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Dumkling's Profile

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SD - best retail bacon?

For a bacon-lover's bday: What's the best bacon you've bought locally? I am centrally located, but I'll take any suggestions.

I usually like the thick cut store brand bacon from Henry's. The TJ's bacon has been okay (nieman ranch and store brand applewood smoked), but not better than the Henry's.

Anything special at Iowa Meat? Tip Top Meats?

I really like the bacon at the Original Pancake House, and I've watched "The Right Way to Cook" bacon video on Chow!

May 21, 2008
Dumkling in San Diego

Fresh tortillas in San Diego

Pancho Villa Market on El Cajon at the 805 has a tortilla factory, Adelita's. If you're there at the right time they will bag them for you fresh off the conveyor belt. I don't think they do flour tortillas. But the corn ones, fresh and warm, are just incredible. They are machine made, so they don't have that thick, handmade quality. They are often sold out by dinner time.

Apr 09, 2008
Dumkling in California

Thanksgiving Emergency: Cooking with Soy milk

Yes, soymilk will be great! Any plain flavored one will work fine (not vanilla, etc). No worries!

Nov 21, 2007
Dumkling in Home Cooking

Columbian in SD County

They have some Colombian specialties at Tropical Star on Balboa. It's been a long time since I've eaten here, so I'd love a report back! At the least, it's also a grocery, so you can get the ingredients and make the food yourself.
Colombian food is a lot of meat and potatoes, plaintains and rice. Different regions in Colombia have different special soups, but Colombia is most famous for the arepas, cornmeal cakes. They are different in different regions, but I think the best is the cheese-stuffed arepas cooked on a grill until just crispy on the outside and melty on the inside. In fact, Chowhound championed the arepa lady of Jackson Heights, Queens.

Here is one of the menu descriptions:
Picada Colombiana
Colombian country plate.
A combination plate of colombian chorizo, morcilla (black sausage), chicharron (pork rinds), patacones (fried green plantains), papas criollas (yellow potatoes), yuca frita (fried yucca) and arepa (cornmeal griddle cake).

Tropical Star
6163 Balboa Ave, San Diego, CA 92111

Sep 19, 2007
Dumkling in California

What do Chowhounds do for a living (besides eat of course)? [old]

I edit trivia questions in a suburban office park. It is a food wasteland out there with zero opportunity for travel, so luckily I am home with the toddler a few days a week, too (playgroup captain!). My disposable income is teeny tiny, so I go for cheap eats or cook at home.

Jun 05, 2007
Dumkling in Not About Food

North Park San Diego - I'm out of ideas!

I organize a monthly night out for parents in my kid's playgroup (moms & dads). People tend to not want to stray far from the North Park/Hillcrest/Normal Heights area. I try to keep the cost fairly reasonable (it's nice if there are entrees in the $12 range, just to not exclude anyone). And we have some people who don't eat red meat. And it's nice if we can make reservations. Easy, right?
Places we've gone:
Soltan Banoo
Cantina Mayahuel
Wine Steals
Saigon (on El Cajon)
Takeout from Lefty's & Phil's
Amarin Thai
Brazil by the Hill

Anything that's not on my radar?
I'm thinking about that Mexican place that replaced Tazablanca.
Khyber Pass (but parking is soooo bad around there).
I think Jayne's might be a little pricey. Maybe the Linkery?

May 24, 2007
Dumkling in California

Does lactose free marg./butter exist? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

A lot of vegans use Earth Balance, it's really good. But it's salted. I've heard that Fleishman's unsalted margarine is dairy-free, but I have yet to see it in my local supermarket. Their salted margarine has dairy, but may be lactose free, make sure to read the label!

Apr 10, 2007
Dumkling in General Topics

Gluten Free Dining

Unfortunately, chains are probably your best bet in this department. You might check out the websites of some chain restaurants that might be convenient to you. I'm trying to think of maybe more health-oriented places that might be friendly to gluten-free dining. In a pinch, you could also go to the deli at whole foods, I'm sure they could figure it out for you.
Have you found this website yet? Mostly chains, but it's a guide:
If there's a restaurant you'd like to try, it's worth calling ahead of time to see if they could accomodate you. I'm sure many could do so.

