Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the tag “comfort food”

Pei Wei Asian Diner

Outstanding fried rice bowl with beef at Pei Wei!


Italian Cucina

My new favorite dish at Barona Casino’s Italian Cucina is the baked penne pasta! Creamy vodka tomato sauce with Italian sausage and Parmesan. The whole thing is baked off with a thin layer of mozzarella on the top and just outstanding.

The Oaks Grille

Tasty order of fish & chips at The Oaks Grille. Not the best I’ve had in town, but a respectable dish nonetheless. They have a new version made with a sriracha batter that I’d love to try soon.

El Taco Loco Shop

Outstanding al pastor tacos at El Taco Loco Shop inside Ramona Market!

Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Outstanding order of chicken parm at Romano’s Macaroni Grill! Most of my visits here are hit and miss on the food. This dish however was excellent.

Nuevo Grill & Cantina 

Still the best enchiladas (and chips & salsa) in town. Loved my Chicken Enchiladas Verde from Nuevo Girl recently. I noticed they had some good looking Langostino dishes on the menu that I want to try next time. Service was nothing short of outstanding!!

Cracker Barrel 

Some of my favorite things at Cracker Barrel! On a recent overnight trip to Yuma, AZ we were able to enjoy both dinner and breakfast at one of the best restaurants in America. Here’s an outstanding meatloaf dinner plate with three sides. I always get the fried okra, hashbrown casserole and my favorite vegetable, macaroni & cheese.  

Next day was the Old Timer’s Breakfast. B&G with eggs, HBC, smoked sausage patties and hot grits! I didn’t have to eat for about two weeks after this trip…

Marinade on Main 

Shrimp & Grits at Marinade on Main!  First time I had this dish here it was perfection!  This time the grits were too tight and dense but still tasty.  I just love how this amazing dish is now accessible here in our small town.  Love this restaurant!

Sombrero Mexican Food 

This is the “Special Burrito” at Sombrero’s, and what a marvel it is!  Your choice of beef or chicken with beans, rice and lettuce made into a huge burrito roughly the size of a small pillow.  The whole thing is then made totally amazing with a generous blanketing of their signature enchilada sauce and cheese.  I could eat this every day but would probably weigh 300 pounds…

Barona Resort & Casino 

Descending the big, beautiful escalator down to the lower level of Barona Resort & Casino yields an array of outstanding dining options. First thing you see is the grand, yet elegant entrance to Italian Cucina. This is an amazing sit-down Italian restaurant, open for dinner Thursday – Monday. Just a short 8 minute drive down Wildcat Canyon Road, south of Ramona, you think you’ve gone “down the hill”, but not really. The restaurant and service are very much top shelf, but the prices are pretty mid-range (in the teens) for most dishes. The overall atmosphere was outstanding! Not at all depressing like some run down Italian restaurants I’ve been to around SoCal.

The food is excellent! Huge portions too. All tables are served a complimentary dish of some olive appetizer thing, bread, etc. with bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Be careful not to fill up on the bread service. Easy to do.

All composed entrees are served with choice of house or caesar salad, or soup at no extra cost. My caesar salad was fresh and tasty, but very few croutons.

I ordered the “Beef or Sausage Meatballs” ($13.50) and it was really good. House Made Beef or Pork Meatballs, Tomato Sauce, Choice of Pasta. The pasta seemed mostly al dente which I appreciated. I managed to finish the whole thing, but was somewhat abdominally distended afterwards. I would have been fine with half the amount. Really, my only issue was the lack of sauce. Definitely could have used more. Next time I’ll request extra on the side. 

This place serves just about anything from carbonara to smoked beef short ribs, even pizzas and calzones. A must-visit for any fan of good Italian food!

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