Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Early Bird: Another Breakfast @ Coco's

I do have much more interesting posts incubating in my queue but for tonight I have this quick three eggs breakfast from Coco's to share. May not be the most exciting as for foodie interests go but that never stopped me from posting things.

While I consider every meal a photo op, this particular I felt was worth saving for the fact the over-easy eggs were done so perfect aesthetically. Made me want to shake the hands of the cook that prepped them.

Again the whites may have been a bit runny for some peeps but I personally never minded that. Asked for the hash browns crispy which is a good idea just to be sure here from experience. Breakfast sausages were a familiar petite skinned variety, similar found boxed in many frozen isles but I sure love them all.

Coco's Bakery Restaurant, 4280 Nobel Dr, San Diego, CA 92122

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Early Bird: A Breakfast Sandwich @ Tommy's Original

朝からもガッツリ行きましょう!It's......... Tommy Time.

For once I'm not writing about the historical relevance between my beloved Japanese MOS Burger with Tommy's. But did you know Tommy Time can start as early as 7AM if you so wish? Yes sir, and although their full menu was at my disposal I was here at 6:58AM to try out a breakfast item. For the most part purely out of curiosity but nonetheless.

Sausage Egg Cheese Muffin ($2.45) with a Hash Brown ($1.15) and hot coffee ($1). A Tommy's version Breakfast Burrito is also offered.

Asked for everything on the sandwich which meant aside from the toasted English Muffins (Burger Buns if preferred), sausage patty and fried egg, all the usual Tommy's Burger suspects would be found.

Thick slice of beef steak tomato, fresh chopped onions, a smidgen of mustard, pickles, cheese, and bonus small dollop of mayo. All of course tied together with their signature gooey chili sauce (which is completely optional).

The muffin was softer than usual and perfect for not having the contents gush out the sides after taking a bite. The sausage patty and fried egg seemed lower on the sodium scale (compared to McD's) in a good way. Was nicer to balance out the chili, but even without the sauce I felt the tomatoes, onions and pickles really made the sandwich stand out.

Loved the iPhone-esque shape of the Hash Browns of course (with those lovely radiused corners). Were also seasoned fairly conservatively compared to McD's which was again refreshing. These I would finish up later with ketchup.

Tommy's without a doubt has a worthy contender for the Heavyweight bout of breakfast sandwiches (I'll have to tell you about Sombrero's limited time Breakfast Torta some other day...). Something I couldn't have every morning but even without the chili I'd totally order again along with the rest of the unusual but tasty fixings. Unusual, but good.

Original Tommy's Hamburgers, 7415 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Burger Time: Mr. Peabody's Burgers & Ale

I had some errands to run during lunch at Fashion Valley a couple weeks back and had also randomly decided this was going to be the day I finally try the burger at Mr. Peabody's. At least as long as I lived in San Diego they've seemed to consistently be ranked up there in the top five or so, next to the Waterfront, Hodad's and of course Rocky's Crown Pub, all of which I've had numerous occasions.

Found a seat near a window and proceeded to order the menu's only listed 1/2 Pound Burger (aside from the Turkey Burger option) and was pleased to find that $6.99 at Mr. Peabody's lets you get your hands on this...

As the name obviously gives away, the core is a beautiful and hefty hand formed 1/2 lb of medium ground, pure beef goodness. Had a nice char on either side of the patty and despite being closer to well done, was pretty juicy. Something I always thought the roadside but similarly substantial Nessy tended to lack, but anyway it wasn't too greasy either (like Western Steakburger) where I always made the distinction between juicy and greasy.

A few more bites later and I'm really enjoying the ratio of meat-to-bread, something that seems simple enough but regularly overlooked. The wrong doers ironically often the ones who play up fancy buns. No brioche, challah, or pretzel bread here, the griddle toasted spongy buttermilk bun is a straight forward sesame seeded that did a great job of holding everything together nicely without becoming a distraction in enjoying the all important beef. Veggies were fresh, dill pickle sliced a classy lengthwise, and the cheese that nice bright orange American.

It was nice to see that even with all the recent booming burger trends, this old school SD pub burger easily stacks up to exploding chains and trendier bars claiming their stake. As for personal local ultimate, I'm still very partial to my Rocky's experience but what Mr. Peabody's offers I must say is mighty solid.

Mr. Peabody's Burgers & Ale, 6110 Friars Rd Ste 108, San Diego, CA 92108

Monday, August 22, 2011

Asian Dude Food: A Banh Mi Xiu Mai @ Kim Chan Sandwiches Shop

That wasn't a spelling error on my part - Sandwiches Shop. Only noticed the sign during this recent visit to Kim Chan.