Apr 10, 2007
Dumkling in California

Lunch List - North County SD

Holy Cow, Jeters, do you work with me?
I'm always fending off the Claimjumper suggestions. And thank heavens the Red Robin closed down.
I work in the same area, and my work friends are picky and not too adventurous. They like chains. You didn't mention Noodles & Co. in you list of chains, but it's not too bad. And there's Ruby's at the Carlsbad Outlets, Pei Wei in Encinitas. Oggi's pizza in Vista has lunch specials, and there's an Original Pancake house in the same mall. When you said French Bakery did you mean the Market Street Cafe (or what is it called?) in San Marcos? Bobby's Hideaway on El Camino Real is not great, but has homestyle food.
One of the office park delis (Charlie's deli at the end of Priestly) has a decent California Roll special on Fridays.
I try to bring lunch.

Apr 05, 2007
Dumkling in California

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting

I think the idea behind the shortening, rather than all margarine, is to reduce the salt in the finished product. I know that many of us who grew up with butter are predisposed against any margarine or shortening, but butter IS a shortening, people. Earth Balance is so good, I might not switch back even if my son outgrows his milk allergy. Don't knock it til you've tried it.

Apr 05, 2007
Dumkling in Recipes

Swedish in University Heights - SD

I noticed a Swedish sandwich place on Park Blvd in University Heights, across from El Zarape. I think it was called Vinbladh's. Anyone been?

Jan 29, 2007
Dumkling in California

Mama's Lebanese new ownership? - SD

Does anyone know if they have new ownership at Mama's in North Park? It was always family owned and run, and my husband said last time he went it looked like different people working there, and the rice was different, not as fragrant.

Jan 26, 2007
Dumkling in California

Lactose-free mashed potatoes? (No butter, milk, etc.)

Earth Balance Buttery Spread is very good and absolutely dairy-free. I have heard that Fleischman's unsalted margarine (but not the salted) is also dairy-free. But chicken broth and olive oil would also do the trick. Roasted garlic mashed potatoes are so good, and would mask the lack of milk.

Dec 18, 2006
Dumkling in Home Cooking

Lactose Free Cheeses: Do They Exist?

Tofutti makes a "Better Than Cream Cheese" cream cheese substitute. Here in San Diego it's available at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. It's not bad, compared to a lifetime without cream cheese. But don't read the ingredients, you don't want to know.

Dec 18, 2006
Dumkling in Special Diets

Handmade Tamales (SD)

The Hillcrest farmer's market used to have several different tamale vendors (Sunday mornings). There is also a pretty good tamale vendor in front of the liquor store at 30th & Redwood in North Park.
The tamale vendor at 35th & El Cajon also sometimes sells champurrado (sweet hot drink).

Dec 12, 2006
Dumkling in California

Bangkok Spice on El Cajon - San Diego

Has anyone been here yet? It's by the Little Caesar's pizza and Kragen Auto Parts in what was briefly a Mexican restaurant (looks like an old Pizza Hut). Near Idaho Street, maybe? Please report!

Dec 05, 2006
Dumkling in California

Bittman's No-Knead Bread...Wow!

I, on the other hand, do not have a dutch oven or cast-iron or enamel stockpot. I have a bread recipe that calls for baking the bread on a pizza stone while covering it with a pot, maybe from the LA times a while back? I might try that.

Nov 14, 2006
Dumkling in Home Cooking

Mariposa Ice Cream in San Diego

I love Mariposa, and pumpkin and walnut are really, really good. I have been disappointed by their chocolate ice-cream in the past.

Nov 14, 2006
Dumkling in San Diego

Need great bakery rec for b'day cake in San Diego ASAP!

Probably too late. Friends got a great wedding cake at Twiggs (coffeehouse with its own bakery), at a more reasonable price than some other bakeries.

Oct 24, 2006
Dumkling in California

best pumpkin recipe - no pie!!!!

