jmtreg's Profile

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Little Italy Al Fresco Short Date Ideas

Parking will be a problem in Little Italy if your date is before 2 p.m. - but Caffe Italia would probably work the best. It's in the middle of Little Italy (Union & India), and so its easy to find. Pappaleco would also work if the Mercato is moved back from Cedar to Date.

That said, you might also want to consider Gelato Vero in Mission Hills. The parking is slightly easier (very slightly), and there's a patio on the second floor that is nice.

about 6 hours ago
jmtreg in San Diego

dinner followed by drinks with out of towners

I'd take a look a few places on 30th Street - Urban Solace, Smoking Goat, Waypoint Public, and a few others - and then finish the night at Polite Provisions, the Office, or the Coin-Op Room. These are all local places.

You could also go with dinner at Alchemy or Buona Forchetta, and then finish up the night at Hamilton's.

Aug 11, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

One man's exhaustive search for the best fish taco in SD. .

Probably because of all the moving parts to a good fish taco. A typical taco has 2-3 ingredients besides the tortilla. A fish taco has 4-5, all of which need to be good to make a good fish taco.

Aug 04, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Carnitas Snack Shack Wait Time Sunday at noon

Generally, you're better off showing up around ten or fifteen minutes before they open to keep the wait down (to ten or fifteen minutes). The food is awesome, but I'm not sure that CSS would appeal to kids - the portions are too big. That said, the seating will work for kids.

Jul 23, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Pizzeria Mozza--Underwhelmed

So I finally tried Mozza on Saturday, and had a few thoughts:

1. Unlike Troy Johnson's review, the service was okay. The waiters interrupted a bit, but they were attentive and knowledgeable.

2. The cocktails were good, but expensive (a common theme).

3. The pizzas are sort of a Neapolitan/New York hybrid. The pizzas are small (10 inches), and the crust was more like a New York or New Haven style pizza - crunchy. Also, there was a char, but not a lot of smokiness. Also, the pies are expensive.

4. The salumi was phenomenal. My SO and I split the pane pomodoro with burrata and speck, and then I had a pizza with finocchina (salami with fennel) and Fresno chilies. Both were excellent.

5. The butterscotch budino was great, but had a bit too much salt - I wanted a bit of saltiness at the beginning, and then have straight butterscotch. Instead, there were layers of salt in the budino. Good dish, but expensive.

Overall, Mozza is very good, but if you want true Neapolitan style, Bruno's, Buona Forchetta, or Caffe Calabria have better pizzas. Still, it would be awesome if any of these places had a full liquor license.

Jul 14, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Best Taco Shops In San Diego...

Tacos El Gordo. It's a TJ chain that moved across the border, and you can find locations in National City or Chula Vista.

Jul 11, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Must try restaurant ...

That's not a bad location. Smoking Goat and Urban Solace are solid picks. If you want to explore craft beer, I'd also try Waypoint Public, Tiger!Tiger!, and the Ritual. For pizza, go with URBN (New Haven style), Buona Forchetta (Neapolitan style), or Bruno's Pizzeria (Neapolitan style). You could probably walk to most of those places (especially Smoking Goat).

You may also want to consider the Wine Vault & Bistro, which does tasting menus for a reasonable price.

You are also going to want to do some Mexican food, so hit up a taco truck (at 30th & Grape is probably the easiest to get to), and Super Cocina.

Jul 10, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

New Butcher Shop In Clairemont

THESE ARE THE PIGS BEING FED AVOCADOS? Sweet.

Jul 10, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

New Butcher Shop In Clairemont

Per the Eater website: http://sandiego.eater.com/archives/20...

This will be a place to get high quality pork from heritage breeds. . .and here I am with a longing to retry my recipe for porchetta.

Jul 09, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

San Diego New Restaurants: 2014

Anyone looking forward to Panama 66? http://sandiego.eater.com/archives/20...

Balboa Park could use the upgrade.

