San Diego Trip Report
I want to thank all of the CHer's on this board for all their help in restaurant recommendations. We had a great trip to San Diego - thanks for sharing your beautiful state with us. Here's a report on our trip. Carlsbad was our home base while in San Diego County and we are from Cleveland, OH.
Day 1 - arrived in SD, picked up rental car, headed for Point Loma Seafoods for lunch/dinner. Parking was an issue since it was Good Friday & they were very busy & there were not enough tables. After a long flight from Cleveland, it wasn't the kind of atmosphere we wanted but once we got our food it was worth it. I had the crab sandwich, my husband had the fish tacos, and our 15 year old daughter had the shrimp sandwich. After lunch/dinner we headed for Cabrillo National Monument - breathtaking views.
Day 2 - Newport Beach - husband had a CE meeting at the Fairmont. My daughter & I headed to Alta Coffee Company for breakfast, strolled & shopped on Balboa Island and walked the boardwalk on Balboa Peninsula- Balboa Pier & NB Pier. We had lunch at the Crab Cooker in Newport Beach. In the afternoon, we picked up my husband and headed down PCH. Stopped in Laguna Beach and had pizza dinner at BJ's on the main street.(I was disappointed that LB is no longer the sleepy little artsy village I remember 25 years ago.)
Day 3 - Anza Borrego Desert State Park - beautiful desert flowers in full bloom. We took Millerowski's advice & took the CA-76 route to Borrego Springs. Very scenic. Had lunch at Jilberto's in Borrego Springs - I think it was the most awful mexican food we'd ever had. My daughter & I didn't think our food was even edible!!! We then drove all the way to the Salton Sea - very creepy out in the middle of nowhere like that! My plan was to stop at Stone Brewery on the way back to Carlsbad but I forgot to jot down the address for the Garmin. We ended up going to King's Fish House in Carlsbad for dinner. The earthquake hit some time on our drive back to Carlsbad from ABDSP & we were unaware of it until we booted up our laptops.
Day 4 - Wild Animal Park. We got there first thing in the morning before the invasion of the tourists and made it thru the park in about 3.5hrs. Had lunch at Hacienda de Vega in Escondido. (thank you, BeachChick) It was probably the only day in the year it rained so no patio dining - dined in the covered section. The food was absolutely delicious. Loved the assortment of salsas & chips to snack on while waiting for food ordered. We stopped at Orfila Winery after lunch and sampled wine. Lovely place. Had take out for dinner from Pelly's Fish Market - just down the road from where we were staying. Absolutely wonderful and very fresh seafoodl!!
Day 5 - Balboa Park. We got there first thing in the morning. We had Mama Testa's in mind for lunch. But by late morning, Balboa Park was crowded with tourists & all the parking lots were full & even the surrounding streets were clogged. It was a Tuesday and some of the museums are free to SD residents on Tuesdays plus it was spring break week for some school districts. We were afraid of a parking problem if we ventured out to Mama Testa's so we elected to have lunch at Prado in Balboa Park. We were not disappointed. Very nice - nice day w/patio dining. For dinner we went to Pizza Port in Carlsbad. Fun place. Good beer! Early in the morning we took the drive down PCH from Carlsbad to Mission Beach, stopping for photo opportunities in La Jolla, etc., before getting to Balboa Park. No people & no traffic & no parking problems.
Day 6 - Mission San Diego de Alcala & Old Town. We had lunch at Old Town Mexican Cafe. It was a lot better than Jilberto's, LOL!!! We had take out again from Pelly's for dinner.
One thing to be said - it is best to head for destinations EARLY in the morning - that way we were able to avoid traffic & people & crowds. Also, just driving up & down PCH, I noticed many culinary places that were mentioned on this board - like JAWZ, La Especial Norte, etc. We just didn't have enough time to try everything! My one regret was not finding Stone Beer on tap anywhere & not getting to the brewery. Lo & behold, when I got home in Ohio, I looked in the craft beer section of our local grocery store there was Stone Beer! I don't know why I thought it was not available outside of CA. I bought a six pack to make up for my regrets. All in all, many thanks to all of you that helped with culinary suggestions. Really appreciated it.
1417 University Ave Ste A, San Diego, CA 92103
Point Loma Seafoods
2805 Emerson St, San Diego, CA 92106
Old Town Mexican Cafe
2489 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110
La Especial Norte
664 N Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Pelly's Fish Market & Cafe
7110 Avenida Encinas # 101, Carlsbad, CA
King's Fish House
5625 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008
1549 El Prado Ste 8, San Diego, CA 92101
1301 E Valley Pkwy Ste A, Escondido, CA 92027
I know that Stone only showed up in Illinois and Wisconsin in the last year, so I would presume that was when they started showing up in Ohio, too. I'm really sorry about Jilberto's, but I tried to warn you. :)
That is good advice on the early thing - San Diegans in general don't get out *that* early.
I was born in Lakewood and spent the first 3 1/2 years of my life in Bay Village. Cleveland rocks!