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Great meal at Blind Burro

Sure, we all know I'm not the most sophisticated here. In fact, Im pretty easily pleased. But our dinner at Blind Burro was terrific tonight.

Happy hour oysters, buck a piece.
Caesar Salad, prepped tableside by the Chef. Ingredients matched our experience at Caesar's in TJ- very, very good.

Interesting duck two-ways entree- a pan-seared breast with a mole and shredded on a sope with some arugula, radishes, etc.

The churros were excellent, and Mr12 gave top marks to the house-made horchata.

Good margaritas, too.

I'll go again in a heartbeat.

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    1. I ate there earlier this week...had shrimp achiote tacos that were quite good. Margaritas not bad either.

      1. Love mole, so will add Blind Burro to my list of places to try during my "getaway" at the Grant.

        1. For anyone interested, they have a lobster fiesta for 45/person.

          1. Went to the Blind Burro last night, and it was fantastic. We had the battered dorado tacos, the kalbi ribs, and the corn side dish (kind of an off-the-cob elote), as well as a sangria and horchata to drink. All excellent, the only sort-of-miss was the somewhat bland potato salad which came with the kalbi. Overall, I highly recommend the place.

            4 Replies
            1. re: mayache

              Trying it this week...what is the parking situation like?

              1. re: foodiechick

                Parkit on Market is your best (and cheapest) bet, unless you luck out and get something ont he street at a meter.

                I'd also check the game schedule. I understand they play something called "bass ball".

                1. re: Fake Name

                  What is this bass ball you speak of? ;D

                  Thanks for the parking tip.

                2. re: foodiechick

                  There is also a parking lot at 2nd Avenue and J Street. The kiosks are located on the south corners.

              2. Unfortunately we were unable to experience the Caesar's worthy salad. Server told us it was a special for only 3 days a couple of weeks ago and they don't plan to bring it back. She was nonplussed when we told her that it should be a permanent menu item in any upscale Mexican restaurant (especially when our friend Fake Name raves about it). ;(

                $5 margaritas on Tuesdays, good Cochinita Pibil and BBQ yellowtail collar, poblano rice and "corn off the cob" with Tapatio, crema, lime and cotijo queso.

                Bit too bass, thumpy music for my taste, but we did get to see an elaborate staging for a comic-con party for The Godzilla Encounter across the street - complete with white helmeted storm trooper style guards and a multi-vehicle, "marked" black Escalade convoy of VIPs.

                23 Replies
                1. re: foodiechick

                  Well, ratzelfratz! The Ceasar's salad was one of the things I was looking forward to ordering there. Why the heck wouldn't they even *plan* to bring it back, I wonder?? Because people don't think of it as being "Mexican" enough maybe? In which case, regardless of the rest, it's a disappointment. Grrrrr... I guess FN got lucky. BTW, I think you probably were one of the last people to safely venture downtown before this weekend's madness!

                  1. re: DoctorChow

                    Mexicanidad probably has nothing to do with whether or not a caesar salad is or is not on the menu. I suspect it has more to do with the fact that every restaurant in SD serves some iteration of a Caesar salad. . . Good, bad or indifferent. It tends to be a labor intensive salad if being done traditionally tableside. It's over exposed and not always done well. Perhaps BB just wants to be different.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      Absolutely agree about being able to find Ceaser's salads pretty much all over the place and that many are not really very well done. But that's exactly why I was looking forward to this one, because it sounded from FN's comments that it was exceptionally well done, a rare find. As to the business aspect, the cost of traditional prep at the table should have been included in the price, I'd think.

                      1. re: DoctorChow

                        Not necessarily more costly. It's the time a wait person needs to do a tableside prep & presentation. . .Time away from their other tables. And then there is the whole training issue and lack of consistency waiter to waiter to waiter.

                        1. re: DiningDiva

                          Points taken and understood. Especially the last one. Still a shame though, I think, to have abandoned a great thing so soon. Their Ceaser's may well have set them apart from the rest of the pack, if they could have found ways to overcome these logistical issues.

                          1. re: DoctorChow

                            Okay, so this is probably a rhetorical question, but...

