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Delicious Culinary Itinerary - Thanx, Vegas!

Actually, there are a few more mentions of it here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/675920

Beso Steakhouse wasn't my first choice, but when we saw the $79 deal for 2, we decided to take a chance. It turned out to be a good decision. It's got a stylish decor, decent menu and the food was good. But the place suffers from an inexperienced waitstaff. The servers were nice, but a bit slow and even a bit nervous -- not as smooth as what you might find at a Charlie Palmer's or someplace similar. I casually told our waiter that we were "just going to take our time tonight." It seemed to put him at ease. Honestly, without the discount I don't think I'd go back. Beso's regular prices are quite expensive -- too much so for a place that has the potential to be hit or miss.

Jul 12, 2011
Maxmdwinter in Las Vegas

Delicious Culinary Itinerary - Thanx, Vegas!

Got back last week from a post July 4th getaway. Stayed at TheHotel ("suite" upgrade!) and mostly paid attention to the Vegas Chowhounders for my restaurant selections. You folks are on point! Very helpful to a guy and his buddy on a budget.

July 4
1. Late lunch at Burger Bar - delicious peppercorn burger.
2. Dinner at Beso Steakhouse in the Crystal Center - Scored a $79 four-course dinner for two (with champagne) from Travelzoo. Nice meal and great deal. Delicious veal chop!
3. Cocktails at Vesper Bar in the Cosmopolitan - Great bar. I had a crisp French 75

July 5
1. Lunch at Zooza Crackers at the Wynn - Decent corned beef sandwich. Pricey!
2. Dinner at Lotus Siam - Very good food. Ming Tsai was right about the Nam Prik Ong - awesome!
3. Cocktails at Nero's Caesars - Stiff, straightforward vodka drinks. Old school bartenders.

July 6
1. Lunch at Estiatorio Milos in the Cosmopolitan - Started with an amazing Apricot Press cocktail. Then ordered the $20.11 lunch special. Damn, that's the best deal in town! Had the hortopita appetizer, lamb chop entree and yogurt martini desert. This was beautiful restaurant with delicious food and excellent service. My favorite of the trip!
2. Cocktails at Chandelier Bar in the Cosmopolitan - I don't remember what I drank, but it was damn good.
3. Dinner at Sage in the Aria - Excellent food from Chef McClains Signature Menu - $79 each + $40 wine pairing. Everything was excellent. I particulalry enjoyed the Maine lobster casoncelli and the 48-hour beef belly. Great way to end the trip!

Jul 12, 2011
Maxmdwinter in Las Vegas

San Diego CLOSED Restaurants - Replacement for old board.

Pizza Fusion in Hillcrest was terrible, which I'm finding to be true of many of these "organic" pizza chains (Z Pizza, etc.)--too thin, too dry, too flavorless. Naked Pizza, which recently opened in HC, also piggybackson the "organic" marketing trend, but comes closest to tasting like mom and pop pizza

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Pizza Fusion
, San Diego, CA 92101

Mar 10, 2011
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Superdiners!

For all intents and purposes, the article (?) is about "guilty pleasures.' I just love that the Burger Lounge owner is cool enough to admit that he submits to a McDonald's burger every now and then. Usually, foodies won't go lower than In-n-Out.

Mar 10, 2011
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Ron de Jeremy - The "Adult" Rum

I almost spit the water I was drinking onto my keyboard when I saw this. It's a new rum by porn star, Ron Jeremy. Has anyone tried it? WOULD anyone try it?

http://www.rondejeremy.com

BTW, no nudity on the site, as far as I can tell -- if that sort of thing offends you.

Here's part of the description:

Ron de Jeremy Rum is an exceptionally well-balanced 7-year old rum from Panama. It has an inviting light amber color with very attractive copper hues. The aroma is that of carefully aged rum, with a harmoniously balanced orchestra of oak, fruit and spices. In the palate it opens up smoothly, showcasing a high level of craftsmanship. The oak comes through robustly and satisfyingly, yet gently enough to allow hints of vanilla and raw sugarcane to reveal them selves. The finish is elegant and long, true to the aromas and flavors previously experienced. Ron de Jeremy sips perfectly, naked or savored over the rocks, and mixes beautifully to make Ron’s many signature drinkxxx. It is the adult rum.

Mar 03, 2011
Maxmdwinter in Spirits

best milkshake?

For a quick fix, the shakes at Jack In the Box work for me. Just don't try to order after 11pm. They clean the shake machines at that time.

Feb 25, 2011
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Dinner suggestion for a rainy night

Eating in on a rainy night: Mustard-crusted pork chop, parsely risotto, tomato/basil salad (small), lots of TiVo'd entertainment...and wine.

Feb 18, 2011
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

The Linkery - The Farm and the City

It looks like Jay Porter and the crew are stepping their game up with some changes. Looks like a remodel is forthcoming and some changes to the menu. I just read this latest blog posting (below) and Troy Johnson of Riviera Magazine tweeted about it yesterday.

