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SD Dish of the Month

  • c

So.... do we attempt to resurrect this dismal failure?

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  1. My viewpoint: I think it failed because some voted upon items were specific (chile relleno) rather than general (soup).

    Items that can be found in multiple ethnicities or preparations (strawberries can be found in salads, different desserts or a house made breakfast jam or sauce) would probably have more people able/willing to participate, as would items that could be varied in preparation and enjoyed by carnivores or vegetarians.
    In December, Honkman said an 'ingredient of the month' may work better and I agree.

    In summary: I think we need some sort of rules for the nomination process. After that, there should be no rules about posting on the decided upon item. (I recall that chile relleno burritos were 'not allowed', and we were to post only plated chile relleno)

    6 Replies
    1. re: Cathy

      I think that this is also a group that much prefers to talk than to act...and lest anyone wish to point it out, I am as guilty of this as every other poster.

      If you take a quick look through most of our threads, they aren't devoted to the food we've actually eaten at restaurants, and we rarely even post very much about the places or meals that we have eaten. We spend most of our time dissecting each others comments and aren't focusing on the food.

      For example...Fish Public, or Public Fish, or whatever the heck the name is of the new incarnation of the Ken Grill just opened. Anyone go? How was it? What's the menu like? Is it the same old, same old retreads? Are they focusing on local and/or sustainable fish and seafood choices? Between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean, we've got some interesting options and habitats, are they going down that road, or something different. I'd much rather see a discussion of that than rehashing yet again the merits (or lack thereof) of the Gaslamp or SD dining scene in general.

      I think Dish of the Month failed for lack of interest in actually *doing* anything about it other than talking. It's easy to sit at a computer screen and post comments all day, but it takes some energy, action and engagement to actually go and seek out the dish of the month.

      You've heard of arm chair quarterbacks? This topic had a lot of armchair diners but no players.

      1. re: DiningDiva


        I hate chili rellenos and made the effort to try some, photograph some and report back.

        Please edit and add < (except for Fake Name) > on all those attacks.

        I'm offended. Offended, I tell you!

        EDIT : < (except for Mr. Fake Name) >

        1. re: Fake Name

          Yes, you did make an effort. You were one of the few and that thought did cross my mind as I was typing my missive this morning. So consider it edited to say except for Mr. FN

          And for the record, I think I saw chile relleno was a bad idea too...but maybe that was after the fact.

          There are a TON (a ton I tell you) of lurkers out there that need to speak up and join in.

          1. re: DiningDiva

            I don't think Chile relleno was a bad idea at all..it was voted on and it got people like our beloved Fakey, to make a valiant effort to try them and confirm what he had known before this started..he still dislikes them but we applaud him for making the huge effort!

          2. re: Fake Name

            I did reviews on CR and soup, but I admit I completely failed on pie. (And I love pie).

            1. re: Dagney

              We all failed on pie. I love it too, in fact my prefered birthday cake is a lemon merigune pie :-)

              Frankly, I was surprised the both pie and Carne Asada Burrito didn't fly. I mean, come on, the CAB is a San Diego institution, people have cravings for them. But as the Dish of the Month is landed pretty flat :-(

        1. Sledge...did I miss your Chile relleno pics and reviews?

          Kettle meet Pot Stirrer

          1. Just to add my two cents:

            I was really impressed with the SD Dish of the Month, because it was the only one I didn't directly help start. It was completely started by members of the San Diego Chowhound community, and completely community managed. So, I definitely hope it can continue, because I think it's a great project to bring the community together.

            Ultimately though, I think DiningDiva makes a valid point about Dish of the Month really being about eating, not just talking.

            The fun in participating is that I'll have an assignment in my mind (it's Breakfast Sandwich this month in SF), so in the spirit of a Chowhound adventure, I go out of my way to try breakfast sandwiches, where otherwise I might not. It's like an excuse to try a new food, which is something I love doing anyway.

            You don't need many participants to make Dish of the Month work. It's essentially just a conglomeration of current reports on the same food. So, even a thread that includes current reports on 2 different udon places is a mini-DOTM, and a single user could put this together herself. But when you know there's someone else out there who is also sampling lots of udon, the project becomes more fun!

