Top Choice Fish Market & Eatery ~ Carlsbad

Top Choice Fish Market & Eatery has opened recently at 6118 Paseo Del Norte in Carlsbad. Located next to Tip Top Meats the Top Choice Fish shares the same owners as the famous butcher shop and German market.

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The interior is simple and clean as one would expect from a fish market. It is divided into two sides. The retail market and the eatery.

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The eatery.

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The fish case.

The quality of ingredients is apparent. Perfect flesh and also perfect butchery. All fish are provided by San Diego’s very own Catalina Offshore Products.

They also have a selection of whole fish. Every fish I saw head the clearest eyes.

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The one at the bottom of the middle row looks pissed.

In addition they carry shellfish as well as a freezer case of other items like fish heads.

Taking a note from the butchery next store Top Choice Fish offers consumers the opportunity to buy 8oz cuts of fish and have it cooked and paired with two sides for cost of purchase plus $5. This what I came here for.

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I selected a beautiful piece of Opah for my lunch.

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Opah, grilled medium rare with coleslaw, Spanish rice, and a small salad

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Perfect medium rare, as asked for.

They offer a number of cooking styles and bastes. You could have Salmon fried fish and chips if so desired. In addition a selection of seafood gumbos, and chowders are also able to be purchased.

The prices vary by choice of fish but my Opah plate came to about $15. I was happy with that. The quality of product and cooking would stand up to any restaurant kitchen worth their weight. The sides were a let down, not bad just OK. Because it is a market there is no sales tax on most items.

The fishmongers were on point but the staff, though nice, was still a little bit green. I noticed a few order mistakes, which were quickly and appropriately handled. All in all a great lunch.

There is now North County access to the same great seafood products used by San Diego’s best Chefs. Now just because you have a paint brush does not mean you are gonna be Picasso, but at least now you have a really good paint brush.

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I drew a Opah.

Top Choice Fish Market & Eatery

6118 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad

#food #seafood #foodporn # fishmarket #restaurant

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Easter Sunday Dining Options Around San Diego

Some great Easter dining options around the Greater San Diego area.

Lakehouse Hotel & Resort & Decoy Dockside Dining            

1025 La Bonita Drive

San Marcos, CA 92078

(760) 744-0120

http://www.lakehousehotelandresort.com/

Dining dockside on Easter makes for a true southern California spring holiday. Enjoy an Easter Sunday brunch buffet on April 16 with sweet and savory breakfast favorites, a chilled seafood display, hand-carved meats and a decadent dessert bar, all beginning at 9:00 a.m. The little ones can take part in free Easter egg hunts, taking place at 10:30 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. Brunch-goers will listen to live music performances from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for a truly relaxing holiday. The cost to attend is $60 for adults, which includes free-flowing sparkling wine, and $19 for children 12 and under. To reserve your spot, call (760) 744-0120. Be on the lookout for a special appearance by the Easter Bunny!

Photo Below: Decoy Dockside Dining

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TRUST

3752 Park Boulevard

San Diego, CA 92103

(619) 795-6901

www.trustrestaurantsd.com

Nestled in the neighborhood of Hillcrest, chic eatery TRUST is taking Easter brunch to the next level this year. Soak in the sunshine on the restaurant’s patio while indulging in the Lemon Meringue French Toast, a mountain of Brioche bread topped with vanilla Ricotta, toasted almonds, lemon curd, graham crackers and blueberry. Let the bartenders at TRUST work their mixology magic by making the perfect brunch beverage to pair with your meal. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For additional information and reservations, call (619) 795-6901.

 

Photo Below: TRUST’s Lemon Meringue French Toast

 

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The Westgate Hotel

1055 2nd Avenue

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 238-1818

www.westgatehotel.com

The Westgate Hotel invites locals and weekend visitors alike to join in Easter Sunday festivities! The hotel will feature Easter-themed afternoon teas and a festive Easter Champagne brunch where a cotton-tailed guest is scheduled to hop in and say hello.

Easter Bunny Teas: Enjoy a European-style afternoon tea, featuring kid-friendly petit fours and mini pastries, along with an Easter egg hunt and magic show on the Riviera Terrace. Families can meet the Easter Bunny beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15. The price is $50 for adults and $35 for children 12 and under, plus tax and gratuity.

