Food Adventure Collage.

carnitas snack shack. c-level. world famous. woodstocks. terra american bistro. buddies. corbins. casey's cupcakes. mandarin beijing. nazca grill. eiffel tower restaurant. gordan ramsay burgr. in-n-out. bankers hill bar and grill. los primos. bistro sixty. ruth's chris.


... to a place I like to call my very own. *waving hello*

I invite you to enjoy reading about the food adventures that I have with friends, family, and colleagues.

I adore food and I cannot just choose one particular food that is my fave.

Food is really is my favorite. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pieology Pizzeria - Clairemont

I have not heard about Pieology Pizzeria until my hubby's staff member brought a pie over to work one evening.  He was so excited to tell me about it, mainly because I'm the food person and he was sharing new food news with me, haha.  One weekend, we decided to take a drive over to the Clairemont location right when it opened at 11:00am.  

Think of Chipotle Mexican Grill and then picture pizza with the same exact concept... starting off with a fresh "canvas" and building your dish how you want it.  I did not have a chance to stop and snap shots of all the toppings they had because we had to keep the line a-moving. A LONG line formed behind us. We were just in time for the lunch rush!

Here's how the process goes.... ok, if you choose to "Create Your Own", it is a flat cost of $7.50 with all the toppings you want!

They flatten out your fresh dough and then ask you, in this order, what you would like as you go down the line:
  • Sauces:  Herb Butter, Olive Oil, or Red Sauce
  • Cheeses:  Mozzarella, Ricotta, Parmesan, or Gorgonzola
  • Toppings:  Everything you can think of... refer to their menu for the full list
  • After Bakes:  Roasted Red Peppers, Black Pepper, Olive Oil, Buffalo Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Dollops of Red Sauce
TIP:  The best time to ask for the "After Bakes" is before they put your pizza in the oven.  The line keeps moving after your pizza is baking, so you pay and get a number, and wait.., therefore you will not have a chance to let them know about your 'after bake' topping.

As we waited, I noticed that their walls are covered with quotes.  As we looked around more we noticed that their decor looks a lot like Chipotle's, including the font of their logo. 

Here is M's very first Pieology pizza creation ($7.50):  mozzarella, spicy buffalo chicken, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and fresh basil on herb butter/red sauce.  It was delicious, but the chicken was very spicy!

Here's mine and J's.  Cheese pizza is his favorite, so I ordered one half with just red sauce and mozzarella, and the other half with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, onions, mushrooms and jalapenos
for me.  I think I went a little 'topping happy' this first time around!

I didn't think it through and the toppings really outweighed the crispy, thin crust.  Also, it didn't even look like the toppings cooked either!  Still, the pizza was yummy and I ate every bite.  I vowed to be simpler next time.

Here is a shot of how thin the crust is.  I love thin crust pizza, so this place is already a plus on my end.  

For our second trip as a family, J fell asleep in the car and we were *starving* so M went in and ordered two pizzas to-go.

Here's his masterpiece.... herb butter, red sauce, pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, spicy chicken, onions, fresh basil, and the buffalo sauce "after bake".  Yum!

Here's a close up.  Gosh, I'm drooling right now.  I think we'll go tomorrow....

I split with my pizza with J again... gosh, looking at it from this angle, I can't believe they left 'more' than half of it untouched without toppings.  Geeeeez.  J never eats the entire half of it (so, of course... I end up eating some of his cheese slices).  Wouldn't it be funny if I asked for toppings on 3/4 of it?  They would be so mad, haha.  I would never do it though.

Anyway, regardless... it was amazing and it was better this time around because I asked for less toppings:  herb butter and red sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, bacon (a MUST), onions and mushrooms.  The crust was crispier and it is also a must to add the herb butter with the red sauce.

I absolutely love this place.  I always said that pizza is not a meal and is considered a snack, but having Pieology changed my mind.  I CRAVE pizza from here and I am addicted.

5575 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA 92111

Thursday, May 22, 2014

CASTING CALL Announcement for New Food Docu-Series!

