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Sep 5, 2011 06:18 PM

Hungry visitors who procrastinated NEED YOUR HELP!

Who are we....?
A group (family) of nine from L.A., 6 of us are 26-35ish, then we've got two 60somethings and a 90something. We are bringing four small dogs. We'll be there 9/9-9/11.

Where are we staying....?
Loews in Coronado.

We're staying at Loews in Coronado.
Three of us are pescatarians.
We're waiting until NOW to try and figure out what to do.
We are taking this trip to spend some time with a 90something year old grandmother who can't spend all day walking around.

What do we need your help with.....?
On Friday evening we would like to get the dogs to a dog park to run around & drain some energy. Then, we want a reasonably priced (think $30 per person) dinner with outdoor seating (for 9!!!) that allows dogs (So far I've only found Zanzibar Cafe Downtown and possibly Currant). We are willing to drive, however, if we could stay closer to Coronado that would be good. If not, it would be nice to have the restaurant near the dog park.

Saturday we are most likely doing the caravan tour at the safari park in the morning (breakfast suggestions are welcome). We would like to find somewhere on the way that we can pick up some sandwiches to take with us. Then we need a nice place for dinner (no dogs this time) where we might actually be able to get a reservation. We would have loved to try searsucker, bencotto and others but seems like we should have been on this a LONG time ago.

Sunday maybe some brunch before the drive home....Urban Solace seems very popular, any other recommendations? It would also be great if the brunch place was dog friendly so we could just take off right after.

Thanks for your time we promise to plan (ahead, better etc.)!!

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  1. The restaurants at Lowes are actually quite good. They could be a nice option for your Saturday night dinner, especially if the 90 y.o. is tired. Other options would be Candelas by the Bay, or Il Fornaio (yes, I know it's a chain, but it's pretty good and has a nice bay view)

    Friday night, you also might want to consider the OB dog park,. Call 3rd corner and see if they can accommodate your dogs and outdoor seating request. It's been a while since I've been there, but they used to have an enclosed outdoor seating area, not sure they'll accommodate the dogs.

    A lot of brunches in SD are buffet affairs, how does your 90 y.o. feel about them. Neither my 92 y.o. mother nor her 94 y.o. sister will do a Sunday brunch any more. Urban Solace does a seated brunch service IIRC.

    Urban Solace Restaurant
    3823 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104

    Il Fornaio
    1333 1st St, Coronado, CA 92118

    14 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      3rd Corner sounds like a good option, they're closed Mondays so I will have to give them a call to check on the dog situation.

      I think on Saturday we'd like to get away from Coronado (maybe?) but I will check into those options (Il Fornaio is out since we've all been there, probably more than once).

      As for buffet brunches, I don't think grandma would mind, the rest of us however, are not so keen on that sort of thing usually. Any recommendations for good breakfast spots (doesn't have to be brunch)? I've heard good things about The Mission.

      And how about dessert? Any amazing spots we should be checking out?


      1. re: kayeyeem

        Dessert to/from LA--Elizabethan Desserts in Encinitas. It's not a sit-down place, but a small dessert bakery where you can get treats to go. exit off Encinitas Blvd and it's about 3 minutes east of the freeway.

        other dessert, where there are tables to sit at, is Michele Coulon in La Jolla.

        You'll hear about Extraordinary Desserts in downtown and Hillcrest. Her cakes run a little sweet for my taste, but they're lovely to look at.

        Extraordinary Desserts
        2929 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

        1. re: daantaat

          I'm usually not into cupcakes but I think we'll definitely be stopping by Elizabethan Desserts on our way down (they look/sound amazing)....and who knows, maybe on our way back home! And if we're in the area, I may have to go check out Extraordinary Desserts too, just to see for myself if they can possibly taste as good as they look!

          Thanks for the suggestions!

          Elizabethan Desserts
          155 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas, CA

          Extraordinary Desserts
          2929 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

          1. re: kayeyeem

            If she's got the lattice topped cherry pie, do not pass it up.

            1. re: DiningDiva

              Or just go ahead to call up and order a pie. DD convinced me to order one a few weeks back and it was absolutely amazing - best pie I've ever had. The only one they had was Strawberry Rhubarb (since I didn't order ahead) and normally I hate the rhubarb, but this time it actually added some nice complexity to the pure flavors of the fruit, along with the crispy flaky crust that was slightly brulee'd on top...

              1. re: DiningDiva

                A 2nd on her lattice cherry pie - the texture of the crust is amazing!

                And if one likes their desserts on the less sweet side as I do, please keep in mind that she'll do custom orders with advanced notice. Such requests work so well with her desserts as the ingredients have such integrity that they can get by with very little sugar, though her nominal style is quite sweet and still works quite well, what I've been taken to call "American Nostalgic".

              2. re: kayeyeem

                Eizabethan has much more than cupcakes and quite honestly, I think she does other things better. Her buckles, pies, lemon bars and "everything" cookies are very good. The 2 cupcakes that are very good are the hot diggity dangs and the hot chocolate ones. Moist, good chocolate flavor.

                1. re: daantaat

                  Oh yeah the lemon bars with berries on top are amazing as are the chocolate dipped pecan bars. Agree about the lattice pies and the seasonal fresh peach is delicious.

                  If the pooches need to stretch their legs while driving down make a stop at dog beach in Del Mar.

                  1. re: Island

                    As Elizabeth's former next door neighbor, and occasionally recipient of her cast-offs, I can attest to the fact everything she makes is delicious - though the Strawberry Rhubarb pie is goddamned amazing.

            2. re: kayeyeem

              If you decide to stay more local on Saturday, Coronado has a great dog beach with a hose by the entrance which is really handy. I second Dining Diva's recs.

