Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the month “December, 2016”

Ramona Lisa Pizza

Friday night, 6pm and Ramona Lisa answered her phone promptly. The young gal on the other side tonight was so nice & helpful; and patient with Gail’s sandwich order (which came out perfect, according to her specifications).Me and the boy shared a small “Meat Eater” pizza ($12.99). Loaded up with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, salami & “beef”. And the perfect amount of cheese I have to say!

Some reviews of late have mentioned the doughiness, and I noticed that tonight. It wasn’t undercooked by any means, but seemed like it could have stayed an extra minute or so in the oven. I will say though that the dough did not taste as flat/bland as it had the last time! Sauce was also more prominent tonight with a decidedly better flavor.

Dunkin Donuts

Not the best donut I ever put in my mouth, but I’m still glad we have a Dunkin here in my small town!

Nuevo Grill & Cantina

Dinner recently at Nuevo Grill & Cantina. This time I ordered off the “Smaller Bites” section of the menu. This was a nice change because their full blown, huge combination meals usually leave me feeling horribly abdominally distended.  Here’s the Shredded Beef Enchilada, served with your choice of rice OR beans ($9.99). The plate came out screaming hot, like an acetylene torch! I’ve always loved their traditional beef enchiladas made with excellent carne asada steak meat so I was somewhat hesitant. I have to say the shredded beef version was outstanding! Full of well seasoned shredded beef that was actually doctored up with some peppers, etc. Really good flavor with some big chunks of tender beef. I would definitely order this again. If any restaurant can turn one enchilada into a whole meal, it’s here at Nuevo Girl.

Biggest and best enchiladas in Ramona, that I can tell you!


San Diego Sunshine 

So, Ramona has about 500 wineries, 1 microbrewery (unless you count my neighbors bathtub), and recently I had the pleasure of visiting our only craft distillery! San Diego Sunshine, located at 432 Maple Street in Ramona. They have a very cool tasting room open Thursday-Sunday from 12pm-9pm.San Diego Sunshine produces two varieties for sale (in 750 ML bottles); a Honey Wheat and a Blueberry Honey. Somewhat whiskey/rum like but cannot be labeled as such due to their distilling methodology. Both are 100 proof/50% ABV. I’ve had both and they are excellent! Smooth, strong, and you can really taste the honey and wheat. 

In their tasting room you can get a taster shot for $2 or one of about six creative mixed drinks for $7. Here’s what they call the “Red, White & Blueberry”. Highly recommended!

Salsa Mexican Food

Beef taco and cheese enchilada combination plate at Salsa Mexican Food ($8.25). I’ve had some pretty decent burritos here in the day. Also good carne asada chips / fries, etc. The combination plates however have just been very average for me.  Taco was the typical fried, crispy type, which is good, but there was a pretty conservative amount of beef inside. Enchilada was fair, I’ve had better at other taco shops in town. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but the enchilada sauce tasted like it was from a can. Rice was not hot. Almost room temperature in fact. I did appreciate that it was all served on a real plate though!

For some time I have observed this phenomenon with taco shops. All enchiladas come out with a mountain of lettuce heaped on top! You don’t see this happening to enchiladas at sit-down Mexican restaurants. There was so much lettuce that a small pool of water formed on the plate. I guess I should be glad it was washed, just not adequately dried.

Orange Crate 

Two reviews in one today! I know – lucky you, right? First time trying MyOrangeCrate and I have to say I’m hooked! Ordering from the website was easy yet thorough. It’s simple and straightforward to make the most minute customizations. Considering all of the restaurants and stores they work with for delivery, you can tell a lot of thought and consideration has gone into this service. There is also a smartphone app which I have and it works well.This is my favorite part: After placing your order you are kept updated in realtime as to the status of your order via text message, email, or however you choose to configure your account. You know when your order is confirmed; being placed; driver arriving at restaurant; and driver enroute to you! This is perfect if you need to warn your family “we’re eating in 10 minutes!”

Late Saturday afternoon I placed an order with Lemongrass Thai Food. Before ordering, the OrangeCrate system estimated deliveries from Lemongrass to my location would be about 60 minutes. Once my order was placed the driver was at my door in exactly 35 minutes! 

Now on to Lemongrass and the food! I ordered a Thai Spicy Fried Rice with beef. It was a generous portion, neatly packaged in a black tupperware-like (disposable) container with tight fitting lid. I’ve had a few entrees at Lemongrass since they’ve opened and this was probably the best. Made with stir fried steamed jasmine rice, egg, chili, bell pepper, onions, and basil leaves. Hard to see in the picture, but there is a good amount of tender sliced beef throughout. I’m pleased to say all the beef was edible with no unfortunate oral extractions. An overall hearty dish, flavorful, spicy, etc., that held up well over the 15 minute drive to deliver. 

Gail, not a fan of Asian food, had the Chicken Sa-Tay appetizer. She seemed to like it and ate it all. Comes foil wrapped in a styrofoam box. Includes a tasty peanut sauce and cucumber salad. Gail might have more on this in the comments.

Junior had the Calamari Strip (rings?) appetizer. This one I was concerned about how well it would hold up. Typically a breaded fried food is best eaten quickly without sitting around. It wound up not disappointing! And Junior liked it which is the main thing. It retained enough crispiness without getting all flabby. I will say they seemed like institutional frozen rings to me. I’m just glad it didn’t have all those hideous spidery legs. Junior might have more on this when he’s old enough to have his own FB account.

I have to say, all the food was delivered hot and fresh tasting. Nothing left me with the regrettable feeling that I should have bypassed OrangeCrate and eaten it there in the restaurant.



Buster’s Beach House

Outstanding happy hour appetizers at Busters. Here’s the chicken wings, onions strings and mac & cheese.  Great place to stop when visiting Seaport Village in San Diego!



Pailin Thai Cafe 

Still the best Pad Thai lunch special in SoCal!  Especially prepared with the BBQ pork.  Even the spicy Thai soup appetizer is tasty.  If you’re ever in the Rancho Bernardo area, this place is well worth the visit!


Amerient

Breakfast at Amerient Restaurant (Country Cooking & Oriental Cuisine). All the reviews I’ve seen (including mine) are from the Chinese side of the menu. I thought it was time to check out something from the “Country Cooking” side!Here’s a dish called “French Tradition” for $7.25. Two eggs “as you like them”, with two slices french toast and your choice of sausage patty or bacon.

Scrambled eggs were a generous portion, but fairly overcooked with some browning. French toast was made with thin sliced sandwich bread. Bacon was cooked very well done and not thick.

I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, this was very average for a restaurant meal. Imagine you just woke up from a bender; went to your friends apartment and he made you breakfast. It might turn out something like this.  

Anyway, I think I’ll stick with the Chinese food at Amerient.

Ramona Lisa Pizza 

Antipasto Salad at Ramona Lisa’s. With our dine-in order I added a “small antipasto to start, no olives”. For $5.99 (large is only $1 more) it’s made with lettuce, tomato, salami, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, black olives and pepperoncini.  Unfortunately it came out with the food, and not before. Included olives, but no pepperoncini. The most notable omission was any sort of dressing! Came out completely dry. I will say everything was fresh and crisp though. All ingredients were represented in a very generous and abundant fashion. Particularly the cheese as you can see, although I’ve never had an antipasto made with shredded cheese. I did address my concerns directly with the manager on duty and was very well taken care of!

Wound up exchanging this for a meatball sub.

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