Tuesday, November 25, 2014

EXTRA Travel Special PART II of II: Gringo G in San Diego, CA ... EATS!

The Place: America's Finest City - San Diego, CA- Part II EATS!

Gringo G’s Experience

The Eats: As a start Gringo G crossed the U.S.-Mexico Border at Otay Mesa and headed to a wonderful new wine shop turned restaurant in Downtown Encinitas (North County San Diego): The 3rd Corner!

The experience was splendid. The concept is that you can buy any bottle from their retail wine store (the bistro is built into the wine store) and open it at your table for about $5. First Gringo G and his companions popped a bottle of Camus 40th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon which was an excellent wine to start the trip off with … really superb! Next came the food … the highlights were definitely the Risotto with Truffle, The Pork Schnitzel with Bacon Braised Cabbage and the Scallops with Shrimp Grits which were all phenomenal dishes. The sandwiches were also pretty nice but nothing out of this world. This place is highly recommended as a great late night option in sometimes sleepy North County San Diego where you can get a glass or a bottle of good wine with some very nice food. Another late night option is right across the street, Union Kitchen & Tap, which  has a lot of nice microbrews as well as decent bar food … it can get very packed on the weekends though so beware.

3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro

The Wine Shop

Camus 40th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon

Pasta with Seafood

Scallops with Shrimp Grits

Pork Schnitzel with Bacon Braised Cabbage

When Gringo G needed to make a run for some Pan de Muerto and more supplies for his Day of the Dead Offering he headed to La Perla Tapatía (in Oceanside in North County) an all-in-one Mexican Goods Store. Literally everything can be had from fresh tortillas to traditional sweet breads to hot sauces to hot food like the flautas de birria. Definetely impressive to see a place this extensive in San Diego County!

La Perla Tapatía

Traditional Mexican Sweet Breads

Mexican Day of the Dead Breads

The next day for lunch we headed to Point Loma (across the San Diego Bay from Downtown) to visit a San Diego legend, Point Loma Seafoods, this place has the reputation of having the some of the freshest seafood in San Diego and offers a large offering of seafood to buy and take back to your home to cook as well as a large offering of hot food on offer which can be accompanied by cold beer on tap on their restaurant patio which has a view of the Marina, San Diego Bay and the San Diego Skyline. Gringo G’s favorite is the Fish Sandwich which has incredibly fresh Alaskan Cod, with a special sauce on sourdough bread … amazing!! The Seafood Stew was nice as well as the Hamachi (Yellowtail) Sashimi. Really a must visit if you are in or around the Downtown San Diego Area.

Point Loma Seafoods - A Local Legend

FRESH Seafood

FRESH Shellfish


The View of San Diego Marina from the UPPER DECK

Crab Sandwich

Fish Sandwich

Seafood Soup

Stone IPA on tap!!

Later that night Gringo G headed to one of his favorite places in San Diego, Stone World Bistro & Gardens, where he was able to enjoy some of his favorite beer in the world (Stone beer duuuhhh) with really nice bistro/beer food! The Gringo enjoyed some Stone Ruination one of his favorite beers with the Pulled Chicken BBQ Sandwich which was rich and mixed well with the beer. Gringo G’s companions enjoyed Mac ´N Beer Cheese which was AMAZING … a perfect mix of beer, mac ´n cheese and sausage … mmm. Also at the table was a dish of Brisquet which was delightful, a version of Sheperd’s Pie, a wonderful sausage platter as well as a very creative dessert of Jalapeño Cheesecake topped with fresh blueberries. If you are in North County (or Downtown/around Liberty Station) and like beer you need to try this out!


Stone Ruination Ale

Fried Olives with Almonds

Sausage Platter


Mac 'N Beer Cheese

Jalapeño Cheesecake with Blueberries

The next day Gringo G made a pilgrimage to chow down on some of his favorite hamburgers in the World, In-N-Out, which has a very simple slogan “Quality You Can Taste”. In-N-Out is a California legend for one reason, not because their burgers are complex, not because they use gimmicks in their food … they simply make plain burgers and cheeseburgers (the famous Double Double is Gringo G’s preferred choice) with the highest quality and freshest ingredients possible. Their fries are famously fresh cut (see the video below) to serve. There are NO exceptions to In-N-Out, this is a must visit if you are in California or one of the surrounding States (accordingly they just opened in Texas for the first time).
In-N-Out Encinitas



The Famous Double Double in all its Glory

Fresh Cut Fries!!

Next up was a must …. if you are in San Diego or California in general there is two specialty foods that represents the region itself: burritos and fish tacos. Gringo G tried a version of both at Roberto’s Mexican Food (with locations in North County). The California Burrito, an immense flour tortilla with carne asada, fries, cheese and cream, is Gringo G’s single favorite burrito and was delicious. The Fish Burrito was like eating 3 classic Ensenada Style Fish Tacos in one enormous flour tortilla: be part of the tradition and try a burrito if you head to San Diego; they are fresh, decadent and cheap.

Roberto's Mexican Food

California Burritos Right Up!

California and Fish Burrito  Combo

Last up on the trip was a Little Italy San Diego institution, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, which is a wonderful experience. You walk in through the old Italian Goods Store in the front winding back through a narrow hallway into the restaurant in the back. The pizzas and veal parm are two of Gringo G’s favorites but an honorable mention must be made for the sandwiches which are wonderful and made with meats from their very own deli in the Store out front.

Filippi's Pizza Grotto the Heart of Little Italy San Diego

Veal Parm

Pepperoni and Italian Sausage Pizza

GIANT Meatball


In the end the gastro-tour of San Diego was varied and in the end quite satisfying … make sure to visit America’s Finest City ASAP!


Coming Next: Guadalupe Reyes Series - Annual Mexican Winter Drink-A-Thon!

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