Hi fellow foodies!

Just wanted to take a moment to let you know that the producers of 'Man vs. Food' are looking for "foodies" who have a passion for cooking.  They are looking for big personalities with a huge love of food who want to travel the country while entering food competitions that show off your skills.  Hmmmm... Travel Channel show, perhaps?  Exciting!

Please see image below for more information and how to apply.

Good luck to everyone!  Please let me know if you go forward into the process and I will be your biggest supporter! *smile*

Happy eating (and cooking)!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

D Bar - Hillcrest

For my birthday, my girlfriends and I, along with our hubbies, met at D Bar for brunch on a Sunday early afternoon at 11:00am.  I have always wanted to go to Chef Keegan Gerhard's D Bar after reading about it on multiple food blog sites, like Mary's and especially after seeing Chef Keegan host the Food Network Challenges.  It was perfect that none of us have visited yet, so it was a celebration for all, haha.

I'm telling you.  If I opened a restaurant, it would probably look like D Bar's.  From the decor to the color scheme (light blue and chocolate brown were my wedding colors), the square logo (my wedding theme was contemporary square - everything was in a square shape)... I was in love.

Here is a shot of the kitchen utensils on the ceiling.  Pretty unique and cool.

Mimosas during brunch were only $3.00!  Our table had quite a few.

I initially ordered a simple iced coffee with cream and they accidentally made me an iced blended coffee drink ($3.75).  Our cool server told me that they can make me another one.  The blended coffee was so good!  

Here is my iced organic french roast coffee.  I was loaded on caffeine after finishing both coffees. They were nice to not charge me for both.  The iced coffee was bold -- that I had to put just one packet of sugar in there to lighten the boldness a little.  

For my birthday, I always crave a steak as my special treat.  I rarely eat beef and because M does not eat beef at all, we don't have it in the fridge at home at all, only chicken and fish.  So, yeah... birthday or when I am out, I usually do order something beefy or meaty.  

"Chicken Fried" Steak ($12.00), it was.  How could I resist a crispy, battered flat iron steak with sausage gravy, potatoes and scrambled eggs?  Oh gosh, it was heavenly.  Super flavorful and seasoned correctly.  The batter was nice and crispy and the sausage gravy added a little "oomph" to the dish.  

M was bummed that they didn't have their Breakfast Sammy on the menu.  He loves breakfast and wanted something breakfast-y as opposed to brunch-y.  The closest thing was the Southern Fried Belgium ($13.00), their take on chicken and waffles.  The waffle was a cheesy waffle.  The chicken was a fried chicken breast with honey mustard, lettuce and tomato.  

M said that it was good, but he wished that there was a sweet component to it, to get that sweet/salty effect.  I told him that he should have asked for syrup for his waffles.  He enjoyed the sweet potato crisscut fries the best. 

S gave up meat for Lent so she ordered the Veggie Scramble ($10.00) with baby spinach, asparagus, roasted garlic, squash, baby tomatoes with breakfast potatoes.  

She also wanted to try the Belgium Rock Sugar Waffle ($9.50) so she ordered one so we can all try it. It came with a mixed berry compote, grand marnier syrup, cinnamon orange butter, and a chantilly cream (minus the cocoa nibs - she also gave up chocolate for Lent).

D got the Short Rib Hash ($13.00).  I had a taste of her beef.  It wasn't as tender as I thought it was going to be, but it still was tasty.  Also, am I being picky to say that this was more 'braised short ribs over potatoes'? I don't know, what's your definition of a hash?  I just expected the meat to be mixed in with the potatoes.   This dish had a half of a cheesy waffle on the side with perfectly cooked scrambled eggs on top.  

We could not leave D Bar without having dessert, of course!  We thought carefully on what two desserts we can all share.  We decided on a chocolately dish and a non-chocolately dish.  

