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Chow in Escondido?

The hubby and I will be staying at a resort in Escondido for seven days. Although we will venture into San Diego on occasion it would be nice to have some dining options close to where we're staying.

Any recommendations for breakfast, lunch & dinner most appreciated.
A nice wine selection is a major plus. Will consider all price ranges.

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  1. http://www.150grandcafe.com/

    Eaten there twice, great meals both times.


    1. Escondidio has been my local project of sorts, so I am kind of excited you have asked.

      Escondido is probably the best suburb of SD, if you want to eat good Mexican food.

      My favorite restaurant is La Cocina de Maria on Mission. It is a new, pretty, family run operation in its own little building. There are lovely paintings on the wall as well as Univision, of course. Everything I have had there has been lovingly prepared. My favorite dish is their homemade(!) pollo en mole, which they were originally offering only on the weekends but I believe its popularity may have made it an everyday item.

      They also have huaraches, and gorditas which are incredible. I believe the gorditas are made from red corn masa even. Try it with whatever you fancy from picadillo to al pastor but I recc. the carnitas.

      Behind CdM is a torta and licuados, aguas frescas restaurant, if you are feeling parched.

      And across the street is Sabor a Mexico, which may be the only authentically Pueblan restaurant in SD. Their specialities are Mole Poblano and Cemitas. I havent aten here yet but I am dying to....stopped in to talk to the son, who explained a lot about pueblan cuisine and how his mom makes the mole in house.

      There is a Persian restaurant across from North County fair called International fast food...you can see the sign from the 15...was written up in reader, have yet to try it. Only peeked in.

      These place would probably be best for lunch.

      Further West down Mission is a Greek chicken place that was mentioned on these boards a while back...try a search. No personal data.

      You might look into Hacienda de Vega for Dinner...haven't ate there...but check out their website.

      A great simple breakfast would be to pick up the best Pan Dulce , outside Oaxaca from Panaderia Ortiz off Grand on Juniper. I;ve tried many panaderias and the bakers there are gods of their trade. Atole, champurrado, cafe and tamales on the weekend too. They are open till 9pm, except sun 7pm. So you could get dessert there too.

      On a side note --there is a great mexican folk art exhibition currently at the Mingei Museum on grand.

      Rworange, the chow-pioneer of this area, highly reccomends the paleteria next to El Tigre Market for ice cream. El Tigre is worthwhile to check out as well.

      Blue Mug cafe seems to be the hip independent coffee house in town on Kalmia I belive, off Grand.

      Nearby is a German and dutch Continetal deli, think they are having oktoberfest this weekend.

      I would reccomend Hunan in Rancho Bernardo for Chinese. They do a fantastic job, and have some authentic gems on the menu. But I havent eaten here in a long time.

      1. The greek place mentioned by kare raisu is called Chicken plus Greek. Small restaurant with good lamb dishes (lamb shanks, lamb souvlaki) http://www.chickenplus.org/

        1. For a great breakfast try Champions on Grand Ave in Escondido. Some of the breakfast plates are a "heart attack on a plate" especially the homemade corned beef hash(not out of a can) and the cinnamon rolls are huge and to die for.

          1. Wow, its good to hear there is anything chow-worthy in Escondido now. I grew up there in the 80's and have basically considered it a culinary wasteland. The only restaurant in 'dido that I have fond memories of is Fillippi's Pizza Grotto, it was my first job and I still go there when I am down south (I live in Sacramento now). I recently learned there is a Fillippis, owned by the same family, in Napa. We went a couple of weeks ago after wine tasting and it was fabulous, the same exact old-school American-Italian food with the house made sausage (bursting with fennel) and a ginormous meatball on the raviolis. Wicker chianti bottles hanging from the ceiling and a little attitude from the waitresses, and it was 1985 all over again.

            1. If you can forgive the name, Asia-Vous on Grand Ave. is widely respected. I generally avoid "Asian-Fusion" like the plague, but reviews convinced me to check it out. Unique dishes, nice ambiance, FABULOUS desserts. The carrot bread pudding with ginger ice cream and black-pepper-caramel garnish tops anything at Extradordinary Desserts.

              For breakfast, Remy's on Grand or the cafe next to it (I can never remember which) have unique offerings. They're both just up the street from the previously mentioned Champions.

              If you like to cook, you should check out Major Market (next to Trader Joe's south on Center City Parkway). There are only two in the county, and they have wonderful regional domestic and European products. Look carefully . . . it appears to be a regular grocery store at first.

              I second most of the previously mentioned choices. Hacienda de Vega is worth it for atmosphere alone. The three salsas served with your chips are also excellent. International Fast Food serves a great dish of chicken and rice topped with barberries. I'd only avoid this place if you're not in the mood for conversation. The owner will talk your ear off.

              The Metaphor Cafe on the corner of Second and Juniper is popular with the local older hipster crowd. They have live music several nights a week, and their perogies are made in-house.