Jul 08, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Bazinga Mac n Cheese (old Sea Rocket location)

It seems like one of the concepts coming out of a restaurant overhaul show (Kitchen Nightmares, etc) - "I know what you'll do, you'll be a mac-n-cheese restaurant."

Jul 03, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Where do San Diegans rank San Diego as a food city?

Actually, I think it depends on the neighborhood. In neighborhoods along the I-8 corridor (Mission Hills, Hillcrest, North Park, University Heights, Normal Heights, etc.), there are a number of good mid-range bistros.

Does Serra Mesa, Linda Vista, or Mira Mesa have good mid-range bistros? Maybe not. A big problem is that the neighborhoods built later aren't as walkable, and the strip-mall concept favors restaurant chains. So, that's depressed the evolution of restaurants in the neighborhoods outside of the urban core.

That said, there is a San Diego identity as far as the restaurant scene goes, and we're not merely an extension of the LA/OC food scene. So, right now the food scene in San Diego is okay, but there is real potential for growth.

Jun 17, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Where do San Diegans rank San Diego as a food city?

As a native, honestly, I'd put San Diego in the top 20. For our pluses, we have fantastic beer, an improving cocktail scene, a unique taco shop/burrito culture, and amazing produce year round. For our minuses, we are lacking formal dining, and compared to our neighbors to the south, the scene is not nearly as innovative as in other cities. But, I imagine that will improve with time.

Jun 17, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

If I had Magical Restaurant Powers, I'd :

Put one decent Chinese take-out restaurant in North Park/Hillcrest/University Heights area.

Jun 12, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

ISO of the Best Burrito

I wouldn't be so harsh on LL. I remember the place pre-Man v. Food days, and it was always a good taco shop. The burritos at Dos Brasas were better, but LL was always nicer, and had better tacos than Dos Brasas.

Jun 08, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

ISO of the Best Burrito

True, Dos Brasas around the corner makes a better burrito (though the salsa at Lucha Libre is far superior).

Jun 06, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Top 15 Things to Eat in San Diego Now! (2014)

Great list. Here's mine:

Steak Sando from Carnitas Snack Shack
Carne Asada tacos from Tacos El Gordo
Mojades de carne from Mama Testa
Fish & Chips from Ritual
Brussels sprouts from Soda & Swine (after 2-3 cocktails from Polite Provisions, of course)
Blue corn chilaquiles from Mystic Mocha
Beef Stroganoff from Pomegranate
Salami Pizza from Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano

Jun 05, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Most Unique San Diego Restaurants?

It all depends on what you deem unique. But if you are thinking unique as someplace local that you can't get anywhere else, then I'd go with a taco shop. Actually, the first stop my brother makes whenever he comes home for a visit is to one of his several favorite taco shops. To step it up a notch, go with Tacos El Gordo (for tacos), or for a sit down meal, go with Super Cocina or Aqui Es Texcoco (which I plan on trying sometime soon).

Additionally, our beer is. . .just fantastic. And the beer pubs are equally fantastic. The most unique has to be Fathom Bistro - it sits on a pier off of Shelter Island (or Harbor Island).

Jun 05, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

"America’s 20 Best Barbecue Cities"

Um. . .what? I grew up in San Diego, I love San Diego, and I'm a huge, huge, homer, but San Diego truly lacks two things - a good deli and decent barbeque.

May 28, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

The Lack of Craft; A Reason Why San Diego is Ignored by Foodies?

I have to agree with a lot of the posters here - the dining scene is probably as good as it has ever been. There are still holes, and perhaps too much reliance on burgers, beer, and Belgian(ish) food, but all in all, food is getting better.

Well, the drinks are getting better. Eater posted an interview with the sommelier at Juniper & Ivy (http://sandiego.eater.com/archives/20...), where she noted that San Diego restaurant goers are more adventurous than she expected in our wine choices. This is similar to the owner of Polite Provisions saying that San Diegans were more willing to accept cocktails than in other cities. And of course, our beer is fantastic. All in all, the drink scene is probably going to outrun the food for awhile.

But I hear you on the Sausage King - that hurt. My hope is that Heart & Trotter opens and does a great job. Even then, its just a start.

