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Nov 30, 2011 01:18 PM

Foodie/budget friendly place for a group/birthday

Hi guys,

I'm trying to set up an informal birthday dinner for next Friday/Saturday and am looking for something that is delicious and foodie friendly, but is also budget friendly since most of the people going will care about the price. This will be for a relatively large group as well. We are hoping to go to a bar or lounge afterwards, so if there is a place that meet these criteria is are also close to SD nightlife (not necessarily downtown) that would be great!

Some ideas I've thought of so far are El take it easy, Linkery, Extraordinary Desserts...any other suggestions?

thanks so much!

3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

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    1. re: honkman

      I'm guessing it will be around $10-15 pp. A lot of these guys are starving grad students, so unfortunately they sometimes prefer quantity over quality, which is why finding a place that is a happy medium is a bit of a challenge

      1. re: a_vitamin

        For $10-15 it might be better to look for some ethnic food as it tends to be cheaper but still can be good quality - how about some place on Convoy or something like Golden City which has more interesting menu (less americanized) when you go before 9pm

        1. re: a_vitamin

          Definitely not El Take It Easy, Linkery, or Extraordinary Desserts. All out of your price range.

          While it's not high-end, Pizzeria Luigi is probably a good option. It's cheap and they have decent beers. Afterwards you can go to Turf Club, which is also pretty affordable.

          1. re: a_vitamin

            How about 7 courses of beef at pho pasteur in kearny mesa?

        2. How many people?

          We did one at Alchemy, the suckling pig dinner. Wound up being around $40/person for a lot of very delicious pork. Hamiltons is next door for post-dining beers.

          Starlite is also good, and the bar/lounge is built-in. They should be able to accommodate a large group on the patio.

          1. Regal Beagle, perhaps? Nice sausages on good rolls made to order, the usual fried bar food (wings etcetera) but done correctly (that is: to order, fresh oil, better than average quality), vegetarian options, and at least 25 craft beers on tap, in addition to great cans in the fridge. Pretty reasonable grad student friendly prices, great service, no stench of "bar rot," and big long tables for groups (if you get there on the earlier side). Not a major "foodie" destination, but I've never been unhappy there.

            Blind Lady Alehouse?
            Ritual Tavern?

            I'm thinking a gastropub rather than something that might be an ordeal (i.e. Ex Desserts- I can just see the waitress being overwhelmed already) would fill the order for you.


            4 Replies
            1. re: SaltyRaisins

              Yeah, I think you're right. A Gastropub would probably be something that everyone can agree on. The group size will probably be pretty big (20+), so standing / optional seating adds to the pros!

              Thanks guys for all of the great suggestions and ideas!

              1. re: SaltyRaisins

                Good call SR!!

                a_v, I also think your original instinct on El Take It EZ is pretty good. They can handle a crowd with indoor/outdoor options. Interesting drinks (Jay's really getting inbto mescal) and decent bar food.

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  "Jay's really getting into mescal"

                  Well, that seems like a personal choice.
                  As long as he's not driving.

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    ETIEZ would be ideal but for their budget restriction. It's hard to think of many good choices at $10-15/head.

                2. Here's what I'd do- get a folding banquet table (or a couple sawhorses and a door) and some folding chairs. I'd arrange to meet my friends in the parking lot of Gala Foods in South Park and order off the Mariscos truck there.

                  I'd probably bring a cooler of beer as well, and risk all kinds of legal hurdles.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Fake Name

                    I like this idea a lot. They'd probably be able to do ten courses (like "viand du porc sous grasse"- aka CARNITAS) and then you could do (portable) table side sundaes with a bucket of Dreyers or something, all for less than $15 a head.


                  2. I saw a coupon, for the Linkery, in the Up Town rag, buy one entree get one with the purchase of 2 bevs. Still not sure it'll fit your budget but, worth a look. Wine Vault may another reasonable option.