But anyway with my last rather disappointing meal at the newer Cali Baguette off of Convoy (was right when they opened and will give them another try soon), I've been revisiting older tried and true Banh Mi haunts as of late. I was back at Kim Chan after a longer dry spell for a quick bite and to maybe later give some updated bloggery love. Prices on board menu here.

This day I chose Xiu Mai ($3). It's sort of the Italian Meatball Sub varietal of your glorious Banh Mi. The filling, an often tomato sauce flavored Vietnamese Xiu Mai that seems to have little resemblance to the skinned Chinese Siu Mai counterpart. In fact from most of my experiences the looser ground often spread into the bread resulting something akin more to an Asian Sloppy Joe but far less messy thanks to the clamshell effect of those airy Vietnamese baguettes.

This day stronger well pickled carrots and daikon, a good amount of Cilantro (love the stems and all), the meats warmed for maximum flavor and the bread nicely toasted. Aside from the meatball sub lineage I guess what added to the eligibility for my "Dude Food" status was the fairly good amount of that yellow Vietnamese mayo which I happen to enjoy, particularly in this sandwich. Along with the sliced jalapenos each mouthful a loose meat flavor bonanza.

A great inexpensive lunch with thoughts as to why I don't visit Kim Chan more often. The massive pack of Fried Turnip Cake & Eggs were only $3. Sounds perfect for my next inexpensive dinner. Booyah.

Kim Chan Sandwich Shop, 4712 El Cajon Blvd # N, San Diego, CA 92115

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Whistle Stop For A Burger @ Beef 'N Bun

Several weeks ago was having some furniture powder coated in El Cajon and my friend suggested Beef 'N Bun for lunch. It would be my first but heard the name many times so I was pretty excited. Cute sign!

The Peanut Butter and Chocolate milkshake was phenomenal... So Thick and Rich!

And the burger wasn't too shabby either. I got the Half Pound ($3.69), which was two quarter pound patties griddled to lovely lightly charred edges, cooked closer to well-done but still moist. The piping hot crinkle cut fries also helped hit the spot the day.

Beef 'N Bun reminded me of the many great family owned burger joints with personality that litter Los Angeles' landscape but somehow in SD we seem to not have enough of. Places like them are hard not to love and I totally wish a Beef 'N Bun outpost existed in my part of town.

Check out this cool video I found on Youtube, I think made for a class project by one of the kids at Grossmont High... Good Job! :)

Beef 'N Bun Whistle Stop, 2477 Fletcher Pkwy, El Cajon, CA 92020

The Early Bird: A Breakfast @ The Trails Neighborhood Eatery

Even though I am now officially an early bird, 7:45AM for a Sunday is still a bit sweepy for me. But skipping dinner the night before can do funny things to a man. A gloomy morning, even a tad chilly for August in San Diego. Perfect hearty breakfast weather.

I've been wanting to trek out to The Trails Eatery, because it was once Megan's Cafe, the one and only place I could find in SD that served "Home Fries" prepared the way I sentimentally remembered them. Fried circular slices of potatoes cut thin on a mandoline.

Portions may have changed but I was really glad to see they've kept these. Are the shape of my fried potatoes that important and do they make that much a difference? Maybe not as insanely as how the Italians are with their pastas but my answer to that would be a firm YES. The cubed or chunky, sometimes rosemarried kind are "Country Fried Potatoes." Good in their own way, but let's not get the two confused.

Aside from the small superficial blemish my over-easy eggs were near perfect. The whites maybe slightly runny for some but I don't mind that. The barrel shaped sausages seemed almost deep fried where the textured fried edges were evenly distributed around the entire link. Certainly nothing to complain about. ;)

I actually didn't mind the look of Megan's before the redo in the unpretentious 'breakfast place in a strip mall' kind of way. But I could be weird like that and the updated interior, a result of a recent go with the people at the Food Network's Restaurant Impossible definitely fits the adorable now hip Ranch Style homes scattered about the hills of Del Cerro. While I'm curious to check out the rest of the menu (I remember the Chicken Fried Steak being great) with updated options for the health conscious, it'll be those potatoes that I'll be after. I shall be back, especially on a weekday when they have their great deal early bird specials. :)

The Trails Eatery, 7389 Jackson Dr, San Diego, CA 92119

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Early Bird: Tamal Breakfast @ Jimmy Carter's

Ahh, I just love the bluish cast early morning light gives...

