7 Great Dishes ~ North County

A lot of times, while not doing a review, I experience a dish worth mentioning. These really do not support a full article, so from time to time I will compile them into one. Also if you follow northcountyfood on Instagram (Please do) you will get these one offs and general event things in North County.

red rooster burger (1 of 1)

The Rooster Burger @ The Red Rooster, Oceanside ~ American cheese, Ortega chili, grilled onion, sesame seed bun, and your choice of toppings, in this case 1000 island dressing and a little mustard.

Pretty much an institution in Oceanside, the Red Rooster Bar has been around since, well forever. I remember my Dad bringing home Rooster burgers when I was in Jr. High. It is a juicy, tasty, dive bar burger. Pretends to be nothing more, yet it is.

o'side plate (1 of 1)

Weekly Chef Specials @ Petite Madeline ~ Though because they are specials they change weekly, ordering one of Chef Marc’s off the blackboard is the way to go here. He is a Chef I still can not pin down. He uses Asian influences and then throws an Italian pesto in. This one in particular “The O’side plate” included shrimp, pesto, tomatoes, pesto, and the genius addition of kohlrabi noodles (cabbage family).

avo grilled cheese (1 of 1)

Avocado Grilled Cheese @ Barrel Republic, Oceanside ~ After seeing a video of the Chef making this sandwich I had to try it. Perfectly grilled sourdough, tomato, mozzarella, and tempura fried avocado. The avocado stays fresh and soft inside its light battered crust making the dish a lot lighter than it may sound. So, good.

  • Currently only at the Oceanside location.

Tandoori chicken sammie (1 of 1)

Tandoori Chicken Sandwich @ Flying Pig, Vista ~ Fried chicken, house BBQ sauce, on brioche. Another sandwich that after having seen it on Facebook knew “that is going my face”.  Upon arrival I thought “no way i am eating all that”. Yet, due to another light and flavorful batter and the fact the sandwich is so damn good, I destroyed the whole thing.

  • Currently only at the Vista location on the weekends

pelly-s-halibut-plate

Fresh fish Plate @ Pelly’s Fish Market, Carlsbad ~ Local Halibut, lemon butter, Spanish rice, and a side salad w / blue cheese dressing. Simple perfectly cooked fresh fish, not much more you can ask for.

millers (1 of 1)

Heirloom Caprese Salad and Roast Beef Bites @ The Miller’s Table, Oceanside. Cyclops Farms heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and pesto. You can not go wrong with this flavor combo, especially when using top quality ingredients. Most of their sandwiches can be ordered as bites. The ingredients are served on bruschetta and quite filling making combining them with a salad a perfect summer lunch or light dinner.

yogurt (1 of 1)

16oz Blueberry Italian Ice and Mango Sorbet W/ Fresh Fruit @ Guava Lava Frozen Treats, Oceanside ~ First time trying this place out and I loved it. Cute interior, surgically clean, and a great selection of flavors and toppings. I love that they offer Ices and Sorbets in addition to yogurt. Tons of fresh fruit flavor, I shall return.

 

The Red Rooster

Petite Madeline Bakery & Bistro

Barrel Republic

Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen

Pelly’s Fish Market

The Miller’s Table

Guava Lava Frozen Treats

#food #foodporn #restaurants #oceanside #vista #carlsbad

 

 

The Roosevelt ~ Carlsbad

The Roosevelt is an Italian style gourmet Pizzeria located on, funnily enough, Roosevelt street in Carlsbad. It is owned by Hector Reyna who helms the kitchen along with his son Stephen, you may know Stephen as former head Chef of the Privateer.

The Roosevelt is a little off the beaten path. The best way to find it is to find Pizza Port in Carlsbad and then walk on by it to The Roosevelt.

find (1 of 1)

Almost there just keep going. Walk on by, nope, walk on by. You’ll be glad you did.

ext (1 of 1)

There, you found it. 3067 Roosevelt St. Carlsbad.

int (1 of 1)

Simple, modern interior. Seats about 60? Plus a patio.

The Roosevelt serves Classic Italian with a twist. A farm to table mentality with almost everything made in-house.

