Saturday, June 25, 2011

Our Top Five Eats in San Diego

Special K and I recently returned from a visit with our families in San Diego, California. This is the place I grew up in, born and raised, and like all parts of the country, it's food is one-of-a-kind. Just like Key West is famous for it's Key Lime Pie and New York for it's slice of pizza, San Diego is famous for it's Mexican food. But being away from home for so long, we discovered other foods that were must-haves as well. Today I'd like to share with you our foodie adventures and list the Top Five Eats in San Diego.

This list is not based on the highest rated or most visited. It's based on the deprived taste bubs of a California guy and gal living in Florida. It's the food we had a voracious craving for.


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1. MEXICAN FOOD

Taco shops are a dime a dozen in San Diego and they are NOT all created equal. Case-in-point, the WORST Mexican food we ate came from the taco shop my brother-in-law said was "good". You'd think our taste buds wouldn't care if it was good or bad Mexican food as long it was Mexican food. Wrong! Not having Mexican food as a staple has altered our judgment. We are now Mexican food snobs and our taste bubs won't settle for anything less than perfection.

Favorite Taco Shop:
Cotija's in Santee
This a Mexican taco shop offering typical items like burritos, tacos, carne asada fries (Special K's fav) and fish ROLLED tacos (my fav). It's quality food for a good price. We are East County natives and believe this is the best taco shop in the East County.

Cotija's fish rolled tacos and burritos

Favorite Mexican Restaurant:
Casa Guadalajara in Old Town.
In the past Old Town was taken over by tourist-quality food and prices (that means bad and expensive) but Casa Guadalajara has kept it's integrity. Not only is it in a great location (Old Town is a hot-spot for a reason) but it serves homemade, fresh tortillas (you see the woman right there making them) and rockin' good margaritas.

Favorite Authentic Mexican Food:
Las Cuatro Milpas in Barrio Logan.
If you are looking for some authentic Mexican food but don't want to cross the border to get it, this is your place. Now I will warn you that if you have carne asada fries on the mind or a great bean and rice burrito, this is not the place to go. The menu is small and a.u.t.h.e.n.t.i.c. Soupy beans, rice, chorizo, rolled tacos, fresh tortillas and tacos. Expect a wait, we were in line for one hour at lunchtime but it was fantastic. This is authentic and hole in the wall as you can get.

Las Cuatro Milpas

Favorite Chain:
Rubio's
You have not had a good fish taco till you've had Rubio's. And Taco Tuesday makes it easy to try something you're not sure you'll like... fish tacos are only $1.50.


2. DONUTS

We love grease fried donuts that come in a pink box. The kind that leave a little ring of grease in the box when you lift it out.

Honey Donuts
Our two favorite East County shops are:




3. CHINA PANDA GARDEN

This place is family owned and even after being away for a year, they remembered us and our favorite things to order. My husband can get his beloved duck (which is hard to find) and I can order a whole plate-full of their fantastic egg rolls. It comes in huge portions and the price is perfect. I'd drive out of my way to go here.

China Panda Garden



4. PHIL'S BBQ

This is not one of my Top Five's but Special K's. It made the list because not only could Special K not stop talking about going here weeks leading up to our trip but also because every other ravenous meat eater in San Diego would agree this is the place to eat.



5. JULIAN PIE COMPANY

Julian, California is charming any time of the year and if you make a trip up there, the ONLY place for a good piece of pie is the Julian Pie company. They have around 8 different pies to choose from, sell it by the slice and can add a slice of cheese if that's your thing or a humungous scoop of cinnamon ice cream! There is nothing like it!


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Aside from what you see above, we also munched on a hot dog at the ball game (lost of course), Del Mar fair food and In-N-Out burgers just to name a few. =D And in case you are wondering, I gained FIVE pounds! Worth every.single.bite.

In-N-Out

2 comments:

Connie R. said...

Five pounds... not bad... considering all the food probably weighed 30 pounds!

mo.honey said...

BEST POST EVER! LOVE FOOD! CAN'T WAIT TIL I GET THE ROOM BACK IN MY BELLY!!