Corner Bakery Cafe ~ Encinitas

I can not eat high-end restaurant food all the time, so I like it when I can find high quality fast casual places like Lemonade, Flower Child, and I would now add Corner Bakery Cafe to that list.

I was in Encinitas on other business and came across the re-designed strip mall just east of El Camino Real on Encinitas Blvd. There is a lot going into that spot, a tap-room, Luna Grill, and it already houses a Habit Burger and the previously mentioned Corner Bakery Cafe.

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Corner Bakery Cafe ~ 1476 Encinitas Boulevard, Encinitas.

I did some research and this is the fourth San Diego location operated by the Feast Restaurant Group. They have another North County location across from the outlet stores in Carlsbad in the plaza that houses PF Changs and King’s Fish House.

The best reference I could give you is think Panera with better food and a real kitchen. I used to work for Panera and have nothing but positive things to say about my experience but I also know fresher ingredients when I eat them. Plus, working kitchen.

The interior is simple and clean. You order at the counter and then your food is brought to your table when ready. Pretty straight forward Fast Casual Dinning. I do not have any interior pics due it being somewhat busy and ripping one-off the web is always dicey.

They serve a full range of breakfast items from eggs, pancakes, and oatmeal. As well as sandwiches, salads, Pastas and chili. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner and are open till about 8 or 9pm.

I was down there at lunch time for my appointment so went the Sandwich and salad route.

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Harvest Salad ~ chicken, field greens, green apples, toasted walnuts, cranberries and bleu cheese with raisin pecan sweet crisps and balsamic vinaigrette.

This was the smaller “cafe” size and it was big. It was everything I like in a salad, lots of different textures, great quality field greens, and I really liked the raisin pecan crisps. It was better than any salad I have had at Swami’s.

The bread that came with it was also really good.

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Uptown Turkey Avocado Sandwich ~ Smoked turkey breast, applewood smoked bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo on whole grain harvest toast.

Great sandwich, lots of Avocado, Turkey and again, great bread. I should have re-plated it to show it better but I already get enough looks for spinning my plate around and taking like 10 pictures.

This was a lot of food, but they have combos available where it would be smaller portions of both.

Oh, they also have great lemonade and Iced tea. Hibiscus lemonade Arnold Palmer for the win. I love quality lemonade.

If you’re in the area they are a good quality option for a meal.

Probably my last post or next to last post for the month as I just had to throw some groceries away because I have not been eating in and I have to go through my groceries before I lose more.

Corner Bakery Cafe

1476 Encinitas Boulevard, Encinitas.

#food #lunch #foodporn

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

The Miller’s Table ~ Open 6 Days A Week Starting Thursday.

The Miller’s Table will be open 11am till 9pm 6 days a week (closed Tuesdays) starting September 29th.  Come on by.

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The Millers’s Table ~ 514 South Coast Highway, Oceanside.

Taste from a changing selection of wine and beer at Our Table in Oceanside, CA.  The Miller’s Table offers an array of fine wines and craft beers. We also serve sandwiches, fresh salads and small plates with cheese & charcuterie to pair. Whether you are having some me-time or spending the day with friends or neighbors, you can count on us to provide you with an unforgettable experience.

At The Table we have an ever changing selection of Wine and Beer Flights.  Each Wine is available to enjoy By the Glass or Bottle as well…plus if you fall in love, take a bottle home.  Six hand-picked drafts to choose from…rotating selection, plus bottles, all by taste or glass.  Please see our Facebook Page for this week’s selections….or better yet, come on by!

The Miller’s Table

514 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

 

Succulent Cafe ~ Carlsbad (Now Open)

The second iteration of Succulent Cafe has opened at the end of State Street in downtown Carlsbad. Like the original cafe in Oceanside the cafe serves coffees, smoothies, teas, and pastries. Though the menu at the Carlsbad will be expanding in the future.

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Succulent Cafe ~ 3000 block of State Street (Where State and Oak intersect.)

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The current cafe menu.

The real charm and beauty of Succulent cafe is its atmosphere. The owner peter has a talent for creating relaxing friendly environments, where you are surrounded by living art. The best way to show this is through pictures, not words.

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The space screams “event dinners & live music”. If you love the original Succulent cafe in Oceanside you’ll love this one. If you have not been to the Oceanside location, you’ll love both.

They have been open two days now, I will be back there next week and add any additional info.

Succulent Cafe 

300 block of State Street Carlsbad

@ State and Oak

No website yet, link is for the Oceanside location, I’m sure they can answer any questions.

There is an Instagram for the Carlsbad location succulentcafe_carlsbad

Campfire Dinner / Full Report ~ Carlsbad

While it was not my intention to write back to back articles on a single restaurant, the combination of a busy schedule, back pain, and the fact I loved my first trip, lead me to do just that.

Campfire is the first solo project of John Resnick (Ironside Fish and Oysters and Craft and Commerce). It brings an open kitchen and open flame cooking to the north side of State Street in downtown Carlsbad. The building, formerly an auto body shop, is transformed into what a camping lodge would look like if all the campers were hipsters. That is not a bad thing, the build out itself is beautiful utilizing natural woods and coppers to give it a homey yet modern feel. The design firm “Bells + Whistles” did an outstanding job. Blue Ocean Sushi would be another example of their fine work in Carlsbad.

