Man, they just opened in April! Cathy sent me a text about this and I went to check out their Facebook Page:
"Char House September 14 at 9:03pm To our valued guests, Char House is now CLOSED. Thank you for your support and we hope to continue serving you at our other location in Hillcrest: Pho Fifth Ave. 3807 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103."
I drove by yesterday.....
Geeez.....the Grand Opening sign is still up.....
7765 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA 92111
Yum Cha Café Closes:
Cathy also mentioned this to me as well. Notice the trash bins in front of the door. The place caused a bit of buzz and opened to lines. But slowly got worse and worse and based on what I had during my last visit, they really did seem like they were circling the drain.
6933 Linda Vista Road San Diego, CA 92111
Since we've been on 99 Ranch Market watch here at mmm-yoso...... The sign has been up for a couple of weeks.
Here you are, checking out mmm-yoso!!! to see what sort of food in what part of town is featured today. Kirk is having a busy time at work and Ed (from Yuma) is having a relaxing time (in Yuma) so Cathy is posting.
Back in December, a dear, long time friend sent a message that she was going to be in town for a day, having a book signing at Mysterious Galaxy, one of a handful of Independent bookstores we have in San Diego County. Mysterious Galaxy shares the same parking lot with Balboa International Market, which I posted about in 2010 and again, in 2012.
She and I had a good visit after her extended signing time (many San Diegans are fans of her book, which is nominated for a World Fantasy Award). The Mister and I have gone back to this part of town quite a few times this year to have lunch after exploring Mysterious Galaxy.
I'll spare you photos of the store interior; it's about the same as in the prior posts. Fresh breads are available and the Produce prices are particularly good.
Walking though the doors of the market, (if there aren't any grills cooking out in front), then to the left and back corner, you'll find a deli counter with many choices, and a menu over a cash register, where you can place your order. There is also a stack of paper menus. Order, pay, find a seat at the front of the store (you'll get a number and the plates will be brought to you).
The salad plate with chicken is $8 and enough for a meal or a light bite to share. (Depending on my mood, I'll walk into the store and purchase a beverage while waiting)
The a la carte kabob plate is $4. This is a seasoned ground beef (koobideh) kabob served on top of store baked flatbread, with the onion, grilled tomato and basil; quite enough food.
The vegetarian meza is $9 and includes dolma, fresh made falafel, a slice of Kuku (spinach/egg/spiced pie), eggplant salad, cucumber salad, tzatziki, hummus and pita bread.
Always good, fresh, tasty.
Balboa International Market 5907 Balboa Avenue San Diego 92111 (858) 277-3600 Website
For $1 you can get a cup of tea, which comes with tiny sugar cubes.
It's a beautiful long weekend. Here's a couple of things I've noticed over the last few days.
Another Up 2 You Café opening on Convoy:
In the location that used to house several versions of a "Berto" (I think it was Rolando's last) Taco Shop on Convoy.
Noticed the public notice a few days ago. Looks like it's going to be yet another location of Up2You cafes. Which Kirbie,CC, Jinxi, and our own Cathy have posted on. Looks like this one will be a bit different as they will serve alcohol.
4403 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Keils in Bay Park Becoming Sprouts:
Listing this one since it's basically right up the block.
After something like 3 decades, Keils is going to become a location of Sprouts.....I was told sometime in 2017. I really don't shop here often; but I realize that Keils has been a fixture in the neighborhood and folks know the staff here. Kind of sad in a way.....
We'd had a great time in Dordogne, but were pretty tired and were happy to be back in Bordeaux. It all seemed familiar to us....we knew the drill, how to catch tram from the Gare Saint Jean. In fact, shades of Saint Jean de Luz, seeing us use the tram ticket machine...folks would ask us....in French how to us the quite easy ticket machine. It was so strange. If there was one person who really didn't look like they belonged, it would be me. Anyway, we ended up helping a couple of folks get their tickets..... We were staying at the same apartments, so getting settled in was a snap. As was getting back to our favorite little place in Bordeaux, Bar a Vin.