Champagne Brunch: On Sunday, April 16, experience The Westgate’s traditional Easter Champagne Brunch, complete with fresh seafood, made-to-order omelets, carving stations and a children’s section. Little ones will be entertained by a face painting artist and a visit from the Easter Bunny. Brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The price is $89 for adults and $35 for children 12 and under, plus tax and gratuity.

Reserve online today! http://www.westgatehotel.com/events-promotions/special-events/easter-celebrations

Photo Below: Easter Bunny with kids

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Parc Bistro-Brasserie

2760 5th Ave.

San Diego CA 92103

(619) 319-9472

http://www.parcbb.com/

Enjoy a lovely Easter Sunday brunch at Parc Bistro-Brasserie in the heart of Banker’s Hill. With classic French dishes ranging from sweet and savory crepes to steak, seafood towers, and more, there’s something to satisfy everyone at the table. Brunch offerings also include specialty cocktails and $13 bottomless mimosas. View the brunch menu by visiting www.parcbb.com or call (619) 319-9472 to make a reservation.

Photo Below: Parc’s Seafood Tower

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Monello

750 West Fir St.

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 501-0030

https://www.lovemonello.com/

Make Milanese cuisine part of your Easter celebration this year at Monello. On Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16, Monello is showcasing an “egg”-stravagant selection of dishes for their crowd-favorite brunch including Eggs Benedict con Agnello e Spinaci or lamb eggs benedict and spinach. They will also serve a special Lamb Pizza made with cheese, mushroom and spinach. Top these delicious dishes off with the perfect cocktail from their new brunch drink menu including mimosa carafes with your choice of juice or a Caprese Bloody Mary made with vodka, in-hour tomato juice and topped with a fresh mozzarella Caprese skewer. To make reservations, please call (619) 501-0030 or reserve a spot via OpenTable.

Photo Below: Monello’s New Brunch Cocktails

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Bencotto

750 W Fir St #103

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 450-4786

https://www.lovebencotto.com/

 

The chefs at Bencotto Italian Kitchen, right next door to Monello, will also be serving up a few specials to celebrate Easter this year. Lunch and dinner specials on Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16 will include Lasagna Agnello + Porcini e Fontina, homemade lamb lasagna with mushroom and porcini, and Stinco de Agnello con Patate Arrosto al Tartufo, lamb shank and roasted truffle potatoes. Bencotto is open for lunch and dinner every Saturday and Sunday beginning at 11:30 a.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made online or by calling (619) 450-4786.   

 

Photo Below: Bencotto’s upstairs dining area

 

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Giuseppe Fine Restaurants & Catering

700 Prospect Ave.

San Diego, CA 92037

(858) 581-2205

www.grnfc.com

Don’t feel like going out for Easter brunch this year? Giuseppe Catering’s Pronto Delivery program allows you to forget about the stress and cleanup that comes along with hosting, so you can sit back and enjoy your get-together, guests, and an exceptional meal. For formal or large-scale events, the Fine Catering team will be there every step of the way to make sure your event is unforgettable—in the best way. Find full menu details and catering options at www.grnfc.com or call (858) 581-2205 to learn more.

Photo Below: Giuseppe Catering Deviled Eggs

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Have a great Easter! North County options coming shortly.

#food # restaurants #easter #brunch #easterbrunch #sandiego

Belching Beaver Brewery Refresh Party / Belching Beaver Tavern & Grill ~ Vista

Belching Beaver Brewery Brand Refresh Party.

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Patio setting

Belching Beaver Brewery out of Vista is spicing up their logo and giving it a new look.  To mark the occasion, they hosted a beer and food event on their back patio on what turned out to be a gorgeous, warm sunny day in downtown Vista.  The event provided some new beers, an array of old favorites, and tasty food in a relaxed atmosphere.  The clincher was getting there early enough for a shady corner of the patio, only facing the sun to grab thirst quenching pours of Belching Beaver.  It was worth the sun exposure.  Having just experienced Chef Ramiro’s food pairing concoctions for The Bruery, I was excited to see what he could do with beers brewed just feet away from him.  All of his creativity is discussed below.

