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Del Mar Race Track

Anything chowish in the immediate area?

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  1. For lunch I frequent Red Tracton. Gothic Sandwitch, Shrimp on Ice, Lobster Bisque, are some favorites. Also good steaks and chops.


      1. A super Mexican frequented by the horsemen used to be Tony's Jackal. I am relatively sure that it is still around.

        1. Tony Jackal's is still around, but I think Fidel's is much better. For a great carne asada burrito try Randy's Market, on Stevens in a little shopping center near Fidels. I think it's one o fthe best I've found in San Diego.

          1. Please help me chose between Don Chuy, Fidel's & Tony's Jacal assuming that Randy's Market is not a sit down but, a take out?

            4 Replies
            1. re: JAB

              Tonys Jacal. Its wholesome home cooking. Fidels is ok but is americano style with tons of shredded lettuce on everything. Also, Fidels is looking pretty shabby and the place has a not-so-clean feel to it.

              1. re: JAB

                I have been to Fidel's and Don Dhuy in the past year. They are very different in all regards. Fidel's is much more of a 'scene' with the bar standing prominent. Food is standard - beans, rice, meat, tortilla - in some form or another. The only thing I have ever had there that I thought was above average is the tortilla soup. Food wise I think Fidels is pretty much like Chevy's. Fine, but no particular reason to go. The drinks are usually pretty good.
                Don Chuy on the other hand is a hole, in comparison. Nice enough, but basically vinyl, hanging little flags, and a bartender watching TV. The food is substantially more interesting and better then Fidel's. I don't think it will blow you away, but it is very good. I particularly like La Montana (a mountain of various meats) and anything with nopales. For drinks - go with beer (or horchata - can be good, can be okay).

                So, if you want to hang out with a marguerita and lament the idiot jockey on the five-horse while eating a non-descript burrito and weird thin salsa - go to Fidel's. If you want to have a Negro Modelo and a plate of nopales (while complainging about the idiot jockey on the three-horse), go to Don Chuy. Or both, have tortilla soup and a drink at Fidel's and walk to Don Chuy to eat (they are about a block apart).

                Just my thoughts.

                1. re: rotochicken

                  Have to agree with rotochichen, if not totally write off Fidels, sorry PGB. The salsa is despicable, they should be ashamed. I would put the food even below Chevy's, Taco bell is more like it, except Taco Bell has better salsa! Go to the Fish Market, get grilled fish or if you need some grease, the fried dishes are good.

                  1. re: Pablo

                    If we all agreed there would only be one Mexican restaurant in the area. But comparing it to Chevy's is like comparing Ruth Chris' to McDonalds.Fidels has great salsa fresca for ana additional 80 cents. Have you ever tried it?

                    I frequent Fish Market because of the fresh fish, but it's not a great restaurant. They rarely change the menu and have had the same boring veggoes with most dishes for the last 10 years. But their bread is great.

              2. Do you consider the Fish Market Chowish? It's right across the street.

                  1. I think Fidels has some of the best fajitas anywhere. They include chili peppers, green onions, a very generous portion of meet, fresh avacodos, tomatoes, and excellent cheese. The meat is very good. Only all white chicken and excellent beef. Everything is fresh. If you judge by its popularity, the place is very crowded after the races get out. It's not for the bar, but for the food. On the downside, I agree the place could use a remodel, but it consists of many add-ons from what was once a barber shop. And the wine list is poor.

                    I live in Solana Beach and frequent all the local restaurants mentioned and we go back to Fidels time after time. It's also extremely reasonable. Tony Jackal's is also good, but has very odd selction of food.

                    1. I think we will have to agree to disagree. I mean no offense with this post, but....

                      I think many people will take 'all white chicken' in any dish as a significant negative. And, if we are going to judge by popularity I think we'll have to concede that Taco Bell is the best Mexican restaurant in the world.

                      I also have to say that people crowd into Fidel's because it is large, has many seating options (indoor, outdoor, bar, bar tables, large tables, small, etc.) and has a 'scene'. Fidel's is a convenient place to hang-out after the races or work or whatever with a stiff marguerita and some friends (oh, and eat something too).
                      On the other hand NOBODY goes to Don Chuy for anything other than food - and many people won't go at all because it looks so...not Del Mar (okay SB). If you put Don Chuy's food into Fidel's and Fidel's food into Don Chuy, Don Chuy would close and Fidel's would be at least as popular.

                      On the other hand my boss loves Fidel's (but has never eaten at Don Chuy).

                      Again, I mean no offense, I just don't feel right sending a fellow 'Hound to Fidel's without a contrasting opinion.

                      1. Have you thought about eating at the Del Mar Turf Club. IT is a very nice expereience, you get a nice table with a TV for the whole day of racing. The service is very good and you will be positively suprised by the quality of the Del MAr Thoroughbred's food. They have a great menu and the table makes the whole experience very comfortable. They do have a dress code, you will need a blazer, but it is very comfortable.

                        Enjoy and good luck.

                        1. Thanks everyone for your input. We decided to go old school and went to Red Tracton's. Our expectations weren't high going in and they were exceeded. Lobster bisque and shrimp on ice to start with seafood pasta and prime rib for entrees.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JAB

                            Glad you enjoyed it, it's my go to place in the area.

                          2. There are few sandwiches in existence that I enjoy more than a corned beef sandwich from the carving stations at Southern California thoroughbred horse tracks. Usually rye, mayo, butter, tons of pickles and lots of thick-sliced corned beef.

                            1. Don Chuey's food and ambiance reminds me of the mexican restaurants in Phoenix and Tucson.

                              The best thing about Red Tracton is the lounge pianist. Last time I was in he was singing a musak version of "Doctor in my Eyes"....classic. Red Tracton's might also be the only restaurant still serving green goddess dressing. The place still seems to attract a few "wise guy" types from the track with some pretty interesting fashion choices on the women.

                              Their steaks are on par with the best in San Diego.

                              1. pamplemousse, del mar turf club, red tracton