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Jan 29, 2008 01:36 PM

Encinitas Coco's Confession North SD

It was a cold and gloomy Saturday night.

We were hungry and tired and did not want to drive far in the rainy weather.

We thought Milton's might be nice, a bowl of chicken soup, some corned beef. Milton's was packed. We drove around the parking lot a few times, risking our lives and our sanity and then high tailed it out of there, back on the 5 traveling North heading towards home, with no plan. A ridiculous discussion of where to eat began (a ridiculous discussion we seem to have quite often). Everything rejected........every idea........nothing felt right.........maybe it was time to surrender................maybe time for a tuna salad dinner at home.

We exited at Encinitas Blvd, and I said, with a sigh, "Let's just go to Coco's". Food snob that I can be, my honey looked at me to make sure I had not been replaced by some alien invader. After reassuring himself that I was me, he turned right, and into the Coco's parking lot we arrived.

There was a wait

at Coco's?

We waited.

We were seated after about 20 minutes had passed and handed the special prime rib menu.

Prime Rib?

at Coco's?

Okay, we'll bite.

We got bread with our soup or salad (I had the salad and he the soup, you get a choice of one with the prime rib dinner). They serve that fake butter with the bread, but we asked for real butter and it was delivered with a smile.

The salad was a mix of greens, a few really sweet grape tomatoes, a couple of cucumber slices, some shredded carrots. Not at all bad, actually just fine.

The soup was vegetable, beefy stock with veggies, pretty good.

Then came the meat. We both ordered ours rare, and rare it was

and delicious

Okay, maybe we were there on a really good night, maybe it was an anomaly, but it was good. The prime rib was served with au jus, a creamy horseradish sauce, veggies (semi-soggy), and a baked potato loaded with sour cream and chives and real butter on the side (again we requested real butter, that fake stuff scares me).

$11.99 a plate for the 8oz
there were also a 12oz and a 16oz option

Eat at your own discretion.

But for $11.99 a plate, that was a darn fine prime rib dinner

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  1. It varies by location. This summer, first day of the kitchen remodel...

    "Where do you want to go for dinner"

    "I don't care"

    "Well, let's just go to Coco's" (at Baltimore and Lake Murray)

    We walked in, a few people were waiting. Hostess was a no call/no show that night, waitresses were doing double duty and not well and grumbling about it. We were seated and had to wait for both water and menus.

    I ended up with the soup and salad combo. Salad was a plateful of greens with at least a generous 1/2 cup of dressing globbed on top of it. Soup was gluey, pasty corn chowder, almost inedible.

    Upon leaving had to wait to pay the bill as the POS system was down and no one knew how to fix it. Manager? No where to be seen. Thank god for cash.

    2 weeks later on a Sunday morning

    "Where do you want to go for breakfast"

    "Let's use this coupon for Coco's" (If an octogenarian EVER says "let's use a coupon, RUN, run as fast as you can the other way).

    "I don't want to go there, dinner was horrid"

    "Oh, but their breakfast is really good. They have the best coffee cake"

    I was skeptical...

    We walked into the same Coco's which was packed, the wait was 10-15 mintues. Breakfast was better than dinner and the coffee cake really was good. But $7.99 for 2 eggs, hash browns and bacon was pretty steep, especially since it didn't include coffee, tax or tip and I could get the same thing, only better, around the corner at Gus's #2 for $5.99.

    7 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Dining Diva said: ""Let's use this coupon for Coco's" (If an octogenarian EVER says "let's use a coupon, RUN, run as fast as you can the other way)."


      You popped into my head as I was posting. I thought, "I am sure DD ate at Coco's a few times during the remodel."

      Dining Diva said: ""Where do you want to go for dinner"

      "I don't care""

      gosh that sounds so familiar.

      1. re: Enorah

        <GGG> yep, we ate almost everywhere at least once...or so it seemed. Coco's isn't normally as bad as our first night experience, and can actually be pretty good. Places like this serve a purpose especially when you're tired, hungry, ready to eat and don't have a wide selection of independent restaurant in the neighborhood.

        But really watch out on the coupon thing. The Chili's coupon was an unmitigated disaster, we walked out without every being seated...and I still to this day have never actually eaten food at a Chili's. The Black Angus coupon was almost as bad. Well the food was bad, lots and lots of really awful food for $20. You get what you pay for and that is even more true with a coupon.

        1. re: DiningDiva


          I, although it pains me to admit it, have eaten at Chili's

          I "enjoyed" that meal for the next 2 days

          1. re: Enorah

            So I've heard ;-). I've also never eaten at an Applebee's, which I understand is even worse?

            1. re: DiningDiva


              you are correct

              although it was many many many years ago that I ate at Applebee's

              We will not go there under any circumstance now

              But that Chili's dinner was just a couple of months ago

              oh the shame

              1. re: Enorah

                Chili's was a college stand-by--there was little else that was better where I went. To my then naive palate, it was decent food for a college student.

                I had the misfortune of eating at Applebee's in Charleston, SC. It was bad and very oversalted. I have not been back.

              2. re: DiningDiva

                Both those restaurants evoke memories of high school...

                I was forced to eat at an Applebee's on prom night. Even at 17 and not quite a 'Hound, I swore it off for the rest of my existence.

                As for Coco's, I spent most of high school eating breakfast there after weekend morning practices or with the parental units. I enjoy their pies. Not the finest pie I've ever had, but certainly hits the spot when a craving for banana cream hits.

      2. Since the topic seems to have shifted in the direction of chain restaurants in general, I will say that we have had some good food at Mimi's Cafe in Oceanside.

        I had a hamburger there a couple of weeks ago that was really good and cooked exactly the way I ordered it (which has been a problem lately, since I like my burgers medium rare).

        My honey had the chicken pot pie which he enjoyed.

        The bread we have been served there is really yummy, although they also serve the fake butter, but we always get the real stuff when we ask for it.

        1. With the couple meals I have had at Miltons, Coco's with the grey panthers is not such a bad option.

          2 Replies
          1. re: littlestevie

            Grey panthers, love it, and that they are. Yeah, there are elder folk out there whose palates aren't so well developed, but they shouldn't be written off as a generation with bad taste.

            A friend and I discovered quite by accident several years ago that my mother has a remarkable sense of taste. While she can't always put into words what things taste like to her or define structure or texture she is usually dead-on with her assessment most dishes. It's to the point now where if I am doing development on a particular recipe and it isn't working, I just give some to my mother to try. She can tell when a recipe is working and when it isn't, unfortunately, I then have to use the secret decoder ring to figure out what it is she doesn't like because that's usually what isn't working about the recipe.

            They may be cheap (by-product of the Great Depression) but their taste buds aren't dead yet.

            1. re: DiningDiva

              OK I"m in.....sometimes nothing hits the spot like a Coco's combo. Nice juicy, meaty tasting burger dripping with "special sauce" <cough> <thousand island>..the fries are all bad but the salad with a touch too much house dressing and that burger...delicious. (blushing)