1

Carnitas Tostada with Mango IPA

San Diegans know you can never go wrong with tacos and beer.  An IPA paired with spicy pulled pork on a fried tortilla was a fancy twist on the classic, as the mango salsa on the tostada married well with the Mango in the IPA.

2

Green Papaya with Me So Honey Blonde

I was pretty skeptical when I grabbed this dish, curious how slaw would survive a hot afternoon.  I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor of the green papaya, mixed in a Me So Honey mustard.  It was a light, sweet, refreshing combination that reminded me of mid summer BBQ’s.

4

Grapefruit Blintz with Hop Highway IPA

This fancy pancake was likely meant for last as a dessert, but my beer instincts told me to save the dark beer for last as I barbarically folded the fancy cake in half and ate it like a taco.  Washing down the sweet cream and sour grapefruit with a solid IPA made for a lovely “dessert.”

5

Vegetable Mole with Viva La Beaver

The final dish and drink was a vegetable mole paired with their peanut butter and chocolate milk stout.  This beer is so delicious and creamy, and the bitter chocolate was a nice addition.  It helped to wash down the little bit of spiciness in the mole.

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To end the day, we tried one of the new beers released at the party.  It was the Coffee-Maple-Vanilla Scotch Ale.  If the name sounds like a mouthful, you should try the beer.  All the flavors mesh beautifully in this unique pour.  I noticed the maple mostly in the aroma, and the vanilla and coffee collapse onto the palate and end with a smooth, creamy finish.  It was on the sweeter side, so if you are not into sweet beers I suggest starting with a taster.  But this beer, among others, is definitely worth making the trip over to the Vista Tavern to drink and enjoy the outdoor patio as we get closer and closer to summer.

All Words & Photos by:  Justin Kunert

Belching Beaver Tavern & Grill

302 E. Broadway, Vista

#Vista #food #foodporn #beer #brewery #craftbeer #belchingbeaver

The T House: Open House, Bring Something / Take Something ~ Oceanside

Sunday was an open house / welcoming event at The T House in Oceanside. The T House is a social and community based venture helmed by Chef Beau Bonham and his partner Stacey Westbrook. To best understand it I would read the interview I did with Beau Here or check out their Facebook page  and Website.

The T House is located at their house / homestead in the Loma Alta district in Oceanside.

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Many things going on…..

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I arrived early and started helping out by slicing fresh Cyclops Farms strawberries for the jam we were going to make.

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Ready to start the jam making process.

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Organic strawberries, calcium, water, Pectin (natural plant-based thickener), and organic sugar. That is about as non processed a jam as you are going to get.

It would not set till the next day, but I ate some with a bagel and it was delicious. The next time I would add a little lemon for more acidity, but it tasted like fresh strawberries.

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Beau gave everyone who attended a tour of the garden. This is Stacey’s friend Michelle who was then tasked with cultivating all the greens and flowers for the salad that was going to be served.

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Some of the fresh Vegetables and herbs.

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Beau went over natural teas and extracts as well as a Korean version of Kombucha called Jun he had made.

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There was also a seed exchange. Want Heirloom Tomato seeds? Bring some seeds by to swap, or some fruit from your tree. You could also take them and when the ripen bring some buy or a tomato tort you made with them. Get the Idea?

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An Amazing Jackfruit that Tom Chongruk and Lora Chow from Travel 4 Food Fun brought by. Jackfruit is amazing. The entire inside including the seeds can be utilized. A lot of Vegans use the inside flesh like pulled pork. You shred it and then roast it with a BBQ sauce.

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Tom is from Thailand and brought an amazing curry he had made.

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A salad from the garden vegetables and flowers harvested earlier, plus some fresh jackfruit.

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A little lobster soup from Chef Daniel of LTH and fresh ciabatta bread from Chef Beau.

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Stacey made strawberry cupcakes. Little bundles of strawberry flavored love.

I t was a fun day. I met a lot of cool local people and had some good food. It started at noon and ended up running later than planed till about 8pm. I would say about 35 people came by through out the day. Hope to be involved more.

