Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the month “January, 2017”

Ramona Cafe 

Ramona Cafe for breakfast recently. I find it hard to resist anything served in a skillet, and this was no exception. Here’s the “Tex-Mex Skillet” for $11.99. Home fried taters with seasoned ground beef, topped with salsa, cheddar and jack cheese, green onions and two eggs. Served with your choice of toast, English muffin or hot biscuit.  

There was really nothing remarkable about this dish. The beef was well seasoned and tasty, I just wish there was more. It was a very conservative amount of beef. It also seems like they were out of green onions. Then again, they were also out of their (much ballyhooed) cinnamon rolls, to Gail’s dismay. The home fries could have used additional cooking time to develop more crisp and color.

Not really a great value for 12 bucks but it filled me well. I don’t think I’ll be hungry for a while. And considering the amount of grease and unknown spice, it’s sitting well in my system. I can’t say that about every restaurant.

Yogurt Barn

Outstanding frozen yogurt goodness at Yogurt Barn in Ramona, CA!  My new fave is anything chocolate with crunchy granola.  And maybe a little bit of Reese’s peanut butter cup. 

Domino’s Pizza 

Domino’s Pizza of Ramona for dinner recently! Here’s a medium two (and 1/2) topping pizza for $13.49. I chose the “handmade pan” crust this time – it’s made with two layers of cheese, toppings to the edge, and a crust that bakes up golden and crispy with a buttery taste.  I particularly appreciated that Domino’s offers two types of Italian sausage. You can get the standard nodule variety that falls off the pizza when you pick it up, or “sliced” from the whole link. The sliced sausage was very good and flavorful, just not enough of it unfortunately. There was ample cheese, but only a conservative amount of toppings overall. I had no idea there was such a scarcity of green peppers on the market.

I have to say this pan crust was outstanding. Typically my standard pizza crust winds up as dog treats, but the slices from this pie were consumed in their entirety. Edges were perfectly crispy and cheesy.

At Domino’s you can customize your pizza in fantastic ways! From the doneness (well done/normal bake); seasoning (garlic crust or no); and the cut (pie/square/or uncut). Not sure who would order a pizza “uncut”, but you have that option!

Not bad at all for a “chain store” pizza.

Phil’s BBQ 

Outstanding El Toro sandwich at Phil’s BBQ with a side of the best mac salad in SoCal!  The char-grilled deli sliced tri-tip topped with BBQ sauce is just fantastic!

Iron Wok 

A very tasty Mongolian beef lunch special from Iron Wok in Rancho Bernardo.  A bit heavy on the onions, that I can tell you!


The best fast food chicken nuggets start with Mc!  At McDonald’s, gotta have the spicy mustard dipping sauce. 

Petco Park 

Went to a Padres game last year and I couldn’t believe all the great foodstuffs available at ballparks these days!  Me and Lady FoodObs enjoyed these tri tip nachos and sammich. 

Carnitas Nachos

Outstanding homemade carnitas nachos!  Made with our slow cooked pork shoulder in the slow cooker.  So much you can do with this blank canvas of pork goodness.  My favorite usually being something Mexican inspired.  

Vineyard Grant James 

Recently we visited Vineyard Grant James and had an outstanding time! Upon arriving I observed so many people I thought there must have been some private party going on. No. This place is just that popular. And despite the amount of wine folks there, we were treated so nice and personably! Tony was great – also met the gracious owners.At Vineyard Grant James they are strong advocates of wine blending. One single varietal can often be offensive or too intense, but with the proper blend the wines taste both smooth and complex. There is one white (Bellatrix) and a few reds. I tried several and nothing disappointed.  

They have a huge shaded stone veranda with misters to keep things comfortable during the heat. Ample seating, tables, etc. Not the most breathtaking vistas I’ve experienced, but a nice setting nonetheless, particularly with sweeping views of their vineyard. This place is so laid back and free flowing. Not at all rigid & tight like you’re being served by the winery accountant. 

One of the highlights was meeting Kim from “Cheeses from the Cave” and sampling some of her artisan cheese made right here in Ramona!  

Vineyard Grant James is located at 25260 East Old Julian Hwy in Ramona and is open Fri-Sun 12-5.

Mamma Rosa Italian Restaurant 

Mamma Rosa Italian Restaurant for dinner recently, delivered by OrangeCrate. This place receives consistent accolades for their pizza and I can see why.So many pizza places in town, but trying to get anything delivered out to SDCE can be a challenge. OrangeCrate to the rescue. Their system estimated 105 minutes for deliveries from Mamma Rosa (that’s 1 hr 45 mins for those of you taking your shoes off). I had the order at my door in just under an hour!

Here’s a medium “Meat Combo” pizza made with pepperoni, sausage, ham, meatball & bacon. It was a really good pie, but I will say the sauce was somewhat bland and flat tasting. The toppings were abundant and liberally applied. The ham was curiously cut up into tiny cubes which contributed to everything being less than cohesive. This is the kind of pizza you eat with a fork.  

I noted in my OrangeCrate order comments to put the pepperoni on top of the cheese and as you can see they easily obliged. In my experience, Mamma Rosa is one of those places that puts the pepperoni under the cheese to minimize greasiness, but I prefer it all crispy, cooked on top. 

We also tried a “Chicken Alfredo” Pizza that was excellent.

Mamma Rosa makes great pizza, but I wouldn’t say it’s remarkably better than any of the other top-tier pizza purveyors in town.

Mamma Rosa Italian Restaurant, in business since 1979, is located at 1130 D Street in Ramona. Open for dinner Weds-Mon, plus lunch on weekends.

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