The San Francisco Chronicle website,, has a recipe for pumpkin polenta cake you might check out.
Also, I seem to recall some pumpkin soup that you bake in the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds, add whatever sounds good, broth, sausage, tomatoes, and bake. You can scrape the insides to mix the pumpkin into the finished soup.

Oct 10, 2006
Dumkling in Home Cooking

Lunch between National City and Otay Mesa? (San Diego)

I can't believe nobody replied! I would say stop in City Heights for a Banh Mi -- Vietnamese sandwich. Quick and cheap. But maybe that's not close enought to the 805.

Get off the 805 at El Cajon blvd and go 1 block East to the Pancho Villa supermarket. They have a little cafe counter and a few tables, pretty good Mexican food.

Or go West on El Cajon Blvd and south on 30th for a burger or sausage at Tioli's crazy burger.

If you get off at University The Mission is a few blocks West of the 805. I don't think there'd be a wait on a weekday, and I had a great lunch there this weekend. My food came in about 5 minutes.

Also, you could grab a slice at Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria on 30th.

Other suggestions?

Aug 07, 2006
Dumkling in California

Tioli's Crazy Burger (San Diego)

I have not yet been, it's on my list, but why isn't this place busier? It was nearly empty when I went by on Friday at 1pm and Saturday at 8pm. With several good reviews, what's up?

Aug 07, 2006
Dumkling in California

Sandwiches in San Diego

A place that has great "gourmet" type sandwiches is the little cafe by the sculpture garden between the Old Globe and the art museum in Balboa Park. It has very pleasant covered, open air seating, and they have good sandwiches (and a good cup of gazpacho last time I was there).

Grab & Go is pretty good for what it is, although the bread's a little squishy. The Tunisian (tuna w/ olive oil & capers) & the Italian Village are my favorites.

And we haven't even gotten into the fish sandwich category!

There's a philly cheesesteak place on University near Florida, I think. Anyone tried it?

I've heard the sandwiches are very good at Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria.

Aug 01, 2006
Dumkling in California

North Park Produce in San Diego -- Good finds

My father, visiting for the weekend, found some good stuff at North Park Produce:
Fresh garbanzo beans. Like fava beans, you have to shell them. We cooked them with olive oil and garlic. Had a green pea flavor. Very good, a lot of work. (They also have green almonds in produce)
In the jam section, he found young walnuts in syrup. These are beautiful sliced, you could make some interesting pastry with them.

We also like the kebab meat, seasoned ground lamb? Makes flavorful burgers.
Good Mediterranean style cucumbers. What they called an Afghani melon, the sticker called a Sharlynne. Crunchy, somewhat sweet.
We bought the green coffee beans once and roasted them on the stovetop. Fun, but I'll stick to Peet's.
They always seem to have lamb testicles in the meat section, if that's your thing.

What else have you found here that I might not have noticed?

Jul 31, 2006
Dumkling in San Diego

Bagels in San Diego

There are no dense crusty bagels in SD, and precious few in NY anymore, either! I've found Big City to be on the dry and bready side. I think I actually prefer Bruegger's (bacon cream cheese on a bagel is so wrong... but so good). Garden State in Encinitas is okay, too, but probably not worth a special trip. The upside is, it makes a trip to NY that much more special.

Jul 18, 2006
Dumkling in California

San Diego - UCSD vegetarian friendly

I had written off The Linkery as being too meat-heavy, but looking at the menu, I was wrong! I've been wanting to try it, too. Thanks. And now, looking at the website, it seems that my husband grew up with the owner, Jay. Too funny.
Now for the onions & garlic. They are Chinese Buddhists. I'm so used to their diet, that I haven't asked since I was a kid why nothing in the onion family. I tried to find the answer online, and it seems that there are several different strains of Buddhism that avoid the onion family. It's a stimulant, makes you less zen, I think.
There is actually a very good restaurant in their community, highly praised by Chowhounds, so deliciousness is possible without onions (or even bacon!)

Jun 25, 2006
Dumkling in California