                            Why does everyone think a Caesar salad is a "great" salad.

                            It's a pile of romaine lettuce, or occasionally leaves, some parmesan cheese and a stale baguette that's been turned into a crouton so the kitchen won't waste it. It's not a particularly creative or even very interesting salad. It's safe, it's boring and it's pretty underwhelming

                            The skill in the salad is in the dressing and the State of CA won't allow making a proper one because you can't legally serve a 1-min coddled egg, and then there is the whole anchovy/no anchovy thing; and most restos tend to overdress the salad. The VAST majority of Caesars served locally use commercial Caesar dressings that are purchased from Sysco, US Foods, Smart & Final, Restaurant Depot or Costco. I have yet to have a good commercial Caesar.

                            Caesar Salad is the short-rib version of Salad, over exposed, over done and not usually done well.

                            I have had Caesar Salad done well only twice in the last 10 years, at the pop-up Javier Plascencia did at El Take it EZ last year and at the San Angel Inn in Coyoacan, Mexico City. Both were beautifully done tableside...crisp romaine leaves that were lightly dressed with a perfectly balanced dressing and topped with just enough parmesan and crisp crouton.

                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              Ceaser salad may not be the King of all Salads, but its a really good one when everything is fresh and well-balanced and well-executed. Which is hard to find around here. I think the original point was that Blind Burro, at least at first, was making very good ones.

                          2. re: DiningDiva

                            DD, when I said that Blind Burro abandoned a "great" thing, I didn't mean to imply that I think Caeaser's salads per se are the pinnacle of all salad-dom (although I really like a good one), but rather that Blind Burro had a great thing going in that they were serving what is apparently one of the best Ceaser's salads to be found in SD right now. You may have misinterpreted the sense in which I was using the word "great", in other words.

                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              Well I was especially intrigued by the Blind Burro version because of FN's kudos and I know from a FB pic that it was prepared tableside by the Chef.

                              I would not mind paying extra for that attention to detail!

                          3. re: DiningDiva

                            Agree about table side creations, very time consuming often requiring special equipment.

                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              Agreed, and that was why I was so enthusiastic about the BB version. Not only was it done perfectly (for my taste) but the execution gave me a little bit of hope about hospitality.

                              I was gratified to see a restaurant that understood the connection between host and guest is an important one. Not a tableside visit from a busy chef that will never remember you, and came over only because it's something they're "supposed to do now", but because (it appeared) they actually cared about the guest's experience, they wished to share their care and dedication to the ingredients and the process.

                              And it was damn tasty.

                              I'm easily bored with tiresome dishes- I'm already burned out on 'burgers this month- and I boycotted short ribs for an entire year to strike a blow for culinary variety. MrsName rolls her eyes (again) when we look at menus- ("oh, that's right <sigh> we can't share the xxx because it's on "the list'") and to be able to break through that clutter with such an outstanding dish- well, I feel terrible that Mr/MsFoodiechick were unable to experience it. Terrible, I tell you.

                              And in the future it might seem that I lord the experience over them when I recall it time after time to remind them of what they missed there. But it's only me expressing my sorrow that we could not share the experience.

                              EDIT: MrFoodiechick = Foodiedoode?

                              1. re: Fake Name

                                To quote the words that a famous writer recently penned on this very forum: "meanie-head".

                            2. re: DoctorChow

                              We were really looking forward to the salad as well, but in all fairness knew that it was not "on the menu" before we ventured to the parts less visited (known as the Gaslamp).

                              My husband tried rationalizing, cajoling and polite begging, but his mature raconteur charms were lost on our 22-ish, pigtailed server.

                              1. re: DoctorChow

                                I had the same thought. Caesar is on almost every menu in this town and they just may not have wanted it to be looked at as an also ran item, despite talent in the execution.

                                I was disappointed because I have yet to find a really "good" Caesar in SD. The closest to excellent was at Romesco's but our servers have been a little heavy handed on the Worcestershire despite our voiced preferences.

