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Diary of a Travel Guide Junkie: Vol. III October 20, 2007

Posted by smooregasbord in Food, Travel.

Before our trip to San Diego becomes a distant memory, I thought I would do one more post regarding food…more specifically, our evening dining choices.

The Coronado Brewing Company is likened to other brewing companies like Gordon Biersch. Their sausage platter paired with a home brew is delicious. I was interested in trying the Islander Pale Ale (IPA) which they were out of during our visit.

Napa Valley Grille is located in Horton Plaza. You’re probably saying, “I can’t believe you ate dinner at a mall and are writing about it.” We tried this restaurant only at the recommendation of my Frommer’s guide which stated, “Proving that a shopping mall doesn’t have to be a wasteland when it comes to dining…” Sounded like a good enough reason to give it a try, and I’m glad we did. We started out with their cheese platter because I can’t pass up on cheese…ever! I wasn’t absolutely starving, so I opted for soup and a salad as my entree. I had their soup of the day which was a corn and crab bisque and followed that with one of their specials, Roast Duck Salad. Duck?! Yes, Duck.

Sidebar: I had never eaten duck until a trip to Jaleo. The waiter recommended a duck tapas dish and there began my new affection for duck. If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend giving it a whirl. If it’s prepared correctly, it will literally melt in your mouth.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, the salad. It was roast duck over mixed greens with goat cheese, nuts, and dried cherries topped with homemade cherry vinaigrette. WOW!

Located in Coronado, the Rhinoceros Café & Grille has the most delicious Lobster Bisque. I’d recommend strolling down Orange Ave for some shopping and then trying this location for lunch.

Seriously, Harney Sushi may top my list for best sushi restaurant EVAH! I was perusing a dining guide that was in our hotel room and saw a review on Harney’s. It sounded great, so we checked out their website and menu and were totally sold on the fact that we needed to give it a try. (Note: Their location is relatively small, so I suggest making a reservation.) Their restaurant is a hidden gem located in Old Town with a very charming patio and a wonderful (and knowledgeable) wait staff. If you’re eating sushi, how can you pass up on edamame as an appetizer?! The menu is HUGE. So many things looked good; it was extremely hard not to let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. We probably tried six different rolls and were NOT disappointed. My absolute favorite was the Andy II roll…a spicy tuna roll topped with fresh salmon and lemon. The small wedges of lemon gently placed atop each piece were heaven in my mouth. I’ve never had such wonderful sushi!

Located above a liquor store in Old Town, El Agave Tequilaria has over 850 different tequilas available. We stuck with their house margarita which was very authentic and not too frou-frou. They are very well known for their moles. We tried the Mole Poblano Don Julio (w/ chicken) and the Mole Verde (w/ pork). HoLy SmOkEs! They definitely earned their reputation fair and square. Both moles were unbelievably delicious!

In case it has not been mentioned before, The Fish Market in San Diego is my all time, cream of the crop, favorite restaurant on the planet. I love seafood and they have great seafood…very simply prepared and fresh! They are located right on the water, so not only do they have great food, the views are also hard to beat. When we are in San Diego, we usually eat dinner at The Fish Market twice…at the beginning of the trip and as a “last meal”. They smoke their own fish, so we never pass up on the smoked fish sampler as an appetizer. On the first trip, I usually order one of their fresh fish of the day grilled with my choice of sauce. On the last trip, I ALWAYS order the Duckett’s Buckett with pasta. It’s an assortment of shellfish steamed in the most delicious buttery garlic broth….to die for….and served to you in the steam pot.

Now with two locations in the San Diego area, Extraordinary Desserts is romance personified. The physical place is absolutely beautiful reminiscent of an enchanted garden…and, trust me, their desserts are equally wonderful. One look at their menu and you’ll understand why this place is so unique and why it’s hard to just pick one item. On this most recent visit, I tried the Roasted Coconut Cream Torte…YOW-ZAA!


1. Jeff - July 30, 2008

DUCKETT’S BUCKETT freakin’ rocks! If anyone knows the recipe please put it online SOMEWHERE!!!

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