Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the month “March, 2022”

Piacere Mio

First of all, I just have to say how much I love this restaurant’s name! Piacere Mio translates to “It’s my pleasure”. To say it is an authentic Italian restaurant is an understatement. This place could not be more legit Italian! I dine out all over the country and was really impressed. I ordered one of my go-to faves, Spaghetti Carbonara. Probably one of the best carbonara’s I’ve put in my mouth. I could really taste the egg; ample pancetta and the pasta was perfectly al dente. Check this place out! I highly recommend for a top-shelf Italian dining experience.

Cheesecake Factory

Stunning manhole cover sized chicken parm at CKF in Esco! They call it Chicken Parmesan “Pizza Style”. I was able to eat almost half of it before tapping out. 😅

Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks

Excellent “Bleunami” burger at Islands in Carmel Mountain Ranch! Blue cheese dressing, lettuce, mater, red onion and blue cheese crumbles. Despite the sloppy construction, it tasted great. Paired nicely with an order of their exquisite Truffle Fries.

Panda Express

Outstanding Beijing Beef and Orange Chicken with chow mein at Panda Express in Poway!

Popeye’s

I am incredibly excited that Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is finally open in Ramona! I have been a fan of this fried chicken chain for some time. It was fun to see the construction progress unfold over the last few months as a tired old Subway morphed into a beautiful new Popeyes on the west end of town. They had only been open about four days when I made my first visit. The restaurant was very well staffed; the energy and enthusiasm among the employees was infectious. Everything did seem to move along at a deliberate and thorough pace though. We dined in and it took about 20 minutes for the food to come out. Definitely better than waiting in the meandering drive-thru right now.

I finally took this opportunity to order their legendary chicken sandwich. Surprisingly, I had never had one until now. You can choose one of two styles; classic or spicy. I ordered the classic version. It was obvious that their chicken portions for these sandwiches is very inconsistent. Mine was rather petite unfortunately. There was a liberal amount of mayonnaise which I appreciated. Decent amount of pickles too that I could taste in every bite. The chicken itself was hot, moist and perfectly crispy. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it though, it seemed pretty bland overall. Like they were only using 2 or 3 herbs and spices when the industry standard is 11.

Mi Guadalajara

I celebrated National Tequila Day (July 24) at Mi Guad in Esco! Outstanding “Burrito Loco”; made with shredded beef, along with guacamole, pico de gallo, lettuce, rice, and beans (omitted) inside a large, supple flour tortilla. The whole thing is then blanketed with their excellent house made enchilada sauce, melted cheese and sour cream.

Tony Pepperoni Pizzeria

Excellent “Meat Eater” pizza at Tony Pepperoni’s!

Kountry Kitchen

I “parked in rear” and enjoyed a nice dinner at Kountry Kitchen recently! I was reminded that this is not just a place for great breakfasts, but also a dinner destination with a thoughtful collection of American-style comfort food classics. I ordered the “Homemade Meatloaf” for $13.99. All dinners are served with soup or salad, a mixed veg blend, your choice of taters and a mini bread loaf roughly the size of a Furby.

The meatloaf was such a generous portion, two big slabs, I couldn’t eat it all. The mouthfeel and texture of the loaf was somewhat dense, but it was well seasoned and richly flavored. The loaf slabs were enrobed with a silky, savory brown gravy. The side veg medley was pretty institutional and pedestrian. The bread, unremarkable. The standout for me was definitely the fresh tasting and nicely prepared dinner salad with an excellent blue cheese dressing. The French fries here are among the best in town. Seasoned, hot, crispy on the outside and pillowy soft inside.

Visiting Kountry Kitchen is always a pleasure. Everything is affordable here and a good value. Extraordinary service and quality food in a country atmosphere is their commitment and they really shine. Check them out for dinner sometime, the servers are outstanding! Open daily until 8:00 pm; 3:00 pm Sundays.

Oggi’s

Outstanding “Homemade Lasagna” at Oggi’s in Santee!

Black Angus

Black Angus has one of the best happy hours in SoCal! Half off all of their excellent appetizers. We particularly enjoy their tater skins, shrimp cocktail and surprisingly good steak quesadilla.

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