85C Bakery Cafe just opened a location in San Diego, to the delight of many locals who previously drove to Irvine or farther for the goods. The bakery's grand opening was Friday Nov. 14, 2014 which includes specials throughout this weekend (today and tomorrow).
buy any drink, get a free green tea drink coupon for next visit
buy $20 worth and get a free mug (while supplies last)
The night before, there was a "preview" between 6-8pm. Here the owners, managers, and staff were introduced, pretty much everyone who made this bakery possible! *applause applause*. I only found out last minute through facebook from a friend who was suddenly 'invited.' I drove over curious if I could get in too and it worked! Attendees had at least one 'ticket', which was good for their choice of a free baked good, cake or drink. My friend who had an invite got FOUR. Me, only one ticket.
The bakery items were on the right side of the bakery, in clear bins. Trays, liners, and tongs are available for shoppers to pick the items of their choice.
I wandered through the bakery area and picked up this Tomato Cheese Pastry (2.00?). Delicious. You really can't go wrong with multi cheese blend over roma tomato and flakey pastry. I especially like the garlicky topping.
A couple months ago, my nephew flew into San Diego for comicon. He wanted to grab some food nearby so we headed to Underbelly Ramen House in Little Italy. The restaurant is on the smaller side indoors with a counter area where you order, surrounded by a few tables. They've also got additional seating in the open window bar seating and some tables on the other side of the restaurant. You have to go back out and around after ordering to get there. We also got these metal plates with your order number stamped out.
We started out with the Pork Belly Buns. This was my half out of two pieces. It is a nice tasty chunk of meat and accented with pickled cucumbers and fresh greens. They use a ginger hoisin mayo which gives it a little sweeter flavor. These come on steamed buns that are thick enough to hold the rest of ingredients like pita bread.
Birthdays are awesome times to see old friends and it's even better when two friends celebrate together! Two birds with one stone baby! These two ladies picked brunch at Sea & Smoke in Del Mar. I'd heard mentions on local food blogs (kirbie, jinxi, mary) so I was excited to see what they had to offer!
The entrance is on the side, facing away from the street.
The hostess area has a view into their kitchens! Logo'ed glass!
Here's one side of the dining area. We sat in a private back corner that had these cool shadow portraits. There's a whole another section to the left of the hostess stand that is more of a bar environment, including a patio area perfect for happy hour.
The glassware for water is so cool here. It made everyone think of soda cans because of the curve on top!
Dennis and I took a much needed vacation in October and began with camping in Grand Canyon National Park. Yep, actual tents outdoors for that real camp feel! We were a tad jealous of the RVs though as temperatures dropped to the 30's. I was imagining glorious campfire food like on previous trips (with experienced campers) but ended up grabbing food last minute since it was just us beginners. This provided a dinner of canned soup and ramen heated with a jet boil. The next day was breakfast spam plus tuna sandwiches packed for lunch.
We headed to the Kaibab Trail, choosing the 3 mile roundtrip hike to Cedar Ridge checkpoint and back. There was gorgeous scenery everywhere.
This is a view at the beginning of Kaibab Trail, only a tiny fraction of the path. After a day of hiking and exploring, we decided canned soup wouldn't cut it for dinner. We needed REAL food!
Food choices were limited in the park so we went with casual dining at Bright Angel Restaurant (rather than upscale El Tovar and the village food court). For dinner, there was a small wait, approx. 15-25 minutes. Many international students work here part time and our waitress Jean was originally from Vietnam. She was very attentive and friendly
For an appetizer, we ordered the Smoked Trout Spread (7.75), which was served with carrots, red bell peppers, and pita bread.
When I was younger, I used to do occasional artsy stuff for myself or friends. Then after getting a job with income, I kind of got lazy and started buying things instead. This year my workplace had a pumpkin carving contest including money prizes and suddenly I had some motivation. Time to get crafty!
I turned to my trusty google images search to look for NO CARVE pumpkin ideas. THIS is what I ended up creating:
It's Cinderella's pumpkin carriage including mice (pre-transformation)!
We’ve been digging the latin food these days, especially after events like Latin Food Festival and Taste of Old Town. Lucky for us, we were recently invited to try out mexican food at Café Coyote in Old Town San Diego. How could we say no?
Tourists love Old Town in the summer and during holidays but crowds do seem to clear up a bit when the weather cools. We found street parking on San Diego Ave 1 block south of the restaurant.
I was surprised to see such a long line at 6pm on a Sunday, but it moved fairly quick. The restaurant itself is gigantic, like a shopping plaza with multiple sections including upstairs seating, patio area, and dining on both sides. It could fit 900+ people at once. Wow.
Right outside the restaurant, you can see fresh tortillas being made. With a full house of diners, you know they are making thousands each day.
After getting seated, complimentary chips and salsa were brought out. Dennis decided to add Guacamole ($8.95). These are made fresh daily with Hass avocados and traditional ingredients and served in a fried tortilla bowl. Portion size was decent for two people. The guac itself was not fully whipped and had chunks of natural avocado. I think a tiny bit more lime would have made it perfect. I recommend eating with fresh hot chips. Request new ones if they aren't! Besides that, the standard appetizer salsa set off my "spicy" senses but it was still manageable.
Apparently October is "Taste of <SD area>" month. There's Taste of Downtown (Oct. 2) and North Park (Oct. 11) plus some new ones we hadn't heard of: Mission Hills (Oct. 14), Bankers Hill (Oct. 22), and Point Loma (Oct. 23). These events are a great way to sample and discover new restaurants in various neighborhoods. OSY was able to attend three of the above but our stomachs wish the events were more spread out, especially after Vegas last week where Dennis insisted we try 2+ buffets!
Anyway, this year's Taste of Downtown was on a Thursday from 5-9pm. Yep, FOUR hours to roam around downtown with bellies to fill. So what did we find this year?
First stop was Union Kitchen & Tap which had Farmhouse Meatballs made from Brandt ground beef and ground pork. The lighter Italian and parmesan flavor was delicious and an excellent start to our tasting adventure!
Across the street was Rocking Baja which sounded familiar. I realized we sampled its sister restaurant at Taste of Old Town! I enjoyed the bright flavor of the toppings and crispy battered fish of the taco though the side shrimp was just alright. The crusty garlic bread was beautifully done.
Fun prop alert! I thought the hilarious face was better than the brownie at Dick's Last Resort. Too much Hershey's chocolate made the dessert taste like sugary frosting.
At The Field, they served Guiness beef stew. The consistency is a little thinner than I prefer but our favorite part was soaking the earthy nutty bread!
I was shopping at UTC mall when Dennis called to ask about that night's dinner plans. Since there were multiple restaurants where I was, I decided we should try out Corner Bakery Cafe. It's part of a chain with about 170 locations nationwide including at least three in the San Diego area. Besides sandwiches and salads, they also have fresh baked bread for sale that you pass on the way to the register.
I really wanted a panini that day. The Chicken Pomodori had ingredients that I love so that's what I ordered.