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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

San Diego Eats In Pictures

While in San Diego, we were in search of some really good food. I employed my timeshare concierge as well as my Uber and Lyft drivers to help us find it. We did a pretty decent job of it, too.

Here are some of the best foods we had while we were in between sightseeing:

Shrimp and krab enchiladas with spicy crema sauce

I had seen a restaurant really close to our home base and decided to try it based on the name. Jimmy Carter's Mexican Cafe? How could one resist. It has absolutely nothing to do with the president, and everything to do with yummy Mexican food. Our concierge recommended their cucumber margarita and, since we were literally across the street, I decided to go for it. The wait staff were super friendly and we weren't starving, so we split a plate of enchiladas and all that stuff on the plate, and a bowl of chips with two dips. 

Number one: if you're looking for a refreshing drink, this margarita is your best friend. It's delicious. Number two: Even if you aren't that hungry, you'll wish you had these enchiladas all for yourself. It's probably the best enchiladas I've ever eaten. Like eat them every day good.

Pan-fried catfish 

I, honestly, can't pass up a good catfish, even with fried chicken on the menu! I know this plate doesn't look that appetizing, but we were in a diner (Crest Cafe) and really wasn't expecting too much beyond burgers. The presentation wasn't perfect, but the fish was awesome, as were the scalloped potatoes and veggies. Then, the star of the show: 

Chocolate croissant breadpudding

The dish this came in was huge, and I totally thought it was someone's dinner when I saw it in the food window. This bread pudding was outstanding, and we even went to a dessert place that people raved about that wasn't as good, and cost twice as much. If you like bread pudding, this is a must-visit...but make sure to try the food as well. Crest Cafe was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, which I didn't know until we were leaving. 

Cappuccino cake

Have you ever been to a sit-down restaurant at a zoo? I haven't, but San Diego Zoo is pretty fancy, so it's not really a surprise they have a fancy place to eat in the middle of the park. At Albert's, I basically ordered a salad with shrimp on top, which was very good, but I saved my calories for dessert it seems. The waiter didn't seem to think this cake sounded that exciting and was surprised when I was like "yes! bring me that!" It was light, chocolaty, and just the right hint of coffee. Yum.  

House-made veggie burger

By now you know I'm not a vegetarian, but I like to get my veggies in where I can. We spent a lot of time in Balboa Park and, while there are a lot of places to eat, there aren't a lot of truly interesting options. Prado is on the more upscale side, but worth it to spend a few dollars more to get something tasty and unique. Eric ordered a chicken sandwich, but I was intrigued by this homemade veggie burger. Aside from being a bit dry, which would have been helped with a layer of hummus (which comes with chips instead of bread and butter), it was pretty good and beyond better than any other non-Boca Burger I've ever had out. It came with a heap of fries that were crispy perfection. 

We took half our food to go at Prado so we could indulge in this Tres Leches Cake. It had caramelized bananas baked right in and a layer of pistachio meringue on the bottom. It was phenomenal. The least appetizing thing on the plate was the ice cream. Ice cream! We didn't take any of this to go, because we demolished it.

Short rib pappardelle

I love a good short rib. Probably because it's so fantastic being cooked in all that fat. Either way, I was nomming on this big bowl of pasta and meat served at Two Seven Eight. It came with that side of kim chee you see. Normally, I don't do kim chee, but I didn't hate it. Eric, on the other hand, who does enjoy kim chee, didn't find it had enough bite for him. So, take that how you will. He ordered the goat cheese burger, because all of that sounded really good, and he said it was. 

I wouldn't come here if you're in a hurry. This is a great place to sit on the patio and just relax while enjoying a beverage. I flipped through the drink menu and saw that they served moonshine. I know it's had a bit of a revival lately, so I asked about it. The owner came out to give me a tasting, so I could decide what to order. If you want to put hair on your chest, Devil's Cut is the way to go. It's S.T.R.O.N.G. I passed on a whole glass of that for the smoother Kalifornia brand. The owners actually know the moonshiners and the son is the first in his family to actually make moonshine legally. They are local and they definitely know what they're doing. If you want something a bit different, bottoms up!

Happy Hour shared plates 

We absolutely had to hit up a restaurant in Little Italy. We wandered India Street in search of a suitable dining option with a good happy hour and settled on Davanti. It was a good choice, since their whole happy hour menu looked fantastic. Above is my favorite, the ricotta vasi. It's basically ricotta with lemon and olive oil, served with tasted baguette and a cube of honeycomb. The honey brings it all together and it's just soooooooooo good. Like, make a meal of it good. We took our leftovers home and had it for breakfast.

The second best pick was polpette ripiene di mozzarella al forno, basically meatballs stuffed with mozzarella, in a red sauce and topped with all the parmesan cheese on earth. If you like meatballs, you can't go wrong with this.

Do you like peppers? I'm not sure why I thought these would be stuffed, but they were only stuffed with their own seeds, giving them a kick of heat. Peperone al forno are roasted pedron peppers with cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of cheese (because Italian). We were wimps when it came to these and only ate about a quarter of the pan, but, to be fair, that pan was a lot larger than expected. I do wish we had also ordered the calamari, but we didn't, so I guess that's a goal for our next trip to San Diego. 

 What's the best thing you've eaten out lately?

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