Be aware that because of my background I am going to gravitate towards the food aspects of the T House but that would be selling it short. It really is a lot more and something that needs to be experienced. It’s about participation and education. You can attend a class on extracts or you can teach one on a subject you know or want to know better. Again check out the links and get involved.

The T House

Join the mailing list at chefbeaub@gmail.com

#food #foodporn #urbanfarming #seedtrade #extracts #community #strawberries

Things To Do This Weekend In Oceanside.

Saturday ~ After waking up from you Saint Patrick’s Day exploits, head to Masters Kitchen and Cocktail for brunch featuring dishes like…

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Chef Richardi’s upscale take on Chicken and Waffles. Perfect post party night meal. Bonus, they have endless Mimosas if you need a little hair of the dog.

Brunch runs 10am till 2pm at Masters Kitchen and Cocktail 208 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside

Afterwords head to the beach and enjoy this weather.

Sunday ~ Head over to Wisconsin Street and join in Living Tea’s Community Pancake Breakfast.

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“We’ll be making GREEN pancakes, infused with Spirulina…. that’s right, Organic Gluten-Free GREEN Pancakes! We’ll also have our organic raw kombucha and organic coffee available.”

“Everything is donation based, so whatever you can afford to donate is great. And those who can’t donate, come eat for free and enjoy some good community time. All donations go towards future community breakfasts, and additional funds are donated to local charities. It’s a Give Back Oceanside event with Living Tea and Nii Foods!”

The event runs 10am to 12pm at Living Tea  302 Wisconsin Ave, Oceanside.

Also Sunday ~ Another communal event will be hosted By the The T House equinox event starts at noon and goes until 6pm.

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There will be light food (I believe he said lobster bisque and bread) and lots of information about food, urban homesteading, gardening, spiritualism and more. contact chefbeaub@gmail.com to learn more you can also check out the T Houses website or you can also contact me through this website.

To learn a little about what they are about you can read my interview with Chef Beau T house co-founder HERE.

Have a great weekend.

Interview With Beau Bonham.

So, I am just going to post this raw. Meaning I am stopping to try to edit myself. This person is one of the strongest pastry and savory Chefs in North County. Also, one of the strongest chocolatiers I have ever met. What he is doing now is impressive.

So, embrace and understand this is what is coming.

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I had a chance to sit down and talk to Chef Beau Bonham. Actually he has kind of moved away from Solely the Chef title and is now more Chef, educator, entrepreneur, and wellness nature advocate. Urban Shaman would not be that far off of a term.

I first met Beau when he was Chef at Petite Madeline Bakery and Bistro in Oceanside, CA. Since them he has become a good friend and a great source of food and restaurant knowledge for me. I followed him through stints with his Truffle trike business ( exactly what it sounds like an ice cream pedal trike selling gourmet hand-made truffles), his stint at Masters Kitchen and Cocktail as Chef de Partie, and now his latest venture, which this interview delves into…….

So, tell me about what’s going on and your new venture the T-House.

The new venture is a social experiment and business with Staceylou Westbrook. ( Staceylou Westbrook is Beau’s partner). So, until now it has been “Chef Beau” and this business and this business and so on. Now Staceylou Westbrook and I have come together to figure out, what does it take to live your life and how do you make that into a business? How do we live our lives and still sustain ourselves?

It is multi faceted, it is based in wellness and healing. Our goal is to provide everything from services to education.

So, what made you decide to focus your life on this aspect of food and physical, mental, and spiritual health?

So, if you think about being a Chef. What I love about being a Chef is being a damn good cook. Well, the higher you get up in the Chef world, the less you get to be a damn good cook. You end up having to be a manager or a babysitter. I found this to be true with a lot of people. A lot of people have shared that sentiment with me.

Maybe the best damn Barista in the world just wants to be a damn good barista, he does not want to own a coffee shop or a chain of coffee shops. So, how can you do what makes you happy without falling into the trap of following the next logical step in order to make money or be sufficient at it? Does that make sence?

Yes, I think that Makes total sence.

…and you can put all of this under what we are trying to do with The T-House

So, why do you think this aspect of food and commerce that you are trying to do has been neglected or forgotten? Is it the pursuit of capitalism? The force feeding of you are only successful or happy if you drive this car or have this house?

