Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Ramona Lisa Pizza 

“Chicken Alfredo” pizza from Ramona Lisa’s. That’s right – I’ve been twice in one week! The improvement here is that noticeable.  This was from their specialty pizza section of the menu. (Shown here is the medium 14” for $14.99). Made with alfredo sauce; chicken; bacon;spinach; and onion.

This was an outstanding pie that came out better than I was expecting. Just the right amount of toppings, all thoughtfully and evenly distributed across the pizza landscape. At first the amount of bacon seemed fairly conservative. While eating it though I noted that it was just the right amount! It definitely contributed a nice smoky flavor to the whole thing. Quality and quantity of cheese was perfect. Lifting slices out of the box presented an amazing, stringy “cheese pull” that you don’t see very often.

I have to say this was a good value. Only a medium, but it easily fed two adults and an 11 year old with one slice left over.

Mi Ranchito Taco Shop 

Mi Ranchito has been under fire recently so I decided to go there for breakfast this morning. I’m not going to get into the merit of all the criticism because people have their own opinions, standards, expectations, etc. and I respect that.I ordered two beef flautas for $4.50. You can get them individually for $2.25 each. The flautas rest atop a bed of shredded lettuce, then are topped with sour cream and shredded cheese. The whole thing is served on a narrow foam tray.

For decades I’ve eaten flautas at various taco shops throughout SoCal and these are pretty average sized. I’ve been to some places where they come out looking like small chimichangas!  

Here at Mi Ranchito they tasted just fine and two filled me up. They are filled with a fairly conservative amount of tender shredded beef.

Tortilla was nice and crispy; they were not at all greasy. I thought the amount of sour cream on top was reasonable and appropriate. Any more and it would have turned into a hot mess.  

The young lady behind the counter this morning was very nice. No issue at all with the service today. I have noticed them to be somewhat surly in the past.

Ramona Lisa Pizza 

Now that Country Wine & Spirits is the new owner/operator of Ra-Mona Lisa I had to check it out. That and my middle name is “pizza”. I’m pleased to report that I got a very good pie tonight! Here’s a medium (14”) for only $10.99. Additional toppings are $1.25 which brought this sausage/pepperoni masterpiece to about $13.50.  Cheese and toppings were abundant! Very liberally applied. Happy that I did not have to request “extra cheese” as in previous visits. I will say the crust was somewhat bland/flat tasting. They claim to be using new/different/better ingredients and it is apparent. Same menu from original Ra-Mona Lisa still in effect, however they plan to make some tweaks in the future, so stay tuned.  

My phone-in pick up order was quoted 20 minutes and it wound up taking about 35 minutes. That’s ok though, I was not in a rush and enjoyed the company while waiting.

So happy to have a really good pizza option close to home in SDCE, as the OG version has let me down in recent visits.

Sombrero Mexican Food

Ok, this creation is my recent contest entry at Sombrero! The surf & turf bowl. Made with seasoned Spanish rice, lettuce, carne asada, sautéed shrimp, guac, crema and cotija cheese. Lime wedges on the side. Unfortunately there’s no shrimp! Guy at the counter today said “we can’t do half & half”, which is odd because you make a surf & turf burrito. Oh well, it was still very tasty!

Miguel’s Cocina 

My new favorite Mexican thing is what they call “sopes”.  Miguel’s Cocina does an outstanding job on their take of this traditional Mexican dish. 

La Cocina 

Outstanding combination plates at La Cocina in Ramona, CA!  Even if it is served on styrofoam plates.  This place is a local institution that feels more like a sit down Mexican restaurant than a taco shop.  

Da Tuna Shack 

While at Da Tuna Shack the other day trying the onion rings I also ordered a Softshell Crab Sandwich. For $11.95 it’s made with softshell crabs (duh), cabbage, red onions and a tangy tartar sauce. All sandwiches include your choice of crispy (crinkle cut) french fries or “tasty” tots and a side of sweet coleslaw.This was a really good sandwich that I would order again. The bun was high quality, warm, soft, grilled and obviously bakery fresh. Softshell crab was a fairly conservative amount, but breaded in a very flavorful, somewhat spicy batter. There were some areas that had nice meaty chunks, but fairly flat elsewhere. The cabbage and onion were a perfect cool, crunchy compliment to the whole thing. Tartar sauce was indeed tangy and very good.  

Tater (tasty) tots are not that common on restaurant menus, so I always order them when available. This plate included a very generous amount, freshly fried. I made my own dip concoction consisting of ranch dressing and some sriracha squirts. Very nice!

I was not a fan of the slaw. It was clearly fresh and housemade, I just didn’t personally care for chunks of fruit mixed in. Not my thing.

All in all, a great meal at a decent value. I might try the mani-mahi or jumbo shrimp sandwich next time.

Da Tuna Shack 

It’s been a while since we’ve reviewed any onion rings for our series, so we had an order recently at Da Tuna Shack! Shown here is an appetizer order for $5.50. It was beautifully presented in a basket lined with an attractive checkered print, served with a side of ranch dressing.

I’m happy to say this was the first place in Ramona (maybe the only place?) where the rings are housemade/hand-cut! They are coated in a great tempura batter that comes out hot and crispy, albeit bland. The onions (red) were pretty thick and retained a firm mouth feel. Not all soft and mealy. All bites cut through very cleanly without dragging the rest of the onion.

Boll Weevil

Living in SoCal I can have great Mexican food anytime, so I had no problem celebrating last Cinco de Mayo with all you can eat fish fry at Boll Weevil! Still the best value in Ramona every Thursday night. Only $7.99 ($5.99 with coupon), includes great AYCE fish, fries and salad in a wooden bowl. 5:00-8:30 pm, while it lasts…  We always love visiting The Weev with the outstanding service, good beers on draft, excellent hand-crafted milkshakes, etc.

Ralph’s Fresh Fare

The best grocery store Sushi is at Ralph’s, that I can tell you!

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