Saturday, November 29, 2008

Some New Finds

Foodie Stuff

Traveling lately I found a couple of gems to share.

• San Diego

In addition to Point Loma Seafood I am happy to add a few other places for your consideration whilst enjoying San Diego.

First is the San Diego edition of the Oceanaire chain of seafood restaurants.  Located in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter it prepares a fresh sheet of specialty seafood every night.

I have now enjoyed dinners in the Oceanaire's in both Denver and San Diego. I have to say both were great.  The waiter in San Diego was a bit regal, but the food was once again first rate.

In Denver they had Dinah Washington on the muzak and my favorite fish: sablefish (sometimes called butterfish or black cod), so it might be my favorite of the two so far.  I will digress and wax rhapsodic about sablefish. This fish is the perfect replacement for chilean sea bass (which I'd beg you to avoid as it is now a fishery in serious risk of collapse).  In San Diego I had a nice true cod in miso.

One word of advice. Be aware that any one order of salad, any side dish, or desert comfortably feeds THREE hungry folks!  If you avoid a bottle of wine and their overpriced cocktails and divide your appetizer, sides, and desert by three, this place is actually pretty reasonable.

My other find in San Diego is Da Kines Plate Lunch shop in the historic Decatur Building at Liberty Station (which is comfortably near Point Loma and the airport).

Da Kine's has other San Diego locations (some of which get real spotty reviews locally) but I have been to this location four times now and the Kalbi rib plate lunch is darned good. This is an order, sit down, and wait for your food kind of place. It is perfect for take-out.

Another find is Cafe 222 for breakfast. It is walking distance from the convention center and has wonderful waffles and pancakes. It is one of the few places in California where you can get Joe's Special (the mega frittata made famous at Original Joes in SF). The lines for breakfast are a bit frustrating, but that is what happens to a good restaurant in any big city when everybody finds out it is good!

The last of my fav's in San Diego is the Island Prime restaurant. This restaurant is run by the same company that runs the beautiful Prado restaurant in Balboa Park. Island Prime and its casual sidekick "C" Level are walking distance from the airport and because of it's shelter Island location has the best view of San Diego's waterfront of any SD restaurant. I've only had lunches here, but everything was hearty, fresh and well thought out. A truly wonderful appetizer to share (don't tell the cardiologists) is their deep fried artichoke hearts. Don't be confused the Open Table internet reservation site that always says the restaurant is not available for lunch, it is, just go.

• Richmond Virginia
Richmond is not usually on my "places I want to go to eat" list, but I have found a few spots I think are real finds, and frankly I saw some others that I am eager to try on my next visit to the Commonwealth of Virginia's Capital City. After years of being away I found that the Zeus Gallery Cafe in the beautiful "Fan" district still has bright and knowledgeable people delivering creative and tasty fare. The prices have certainly climbed into the stratos over the years, but its comfy and funky hole-in-the-wall location offers an out of the way place to take a client or relax with good friends.

Another good place to eat in Richmond is simply called "Comfort". It is located downtown on Broad Street which is slowly becoming home to quite a few new hip places to eat.

Comfort lives up to its name. While immaculately clean, it has a wholesome "worn" feel. The meals are built around good old comfort food staples like macaroni and cheese and meatloaf. My desert was called banana pudding. It was actually a creme brulee with banana slices over a wonderful custard that was (thankfully) a little less rich than what is usually found in a typical creme brulee. The maitre' d and our server were both efficient yet seemed completely devoid of any hint of personality or warmth. Thankfully the food made up for it. If you get a chance after dinner walk a block behind the restaurant and take a look at the old dairy building complete with 3 story milk bottles built into all four corners of the building!

I also had a chance to go back to The Tobacco Company. This is the old Richmond standby where locals take their out of town friends visiting for the first time. It is perfectly located just as the capital district slides on into Shockoe Bottom. The place is huge, is scattered through many floors, and has character for days. It has to be the last restaurant in America where cigar girls still walk around selling cigarettes and cigars. The food was good, but the menu needs some serious updating.

As the economy crumbles, restaurants tend to suffer first. Go out to eat.

Roadboys Travels © 2008

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Ok, you've made me hungry!! :)