Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Marinade on Main

Tasty fish & chips accompanied by a delicious and refreshing slaw at Marinade on Main in Ramona! I’ve ordered this a few times here and this time the batter was particularly thick in some areas yielding an undercooked, gummy texture in spots. Any visit would not be complete without an order of their excellent butterscotch pudding!

Miner’s Diner

Miner’s Diner is an adorable diner in the heart of downtown Julian. Simple menu here consisting of burgers, dogs and sandwiches. They also offer a variety of hand mixed milkshakes and malts, delicious ice cream, and hand mixed sodas. Service and atmosphere are very much 5 star. I ordered a Reuben Sandwich and it was tasty. The corned beef was somewhat dry and tough but it was nicely constructed with plenty of sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, grilled rye, etc. The standout for me was definitely the fries! Thin, hot & crispy, just how I like them. And the two dressings I had on the side (thousand and ranch) were of very good quality. If you’re looking for simple diner fare and appreciate fast, friendly service, I highly recommend Miner’s Diner.

Julian Beer Co

Tasty mac & cheese but man they need to spray some Pam in that tin!

The Par Lounge

Excellent Shrimp Capellini at The Par Lounge in Ramona! This is one of their more exquisite dinner dishes and one of four composed pasta dishes on the menu. The shrimps (4) are always plump, succulent and perfectly cooked. The pasta is usually fairly close to al dente, although not quite. It’s hard to nail angel hair just right. The delicate garlic white sauce with lemon, capers and tomato is delicious. Comes with bread! Highly recommended.

Grand Ole BBQ

Outstanding “El Borracho” Fries at GOB!

Rachel’s Urban Eatery

I was incredibly excited to finally dine at Rachel’s Urban Eatery recently (February 12, 2021)! I thought I would give them a few weeks before going in but couldn’t resist after seeing a steady stream of her food photos on social media over the last couple months. Spent almost two hours there and had a memorable experience. I was immediately struck by the seating configuration. The two outer banks of tables are now each facing inward. Sort of like an arena where you can gaze upon all the diners seated at the tables in the center. If you’ve ever been to Ramona Noodle House, you know what I’m talking about. I’m not a fan of this setup, preferring the more traditional banquettes that previously occupied this space.
The menu here is quite large and expansive. I tried ordering their fish & chips, but it is unfortunately only available during lunch hours, 11am-5pm. Instead I opted for one of my stalwart faves, the Cobb Salad. The Cobb here is exquisitely constructed and beautifully presented. It was the perfect balance of fresh romaine lettuce, cherry maters (thoughtfully sliced in half), thick and tasty applewood smoked bacon, hard boiled egg (with no unfortunate discoloration), blue cheese crumbles, avocado and housemade blue cheese dressing. I did have to request extra dressing as the salad was served quite conservatively dressed. I’ve had Cobb’s all over town and this one was very good! Only $11; add chicken or prawns for just $4 more. Great salad that ate like a meal, which it was.
Also had the Lobster Mac & Cheese as an appetizer, $14. Mac & cheese is my favorite vegetable and I consider myself a connoiseur so I had to try it. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. The mac here was a fairly pedestrian recipe, consisting of a bland cheese sauce mixed with rotini pasta. Fairly loose in consistency. Could have been off the kids menu at Applebee’s. No appearance that it had even been baked, nor any sort of crumb or cheese topping. I did like the thinly sliced green onion garnish. The 5-6 chunks of lobster nestled within were sizable. Much larger than a polyp. Every chunk though had the same uniform milky opaque appearance. It definitely seemed like a seafood-type substance; fresh lobster it was not.
This place has only been open one week so I tempered my expectations of the service. It was Friday night and they were packed! I’ve never seen so many people in this building. I recall dining here back in the day feeling like I was in a funeral parlor. The buzz last night was so lively and infectious. I felt really good for them and their future potential. I will say, there was an obvious latency with every aspect of the service, including drinks, food, etc. Every staff member we encountered though was so nice, genuine and enthusiastic. I am confident that the seemingly inexperienced staff will mature into their roles. I highly recommend checking out Rachel’s Urban Eatery, a remarkable new restaurant in Ramona. I believe they’re open for breakfast on the weekends so I’m definitely looking forward to trying that next.

Robert’s Jalapeños

I don’t eat here often because it’s probably the worst, most stressful parking lot in Carmel Mountain Ranch! When I do though, Jalapeños always makes me feel like I’m home, with their authentic, original home-cooked Mexican recipes. I enjoyed a tasty order of rolled tacos with guacamole and cheese on their patio.

The Par Lounge

Exquisite Chile Relleno Omelette at The Par Lounge in Ramona!


Excellent (small) Hot Spicy Sausage Pizza at Oggi’s in Santee!

Mi Guadalajara

Outstanding lunch combination plate with enchilada and tamale at Mi Guad in Esco!

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