Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Mini-Me, no, we don't gnaw on our kitty."

I realized I never closed the loop on this post about travel food.  And I'm nothing if I'm not a loop closer.  (Not.)

So.  Here's the dealio.  We stayed in University Heights.  We thought we'd been all over San Diego in the 13 years we've been traveling there.  But we were wrong.  It's a good thing to be wrong about, as it turns out, because that means there's that many more areas to explore. . . I digress. 

One of our first nights there, on this recommendation, we tried out Burger Lounge in Coronado.  We parked and walked down to the restaurant and it was a bit of a stress when we arrived and realized the restaurant was so narrow it must have been built for ants (thank you, Derek Zoolander!).  But, patience paid off and while M was ordering, a spot opened up outside and we parked the stroller and had a good burger.  I also tried some of the chicken tenders, which were served on kabob sticks - so fun for kids older than mine (and ones who actually eat chicken).  All in all, it wasn't really a standout in my mind - it was pretty good, but just good - and at least I know where to get a decent burger in San Diego.  The ugly truth is that I was more taken with the dynamics of the family dinner conversation at the table next to ours.  Now that is something I will never forget about our dinner at Burger Lounge!

We took the recommendation of our hosts/rental property managers and ordered some takeout from Bahn Thai, walked to pick it up and then walked to a nearby park.  Let's just say I'm still thinking about their basil fried rice and chicken.  Definitely a must-have on our next visit!  Plus (!) our kid eats rice, so it's a win-win.

We drove to downtown and picked up kebabs from The Kebab Shop and ended up eating picnic-style at Seaport Village since Embarcadero Park was closed for an event.  I freakin' LOVED this food!  I had a chicken kebab and loved every bite of it!  And we will definitely go for some again next time we are there. 

Here is the part where I must note that my sweet husband, who against all odds has turned into a loving, protective dad-type (read: old man), has formed a new criteria for restaurants: they have to be "family-friendly" meaning they have to actually LIKE families, FIT our family (whether it's with an infant seat or a stroller), and not have music blaring so loudly that it SCARES our family.  {The Kebab Shop's music was too loud for my husband's taste.}

We attempted to eat at Parkhouse Eatery for breakfast.  By "attempted" I mean we did a drive-by and M decided it wasn't "family friendly" so we headed to 222 Cafe, which we had tried on two previous trips.  Driving by, seeing the line, and recalling having eaten there with our oldest when he was 10 months old, he deemed 222 not family friendly either.  He wanted to go, instead, to some IHOP Express we had seen on the way to 222.  AS IF!!  So, we drove back north to Parkhouse, parked, got out of the car and walked inside.  We asked for an outside seating (music too loud inside), pointed out a table, and it was promptly given to the people behind us. 

So, positively seething (and now starving), we went back to the car and I proceeded to have a MAJOR tantrum over NOT going back to our rental a block away and STAYING OUT and finding SOMEWHERE ELSE TO EAT NOW!  (Poor husband.)

We drove until we found Bread & Cie in Hillcrest, which was barely to my husband's "family friendly" standards (even though there were two similarly young families sitting right next to us.  I had a french toast panini and a few bites of my kid's oatmeal.  It was pretty good, but not fantastic.  Then again, the bitter aftertaste of vitriol in my mouth may have soured things just a bit.

On our last day there, we were planning to try Con Pane.  Sadly, we did not get the chance.  We did, however, get to try Girard Gourmet in La Jolla and dropped a pretty penny on what ended up being another picnic lunch, this time eaten at Spanish Landing Park across from the airport.  They slice the bread for sandwiches from fresh loaves, but waaaayyy too thickly.  Their baked goods were fantastic, but the sandwiches and the rest of the food was just way too overpriced and I just won't ever make that mistake again.

This experience definitely enlightened my understanding of myself, of my husband, and of the intricacies of San Diego dining.  In a word: each of us is kooky in our own delightful ways!

[Title quote is from "Austin Powers"]

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