Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the month “June, 2017”

Little Caesar’s 

Outstanding Italian sausage pizza from Little Caesar’s!

The Par Lounge 

Outstanding dinner recently at The Par Lounge. Here’s the “Combo Platter” from the appetizer menu. Only $13 during happy hour, it includes potato skins, fried mozzarella, onion rings and chicken tenders. Served with sides of ranch dressing, warm marinara and sour cream.

Comes with three tater skins which were great, crispy and hot with an ample amount of cheese. Could have used more bacon and green onions though. The fried cheese was a fairly conservative portion, but excellent nonetheless. Triangle shapes that yielded a perfect cheese pull. There was a very liberal amount of onion rings which is fine with me. For frozen, institutional rings, these are some of the best in town. Five small chicken tenders rounded it all out. I noticed them to be smaller than they used to be, but thicker and more tender & succulent. Not all flat and stringy. 

Now obviously this is a sea of fried brown goodness and not something you want to eat everyday! Occasionally though it’s a nice treat. The only other restaurant I eat at with this much brown on one plate would be Cracker Barrel. Good thing for my pants size there’s none in CA. This whole platter is plenty for two hungry adults, or two average adults with picky child.

Carnitas Tacos

Outstanding homemade carnitas tacos using our tender, leftover slow cooked pork shoulder!

Domino’s Pizza 

Domino’s Pizza for dinner recently! Our new family favorite is made with a white alfredo sauce plus chicken and bacon. If you haven’t tried this combination before, I highly recommend it. It’s an outstanding flavor sensation. A nice departure from the traditional, ho-hum red sauce.

Last week we had a great alfredo/chicken/bacon pie from Ramona Lisa (despite the cheese spooge) and this weekend we put Domino’s to the test. I elected to get their homemade pan style pizza and it was outstanding. Two layers of cheese, toppings to the edge, then baked in a pan for a crust that comes out golden and crispy with a buttery taste. Shown here is a medium for $12.74.

I was shocked and appalled to find out that parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper envelopes are no longer available! You can however purchase a side of these pizza condiment staples for an extra dollar each. No thank you. Anyway, I did appreciate very much the online ordering from Domino’s website. I was able to track the progress in real time. I knew exactly when Alyssa was prepping, baking, quality checking, etc. 

For chain store pizza I’ve usually been fairly impressed with Domino’s. They do a respectable job and I hold them in just slightly higher esteem than Pizza Hut.

Dinner at the Dump

The Ramona Chamber of Commerce hosts this great mixer every year at Ramona Disposal Service.  Many restaurants from around Ramona are there catering some of their finest foods.  Definitely calls for stretch pants!  Here’s some of my favorite foodstuffs from Pete’s BBQ & Burgers and Ramona Family Naturals. 

Nuevo Grill & Cantina 

Recently had brunch at Nuevo Grill and Cantina. I ordered one of my favorite Mexican breakfast dishes, Chilaquiles. Fried corn tortilla pieces, scrambled eggs, cheese and homemade verde sauce, $7.25. Add carne asada for only $2 more.

I’ve eaten a lot of chilaquiles and this is the first time I’ve seen the egg separate like this. Turns out the breakfast cook left early and our dishes were made by the dinner crew. Oh well, at any rate it was still tasty but it would have been better prepared in the traditional fashion. Eggs were also somewhat overcooked. Adding carne asada was a good move. There was a liberal amount for only $2 extra. (Only one oral extraction). Best part of this dish had to be the outstanding homemade verde sauce! I’ve enjoyed it blanketing their chicken enchiladas for years so it was nice to have it featured in the chilaquiles.

Highlight from my Nuevo Girl brunch was the complimentary champagne. Not this watered down mimosa crap, but full-on champagne! Like they do at Oaks Grille. Gail got a good looking order of her favorite, eggs benedict. 

Jack in the Box 

So, I checked out the new “Brunchfast” menu at Ramona JIB recently! They have a really good looking bacon & egg chicken sammich and brunch burger on croissant. This time though I went for the gusto and got the Southwest Scrambler Plate for $4.79.Comes with scrambled eggs & homefried taters mixed with sautéed peppers plus a side of bacon or sausage. The eggs were topped with a good amount of shredded cheese but tasted fairly institutional. Bacon was a generous four slices but was of obvious fast food quality. JIB needs to take a lesson from Wendy on bacon! Biggest surprise for me were the potatoes. Hot, crispy, tasty and well seasoned. 

Overall a big and satisfying meal, although not sure I would order it again. Definitely trying that croissant brunch burger thing next time! 

Grub Burger Bar

Outstanding “Harlem Chicken Tenders” at Grub Burger Bar!  Hand-cut, double battered & inspired by a recipe originating in Harlem, NY.  Served with skinny fries and an excellent Mississippi comeback sauce.  Only $8.25. 

Pei Wei Asian Diner 

Outstanding fried rice bowls at Pei Wei!  Probably my favorite thing to order here, especially with beef.  Even the small size is a generous amount of food.  I always feel like laying down afterwards. 

Italian Cucina 

Another outstanding meal at Italian Cucina at the Barona Casino!  This time I ordered the rigatoni with beef meatballs.  This huge portion came out hot, delicious and al dente!  Definitely the best Italian restaurant within any reasonable driving distance of Ramona. 

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