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Nothing like smelling burning wood half a block away. Campfire 2725 State Street, Carlsbad.

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Campfire interior.

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Someone sucks at archery.

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Campfire bar and open kitchen. That kitchen had to be hot as hell with how muggy and hot yesterday was.

Chef Andrew Bachelier has created a menu that capitalizes on the restaurant’s main theme, which is open fire cooking. You will see a lot of words like chargrilled and smoked throughout. This also carries over to the cocktail menu created by Leigh Lacap.

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I started my meal off same as last time with the house made lemonade.

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Char Grilled Oysters ~   cucumber. Meyer lemon. chili butter.

Mentioned in my previous post this was going to be a go-to dish for me and being true, it is. Beautiful dish.

OK, new stuff…………..

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Broccoli ~   chermoula. lime. candied peanut.

This dish was recommended by the staff and was a hit. Perfectly cooked vegetables with a nice char flavor that set off well against the chermoula. Chermoula is a Mediterranean style marinade made of herbs oil, cumin, lemon, and salt or a variation of these ingredients, depending on region and chef.

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Leek ~   fungi. creamy taleggio

As with the broccoli, the leek was cooked to a perfect al dente. The addition of the taleggio added a fruity tang to the dish. Again the act of char-grilling the vegetable added yet another flavor and texture component. This is a very rich dish with the cheese, perfect for splitting…I had to buckle down and eat the whole thing myself:)

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Pork Middle Char Siu ~   farro. brussels sprout. apple

Chinese style pork set off against micro thin apple slices and farro. The brussels sprouts were fine but not essential to the dish. Solid dish flavor wise and well-executed pork.

Service was on point again. I plan on returning, still a lot of the menu to try.Plus I want to delve into the cocktail menu.

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This is the end to a “bad weather day” in North County:)

Campfire

2725 State Street, Carlsbad

 

 

Campfire (Lunch Report) ~ Carlsbad

I have been reporting on Campfire’s progress for a while now. They finally made their debut this week, opening for lunch and dinner Wednesday. While I have reservations for dinner on the 20th, I could not wait. I found myself with extra time on my hands and in the vicinity, so I popped by for lunch.

The dinner report will be more in-depth but from what I found it already looks like a winner.

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Campfire 2725 State St. Carlsbad.

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The bar has a pretty extensive craft cocktail,wine,and beer list. I went with my go to,lemonade, mint lemonade at that cause that’s how I roll. Made from scratch in a cocktail shaker.

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Char Grilled Oysters ~ Myer lemon, chili butter, cucumber.

These are going to go on the must have list for each visit. They brought back memories of oyster festivals in Olympia Washington. Perfectly cooked, plump,juicy, with a slight hint of smoke. I almost ordered another plate before I remembered I was coming back so soon.

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Tuna Belly ~ Long beans, soft-boiled egg, olive, shallot.

This was another great dish. It’s a cold dish which you may not get from the description but it holds tons of flavor. The stars of the dish are the long beans, which still have a char taste to them. The smoked tuna belly, egg and tapenade work to contrast and set the flavors off.

Again, I will have more on Campfire soon but I was just excited to share. Service was great, plenty of staff and a lot of the key positions are people from Ironside Fish and Oyster. At least that’s what my eavesdropping, I mean research, tells me.

Campfire

2725 State St. Carlsbad

The Roxy Remodels & Re-opens ~ Encinitas

The Roxy, which has been open in downtown Encinitas since 1978, closed at the end of March for a major remodel and concept change. With the neighborhood changing and monthly rent in the 10,000 per month range the owners needed to attract new customers.

The new concept is a 20’s speakeasy vibe, with craft cocktails and updated “New American” menu under Executive Chef Chris Gallo. Long time regulars can still find a few of the old menu’s favorites, like Falafel Burgers and an artichoke sandwich alongside the new dishes.

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The remodel is still underway, plans include opening up the front so the restaurant extends to the patio area, probably with roll-up garage-style doors or open window seats. The liquor license allows the establishment to serve alcohol outside as well.

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The interior is still in transformation. The walls I doubt will remain white.

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The bar and kitchen area give more of a hint as to the finished look.

I tried a few dishes off the new menu…..

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Fig Crostini ~ aged Humboldt fog, sherry marinated figs, basil, honey

Great flavors that work great together. Beautiful figs by the way.

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Salt Cure Foie Gras Torchon ~ honey roasted fig, cognac gastrique, brioche toast.

This dish is on the dinner menu but Chef wanted to show it off, and rightly so. This is one of the best versions of Foie Gras I have had. The preparation gave the Foie Gras a depth of flavor you normally do not get. There are those figs again.

Though still in a soft open mode the Roxy is putting out good food with attentive service. The weekends feature live music acts, which is nice, we can always use more venues supporting local music.