Here's the blog, BTW:
http://thelinkery.com/blog/how-now-gr...

Personally, I admire the Linkery and several of the other indie chefs/owners trying to offer better food, better dishes in a neighborhood setting (versus, a tourist trap). It's been a great trend in recent years. It took me a while to get on board with some of the foodie philosophies, but I get it, now. Anyway, it should be interesting to see the continued evolution of the Linkery and I know the place is well known among Chowhounders.

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Linkery
3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

Oct 26, 2010
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Restaurants with No Alternative

Lefty's has the best deep dish pizza in town -- equal to several legendary places I've tried in Chicago. Plus, their thin crust is also great, so IMHO, it's the best overall pizza place around.

Aug 19, 2010
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Old School Restaurants in San Diego..

Turf Club
Mandarin House

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Mandarin House
2604 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Aug 19, 2010
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Food Network show looking for your favorite outrageous food

Note the quotes.

Aug 19, 2010
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Food Network show looking for your favorite outrageous food

Maybe you’d appreciate a farm-to-table place like the Linkery, which features an amazing desert called a Lardo Ice Cream sandwich. It’s house made ice cream with bacon and other cool stuff. Here’s a photo and description: http://lardoicecreamsandwich.com
Also, the Linkery has a new “gastro-cantina” called El Take It Easy, which features “fear factor foods” like sweet & sour chicken heads, rabbit taquitos, octopus tostadas, and lots of goat meat dishes. Check out the menu: http://eltakeiteasy.com/menu.html

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Linkery
3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

El Take It Easy
3926 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

Aug 19, 2010
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Lobster and scallop tacos?

I really enjoy the lobster tacos at Pacific Coast Grill in Solana Beach. They're definitely a pricier option at about $22, but always delicious and unique. Basically it's served like a bowl lobster scampi with garlic, tomotoes, black beans and corn. Then they provide tortillas on the side.

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Pacific Coast Grill
437 S. Hwy 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075

Jun 28, 2010
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

El Take It Easy Accused of Bunny Hating? Seriously? [moved from San Diego]

Hey, I’m surprised no one has mentioned the STRANGE and (I think) HILARIOUS letter in Citybeat that pretty much accuses El Take It Easy of bunny hating.

Apparently, the San Diego House Rabbit Society has a big beef about El Take It Easy offering delicious rabbit for dinner. They want folks to boycott the place.

Here's a link to the letter (scroll down a bit):
http://www.sdcitybeat.com/cms/story/d...

Seriously, though. I'm a huge fan of rabbit -- especially the wood-grilled, rosemary infused kind in Italian restaurants. The rabbit was one of the dishes that attracted me to El Take It Easy. I loved their rabbit taquitos and I think the rabbit cazuela (not always offered) is one of the best dishes I've ever had. Of course, I enjoyed my rabbit with a crisp, cold pint of hops (sorry, couldn't resist). More power to El Take It Easy! No boycott for me.

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El Take It Easy
3926 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

Jun 21, 2010
Maxmdwinter in Food Media & News

Dessert: comforting, decadent, and completely guilt-free...

Freshly-fried donut holes with a side of chocolate sauce for dipping. Located at the Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.

Mar 01, 2010
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

North Park: 30th on 30th

Good idea. Sounds like a nice excuse to walk around the 'hood and sample that strip of restos on the cheap. Linkery to Urban Solace to Ritual is my first thought.

Jan 24, 2010
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

10 Best Things to Eat in San Diego

Just the foods I go back to time and time again for comfort and joy:

#1 Lobster tacos – Pacific Coast Grill

Coconut Crab Cakes appetizer – Terra
California Roll appetizer – Yardhouse
Best Burger in Town - Pearl Hotel
Deep Dish Meaty Pie Pizza – Lefty’s
Chicago South Sider sandwich – Vons
Black Bean Soup – Candelas
Assorted tacos – South Beach Bar/Grill
Red Velvet Cake – Bonnie Jean’s
Watermelon salad with feta and pine nuts (not always available)– Urban Solace

Jan 13, 2010
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Hold Your Wineglass the Right Way

The right way to hold a wine glass? Whichever way that allows for a firm grip and keeps you from SPILLING THE WINE. It'd be a shame to:

1. Spill and ruin your clothes (or someone else's with a serious splash accident)

2. Spill and disrupt a good meal at a restaurant. Yep, all over the table or tablecloth, forcing the staff into emergency clean-up duty.

3. Spill and waste an expensive bottle.

Nov 22, 2009
Maxmdwinter in Features

NYC Hound in San Diego

Below, a few of my faves. They all might be considered along the lines of “refined” casual dining. They all have their own personality. I like them because they’re among the more unique dining experiences in town, and in prime-time, each has a room that buzzes with good energy. Happy eating and enjoy your stay!

The Linkery – A nationally-recognized farm-to-table experience. Features an eclectic menu of good, house-made sausages and other selections. Excellent craft beer and wine selections. Among the best excuses to visit the North Park neighborhood (where you’ll also find the abovementioned Urban Solace).