This location of Jimmy Carter's off 5th Ave in Hillcrest used to be Breakfast specific but a while back had merged menus with the Mission Hills locations now that they've closed (for sad reasons of their landlord hiking up the rent I've heard).

But anyway here I was at 7AM Friday morning. It wouldn't be until I finished my meal that a second customer would arrive but like how my last visit to The Huddle, was neat to have the entire place to myself.

To be honest I thought I'd be fine with standard American fare breakfast the morning but it would've been silly not to have something drowned in one of many JC's tasty Mexican Sauces. By the time I remembered Mike and Sherry's Huevos Ranchero post on their Menu in Progress blog I was totally reprogrammed and primed.

Ended up with a Pork Tamal with eggs in Norteña Sauce. Nice and chunky pork with the slightly tangy sauce cutting through the richness, not to forget the two over-easy eggs tying everything together first meal of the day proper.

I had to get a side of breakfast sausages because nothing can replace them for me, not even bacon. And were these intense. Porky, greasy in a good way and packed high with a sage punch. I couldn't find out where they were from. I feel a box of them belong in my fridge.

Jimmy Carter's Mexican Cafe, 3172 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Asian Dude Food: Spicy BBQ Pork Donburi @ Suzuya

今日もガッツリ行きましょう!A limited time lunch special Spicy BBQ Pork Bowl at Suzuya BBQ.

The pork seemed marinated in Gochujang and was lightly spicy/sweet. Stir-fried with some cabbage, carrots, maybe also onions. All in a bowl over hot rice. Oh man this really hit the spot, and for cheap at $4.95 which included miso soup and a soft drink. High calorie, high flavor, low cost. I proceeded to bulldoze the contents into my mouth in proper Japanese Dude fashion.

Suzuya's standard lunch menu unfortunately never personally wooed me enough to have the place be in my regular rotation but have to say I really enjoyed this simple but very tasty meal. And at that bargain I can totally afford asking it next time topped with a sunny side egg for added sultry yolkage. Drool. :)

Suzuya BBQ, 5447 Kearny Villa Road, San Diego, CA 92123

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Early Bird: Breakfast @ Harry's Coffee Shop - La Jolla

Had breakfast at Harry's two Saturday mornings ago. It's been a while for me visiting but they were busy as ever...

The breakfast sausages asked as a side are my favorite simple kind. The almost square skinless that are "linked" together lengthwise like ammo to a bandolier, haha. Tasty though.

FYI, Harry's is the only other breakfast joint that I know of in SD which serves C.B.O.T. next to The Huddle in Mission Hills. Unfortunately for me it's the lightly tangy pastrami-like chipped beef style that I happen to not have grown up with and care for. (But can be seen here listed as "C" if curious.)

This day I consumed another Ham & Egg Sandwich. My breakfast trend for the month. Asked with lettuce and tomatoes which they were kind enough to not charge extra for and the Hash Browns asked for crispy was to order.

The eggs were over-well but I think three out of four special requests for how completely swamped the kitchen and staff were this particular morning fairs out pretty good. It was a great American breakfast as always. Thanks Harry's! :)

Harry's Coffee Shop, 7545 Girard Ave, CA 92037

The Early Bird: Ham & Egg Sandwich @ The Huddle

The Huddle seen at 6:02AM.

I'm always tempted to have the C.B.O.T. here but since it was a workweek and I couldn't afford to have a potential post-meal coma with a full day ahead, settled on a Ham & Egg Sandwich. My first to have here.

A side of Hash Browns instead of fries. The Hash Browns crispy-outer / fluffy potato-ey inner goodness as they always are. The Heinz Ketchup gods would be proud.

Whoa, check out all that ham in there! Nice, and they even did the egg over-easy like I asked.
"I luv you... You luv me..."

All Together Now...

The Huddle, 4023 Goldfinch Street San Diego, CA 92103

Offset: My $2.75 Omusubi Dinner @ Nijiya

The sharing of my cheap dinners continue. As of today calling the series - Offset.

I haven't confirmed the exact time but after 6PM-ish many deli items get marked down 20%. I've seen this at Mitsuwa and Marukai as well.

Dinner this evening two Nijiya Omusubi's tallying $2.75.

Microwaved for a minute the Tori Soboro and Karaage Mayo fillings were tasty as heck but did feel sparse compared to previous experiences. Glad the rice which were plenty is organic and good for me as you can't say the same for most Onigiris elsewhere. Organic is Nijiya's shtick, and I'm shticking to it.

ぼぼ、ぼくは。 お、おにぎり が す、好きなんだな。。。

Nijiya Market, 3860 Convoy St (# 109), San Diego, CA 92111