The d=mc2 (squared) ($10.00) was a definite no-brainer.  It just has all the lovely components every chocolate lover would absolutely adore:  orinoco milk chocolate mousse, salted caramel, peanut butter rice krispy crunch, peanut nib crumble, and milk chocolate ice cream.  This was rich in flavor (super sweet) and so beautifully plated!

The Poco Coco Loco ($10.00) was one dessert that I would never dream of ordering!  Because S also gave up chocolate for Lent, we ordered this one for her.  Here is a picture of the front of it.... 

....and the back of it.  Okay, you ready?  It consisted of passion fruit curd and panna cotta, coconut tapioca, basil syrup, french macaron, coconut ice milk, topped with passion cloud (appeared to be whipped egg whites).  Wow, right?  We could not describe the flavors as we took a bites and bites of this dish.  It was different (in a good way).  I tasted every bit of flavor described.  It was tart, not too sweet, and simply amazing.  We were in awe how someone concocted this dish and put all of these great flavors and textures together.   Our server was so excited that we ordered this one, as it is his favorite.

Overall, D Bar was such a wonderful experience.  Not only did we have the great company of my best friends, the service and food were great, as well.  I am sad that I forgot to order the Crue Fries as an appetizer, but that is one of the very reasons why we will also be back.

D Bar San Diego
3930 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103

Saturday, May 10, 2014

[Happy Hour] Stacked: Food Well Built - Fashion Valley Mall

The business idea of Stacked: Food Well Built is pretty cool.  Build your own burgers, macaroni and cheese bowls, salads, and pizza any way you would like using an iPad at the table. There are only three locations in California, so we are lucky to have one here in San Diego at the Fashion Valley Mall.  

M and I came in for their Happy Hour menu (minus the drinks, haha) before we picked up J from school.   Our server informed us that it was happy hour and that if we wanted to order from the special menu on the iPad, we could simply order from there and she will apply the discount later.  

Here's the iPad at the table.  I had a fun time reading through the menu since I did not do any research before coming in.  If we brought J to Stacked, he would be looking for games and probably would calling the server many times by accident.

Chips and salsa ($3.00) are always a great start.  The chips were definitely homemade, as they were really thick.  I appreciated that they were homemade, although... some were chips were a bit hard, others were perfect.  It was just a tad inconsistent.  The salsa tasted fresh, too... and it had a nice spicy kick to it.  

We tried the Flying Pigs ($6.00), which are 'pork wings', in a sesame soy glaze.  The pork wings were really meaty and flavorful.  The meat was pretty tender and the extra sauce added even more flavor to each wing.  One tip, though... eat them all first because we let a couple of them sit while we ate the other appetizers and the meat on the wing got really tough and chewy.

M and I absolutely love buffalo wings, so it was not a big surprise that we had to order Wing It! ($6.00).  What we loved about these wings are that they are grilled!  So, of course, we had to say that we were eating healthier, haha.  The wings are grilled in a sweet chili glaze and served with a choice of ranch or blue cheese dressing.  They were absolutely delicious!  I loved the chili glaze.

We had a nice little happy hour meal and paid less than $20.00.  I know, we did not go through the true "Stacked" experience, but that will be the next time.  Those mac n' cheese dishes sound amazing!

Stacked: Food Well Built
7007 Friars Road, Suite 356
San Diego, CA 92108

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Perry's Cafe - Loma Portal

Perry's Cafe.  We have all probably have seen it off the Interstate 5 freeway.  I know it has been there for a long time, but we never thought to stop.  M's friend, Tom, loves the place and eats breakfast at Perry's every weekend.  He is a regular Perry's customer.  So when M and I decide to finally try it out, Tom told us that it was a must to try their frittatas.  

We arrived on a Friday morning around 8:30am.  M and I were both off of work and J was at school. The parking lot was busy -- a good sign that they always have customers.  We were sat immediately at a booth in the back of the restaurant.  It was not as big as I thought it was, until I noticed an additional seating area near the restrooms.  

Every table had two mugs on it facing down.  The coffee that they serve is 100% Columbian coffee.  I absolutely love coffee so, immediately I agreed to a nice, hot cup ($2.00).  I could not believe how delicious it was.  The flavor was not too strong, but rather a mild roast.  

