oil and lemon.
I also wanted to finally try some brik, basically a very thin pastry called warka, thinner than even filo, filled with a raw egg and a variation of other items, tuna, onions, harissa, capers, etc.....
Some places will even ask you how you want your egg done.........
It's deep fried to a golden crispness, when done well it's wonderfully crisp and light, and the magic happens when you cut it open.
The Missus didn't care much for the tuna in this and though I enjoyed it at the time, it would pale in comparison to versions we would have later on.
My grilled fish tasted fresh, was grilled nicely, the skin nice and crisp, flesh moist, but again was lacking in salt.
It was better than what we had for lunch though. The frites were the typical soggy and dry version we had earlier. I was also served a plate of very bland and over-cooked rice. Now I'm from Hawaii where we joke that every meal should come with "three carbs"....well considering the big basket of bread, the fries, and the big plate of rice........what can I say?
The Missus again ordered crevettes grille - grilled shrimp.
These shrimp were nice and sweet, just a tad overcooked, but not bad. The only complaint.....yeah, you got it, lacking in seasoning! Of course it came with frites as well as a huge plate of overcooked, bleh pasta. We were to find out later that folks really cooked their pasta to death because it was thought to help "digestion"!
As we left the restaurant, darkness had fallen on Tunis. The demographic on the street had changed....the young men were still drinking coffee, now joined by older men, but the women who were seen out and about shopping or eating ice cream were gone.
The Missus decided that She wanted to try some ice cream, which along with various pastries seemed to be very popular. Right next to the hotel was a little shop wher the Missus got a two scoops and we sat in the now empty table across from the shop. The top scoop was a delicious pistachio flavor. The bottom scoop tasted very odd, not necessarily sweet, but strangely familiar. Turns out the Missus had selected zgouguo as Her other flavor. Zgougou is a Tunisian dessert based on nuts from the aleppo pine.
Tunisia is a Muslim country. All the women and young women we had seen with respect to what folks wear here in San Diego dress rather modestly, from those who are covered from head to tow completely in black, with even eyes covered, to those in jeans and blouses. So we were rather shocked to see two women get out of a cab in very mini-mini skirts and walk to a blackened out and partitioned doorway next to the hotel. I could only draw one conclusion.......which the Missus didn't believe. Hmm.......
The next morning we got up bright and early. Breakfast wasn't ready yet so the Missus and I decided to take a look around. As we entered the lobby of the hotel I could hear a woman yelling at someone....now this was at 5 in the morning! The guy in the lobby saw us, sheepishly smiled and told us in English, "no worry, some friends make joke with each other!" As we stepped out of the hotel we saw one of the women from the night before, now dressed with a nice shiner around her eye in addition to her mini-skirt. Must have been one heck of a joke. I looked at the Missus and told Her, "really now....you don't believe me?" And was dismissed with a wave.
This is Rue de Caire in the morning. I walked up and took a photo of the restaurant. We'd find a multi-floor shopping mall near the end of the street with a Monoprix Supermarket in it later in the day. Great place to pick up water and other items.
The streets were empty and it made for a nice walk.
Here's another photo of the Cathedral of St Vincent de Paul.
This is Bab el Bahr also known as Porte de France.
Bab el Bahr means "sea gate" and before the French arrived this gate opened from the Medina to a path to a lagoon. The French built the European part of the city outside of it and destroyed the walls of the medina. They called this the Porte de France a dividing point between the Old and European sides of the city.
It was nice to able to walk around crossing the street without having your head on a swivel.
"It's the most unhealthiest time of the year......"
Or something like that. At least that's the tune going through my head while crunching away on the deep fried chicken skin portion of my dinner from Conching's Cafe:
I ended up getting dinner here after spotting Sisig....... which isn't always available from the steam table at Conching.
Strangely, after looking through my posts I noticed that I've never done a post on Conching's......... even though we've been there a number of times. The only thing I found was a post which included the sisig which I've always thought was among the best. This wasn't quite as good....falling a bit short on the vinegar. It's still better than most.....
Still...... fried chicken skin and sisig...... I think I'll be eating a bunch of salads after the New Year.
Oh, and when you visit Conching's, you can't forget the ice cream...... Ube and Avocado used to be the Missus's favorite (I like Jackfruit)...... but those have been replaced by......
Corn and Cheese.... yep, corn and cheese. Well, cheddar cheese is what they told the Missus. It's not what you think. It's not too sweet, but rich and creamy.... and no, there really isn't a big cheese flavor....perhaps something closer to a light cream cheese?
