North County San Diego Magazine “Best Of” Winners

It’s great to see North County getting some notice for what we who live up here have known for a while…

Best Smoothies ~ Banana Dang!, Oceanside

Best Upscale Happy Hour ~ Masters Kitchen & Cocktail, Oceanside

Best Neighborhood Eatery ~ The Miller’s Table, Oceanside

Best Casual Night Out ~ The Privateer Marketplace & Wine Bar

Best Organic Farm ~ Cyclops Farms

and more you can see the full list here……

Best Of

 

 

Gelato-Go Coming to Downtown Oceanside

Gelato-Go a small franchise chain with 6 locations in Florida is coming to downtown Oceanside. Their Florida locations have great reviews. Their Gelato runs $4 to $6 depending on size. They also serve coffee and pastries. The location is next to American Deluxe Barber Shop across from Barrel Republic on the 101 in Oceanside.

They are doing a full build out, not just putting in a fridge case and some shelves like the other short-lived gelato location.

Rumor has it Baked Bear is also looking for a spot downtown (Ice cream and cookies). So, summer should have plenty of options for cold treats.

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#gelato #icecream #sweets #food #foodporn

Living Tea’s Monthly Pancake Breakfast ~ Oceanside

This Sunday was Living Tea’s monthly pancake breakfast. If you are not familiar with Living Tea Brewery, they are a kombucha Brewery and tap-room located in Oceanside at 302 Wisconsin Ave. If you have had Kombucha at a local bar or restaurant there is a good chance it was one of theirs.

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The Breakfast starts.

Each 3rd Sunday of the month they throw a Pancake breakfast from 10 am till noon. The breakfast is donation base allowing you to pay what you can or thinks fair. All proceeds go to local charities. They do these events as a thank you to their supporters and to help strengthen the sence of community in the area.

I have been wanting to attend one and was able to on the 19th.

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Puppies! The event is kid and dog friendly.

I arrived right at 10 so I could say hi. There were probably 10 people when it started and around 25ish when I left about 10:45 but its a fluid event where people come and go throughout the 2 hours.

In addition to the pancakes they also serve coffee and kombucha during the breakfast. The coffee is included with your donation or lack there of if you can not afford it. Not sure about the kombucha I did not get any. Though I have had it many times and have included it in some of my Chef dinner events.

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The Pancake Master. I should have asked his name but Pancake Master is a pretty good nickname.

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Accoutrements for the pancakes ~ Bananas, apples, and oranges.

I went with apples and bananas.

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See told you I went with apples and bananas. Spiralina, gluten-free, organic pancakes with said bananas and apples plus chia hearts.

The pancakes were light, moist, and fluffy with a slightly crisp exterior. The batter was made with coconut oil which gave them their moisture. The fruit and the chia hearts were a great accompaniment.

 

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They also host open mic for musicians and singers to play during the breakfast. I did not catch this performers name but she was good. The boys from Living Tea / Barnwell Shift (that is their band) jumped in to accompany her.

I really like the thought behind these breakfasts and the food ain’t bad either:) I would highly recommend checking one out.

Living Tea

302 Wisconsin Ave. Oceanside

#food #foodporn #pancakes #kombucha

 

Caffeine Crawl ~ Oceanside / Carlsbad

This last Friday, January 20th marked the 4th annual San Diego Caffeine Crawl, the 57th crawl overall, and most importantly, the 1st featuring North County craft coffee and tea purveyors from Oceanside and Carlsbad.

One of my favorite things about North County’s culinary scene is the camaraderie and support the Chefs and Owners show to one another. This is also true for the craft beverage scene up here as well. Everyone involved was excited to be a part of the event and happy to see the Coffee and Tea Scene getting its just deserves.  Trust me this is not true everywhere, even San Diego has its fair share of cut throat competition (though events like the one I just attended at Biga and the chefs involved show that there are exceptions). With the momentum of this years success, hopefully next year will expand to include more participants and probably a 3rd route.

Our guide Pia talking about Caffeine Crawl.

The North County crawl consisted of two routes, starting in Oceanside and Carlsbad and crossing over. Each route had 5 stops and was about 3 miles in length. North County Food covered the Oceanside to Carlsbad route and I enlisted BeersNBytes  (a Carlsbad based food website) to cover the Carlsbad route.

*I will include another link at the bottom of the post to check out their coverage and their great website.

The crawl started at Banana Dang! In Oceanside. In addition to being a sponsor and catalyst for bringing the Caffeine crawl to North County, it was Banana Dang’s! 2 year anniversary.

