Red’s by Day (Organic Coffee and Cafe)

July 27th, 2010

1017 Rosecrans St.

San Diego, CA 92106

619-523-5540

www.sexybeans.com

To order: www.coffee4thepeople.com

Hours: 7 days a week; 5am to 10pm

I am always on the hunt for that perfect cup of Joe when I am out of town, and I was truly satisfied to come across Reds. A small little shop on Shelter Island that not only roasts and serves their own beans but also operates a little breakfast cafe (which I did not have a chance to try).  I just bought  their Double Black Diamond beans which brews up a really nice, smooth, rich cup of coffee. Like honey, bringing home a regional coffee can remind you of the wonderful vacation you just came back from, for mornings to come. Organic/Fair Trade/Bird Friendly. Available to order on-line.

Kensington Grill

July 27th, 2010

4055 Adams Ave.

San Diego, CA 92116

619-281-4014

The sister restaurant (perhaps mother) to Cucina Urbana upholds the same wonderful standard of fresh and creative dishes. Here they extend beyond Italy with a greater global influence, providing delicious food in a modern yet cozy atmosphere. It is celebrating it’s 15th anniversary, so it’s obvious they have been doing something right, very right.

Kona Kai Resort

July 27th, 2010

1551 Shelter Island Drive #166

San Diego, CA 92106

619-221-8000

www.resortkonakai.com

My son advised me of the great deal on Priceline for a stay at this comfortable and quiet resort on the end of the strand of Shelter Island. Think about being surrounded with great views of the yacht harbor on one side and bay views of passing sailboats on the other (not to mention the skyline of downtown or the fireworks from Sea World). It is the last of many tropical themed hotels on the Drive, which creates a pleasant peaceful atmosphere. Friendly staff, inexpensive bike rental, spa/gym, restaurant and lounge with more views, and free shuttle service back and forth to the airport. There is so much to do and see within five minutes of the place.  IMG_2575It makes for a wonderful quick get-a-way from our desert heat.

Phil’s BBQ

July 26th, 2010

IMG_2722

3750 Sports Arena Blvd.

San Diego, CA 92110

619-226-6333

www.philsbbq.net

My daughter Lauren (foodies run in the family) fervently recommended I try Phil’s BBQ while visiting San Diego this summer. She and her boyfriend raved about it’s tender and flavorful meat, cole slaw, fries and macaroni salad. They forgot to mention the huge portions accompanied by a couple of juicy onion rings placed on top of every order, or the baked beans, and friendly service.  Fortunately, the lines that usually wrap around the building weren’t there as we went around 2pm. The place was still full of people–happy people–enjoying  traditional tasty BBQ.

Cucina Urbana

January 4th, 2010
Wall Art

Wall Art

Chef Joe and me

Chef Joe and me

505 Laurel Ave. (on Banker’s Hill)

San Diego, CA92101

619-239-2222

www.sdurbankitchen.com

How delighted we were to discover this wonderful new restaurant at 5th and Laurel, upon our most recent trip to San Diego. This gets an “A” for atmosphere, service, food, creativity, decor, daily specials…I could go on and on! Using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients, the chef creates delicious fare for the antipasti, insalates, pizzas, pastas, piatti’s and contorni’s plates. The vibe is cool, modern, artsy, comfortable, and communal. One of those places you wish you had in your area so you could keep coming back. They have a wine market and also sell a few boutiquie kitchen items. Kensington Grill is their sister restaurant I have yet to try.

Z Pizza @ Crystal Cove

September 23rd, 2009

Located on the Bluff at Crystal Cove, between Laguna and Newport beach

949-715-1117

Z Pizza is a casual pizzeria boasting the use of 100% organic wheat dough crafted daily, 100% certified organic tomato sauce and award winning Wisconsin low-fat mozzarella. Fire baked on hot bricks for crisp crusty edges , comes by the slice, 10, 14, and 18 inches. We were pleasantly surprised by this humble pie amidst it’s beautiful neighbors. This shopping/dining plaza is one of frequent stops while vacationing in So-Cal.

Kitchen 1540 @ L’Auberge Del Mar

September 23rd, 2009

1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar CA 92014

858-259-1515

During the summer of ’09, I found this restaurant to be the best example of using southern California’s fresh, local, seasonal organic produce in simple yet creative ways, calling me back each time I am fortunate enough to come to the beach. Happy to stick with the vegetarian dishes, though there are offerings of seafood and a  variety of well grown meats, the restaurant at 1540 also boasts a lovely patio dining area with water falls, soft lighting, and comfortable seating, not to mention the perfect weather- accompanied by great service.

Robbies V

April 10th, 2007

530 North Highway 101, Encinitas, CA

760-634-2365

www.vigiluccis.com

Robbie’s, now owned in conjunction with Vigiluccis, a dominating Italian-dare to call them a chain-series of restaurants in the Encinitas/Carlsbad region, is my husband’s favorite place to dine while on vacation in Encinitas. Probably not only due to the classic bar food with choices of steaks, seafood,  burgers, pizza’a and wings, etc. along with great atmosphere (live music), but the large flat screened T.V.s where he has watched the Tour de France and Basketball play-offs. You can choose to order off of a Robbie’s menu or a Vigilucci’s menu whose seating is connected and contrasted with white table cloths and candlelight. It’s the best of both worlds, but give yourself plenty of time to make up your mind on what to order. Between the two, you have plenty to choose from and won’t be disappointed. Save room for dessert though, as their chocolate mousse cake is to die for.

E Street Cafe

April 10th, 2007

128 West E Street, Encinitas, CA

760-230-2038

www.estreetcafe.com

Apparently this organic, fair trade coffee/tea house, serving locally produced delectables has been here since 2004. So for the past three years, due to my being a creature of habit, I have missed out on this wonderful local joint, right off the beaten path on E Street, where they not only offer good drink and food, but live music and wi-fi access and desktop computers to rent. One of the few places open til 11pm, where you can hang out and relax with the locals, being entertained while catching up on emails! So glad my adventure in dining spirit kicks in now and then.

Swami’s Cafe

April 10th, 2007

1163 South Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas, CA

760-944-0612

Open 7am-8pm, Seven days a Week

Fresh Whole foods, Fresh juices, Vegetarian specials are boasted at this casual indoor/outdoor cafe on the highway.  We stopped for a hot bowl of homemade soup, which was the best lental soup I have had in a while. Though I can’t vouch for the rest of the menu, I would go back hoping that soup was on special again!

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