Category Archives: Eats

New Year’s Day Traditions

Every New Year’s Day, we eat a meal of black-eyed peas, leafy greens (usually spinach) and ham.   We eat black-eyed peas for humility.  We eat leafy greens for prosperity.  And we eat ham for progress.

This year we ate all of those and also a pineapple cake.  To some this is common practice, but to many others it is foreign. Cakes and other baked goods are commonly served from Christmas to New Year's around the world, with a special emphasis placed on round or ring-shaped items.

Well … we didn’t make it up. did a great job explaining the reason behind it all. Check it out here.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2011!  I’m thinking we’re in for a good one!!


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Filed under Cooking, Eats, Holidays, Tradition

Salad of the Moment: Scallops and Spinach Salad

This weekend I had a salad so delicious that it inspired me to start a new blog category – salad of the moment.

I don’t know if this is a type-A trait or just something that I do, but when I see/do/eat something I like, I watch/do/eat it over and over again until I get my fill.

The scallops and spinach salad at Romano’s Macaroni Grill is my new addiction and I plan to eat it as much as possible.

The salad is seared sea scallops with fresh spinach wilted and tossed with aged prosciutto, roasted garlic, fresh lemon and extra virgin olive oil.  It weighs in at a modest 330 calories, 4 grams of fat and 16 grams of carbs.

It is pure deliciousness.  One fair warning … this salad is garlic-laden so if you plan on going on a date or job interview, do not eat this salad until after.  You WILL smell like garlic. 

Buon Appetito.


Filed under Eats, Nutrition, Restaurants, Salad of the Moment

Gas Station Gourmet: Tabe BBQ

For the record, I never thought I was one to head to a gas station or a roach coach to pick up dinner.  However, it is fair to say that I am one of those people now.

Tabe BBQ's Only Physical Location: In a Gas Station Mini-Mart

My friend and food journalist extraordinaire Caron Golden of San Diego Food Stuff told me a few months back about an excellent PR pitch she got from the folks at Tabe (pronounced Tah-Bey) BBQ.  And then she went on to tell how it was different than most other food reviews she does because this “restaurant” was mobile in a truck.

Since then I’ve been watching the locals buzz about Tabe BBQ all over the internet and on San Diego morning news shows.  It is fair to say that I was intrigued.   

With geography on my side and a few spare minutes on my watch, last night I hit up Tabe’s only physical restaurant location (which happens to be at a gas station).

Tabe literally means “to eat” in Japanese.  The Tabe BBQ principles are Asian-inspired dishes with a classic Mexican flair … think TJ street tacos filled with teriyaki ginger chicken. 

Gas station schmas station, the food speaks for itself.  I ordered two chicken tacos and less than 24 hours later I am considering going back for two more.

Nothing Fancy; the Food Speaks for Itself.

The food is like something you’d get at a five-star, linen-table-cloth-lined, maitre’d-manned establishment.  I paid $6 (including tax) for my tacos, but anywhere else that meal could have easily gone for $30. 

I didn’t know what this Asian-Mexican fusion would be like, but it is what you’d image and then some. The ingredients were fresh, the flavors were complex and it is fair to say that the addictive side of my personality has been triggered. The menu is simple, but there is something for every taste.

Tabe BBQ’s physical location is in Kearny Mesa, but they send trucks daily all around the county to La Jolla, Hillcrest, Downtown, North Park, the College Area, Sorrento Valley and more. To find out exactly when they will be in your part of town, bookmark this site.

Believe you me, you’re gonna wanna check this out.  It is a gourmet food revolution on a poor man’s (or woman’s) dime.


Filed under Cooking, Eats, Restaurants, Travel

Wine Steals Cardiff

Over the past five years, Wine Steals has revolutionized the local wine bar scene.  I’ve been to the original in Hillcrest and the one at Liberty Station in Point Loma. Just this past week, we happened to drive past the one in Cardiff and had to stop the car and go in.