Cowboy Star – Major meat emporium. Steaks, rabbit, sweetbreads. Cool décor. Downtown, but nicely off the beaten path.

Cucina Urbana – The hottest new restaurant in town. Good food and menu variety. Good wines and good prices (nothing over $20). Feels a bit like a hip, LA restaurant, but a welcome addition. Always packed. You'll need a reservation.

The Pearl Hotel – An uniquely California-casual gem with good food (mostly locally sourced, seasonable, blah, blah) poolside dining and Palm Springs modern ambiance. Best burger in town that no one knows about!

Café Chloe – Downtown bistro with consistently good food and wine. Great for brunch, too.

Candelas – Nouvelle Mexican that satisfies with very interesting flavors. The downtown location is nicely off the main downtown drag, and IMHO, has the best servers in town. Also has a hip lounge attached. Meanwhile, the Coronado location has similar food and great views of the water.

Tractor Room - Small room, small menu and big ambiance. Great cocktails. Bring an appetite. The food is heavy and meat-centric. Not a place to find “light” fare.

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Urban Solace Restaurant
3823 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104

The Linkery
3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

Nov 10, 2009
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

San Diego - Salvatore's

What gives with Salvatore's? It has been open for YEARS downtown on Front and G Street. I've never been in there, but I notice that's it's never crowded or even half full. How does it stay in business? Has anyone eaten there? If so, please report.

Aug 06, 2009
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Cucina Urbana-SD?

Glad you get the reference!

Jul 09, 2009
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Bar with good cocktails in San Diego

+1. Tractor Room is great. SMALL bar, but they mix a very good drink.

Jul 08, 2009
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Cucina Urbana-SD?

Thursday at about 7:00. Same night as Foodiechick, I reckon. I recognized a few foodies at a table having a feast.

Jul 08, 2009
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Cucina Urbana-SD?

I've been twice and was mostly satisfied with the results. Good food, good wine list and lots of energy in the room -- much better than Laurel, which was a bore. It was packed and will continue to thrive. Seriously, isn't it a no-brainer to have an under-$20 menu with a decent variety of entrees, and just enough of a creative twist to the dishes? Sadly, too few non-chain, non-family restaurants like this exist, but hopeful there'll be a trend.

First time there, I had orechiette pasta, with ground lamb, tomato confit and other stuff. Quite good. Nothing I couldn't make myself, but it hit the spot.

Second time I endured a mediocre pizza, the one with pancetta, potato and bechamel. VERY dry, but to some extent, I blame myself for even ordering it. There's just too much room for error with those ingredients. However, my friend had a delicious pizza with shrimp and pesto.

I'll be returning soon. Nice, affordable addition to the landscape.

Jul 08, 2009
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Gastropubs in San Diego..

DougO, according the Sept./Oct. 2008 issue of "Imbibe" magazine the Linkery is one of ht 100 Best Places to Drink Beer in America -- specifically, among gastropubs. Link to feature: http://tinyurl.com/d76mjk

May 01, 2009
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

what is the best steak place in San Diego?

Saska's! Talk about old school ...

But seriously, I've enjoyed a few good steaks at Greystone and Lou & Mickey's. I know they we're in the Gaslamp, but still, they did a good job.

Apr 20, 2009
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Amaya at The Grand Del Mar

Critics, etc. spend so much time fawning over fine dining at Addison, I didn't even know that Amaya existed! Maybe the resort should put more resources into their casual dining rooms.

Mar 11, 2009
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

San Diego Sandwich Spots people like

Fine, I'll just say it: The Chicago Southsider at Von's

Roast beef, horseradish cheddar cheese, horseradish dressing, lettuce, and tomatoes served on rustic Italian bread. Costs about $4.99 (or sometimes a $3.99 coupon). And sometimes, one of the nicer sandwich makers will add bacon for free.

Very tasty, and price-wise, you can't beat it with a stick.

Feb 16, 2009
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Happy hour/ early bird in SD

Ortega's in Hillcrest has a great daily Happy Hour menu from 3:30-6:30 and 10pm-Midnight. I think it's good quality Mexican fare. Beers and margaritas are from $3-6. The menu has nothing over $5.50. Good chicken, steak, tacos, etc. All come with a side of beans. Their shrimp ceviche is also on the menu. Nice atmosphere in their lounge area, too.

Feb 12, 2009
Maxmdwinter in San Diego

Origin Of Ketchup [Split from Calif board]

Josh, my statement was not meant to be factual in some historical foodie context. I'm just pointing out that it's needlessly deviant for an establishment to not have ketchup available when serving a staple of American casual eats. And actually, ketchup would ADD flavor to Neighborhood's burger, which I think is lacking. Hell, maybe their cows weren't happy cows. Whatever the case, it's not a burger that's high on my list.

Feb 12, 2009
Maxmdwinter in General Topics