              For wine, you want either Asia-Vous, 150 Grand Cafe, Vincent Sorrino's on Grand (continental), or the French restaurant on the corner of Valley and Center City (name escapes me, but "French Wine Shop" is referenced on the sign).

              Definitely check out the Panaderia Oaxaqueña on Juniper if you've never have distinctly Oaxacan sweet bread before. When you walk in, the cases of bread to your right will be mainstream Mexican sweetbread. The case to your left is Oaxacan-style. During the summer, they also had ice cream in flavors you don't find up here much: tuna, leche quemada, and limon.

              1. Thanks for all the great input. Looks like there are some nice selections in Escondido. I'll let you know of any great revelations or major disappointments.

                1 Reply
                1. re: clanger

                  I will look forward to your report clanger! I think Escondido is awesome.

                2. I second the homemade corned beef hash at Champions. I get it every time I'm in the area. It's the best. If you order it you get the choice of toast (eh), english muffin (eh), or *homemade cinnimon roll* (oh yeah)! Bring cash since I'm not sure if they accept credit cards.

                  For lunch: The french bakery across from Champions makes a great Mediterranean tart that's really tasty.

                  For fine dining: 150 grand is really nice. Now that the weather is cooling down a bit, ask to see if you can reserve the table for 2 next to the fireplace. Good wine selection.

                  For something unique: Try Peterson's donuts on the corner of 9th and Escondido Blvd. Open 24/7, they have a great selection cake-style donuts and many unique items. My favorite is the 'butter log', but don't tell my doctor that. Oh, and they make this chocolate-chocolate chunk muffin that out of this world.

                  1. I don't know much about food, but have been buying Escondido lunches for our office group for years.

                    #1. For donuts Peterson's is they way to go. Mushy, fluffy, odd to me but an office favorite. Beats the heck out of Krispy Kreme.

                    #2. The French Bakery has changed hands, although Jacques still oversees the pastries. Like Sirino's (probably now called Vincent's, you will need to devote some time to your meal.)

                    #3. I like 150 Grand despite the cost and constant change of ownership and chefs.

                    #4. After all these years I just don't get Champion's. Yes, the cinnamon rolls are huge. Not good, but huge. Really bad omelettes. In fact, there are no good omelettes in Escondido.

                    #5. Filippi's. We can deal with takeout. Love the India Street location in San Diego, but Escondido building is moldy smelling, dirty and dark. Just get take out and don't enter from the back parking lot.

                    #6. Chicken+ has been around forever, and must be appealing to people. Is Sid still running the place? Are people still eating there? BTW we don't like the various Mexican restuarants who have serially shared the back of the Chicken+ building.

                    #7. Will try Cocina de Maria. Place used to be a spectacular hamburger restaurant.

                    So our local office faves as of today are:
                    Los Charros (on Valley) particularly for carnitas
                    Argusa's (on Valley since 1958 for take out subs)
                    Rock 'n Jenny's (on E. Valley) for the same
                    Orange Street Deli on Orange at 2nd (?) for the $11 Warm Chicken Salad (slow service even for takeout)
                    Major Market deli sandwiches 9order turkey on a telera roll)
                    Panera Bakery (chain, but pretty okay)
                    Mariachi's on Escondido Blvd. Enchiladas have a sort of mole sauce.
                    Remy's on Grand, but we can't afford the $12 sandwiches and they're not set up for take-out.
                    George Burger on Broadway across from the park (great fries, burgers, chicken and gyros only)
                    El Nopal (well, they deliver)
                    Cocina del Charro on Quince eat in.
                    Mi Guadalajara on Valley, eat in only.
                    Pizza - Rocco's on Mission they deliver and we have an accunt with them, and they're polite. Try the artichoke alfredo ???

                    For various reasons and taste, we have given up on:
                    Chaser's Deli
                    Dowtown Deli (formerly Mardi's?)
                    Fatburger - new chain
                    The French Bakery (too slow)
                    Continental Deli
                    Charlie's (on Ivy and Penn.)
                    The Broken Yolk
                    Mexico Lindo
                    Teresita's on Valley
                    Tom's (both #23 and the "independent" location)
                    Pablo's (yecch) at Signature Theater plaza
                    El Escondido on Valley
                    and about 7 restaurants on Grand in the same location that have gone out of business, and at least 4 Mexican restaurants on the finges of downtown that are just not to our taste.

                    Harsh? You bet. But all we want is take-out for about $8 that is ready when you get there, has the right stuff on/in it, is prepared in a clean kitchen and is consistent in taste and ingredients.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lilidui

                      I have always wondered about the Cocina del Charro on Quince. I do not know whether I am more intimidated or scared to enter. What have you had here?

                      Definitley try CdM.

                      Mariachis makes good birria.

                    2. Nothing scary about Cocina del Charro. Patio or little dining room in center are most pleasant.

                      They catered our Christmas party for 200 - carnitas, chicken, enchiladas, etc. They also have a pleasant room in the back that can be reserved for business buffets.

                      Basic Mexican food, I think it's family run, mostly gringo families eating. In the evening you can part in the Milo Johnson lot, because they're closed.