Wings Mix ~ Vista

So, I had heard of a small restaurant in Vista that reportedly had some of the best hot wings around. It was tucked away in a dilapidated strip mall deep off South Santa Fe Ave., supposedly they also serve Mexican food and burgers. What did I find?

An odd little place that has great wings (or in my case chicken strips) and serves Mexican food and burgers.

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Wings Mix ~ 962 South Santa Fe Ave. Vista. The restaurant is located in the far East end of the strip mall.

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The menu covers all bases from breakfast to baby back ribs.

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Chicken Strips ~ Lemon Pepper and Original Hot (Buffalo)

This is what I came for, large tender chicken strips with a flavorful sauce. Both the sauces had a ton of flavor and a nice manageable heat level. I recently had strips at my go to place, Wings & Things, and Chicken Mix beat them hands down. These are not Gastropub mango jalapeno $12 for 6 “Chef” wings. These are fast casual, old school wings ( or strips ) in all their glory and damn tasty.

I can not speak to their whole menu but if you like wings, this is my recommendation.

Wings Mix

962 South Santa Fe Ave., Vista

#wings #chickenstrips #chicken #food #foodie #foodporn #spicyfood #vista #buffalowings

 

 

Great Dishes ~ September ’17

Near the end of the month I usually compile a list of dishes that did not appear in regular posts but deserve recognition. Sometimes it’s just a dish from a lunch I grabbed or maybe a restaurant that has already been covered quite a bit on the site. So, here are the ones from September that I think are worth trying if you happen to find yourself out and about and a bit peckish.

( No particular order )

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The House Burger ~ O’side Sports Bar and Grill.

Always great. I would put it up there with the burger at Red Rooster. Served perfectly medium rare and comes with a side of crispy french fries for around $10.

O’side Sports Bar and Grill, Oceanside

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Smoked Salmon Roll ~ Yoshino Japanese Deli, Carlsbad.

I can not say how great Yoshino is for a quick, no frills sushi fix. Fresh sushi, made every morning by the Japanese family who owns the restaurant. They do sell out by 1pm most days, so go early. A truly great, little gem in the Carlsbad Village.

Yoshino Japanese Deli, Carlsbad

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Seasonal Vegetables ~ The Flying Pig, Vista.

This plate of farm fresh seasonal vegetables packed so much flavor. The vegetables that day were green beans with garlic, bacon, and micro greens topped with a brown butter sauce. The kind of food that leaves you wanting more.

The Flying Pig, Vista

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Pork Loin Sandwich ~ Petite Madeline Bakery & Bistro.

One of Chef Marc’s weekly specials. Pork loin, cucumber, red onion, spinach, and stone ground mustard on a house made roll. Tender, flavorful pork and fresh bread are a hard combo to beat.

Petite Madeline Bakery and Bistro, Oceanside

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Summer Salad ~ The Privateer Coal Fired Pizza, Oceanside.

Dropped into the Privateer on a whim for lunch and had this amazing salad. Cyclops Farms cucumbers, mango, tomato, and greens with a spicy vinaigrette. It was a really clever play on a Thai green papaya salad as far as the flavor profile, with shaved and cut cucumber replacing the green papaya.

The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza, Oceanside

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Yaki-Udon ~ Huku Sushi & Robata, San Marcos.

I love Udon but have never had it prepared this way, I always get Udon soup. Udon noodles stir fried with chicken and lots of vegetables. I really enjoyed this, the noodles were perfect and still had bite. Also, great and attentive service, even though there was a Birthday Party with 15 people going on.

Huku Sushi & Robata, San Marcos

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Chicken Enchiladas & Carnitas Taco ~ Valerie’s Taco Shop, Vista.

A little Taco shop next to Starbucks on Emerald Dr. serving fresh, made to order, Mexican food and great salsas.

Valerie’s Taco Shop, Vista

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Hot Buffalo Chicken Strips ~ Wings-N-Things, Oceanside.

An admitted guilty pleasure of mine. Tender all white meat strips with a spicy buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing. No bread sticks, no carrots or celery, just down to business. I really like the spiciness and flavor of their buffalo sauce, making them my go to for this dish.