Maybe, it’s as simple as not seeing the forest for the trees. Maybe we get caught up in these set of rules, Go to work, cash your paycheck, buy your stuff, and we don’t see the resources that are available to us in our own yard, in our own neighbors, or our own friends. I am actually trying to free up resources.

So, what is an easy way of someone to get involved in this, get started?

There are so many aspects to what we are doing. We want to incorporate an experiential learning project, holding classes on bio-diversity, permaculture. We want to teach people about using whole plants, seed saving, seed fixing, and essential oils. How to make salves and balms, Ozark medicine stuff.

The best way to contact us and see what we are doing is to contact us. Join our email list, or like the the Facebook page. All of this is being done at our personal house. I use my personal email, we are not running a business. We are creating a community of friends. Its chefbeaub@gmail.com if they email me I will add them to one of a few lists depending on what they are interested in. They could be interested in parties, classes, maybe holding classes themselves. Empower people to hold classes themselves and not things they are 100% proficient in but things they want to learn and have a group learning process.

We don’t want to simply provide this information, that is something the internet can do. We want to have it be an experiential learning, where people actually do these things themselves so they can feel the effects and see what its like. That is one aspect. The other aspect is Staceylou provides energy work, healing sessions, and Tarot. She will hold classes on pendulum work, getting touch with your own reality and becoming more aware of yourself.

Another part is we want to have fun. We want to throw parties and grow community. We want to provide nourishment, food, and entertainment. We want to have people get together on a friendly status. Outside of the realm of business. What makes business more legit then that backyard BBQ?  Why aren’t we doing our networking there?

…maybe we are? What if we challenge the model? What if instead of getting bigger to make more money, we go smaller to gain more resources? By finding those resources communally, we free up our money. You may drive 20 minutes to find the best hairdresser in the world and pay this price. There maybe a hairdresser in your community with whom you can trade. I’ll do your nails, you do my hair and that frees up all those resources. There are already apps available to share this information already.

So, I know one of your interests is food as medicine. What are some of the programs and offerings you want to expose people to?

We want to talk about..there is an idea called “wild crafting”, ours is not “Wild Crafting” I guess you would call it “garden Crafting”. It’s about drying out your own teas, the efficacy of tea, how we used to ingest medicinal plants simply by steeping them in boiling water. What a tea tastes like and what that particular plant is purported to do. The difference in different delivery systems such as an alcohol tincture or an infused oil or simply essential oils themselves. What these things can be used for culinary for taste and flavor and how they affect the different systems in your body and how they maybe good or not good for you in particular. Also a thing I call intuitive nutrition. We have a program we can develop with people to help them figure out what is the best thing for their body.

So, one thing I want to talk about. There is the social experiment, that is the free commerce thing. There is Staceylou business which is energy and healing. The third is both social, political, and healing. We are devoted to educating the senior community on the legality and benefits of cannabis. Not just the senior community, but because we have aging parents and grand parents it is a big part of what they are doing right now, reaching out and educating. That is a special program and if someone is interested in that they need to mention that when they contact us, because of laws and other factors.

It’s funny You get the concept, you have seen it you have been to the house. You get what we are doing, you get that there can be 5 different things going on at once.

Yeah, I think it is about getting people involved and getting them out there. That’s why I did this interview as an awareness piece. So, hopefully take advantage and check it out. Because the barter non-commerce aspect, I think, people will kind of have to wrap their head around. I think the open house on March xxx would be a good start.

So, if any of these things interests you I would highly recommend contacting Beau at chefbeaub@gmail.com and checking out the Facebook or their website, which I will link below.

Again it is something you have to personally check out to kind of get it and see if it is for you. It really is an intellectual and physical community based barter or free trade community group. That’s the best I got to sum it up.

The T house

Himalayan Dine Inn ~ San Diego

This place has been on my radar for so long. I finally made it a point to eat there. I am glad I did.

So, the Himalayans are a mountain range shared by seven countries.This food comes from Napal. The best I can describe it is China meets India. Mild curries and what I had, Momos. Little dumplings of love:)

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These were perfection. Made to order..you do understand why that is important. This was made with love. This with tip was under $15 dollars a steal.This is when words fail me..Go the best I got. I will be back.

