Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Buffalo Wild Wings

Outstanding “Bacon Smashed Hatch Chile Burger” at BWW in Santee! Made with a double patty, hand smashed and seared with bacon, American cheese, Hatch Chile peppers, grilled onions, pickled hot peppers, Hatch Chile aioli, all on a Challah bun with your choice of sides. I of course requested their tasty tots. Comes with a beach towel and side of Tums. Any visit to BWW would not be complete without an order of their excellent deep fat fried Wisconsin White Cheddar Cheese Curds! Comes with a side of southwestern ranch and a defibrillator.

Location: 254 Town Center Pkwy Santee, CA 

burger, hamburger, cheeseburger, Buffalo Wild Wings, San Diego


Bull and Bourbon

For our stay at Sycuan Casino Resort I made reservations at their seemingly high-end steakhouse called “Bull and Bourbon”. The dining room is beautiful and classy with more fantastic views of the valley through their tall windows. Their steaks are prepared on a custom wood burning grill. They feature an impressive selection of bourbon that compliments their traditional steakhouse fare. Therefore I started with an Old Fashioned which was very nice and aromatic.

On to the food. Lady FoodObs and I shared an order of the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes. Includes grilled lemon, arugula salad and gribiche sauce (I had to look that one up). The cakes were tasty and stout with a dense crust. That green substance shmear (gribiche) was excellent! I had the 8oz Grass Fed Filet Mignon, Oscar Style. The steak was outstanding and cooked perfectly to my requested medium-rare. The Baked Truffle Mac & Cheese we shared was fairly pedestrian however. Overall a very nice dinner experience.   

Location: 5469 Casino Way, El Cajon, CA

steak, crab, Oscar style, Sycuan, steakhouse

Viewpoint Neighborhood Kitchen

Last October we enjoyed a nice staycation at Sycuan Casino Resort in San Diego’s East County! They have a number of nice restaurants and we checked out two of them during our stay. Viewpoint Neighborhood Kitchen is a beautiful indoor/outdoor culinary experience featuring stunning views of the valley. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The “Prawns & Pasta” was excellent! Shrimp, asparagus, parmesan, fried capers and tomato pesto cream tossed with fettuccine. Also enjoyed the mac & cheese waffle appetizer. We returned for breakfast and sat on their deck overlooking all the pools. Such a nice setting. I had the Country Fried Steak which was tasty; the gravy was outstanding. The hash browns here are a standout! Hot, fresh and perfectly crispy, plus beautifully presented. Lady FoodObs had the Flatiron Steak & Eggs. The steak was so excessively seasoned unfortunately. Someone had a heavy hand in the kitchen, that I can tell you. Overall, everything was very nice.

Mary Etta’s Cafe

Outstanding sausage patty with two eggs breakfast at Mary Etta’s Cafe in Flinn Springs!

Location: 14809 Olde Hwy 80 El Cajon, CA

breakfast, brunch, eggs, sausage, San Diego

Crafted Culture

We recently visited a fairly new, avant garde restaurant called Crafted Culture. It’s nestled in a sprawling industrial complex in the Sabre Springs neighborhood of San Diego, which is just west of Poway and south of Carmel Mountain Ranch. I was immediately struck by how modern, clean and spacious this restaurant is. Unfortunately when visiting during Happy Hour, you are limited to the HH menu. Le Papagayo does this and I’m not a fan. Anyway, full bar, nice draft beer selection, etc., so we took a number of HH small plates for a test drive.

Duck Fat Garlic Fries were excellent! Hot, crispy, and flavorful. Comes with sides of aioli and ‘chup. Wedge Salad was tasty, although farily petite. Needed more dressing. The pickled red onions were a nice touch. Truffle Mac & Cheese was decent. A fairly pedestrian recipe. Did not seeem baked although it was served piping hot. Crumb topping was excessive. The Spicy Fennel Sausage Flatbread was excellent. Probably my favorite item among the four we tried. Included Calabrian peppers and Fontina. Overall this place is a hidden gem with an interesting, creative menu. Well worth checking out. They feature live music every Friday and reservations are available on OpenTable.  

Location: 13480 Evening Creek Dr N Ste 150 San Diego, CA

fries, appetizer, San Diego

La Palapa Mexican Restaurant & Cocktails

I always love visiting La Palapa in Lakeside, CA! Everyone is so nice and the food is really special. Not your run of the mill Mexican restaurant, that I can tell you! I always try to order something new and different each time. This visit I had their excellent Shrimp Burrito. It’s served three different ways; and I chose “Bernadette Style”. Named after the owner I believe. It was exquisite! Probably the best thing I’ve had here and everything is really good. Highly recommended.

Location: 12169 Woodside Ave Ste A Lakeside, CA

burrito, Mexican food, San Diego

Thai 2 You

Excellent Pad Thai with chicken at Thai 2 You in Rancho Bernardo! Among the newest Thai restaurants in the region, this place is really nice. I always enjoy visiting. The dining room is small, yet clean, modern and artfully decorated. Such a relaxed vibe here.

Location: 15817 Bernardo Center Dr Ste 106 San Diego, CA

pad thai, noodles, asian, spicy, San Diego

Roberto’s Taco Shop

Outstanding “Carne Asada Chips” at the new Roberto’s location in Rancho Bernardo! A pioneer of classic Mexican food in San Diego for over 50 years, Roberto’s has built its reputation as the quintessential taco shop.

Location: 16773 Bernardo Center Dr San Diego, CA 

nachos, chips, Mexican food, San Diego

Villa Capri Trattoria & Wine Bar

Excellent “Pollo Parmigiana” at Villa Capri in Poway! Comes with tater and veg, or you can sub pasta in same sauce.

Italian food, chicken parm, Poway, pasta


Kai Sushi

Visited Kai Sushi in Poway recently (September). No AC running! It was quite uncomfortable. The rolls here look really good although the composed dishes could use some help. I ordered the Shrimp Yakisoba. It contained a disproportionate amount of peppers and onions. The shrimps were lacking, very small and sad looking. Service unfortunately seemed lazy. The tall, unhappy looking owner man looming around did not engage with his guests, despite making eye contact. I usually have a more enjoyable experience when I go to Poway Susie Lounge.   

shrimp, yakisoba, sushi, noodles, Poway

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