San Diego based food and restaurant review blog. Documenting all types of food, events, and recipes.

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Dennis and I traveled to Europe for the first time in May for our 5 year anniversary. Our trip was right before the summer tourist season began (which begins after Memorial Day) so the flights and hotels were more reasonably priced despite booking only a month before! We actually flew into Amsterdam first for one night then headed right to Paris the next day by train. In our post, we'll provide some tips for visiting Paris as well as the attractions and additional suggestions for exploring Paris in 3 days.

On the last Saturday of every month from 3-6 PM, ArcLight Cinemas will transform the ArcLight patio into a beer garden with local craft beers, small bites, and movie-themed giveaways. In addition to the tastings, attendees can purchase tickets to screenings of the most current anticipated films!

Along with a beer garden, ArcLight on Tap will be serving food samplings of ArcLight Cinema’s Café menu. Dishes include popcorn chicken, pork belly sliders, and more artisan food that is prepared fresh on site. Attendees must be over 21 years old and must provide proper identification to enter the event.

I attended in July for the second of the series (June 24th, July 29th, or August 26th). There's one more event left as of this post but ArcLight Cinemas may opt to extend the promotion past the summer.

Cafe 21 is a popular farm fresh and locally sourced restaurant with two great locations in San Diego. Their gracious menu also offers vegan options as well as wild, hormone, and free range meats to please everyone. We've visited the University Heights location a few times for lunch and dinner and rounded up our eats below!

Brunch visit

When I first heard of this restaurant, I only knew of it as a brunch spot. Finally, we found a free weekend to come in for a midday meal!

Monte Cristo - egg battered challah bread, roasted turkey breast, fontina cheese

This year, San Diego Comic Con was from July 19-23, 2017. SDCC tickets are notoriously difficult to get but the number of free activities outside the con have increased as well. Check out the available free activities as well as some highlights from my one day inside San Diego Comic Con 2017!

Free San Diego Comic Con Activities

Walking Dead exhibit! I don't do zombies but other people enjoyed this one.

Huge balloons from Cartoon Network! I recently started watching Thre Bare Bears and it's so amusing!

After a quick transformation period over three days, Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina opened in LIttle Italy, taking over the space previously occupied by the popular Bracero Cocina de Raiz. We were invited to check out the new brunch menu and immediately noticed one familiar item after another... especially the Albacore Two Ways. Our knowledgeable server James confirmed that the menu carried over many signature dishes from Bracero but also added in special dishes from Romesco in Bonita. We asked several staff about their favorites but with so many delicious options, not even they could agree on just one or two!

Sesame Seared Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi (9.95) - jalapeno, ponzu

The sashimi made the initial cut for appetizers. The thickly sliced tuna showcased fresh fish with a beautifully seared edge. We loved the texture of the sesame seeds along with the subtle jalapeño bite.

Despite being close to the border, I have never been to Mexico. This summer, I finally took the plunge for a foodie day trip led by Scott Koenig, frequent traveler and author of A Gringo in Mexico. After picking up two friends in Mission Valley, my assistant navigators directed me to to the last highway exit before Mexico. The border parking lot had cheaper rates on weekdays, only $8 instead of $15, for up to 12 hours, with payment secured by credit card. Scott picked us up there and away we went! The border gate delay was short going into Mexico, which mostly consisted of being asked purpose and length of time for our trip.

Tijuana was our first stop. Mariscos Ruben truck, one of the top 50 street vendors per Scott, had an extensive salsa bar with over 15 flavors to spice up your meal!

The Rail in the Hillcrest neighborhood recently added a weekend brunch between 10am-3pm, headed by two Vegas chefs, Chef Chad Brunette and Sous Chef John Hamaker. The restaurant is next to the long standing breakfast/brunch spot Crest Cafe but carves its own path with a creative spin on its brunch menu. The business (formerly known as The Brass Rail) underwent a huge remodel last December and looks fantastic. In the evenings, the space returns to the energetic nightclub vibe.

The bartenders can mix up fun weekend cocktails to accompany your meal. We didn't order our usual drinks this time but will partake in a future visit.

Shrimp & Grits ($12) | cheese grits served with tomato chutney, poached egg and grilled shrimp

This brunch item came out piping hot served in a mini glass jar.

After many years of using porcelain coated grates on my gas grill, I decided it was time for a replacement. I will be reviewing GrillGrates, which are made in the USA and advertised to provide even heat, completely eliminate flare-ups and never rust.

Old Grates Setup

My gas grill's porcelain coated grates were starting to chip and rust. Fortunately, I already own and have been using a set of GrillGrates that I had purchased alongside my Rec Tec Pellet Grill last summer. These grates allowed me to sear meats and skewers easily on my pellet grill and gave me plenty of fantastic results.