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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Fork in the Road: La Dona (San Diego, CA)

The transportation through San Diego is so easy, there is absolutely no reason to not check out other areas of the city for food. We took the trolley from Seaport Village to Barrio Logan for some Mexican fare and was worth it. 

It's a ten minute ride from Seaport, then a 5 minute walk to the restaurant from the station.  Seated in our booth, we ordered a vast amount of goodies since the prices were economical (Tex-Mex is my favorite, but California Mexican will do just fine!).   It was Monday late morning, so I decided to go with a mix of breakfast and lunch items. 

Chips and salsa - the chips were thick, crunchy and lightly salted (clearly homemade)

Chili Colorado - hunks of fatty pork with rice & beans.  I enjoyed the tomato-based sauce together with the eggs & beans, but would have enjoyed more lean pork as opposed to just fattiness.

Beef Burrito with rice & beans - nice cuts of flank steak marinated with cilantro.  The guacamole can

I saved the best for last...

I've never been a fan of fish tacos...not sure why...until now! 

This was a powerful fish taco.  Thickly breaded fish, but not so much that the fish cannot be identified, mixed with a light mayo-vinegar cabbage salad in a corn tortilla.  I smile just thinking of it.

Husk-less Pork tamale (tamales were once as ubiquitous as the sandwich is today in the Inca Empire) - divine...soft corn and tasty meat.

If you want a taste of true California Mexican, try it here!  Then take the trolley 20 minutes south right to Tijuana for the real, real thing.

Please note the restaurant only takes CASH and is open M-F 7am-3pm
La Dona  1784 Newton Avenue b/t Beardsley and Sigsbee Streets  (619) 233-4939

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fatty Crab

Bro coming to town.  Check.
Plane arrives late.  Check.
Dinner late.  Check.

Fatty Crab is a stone's throw from my apartment and I was glad to announce this was where we'd be having 'dinner'.

The steamed pork buns, of course, had to be ordered.  Fatty Crab version has a touch of hoisin and shredded veggies and the fattiness to meat ratio is perfect (comparable to, and sometimes better than, Momofuku steamed buns :-0 I know....Blasphemy!)

On to the Short Rib Rendang with kaffir lime and gula jawa, which is a granulated palm sugar, served with pickled veggies.  Never have I had short rib like this.  I've had short rib on the bone, short rib ragu, chunks of braised short rib, but never looking like a perfectly cooked and sliced piece of Porterhouse steak.  I didn't pick up lime or any sweetness in the crust, but didn't care given the meat was exceptionally prepared.  The pickled carrots, radish and onion were a different touch and complimented the dish well.  Pricey at $26, but worth it.

Our waiter mentioned a 11pm-2am late night Happy Hour appetizer menu.  Good to know!

Fatty Crab  643 Hudson b/t Gansevoort & Horatio

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fork in the Road: Hash House (San Diego, CA)

I didn't know what to expect walking into Hash House, except that a good foodie friend had recommended it. The line was long and we arrived almost at closing time - two strikes. We put our names in, got a pager (big plus!) and made our way to the bar.

It was Sunday and had been a long 6 hour flight from New York, so the Bloody Mary was well-deserved. Typically, I never order Bloodies because of the heaviness and richness before a meal, and this one was no different. A meal in itself, but a delicious meal. Hash House uses farm fresh ingredients, so one would assume the tomato juice is fresh which makes the Bloody Mary experience entirely different. HH also had interesting twists with Bloody with BBQ sauce, tabasco and chicaronnes and a B.L.T with bacon!

The Champagne Super Nova was a refreshing, springtime cocktail (muddled fresh mint, pressed lemonade, white and sparkling wines)

While sipping on our cocktails, we take notice of the colossal plates passing by; and not just a dish or two, every single dish. It was like musical chairs with my eyes. Each dish had to be 12" long x 6" wide!

Finally, we are seated! I cannot wait to order, but I'm having a difficult time. This is almost like Shopsin's. The menu isn't as long, but you can't decide what you want. I'm looking at every one's table and thinking, "I want that". 

The Order:

Indiana Favorites:  Famous sausage gravy & buttermilk biscuits, 2 eggs and mashed potatoes

The photos don't even begin to do the portions justice.  The biscuits were the size of my hand (not my palm!) with a lump of mashed potatoes between the two, 2 fried eggs atop the mountain then smothered with sausage gravy.  This dish was definitely tasty, but born a Southerner, the biscuits were a touch dry for me and the gravy was too creamy.  However, had the gravy had more chunks of sausage, it would have cut the creaminess.
Consumption amount: Half a biscuit, half mashed potatoes, 1 egg

The Mothership of Brunch: Sage Fried Chicken tower with waffles and eggs
This dish is a force to be reckoned with!  I mean, just look at it!  Beautifully crisp fried chicken towered on top of four 3x3" waffles complete with leeks and tomatoes.  The ingredients are so fresh, it really does make the food taste better.

Bacon-infused Waffles!!!  WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!  Genius!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The waffles were soft with crispy slices of bacon infused, then doused with maple syrup...
It was perfect in every possible way, though the tomatoes and eggs could easily be forgotten.
Consumption amount:  Every single bite, mostly by someone else.  This takes food coma to a whole new level.
Keep in mind, they open early on weekdays and weekends (7:30am), but close at 2pm weekdays and 2:30pm weekends.

3628 5th Ave San Diego, CA