Food Observations

A blog for eaters

The Cork and Craft

This is a great new place in Rancho Bernardo, barely a year old.  Tucked in an obscure commercial industrial area, you’d never know it was there if not for the tacky banner flags they have out front.  Here’s an order of tasty chicken wings.  Made with salt & pepper, garlic, red chile and scallions.  Lunch order comes with a good amount, but they could be a bit bigger. 


Charm Thai Kitchen

I posted from CTK a few weeks ago, but here’s a better shot of their shrimp Pad Thai.  You can see how dried up and overcooked they got.  So far the only good Thai shrimp that have been fresh and succulent is Thai Time in Ramona.  Make no mistake, this is still a great place, I just don’t order anything with shrimp.  They have a really good craft beer selection on draft.  Not something you see everyday at a neighborhood Thai eatery.   



Fast food purveyors of late have been going all spicy and hot with their special sandwiches. Ghost pepper this, el diablo that, etc…I’m planning to try most of these and I started tonight with our own Ramona Wendy’s and the “Jalapeño Fresco Spicy Chicken”.

For $5.49 (sammich only) it consists of a classic spicy (fried) chicken patty; colby pepper jack cheese; fresh jalapeño; ghost pepper sauce; all enveloped by a “red jalapeño bun”.  

I was anticipating intolerable heat, but it wasn’t really that overbearing. I only had to blow my nose twice. The so-called ghost pepper sauce seemed more like nacho squirt cheese. The chopped jalapeño was a nice touch.  

Overall it was a decent sandwich, but probably wouldn’t order it again. The bun could have been fresher. I’m thinking these flavors would pair better with a ground beef patty, so I’m looking forward to trying some of the spicy hamburger creations. Limited time only no doubt.

Surprisingly, what I got looked pretty darn close to their promotional pics…


On the Border

From the archives… This was Cinco de Mayo 2015 at OTB.  They always have great drink specials on such holidays.  Also one of my favorite bar/happy hour menus.  Love the flautas here.  In fact that’s about all I order from these days is the appetizer menu.   Don’t care too much for their combination plates since I don’t eat beans and their rice is terrible.  Also not a fan of OTB chips.  Way too big and too thin.  


La Cocina Mexican Food

I do love this taco shop here in town but their tacos lag big time.  Here’s an order of carne asada tacos while experiencing an extreme shortage of beef apparently.  They do have a great chips & salsa starter to make up for it though…


Pizza Hut

One of my favorite “chain” pizzas is the Pan pizza from the Hut.  Just a little bit greasy on the bottom with a nice crust.  Here in our small town it’s pretty much either Dominos or Pizza Hut.  Both are pretty good, but wish we had a Papa John’s and Round Table to even things out.  


Taco Bell

Recently I tried the Steak Doubledilla at The Bell.  Sadly it’s no longer on the menu because it’s one of the best things I’ve had here.  I wasn’t sure quite how they pronounced it so it left me, and likely the cashier somewhat embarrassed.  This bad boy was teeming with double the usual amount of lean steak.  Chicken was also an option.  Next time I’d recommend getting it double grilled to ensure the cheese is completely melted.  One of the best things I’ve had here.  Served with chips and a really tasty salsa for Taco Bell.  


Yesenia’s Mexican Food

Still one of the better taco shops here in SoCal.  The carne asada quesadilla is on point.  And the chile relleno is better than I’ve had in most sit down Mexican restaurants.  


The Par Lounge

Probably one of the worst sandwiches I’ve had at Par.  This one was just a sad let down.  Supposed to be some sort of southwest turkey melt with Ortega chiles, etc.  Contained very little meat considering the price and really no discernible chiles.  Barely enough to taste.  Didn’t seem to be constructed with much care.  Highlight here was definitely the onion rings and beer 😂


Fish District 

Been to this great place a few times and recently tried their fish & chips.  Just outstanding!   Highlight though is definitely the fries.  Their calamari is very good too.  If you’re in the Carmel Mountain Ranch area, this place is worth a visit for sure.  


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