We got a simple cheese plate and a glass of wine each.
I had a glass of the 2008 Saint-Julien Chateau Langoa-Barton, Grand Cru......
It was lovely, rich, berry flavors, with not too much tannin.....
Bar a Vin 3 Cours du 30 Juillet Bordeaux, France
The Missus then decided that it was time for a walk, so this time we headed up along the Garonne River, passing some interesting sites on the way.....
The Chartrons neighborhood was once filled with the homes of rich merchants, but eventually fell into disrepair. A large renovation project has turned the Quay des Chatrons into a hip and gentrified neighborhood.....
And further north is Bassin a Flot, once lined with warehouses, dry docks, and other industrial businesses, the place turned into a wonderful urban renovation project....now lined with bars, restaurants, and hip shops.
It was time to decide what to do for dinner. The decision was quite easy. Our favorite meal in Bordeaux was having some cheese and baguette, with a bottle (or two of wine), and just relaxing.
We turned around and headed back to Marche des Grands Hommes and the Carrefour Market.
We picked up some wine and other items and headed out.
On the street on the other side of Marche des Grands Hommes, that lead to Allee de Tourny was a cheese shop that I wanted to check out named Fromagerie Beillevaire.
The guy working here was quite nice and the selection was nice.
It was hard picking just 2-3 cheeses....but in the end we basically just chose three.
Fromagerie Beillevaire 8 Rue Michel Montaigne Bordeaux, France
Looking back, I noticed we'd done quite a bit of walking on this day. No wonder we were pretty tired when we got back to the apartment. This time around, they put us in a huge 2 bedroom unit on the third floor, which was very comfortable.
The kitchen was well equipped.
And because we travel light, the washer/dryer was welcomed. As was the tub where the Missus could soak and relax......
I was really struck by the view out the round windows.......
Dinner was a simple, but satisfying affair.
With the Missus' favorite bottle of 4,9€ (about $5.40/US) bottle of white.
The folks that ran the apartment also left us a nice bottle of white as well.
A very nice gesture.
The Missus had a bath, I had my glass of wine and started a post while looking out onto the street below.
After all of the activities of the previous couple of days; it was nice to just sit back and relax.
After a wonderful stay in Sarlat, we were heading out the next morning. We loved staying in the wonderful B&B we had booked....well...except for a couple of the paintings......which strangely kind of spooked me in some strange way.
But, here we were ready to head out for the next leg of our trip in the in the "Le Gauche.....La Droite....Sortie....mobile"
If there was any doubt as to the beauty of this part of France, all you need to do is to take short pause at the Limeuil Bridge. On a day like this; with the sun shining, the water sparkling...can you see the folks fishing?
We drove along, our objective the hill town of Domme. I'd read that some of the best views of the Dordogne Valley were to be had here. Which I believe are true.
Most folks might be too young, but my Mom used to play this old album once in a while.....
"On a clear day Rise and look around you And you see who you are On a clear day How it will astound you"
Many of the canoe trips on the Dordogne River start here.
It's quite an amazing drive. We stopped at a little shop by the side of the road and bought some duck rillette and foie gras for Sammy....yes, for Sammy. And from the parking lot you had a dramatic view of Chateau de Castelnaud.
A few kilometers down the road from La Roque is the stunning and yet imposing village of Beynac-et-Cazenac.
Walking from the waters edge, up the charming narrow, winding, cobbled streets, it seems like you've just stepped onto a movie set.
You should park in the lots at the bottom of the hill, or you'll risk the fate of this automobile, manned by a British couple, who had gotten to the point of no return and seemed trapped on in of the narrow lanes. The poor guy seemed like he was going to have a coronary, while the woman was quite amused. They managed to get the attention of one of the locals, who kindly jumped into the car and maneuvered it down the street. I told her, "you've sure got a story to tell when you get home, don't you?" And the woman cracked up and nodded.
