Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the month “September, 2018”

Marinade on Main

We celebrated the end of 2017 with an outstanding dinner at Marinade on Main! I tried the “Blackened Salmon Pasta”. Made with blackened salmon, cajun pasta and farm fresh kale, $19.

The salmon was cooked perfectly. A nice, spicy blackening seasoning with a spot-on pink, moist center. The beautiful seared crust exterior complimented the tender medium doneness interior.

The linguine pasta was cooked a very nice al dente. Unfortunately it was dressed on the dry side. I’m a big fan of their “Marinade’s Alfredo Pasta” with fried chicken and was hoping this one had the same luxurious mouth-feel. This dish was very well seasoned and flavorful but could have used more stock or cream in the pasta itself.

The addition of kale and roasted cherry maters was excellent. Definitely added a great burst of farm fresh flavor.

Lienzo Charro

Outstanding dinner recently at Lienzo Charro in Poway! This place is a Poway institution, in business for more than a generation. Here’s a #10 combination plate; rolled tacos and cheese enchilada. Really good. Unfortunately their draft Modelo Especial wasn’t cold enough.

Victor’s Kafe

Outstanding gyro pita at Victor’s Kafe in Rancho Bernardo! Thinly sliced beef & lamb from the vertical rotisserie is enveloped in a warm soft pita, served with rice, salad and an excellent tzatziki sauce.

Olive Garden

A surprisingly delicious, relatively low calorie dish at Olive Garden! Linguine di Mare is made with whole grain pasta and a generous amount of mussels and shrimp. I’m usually pretty hard on the OG but this dish was outstanding.

Reds, Whites & Brews

Reds Whites & Brews is one of my new favorite adult beverage purveyors in Ramona! They’re located in what was once called the “Pioneer Store,” a historical building on Main St. in Ramona, CA. It is the oldest structure in Old Town with its original construction dating back to 1883. It previously served as a waypoint for gold miners traveling from San Diego to Julian.

Such a comfortable and relaxing place with a perfect selection of local Ramona wines coupled with SoCal craft beers. I had an excellent hard cider from Turqouise Barn Cider, then an outstanding peanut butter stout. Everyone working there was genuine, knowledgable and sweet. Open 7 days a week. Totally worth checking out if you’re never been.

Old Town BBQ

The Ramona Mainstage is now sporting a full bar AND Texas style BBQ restaurant! Had to check out both recently at Old Town Bar-B-Que which is an extension of The Maincourse Restaurant. There’s a very simple menu of all the standard BBQ favorites like brisket, ribs, tri-tip, chicken, etc. You can order a big checked paper lined tray of meats and sides, or in the sammich form factor. I ordered the half pound brisket dinner, includes two sides.

Brisket came out better than I was expecting. Fairly tender, nice smoke ring and flavor, about 1/4 inch slices. Enough to where you can taste the meat with good mouth feel and chew. All the meats here are rubbed and served naked. All saucing is done on the side which I appreciate.

The mac salad was outstanding. Made with bowtie pasta, finely chopped celery and bits of ham. It was a nice tight consistency, although could have used some more contrasting textures. Maybe some red onion or something like that.

The tater salad at first seemed to be more loose and overly dressed. I quickly grew to love it though! It’s filled with a liberal amount of smokey bacon chunks that made it super tasty. Other sides include slaw, baked beans, and corn on the cob, all made fresh in-house.

If you’re a BBQ fan, I highly recommend checking out Old Town Bar-B-Que inside Ramona Mainstage. Open Wednesday – Sunday, 11am – 9pm. I’ll definitely be back soon!

The Oaks Grille

Recently I strayed from my brunch usual at The Oaks Grille and tried their machaca! I was really impressed at how well this turned out. Authentic and delicious tasting for not being a Mexican restaurant. Really shows the versatility and talent of their chefs.

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!

Players Sports Bar

Outstanding jambalaya at Players in Poway! This place has some delicious, unique and reasonably priced dishes.

Embassy Suites

Outstanding fish & chips at 1440 Bistro & Bar inside the Embassy Suites in El Segundo, CA! Always comes out hot, crispy and delicious.

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