Perry's offers on the cover of their menu many frittatas to choose from.  From vegetable, spinach, Mexican, zucchini... they have a lot!  M chose the Combo frittata with hashbrowns and dry wheat toast ($8.75).  Frittatas come with your choice of a) hashbrowns or home fries (with your choice of bread - blueberry or bran muffin, biscuit or toast), b) fruit, or c) Mexican style with beans and tortillas. Tom texted M to go light on the cheese, but he got the text after he ordered.  Boy, were they heavy on the cheese, but M didn't seem to mind it.  Mmmm, cheesy.  

Frittatas are similar to omelettes.  They are usually made in a saute or frying pan and then finished off in an oven.  M's combo frittata came with ham, bacon, onions and mushrooms.  We definitely could have shared this one.  

Perry's has weekday breakfast specials.  One caught my eye... the Waffle Special for $4.95 (only until 11:00am).  The price reeled me in, but I didn't want a huge frittata either.  The waffle special consisted of one large waffle, two eggs your way (over medium for me), and two strips of crispy bacon.

The bacon appeared to look really overdone, but I actually enjoyed how crispy it was.  The waffle was really delicious and it has a nice sweet (but not overpowering) after taste.  It tasted fresh, straight from a waffle iron.  

All of this food for about $16.00!  Perry's Cafe is a diner... some may say a 'greasy diner', but we enjoyed the simplicity of it.  Nothing special, they have good coffee and really great frittatas, or what they call "fancy omelettes." The service was great.  Because we were there on a weekday morning, it was not busy but I read on Yelp that it can get really busy on the weekends.  I recommend it when you are in the area (on a weekday) and just want some darn good breakfast.

Perry's Cafe
4610 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA 92110

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Cafe 1134 - Coronado

We wanted to try something different for brunch so we headed over to Coronado, our go-to place for a relaxing day near the beach.  We love just walking around the Island and remembering why we are so lucky to be living in the greatest city ever. *smile*  I did some research and we definitely wanted breakfast.  J fell asleep in the car again so by the time he woke up, it was close to lunch time.  Cafe 1134 on Orange Avenue serves breakfast all day.  Yay!

Goodness gracious.... there was a line out the door and the cafe was super busy with patrons drinking coffee and enjoying food items inside, outside, and even in the dining area upstairs.

We ordered little J the Belgian Waffle with fresh fruit ($6.75).  The waffle arrived in little pieces, which probably fell apart when they took it off the waffle maker, but maybe that is what they do for kids? The waffle was light and fluffy and had a nice hint of vanilla.  It was really good!  

M and his mom both ordered the California egg burrito ($8.95) with a side of breakfast potatoes on one dish and fresh fruit on the other.  The burrito consisted of egg, avocado, bacon, tomatoes and cheddar cheese.  The homemade salsa looked like a bright Romesco sauce.  It was SUPER SPICY!  

QUICHE!  I love quiche and especially when Cafe 1134 advertises it as homemade quiche.  I was sold. I had a choice of the traditional Quiche Lorraine ($8.95) or Vegetable Quiche.  I ordered the lorraine for the ham and Gruyere melty cheese goodness.  I'm telling you.  I ordered the potatoes with the quiche, but they gave me fruit instead.  I am glad they did because the quiche was really rich and heavy.  The flavors were amazing -- salty from the cheese and ham and buttery rich from the pie crust and egg custard.  The fruit was a life saver for my palate. 

For our non-pictured beverages, we ordered apple juice for J, a coffee for M's mom, and an iced tea for M.  We ate upstairs in the dining area on a pretty warm day, so it was pretty hot up there.  J was pretty cranky and was not digging his Belgium waffle so I packed it up.  Overall, besides the crazy long line, the food was pretty good and we received our items pretty fast after ordering.  I'd come back for the coffee, for sure.

1134 Orange Avenue
Coronado, CA 92118
(619) 437-1134

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