The rest of the walk uphill was uneventful and we just took in our surroundings. Near the top there are cafes and restaurants. You can visit the Chateau, and yes, there's even a parking lot....apparently there's an easy way up the hill.
We just walked to the look-out and took in the view. Yet another fantastic sight.
The best shots of the Chateau are taken from right above the cemetery.
The Chateau was once seized by Richard the Lionheart who used it as his base of operations in the area. You can read a nice history of the structure here.
Our destination for the day was Les Eyzies de Tayac so we passed through the village of Saint Cyprien and the road was closed. It was market day, so we decided to stop and enjoy.
There were many temptations.
But in the end, we just went with some fromage.....
And a strong double espresso.....
We got out of town via a round about way and actually got to Les Eyzies quite early........
There wasn't much going on so we decided to just head up north, to Perigueux, the Prefecture, administrative "capitol" of the area. We parked in one of the lots alongside the river of this old Roman town and paid a visit to the TI and picked up a walking tour map, which started at the Mataguerre Tower right across the street.
There were once 28 towers forming the walls that protected the district of Puy Saint Front. Built in the 15th Century, this is the last one standing.
The walking tour took us up and down winding alleyways, past historic buildings like the Maison des Dames de la Foi. The façade dates back to the 12th century. In the 17th century, the structure was turned into a convent.
We found the streets to be eerily quiet. I guess Sunday is a very slow day in Perigueux.
Round the corners you'd find little alleyways which seemed to be protected by a metal gate....which was open.
Exiting the alleyway, we found ourselves in a square....which was very peaceful and sedate.
We were getting a bit hungry, so we found one of the few shops open, a bakery, and got espresso, water, a croissant....
And had a bit of our cheese.......
Funny thing about France....I could just about live on croissants, baguettes, cheese, charcuterie, and wine.
We finished things up by visiting the rather imposing Cathedrale Saint Front (Perigueux Cathedral). A UNESCO World Heritage Site with quite a long history. This area has been used as a place of worship since the 6th century.
The interior space is quite large and one of the most noted features is the Baroque altarpiece carved from oak and walnut.
The Bell Tower soars 200 feet over Perigueux.
We were starting to get a bit tired. It was time to head back to Les Eyzies de Tayac to check-in and freshen up....and maybe meet a Cro-Magnon or two.....
Sadly, our stash of olive oil we brought back from Granada and Seville ran out a couple of months ago.
We've tried various Spanish brands here in San Diego; the Missus loves the grassy-peppery nuances of Spanish Olive Oil, and most have fallen short. So we headed back to.....
Baker and Olive:
This little shop in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center, stocks various olive oils and vinegars.
We're really not interested in the flavored one's, but just get whatever version of Arbequina Olive Oil they have. At the time of our visit, they were starting to switch from Northern Hemishere product (i.e. Spain), to Southern Hemisphere (Chile). Here are some of the bottles we have.
Nice folks working here. One of the women is from Kailua, Hawaii, though she doesn't look it. It's always great fun chatting with her. I will also get Dea Harissa Paste here once in a while; though I usually order it from Amazon.
Baker & Olive 12925 El Camino Real San Diego, CA 92130
Back during the middle of spring; the Missus was also grumbling about how hard it was finding unshelled walnuts. She was really enjoying using the nut cracker she bought in Sarlat. So one morning I was in the Mission Gorge area and decided to stop at.....
We used to come here all the time when we lived in Mission Valley. Its been over a decade since I've last visited.
Still looks the same, with a nice variety of produce and other products for sale.
And yes, there were unshelled walnuts for sale.
Which got the Missus crackin' again......though that loud cracking sound scares the daylights out of Sammy!
Now, if She'd only clean up Her mess.....