                                1. re: foodiechick

                                  The Caesar I had 2 weeks ago at the Hotel Caesar wadn't the best either. Too much anchovy, salad had a distinct fishy undertone to it. The flavor was not properly balanced. It's a hard salad to do well

                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                    Best I ever had was at Mr. A's (believe it or not) many eons ago. The server was very obviously skilled, and with graceful professionalism produced a memorable marvel in the bowl. Sorry to hear that even at ground zero there are sometimes imperfections in their own creation. (I haven't been there in many years.)

                                    1. re: DoctorChow

                                      I've had the Hotel Caesar before and it's usually pretty good. I, too, was surprised at the misstep

                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                        The best Caesar I have ever had was at the Golden Steer in Las Vegas, done tableside.

                                        In San Diego, I have been known to eat platefuls of Souplantation's Caesar, which is made with their own dressing.

                                        1. re: Dagney

                                          You don't know how sorry you are that you missed Blind Burro's.

                                          Your friend in Chow,


                                        2. re: DiningDiva

                                          Can be a little fishy but is still quite good at Hotel Caesar.....in San Diego, Romesco's does an excellent job (I usually get mine with chicken added) and PrepKitchen does a very good job as well.....I almost ALWAYS get a lousy caesar salad at any Italian restaurant I go to and it's funny that most people I know think the salad was invented in Italy, which it was not.......I should also add I had a very tastey Caesar salad the other week at 3rd Corner in Encintas--the shaved cheese they used made a huge difference.

                                      2. re: DiningDiva

                                        Back in the day, the table side Caesar at the Hotel, was sublime.

                                        I love a table side presentation and the Marine Room used to do a pretty good rendition with the anchovies, that are a must.

                                        In Cabo, Romeo y Julieta's makes one of the best that has yet to be topped.

                                        I think Blind Burro needs to bring back the Caesar!

                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                          The caesar I had at the Hotel Caesar was done tableside, but you know how they usually have one of the "old" waiters do it. Mine was made by one of the young guns - with great flourish, I might add - but he was definitely shooting blanks on the salad he made for me. One of the old school guys needs to do a little reschooling with him.

                                  2. re: foodiechick

                                    How was the yellowtail collar? Was it in a marinade before BBQ'ing?

                                  3. During our downtown getaway at the Grant, we stopped here for a beer and then decided to order the "fruit and veggie cup" as an app. Wonderfully fresh long fat strips of mango, cucumber and jicama coated with a sprinkling of Tajin. Came with a jar of Tajin so we could add more (which we did). Delicious with the moderately hoppy beer on a hot day, and reminded me of the ice-cream-cone shaped fruit/vegetable cups you get from park vendors in Mexico City. A worthy snack and only five bucks.

                                    1. Sorry for resurrecting this zombie-thread-from-the-dead, but gave BB another shot last weekend for lunch before the party that was the Paul McCartney concert. Mixed results.

                                      The muddled jalapeno margaritas were excellent, gonna start adding that spicy twist to the home version. Shared the Cobia Crudo which was fresh and lovely.

                                      It went downhill from there. Both versions of street tacos that we ordered were pretty awful. The Achiote shrimp tacos were bland, tough and too chewy. The beer battered Dorado tacos were fried until they were hard, tasteless rocks (sad, given they source their fish from Catalina). The Dorado came with a topping of Tuscan Kale slaw that added insult to injury, I felt like I needed to see the dentist after the chewy, teeth gnashing experience.

                                      Oh yeah, and still no Caesar salad.

                                      Not trying to yuck anyone's yum, but we won't be going back.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: foodiechick

                                        Well, shoot. People are constantly asking my advice on where to eat in the Gaslamp, and it's very frustrating that in general, I can't say, "Oh the food at such and such place is excellent!"

                                        Blind Burro is one of the few places I'll recommend, just based on the love they receive here. I hope your meal is not the sign of a downward spiral. Chopahn is gone now, so I'm down to Fogo De Chao, and Cafe Chloe if they want to leave the Gaslamp. sigh...

                                        1. re: Dagney

                                          I have never enjoyed Blind Burro as a restaurant. Period.

                                          As a restaurant *in* the Gaslamp, it's actually pretty good. Sort of.