Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the tag “comfort food”

Gaetano’s Italian Restaurant

We recently tried Gaetano’s down in Lakeside and it was outstanding! Upon arriving it seemed like we might need a tetanus shot before going inside. Just look at that sign! It was legit Lakeside, that I can tell you. Once inside though I was totally impressed! A modern, clean, comfortable, welcoming and top-shelf environment.

Food was excellent! I had the spaghetti with meat sauce, meatball and sausage. Pasta was al dente; sauce was rich, hearty and flavorful. Bread service was decent. Salad was just mediocre. Jr had the lasagna. It looked very good although I didn’t try it.

In business for over 37 years, Gaetano’s is an east county institution! Definitely worth checking out if you’ve never been.


Nuevo Grill & Cantina

Outstanding chicken enchilada smothered with a delicious verde sauce and melty cheese blanket at Nuevo Girl!

Mariscos Mar de Cortez

Mariscos Mar de Cortez for dinner recently. This big, beautiful “Supreme Burrito” is an absolute monster! Made with your choice of chicken or beef, filled with rice, beans, cheese, guac, sour cream, lettuce, kitchen sink, etc. This football sized burrito is then liberally blanketed with a flavorful chile relleno type sauce. The shredded beef was tender (albeit bland); everything else was well proportioned and tasty. Tortilla warm, soft and supple, just how I like it. Such an amazing value to get this huge burrito plate at an affordable price. I literally felt like laying down after eating this.

Cracker Barrel

On the way back from Big Bear we drove the circuitous route through Victorville, CA! Had to check out the first Cracker Barrel in the state of California! I never thought I’d see the day. It’s finally a reality with more locations scheduled to open in the Golden State. The architecture and decor are definitely a refreshing departure from all the traditional Barrels we’ve been to east of the Colorado River.

Portillo’s Hot Dogs

Lady Food Obs and I headed up to Big Bear Lake last September so we had to stop at our favorite Inland Empire institution! She always gets the hot Italian beef sammich at Portillo’s, which is so good. This time I ordered the legendary jumbo Chicago dog. This thing is such a hot mess I had to take two showers after eating it! That neon green relish though. So much going on with this, I think I prefer a more simplistic approach to my franks.

Cowboy Chicken

Outstanding order of 6 crispy drumsticks at my new favorite restaurant in 4S Ranch! Choose from BBQ style or Texas Hot! I went with the best of both worlds and had three of each. All meals are served with two sides and a hot roll. This time I tried their tasty mater cucumber salad and my favorite vegetable, mac & cheese.

Urge Gastropub

Outstanding Beer Cheese Fries at Urge Gastropub in Rancho Bernardo! Founded in 2010, Urge is the American reinterpretation of the traditional English pub. One of my favorite restaurants in RB.

Players Sports Bar

One of the best tasting and most affordable happy hour pizzas in SoCal! This time I ordered it with jalapeños and man was it stacked! There was no amount of Tucks Pads that could have prepared me for this!

Cracker Barrel

Big, beautiful slab of meatloaf surrounded by some of my favorite vegetables! At the Cracker Barrel in Yuma, AZ.

Outback Steakhouse

Outback really surprised me with this Bloomin’ Burger! It was outstanding! When you’re ready to branch out from a delicious steak, I highly recommend trying one of their thoughtful burger offerings.

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