Farmers Outlet 10407 Friars Rd San Diego, CA 92120
How does our garden grow:
Because of our travels and other things, we got a late start on the garden this year. Still, we've done pretty well so far. As janfrederick commented on in a recent post, we had quite the bumper crop of cucumbers for a while. Sometimes 3-4 a day! The funny thing was; the Missus didn't want to waste, She was determined to consume every single cucumber. Which is how it was for about 3-4 weeks!
I think it's time to plant the next batch.
It looks like squirrels have eaten all our Roma Tomatoes and kale, so that's a lost cause.
Though the leeks are doing quite well this year.
As for our peppers. Again, I was kind of late, though it looks like the Trinidad 7 Pot Douglah is doing fine.
These are very hot, but not as fragrant as Ghost Peppers in my opinion.
Speaking of Ghost Peppers; they are just starting to ripen.
Though the Scorpion Peppers are a little late.
We have Serrano Pepper plants that are getting up there in age; they are starting to produce smaller and less fruit. There's a golden lining on this however. A few months back, I was weeding the plants, when I noticed a couple of little sprouts; which, after nurturing a bit, became some fairly robust plants.
Not sure what the deal is; but these are some of the biggest Serrano I've ever seen.
Sadly, our White Ghost Pepper didn't make it. But while pulling out the dead plant, I saw a couple of little shoots. So now I'm hoping these will do ok and will bear fruit this year.
Our Chili de Arbol is doing well too.
I was surprised to see a certain chili plant when I went to the nursery to pick up some fertilizer. I just had to get it.
From our arrival to exploring the maze of alleyways of Barrio Santa Cruz, ending with a nice dinner at La Azotea, we'd really enjoyed our time in Seville so far. Still, the streets had us pretty confused. So the next morning, we'd start finding our way around further afield. Our little flat was located in a"casa de palacio", a palace house, down the small street of Calle San Isidoro. You really get the feeling you're immersed in the history of Seville as just a few meters away, you run into the Iglesia de San Isidoro. There are over 115 neighborhood churches in Seville.
At this time of the day; Plaza del Salvador was quiet and sedate, a far cry from the loads of young folks packing the square the previous evening.
Then on over to Plaza Nueva. The statue in the middle of the square is of King Ferdinand III who defeated and drove the Moors from Seville.
From here it was a walk down the side streets, then across the Canal de Alfonso XIII also known as the Guadalquivir River on the Puente de Isabel II......I know, so many names.
The place I wanted to visit was Mercado de Triana. The Triana District, though it is part of Seville has its own distinct vibe and personality and the Mercado is a nice place to get acquainted.
Built on the ruins of St. George´s Castle this market was a fun stop for us. Triana is historically famous for its "azulejos", tile work, which reminded us of places we visited in Portugal. You see them used as signage for each booth.
There's definite semi-touristy vibe to part of the place as there's a lot of restaurants, even a sushi place. But still, it seems that locals come here for the wonderful looking produce.....
And other stuffs......
We actually returned to this stand and got the Jamon Bellota Summum - "summum" is a designation from the province of Huelva of the highest quality Jamon.
Not cheap at 31,5Euroes for 100 grams, but it was cut perfectly.
There's a lot to see in Mercado de Triana and the museum next door....there's even a craft beer bar; which was sadly closed on both our visits. Well, I guess that just gives me reason to return, right?
We left the market and walked around the area a bit. The Missus and I really needed A caffeine boost....most of the little shop were quite full, so we just stopped into a little chain restaurant.
The Missus got some espresso and I got an Americano....we needed something small to tide us over....all the tourists were getting really bad looking tapas....the locals were getting simple slices of bread.....which is how we ended up ordering tostadas de tomate. Toast with tomato and olive oil.
Being that we love the grassy-peppery Spanish olive oil, this was such a nice fit! As in "why didn't we get this before".....who cares about the tomato.....tostada de aciete....that was the way to go. Toast with good olive oil.....breakfast of champions.
