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2012-366 Day 95 – San Diego Vacation II (The Food)

If you know something about Jess and I when we go on vacation (or even just in our area), one of the things we like to do is try new food places. We have various sources, though mostly our favorites come from Yelp and Food Network destination shows. We covered all the bases this time around, even getting a good old-fashioned word of mouth recommendation.

Thursday Lunch – San Carlo Deli: We had an appointment at the DMV so I could renew my license before we kicked everything off, so we started with a local favorite. This one is right by our house and was discovered via Yelp. Although this was a little early, so you may call it brunch, in which case you could say that the corn dogs we had at Disneyland later that afternoon were lunch. We tried the Corn Dog Castle in California Adventure and it was okay, but I just feel that the Corn Dog bus in Disneyland proper to be better.

Thursday Dinner – Babbo’s Bar and Grille: How Jess found this one is beyond me, but it’s another Yelper (then again, how we found it was kind of crazy, since Google Navigation had us driving in circles and I just happened to see the temporary sign coming off a right turn). Apparently it had just opened in this new location around December after having been flooded out of an old location. Everything seemed very simple, from the decor, to the layout, to the atmosphere. Serves everything from crepes to burgers to Italian, which is what we were there for. I got the cheese stuffed ravioli, Jess got the spaghetti marinara. Both were quite good, although the surprise of the night was the garlic bread. Very blonde and unassuming, one bite revealed that the top was covered in a very fine coating of garlic powder, which made it quite potent and very delicious. This also happened to be the nicest restaurant we ate in all weekend (though that speaks more to our charming – and proud – lack of sophistication than the quality of any restaurant we visited).

Friday Breakfast – 2 Die for Sushi: Ha! Just kidding, we don’t do breakfast (actually mine was half a box of Hot Tamales, Jess had a bowl of cereal). I just wanted to point out that this restaurant does exist, and I have to think has one of the worst sushi restaurant names ever. Why remind your customers of their own mortality when eating uncooked fish? (I may be a little biased.)

Friday Lunch – Congo Kitchen, San Diego Wild Animal Park: Despite the presence of the always excellent Hebrew National hot dog in their chili cheese dog, sadly the rest of it was the same over-priced, over-processed theme park fare. Outside of the fact that we needed to eat SOMETHING since we spent most of the day at the park, nothing much to recommend here.

Friday Dinner – Pizzeria Luigi: Oh, my, goodness. Looking at their website, there appear to be two locations. We went to the Golden Hill spot, which seems to be the original. This is a Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives spot and, if past indications in the San Diego area – Hodad’s – are to be an indicator, it was going to be good. And it was good, despite them not having the pizza I wanted to try by the slice (The Capone). I had two slices of pepperoni, while Jess had a slice that featured basil and sun-dried tomatoes (not named on the menu) and ordered a Meatball Roll from the baked items section of the menu that would take fifteen minutes to be prepared. Jess declared the pizza the best she ever had due to its thin, crispy crust (I am more a traditional or pan crust person, but it was still quite good). We were debating going back for another slice each when IT arrived.

I’m going to start a new paragraph here merely out of respect for the Meatball Roll, lest it be too close to some of the lesser dining options from our trip (mainly looking at you here Congo Kitchen and Del Taco). The Roll is essentially a meatball pizza rolled up on itself and baked. With the ultra thin crust, this actually makes it quite manageable (about foot long sandwich sized). The flavor, however, exceeds all known bounds of the sandwich realm. The meatballs themselves are great, along with the excellent sauce and generous amounts of mozzarella cheese, but the true stroke of genius is the ricotta that is found in pockets throughout. Hitting those sweet patches spread throughout the rest of the savory treat was a revelation. Now pardon me while we move on and I wipe the drool off my keyboard.

Saturday Lunch – Habanero’s: Since we were down in San Diego for more than a couple of days, it would have been a crime not to see my best-friend-since-high-school Steve and his (relatively) new wife Hanka for a (too) brief visit. We decided on lunch (and not to subject Hanka to Hodad’s) and asked for Steve’s recommendation on a local eatery. Previous bouts of Italian versus Mexican had (obviously) been won by the Italian side, so when Steve suggested a local place called Habaneros that he said did Mexican well, we were sold. Upon arriving at the location, I was reminded of our favorite local Mexican place by campus (Senor Sol), which definitely doesn’t hurt the first impression. I got my standard testing dish for a Mexican restaurant, the bean and cheese burrito (Jess got the Chicken Enchiladas). What arrived was a good sized burrito with very good beans and cheese (could have used a bit more cheese though). At Steve’s behest I tried the salsa from the Salsa Bar and was not disappointed, it added a good flavor to the burrito. I could easily see the place making our regular rotation if we lived down there.

Saturday Dinner – Hodad’s: It is Hodad’s. If you haven’t heard about Hodad’s from us, you have not talked to us much. In an exciting update, however, Hodad’s now has a squirt bottle of BBQ sauce (Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce) on the table which turns the greatest Bacon Cheeseburger on the planet into the greatest BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger on the planet. Yes, my quest has ended (the quest for the ultimate BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger), though I will continue to try new ones, I shall never find an equal.

Sunday Lunch – Del Taco: What do you want? We were driving home and hitting some fun pockets of traffic, so when our first option fell through due to a too long wait, we punted and got some tacos and stuff to go.

Weight: 232.2 Loss: 7.8 lbs – Running Yearly Mileage: 81.7 miles
Fitocracy Level: 17 (32455 points, 2395 to next level) – ID: disciplev1
Soccer – Last Game: L, 6-9 (Record: 1-4) Next Game: 4/15 – 5:50 pm

Posted in Matt 2012-366, Matt General. Tagged with , , .

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