            Anyway, I'd love to see the SD Dish of the Month continue, but it will definitely require some serious eaters. If there's anything I can do to help, let me know, but I think the strong San Diego CH community will be able to keep things afloat if they want! It only takes a few hungry people.

            Dave MP

            1. Alright, I've read the chatter, so let's make this process simple. Step 1; A 'yes' or 'no' vote to try the SD Dish of the Month again. No other comments please.

              6 Replies
                        1. Here's a thought about encouraging actual food reports.

                          If you don't post a real-time, live account of the current DotM then you can't vote for next month's DotM (and if you did, it wouldn't count).

                          1. Here's another thought for encouraging food reports. Instead of Dish of the Month, how about Restaurant of the Month? As many as are able would go there sometime during the month and have a dish they haven't tried before, then describe the meal and other impressions. That would be a lot more interesting than Dish of the Month. To me, anyway.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: DoctorChow

                              I fear that might create problems with ballot stuffing (from, ahem, interested sources).

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                So the restaurant of the month would be chosen by a "senior" chowhound, like you, say, or The Honorable Fake Name. We'd vote on exactly who the person doing the choosing would be. There wouldn't be a nominating process for the restaurant of the month, in other words. We'd nominate who does the choosing. And that person could change every few months.

                                1. re: DoctorChow

                                  With all due respect, that would be an even worse idea.

                                  One of the great attributes, in my opinion, of Chowhound is the community-driven focus where everyone has an equal, and equally important, voice -- be it good, bad, or just outright irrelevant.

                                  To let even a select group, much less one 'Hound, dictate would strip the very essence of this site.

                                  No. Just no.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    It wouldn't be just one person. It'd be one person for a limited period of time. Everyone would get a chance to be the chooser. That person could even change from month to month.

                                    But ok, I hear you. It was just a thought.

                                    P.S. A long time ago I was in a wine tasting club. Each month, one of the people in the group had responsibility for choosing the theme, and for buying the wines within their theme. The person who was the "lead" rotated from month to month. It was great fun. That's where my idea was coming from, I guess.

                            2. Well, it looks like we have a good majority for YES! Thanks all.

                              Here's what I propose:

                              A Prototype Category for a test run.

                              Time Frame: For the remainder of June 2013.

                              Category: Donuts

                              Yes donuts, they can be of the yeast variety, light and pillowy clouds filled with delightful jams, creams or dipped in glazes, airy French Style, Dense Crisp Cake style, Mexican, Italian, Beingets.

                              Go yee to the far corners of all the SD counties, North, South, East, West. Find the ultimate specimen and enjoy those guiltless calories for the good of this noble cause. Report back gleefully with exuberance and satisfaction from the hunt. Tell us every fine detail and all those locations.

                              Now: Release the 'Hounds!

                              22 Replies
                                1. re: Fake Name

                                  What a beautiful thing! Thanks for participating Fakey. Where's BC?

                                  1. re: cstr

                                    I don't eat many donuts but I like donut holes and donuts that are filled with Bavarian creme..is there a certain name of donut that I ask for?
                                    Don't want to hold up the line...if you know what I'm saying.

                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                      Donut holes, those little nuggets of goodness, they'll work for you! A certain donut??? I can just see you pressing your nose again the glass case and pointing to that lil gem !

                                2. re: cstr

                                  Mmmm. Donuts....;))...perfect reason for Mary's run. In the name of science!

                                  1. re: Dagney

                                    Donuts - Law Enforcement.

                                    Magnet - Steel.

                                    Moth - Flame.

                                    White - Rice

                                    1. re: Fake Name

                                      Ha! Well almost. I have my squad hooked on Baklava right now, but we are a cerebral group. Always ready for a new intellectual challenge, like discussing the finer points of a fritter.

                                    2. re: Dagney

                                      That was my first thought too. They're w-a-y too close to home :-)

                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                        And what does Diva have on her donut mind?

                                        1. re: cstr

                                          An old time SD chain that Mr. FN, Phee and I are the only ones likely to remember. There is one left, and I intend to hit them up tomorrow morning for a heavenly donut, they are a food group you ;-)

                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                            There's still a Heavenly Donuts around? Who knew! And right by the infamous Brother's, no less.

                                            Not being a huge fan of donuts, it wouldn't be like I'd seek it out. Especially since Mary's is in my 'hood. :)

                                            Great. Now I want a donut!