This was kind of a spooky one. I drove by around noon this past Wednesday and noticed the place wasn't open. I went in and took a look. There was a hand written "thank you for the support" note. Kind of sad considering I first visited here back in 2001 and first posted on the place in 2005. Over the years they seemed to have changed hands not less than three times.
What really made it spooky was that an hour or so later, I had "FOY" Sage tweeting me, letting me know Do Re Mi House had closed down.
While I thought the quality of the food at Do Re Mi House had fluctuated over the years, they had always provided a reasonable lunch option. I'm sad to see them go.
Do Re Mi House 8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd Ste M San Diego, CA 92111
Dede's Becoming "Facing East"......
Or Something like that. I went into this strip mall because I saw the Notice of Ownership Change posted for the former Convoy Noodle House. I was shocked to see that Dede's had closed.
While over the years; I thought the food at Dede's had really gone downhill....I'm more of a quality over quantity kind of guy; it was sad to see the windows papered over. then I also read Faye's post as well. It looks like this place will become a Chinese Restaurant named "Facing East"?
4647 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Meanwhile Convoy Noodle House is Becoming "Submarine Crab":
Or at least that's what the sign says.....
Which is yet another, I think....crawfish chain from the OC?
4647 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
So 99 Ranch is really going into the old Haggen Site on Balboa:
In spite of what Eater San Diego said, I always had my doubts since it seems they would be competing with themselves. But on a recent (I really don't shop there enough these days) visit to 99 Ranch Market I saw this sign:
It's great that Taisho is doing so well. I found out that Taisho was an experiment in more refined, upscale yakitori for the owner (who also owns Yakyudori and Hinotez). They've done so well, that from what I heard Yakitori Hino is going to be fairly similar when they open.
Yakitori Taisho 5185 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. San Diego, CA 92117
Some Kale Pache and Garlic Paste from Harvest Market:
Recently, they expanded their offerings a bit and put in a dessert counter, have samples during the weekend, and lo' and behold, they had Kale Pache! Which I had to try.
This very rich version is lamb feet, head, and a whole lot of lamb tongues. The Missus was kinda grossed out at the lamb tongues, but I peeled back the membrane and She loved the rich and flavorful meat. The broth is super fatty though, and it needed a good bit of salt. I'll probably have it again....
The okra stew was not very good though; overcooked, very mushy, and lacking in flavor.
Beef Flap is back on the menu in the household. I grilled up a bunch along with other veggies and meat to last the Missus most of the week. This time I did the Cumin and Sichuan Peppercorn thing. The next day, I picked up some garlic paste and flat bread on the way home. We had cucumbers from the garden, some Roma tomatoes, and Vidalia onion. And I mixed some Labneh with mint and a touch of lemon juice. I also had some thinly sliced Berkshire Pork basted with garlic olive oil. Talk about a quick and satisfying dinner.
Harvest International Market 4220 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA 92117
I've found that the bottle prices at the Poseidon Project are even cheaper than most markets and liquor stores. Here's a few items I've had over the last couple of weeks.
Not too impressed with the NG Native Ale; pretty boring, not quite a brown.
This was an odd one:
Really just tasted like a standard San Diego IPA....really foamy. Don't know what the "Shojo" part is about.
The Missus just loved the Tusk & Grain Coconut Stout.
Though at 13.4% ABV, a couple of sips was all she wrote for Her on this one. In case you didn't know. T&G is Saint Archer's "artisan" line of beers brewed in Bourbon Barrels. They don't mess around; everything I've from T&G is at least 12% ABV.... yikes!
Poseidon Project 4126 Napier St San Diego, CA 92110
At least the SoCal stores. As of July first. They replaced my card with one that acts like the typical supermarket discount card, but also allows you to accumulate points. Not sure for what, but I guess I'll find out.
Also of note, I was told that Marukai in Hawaii will be using a different system....so we'll see what happens when I travel back "home".
Marukai Market 8151 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA 92111