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Recipes, restaurants, and cooking
  • A Brazilian Brunch at Fogo De Chao

    Most of us have at one point or another enjoyed a Brazilian steakhouse. Typically it's an expensive experience reserved for those celebratory dinners for holidays, birthdays, promotions etc. Recently though, Fogo de Chao has launched two new twists on this including their amazing brunch and also a "gaucho lunch". As a man who loves my meat I couldn't pass up the opportunity when they invited me to check out their new Brazilian Brunch!

  • Why Does Lobster Mean Fancy And How Did It Get That Way?

    There's something magical about lobster, just the mention if it brings visions of wealth, status, and a lifestyle of luxury. As someone who once lived in a lobster town in Massachusetts, lobster was always an affordable luxury - similar in cost to a great pork chop or a nice steak. Even though the cost was equivalent, the mention of lobster meant we were having a special dinner. Years later and on a different coast, that's pretty much how I feel each time I walk into Red Lobster today too.

  • I Just Sipped Two Thousand Dollars of Scotch at The Whiskey House

    Everyone should have a neighborhood bar. It's one of those places that can be a home away from home where the bartenders welcome you warmly when you enter the door and you feel comfortable before you even have a chance to order a drink. That's what San Diego's The Whiskey House is to me, so when I got the opportunity to join them for a Glenfiddich tasting a few weeks ago I jumped at the opportunity. Then I discovered that they were opening a $4,000 bottle of Glenfiddich 40 year and I cleared my schedule for the rest of the evening!

  • Rivea At Delano - Dining at the Top of the World in Vegas

    One of the things I love about Vegas is all the amazing restaurants. It seems there is a never ending supply of creativity that is both pushing the culinary as well as architectural arts. What I didn't expect was to find an astonishingly awesome dinner at the top of Delano on the far south end of the strip. That's where Rivea sits and offers diners an unparalleled view of the entire strip. They say retail is location, location, location and this is absolutely true for Rivea. Luckily for us, the service and food was equally fantastic - making for one of the best dinners I've experienced in a long while.

  • Golden Steer Steakhouse Las Vegas

    Old Vegas may have slipped behind the curtain over the past decade to make way for hipsters and people looking for upscale luxury experiences but below the surface there are still a few Vegas treasures that will transport you back to the golden age of Vegas when being a "celebrity" meant something more than just how many Instagram followers you have. 

  • Hangry in Sin City: Where to Eat Well in Las Vegas

    Las Vegas has some of the best food in the entire country and whether or not you are here for a convention, a bachelor party, or simply just to partake in the thrills of "Sin City", you are sure to work up a heck of an appetite. Don't let your hunger ruin the moment though! Fortunately, Las Vegas is filled to bursting with excellent eateries ready to satisfy whatever urges you might have.

  • Seafood & History at the Bluewater Boathouse Coronado

    Visitors to Coronado Island are typically familiar with the famous Hotel Del - afterall, it's one of the earliest buildings in the area and set the tone for the next 100+ years as a mecca for beachgoers. What I learned this week, was that just across the road is an even older building that was built a year earlier in 1887. Originally serving as the boathouse for the resort, it now houses a fantastic seafood restaurant that is part of the Bluewater Grill group.

  • Flagship Sunday Brunch Cruise on San Diego Bay

    Let's just start out by saying that Heather and I had a fantastic time. This brunch cruise was an experience that really is hard to compare since it was three distinct things wrapped up into one happy package. For instance, raise your hand if you've ever done a booze cruise with someone you love? Keep your hand up if you've done a harbor cruise that involved a meal... Ok, now keep you hands up if that food has been great, the service excellent, and the experience was one that you can't wait to do again.  Yeah, not a lot of hands are up still, but that's ok! 

    You probably haven't had the opportunity to sail with Flagship Cruises out of San Diego before. 

    The company offers several different cruises ranging from whale watching excursions to sunday brunch, and even a jet boat. However, despite this diversity of types of cruises offered and my initial scepticism that they might be a jack of all trades and master of none, I can heartily recommend it and I will almost certainly go again. Heck, I'd even recommend their other experiences based on this one!

  • Osetra Fish House - San Diego Wine Angels, Raw Bar, and Fresh Seafood

    There's no shortage of restaurants in San Diego's Gaslamp quarter, but one category that seems weak (compared to steaks, Italian, etc.) is seafood. Osetra is one of the few in this crowded area, so when I got invited to check it out I was extremely excited for the opportunity. After all, we had already visited it's sister properties Greystone Steakhouse and Osteria Panevino and had fantastic experiences at both of them.