Wings-N-Things, Oceanside

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Kimchi & Pulled Pork Monk’s Bowl ~ East Village Asian Diner, Encinitas.

I love Kimchi and I think East Village Diner makes some of the best in North County. The Monk’s Bowls, or Clay Pots, come in a variety of options from all vegetarian to beef. I went for the pulled pork with a fried egg with kale instead of rice, it made for a great, tasty and filling lunch.

East Village Asian Diner, Encinitas

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Ceviche on Avocado with Chips ~ Primo Market, Oceanside.

Bought a small container of their fresh ceviche, two avocados, and a bag of tortilla chips as a take home dinner. I like their ceviche, it has a nice ratio of fish to the tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Also it is not too acidic. Paired with fresh avocado and chips it made for nice light dinner.

Primo Market, Oceanside.

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Fish Ham ~ Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub, Oceanside.

From the ever creative mind of Chef Davin Waite. Yellowtail, brined like ham and then smoked. The name is pretty spot on as to its taste. Think smoked fish crossed with ham.

Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub, Oceanside

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Big Mouth Burger Combo ~ Angelo’s Burgers, Oceanside.

Guilty pleasure for the month. A tasty double patty bacon burger with all the toppings and fries.

Angelo’s Burgers, Oceanside

Hope you had a great Month! Enjoy!

#food #foodporn #foodie #burger #lunch #dinner #oceanside #encinitas #carlsbad #san marcos #northcounty #seafood #mexicanfood #asianfood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plant Power Fast Food ~ Encinitas

As a total omnivore I was very interested in trying out Plant Power Fast Food. While I love animal flesh in every form, I love me some fruit,veg, and grains too. Also I am always interested in people making interesting, healthy alternatives to foods, like fast food, that are notoriously full of fillers and chemicals.

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This is Plant Powers’s second location, with the first opening in Ocean Beach in 2015. You can order via drive through, an automated order system (kinda like sonic), or a walk up counter. There is some outdoor seating.

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The small outdoor seating area, going to say it seats 36ish.

“Plant Power fast food provides fast food staples like burgers, fries, wraps, tacos, salads, shakes, smoothies and other tasty treats made entirely without the use of animal products, GMO’s or artificial ingredients and served to you in 100% biodegradable materials.”

Proof is in the taste though. How did they do? Really well actually.

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My order ~ “Chicken” fingers, classic “burger” and a great organic lemon lime soda. This came to $16 but was really 2 orders to try more food out.

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“Chicken Fingers” ~ These were really good, the texture was slightly firmer than a mcnugget but softer than a breast strip. The sauce was great and had a nice heat to it. They come with choice of 2 extra sauces, which I did not totally get since they are sauced already. I did use the chipotle one as kind of a substitute for ranch dressing you get with wings. I would order these anytime.

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The Classic ~ “beef patty” lettuce, tomato, onions, ketchup, ‘mayo’, mustard and pickles.

A great meatless substitute for a fast food burger. I added a little extra ketchup for moisture, but if you did not tell me I would not of deduced it was vegan. They also do an avocado burger, mushroom burger, and a few other variations. There is also a black bean patty available and a raw burger version using a walnut and sunflower burger patty. You can also get “cheese” and a gluten-free bun option for a slight additional charge if desired.

The burgers are a great replacement for the likes of Wendy’s, McDonald’s and so forth. If you are a die-hard burger person they are not going to compete with higher end fast casual burgers like Burger Lounge, Pure Burger, etc. If you are vegetarian or vegan you get to have your burger and eat it too.

Some Yelp reviews commented on slow service and price. Price is right in line with anything else. They are also in soft opening mode still and the place is small so I would go off hours for the time being, but you know, who uses common sense. $100 says it took them longer to write their 3 star yelp review than get their food:)

Plant Power Fast Food

411 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas

(across from Scripts Hospital)

#food #foodporn #vegan #vegetarian #fastfood

 

 

Coming Soon Report ~ Downtown Vista

While walking around enjoying the annual Vista Hot Rod Run a source gave me some info on a few upcoming restaurants.

