On The Menu

San Diego


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Went to San Diego a couple of weekends ago for our friend's wedding. We had a lovely time. I wanted to make sure I got my fill of good Tex-Mex food, since we can't get that very often in Boston.

The Mission

We got up early on Saturday, still being on East Coast time, and used Abby's Iphone to look for the best breakfast place in town. The Mission was rated very high and was not a long walk from our hotel in the Gaslamp district.

Taken from their website:

"The Mission is our concept of a café specializing in simple, healthy, tasty food, with a whimsical edge and a focus on artful presentation at an affordable price. The simplicity and fresh ingredients are produced with dedication to the cause of living in a more conscientious world. This modern concept in healthy dining, combined with pleasant surroundings, is our specialty. We hope you will enjoy your experience of eating at The Mission."

I like the sign that states that one should seat oneself. So many times we've walked into a restaurant not knowing if we need to be seated or not and so we stand there waiting awkwardly until someone is kind enough to tell us. We choose a nice booth in the back and order a coffee for Abby and an orange juice for me. There is very nice cartoonish art on the wall, and only one or two empty tables.

The menu is full of local ingredients with a California/Mexican flare. I ordered the Rancheros Verde and Abby got the Chicken Apple Sausage with scrambled eggs. (I can't remember the name of her dish.)

First, I love huevos rancheros, and this was a very good take on the dish. The Verde sauce (green sauce, normally made from tomatillios) was sweet and savory and had a little kick to it. The eggs were cooked perfectly (just like any other place would cook it) but when I broke the yolk and combined it with the black beans and tortilla it was a perfect marriage. Abby's chicken sausage was very good with a nice sweetness to it. The salsa that came with her plate was absolutely incredible. I wish I could make salsa that good.

Overall, I thought the food was very good but the prices seemed a dollar or two too high. The service was fantastic with Abby getting her coffee refilled in a timely manner and I liked the entire look of the place. I give The Mission a very above average 3 1/2 out of 5.

The Mission SoMa on Urbanspoon

Casa Guadalajara

On our flight, I sat next to a local San Diego man and asked him were I should eat. He told me to check out Cafe Pico in Old Town. So sure enough, once in Old Town I kept my eye out for this restaurant. Sadly, I could not find it. So I asked the friendly Old Town Trolley men if they knew were it was. They informed me that, yes Cafe Pico is a great place to eat but it closed down recently. However, the owners also own Casa Guadalajara and all the Trolley men agreed that it was a very good restaurant.

So we walked there and was told that the wait for a table would be a few mins. We noticed a mostly empty bar so we sat there instead. Abby of course had to order the largest margarita on the menu:

Luckily, she wasn't driving later...

While we weren't exactly starving, we did order lunch. I got the Especial de Casa or something like that and Abby got the Carnitas tacos.

My plate contained a flat steak, two cheese enchiladas and tortillas. I definitely didn't need all this food. The enchiladas were respectable, but tasted like every other enchilada I've ever hard. The steak, while a little tough, had a lot of flavor and I was able to make my own fajitas out of it and the tortillas adding lettuce and beans and guacamole. Abby's tacos were the better menu choice. Large and very flavorfull, the carnitas perfectly cooked, these were good tacos.

The bartender, and I forget his name, was a pro. Friendly and in charge of every situation, including the drunk lady down the bar that was spilling bloody marys everywhere.

I give Casa Guadalajara a very strong 3 1/2 out of 5.

Casa Guadalajara on Urbanspoon

Brian's 24

A suggestion from the doorman at our hotel, Brian's 24 has a diner feel in a slightly trendy bar atmosphere. We beat the rush on Sunday morning by about 10 minutes, because after we sat down at the bar a line started to form at the front door. Brian's advertises that their hot cakes were the best ever and if you disagreed you can return them. Of course, even if they were the worst thing I've ever eaten, I probably wouldn't have the balls to return back the hotcakes. So I chose not to go for them, and instead for the biscuits and gravy breakfast. Abby got the hot cakes though.

This was a great, great breakfast. The biscuits were light and fluffy and the gravy was creamy and smooth with a nice sausage taste to it. My eggs were eggs and the home fries were home fries. The bacon was nicely cooked and not very greasy at all. Abby's hot cakes were fluffy and huge. They were also very very good. Not sure if it's the best I've ever had, but they were definitely in the top 5.

I wish Brian's 24 was in my neighborhood. This is a place I could go any time of the day. I give Brian's 24 a 4 out of 5.

Brian's 24 on Urbanspoon