Food Observations

A blog for eaters


Chicken Parmesan at D’Carlos! Covered in melted provolone cheese and marinara sauce, served with a side of spaghetti, tasty garlic bread and freshly shaved parmesan cheese, $13.25.

The first thing I noticed was the stunning presentation! The next thing I observed was the naked chicken breast! Traditional chicken parm is made with a breaded chicken breast so this was somewhat of a departure being not breaded. I have to tell you though, the more I ate, the more I liked it. The chicken was grilled to the perfect doneness and was quite juicy and tender. Personally, I prefer a crispy breaded breast, but this one didn’t feel like a lead weight in my gut after eating it. I’m sure it was less calories too for those who care about that sort of thing.

The pasta unfortunately was cooked well past al dente. I was really impressed though with the marinara sauce. In my opinion it would rival any good Italian restaurant within a reasonable driving distance. It was rich, flavorful and robust. Overall a great dish when you want something other than their signature beef or seafood dishes.


The Par Lounge

Outstanding fish & chips!

La Cocina

Decent combination plates for a taco shop but why do they always have to heap a mountain of lettuce on everything? Cheese enchilada and beef taco… If you couldn’t tell.

Lemongrass Thai Food

Quick one today! I’m no fan of the Pad Thai at Lemongrass Thai Food, however their fried rice dishes are outstanding. Here’s the “Combination Fried Rice”, made with stir fried steamed jasmine rice with egg, chicken, beef, pork, onions, tomatoes, green onions, etc. Only $10.95.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

Such a forgettable burger I can’t even remember what it was! Not sure what I was thinking considering I have access to many outstanding craft burgers right here in Ramona.

Way Point Saloon

Tried one of Way Point Saloon’s monthly specials for dinner recently, the “Crisp Cubano”! A butterflied Ortega chili sits atop roast beef, salami, and turkey, with melted Swiss cheese, thinly sliced jalapeños, and a few pickles, all on an 8” sub roll, pressed panini style. Served with your choice of side, $12.95.

This was an outstanding and creative sandwich. Inspired no doubt by a traditional Cuban sandwich, which is typically made with ham and roasted pork. What really set this one apart was the Ortega chili and thin sliced jalapeño. Added a tremendous flavor and subtle heat to the whole thing. Roll was perfectly grilled, hot & crispy.

I have to say it was a pretty conservative amount of meat for a $13 dish. Good thing the bread was very tasty because that’s what came through the most. I’d definitely recommend trying this one if you’re a fan of the Cuban sammich.

Outback Steakhouse

Queensland Chicken & Shrimp at Outback Steakhouse. This dish used to be good back in the day. Not so much now… Seems far more institutional.

Taco Bell

Not every special at the Bell is a hit with me! This Double Chalupa thing, shaped like a boat, was awkward and cumbersome to eat. Plus, not nearly enough meat for the cavity size.


Outstanding ‘mix & match enchilada plate’ at Ramona Rubio’s recently! Your choice of any two of their three styles of enchilada. I ordered (and recommend) the pan-seared shrimp enchilada with verde sauce and the grilled chicken with a fire-roasted enchilada sauce. Both enchiladas are layered with a blend of melted cheeses and cilantro/onion, then wrapped in toasted corn tortillas & topped with salsa fresca and a drizzle of white sauce. Served with a side of black beans and Mexican rice, $8.49.

I was impressed with these enchiladas. I really liked how they did NOT render down into an incomprehensible mess, like many Mexican restaurant enchiladas. And they were not buried under a mountain of shredded lettuce, like many taco shop enchiladas. Their preparation method kept them tight, with great texture and mouth feel. Best part was having the two types of excellent, flavorful enchilada sauce. Despite their petite size, the enchiladas contained a decent amount of shrimp and chicken, respectively, proportional to their size. Mexican rice was tasty but not served hot. Fairly lukewarm in fact.

Homemade Nachos

Outstanding homemade BBQ pulled pork nachos! Made with the best tortilla chips in SoCal from El Nopalito Tortilla Factory in Encinitas, CA!

Post Navigation