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Are you making a specialty food? Get great advice

Need new ideas after a year in San Diego

YankeeBaseball Sep 9, 2008 05:33 PM

I moved to SD from NYC last year for graduate school. After a year exploring the cuisine, I am running out of new places to be excited about. I tend to prefer family-run places that don’t cost a lot of money. Décor is not an issue. Below is a list of places (in no particular order) that I rely on to keep myself happy. Any new ideas would be greatly appreciated. The list is not complete but these are most of the places that I eat at frequently.

Dumpling Inn
Ba Ren
South Beach Bar and Grill
Tacos El Gordo
Juana’s Carnitas
Carnitas Uruapan
Sam Woo
Punjabi Tandoor
Indian Princess
K Sandwiches
Emerald Chinese
Pho T Cali

Thanks again.

  1. b
    Big N Fat Sep 14, 2008 10:53 PM

    Big Macs at McDonalds

    1. deckape Sep 10, 2008 01:12 PM

      El Comal on Illinois St

      Mamma Mias in PB

      Tamales El Chiapaneco for tamales and on weekends for birria.

      Arely's in Clairemont Square for sinful croissants.

      1 Reply
      1. re: deckape
        P Macias Sep 11, 2008 08:05 AM

        Mama's Lebanese
        Pepe's Ocean Beach

      2. Josh Sep 10, 2008 09:11 AM

        Lots of great suggestions on here. I'd add:

        Pizzeria Luigi in Golden Hill: my favorite NYC-style pizza

        Lefty's in North Park: my favorite Chicago-style pizza, good Italian beef sandwiches

        Georgino's Deli in Golden Hill: Philly cheesesteaks and Italian subs

        Gateway to India lunch buffet: good bread and south Indian items, all vegetarian

        Saffron in Mission Hills: their rotisserie chicken is very good. They make their own sauces, peanut and chutney are standouts.

        Andres Cuban in Bay Park: Pressed Cuban sandwiches and cheap lunch specials like ropa vieja and arroz con pollo. Flan is awesome.

        Phil's BBQ in Sports Arena area: BBQ sandwiches are huge, filling, and inexpensive. Broham is very tasty pulled pork w/ cole slaw and onion ring.

        Tofu House in Kearny Mesa: Korean tofu restaurant, delicious food of all kinds.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Josh
          pantani Sep 11, 2008 08:33 PM

          I really like Saffron but stopped recommending it after many here pointed out it is the worst thai food you could possibly get.

          Another option: consider moving back to NYC.

          1. re: pantani
            Cathy Sep 11, 2008 08:42 PM

            If you don't think of it as Thai, but as food, it is excellent. Always fresh. Since the OP is a student and on a budget, a great deal.

            To the OP: About one block North of Carnitas Uruapan is Charley's Hamburgers. Same side of Broadway, closer to the freeway overpass...almost at Sweetwater. The burgers are coarse ground, the kebab is *wonderful* ( A double kebab is double meat) (I don't even bother with cheese or bacon, although the bacon they use for all the items is thick cut and flavorful-great on a breakfast sandwich). Walk up or drive through only. Banana shake is real. Been there forever.

            1. re: pantani
              Josh Sep 14, 2008 11:40 PM

              As Cathy said, if you go expecting traditional Thai food you will be disappointed. Saffron is its own style of food. It's definitely Thai-influenced, but much lighter. If you really like it, why would you stop recommending it?

          2. Ed Dibble Sep 10, 2008 07:13 AM

            One to add: Asia Cafe (Lao food):


            This post has links to other posts. Gotta go there just for the Nem Khao and Yum Asia and larbs. Good stuff. Pure family restaurant.

            1. lawyerbriefs Sep 9, 2008 07:20 PM

              I second Basic Urban, just east of the Gaslamp, for great pizza. I also like Salad Style for take out salads during the day (801 F St.) and Blue Water, on Indio, for casual, very fresh seafood. Also, by the ballpark downtown, Tin Fish is very good and reasonable.

              1. Beach Chick Sep 9, 2008 06:01 PM

                mariscos german best taco truck in the world..city heights
                cheese shop sd/la jolla
                el pescador la jolla
                board and brew del mar
                fidel's solana beach
                tony jacals solana beach
                el especial norte leucadia
                o'briens escondido best fish and chips
                las quatro milpas barrio logan
                bahia taco shop la jolla
                los panchos pacific beach
                rocky's pub crown point/pb
                cafe athena pb
                waterfront little italy
                brigantine..happy hour fish tacos..chain but a fun time
                azucar ob
                super cocina
                basic urban gaslamp for the best thin pizza

                I'm sure others will chime in and give you great advice too!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Beach Chick
                  kare_raisu Sep 9, 2008 06:22 PM

                  Forgot about Especial!

                  I really like brigs fish tacos too!

                2. kare_raisu Sep 9, 2008 05:59 PM

                  I would try:
                  Aqui es Texcoco
                  Super Cocina
                  Surati Farsan Mart
                  Menuderia Don Vicente
                  Pozoleria Dona Maria
                  Tacos El Paisa
                  Mariscos Godoy
                  Mariscos German
                  Birria's Chivos & Cheves
                  Cafe Dore
                  Paris Bakery
                  Costa Brava
                  Izakaya Sakura

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kare_raisu
                    cgfan Sep 9, 2008 06:09 PM

                    Oh no, did El Porvenir fall off your list?

                    An error of omission, I am sure...

                    Also on my list, from North to South:

                    Fiesta Oaxaquena (Escondido Farmer's Market & Swap Meet)
                    Belen Artisan Bakery (Escondido)

                    Karina's (Leucadia)
                    La Especial Norte (for soups) (Leucadia)
                    Bety's Tacos (Encinitas)
                    Elizabethan Desserts (Encinitas)
                    Rosanna's Pasta (Encinitas)

                    Pho Hoa Cali Express (Mira Mesa)
                    Pho Lucky (Mira Mesa)
                    European Sorrento Bakery (for Banh Mi) (Mira Mesa)
                    China Chef (Mira Mesa)
                    Punjabi Tandoor (Miramar)
                    Ume no Ya (Miramar)

                    Santouka (Kearny Mesa)

                    Zumbar Cafe (best/most consistent espresso drinks) (Sorrento Valley)

                    Hodad's (Ocean Beach)

                    Yakitori Yakyudori (Hillcrest) - might not meet budget, depending

                    ...and I can't resist... Even if it means having only 3 single pieces of nigiri to stay on budget, Kaito Sushi (in Encinitas)... Best taste experience one can have anywhere.

                    ...and ditto for an Oceanaire crabcake at their oyster bar!

                    1. re: cgfan
                      kare_raisu Sep 9, 2008 06:20 PM

                      I actually havent been there yet! I did see your flickr pictures - maybe we should have a chowdown there, with Super Cocina's menudo as our appetite whetter!

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