Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the month “November, 2016”

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!

Jack in the Box 

Recently I bypassed my usual sausage biscuit with egg at McDonald’s and headed straight to JIB to try the “Supreme Croissant”. For only $3.69 you get grilled bacon, ham, a freshly cracked egg and American cheese enveloped in a warm, flaky croissant. Bacon was pretty skimpy, only two small pieces in the center but this was a good breakfast sammich that did not leave me feeling abdominally distended afterwards. Croissant held together nicely without falling apart. Continuing to be impressed with the service at our JIB. So far, no space cadets taking my order! I especially appreciate how they bring your food straight to the table. I only wish the dining area was kept a little more tidy.

The Par Lounge

Last minute pizza dinner at The Par Lounge recently. Here’s the “Combo Pizza” for $17. Made with pepperoni and Italian sausage. Honestly, I think I like the smaller, individual versions better. This larger one had a conservative amount of cheese, and an even more conservative amount of sausage/pepperoni. Still tasty, just not a great value in my opinion…First time trying an add-on dinner salad (only $3). I was impressed. A good amount of fresh lettuce, shredded cheese, cucumbers, maters, croutons, etc.


Pei Wei Asian Diner

My favorite dish at Pei Wei are their outstanding fried rice bowls!  I could eat these everyday.  Particularly with the beef.  Definitely on par with their big brother, PF Chang.  Also shown here are their amazing Crab Wontons.  Crispy handcrafted dumplings filled with crab, cream cheese, red bell peppers and scallions served on a bed of tasty sweet chile sauce. 


Mariscos Mar de Cortez

Mariscos Mar de Cortez for early dinner recently. “Supreme Burrito” is a monster for only $6.99! Made with your choice of chicken or beef, filled with rice, beans, cheese, guac, sour cream, lettuce, kitchen sink, etc. This football sized burrito is then liberally blanketed with a flavorful chile relleno type sauce. The shredded beef was tender (albeit bland); everything else was well proportioned and tasty. Tortilla warm, soft and supple. Such an amazing value to get this huge burrito plate at an affordable price. I literally felt like laying down after eating this.


Marinade on Main

Fish & Chips at Marmalade on Main ($15.50). I was glad to see it served on a real plate rather than a wooden plank. Comes with two huge, thick, meaty cod fillets, beer battered & fried. Perfectly cooked, flaky, moist and what not, crispy on the outside. Served with a fairly conservative portion of fries that are crispy and lightly seasoned. Really good fries. Tartar sauce was outstanding, seemed house made. Malt vinegar and lemons are also available on request. I’m not gonna sugar coat it – the coleslaw wasn’t very good. Basic shredded cabbage and carrot affair, dressed sparingly with some sort of salty vinaigrette. Not at all creamy if that’s what you like. Unfortunately it sympathetically absorbed the warmth of the hot food on the plate. Probably would have been best served on the side in some sort of ramekin to keep it cold.

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