The menu features salads, veggie dishes, piatti like meatballs, lasagna, stuffed shells, and of course pizza.

I started with the caprese…

caprese (1 of 1)

Caprese ~ Mozzalrella, basil, local tomato, olive oil, balsamic.

I love caprese. It is a simple flavor combination that is just perfect. Because it is so simple the ingredients have to be top-notch. These were. You can tell a cheap mozzarella a mile away. it should be like this, soft and creamy. Also tomatoes at room temperature, as they should be. A+

pizza (1 of 1)

Carlsbad Pie ~ Tomato, hen of the woods mushrooms, garlic, black olive, mozzarella, and an add-on of their house made sausage.

A pizza requires a great crust, a great sauce, and great cheese, otherwise it falls apart. It is like culinary Jenga.

The crust was perfect, crispy yet still light and fluffy. The sauce is so light with a slight acidity that works off the sweetness of the dough. I love Hen Of The Woods (Maitake) mushrooms. The in-house sausage was great, yay no nitrates.

OK, cheese. If you are used to shredded cheese being spread all over your pizza, this is not that. This is slices of mozzarella that melt. Think of it as a topping and not a base.

Prices are reasonable for the quality you are getting. I would say almost a steal. My pizza was $13 plus $3 for the additional sausage. A Papa Johns large sausage pizza is $18 and should never be eaten. *if you are extremely drunk you get a pass on that decision.

We have a lot of great pizza in North County take advantage.

The Roosevelt

3067 Roosevelt St. Carlsbad

#food #foodporn #pizza #italianfood #carlsbad

Crust Pizzeria ~ Carlsbad

Crust Pizzeria is a Chef driven, gourmet pizza restaurant located on the border of Carlsbad and Encinitas at 3263 Camino De Los Coches, Carlsbad. (sprouts shopping center.)

The restaurant is pretty large with a medium-sized bar area, an open kitchen area, and seating for about 75 inside and an additional 40 on the patio. Still it gets busy on nights and weekends.

crust ext (1 of 1)

Crust Pizzeria

crust int (1 of 1)

Crust Pizzeria interior.

crust chef (1 of 1)

Master Pizza Chef Charlie Meola working at his craft.

Chef Meola has been working at his craft for 18 years. This experience and his passion for only using the best ingredients shows in his food. I was luck enough to grab some of his time and you can read that interview Here.

crust slice (1 of 1)

Cheese Pizza by the slice available at lunch.

crust peperoni (1 of 1)

Pepperoni Pizza ~ Grande mozzarella, Boars Head pepperoni, and fresh-cut basil.

crust specialty (1 of 1)

Tasia ~ Belle chevre goat cheese, kalamata olives, grilled eggplant, zucchini, Grande Mozzarella, feta cheese, oregano, lemon zest, and chili flake.

The pizza I had on a previous visit was the Sophia ~ Spicy sausage, crispy chard, olive oil, fontina cheese, ricotta, and rosemary.

I do not have a pic because my phone ate it:(  but it was delicious. Perfect crust, loved the quality of the cheese and the balance of flavor.

I would put crust in the top 4 pizza places in San Diego at the moment. First off don’t give me the Filippi’s they are mediocre. Pizza Port is OK if your close and want to grab lunch. Urbn does not know how to cook or time their crust, both times it was charred and inedable around the outside ( and I was there when it was slow so it’s not like they got distracted.)

No, I would say Biga, Crust, and The Privateer followed fourth by Pizza Maniac (for an old school grab a slice after work or school place.)

I know I talked mainly about pizza but Crust also does pastas, salads, and sandwiches.

I plan on going back for non work eating soon to explore the menu a little more along with going back to Biga for lunch because it was too dark for pics at dinner.

Crust Pizzeria

3263 Camino De Los Coches, Carlsbad

#food #foodporn #Pizza

New Chef / Menu Items At Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen ~ Oceanside

So, I was invited with about 120 others to try some of the new menu items that will be coming to The Flying Pig’s Oceanside location starting Tuesday.

The new menu will feature Craft, Italian inspired dishes created by new Chef  Justin Lappies. Justin has been working with Executive Chef Mario Moser for the last three years and was tapped to replace exiting Chef Samantha Parker, who is now at Campfire.