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Owners Mario and Thanh-Thanh with Chef Beau Bonham goofing off while I tried to get a serious picture 🙂

Prior to the Crawl Banana Dang! thanked their loyal customers for 2 years of support with free bananas, frozen bananas, Vietnamese Coffee Jell-O Shots, and $2 cappuccino.

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Vietnamese Jell-O Shots

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Banana art by Maitu and yours truly.

Banana Dang! gave a presentation on their origin and experience in Puerto Rico as an “at origin” coffee shop

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Thanh-Thanh talking with the Crawl attendees.

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They served 2 different coffees. One from Puerto Rico (Sandra Farms) and another from Nicaragua (Don Isidro) to contrast the mild nature of an “island coffee” versus a high elevation more robust bean. They were both roasted by Manzanita Roasting Company out of Rancho Bernardo.

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To complete the Puerto Rican experience, local Chef Beau Bonham made a classic accompaniment of freshly baked Pan De Agua served with Queso Blanco, and Dulce De Lechosa (Papaya cooked in its own syrup with cinnamon and vanilla)

The Second stop was around the corner at Loose Leaf Tea Bar.

Shane explaining what he would be featuring …

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Loose Leaf Tea’s Mango Ceylon Tea on nitro.

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The group enjoying the offerings and the great mural artwork at Loose Leaf Tea.

Next up was South Oceanside’s Revolution Roasters.

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Revolution demonstrated the same coffee made with 3 different water sources. The first was made using distilled water, the second Oceanside tap water, and the third using Revolution’s reverse osmosis water.

The coffee using the tap and distilled were really close in character but you could definitely tell the one made using the reverse osmosis method.

Afterward we headed down to Carlsbad to Steady State Roasting. Steady State Roasting has been around for about 8 months (I believe). This was my first time there and I loved the small space tucked away off State St. in Carlsbad, which it shares with other artist’s workshops.

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The funky space that is State Street Roasting.

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State Street is entering a roasting competition in Austin later this year and served the Kenyan provided to the roasters. They served the coffee using a 15 min roast and a shorter roast more like the one they would be doing for the competition. The shorter roast definitely had more balance and interesting notes.

The Crawl showed, through the various demos, that so much from what water is used, roasting times, and of course the origin of the bean each have a huge impact on the finished product. That was without even touching on temperature, machines, execution, storage, and on and on.

Final stop on the crawl was Carlsbad’s Baba Coffee.

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My pics did not come out so I used one from my previous visit.

While Baba Coffee does not roast, they make a conceded effort to source from the best local purveyors. Their coffee is roasted by Pannikin who also provides them with scratch made baked goods. They served a delicious mint tea with honey from Tea Gallery out of San Diego.

So, happy to be a part of the event, helping out, and experiencing North County’s first Caffeine Crawl. I cannot wait to see what next year brings. We should be able to expand the number of stops and offerings. If you did not get to attend conduct one of your own. You do not have to do it in one day. Introduce yourself to one of the local craft coffee purveyors and ask questions, trust me they love to talk about this stuff.

Banana Dang!

115 S Coast Highway, Oceanside

The Loose Leaf Tea Bar

408 Mission Ave, Oceanside

Revolution Roasters

1863 S Coast Highway, Oceanside

Steady State Roasting

2680 State Street, Carlsbad

Baba Coffee

2727 State Street, Carlsbad

Caffeine Crawl

BeersNBytes

Caffeine Crawl 2017 ~ North County

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Caffeine Crawl is an event put on by “The Lab”. “The Lab” is a company that helps high-end, craft beverage companies promote their products through graphic design, media, and events.

One such event is the Caffeine Crawl. Exactly as the name implies caffeine Crawls are events that allow coffee lovers to experience craft coffee houses and roasters in their area. The first crawl was held in Kansas City in 2011 and multiple events have since been held nation wide.

This coming  January 20th to 22nd , caffeine crawl will hold it’s fourth San Diego based event with ten routes through out San Diego county. The best thing is that for the first time two of these routes will be held in North County.

The routes will highlight seven of Oceanside and Carlsbad’s best purveyors of craft coffee.

