Good Chow Near Town & Country Hotel, Hotel Circle
Hi Everyone, We will be at seminar next weekend at the Town & Country. Our group of approx. 8 ppl. will have lunch/dinner together. We need a place near (walking or short drive) that can seat us together and service us quickly. Something interesting but not too adventures and of course, reasonably priced. Any suggestions? Last time, we ended up at a well known chain Coffee Shop. I thought I would die! Anyone have any suggestions? A Food Court situation with outdoor seating would work for lunch.
If you go east on Hotel Circle drive to (I think) teh 2nd stoplight. This should be Camino del Rio North. Turn left onto Camino del Rio North (don't go under the freeway) and follow this for about a mile, mile and a half. On your right will be a shopping center with several restaurant options including - Gordon Biersch, Chevy's, Fuddruckers, King's Fish House, and Baja Fresh. Yeah, I know these are all chains but with the exception of Chevy's, most of them do what they do reasonably well.
Keep going past this shopping center and you'll cross Mission Center Rd. On the southeast corner of that intersection is a new complex with a couple of new dining options in it. Haven't tried any of them, and they are sure to be chains or some sort. Turn left onto Mission Center and Mimi's Cafe will be on your left. Not fast and there is always a line but the food is usually more than edible.
Cross Mission Center and go to the next stoplight. Macy's Home Store will be on your right. Turn left into the shopping center across from Macy's. At the back is Sammy's Woodfired Pizza, a local chain that is actually pretty good, they do more than just pizza and ambiance is sorta/kinda on the more upscale side.
Keep going down Camino del Rio North and you will pass an On The Border on your left. Avoid this place at all costs. I've had to eat here twice for work related functions, truly awful. At the next stoplight you'll see an office building on the right and a little further to your right an In and Out Burger. Turn right, and then turn left into the driveway right before In and Out. Drive past In and Out and you should see a Pasta Bravo straight ahead. They can accommodate 8 easily (it's an order then be seated kind of place), ambiance is decent, they have outside seating, the food is pretty good and it won't break the bank. And finally, take Camino del Rio North just one block further to Texas St. (can't miss it there's a big Chevron station) and turn right onto Texas St. Cross the freeway and take the first left onto Camino del Rio South. About 100 feet after you turn is Bully's East. Better than average food, good drinks and bar scene, reservations for 8 probably adviseable.
Back to your hotel. If you take the street that runs between the west side of the Town & County Convention Center and the golf course it will dead-end at Friar's Rd. Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang's are here. There is also a Crocodile Cafe (I've had one really good meal and one dud here) as well as a California Pizza Kitchen. You can take Friar's Rd. past P.F. Changs and over the 163 freeway. Hang a right at Hazard Center Dr. (1st light on the other side of the 163) and Prego's is right there. As the name indicates, it's Italian. It's certainly not very authentic, but it's also pretty decent and one of the better options in the area. They usually put out a couple of interesting items (i.e. pasta, salad) that you can almost make a meal out of that are free during happy hour
Back to your hotel, if you go east on Hotel Circle but go under the freeway you'll end up on the other side of hotel circle. Albie's Beef Inn is there and Adam's Steak & Eggs. Albie's used to be one of the hidden gems of a steak house in SD, don't know if they are any more.
There is a reason e.d. refers to Hotel Circle as one more of Dante's circles of Hell....
Well, my first thought is "good luck with that!" - a la Spongebob - but there are some decent options closeby. I like the Vietnamese place over near (yes, I have to say it) Hooters - I think it's Pho Cali or something like that? King's Fish House isn't too bad, and Gordon Biersch is somewhat decent. There's a food court, Cheesecake Factory and Nordstrom's with a decent cafe in Fashion Valley, just North of the Town and Country in Mission Valley. A short drive down 163 will also take you into Hillcrest and Downtown where you have many more options.
I've attended several conferences at T&C. For the quickest option, the Fashion Valley Mall Food Court isn't bad. There's also a CPK and PF Changs which have handled large groups of us. When we had more time, we'd catch the trolley at the Mall and go to Old Town or Little Italy or the Gaslamp. Good luck!