The Roxy

517 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas

 

Pelly’s Fish Market & Cafe ~ Carlsbad

So, I’m surprised I didn’t write about the wonderfulness that is Pelly’s before now. I love seafood, but I am very picky when it comes to it. Growing up fishing with a Dad and older brother who were avid fishermen, you become accustomed to very fresh seafood. I was craving fish and a shrimp cocktail and wanted something above the quality of most places in North County. I wanted a good selection to choose from and also did not want to spend a ton.

I was craving fish and a shrimp cocktail and wanted something above the quality of most places in North County. I wanted a good selection to choose from and also did not want to spend a ton of money. Fish 101 was an option as well but I had recently visited them unlike Pelly’s.

Pelly’s has been around since the late 80s providing fresh seafood at their market / cafe in Carlsbad.

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Pelly’s Fish Market & Cafe 7110 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad.

Though 100 times smaller than Catalina Offshore Pelly’s fish selection stands up to anyone as far as quality and freshness.

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Some of the daily fish selection, not cheap but you get the quality you are paying for.

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Simple cafe interior, they also have outside seating wich was packed on the day I went, so I opted to sit inside.

Their menu is pretty simple offering a number of seafood cocktails, fish sandwiches or plates, as well as tacos.

I am a sucker for a great shrimp cocktail so that is what I started with….

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Shrimp Cocktail ~ Simplicity at its best.

Perfect shrimp, a little cocktail sauce, and a squeeze of lemon and life is good.

After seeing some of the most beautiful swordfish I have seen in a while in their fish case, I was tempted but decided on the fresh Alaskan Halibut instead.

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Alaskan Halibut ~ Dill butter, spicy rice, and a side salad.

Perfectly flaky halibut. Again great ingredients with a simple preparation.

If you want great seafood in the Carlsbad area I would head down to Pelly’s off of Poinsettia and grab some fresh fish to cook at home or eat in their cafe.

Pelly’s Fish Market & Cafe

7110 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad

Baba Coffee ~ Carlsbad​ & Delving​ into The New Dishes @ 608 ~ Oceanside

A Saturday two for the price of none.

First up, Baba Coffee has opened its doors making it the second project in the 2700 block of State St. to be completed, Carruth Cellars opened about a month or so ago and Campfire has picked up steam and looks to hit in October.

Baba Coffee is a medium-sized coffee shop serving coffee, about a dozen craft beers, as well as food items ranging from pastries to sandwiches and salads.

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Baba Coffee ~ Situated in front of Carruth Cellars and next to Campfire @ 2727 State St. Carlsbad.

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Cold brewed iced coffee and my sad ass phone. I hate my phone and have a very passive aggressive relationship with it, I won’t get rid of it so I’m just abusing it slowly till it dies.

While Baba does not roast their beans, they have done  a great job of  using locally produced products . Their beans and pastries are from Pannikin, bread from Prager Brothers, VG Donuts, and teas from Tea Gallerie.

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The color scheme is white with light woods and  Mediterranean blue accents. The palate and the roll-up doors make the location feel spacious and breathable. ( OK that was a sad attempt to not say “light and airy”).

The name Baba refers to a 16th-century Sufi coffee smuggler credited with introducing coffee to India. I was hoping it was referencing Baba Yaga from Slavic folklore but that is just the nerd in me.

If you are looking to grab a coffee and a light breakfast or lunch in Carlsbad I would check them out.

Baba Coffee

2727 State St., Carlsbad

New menu Items @ 608

So, I having recently posted 608’s new menu I decided to go in and try some of the new dishes for lunch. I walked in and was told Chef said I was not allowed to order anything. Willy came out asked “how hungry I was”, I replied starving and the following overeating ensued.

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Cured Pork Belly ~ Cannellini beans, corn, mustard greens, dusted in sumac.608 pork belly2

The one stipulation I had was to try the pork belly, I’m glad I did. This is one of the best pork belly dishes I have eaten. The pork is cold smoked first, then brined. Usually, it is done the other way around. Perfect amount of flavor from the sumac. 5-star dish or in my case 5 content kittens:)

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(It means “I’m done,  gonna curl up a ball and go to sleep happy)

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Soft Boiled Egg ~ Potato es puma, potato chips, norinade, seaweeds.

This is a true “Chefs” dish, a great play on textures, flavors, and temperatures. The soft-boiled eggs sleep under the pillow-like structure of the es puma while the potatoes provide crunch and saltiness along with the seaweed.

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Fried Chicken ~ Local honey, jalapeno, radish , and green onion.

To quote Willy ” you could put that honey on a shoe and it would taste good”. While true The perfectly executed Chicken, crunchy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside, as well as the counter balance of heat from the jalapeno and acidity from the raw green onion elevate the dish miles above “shoe level”.

Still, more new things to check out on the menu and reason to return to 608. The new menu items are more true to Willie’s cooking style than the opening menu let on. Psst…sweat breads are coming in the future:)

608

608 mission Ave., Oceanside.

608 Drops New Menu Ahead of Labor Day. ~ Oceanside

608 just dropped a new lunch and dinner menu starting today. While keeping some of the favorites it adds great-sounding dishes like… Burrata toast, octopus tostada, beef confit poutine, cured pork belly, and carrot and ricotta tortellini.

Lunch…

 

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Dinner…

menu 2

608

608 Mission Ave., Oceanside