                                      2. re: Dagney

                                        I'm off to Linda's on Grand in PB, a yeast risen with a double shot of bravarian cream (special request) and topped with chocolate icing. I mean if you're going to eat a donut, no holding back. Possibly another trip to Roses on Linda Vista for one of my fav's, plain cake donut with all those crispy craggy edges, no cinnamon sugar required, nirvana!

                                        1. re: cstr

                                          ' double shot of 'bravarian' cream...LOL

                                          1. re: cstr

                                            Linda's in PB - of course. This is my fourth. Got to get here early, though. I have plans - daughter will be in Sea World camp sometime in the next month. :)

                                            1. re: RB Hound

                                              Went to Linda's today. I remember reading that they get cleaned out early, and my experience at 8:45 was that indeed there was not much left. Nonetheless, they had my two standbyes (apple fritters and chocolate buttermilk donuts), so I was happy.

                                              I still have not made it to Santee to visit the famed Mary's, but so far Linda's is my new favorite. They weren't incredible, mind you, but I found that they had a lighter sweetness than other places I've visited, with the apple fritter actually tasting more applish than most varieties I've had in Sun Diego.

                                              1. re: RB Hound

                                                Yup, gota get there early to get the good stuff, no parking permit required!!! Never tried the choc buttermilk, it's now on my list.

                                        2. re: cstr

                                          Dangit, CSTR, I'm on a diet. Or at least trying to be. Now I'll feel obligated to compare apple fritters and chocolate buttermilk bars from my home shop (Golden Donut), Rose Donuts, and Mary's.

                                          1. re: RB Hound

                                            Hey RB, just forfeit two healthy items for a donut. In the name of research, of course!

                                            1. re: RB Hound

                                              RB...donuts ARE a food group. They fit into the fried dough category...with a side of sugar ;-)

                                              Come on, I'm bustin' the diet for a donut, you can do. Just call it market research and plan on an extra hour on the eliptical

                                              1. re: RB Hound

                                                BC is still crusin' for the best thing she's ever ate in SD

                                              2. re: cstr

                                                Well, frankly, I like Krispy Kreme. I don't eat doughnuts very often, but I used to buy whole boxes of these for the team at work when we had our weekly meetings. Hard to stop eating! I can hear the boos right now.

                                              3. OK, y'all. You can have your doughnuts, NP, but I'm going to go to the place that DD cited as an example of places that no one has reviewed yet: Tracy Burkum's morph of the former Kensington Cafe into Fish Public in Kensingon. It was even written up in the Daily Manchester today! That's my no-conflict-of-interst nomination for Restaurant of the Month. Happy to hear other's impressions. Might not get there 'til next week, but will let you know on a separate post. Still following your postings about doughnuts, meanwhile

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: DoctorChow

                                                  Good choice, looking forward to your first impressions.

                                                  1. re: DoctorChow

                                                    Com'on Doc, ease up and have a donut!

                                                  2. My grandfather had several indulgences...wrestling matches, stinky cigars and an undying love for food that tasted good but probably wasn't very good for you. I have very fond memories of him sneaking off to Jack-in-the-Box long before it was anything other than one of a small handful of drive-thru burger places in San Diego. I also have fond memories of sitting in the back seat of his green Crysler Imperial cruising down University Ave. hoping he'd make the turn at 54th and hit up the Heavenly Donut shop on the corner. Most of the time he did.

                                                    It was a time when calories and fat grams didn't count and donuts didn't come in awkward flavors or over stuffed centers. Heavenly Donuts were always, well, heavenly. Cake or raised it didn't matter, both were yeasty, airy, light and not unbearably sweet. This has, undoubtedly, led to my life long addiction to donuts and especially glazed donuts, as well as my contention that donuts are a food group.

                                                    Like many small local or regional chains during the 60s and 70s, Heavenly Donuts was eventually swallowed up by donut giant Winchell's. But...there is one Heavenly Donut left, located in the most unilkely of places...a 60 year old strip mall on Waring Rd. in Allied Gardens.