While waiting for Her Corn and Cheese ice cream, a Young Lady was asking a boy, possibly her son what flavor he wanted. Standing tippy toe, the boy exclaimed, "I want chocolate!" The woman smiled and looked down at the child and told him, "you can have chocolate anywhere, but when you're here you need to try something new and different!" Amen, lady, amen......
Conching's Cafe 3400 E 8th St.Ste 115 National City, CA 91950
After dropping the Missus off in the morning, I took a 4 hour "stroll" around the strip. Things looked pretty much the same on the strip since my last visit. I had to laugh when I passed the Bellagio.......
The last time I was here with the Missus, She was attending a class as well. The venue for the class was Imperial Palace (ick), and while I had Steak Frites at Mon Ami Gabi for lunch, overlooking the Lake at the Bellagio, the Missus was served Baloney Sandwiches (true story) for lunch! I'm not quite sure if She was exaggerating, but the Missus told me the baloney had a green tinge to it..... Luckily, this time the venue was a bit better.
By the time I hit the Wynn, I was starting to get hungry, so I headed back to my car. I had one lunch in Vegas, and there were many choices. But I knew what was ruled out....
No cheap drinks.....
And no buffet.....
And in keeping with our eating "theme", nothing on the strip.....
I had more than a few choices to consider. Perhaps some Filipino Food? Salo Salo Grill had been recommended, and good ol' Elena's Restaurant had set up shop in Vegas as well. There was Yun Nan Garden for Yunnan and Sichuan. But I thought some Cuban food sounded good. Way back in the days "BB" (before blogging) 'Jorge' had recommended two Cuban Restaurants in Las Vegas. One of them was Havana Grill , but that was a bit more of a drive than I wanted. Which is how I found myself driving North on Las Vegas Boulevard, past the Little White Chapel, "Where Joan Collins and Michael Jordan were married!" (Not to each other I hope) And farther out, past the shadows of the Stratosphere. An drove into a parking lot with some pretty colorful art work:
I parked, and walked past the Reggae Lifestyle store....
And the "Adult Superstore"......
And to my destination......
Rincon Criollo Cuban Restaurant:
When I arrived, the place was starting to get busy, an older woman stood, and pointed me to a table in the corner. Most of the customers there had the rapport and body language that told me they were regulars. Most of the conversations were in Spanish......
The menu here is located under the plate glass covering each table.
Jorge had recommended a couple of dishes to me......the two version of Puerco Fritas came highly recommended, but that would have wiped me out for the rest of the day. We still had dinner plans for Lotus of Siam, so I decided on something other than pork.
As I was reading over the menu, some bread, toasted in the "Plancha" (Cuban Sandwich Press) arrived.
I had decided on the Boliche Mechado ($9.99). Boliche is a Beef Roast (usually rump roast), stuffed with Chorizo sausages, simmered in a tomato based sauce. And when it arrived at the table, it looked just like photos I'd seen of the dish:
It's very hard to see in the photo above, but there are two chorizo sausages stuffed into the slices of beef roast. The beef was nice and moist, firm, but not tough. The sauce was quite nice, tangy, with a mild garlic flavor. My only complaint would be that it was served lukewarm. I'd have preferred it a bit hotter. It came with some plain, and very mild tasting black beans and rice. The chorizo added a bit more "zing" to the dish, but not much.
Of course it seemed like every other customer had ordered the Masas de Puerco Fritas (deep fried chunks of pork) or Chuletas de Puerco Fritas (pork chops), both of which looked wonderful. Talk about food envy. Still, this was a pretty good lunch.
Rincon Criollo 1145 South Las Vegas Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89104
Later that evening, the Missus wanted something "sweet" to freshen Her palate after dinner at Lotus of Siam. One of the really nice Servers recommended Luv It Frozen Custard, which is also located North of the strip, right off Las Vegas Boulevard. We arrived to a pretty crowded parking lot.
There are lots of locals that will give you advice here.....the gentleman in the photo told us he's been coming here for over 35 years...since 1973! When I first saw the sign saying "frozen custard", I warned the Missus. She is not a fan of "eggy" desserts. She ended up purchasing a combination Pina Colada/Raspberry cup.
This frozen custard was less "eggy" and lighter than the versions I tasted in Madison. The raspberry tended toward the sweeter side, and had almost an artificial flavor. The pina colada flavor was less sweet. We thought this was okay, but nothing we'd rush back for. In fact, for the rest of the evening, everytime I mentioned the place, the Missus would repeat, "it was ok.....but I didn't LUV IIIIIT!"
Luv-It Frozen Custard 505 E Oakey Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 384-6452