Do not worry, it is not a complete menu change and you will still see Flying Pig staples on the menu, it is just an infusion of freshness accompanying the new Chef.

All the dishes were served “family style’ and varied with each table.

What we had…..

panzanela-salad-1-of-1

Panzanella Salad ~ Heirloom tomato, red romaine, onion,basil, cucumbers, capers, fried house focaccia, house vin.

Great salad with super fresh ingredients. I would say an interpretation of a panzanella.

arancini-1-of-1

Arancini ~ Arborio rice, herbs, mushrooms, house red sauce and truffle aioli.

A great light version of what can sometimes be a heavy appetizer. I loved the filling and the mushroom flavor. I did not care for the truffle aioli but the red sauce made up for it in spades.

flat-bread-1-of-1

Meat Flatbread ~ Pepperoni, ham, sausage, house red sauce, caramelized onion, opal basil

Classic, tasty flatbread.

tagliatelle-1-of-1

Tagliatelle ~ Daily Bolognese, with aged parm.

This was my dish of the night. Perfectly cooked, hand-made pasta with a rich sauce that contrasted perfectly with the freshness of the greens.

campanile-1-of-1

Campanile ~ Daily pesto, house sausage, mushrooms, aged parm.

Another tasty pasta dish, loved the pesto and the sausage. Pasta may have been slightly to al dente for my taste.

olive-oil-cake-1-of-1

Olive Oil Pound Cake with Champagne Gastrique

spumoni-1-of-1

Spumoni ~ Pistacio Gelato, Brandied Cherries.

Excellent gelato, could have used more kick out of the brandied cherries.

Overall, great food that will be a nice addition to the Pig’s menu. Just as long as the pork chop does not go anywhere:)

Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen

626 South Tremont Street, Oceanside

Angel’s Salumi & Truffles

So, I was invited to Angel’s Salumi & Truffles this past week to see their facility and sample their product line. Just so you know, you are going to see the phrases “best X I have ever had” and “delicious” a lot through out this post.

Angel’s Salumi is based right here in Carlsbad, Ca. off of El Camino Real on Palmer Way. Here they have a small show room and retail shop that is open to the public, along with their packing and shipping warehouse.

angel-salumi-ext-1-of-1

Angel’s Salumi & Truffles ~ 5621 Palmer Way Suite B, Carlsbad

angel-salumi-int-1-of-1

Their Showroom.

angel-salumi-int-shipping-1-of-1

Shipping and Packing Facility.

Just to give you a little info on the owner / creator of the product, because I think it is important, here is his background.

Pascal served as an Executive Chef and made his apprentissage in six 5 star hotels, two of which were ranked in the top ten hotels in the world. He also studied Charcuterie in the south of France, Monte Carlo, Corsica, and Paris. I know, I do not know how he survived:). He worked alongside Bernard Broust and Mr. Langlois, silver medal M.A.F and M.O.F Chefs in Charcuterie, at the Gaston Lenotre School. He was mentored by Cesar Merlino, Chef and Maitre Charcuterie in the French Alpes.

He has been involved in the California culinary scene for over 20 years, supplying Chefs and consumers with the highest quality product. He has painstakingly refined each recipe and oversees the production, made in small batches to insure consistency and quality.

Ok, now on to the good stuff, the product.

The tasting was held in their demonstration kitchen.

angel-salumi-sign-1-of-1

angel-salumi-animals-1-of-1

Apropos decor for a charcuterie company.

angel-salumi-basket-1-of-1

Charcuterie left to right ~ Black Truffle Salami, Wild Boar Salami, Venison and Berkshire Salami.

black-truffle-salami-6-5oz-710x473 Black Truffle Salami ~ 5% European Black Winter                                                                                  Truffle, Berkshire pork, red wine, Armagnac and                                                                                    spices.

This was a great salami with a nice taste of black truffles, yet they did not overpower the pork flavor. diffinently a stronger salami able to stand up and pair with mustards and medium to bigger red wines.

wild-boar-salami-plancha-710x549 100% Texas Wild Boar.  Prepared with Herbs and                                                                                    Wine.