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When Pigs Fly BBQ is building a full-blown restaurant next to Wavelength Brewing on Main Street. This husband and wife team have been serving their award winning competition BBQ out of their, mainly to go, location inside the Chevron gas station at 1211 East Vista Way. It is great to see them expand. You can check out my review of their current location here.

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An organic juice and smoothie bar “Mo Milk Organics” will be going in at 210 East Broadway. Internet searches brought up nothing.

So, a few additions to the ever-expanding Vista scene.

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My source..well he talks to me anyway.

#food #vista #restaurant

Restaurant Re-Visits ~ Oceanside Privateer & TBG BBQ

So part of what I wanted to do this month was do a couple of restaurant re-visits. These are places that I have covered before, but it has been a while. In that time they have gone through changes or are on the verge of expansions. Plus with a lot of new followers since I last covered them, I though it would be a good idea.

First up is Privateer Coal Fired Pizza. Since opening The Privateer has been a staple in South Oceanside, not only as a great restaurant but as a champion for local Oceanside culture.

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Recently, The Privateer went through a Chef change. Original Chef Stephen Reyna left to work with his father in the kitchen of Roosevelt Pizzeria in Carlsbad. Hopefully we will soon see a solo project from this talented Chef.

Not missing a beat, the Privateer brought on a new Chef and has continued to deliver the excellent food they are known for.

I went in and wanted to try dishes that were recent additions to the menu and would give me a glimps at how the new Chef has influenced the food.

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Coal Fired Corn ~ Smoked chili butter sauce.

A beautiful dish, perfectly sweet and tender corn with a great sauce.

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Spice Rubbed 1/2 Chicken ~ Arugula, and lemon.

Perfectly moist chicken with a flavorful spice rub that worked perfectly with the freshness and slight bitterness of the arugula. Spice rub, chicken, fresh arugula, and lemon..all that is needed.

Like the Privateer in South O, TBG BBQ (That Boy Good) has been around in downtown Oceanside since the early days of the North County Restaurant movement. In-fact Friday the 4th marked the 5th year of operation for the Louisiana style juke joint. In that time they have developed a strong consistent following of people who love Chef Mark Millwood’s BBQ, which is based on his family’s recipes, and the restaurants funky and casual feel.

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Within the last year TBG has added a full liquor license expanding on their already established craft beer list.

Poised for an expansion that will add a second location at the top of Pier View Way at 326 N. Horne St. in conjunction with Northern Pine Brewing Company, later / early next year, things are looking good for this Oceanside staple.

The new location will differ in concept, though still focusing on southern food. In the mean time my friend Alex and I headed in for some old staples.

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BBQ Chicken Wings. Mark makes some of the best wings IMO. The secret is they are smoked, par fried, and then finished in the fryer on order. This gives them a depth of flavor and nice crunch, while retaining their moisture.

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Half rack of ribs, fries, coleslaw, and their signature corn bread.

Everything you want from ribs, smokey flavor and fall of the bone tenderness.

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Fried Chicken Thighs ~ Coleslaw, their awesome mac and cheese, and cornbread.

This is my go to, either in platter or sandwich form. I love the use of thigh meat and the slight spiciness to the crunchy batter.

If you have not been to either of these Oceanside staples, go check them out. If like me it has been awhile, go see an old friend for dinner.

Coming up ~ A Panca re-visit and their goings on, new vegan fast food in Encinitas, and hopefully good Chinese and Italian in North County.

Privateer Coal Fired Pizza

1706 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

That Boy Good BBQ

207 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside

Northern Pine Brewing Co.

326 N. Horne St. (upcoming)

#food #foodporn #southernfood #privateer #tbgbbq #fsdm

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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

 

Mission Ave. Bar and Grill ~ Oceanside

I do a lot of research before eating somewhere, combine that with my years of experience and I usually have a pretty good Idea of what to expect from a place. I expected  Mission Ave. Bar and Grill to be good…It exceeded my expectations and moved into the “great” range of the scale.

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Right on the heels of the completion of the Mission Ave. street project, Mission Ave. Bar and Grill opened a little over a week ago. located at 711 Mission Ave. the place tops off a trifecta of great additions to Oceanside along with LTH and Masters.

