Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the month “March, 2017”

A&S Catering & BBQ

I’m just going to share a quick review of a local Ramona outfit, A&S Catering&BBQ. They were setup among the myriad of food vendors when you walked in to last years Ramona Country Fair.

I had a really good smoked whole hog dinner plate. Includes two sides, corn and a drink for only $9. I’ve checked out most of the food vendors at the fair and this place has very reasonable prices in comparison.

Pork was tender and succulent with a nice tangy, vinegary Carolina style sauce. I didn’t really care for raisins in my cole slaw, but I will say the tater salad was outstanding! Made with dill, had a really good flavor.


Hunter Steakhouse 

A San Diego institution for decades, Hunter Steakhouse rocked the fair scene with their outstanding BBQ tri tip!  And I have to say, the tater salad was remarkably good!



Dickey’s Barbecue Pit 

The new Dickey’s in Carmel Mountain Ranch is finally open!  Brisket was decent, tater salad was outstanding and the mac & cheese terrible.  

El Taco Loco Shop

Here’s part 2 of El Taco Loco Shop delivered by OrangeCrate, featuring their carne asada quesadilla!

I dearly adore carne asada quesadillas so I thought I’d add one to my last Orange Crate order. This one has to be the most monstrous I’ve ever seen! It should be clear to anyone that El Taco Loco Shop does NOT skimp on the carne. Nice touch that they included a small side of chips in the box!

Now, while it may be true that you can never have too much carne asada (or bacon for that matter), certain dishes react poorly to too much of one thing or another. This was the case with my quesadilla. A good CAQ needs to have the perfect ratio of meat and cheese. This one had meat spilling out just picking it up. Further, there was very little discernible cheese. The right amount of both will allow the melted cheese to act as a cohesive agent to contain the meat. In fact, the best CAQs I’ve had in my day usually result in a small stream of grease running down my hands and wrists. That’s when you know there’s ample cheese!

Despite being a challenge to eat, it did taste really good! They included guac, crema, pico, etc. inside which is not common in traditional taco shop CAQs.

Again, the delivery by MyOrangeCrate was spot on and this CAQ held up perfectly under transport.

El Taco Loco Shop 

El Taco Loco Shop delivered by OrangeCrate. I’ll probably break this into a two part review since there’s a lot I’d like to deep dive about the food.

If you’ve ever eaten from El Taco Loco Shop (inside Ramona Market), you know it can be a somewhat awkward and cumbersome experience. From who do you talk to, to where do you order, how and when do you pay, etc. If all this stresses you out, then I’d recommend letting OrangeCrate do all the hard work for you.

Online ordering was painless and simple as always. Food arrived in less than the 60 minutes anticipated! One of the items we ordered were the flautas. Turns out they no longer sell them! Within minutes after ordering I had the MyOC dispatcher calling and texting me about picking an alternate choice. Their communications with me throughout were terrific.

Here’s an order of outstanding carne asada chips. It’s a huge amount that can easily be shared by two. This place definitely dishes up abundant portions of carne asada but I have to say the quality is not the best I’ve had in town. Not sure if they’re using an inferior quality flap meat, but there are significantly more oral extractions per capita here than any other taqueria in town. 

As I’ve observed before, the best take-out food is probably Asian, followed closely by pizza. Next is probably Mexican. It held up very well on the 15 or so minute drive out to SDCE. Maybe the OC hotbox helped. Burgers and fries type dishes tend to struggle and are probably best eaten straight from the kitchen.

Dunkin Donuts 

As promised, I’m back at Dunkin to try their new “Lemon Croissant Donut” ($2.49). So glad I returned because this thing was outstanding! I’ve had some pretty mediocre donuts at our DD but this one exceeded my expectations! It’s a seasonal offering so don’t expect it to be around forever.  I don’t even know how to begin to describe what all it is, so I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves. There is an impressive tunnel of sweet lemon filling throughout. It does get kind of awkward and cumbersome towards the end. The way it’s shaped, when you take bites at the end it forces lemon to spooge out the other side, so be careful.


Little Caesar’s 

Little Caesar’s was both hot AND ready tonight!! 👍

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers 

Outstanding draft beer selection at Red Robin!!

Black Angus

I just have to say, the new Black Angus down in Escondido is outstanding!!  Not all dark and dank like back in the day.  Here’s an excellent New York strip steak topped with a caramelized shallot and blue cheese compound butter.  Onion rings and au gratin taters rounded it all out very nicely!



Jack in the Box 

My two favorite things at JIB!!  Outstanding fast food egg rolls and panko crusted onion rings. 

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