Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the month “January, 2020”

Miguel’s Cocina

Outstanding Happy Hour fish taco and albondigas soup at Miguel’s in 4S Ranch!

Rene’s Mexican Grill & Cantina

Had dinner recently in Poway at Rene’s Mexican Grill & Cantina. Back in the day, this place was better known as “El Comal”. It’s nestled in the corner of a run down strip mall among a myriad of tacky thrift shops. Probably one of my favorite Mexican spots in Poway (there aren’t many). The same people have been working here for generations but service is always rather slow. The booths are so tight you have to be super skinny to fit comfortably. Probably why we don’t go that often. Food is always good though. Here’s an excellent enchilada and tamale combination plate.

Boll Weevil

For many years this has been my favorite thing to order at the Weev in Ramona! The venerable Blue Cheese Bacon Burger. They have always put out one of the best adaptations of this pungent and savory burger. I’ve tried versions of the BCBB at many restaurants and the Weev sets the standard. I particularly appreciate their thoughtful placement of bacon so as to taste it in every bite. To those restaurants doing the lazy criss-cross, please take note.

Pei Wei Asian Diner

“Japanese Steak & Shrimp Chile Ramen” at Pei Wei in 4S Ranch. I was expecting something in more of a broth type deal but it was still tasty. This location has reportedly closed and I can’t say that I’m surprised. For about the last year I’ve noticed what seemed like a new owner or franchisee and the place just slid downhill like it was on a log flume ride. It’s sad though because it was once a regular spot for me and very close to my office.

Pizza Nova

One of my favorite modern Italian/pizza restaurants in SoCal is Pizza Nova! This time we were at their San Marcos location and I tried the “Locally Famous Lasagna”. Fresh egg pasta sheets layered with meat, ricotta, Parmesan, goat cheese, mozzarella and smoked provolone, baked in their wood-burning oven. It was excellent! Unfortunately their Caesar salad this time was not as remarkable as before.


The “Sports Fan Pizza” at Oggi’s in Liberty Station was outstanding! Homemade pizza sauce, pepperoni, Italian sausage, red onions, green bell peppers, roasted garlic and jalapeños. I think I ate the whole thing. This pie had just about all of my favorite toppings represented. I have no patience for olives and mushrooms. 😂

Mariscos Mar de Cortez

Tasty Camarones Al Mojo de Ajo at Mariscos Mar de Cortez in Ramona!  Sautéed shrimp with garlic, butter, onions and house spices.  Served with rice & beans, pico de gallo, a blob of guacamole, and hot, supple tortillas. This dish would have been more aptly named “Cebollas Al Mojo de Ajo”. It was definitely onion forward and lacking in shrimp.
The shrimps were tasty, meaty and succulent; cooked perfectly.  Unfortunately the ratio of shrimp to onions was pretty conservative.  What I can tell you is the shrimps were of high quality.  Not some frozen, farmed institutional variety from <insert name of Asian country here>!  The buttery garlic sauce was really good and nicely balanced, not at all overbearing.

Chicken Charlie’s Table

Outstanding shrimp po boy at Chicken Charlie’s Table in Rancho Bernardo!

Ramona Lisa Pizza

Not the best pizza in SoCal, but definitely among the best in Ramona! Delicious pie from Ramona Lisa.

Cincinnati Chili

Last summer I made this Midwest comfort food classic known as Cincinnati Chili! Turned out excellent! As far as “ways” go, this would be 4-Way. Sketti, chili, cheese and onions. I just had to add that beautiful sliced jalapeño from my garden to crown the top. The ultimate irony here is that I happen to be drafting this blog post while on a business trip in southwest Ohio! First place I ate after landing at the airport was the famous Skyline Chili. Keep an eye out for that post in a few months.

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