Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the tag “comfort food”

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!



Little Caesar’s 

Little Caesar’s was both hot AND ready tonight!! 👍

Ramona Lisa Pizza

Quick one tonight! Ra-Mona Lisa was firing on all her cylinders this evening – which is saying something for a Friday! The place was hopping! Outstanding pizza picked up and ready within the timeframe estimated. Customer service from all there was amazing!

Fettuccine and red sauce 

Threw this one together pretty quick with what I had on hand.  Fettuccine pasta with red sauce and Costco meatballs!  Outstanding meal, I think I need to lay down now. 

Ramona Lisa Pizza

Friday night, 6pm and Ramona Lisa answered her phone promptly. The young gal on the other side tonight was so nice & helpful; and patient with Gail’s sandwich order (which came out perfect, according to her specifications).Me and the boy shared a small “Meat Eater” pizza ($12.99). Loaded up with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, salami & “beef”. And the perfect amount of cheese I have to say!

Some reviews of late have mentioned the doughiness, and I noticed that tonight. It wasn’t undercooked by any means, but seemed like it could have stayed an extra minute or so in the oven. I will say though that the dough did not taste as flat/bland as it had the last time! Sauce was also more prominent tonight with a decidedly better flavor.

Italian Cucina 

Descending the big beautiful escalator down to the lower level of Barona 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 10 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 magnificent! Not at all depressing like some run down Italian restaurants I’ve been to around SoCal.
The food is just outstanding! 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. Gail’s house salad was unfortunately made with lettuce that was less than fresh. Seemed like it had seen it’s peak a few days prior. My caesar salad on the other hand was fresh and tasty, but very few croutons.

I ordered the Chicken Parmigiana ($17.45) and it was really good. Huge Italian breaded chicken breast, tomato sauce, mozzarella, broccolini, and spaghetti. 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.

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!





Marinade on Main

We checked out Ramona’s newest eatery recently and I have to say, Marinade on Main is my new favorite restaurant in town! Just outstanding!The atmosphere and decor is so rustic, yet refined. Front of house service is ample and most accommodating! Absolutely loved everyone and we felt so welcomed and at home.

The menu is fairly small (which I like) with a thoughtful selection of comfort food classics.

We started with an appetizer order of “Triple P Fries” ($9). Hot and crispy fries loaded with a generous amount of pulled pork, secret sauce, mustard seed, gravy, etc. Amazing flavors. I could eat this everyday! It was really a meal in itself, but perfect for sharing.

For my main I had the “Shrimp N Grits” ($16.50). Shrimp & andouille sausage over creamy grits. It came with 5 huge, succulent shrimps, perfectly cooked. Not all tough and overcooked. Grits were better than I was expecting. A good size bed blanketed the plate. They were rich, creamy and tight, not at all loose. The amount of andouille was fairly conservative, I thought it could have used more. This was a very well seasoned and flavorful dish that I would order again many times.

Beer & wine list was impressive! There’s a myriad of local favorites from Ramona wineries and a well rounded draft beer selection (about 8 choices). Pints are reasonably priced at $5/6.

Can’t wait to get back to Marinade on Main soon to try their Fish & Chips, Chicken Pot Pie, Habanero Wings, etc. Honestly, there’s nothing on the menu I wouldn’t love to try. This place is truly a gem for Ramona, I wish them great success!




Homemade Spaghetti 

One of my favorite home cooked meals is my outstanding spaghetti and meat sauce.  So simple, yet often far better than I can get in any restaurant.  One of the reasons is perfectly cooked pasta.  Always al dente at home when I make it.  Eating out, pasta can be a gamble.  

D’Carlos 

D’Carlos for dinner tonight! I went traditional and ordered off the “Old Time Favorites” part of the menu. Here’s my country fried steak, only $11, served with mashed taters.  
The CFS was a fairly conservative portion and did not seem to be made from scratch. It was still good, came out hot, etc. Only one oral extraction. Gravy seemed to be a good, light chicken variety white gravy. Did not need any extra s&p.  

The mashed potatoes did seem scratch made and were of a good, rustic consistency. Not overly creamy or buttery, and made with skin-on taters. 

Service was top-shelf tonight! Our server did an outstanding job – kudos to her 🙂 

Between 3-5 pm everyday your entire meal is 20% off! This is a really good deal and takes a good chunk off your check at the end. Definitely recommend going, (depending on what you order…)

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