This was the second salami I sampled and my favorite. Full of flavor, still had a moisture to it. All their Charcuterie tasted clean. What I mean by that is, there was nothing standing in the way of the flavors, you taste the purity of the ingredients.

box-of-2-venison-berkshire-salami-6-5oz Venison & Berkshire Salami is Made from New Zealand                                                                       Venison and 100% Purebred Berkshire Pork, Seasoned                                                                         with Red Wine, Juniper Berries and Black Peppercorn.

Another great product. Some of the best Venison in the world comes out of NZ. The Berkshire Pork adds moisture and cuts the gameyness of the venison.

angel-salumi-fg-1-of-1

Foie Gras Terrine ~ Hudson Valley Farms Duck Liver and 5% Black Truffle. No fat added,                                             contain 10% of duck liver fat from the cooking process.

Foie and black truffle, you could not get more decadent unless you served it with caviar and gold leaf. The terrine was rich and flavorful with just the right amount of truffle as again not to overpower the delicate fatty liver. The foie itself is cut and layered instead of chopped together with the truffles in order to maintain that balance.

You could serve this at a social gathering of 20 people and it would be enough due to the richness. I mean it would be gone, but there would be enough.

angel-salumi-truffle-butter-1-of-1

Truffle Butter ~  Black Truffle Butter made with 5% Black Winter Truffle from Perigord France blended with Natural Churned Butter from Grass Fed Cows.

This is great in small amounts on quality bread, or as a finishing butter on steaks. you could probably use it in a pasta dish as well. They also produce a white truffle version which I will be playing around with this weekend on some grass-fed steaks. Its part of my hedonism diet.

angel-salumi-product-1-of-1

In addition to the charcuterie, foie gras, and butters, we also sampled a number of spreads and olive oils. Like the afore-mentioned products these were all world-class.

All the Italian products are imported from Frantoio di Sant’Agata, a family owned company since 1827.  The oil mill is located in the hilly countryside of Imperia, with a beautiful view of the Ligurian coast where they grow, harvest, and produce their Taggiasca olives.

See, serious stuff.

Again the word I will use is clean. Quality product, where you know what you are eating and it tastes magnificent. I have been using the pepper cream on sandwiches and flatbreads. I used the olive oil to make a kick ass Caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil.

While I was there these little nuggets of joy showed up via fed Ex..

angel-salumi-truffles-1-of-1

Their truffles are sourced from Italy, Spain, and France.

You can buy Angel’s Salumi products online, at their showroom, and eat it at finer restaurants across North County and San Diego.

Perfect stuff for foodie Christmas Gifts and entertaining. left to right their “Slow cured natural salami selection” and Their Italian gift basket. You can find gift baskets from as low as $36 up to $286 for an ultimate gift basket. They even have vegetarian and vegan options. Browse gift baskets here.

Angel’s Salumi & Truffles 

5621 Palmer Way Suite B, Carlsbad

760.931.1324

PizzaManiac ~ Vista

So, my friend Dinah recommended this place and since she has pretty good taste, I figured I would check it out. I am glad I did.

PizzaManiac is in a strip mall in Vista sandwiched between Taco Bar and a laundromat.

pizzamaniac-ext-1-of-1

PizzaManiac ~ 1461 North Santa Fe, Vista (corner of Santa Fe and Bobier)

The interior is simple and clean and houses a big ass pizza oven.

pizzamaniac-int-1-of-1

The previously mentioned big ass pizza oven.

They have about 9 specialty pies or you can build your own. They also have a 2 slice and drink special for $7.00 which is a great deal especially for the quality of the pizza.

pizzamaniac-slice-1-of-1

My slice ~ Pesto, garlic, mozzarella, and feta.

Great toppings, real mozzarella, not greasy plastic cheese, and a delightfully light and crispy crust. The crust sold it for me.

pizzamaniac-wings-1-of-1.

Buffalo Wings

Due to them not having a deep fryer, these are baked. Great wings, crispy on the outside and moist and tender chicken. It looks like they would need sauce (which they provide.) but I used very little. Because they are coated before baking the buffalo sauce seeps in, departing a lot of flavor.

They will start serving beer in the future.

