Foodie

Tasty Gems

What an exciting weekend this has been! I finally buckled down, turned my taste buds on, and took my food lovin’ butt out to try some places that have been on my radar for quite some time now. I’m a sucker for coffee, especially if it’s in a cute coffee shop. But I also love to wine and dine at a restaurant with a good vibe and killer view.  I was on a mission this weekend to try two coffee shops and two places to dine in. Let’s just say it was a major success and I absolutely recommend you check them out too!

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Communal Coffee – North Park

Breakfast/Lunch 8/12: I have been driving up and down this coffee shop for God knows how long and every time, I always thought to myself, ‘coffee and flowers sounds like the perfect way to start or end the day.’ A delicious cup of coffee in one hand and a cute arrangement of flowers or plants in another. Their collaboration with the garden next door Native Poppy makes their dining experience so unique and relaxing. You can enjoy delicious, beautiful looking food and also enjoy the garden view or do what I did: stroll down its greenery isles.

Ok, let’s get back to the important stuff – the food. Here’s what I tried:IMG_20170812_110315_486-1

Drink– Cold Brew with Almond milk.

Food– Chia Pudding: coconut milk+ honey topped with strawberries & bananas.

Croissant Sandwich: prosciutto + egg + cheddar + sea salt + pepper.

When I came here, I knew that I wanted to get out of my comfort zone just a tiny bit. I have heard pretty great things about chia pudding but I’ve never came around to making it, much less knowing a place that sold it. So, when I saw it on the menu here, I knew that I had to try it. This felt like such a luxurious little treat, even though it had pretty common ingredients.  It was so creamy that it just melted in your mouth. It was sweet but not too overpowering, and the fruit on top but paired so nicely with it. Every bite was just perfect. I will definitely be going back for more and trying to make it myself.

What is there to say about the croissant? All but good things as well. It was one of the best  croissant sandwiches I’ve ever had. I know that’s a pretty bold statement, given that there are tons of places you can get one, but not like this one. First of all, it had prosciutto, not bacon (#fancy). Second, the egg was the star of the show for me. It was like a sunny side up meets a semi hard-boiled egg cooked with love to perfection.  DSC00733.JPG

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La Vecindad Neighborhood Tacos- Hillcrest

Dinner 8/12:  I was rooting for this place more than you guys can even imagine. Can you guess why? No? Fine, I’ll tell you. It was Mexican food. You guys know that I set the bar way up there when it comes to Mexican food. Well, this quirky little hole in the wall doesn’t seem like much from the outside but walking in, it’s like transporting in to streets of Mexico City. Right off the bat I loved the authenticity of this place. There was legit Mexican music playing, and I’m talking Sonora Dinamita type of music. That’s how you know it’s real.

The music was a bonus, but I came for the tacos. All their tacos are a la carte, which means you’re paying for each one individually.  So just FYI, because it can get pricey quickly. Here’s what I ordered:

Taco #1– Costa Azul:  shrimp wrapped with bacon, sauced avocado, white and chipotle aioli sauce, red cabbage and queso fresco.

Taco # 2– Campechano: seasoned steak (DF style), homemade longaniza (similar to chorizo), nopales,  onions, and seasoned potatoes.

Drink- Socalrita

You guys, I was so impressed I couldn’t stop talking about it. I, to this day, still can’t get over how insanely good they were. The meat was so tender, the longaniza was so tasty, and the salsa… sweet baby Jesus! Just the perfect amount of spice. I actually wanted to ask them for their salsa recipe. It was that good!

This was hands down, the most authentic, real deal, gourmet Mexican tacos.  I say gourmet, because even though they are street tacos they were so appealing to look at and very well made. You could just taste the thought and care they put in to making them. My mouth is watering just thinking about them! So, so good!

Ps: The margarita was just as delicious and well worth it. Strong, tasty, and you just can’t go wrong with tacos and a good margarita.


 

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Black Market Bakery– Adams Ave

Sunday 8/13: This little coffee shop caught my eye for the very first time scrolling through my Instagram a few months ago. Now that I’ve actually been there I can’t get enough of it. I already feel the urge to go back. This coffee shop is right in between two of my favorite areas here in San Diego, North Park and Adams Ave. When you walk in, there’s a little loop sorta’ speak that wraps around the coffee shop. Inside that loop they have tons of cute little knick-knacks you can purchase from, shirts, tote bags, mugs, and even sweet goodies such as popcorn, chocolates, and sweet bread.  Of course they also sell coffee that you can make at home. Everything  that’s right up my alley.

Ordering here was so hard because I literally wanted to buy everything! Here’s what I decided on:

Drink- The Champ: honey+ cinnamon+ espresso+ choice of milk (I always do non-fat)

Food- Chocolate Almond bread pudding (of course)

Southern Comfort= eggs+ Cheddar +Sausage on Buttermilk Biscuit, smothered in           Sausage Gravy.

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Let’s start with the coffee. Honey and cinnamon – why I didn’t think of this before, I have no idea, but that pairing was a match made in heaven!

The bread pudding was so delicate and rich. It was very chocolatey, which I really enjoyed. I go through these crazy chocolate phases and this past Sunday was actually one of those days, so that bread pudding beyond satisfied my chocolate craving.

The biscuit was delish as well. Biscuits and gravy is one of my favorite things to eat. So when I saw they made this, I had to get it.  The gravy was very flavorful and creamy. Total success! The only thing I wish they would’ve had was hot sauce. The Mexican in me just needs that spice! Some Louisiana reds would’ve been bomb with this! But I can seriously look past that because it was delicious without it.


 

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UNDERBELLY- North Park

Dinner 8/13: Ever since my favorite ramen place shut down in Pacific Beach, I have been on a desperate hunt for a good one to take its place.  This is the only place that came as a spontaneous surprise this weekend and boy am I glad it did. I was scrolling through Yelp to see what sounded good and came across this placed called UNDERBELLY.  It had great reviews and the pictures were to die for. I thought to myself, ‘I can go for some ramen…’ but the thought of being potentially disappointed held me back for a second. I got in my car and then thought ‘ah, what the heck, lets give it a shot.’

First good sign: it was in North Park, so A+ there.  Second, their outside patio was so flippin’ cute. It had a very modern and sophisticated yet casual vibe to it. So far so good. The real test and final decision on what would make it or break it for me would be all on the ramen.  Here’s what I ordered:

Drink- Fremont Beer.

Food- Underbelly Ramen = Soft boiled egg + chashu pork+ adobo pulled pork + seaweed + bean sprouts + green onion + bamboo shoots.

Guys, I was a little scared but as soon as it came out and saw that big ol’ bowl of ramen deliciousness, I just went for it. I wish I could give you all a taste of this ramen. I seriously wanted to just dive in and swim in it. It was unbelievably good! The chashu pork was nice and crispy, it was like little gifts of bacon tasting goodness. The adobo pulled pork, I mean it’s ADOBO PULLED PORK! What doesn’t sound good about that?! Everything  paired so good together, the flavors just meshed in to this heaven sent broth.

At first the one thing that concerned me was that it wasn’t spicy (you already know how I feel about the spice), but they have a tray of spices at the bar or table, wherever you choose to sit, where you can add as much spice as you like.  SUCCESS!

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