Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Mimi’s Cafe

Outstanding meatloaf, good broccoli, and terrible potatoes au gratain at Mimi’s in Santee.

Meat Monsters Grill

Excellent Panko crusted fried chicken sammich at MMG in Ramona! The chicken was perfectly cooked, moist, tender and hot. The panko crust was nicely seasoned and crispy. I don’t have to tell you how big and generous the size was. Just look at that beautiful photo. It was quite a bit to handle but I plowed through. Krinkle cut fries were hot & crispy. Remarkable meal at an affordable price.

Sushi Kami

Outstanding Crunch Shrimp Roll at Sushi Kami in Rancho Bernardo! Tempura shrimp, krab, avocado, & cucumber, topped with crunch and eel sauce.

Villa Capri Trattoria & Wine Bar

Excellent Spaghetti alla Carbonara at Villa Capri in Poway! One of the best carbonara’s I’ve ever put in my mouth. And I’ve had many, including my own homemade. A classic Roman dish made with pancetta, freshly cracked black pepper, parmigiano cheese and egg in a light cream sauce. Highly recommended.


Cinnabon to go is a wonderful thing! That I can tell you.

On the Border

Outstanding barbacoa taco and brisket taco at OTB in Escondido!

The Par Lounge

Still the best mac & cheese in Ramona!

Meat Monsters Grill

I rarely try new dining establishments on their first day open but I could not resist with Meat Monsters Grill! The place was packed and the energy was infectious. The only thing missing was marching bands and cheerleaders! It was obvious the whole team running the place was firing on all cylinders. I arrived late morning, during the transition from breakfast to lunch. I was hoping to try the CFS but they had already run out. The country gravy, too. I ordered a Bacon Burger with fries, only $12.50. It was outstanding, that I can tell you! I noticed the menu also features Anthony Andrews’ famous Bacon Mac & Cheese. A beloved favorite of mine for years.

The burger was constructed with a liberal amount of shredded lettuce (which I love), maters, onion, mayo and lots of zesty pickles. Plus bacon of course. I really appreciated that I could taste crispy bacon and creamy mayonnaise in almost every bite. This was a very well crafted burger. The beef patty definitely lived up to the restaurant’s name! It was heavy and thick. Seemed like at least 2/3 lb. It was hot, juicy, seasoned and cooked to a perfect med-well. The mouthfeel had a really nice ground beef texture that wasn’t all overworked. The crinkle-cut fries were abundant and served screaming hot from the fryer. They were modestly seasoned; I did not feel the need to add salt. The menu here is simple and seems to be very well thought out and affordable. I cannot wait to come back and try just about everything else.

I can totally see MMG taking off as a very popular Old Town Ramona eatery. I’m already planning my next visit and know exactly what I’m going to order. I just probably need to set an alarm clock.

Filippi’s Pizza Grotto

I have eaten lasagna at many Italian restaurants across America. One of my favorites will always be Filippi’s! There’s is very cheese forward so I always recommend adding a meatball or sausage (or both) to round it all out.

Smokin J’s BBQ

One of Poway’s newest restaurants, Smokin J’s is a BBQ powerhouse! Located near Old Poway Park, their small storefront puts out some of the best Que I’ve had in SoCal. I believe they’re in the process of expanding and will have ample dine in facilities soon. Everything here is made from scratch, in-house. I’ve had their brisket a couple times and it is excellent. Quite moist and richly marbled. They also make a delicious looking pecan pie (my fave) that I can’t wait to try soon!

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