May 28, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Best Hamburger in San Diego?

That's awful!

May 22, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Fresh Tortillas

While I'm not a huge fan of their food, El Indio makes damn fine tortillas (and chips).

May 22, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Philly hound and beer lover headed to San Diego

I concur with the list of those breweries. My ranking:

1. Alesmith (fantastic beer)
2. Stone (because the Stone Brewery gardens are awesome)
3. Alpine (amazing IPA's)
4. Ballast Point (probably my favorite brewery and relatively close to you)
5. Lost Abbey/Port Brewing (two breweries under 1 roof, Belgian styles)
6. Mike Hess Brewing (in North Park, like the beer)
7. Societe (also good beer)

May 12, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Philly hound and beer lover headed to San Diego

Downtown is getting better with the beer lists, but it's still not great. You probably want to drive to 30th Street (about 10 minutes away) for the better brewpubs. Bars with good-to-great draft lists are:

Tiger!Tiger!
Hamilton's
Blind Lady Alehouse
Toronado
Waypoint Public
Ritual (smallish, but a fine selection)
Monkey Paw (actually in the East Village portion of Downtown)
Fathom Bistro - bar on a pier with a fantastic beer list
Small Bar
. . .

Those are the best I can think of off the top of my head.

May 12, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

San Diego New Places Opening Thread Numero Tres.

So if no cocktail sauce (which I wouldn't put on an oyster, but to each their own), what condiments do they offer with their oysters?

Also, the best way I've seen a restaurant deal with the condiment issue is when I was in Miami ordering oysters and the my dining companions and I asked for Tabasco sauce (which I prefer to cocktail sauce, but again, to each their own). The bartender responded, "hey, I can give you Tabasco sauce, but we have the homemade hot sauce we make with Peruvian chiles. Do you want that instead?" Well, of course we wanted the homemade hot sauce, and we were happy with it.

I guess this is a long way of asking, do they have a homemade hot sauce made with Peruvian chiles at Ironside? Because that would be awesome.

May 07, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar in Mission Hills

I'm confused. Not by the review, but by the thinking. Why would anyone put a chain restaurant in Mission Hills? There's a restaurant serving the same sort of food right across the street. The Red Door, Cafe Bleu, and the Wellington are right around the corner. Add to that the fact that the Gathering was basically the same restaurant (though not a chain) and couldn't do good enough business to stay open. It just boggles the mind.

May 07, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

2014-- NYer visiting for first time. What are must trys ???

Not at 4:00 a.m.

Apr 25, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

2014-- NYer visiting for first time. What are must trys ???

Crap! I forgot about La Posta #8. *hangs head in shame*

Apr 25, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

2014-- NYer visiting for first time. What are must trys ???

Last time I was in NYC the Mexican food was. . .not good. With you staying in Hillcrest, I'd go with:

Mama Testa
Carnitas Snack Shack
One of the mariscos trucks on Texas Street, north of El Cajon Blvd. (both are on the west side of Texas).
Local Habit (not for food, but for the beer)
Tiger!Tiger! (same)
Akinori Sushi - yes, sushi is everywhere, but Chef Akinori seems pretty proud of our local seafood, especially our local uni (which is amazing), and the local spot prawns. Sit in front of him and omakaze it up.

Further down the road:

Fathom Bistro - fantastic beer bar located on a fishing pier on Shelter Island
In-N-Out - See the other comments above
Tacos El Gordo - Best. Carne. Asada. Ever.

I might add Alchemy or Buona Forchetta to that list, but as much for the experience of South Park as the food.

Apr 24, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego

rehearsal dinner in San Diego

My rehearsal dinner was a bit unusual because we had so many out of town guests, but we had ours at Cafe Coyote in Old Town. Don't get me wrong, the food is not even remotely chow worthy, but there was a private room, and the food was good enough for the guests (also, margaritas).

You might also want to look at Il Fornaio in Coronado - its a beautiful location.

Apr 21, 2014
jmtreg in San Diego