              If you're headed to Ocean Beach to try that Dog Beach I'd definitely stop by Azucar.

              Dogs are usually welcome at the Little Italy Farmer;s Market on Saturdays and there are loads of good eating options there.

              Balboa Park has a great dog park, I think it's official name is "Nate's Point" and there are some good breakfast spots nearby with patios that welcome dogs. Before our dog got too arthritic we used to stop by Park House Eatery after a morning at the dog park. I'm sure others reading this thread could suggest more places in Hillcrest. Have a great trip!

              Balboa Park
              1549 El Prado Ste 8, San Diego, CA 92101

              San Diego, San Diego, CA

              1. re: kayeyeem

                Oh please stay away from OB dog park. It is the dregs of doggie beaches. Coronado has a way better one, which allows dogs all day (as opposed to Del Mar). We've had our dog attacked several times there, gotten case of nasty fleas, and overall always turned off by the crowd. We are natives,keep in mind.

                Coronado is not known to be a foodie haven though there are a few options that serve decent pescatarian friendly food. You can check out Miguelito's for fish tacos or shrimp dishes. Again, not excellent by any means but good enough.

                The Mission has so-so breakfast and crazy lines. I'd skip that and head to Parkhouse Eatery in "University Heights", a cute little 'hood north of Balboa Park area. Good breakfast with fewer crowds-though still popular-than Mission.

                As for sandwiches, head to Bread & Cie in Hillcrest. It is a close enough to the 163 freeway so won't be a pain to head out to your destination from there.

                And Saturday night dinner, sans dogs, would be a good time to hit up Urban Solace.


                Urban Solace Restaurant
                3823 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104

                Parkhouse Eatery
                4574 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116

                Balboa Park
                1549 El Prado Ste 8, San Diego, CA 92101

                1. re: globocity

                  edit: I meant to write we've had our dogs attacked several times at OB dog beach.

                  I completely agree with Fake Name's assessment of Coronado: not chow worthy but has some adequate food options. Actually, Burger Lounge is one of my faves to hit up on the way back from the dog beach.

                  1. re: globocity

                    Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

                    So it turns out its harder to find a place (that takes reservations) with outdoor dining that can seat a party of nine WITH dogs and heaters than I thought. But we settled on Currant as they fit the bill in all aspects.

                    We're considering passing up the dog parks and were thinking of maybe just taking a walk around either Coronado or somewhere in the vicinity of Currant before our dinner. Any areas around that would be nice to walk around with the dogs before dinner?

                    We're going to do dinner at Blue Point on Saturday evening. Thoughts/recommendations of things to try/avoid?

                    Any suggestions for breakfast spots that are on the way/not too far out of the way to the Safari park that will seat a party of nine and not be swamped on a saturday morning??

                    1. re: kayeyeem

                      If I might make a small suggestion about Currant. They have a pretty great Happy Hour from 4-7 and 9-close daily. I am not 100% sure, but i think the Happy Hour menu is available on the patio - I would call ahead and check. Either way, I would also check them out on - they have multiple 50% off pricing options there.

              2. Loew's resort is one of the most dog friendly places around..good food too.

                I would hit up the Hotel Del up the road..your 90 year old Grandmother will love it and you can dine at 1500 Ocean for dinner, brunch a the Crown Room or just walk around and have drinks in the bar.

                Brigantine has everyday happy hour with great fish tacos..Miguels next door has a lovely patio and HH M-F 3-5pm...across from the Del.
                You can take the water taxi at the end of Ferry landing in Coronado and takes you to the way to see downtown and be on the water.

                You can have dinner at Jsix at the Hotel Solamar or Cowboy Star.
                Breakfast on the way up to Safari Park..Perry's in Old Town..truck stop food..
                Hacienda de Vega for lunch or dinner before or after the park..ride the zipline!

                SD is very dog friendly and lots of places let you sit with your dog outside patio..
                Have a great time and report back!


                got the water taxi, HdV and brig fish tacos..trifecta!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Grape St. Dog Park and dinner on the front patio of El Take It Easy? Or On the side patio of Urban Solace (call to check on this one).

                  Urban Solace Restaurant
                  3823 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104

                  El Take It Easy
                  3926 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

                2. You have some good suggestions for food- the only reason we don't go to Loews more often is the drive.

                  But I'd like to echo the advice you've been given about Coronado's Dog Beach. I'm there at least 5 days of the week (but WAY early) and it's a great place, especially when contrasted with OB. Awful place. And it has a hose with which one can wash off the dog(s)- very important.

                  Reliable and OK, but not Chow-worthy is Claytons for breakfast, but a large group might be a problem, unless you're there before 7.

                  Agree with il Fornaio- it's a chain, but I've enjoyed several meals there, including a breakfast.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Fake Name

                    Really, is Coronado that much better? Now that my pup no longer gets car sick (thank God), I can drive a bit farther.

                    1. re: jmtreg

                      At first I thought this was off-topic and subject to moderation, but, fer cryin out loud, we're talking about hounds, right?

                      From our house, we have access to OB, Fiesta and Coronado pretty equally. I never go to OB, a sometimes go to Fiesta if the kid has karate, but I go to Coronado almost daily.

                      I prefer non-crowded, easy sloping beachs with a nice view, and a hose to wash the sand off the terrier ad the end.

                      And the beach there is non-commodity, kelp fed.

                      1. re: Fake Name

                        Dog beaches really are getting too far afield for Chowhound -- we've left some posts that talk about food-related things and places that are welcoming to dogs, but we hope people will keep the focus on the chow rather than the hounds.