                                                    It's a tiny little place, a few tables in front, usually occupied by crusty old retired gentlement reading the papers, shooting the breeze and swapping tales with their buddies. The selection is small but good enough...they're not trying to be all things to all people. They're selling what their local market will buy. Lots of Glazed donuts, regular and chocolate, 2 flavors of old fashioned, twists, long johns (bar donuts), filled donuts, apple fritters, cinnamon buns, crullers, cake donuts in several flavors, donut holes, croissants and palmiers. Prices range from about $.55 to $1.00. The shop is run by two of the nicest Asian ladies.

                                                    This thread gave me the perfect excuse to stop by this morning and indulge. $5 got me 2 glazed donuts, a lemon filled donut, a maple old fashioned and a dozen mixed donut holes (glazed, powered, spice). Loved the glazed donuts, they're still feather light, lightly glazed and not grossly sweet. The lemon filled was also pretty good, marred only by the commerical lemon filling which was a little too sweet but not as bad as some I've had. The maple old fashioned missed the mark. Not sure if it was the malple glaze or what, but I thought the overall flavor profile was a bit lacking and underwhelming. The donut holes were a mixed bag. All 3 flavors were made from the raised donut dough. The glazed and spice were good, wasn't wild about the ones rolled in powdered sugar, there was a little bit of an off taste to the poweder sugar.

                                                    Heavenly Donuts isn't fancy or cutting edge, nor is it a destination donut shop, but for old-style, traditional donuts it is a good option. Heavenly Donuts is located at 5132 Waring Rd on the west side in the same strip mall as Brothers Restaurant (do NOT eat there under any circumstance) on the end near the 7-11 and gas station.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                      Lovely lovely lovely review!!!! I absolutely adore food/family stories.

                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                        I think there's a part of your grandfather in all of us and those days in our youth should be held close to the hearts. I guess you don't fool around when it comes to donuts, nice variety!

                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                          What a lovely story about your Grandfather...loved that he had a green Chrysler Imperial.
                                                          Donut toast to him!

                                                        2. How often do you all eat out? Including fast food and sit down restaurants, I eat out 2-4 times a month.

                                                          I think listing by ingredient may be useful. Or... Make the vote quarterly and have 2-3 threads on the dishes. Maybe one dish can be entree type, one a dessert type, and one a fast food type.

                                                          I expect that for money, time, and health... It could be hard for this smaller section of CH to be able to try that much of one food in 1 month.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: youareabunny

                                                            We should feel lucky to just keep this one thread alive. So far it appears the category strategy may work best.

                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  Hey ipse... I know you like Rose's, have you tried anything new of late?

                                                                      1. re: cstr

                                                                        Well, there were these garlic and chive donuts at Meatball Cucina. Sort of interesting in a "if you like garlic ice cream, you'll like these" way.

                                                                        And, let's be very very very clear. I am in NO WAY endorsing Meatball Cucina. No. Just No.

                                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                    Donut Bar and Azucar are doing their variation in SD

                                                                    1. re: honkman

                                                                      Oh, thanks for the Azucar tip on the cronut!

                                                                      1. re: foodiechick

                                                                        We were at Azucar yesterday. Just after they opened. they had just put out a fresh tray of Cro-nuts. Looked good, although we did not order them ( we have our "regular" favorites). I did overhear the cashier speaking to a couple people on the phone about how long during the day the cro-nuts would be available. I heard words like "first come first served" and "probably best to get here early."

                                                                      2. re: honkman

                                                                        Donut Bar needs to get down how to make donuts first before branching off to variations.

                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                          I haven't tried them but heard that they are cery successful, so why should they change anything especially if many people seem to think they do donuts perfectly

                                                                          1. re: honkman

                                                                            Some of the initial grand opening hub-bub has died down a bit.

                                                                            Lines certainly were not as long as they were 2-3 months ago, but then in all fairness I don't they could've sustained that kind of frenzy.

                                                                      3. re: Beach Chick


                                                                        So here you go..for delivery now. No word on the cost for cross country delivery, but I suspect that would be nothing more than chump change for you, no? ;-D

                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                          $100 for delivery for one cronut..
                                                                          I've got my Ipsy as my delivery girl..

