Today was the first day of San Diego Burger Week with $5 burgers! Using the handy burger week spreadsheet I made, we had four lunch options in downtown for a Friday. Burger Lounge was one of them but since there were multiple locations, I wanted to try something new in the area. We first stopped by Saltbox to try their ground lamb burger. Normally their burger is around $15 but unfortunately they weren't ready with ingredients yet until the afternoon! Fail. Since Henry's Pub had two different burger options, we walked four blocks down instead.
I received an email from Roy's Restaurant promoting an all night $6 happy hour menu for president's day so I decided to revisit. After a quick call to confirm they hadn't run out of food, I headed out to meet Dennis there. Once inside, I marveled at the newly expanded bar area at the front. There was a turquoise blue overcast and hanging lights that made me think of a starlit night. There were a couple of high bar tables, all occupied, plus a few seats at the bar itself, where Dennis was waiting for me.
Dennis started out with a drink: Rye Me A River. This contained Templeton Rye Whiskey and a few other ingredients and he happily sipped on it while we looked over the happy hour menu.
One of our favorite restaurants in Mira Mesa is Loving Hut, part of a chain that has one other San Diego location (off El Cajon Blvd) and a few other cities. It also happens to be a vegan restaurant that we, as non-vegans, still eat at least every other month. It's just that good to us. We haven't tried everything yet but we could certainly recommend a few things to try!
We almost always order the Spicy Cha Cha (large). You also get a choice of regular rice or brown rice, of which we pick the latter. It's got an excellent panko-like crisp to it, a very shrimp-like taste and texture, and there's a spicy kick to it.
My friend M.P. decided to visit me for lunch today and suggested we eat at Acme Southern Kitchen in downtown. She said it was a new restaurant and had some good reviews on yelp. I was pretty excited to try this out as it wasn't too far from where I work and I've been craving for something fried.
Yakitori Yakyudori & Ramen is where I go for yakitori and ramen together. When they are cooking up the skewers, a heavenly smell of searing meat fills the dining area and makes me impatient for our food!
We attended the Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014, also known as "For the Love of Chocolate". This was the first time we had ever heard of this event so we were definitely excited to check it out! The event was on Saturday February 8th 2014 from 1 to 5pm in downtown Escondido, which had the easiest parking of any event we've gone to (multiple free lots and street parking). Tickets were $20 for designated driver (no alcohol) and $35 including alcohol if you purchased before the event and an extra $10 on the day of. There were 25 participating locations, a mix of restaurants and businesses hosting the chocolate-inspired treats, wine and beer. Just about every location was on Grand Avenue so we pretty much followed the map in order. After grabbing our event tickets and alcohol wristbands, we were ready to go.
Coco Savvy Chocolates - (clockwise starting at top left) White Chocolate with Lemon Basil, Milk Chocolate with Viola and Orange Zest, Dark Chocolate with Sweet Basil, White Chocolate with Pistachio and Rose Petal, Dark Chocolate with Viola and Merlot Infused Sea Salt, Milk Chocolate with Opal Basil. Each flavor was sampled at a different location. These were all fabulous but the sweet crystallized petals and burst of basil leaves made them stand out over other chocolates...
A new Filipino fast food/casual restaurant called Carin de Ria opened in Escondido a little over two months ago. I am practically a newbie when it comes to Filipino food so before we headed there, I asked my trusty Filipino coworker for recommendations! Lumpia, pancit and adobo... sounds like a plan to me!
We easily found the restaurant in the middle of a small business plaza right off the Via Rancho Parkway exit from the 15 and took a seat inside. The restaurant fit approximately 3-4 tables on each side but did have a stream of customers doing pickup or to-go orders. I had to know what made this Filipino restaurant special so the owner Archie informed us that all food was made fresh to order and without MSG! There are also a couple of gluten free and vegetarian options, which helps cater to a bigger crowd (always good for a restaurant)...
The Classic Lumpia ($3) were probably the best lumpia we've tasted so far...
We went to Bali Hai for restaurant week and there were options galore on their pre-fixe dinner menu! Due to our group size, we were also able to try out many of the items on the menu! There were 6 appetizers, 8 entrees, and 3 desserts to choose from (compared to most places with about half the selection)! The cost is $35/person for dinner.
I thought the decor was very beautiful inside and I liked the candles on the table. There was also a lovely view outside the windows of the restaurant since it was right by the ocean.
So I've heard positive things about Starlite San Diego before and it was even suggested for my bachelorette party 2 years ago. I think the downside is the parking because there are huge hilly roads nearby (scary for parking), a one-way street, and a long drive if you have to circle around. Yea, we ended up circling around because we didn't find parking that was less than 0.5 mile away... and uphill too! Luckily, on our second go, someone was just leaving and we scored restaurant parking on the side! We turned the corner and walked about 20 feet before I turned left toward the dark entrance. Dennis was about to pass it up because he didn't even see the doors! The waitress seated us and we began browsing the menu...