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March 01, 2008

Encinitas Yarn Crawl

 

We are lucky to have three local yarn stores in Encinitas/Solana Beach. Black Sheep, Common Threads and Knitting by the Beach.

 

St Tropez in the Encinitas Lumberyard is a great place to go before or after shopping. ~900 block of Hwy101 (Closer to Black Sheep than Common Threads)

 

 

            This is my favorite bakery/bistro in Encinitas. I lived in Santa Cruz for 7 years and I was spoiled there with high quality bakeries…Gail’s, Rebecca’s, Kelly’s, Beckmans, The Buttery and Emily’s. Ok, I digress, back to St Tropez. The have excellent croissants ($2.10), flaky not dry and not too buttery. The almond croissants ($2.45) are just above average and sometimes way too dry. Other tasty treats are the Custard Brioche and strawberry éclair (these tend to sell out early in the day).  Hungrier for something more substantial? For breakfast they have egg and omelet dishes (~$7). Since I’m not an egg eater I can’t comment on those dishes but I do know that my husband has ordered the ratatouille omelet more than once and that the rosemary roasted potatoes are excellent. Sometimes I get a grilled panini. I like the Monaco or the St Tropez panini. These are big enough to share and come with a small salad. They have a full menu of salads. I particularly like the goat cheese salad. Finally the best thing about St Tropez is the large patio for people watching, paper reading and or course knitting. St Tropez does not serve espresso due to limitations in their lease by Starbucks. If you like Starbucks though, it's is next door.

February 08, 2008

Teri Cafe

Restaurant Review Friday: Ok, the last two restaurants were on the pricey side. Normally we eat at much more affordable places. One of them is Teri Cafe, a hawaiian japanese place. Everything is excellent, well I guess I didn't like the mackerel. My favorites are Chicken Curry Fried Rice ($5.95), Chicken Yakisoba ($5.95), Teriyaki chicken mini bowl ($3.75). My husband usually orders a plate meal ($6.95-$8.95). These are huge. For example the katsu don plate has a huge breaded pork cutlet on a bed of rice. On the side is a simple salad with ginger dressing and a scoop of potato mac salad. Ok I'm not a big fan of an iceberg salad and anything with mayonaise on it, but I like the dishes I usually order and the salad is refreshing. This is the kind of place that you walk up to order, get a number and the server brings your food to the table. Very Casual. There are three locations in the San Diego Area. The newest one is in Vista by Performance Bicycles and TJMaxx and for us makes a good destination for lunch if we need something for the bikes. Lastly, Teri Cafe makes all its own Japanese noodles ranging from ramen, soba, somen, and udon. That alone is a reason just to go and try out this restaurant.

January 11, 2008

Dream Restaurant

Last year I went on a business trip to visit a contract lab in Berkely, CA and I was able to eat at my dream restaurant, Chez Panisse Cafe...on my own dime, but still I was able to go. Chez Pannise opened in 1971 by Alice Waters and a large group of others. I have wanted to go here for about 15 years, but never had the cash to spend. I shouldn't have waited so long. I was so close to eating there earlier in the year when we went up to Berkeley for a wedding. We would have had to wait a little over an hour to get a table for lunch and we had just drove up from So Cal and wanted to get to the hotel. We should have tried the Cheese Board across the street.

The meal was delicious. The menu changes daily I think. I went for lunch, skipped a starter and ordered local albacore tuna roasted in the wood oven with long-cooked romano beans and cherry tomatoes $18  and a glass of house red wine and at the same time before I could back out I ordered dessert, peach, nectarine and blackberry crisp with nayau ice cream $9.50. If I had picked a starter I would have picked Baked Sonoma goat cheese with garden lettuces $9.50 or Cannard Farm pepper bisque $7.50. The day that I went the fixed menu for lunch was garden lettuce salad, spaghetti with shellbeans, hot tomato and ricotta salata and figs, grapes and pear for dessert. $27.00

Physical Space ++, wood floors, mirrors, second floor open windows with a tree outside made it feel like a tree house.

Comfort - Bench seat not too comfy

Main Dish + the tuna was good plus but not excellent. seasoned lightly but I can't remember with what.

Wine +

Dessert++++ the best flavor I've ever tasted. I ate all of it. Devine.

I would eat here again and go out of my way to do so.

 

 

December 22, 2007

Green Flash

George's at the Cove in La Jolla was the first place that I saw the green flash. This is a light phenomenon that occurs just after the last part of the sun disappears from the horizon. It was a very hot day and clear clear clear. The traffic going north was backed up because of a cement truck turnover on I-5 and we decided to eat in La Jolla after work. While we were waiting for a table in the upstairs bistro we saw the sunset and the green flash. We didn't end up eating there that night. Last night my in-laws babysat and my husband I went to dine at the downstairs newly remodeled fine dining restaurant. Here's my review:

 

  • Architecture/decorating: ++ extremely modern
  • Table assignment: ++ocean view
  • Cocktails: -- too sweet margaritas
  • Bread: ++ I like my bread plain so was not bothered by the hard plain unsalted butter with optional seasoned sea salt.
  • Soup: sweet potato with ginger curry coconut crème, yum ++ Minestrone with super high quality chino farm veggies -- Tasted like one too many cubes of bullion were added and then not cooked enough (they gave us a refund)
  • Entree: Scottish Salmon Fillet and belly with lentils and diced veggies and chino farms cauliflower + Ingredients were prepared very plain with sauces in dollops on the side. Cooked to perfection however I think the chief should have done the seasoning because we are paying for his experience and taste. Duck with gnocchi +- duck was tough and with not a lot of flavor. We expected to get a tender marinated selection of duck.
  • Wine: +++ 2005 Brandborg Umpqua Valley, Pinot Noir by the glass from Oregon. The best I have tasted. I want to buy this to drink at home.
  • Dessert: + We almost didn't order this and if it hadn't been a bday dinner we would have skipped. The menu descriptions were vague and lacking. Their most popular dessert is a chocolate tart with peanut butter crunch etc. Except when I asked the waiter he said it wasn't really a tart but more of a cake. ??? We got the pot du crème with Kuhlua and donut holes. You were supposed to dunk the donut holes in the Kuhlua. It was better than expected but I would have preferred an Extraordinary Dessert