Actually I have more the lamb..the filling was insane. This is why I love food. Simple brilliant..sorry you need to eat here.

Himalayan Dine Inn

1010 Broadway, San Diego

Sinaloa MXN & Seafood

This is why I write. I am very lucky to eat the way I do and know the Chefs I know. As much as I love Monchong with tangerine salt and anything with snail butter from Chef Willy this is again what I relish. Family recipes passed down from generations. Do not go here and get a carne asada burrito, talk to the family, because that is who you will be dealing with. The mother cooks the son and daughter run the front of house.

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A modest interior hides what is really going on. On a side note the eldest son is a professional boxer.

I just said cook me something you love. She thought about it and it paid off.

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She asked me if I wanted to see how my food was being made. Yes, please and thank you.

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A starter bonus dish. Soup made from the braise that my main was cooked in with star pasta. I felt like a little kid, this meal brought me back to my childhood. This what food is supposed to do.

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The menu..I do not see what I ate on there. They do .99 cent fish tacos as well.

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Hands down the best chili relleno I have ever had. The fry? perfect, the bell pepper still had a crunch and was fresh. The sides flawless. I was told this was her mother’s and her mother’s and her mother’s recipe …it showed.

Then I was asked do want to try her flan she made this morning? You can not say no to that.

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Yep, and then this. Perfect.

Look I do not preach a lot but this place needs to be supported. You do not get this very often. They are lucky that a new Crunch Fitness is about to open in the same plaza along with a something I am not supposed to talk about gourmet doughnut place.

I tipped heavy and walked out spending $20 dollars a steal for what I ate.

Go, talk, eat. nuff said!

Sinaloa MXN & Seafood

1759 Oceanside Blvd. Oceanside, Ca

#food #foodporn #Oceanside #mexicanfood

Bruery Beer Dinner @ Belching Beaver Tavern ~ Vista

So, I am hitting you with back to back event dinners, which is kind of a mixed bag for me. Part of me thinks, I am reporting on something you can not go to since it has passed. On the other hand it is good to show what is going on here in North County. There will be more events so hopefully you will take advantage and hit some of them up yourself. Even if you do not like events it does give exposure to local Chefs and what they are doing so you can get a feel for their style and talent.

Tonight’s dinner was a collaboration between Chef Ramiro of Belching Beaver Tavern and Grill in Vista and The Bruery out of Orange County. It was a very special collaboration that I feel brought out the best of both parties.

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Chris from The Bruery and Chef Ramiro

I will be covering the food portion, Justin, North County Food’s contributing beer writer will be doing a follow-up post going into the beers more in-depth. It is our first time doing it this way but I think it will be an interesting take on the coverage.

If you have not been to the Belching Beaver Tavern it is a wonderful spot.

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The bar area before the crowd descended.

The dinner was a 5 course menu paired with 7 pours ..think it ended up being 8.

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The menu

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Al Pastor Tostada ~ Annatto seed marinated pork, potato tortilla, hominy puree, burnt pineapple cilantro chimichurri, and spiced cotija cheese.

Hands down dish of the night. This was just everything you want in a dish, layered, complex, heat, richness, and all that. The chimichurri had just this back hit of pineapple and the spiced cotija just played with heat. Truly great.

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Melon Salad ~ Compressed melon, roasted nopales, and nasturtium pesto.

Deceptively simple. The melon was compressed with the paired beer giving it a less sweet flavor. That and the play against the bitterness of the greens and nopales worked perfectly.

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Swedish Meatballs ~ Venison meatballs, creamy gravy, and lingonberry sauce.

Great take on a classic dish. The venison was mixed with some ground beef to add some fat content and inject moisture to the dish.

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Mole Skewers ~ Grilled mole seasoned Beaver veggie skewers

Perfectly cooked vegetables in an insane mole. I tried to see if there was left over mole in the kitchen to take home but alas.

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Grilled Pound Cake ~ Coffee chantilly, jalapeno macerated Oregon berries.