North Coast:
Baba Coffee
Banana Dang
The Loose Leaf
Revolution Roasters
Sleeping Tiger Coffees
Steady State Roasting

Succulent Cafe

The routes are bikeable or driveable and cover about 3 miles. In addition to great coffee, there are educational demonstrations at each stop. Wether its roasting styles and how choices as a roaster effect the end product or talking about what it is like to run an “At origin” coffee shop in Puerto Rico, there is a lot to learn about the craft and what  goes into producing a great cup of coffee.

Here are the outlines for the two North County routes…

s851142438705973840_p432_i20_w222  Purchase Tickets Here

This is a 3.5 mile biking route that visits 5 different stops. It begins at Succulent Cafe (505 Oak Avenue, Carlsbad, CA 92008) at 1:00pm, sharp!

Other stops include Sleeping Tiger CoffeesSteady State RoastingRevolution Roasters, and concludes at Banana Dang. This route ends at 4:00pm. You provide your own transportation shop-to-shop. This is a suggested biking route, but driving as your form of transportation is also fine.

This is a 3 mile biking route that visits 5 different stops. It begins at Banana Dang (115 South Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054) at 2:00pm, sharp!

Other stops include The Loose Leaf Revolution RoastersSteady State Roasting and concludes at Baba Coffee. This route ends at 5:00pm. You provide your own transportation shop-to-shop. This is a suggested biking route, but driving as your form of transportation is also fine.

Below is ticket and event info…
Important details pertaining to your ticket :
– New to Caffeine Crawl? Here’s a fun FAQ for you to learn more.
– You will receive a confirmation email from one of us within 24 hours after your ticket purchase. Be sure to check the email you bought the tickets from.Your physical ticket(s) will be mailed to you (unless within 4 days of the event, in which case they will be held for you at will call at the start of the event).
– Tickets include an event bag with Crawl goodies and souvenirs, and admittance to all stops on your selected route (includes a drink sample, and short, educational presentation at each stop). You will receive the event bag at the start of your route. 
– You will receive an electronic route schedule the week of the event via email, as well as a program that is a printed route schedule, at the start of the event. Be sure to check the email you bought the tickets from.
– Children are welcome (must have a ticket), and there are sometimes caffeine-free options. There are occasionally alcohol-based coffee drinks. All drinks are at the discretion of participating shops. If wanting to bring a child under 7 years of age please contact us first. 
– Each stop along the route has a set start and end time that was confirmed with that business, and will be provided to you before the event. This is to keep the event organized, and give each ticket holder the best experience possible. Please be prepared to stay on schedule and follow cues from your tour guide, as there will be multiple routes in operation at once. 
– Tickets are non-refundable. Same situation as a concert, sporting event, or any other event.
– Biking and walking routes can drive if weather is bad to day of the event. Caffeine Crawl and The LAB will not be held responsible for any travel-related incidents while attending Caffeine Crawl. By purchasing a ticket, you agree to the Terms & Conditions, maintaining full responsibility for your personal and vehicular safety, and your own items, while traveling between shops by foot, car, bus, or bicycle.

 

So, embrace your chance to be part of the first North County based caffeine Crawl. Yay North County. Represent!

Caffeine Crawl Website

#northcounty #coffee

 

 

 

 

Sleeping Tiger Coffees ~ Carlsbad

Just as with the restaurant growth of the last few years, Carlsbad and Oceanside have also seen a rise in premium speciality coffee shops recently.

A new player in the game comes to us in the form of Sleeping Tiger Coffees.

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Sleeping Tiger Coffees is located at 2906 Carlsbad Blvd. where they share the space with Witch Creek Winery.

If you are trying to place the address or wonder about the name….

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Right next to this famous mural on Coast Highway in Carlsbad.

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The interior takes on the same pallet as the winery tasting room (Located just to the right of me just out of shot.) The building is big with high ceilings and also has a pretty good-sized outdoor patio.

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A coffee head friend of mine tells me always get a Cappuccino or Mocha to gauge a place and their baristas.

Sleeping Tiger delivered on taste, coffee, and roast.

The roaster Fallon said she would describe the roast she strives for as a City Roast to Full City Roast.

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Roaster Fallon and the tool of her trade, a Primo Roaster..

Sleeping Tiger Coffees

2906 Carlsbad Blvd

#coffee #northcounty

 

 

Banana Dang! Coffee adds Cravory Cookies ~ Plus Milk & Cookies Wednesdays

One of my favorite coffee shops has started selling the best cookies in the cookieverse.

Banana Dang! Coffee, 115 South Coast Highway, is now selling incredible and unique cookies by San Diego’s Cravory Cookies.

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They will carry a rotating array of unique flavors.

