Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the tag “comfort food”

Players Sports Bar

Outstanding jambalaya at Players in Poway! This place has some delicious, unique and reasonably priced dishes.


Hacienda Casa Blanca

Outstanding tamale and enchilada combination plate at Hacienda Casa Blanca in El Cajon! Some of the finest chips and salsa here too.

North Italia

I’ve eaten chicken parmigiana at many fine Italian restaurants throughout SoCal. Probably the best I’ve put in my mouth was at North Italia in El Segundo recently. Their pasta here is house made daily and it tastes like it! The dish here is paired with a nice rigatoni in a garlic cream sauce. Really nice balance to go with the red sauce chicken. I could eat this everyday!

Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant

There are some standout Italian restaurants just a short drive down the hill from Ramona! Nestled in San Diego’s east county town of Lakeside is Ottavio’s. This place has been an Italian food institution for generations. I had an outstanding order of chicken parmigiana. What really impressed me was their dinner salad and seafood chowder. Bread service here is unique and delicious as well with a nice focaccia style bread. Will be back soon for sure!

Black Bear Diner

Back to BBD, this time in Signal Hill, CA, just outside of Long Beach. Here’s some sort of southern style Benedict thing. Made with hot biscuits, sausage patties, eggs, etc., all smothered with country gravy! I had to lay down after eating this!

Cracker Barrel

Always outstanding meals at Cracker Barrel! This time I’m at the Kingman, AZ location enjoying fried catfish & hush puppies with mac & cheese, hash brown casserole, fried okra and hot biscuits.

Frijoles Mexican Restaurant

This chile verde burrito has to be one of the signature dishes at Frijoles Mexican Restaurant. Smothered with an excellent verde sauce, it’s a remarkable dish. You pretty much have to lay down after eating this. I’ve had other menu items here and most are just varying degrees of mediocre. These amazing smothered wet burritos however are outstanding!

North Italia

My new favorite Italian restaurant in SoCal is North Italia! This place really specializes in a hand crafted experience in all they do. The kitchen is open and everything, including their pasta, is handmade from scratch daily. Here’s their house specialty, Bolognese. Traditional meat sauce with tagliatelle and grana padano cheese. Simply outstanding!

The Par Lounge

Super excited to check out the new menu at The Oaks Grille/Par Lounge! First section I focused on was their assortment of premium a la carte sides. It featured my favorite vegetable, macaroni & cheese, so I had to try it. Made with cavatappi pasta, a legit béchamel incorporating gruyere and provolone cheeses, topped with crispy breadcrumbs. Only $5. Honestly, I was impressed with the portion size. I could have made this a meal in itself, along with a couple of draft IPAs. The best version of top shelf mac & cheese I’ve had in Ramona to date. That, I can tell you. I consider myself a m&c connoisseur and what I had tonight was outstanding!

Frijoles Mexican Restaurant

One of my new favorite Mexican restaurants in the Inglewood/El Segundo, CA area is Frijoles! Anyone that knows me can see the irony here! Anyway the place looks like a dump from the outside, but that’s usually a good sign. Just down the street from LAX on Aviation Blvd. The patio is terrific with just the right amount of tacky Mexican decor that I appreciate. Here’s an outstanding tamale and enchilada combination plate.

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