Unlike the coffee shop-esque Hillcrest location and the golf-course-view Point Loma location, this Cardiff Wine Steals is a cut above the rest.  The shopping center is beautiful and modern and this Wine Steals is much of the same.  It has an ocean view and a beautiful stone-laden modern space with plenty of room indoor and out.  It seemed like the place to be on a Friday night.

The principles of the Cardiff Wine Steals are the same as the others – affordable wines, a vast selection and a comfortable environment.  Seeing that I find the Wine Steals Margherita pizza to be the best pizza I’ve ever had – hands down – I had to try the pizza in Cardiff to be sure it didn’t waiver.  I’m happy to report it is just as good as the other two locations.

If you’re a North County dweller or happen to be in the area like we were, stop by.

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Filed under Drinks, Eats, Entertainment, Restaurants

St. Germain’s Cafe

My friend Stacey Ross, aka San Diego Bargain Mama, has been telling me all about Yappy Hour at St. Germain’s Cafe in downtown Encinitas.  Scott and I finally made it out there on Friday night.  The owner, Roy Salameh, has done a fantastic job creating a delicious menu and warm, inviting environment.

That is a real parrot on the singer's shoulder

Their weekly Yappy Hours are open to humans and animals of all kinds – birds, dogs … whatever – and proceeds from the Yappy Hours go to the Rancho Coastal Humane Society.   They have live music played by Endangered Speciez … quite an appropriate name for the event, but Roy told me it was just a coincidence.

Scott ordered a California chicken sandwich that came with sweet potato fries;

California chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries.

I had the Mediterranean platter that boasted the owner’s family recipe of homemade humus.  Both meals were delicious.

St. Germain’s is open for breakfast and lunch daily; and for dinner during Yappy Hour a few days a week.

My dinner ... Yum!

The restaurant is looking to open seven days a week for dinner soon.  Definitely check it out.


Filed under Animals, Drinks, Eats, Entertainment, Restaurants

Sushi Deli 3

I have enjoyed a 4×4 at Sushi Deli 1 and Sushi Deli 2, but not at Sushi Deli 3 – until today. A 4×4 has nothing to do with a truck or picture frame, it is simply four pieces of four different sushi rolls (for only $7.99). 

While I usually order the 4×4 at the Sushi Delis, the menu is extensive and the food is all really good and fresh.

4x4: Rainbow, Caterpillar, Spicy Tuna and Crunchy Rolls

Sushi Deli 3 is in Kearney Mesa and despite the typically un-hip nature of the area,  I’m pretty sure it is the hippest of all in the franchise.  Sushi Deli 3 has a nice patio, a unique sign, cool art on the red walls and trendy music playing in the background. 

It lives off the beaten path on Armour Drive between  Mercury Road and Convoy Street.

The Only Way You Know it is There is by the Sign in the Air.

Sushi Deli 3’s nearly invisible location has clearly done it no detriment because come lunchtime the place fills up and has a line out the door. 

I’ve never been there for dinner, but they boast many great happy hour specials and a full menu in the evenings.


Filed under Drinks, Eats, Restaurants

Gotta Love Americana

What’s not to love about Americana – football, Applebee’s, rock n’ roll?  Because of this love, we opted to have lunch at the Americana Cafe in Del Mar. 

This little cafe has long intrigued me, as for the past three years we have walked through its patio on the Breast Cancer 3 Day route.  Patrons would sit on the patio with their dogs and cheer us on. 

Rather than walking through, this time we stopped in to sit and eat.  We had the dogs with us, so we sat on the patio where other patrons were very keen to having four-legged friends in the mix. 

Scott, a self-proclaimed chicken salad connoisseur, had the chicken salad sandwich and was quite pleased.  I had the salmon on a bed of spinach.  It was cooked perfectly – slightly rare on the inside with a natural crust on the outside. 

The staff was friendly and the ambiance – inside and out – was charming.  They serve breakfast until 3 p.m. and have an excellent three-course prix fix menu  at dinner time for $30 per person five days a week that comes with a glass of wine.


Filed under Animals, Drinks, Eats, Restaurants