In addition, every Wednesday is Milk & Cookies Day. Buy a Latte get a free cookie all day long (while supplies last).

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Milk & Cookie Wednesdays at Banana Dang!

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Banana Dang! Coffee

115 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

7am till 5pm Daily

Pappalecco Caffe’~ Cardiff

I journeyed into the deep south (Cardiff) to check out casual Italian at Pappalecco. Pappalecco is a fast casual, high quality, Tuscan inspired, small, local chain with outposts in Little Italy, Kensington, Hillcrest, and now Cardiff.

They were getting a lot of positive reviews on Yelp, and you know what I say “Yelp is never wrong”. Oh, wait I meant, you know what I say “F%#k Yelp”, yep that was it. I do use Yelp as a tool to find places along with other sources like Eater and Chowhound. Wow, I just realized I despise all my sources. Ok, back on track.

The Cardiff location opened a few weeks ago, so I grabbed a bus and headed down.

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Yep, I’m in Cardiff.

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Pappalecco Caffe’ ( you can tell it is extra fancy because of the two ffs and the ‘ ). It is located in a small strip mall at 2101 San Elijo Avenue, Cardiff by the Sea.

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Simple clean interior (thought I was gonna say light and airy didn’t you). Sorry, I’m in a weird mood tonight.

You place your order and then put a number on your table. I will say the staff was very polite and friendly.

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Toscano Panini ~ Prosciutto, Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella

Great sandwich, fresh ingredients and a great balance between the flavors. I’m a stickler for good Mozzarella and they used good Mozzarella.

In addition to the Paninis, Pappalecco makes in-house Pastries and Gelato.  I imagine these are made centrally by them and distributed to the various locations. They hold their pastries and gelatos to only 5 main natural ingredients. Again, I do not know if that means only five , or five core ingredients. Regardless, its good hand crafted stuff:)

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See, told you five main natural ingredients. They have about 20 or so flavors, about four of which are gluten-free and vegan.

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I went with the Lemon. It was dense as you would expect from gelato, with a nice vibrant lemon flavor.

If you find yourself in the tail end of North County ( I do not want to hear it Del Mar and Solana Beach) I would check them out if you are looking for good quality quick Italian.

 

Pappalecco Caffe’

2101 San Elijo Avenue, Cardiff by the Sea

 

 

 

 

Elena’s french Crepes Cafe ~ Food Report ~ Oceanside

So, the other day I posted about Elena’s French Crepe Cafe opening. You can read that post here. Today I went back and tried the crepes for myself.

I ordered a savory turkey and cheese crepe with pickles and pickled onions on the side.

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My crepe being made.

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Turkey and Cheese Crepe.

The crepe was perfect, everything you want out of a crepe, light and pillowy. The filling is up to personal choice as to what you like. They are quite large and perfect for breakfast or a light lunch. I brought a Strawberry and sour cream crepe back to my friends Mario and Ton Ton at Banana Dang! and they concurred. They loved their crepe.

So, if you want something different for breakfast or lunch I highly recommend them.

Elena’s French Crepe Cafe

511 Pier view Way, Oceanside

6am till 3pm

6am till 8pm Thursdays and Saturdays

Elena’s French Crepes Cafe ~ Oceanside

Elena’s French Crepes Cafe recently opened in downtown Oceanside at 511 Pier View Way. They are located right next to Breakfast Club Diner in the space that used to house a small gift shop.

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I am so glad that they chose Oceanside. They fill a void that existed for alternative breakfast and lunch choices. Though Petite Madeline does offer a mighty fine crepe on their menu, the choice is limited to one or two varieties depending on the weekly specials.

The Cafe is run by Elena and her husband, who are just the nicest people you could meet. They had always wanted to open a cafe upon retiring and when the time came they chose to do it.

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Elena and her husband

The cafe is simple and bright inside, they did a great job on a fast turn around on the old space.

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All the art in the cafe was created by Elena.

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The menu is straight forward, their philosophy is, do one thing, do it well and do it with passion.

They feature 5 savory crepes and 11 sweet varieties. They feature Peet’s coffee and teas.

This post is just to get the word out, I will return Thursday Morning to have a couple crepes. I have been doing this long enough that I have no doubt they will be great. Give them some love. Let me know what you think if you beat me there.

Elena’s French Crepes Cafe

511 Pier View Way Oceanside

Hours: 6am to 3pm Sunday to Wednesday

              6am to 8pm Thursday to Saturday