San Diego

Maybe it’s cold east coast envy, but it’s so wonderful to see oranges, lemons and pomegranates growing on peoples front lawns!


The above picture is my Turkey Pot Pie that I ordered at Cafe On The Park.  When I ordered it I had no idea it would feed four and be presented in such an untraditional form.  It was flavorful, filled with chunks of white meat Turkey breast (some dark meat mixed in would be nice) and lots of vegetables: carrots, broccoli, spinach and potatoes swimming in a rich cream sauce.  The crust was crunchy and herb filled and was perfect for dipping into the sauce and scooping up veg. This place was one of many where I had perfectly fine food, but where I felt that San Diego restaurants had gone for quantity over quality.  Organic or seasonal never appeared on any menu I saw. Cafe on Park had an immense menu with some very unique items like: Captain Crunch and Blackberry Pancakes and Sugar Frosted Flakes and Banana Pancakes.   The breakfast menu is so big and diverse it really is hard to decide what to eat.  The menu ranges, so in addition to the trashy Captain Crunch pancakes they also have delicious sounding savory Corn Pancakes with jalapeno, cheddar and onion or Brown Rice Porridge with oatmeal, coconut, raisins, nuts and honey.

I did have some fine meals in San Diego:  some delicious and very cheap Vietnamese food at Pho on Fifthand a lovely Thai dinner my first night in town at Amarin.  The Thai food on the west coast is so much better as a rule then anything I get in NYC.  In general, my passing observation is that size is more important then quality, seasonality or originality.  I’d rather have less of better quality….It’s nearly 8 pm but I ate lunch on an empty stomach and at 12 I’m still full!

I did see the word organic. Just not on a food menu…

It’s hard to tell but that is a shiny fish in the peace sign hand sculpture.

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
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