Reviews

While searching for brunch in Sonoma a while back, we found a place called the Fremont Diner. It was a little outside of the main Sonoma area so we headed out from our lodging. We somehow completely passed the place while driving. I think it was because the sign outdoors only said DINER or something. Or maybe we were just looking on the wrong side of the road for it!

Once seated, I ordered the chicken and waffles dish. We opted in for the bacon and green onion for an extra $2. It was soooo not your typical boring waffle and was good to the last bite! The chicken pieces were breaded and juicy underneath. I could hardly finish my plate because the portions were very generous!

I got lucky and won a pair of tickets to College Area Taste from the SD food blog This Tasty Life. We also bumped into Mary herself (and Jake) at the ticket pickup and joined their posse for a few hours! Awesome!

For a while I thought this was Taste of College Area, similar to the other San Diego annual taste of x events, but it's actually called College Area Taste! Sneaky! Anyway, it is a food sampling trek and was held on Sunday April 13, 2014 between 11-3pm near San Diego State University (SDSU). Tickets are normally $25 pre-sale and $30 the day of. Will-call was located outside of the College Area BID Office (4704 College Ave) and was very quick. About half of the locations were right around the corner from the pickup location.

We started out at the Living Room Coffeehouse...

We did some wine tasting in Sonoma Wine Country a while back and had asked several folks if they could recommend a place for dinner. One of the most common responses was The Girl and the Fig.

I tried to make a same-day reservation but the restaurant was booked solid. We decided to try our luck with an early dinner walk-in around 5pm which worked out perfectly. We were seated next to the window and had a nice view of the passerby's. I loved that they had the paper tablecloths which you could doodle on! The walls also had multiple paintings of a woman, usually holding a fig but FYI her breasts were exposed, though in an artistic way.

Some very tasty appetizer bread and an olive platter (with 2-3 different types of olives) were brought to our table complimentary! What a great start! I am not into olives because they are too salty but Dennis really enjoyed sampling multiple types. The least salty ones were the dark red-purple olives...

I saw a friend post a facebook link about Ramen Yokocho Fest 2014 and I immediately knew Dennis would want to go! He is, after all, the ramen expert of our household! Not to mention, we'd also get to check out ramen from JAPAN and some new places we have never tried!

This year it was held at the Santa Anita racetrack which I believe is a larger location than the previous year. Parking was $4 per vehicle and admission was $5 a person (free for persons under 17). The festival hours were 11pm to 6pm on March 29 and 30, 2014. We went the second day on Sunday.

After you pay admission at the gate, you walk into the main building, then through a long underground tunnel leading to the middle area of the racetracks! Post tunnel, you must first buy your meal tickets from the booths. Each bowl of ramen was $8 and each drink was $2 (except beer) and it was prepaid and cash only. We got into the ticket line right at 11am opening time and the ticket wait was less than 10 minutes. Our two friends bought three each. Dennis initially thought we could share 6 bowls over the course of several hours as well, but I wasn't so sure. I had him buy 5 tickets to start...

We first heard of Eclipse Chocolate from their booth at the Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014. The coupons they passed out tempted me to try them. Then, Faye of Faye's Fork pointed out a better offer through Travelzoo (2 tasting trios, 2 drinks, and $20 worth of chocolate for $39) which sealed the deal. We picked a date night and drove down to South Park, which we don't visit too often. I especially love how my GPS took us down all the narrow side streets instead of a main road like 30th street. Guess it was all part of the fun of exploring a new neighborhood! Once there, we easily found parking right across the street. There were two women working that night and after waiting a bit, one of them seated us.

Each trio came with one main and two other choices. You can pick two from any of the three other categories (sides, soup & salad, or dessert). We ordered drinks first while looking through the menu.

10 days to dine and multiple burgers later, I think I've gotten a pretty good taste of San Diego Burger Week! After I heard about it on twitter from Mary (This Tasty Life), I got to work right away figuring out where I should go into a detailed spreadsheet. So many options and most were new places for me! I even thought about burger hopping, with food map and everything!

This is my North Park map, centered around the intersection of University and 30th St! The whole trek is only a mile, but I didn't think we could hit that many places in one night!

And now it begins... the rundown of our burger tasting adventure (sequential order).

I admit I don't eat Italian food too often, due to the rich creamy sauces and cheese that accompany it BUT Mangia Mangia is worth it! This business was originally just a food truck, but a very darn good one at that! My favorite item was their Mangia Burger! They still have the food truck traveling around town all week but I'm oh so happy that they have a permanent deli location off Clairemont Mesa Blvd. The downside is that it's only open for weekday lunch! Luckily for me, I work nearby!

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.