 

pizzamaniac-owner-1-of-1

Ben Phillips ~ Proud owner and Vista native.

Ben is a great guy and a local business owner who is doing things right. Fresh ingredients, treated with care. the kind of business and individual this site is focused on supporting.

Trivia ~ he originally wanted to call his place “Passion Of The Crust”, which I love, he may still do T-shirts. If he does I will buy one:)

Next time you want pizza or wings give PizzaManiac a try, you will be glad you did.

Pizzamaniac.

1461 North Santa Fe, Vista

 

Fast Casual Pasta Concept Coming Soon To Oceanside.

Pastas Lab (that is not a typo it is pastas) will be opening soon in the space once occupied by Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees and smoothies next to the downtown Regal Cinema.

pastas-lab-1-of-1

Pastas Lab is part of a Chain with 2 San Diego locations and one opening up around the same time as the Oceanside location in San Elijo Hills. The Chain also includes Facchini’s and The Lasagna Lab.

Their USP (unique selling point) is they make all their pastas fresh from scratch.

The menu consists of choose your type of pasta and sauce as well as soups, salads, and sandwiches.

On an excitement scale of 1 to 10 this about a 3 food wise but a 10 downtown wise because it fills some of those vacancies in that plaza.

The Pastas Lab

401 Mission Ave, Oceanside

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.

cardiff-1-of-1

Yep, I’m in Cardiff.

cardiff-ext-1-of-1

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.

cardiff-int-1-of-1

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.

cardiff-caprese-sandwich-1-of-1

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:)

cardiff-gelato-1-of-1

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

cardiff-gelato-lemon-1-of-1

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

 

 

 

 

Comings and Goings ~ Oceanside and Carlsbad

So, just a few things I ran across on my travels.

Downtown Oceanside is getting a L&L BBQ downtown. Now, I know we want an artisan, craft, farm to table ,sustainable third generation Belgian, Venezuelan, jam maker to take up shop, but this will attract people who can then discover TBG, Petite Madeline and others in the area.

L&L

Thank goodness it is not another T-shirt shop.

Secondly in Carlsbad, I was sad to see one of my favorite go-to sandwich places go.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

R.I.P Grand Deli.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I will miss you “Caboose” sandwich…”you were named after the last car on the train but will always be the first in my heart.”

boo

The new tenants Cicciottis. Italian Sea Food, this will be their second location. the first is in Cardiff.

Speaking of Carlsbad..I know, horrible Segway. I love these guys.

vig-ext

I have been craving a Charcuterie board for a while. Heads up restaurants why would I pay $16 dollars plus for a few pieces of Cheese and meats (even if you make your cured meats in-house) your board will not stand up to this.

board 2

Speck, Prosciutto San Daniele (aged 24 mos.) salame felino and imported bufala mozzarella. $30 enough for 3 people or me with sandwiches at 2am that night.

I really need to do more on them, they are the nicest family and this is the kind of place that I would expect in San Francisco. This is just the Market i am talking about by the way.

.Vigiluccis Market

L & L Hawaiian BBQ

Cicciottis

Trattoria i Trulli ~ Encinitas

Trattoria i Trulli was opened in Encinitas on Coast Highway around 2000 by partners Salvatore, Antonino and Daniela. The three have since expanded to run a number of sister restaurants in Little Italy including La Villa and Buon Appetito. I believe initially they were tied to Arrivederci in Hillcrest, which is where I first had and fell in love with their chicken dish called  Pollo Millegusti or Polo 101 at i Trulli.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

The restaurant hosts a warm wood interior and a small patio area perfect for the current weather.

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

 

The menu is rustic Italian featuring antpasti, insalate, pasta, seafood, and carne, along with some great seasonal specials.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Crostini del Giorno ~ First of the season peaches, peppered ricotta, shaved prosciutto, honey.

Note ~ The peaches were warmed in the honey before being added to the crostini which made the dish that much better.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Pollo 101 ~ Chicken breast, imported cheeses, spinach & asparagus, wild mushroom sauce, vegetables, parmesan cheese.

Note ~ just as I remember:)

Trattoria i Trulli
830 S Coast Highway 101
Encinitas, Ca 92024

trattoriaitrullisd.com