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The interior is industrial in design but still manages to feel warm. Part of this is due to the roll up garage style front doors. The last three restaurants to open in Oceanside have this feature to some degree and Bagby will too. It’s smart, it fits the weather and beach community vibe of the area. I personally find it relaxes me for some reason.

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The menu is New American / Gastropub / you get the idea, but it actually is a lot more than it reads.

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Caribbean Jerk Flavored Wings

The Jerk rub on the wings was fantastic, complex with a mild spiciness and the perfect hint of citrus. These are tied as my favorite wings along with TBG’s spicy BBQ Wings. They use the same method of cooking the wings. The wings are first cooked in a lower heat to retain moisture (in the oven in this case and the Smoker in TBG’s) and then flash fried when ordered to finish them off and deliver a great crispness on the outside.

Note ~ they serve two dips along side the wings, a blue cheese and an onion, both are made in-house. They do not offer Ranch (which I applaud).

 

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LAMB BURGER ~ Cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, red onion, feta, & a Tzatziki sauce.

Two words…Flavor Bomb. 8 oz of perfectly cooked Lamb (Med. Rare) with all the right complementing ingredients.

I was luck enough to hit them when it was slower and had a great talk with Chef Adam Griffin. He’s the real deal. All the items on the menu are his recipes. Locally sourced product and the majority of items made from scratch in-house.

He is going to hate me using this picture 🙂

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Chef Adam Griffin…He didn’t close his eyes during the pic he actually fell asleep…Chefs get little sleep and seize any opportunity 🙂

I have so many new places to hit and I want to go back already, try their version of a Moscow Mule and have the Mango _ jalapeno wings (which while I was there everyone said I had to try).

Mission Ave. Bar and Grill
711 Mission Ave.
Oceanside, CA 92054

.missionavebarandgrill.com

Buffalo Wing Comparison ~ North County

I was in the mood for wings, so I hit up a few places around town and put them together with a few places I had eaten at before to build a little wing index.

This is not complete as I will add more places in the future and if you have any recommendations, let me know.pac man wings

A few things you should know; I personally believe the only way to get the perfect wing is to use the double fry method. The first time into the fryer should be at a lower heat to cook the wing. The second time the heat should be higher and the wing should be dropped in just enough to get that perfect crisp on the outside while keeping the meat moist and tender.

As far as sauce goes; I prefer traditional Buffalo Sauce. That being said, as long as it tastes good and the wing is cooked well, I’m down.

Wing VS Boneless Wing. I like both…yes wings are going to (if done right) be more juicy by the fact they are darker meat and are cooked on the bone, but again I am more interested in the over-all taste.

In no particular order

(OK.. it is totally in the order of how I thought they stacked up.)

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Spicy BBQ Wings ~ That Boy Good’s wings were perfectly crisp and tender. The spicy BBQ sauce has just the right tang to it. They come in regular BBQ as well.

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Peanut Butter Wings ~ Best A Wan Pizza’s peanut butter wings are coated in just that; peanut butter. Somehow it works. The wings are huge and cooked perfectly. They have other flavors of sauce as well.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThai Sriracha Wings ~ Slater’s 50 / 50 wings again delivered on the crispness and tenderness. The Thai Sriracha sauce could have used a little more heat….still a damn good wing.

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Signature Buffalo Boneless Wings ~ PCH Bar & Grill’s Signature Buffalo boneless wings were good. Their sauce is one of the better versions of a Buffalo Sauce I have tried. They were out of regular wings at the time. Only draw back was the coating was a little overdone.

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Hot

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Mango Habanero

Hot and Mango Habanero Boneless Wings ~ Buffalo Wild Wings boneless wings were OK. The sauces were fine, the hot was a slightly more spicy version of classic Buffalo Sauce, while the Mango Habanero was quite spicy and because it was so sticky acted like napalm the way it coated your mouth and stayed. The let down was the boneless wings.They were too small and a little dry.

So there are my thoughts on my wing tour. I still have 3 places in mind next time I get the craving. If so I will continue the post.

 

That Boy Good BBQ

Besta Wan Pizza

Slater’s 50 / 50

PCH Bar & Grill

Buffalo Wild Wings