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January 27, 2014

San Diego Restaurant Reviews

I lived in San Diego for 2 years for college, and since I moved back up north, I've missed it everyday. Last November, B had to go into town for a conference, so we made a trip of it. Our wonderful friend allowed us to stay with him, and we had a great week visiting. We went back to some of our favorite restaurants, and tried some new ones we missed when we still lived there. I wanted to recap some of my favorite places and add some photos for anyone else considering vacationing there. Go there! You won't regret it!

Cotixan's - Carne Asada Fries, or Cotixan Fries

Cotixan's - You haven't truly had carne asada fries until you've had them in San Diego. The Northern Californian version just doesn't compare. Many of the little open 24-hour drive-thru Mexican restaurants serve carne asada fries, but I think you just can't beat the ones from Cotixan's. I can't tell you how many late night study sessions these fueled, or drunken nights. They make their own hot sauce, and it's what completes this dish. You must apply a liberal amount of this red hot sauce to the fries, then if you have a friend with you to help, stir it up with forks, then consume. Carne asada fries are usually something to share with someone, because unless you have some serious drunk munchies, you'll never finish them by yourself.

Shoestring fries, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, sometimes pico de gallo, and carne asada combined all together is one of the best things about San Diego. Forget the nice weather all year long, get yourself some quality carne asada fries as soon as you arrive in town. Honest, this was our breakfast the first morning we arrived.

Stone Brewing World Bistro - BBQ Duck Taco Trio 
Stone Brewing World Bistro - Mac 'N Beer Cheese with Sausage

Stone Brewing World Bistro - This was one of the places we never made it to while we were still living in San Diego. I don't know what it was that kept us away, I think B kept telling me their beer was really bitter, and I guess I was turned off by it. But I can't imagine if I had never tried Stone, they're one of my favorite breweries now! It was pretty packed when we got there, but we managed to snag a couple seats at the bar outside. It was the end of San Diego Beer Week when we were there, so they had a bunch of their stouts on tap from throughout the years so we tried several of those. We decided on ordering their Hemp Seed Pretzels, which we devoured before I could get a photo, the BBQ Duck Taco Trio, and the Mac 'N Beer Cheese with Sausage. All of the food was delicious, but a little overpriced. I would say get a few things and share, like we did. 

Ballast Point Brewing - Another of my favorite breweries that I missed out on when I lived in San Diego. We lucked out and arrived at the brewery on the last day of beer week, and they had some special prices going for tasters. We must have tasted 10-15 beers, and they were all delicious. One of my favorites is their limited edition Victory at Sea Imperial Porter with Vanilla and Coffee.

Phil's BBQ - Baby Back Ribs and Chicken Dinner with Baked Potato

Phil's BBQ - This is one of the restaurants in San Diego that's all over the food shows, and is very famous. I don't really know anything about BBQ or styles, or all the stuff the South takes very seriously. It tends to get really busy here, and they have a counter you order at, sit down wherever you'd like, and they bring you the food. We were lucky enough to get pulled out of line by a server, she took our orders, and the food arrived probably before the people we were next to in line even got to the counter to order. B and I both got the Best of Both, Baby Back Ribs and Chicken Dinner with a baked potato as our side. I wish I had just gotten the ribs, because I couldn't stop eating the tiny bits of meat off the bones, so I recommend if you go here, just get the ribs, they're the star of the menu. The baked potato was pretty good, I usually get fries, but was just craving a baked potato. 

Snooze - OMG! French Toast
Snooze - Upstream Benny

Snooze - This was a new restaurant, even for us, but I was looking for a breakfast place close to where we needed to be for the day and found the Snooze Eatery. There was a little bit of a wait, even though it was a weekday, and lunch time. But it was well worth the wait, the food was delicious! I had a wonderful vanilla latte along with my Upstream Benny, which was honey smoked salmon tossed with cucumber and corn salsa, served over jalapeƱo-cream cheese spoon bread, topped with poached eggs and cream cheese hollandaise. B ordered the OMG! French Toast. I've been pretty much ordering eggs benedict at every breakfast place I go, and this was one of the best. It's easy to screw up, but also easy to make really delicious. This was the latter.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop - Queso Tacos

Lucha Libre Taco Shop - Going to Lucha Libre when I lived in San Diego was a bit of a special occasion, because it was way out of the way of where we lived, all the way near the airport. B ordered us 3 Queso Tacos each, but don't do that. Order 2. They are large tacos. Their burritos are also very good, but don't order their carne asada fries, go to Cotixan's. We've been over this.

We went to a few other places on our trip, but I either ate it too fast to remember to take a photo, or it was too dark. Lots of wonderful restaurants in San Diego, and great breweries, so I recommend you visit!

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