                                                                          Chump change..I push old woman out of the way for a penny on the ground..remember, I am a Virgo..hee hee

                                                                      4. All right already, cstr. I caved. I went out and had a doughnut. Two, actually. I was tempted to go to Heavenly Doughnuts, based on DD’s epic review/novelette (and would have, too, if it had been Restaurant of the Month, cough, cough), but decided to try something a little closer, to reduce the gasoline-to-doughnut cost ratio. I decided to try Roses. For those who don’t know, it’s right at the corner of Linda Vista and Morena in a strip mall that has more shops than parking places. My criteria for a good doughnut shop was going to be that their plain cake doughnut should be delicious and they’d find a way to have fresh ones all day. I didn’t see but asked for a plain cake doughnut. They were out of them. No self-respecting doughnut shop should ever be out of plain cake doughnuts. So I had a chocolate-covered one. I think it was probably cooked around three hours earlier. Very pedestrian texture and flavor, and chewy on the bottom, with non-descript chocolate. I’d planned to have just one doughnut but figured I’d give it a second shot, so I got a dark cake doughnut that was covered with chocolate and coconut. Well, my mom always said that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all, so I’ll stop. The place may not be a franchise, but looks and feels like one. I know you like the place, cstr, and this isn’t meant to offend. Maybe their doughnuts are tastier early in the morning during a weekday? Anyway, I did my dish of the month duty, even though I’m not red hot on that concept. Hats off to you for coordinating this online CH activity, but I still think Restaurant of the Month would be better. Some of the very best dishes to be had are unique to the creativity of just one chef and no others.

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: DoctorChow

                                                                          I think there is also a Rose's Donuts in the same shopping center as Ks Sandwiches at Linda Vista & Mesa College Dr. Perhaps that is the one cstr frequents

                                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                            Yes, both Rose Donuts are on Linda Vista, pretty much the opposite ends of the road.

                                                                          2. re: DoctorChow

                                                                            Thanks for participating DC with this thread, you tasted and gave an opinion, what more could a CH'er ask. As with most donut places, I believe it's better to hit them up first thing in the morning for the best shot at a good product. Maybe you should champion a Restaurant of the Month thread.

                                                                            1. re: cstr

                                                                              Well, like you said earlier, "we should feel lucky to just keep this one thread alive". If it burns out again, then maybe we can talk about other options, including Restaurant of the Month or some other theme. Whatever it is, I don't want to do the coordinating. I'd rather have you do the coordinating, frankly, since you seem to have the enthusiasm and stamina to carry through with the necessary details.

                                                                          3. Went to the Yum Yum donuts on ECB near Parks. Had a maple old fashioned donut that appeared not to have been cooked all the way through as it was incredibly soft and almost liquid in the center. Very maple-y though.

                                                                            Also tried a pink frosted with sprinkles and it had a really strong yeast flavor to it. Not too pleasant. Oh well, it will just make the next Mary's run that much sweeter.

                                                                              1. Sunny's Donuts

                                                                                I bought a dozen for my squad last night, a mix of buttercream filled, chocolate buttercream filled, crullers, glazed crumble, and glazed twists. The hits were definitely the buttercream filled donuts. Small lovely rounds of deep fried flour is simply not enough....one apparently needs buttercream filling for a rich donut experience.

                                                                                Sunny's is open 24/7. (Bonus for us). The staff is friendly. I don't think they rise to the level of Mary's, but I would go back for the buttercream filled.

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Dagney

                                                                                  "I bought a dozen for my squad last night,"

                                                                                  I just don't know where to start...; )

                                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                    Ha! I know.... Though I have to give props to my squad. They are a pretty astute crowd in the food department. Donuts aside of course, lol.

                                                                                  2. re: Dagney

                                                                                    So you were in San Jose, or is that link above incorrect? :)

                                                                                    "Sunny Donuts" is a generic name for defunct Dunkin Donut stores. I'm not even sure they are related, other than having the same name. Which of the 4 in San Diego County was this? (I'm going to hazard a guess that it was the Kearney Mesa store)

                                                                                    1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                      Oh heck, I didn't realize the company was that big. I knew they had several locations here in San Diego. I obtained the link from the San Diego Sunny's. I went to the location on Clairemont Mesa Bl.

                                                                                    2. re: Dagney

                                                                                      How many in the squad?? Just want to do some quick math. Funny, I used to always get buttercream filled but, as I aged a bit my teeth hurt from the sweet!!

                                                                                      1. re: cstr

                                                                                        There are 8 of us. The treats did not last long.