I am not a dessert guy but this was delicious. The grilling of the pound cake gave it a texture just shy of a biscotti. The Coffee chantilly was light and flavorful and not mentioned in the menu description was topped with a chocolate and brittle candy from So Rich Chocolates , one of my favorite chocolatiers, out of Vista as well. Way to keep it local.

The one thing, other than they can make great beer, about the Bruery is they do not shine away from pouring their product.

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This was our corner of the table by the end of the night.

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Justin, Chef Ramiro, and the two lovely ladies we had the pleasure of enjoying the dinner with, never met them before just great people. I had a ton of fun. A big part of these events is meeting new people and sharing the love of food and wine.

Belching Beaver’s next event will feature Firestone Walker. Keep up on dates by following them on Facebook which I will link below.

So, now for some insider news. Belching Beaver is looking to add food both to their Vista tasting room and their Ocean Beach location. The menus will be akin to the bar menu at the Vista tavern location. In addition they are looking to expand the Tavern concept with full menu up to possibly the Santa Barbara area. Good on them.

Belching Beaver Tavern & Grill Vista, Ca

Belching Beaver Facebook

The Bruery

Bits and Bites ~ December / January

So, here are some meals I had over the last month and a half, that while don’t fit into a stand alone post, deserve mentioning. You may want to check them out if you want a solid bite to eat.

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Greek Chicken at Paul’s Place ~ Oceanside

Paul’s Place is owned by, I believe, the brother of the owner of Angelo’s. It is a fast casual restaurant serving a smaller but similar menu. The one thing I like is they serve a few more Greek items, like the Greek Chicken. Moist lemon chicken with rice pilaf and pita bread. A winner for lunch at under $10.

Paul’s Place ~ 3671 Mission Ave. Oceanside.

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Carnitas Plate Combo at Primo Foods ~ Oceanside

Perfectly moist carnitas, guacamole, rice, beans, flour or corn tortillas and a drink for $5.99 on Wednesdays. That can not be beat. Also check out their $0.69 Taco Tuesdays and BBQ on the weekends. They also have great homemade guacamole and salsas to go at the market. It’s a cornucopia of delicious options.

Primo Market ~ 606 Morse St. Oceanside

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Cornish Game Hen at Luna Grill ~ Carlsbad

So, first off , it was surprising to see Cornish Game Hen at a fast casual restaurant, more surprising how well they executed it. It had a nice char on the outside and was tender and moist inside. Served with Basmati rice, charred tomato, and a house salad.

If you find yourself at the, hugely under construction, Carlsbad Mall, Luna Grill is a solid fast casual choice.

Luna Grill ~ 2501 El Camino Real, Oceanside.

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Pepian at Aydee’s Garnacheria ~ Fallbrook

Aydee’s is a small cafe near downtown Fallbrook that does Mexican and Guatemalan dishes.

I wondered in for lunch and had a very solid version of Pepian (think Guatemalan Mole). While I wish the sauce had a little more depth it was still very satisfying. I also really liked the rice and beans. The rice was more of a Pilaf style and the beans were cooked rather than refried.

Aydee’s Garnacheria ~ 110 east Mission Rd. Fallbrook

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Wood Fired croissants at Biga ~ San Diego

I was given one of these while at the Hog Roast at Biga last week. I did not mention them in that report because they were not part of the event but still wanted to give them a shout out. I have a pretty high standard for croissants and these are right up there with the best, plus the wood fire cooking just pushes them into that very special place. Definintly grab one if your in downtown San Diego, even if you’re not eating at Biga (which i highly recommend you do).

Biga ~ 950 6th Ave. San Diego

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Pizza Of The Month “Spicy Spinach” at Pizza Port ~ Carlsbad

So last, and surprisingly my least favorite, pizza at pizza Pizza Port. Now, there was nothing wrong with this pie. The crust was good and I finished it, it just did not wow me. I have never been to Pizza Port and they are somewhat of an institution, so I was nearby and decided to try them. Maybe it was an expectation thing? I would much prefer The Privateer or Pizzamaniac for flavor. I know usually, I just won’t mention it but it did surprise me so I thought I would. I did not go in expecting Mozza, but was expecting more than I got.

Pizza Port ~ 571 Carlsbad Village Dr.

Ok, back to looking for a room to rent.