    Osetra is owned by the same group as those others, but it is distinctly modern and almost chic compared to the other two, with features like a wine angel who "flies" up and down the two-story wine rack to pick out your selection, an extensive raw bar, and even sushi. 

  • Celebrate Mardi Gras Any Time of the Year at Bud's Louisiana Cafe

    Heather and I LOVE Mardi Gras - well, actually we just love New Orleans and the spirit of Mardi Gras goes along with that. There is something liberating and fun about a time of year when you can just let loose and celebrate all the good things in life including friends, family, food, and of course drink! 

    Unfortunately, not everyone can make a trip to New Orleans in person, so the next best thing is to find a great Cajun or New Orleans restaurant near you and celebrate that way. In our case, this meant seeking out Bud's Louisiana Cafe in San Diego. I was a little concerned when I discovered it was located in an industrial park in a suite that would normally have held a logistics office or moving company, but as I've learned about great food down south - never judge something by the exterior appearance.

    That was true here as well and I am thrilled that we spent our evening here enjoying authentic New Orleans food and of course Abita beer!

  • A Taste of the Future at Rubio's Coastal Grill

    When I first arrived in San Diego 18 months ago I discovered there was no shortage of "Mexican" restaurants and honestly even though people loved Rubios it was by far my favorite because it simply sat in that awkward position between "authentic" and "corporate". For instance - Chipotle and Qdoba are both completely corporate but they are also good but not "awesome"... and on the other hand there are hundreds of 'Bertos as well as other hole in the wall places that do absolutely amazing tacos.

    As such, Rubios for me was a place that I ordered catering from because they did a great job at that - but if I wanted a fish taco or burrito I had my favorites for that. It's difficult for them to compete in that market.

    Earlier this week though, I got invited to one of their updated restaurants in Carlsbad, CA where we got a taste for the "new Rubios" - Rubios Coastal Grill. With this new positioning (which frankly isn't a dramatic change from what they have always tried to do), I feel that it sets them into a new market position with unlimited potential.

  • A Taste of Tuscany at Osteria Panevino in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter

    Osteria Panevino is set in the heart of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter and while there is no shortage of restaurants here, it's always fun to find ones I haven't been to before.

    The restaurant is designed to evoke the best of an authentic Tuscan osteria complete with brick walls and chalk boards on the walls with specials, a great wine list ranging from $25 to $900, sidewalk seating and of course bread as well as a full menu featuring homemade pasta, steaks, seafood, and of course gourmet Italian desserts. 

  • A Celebration of Great Food at Viva Bar + Kitchen San Diego

    Sometimes in life you discover great new things completely by accident. That's how we found Viva Bar + Kitchen actually... we had gone to have dinner at a different place that sadly we left feeling we needed to go somewhere else to eliminate the "bad feeling" left in our belly. When we walked by Viva, the super friendly hostess on the sidewalk told us it was "taco Tuesday" and so we figured, "what the heck" and walked in to check it out.

    That taco and that experience was good enough that before the end of our snack that we had already booked our New Year's Eve dinner here the next day.

  • I May Have Found World's Best Bacon Cheeseburger at Hodad's Ocean Beach San Diego

    Since 1969, when Byron and Virginia Hardin opened their first location in Ocean Beach, Hodad's has been a legendary burger joint in San Diego. With an atmosphere that borders on kitschy tourist trap but somehow manages to stay authentic, this is a must-visit location for anyone visiting the city. However, what makes it even more awesome is that it is more than just a "cool place" to grab a bite, it is serving up some of the most amazing burgers in the whole world. 

    For those of you who have never been to Ocean Beach, it is a beach town located just north of the city and is full of hippies / surfer culture, so it is also great for people watching.

  • El Agave Tequila Tasting and Dinner in San Diego's Old Town

    San Diego has tons of craft beer bars and great wine is in no shortage either but the craft spirits industry is also growing rapidly here as well. One of the shining stars there is El Agave Artesanal tequila and so I was thrilled that the folks at El Agave Restaurant invited us back to try some additional menu items as well as a tequila tasting led by one of their experts.

  • Tasting our Way Through Florence at Acqua Al 2 San Diego

    The Gaslamp District is the destination to go for nightlife in San Diego. It's the place to be seen and it's no surprise that it is home to some of the most popular restaurants in the city. Last night I had the pleasure of dining at Acqua Al 2 for an opportunity to taste my way through it's delicious cuisine direct from Florence Italy.

    Many Italian restaurants trace their inspiration back to Italian roots and Acqua Al 2 is no different - except that they actually have a location in Florence itself. Many years ago, owner and Executive Chef, Martin Gonzalez went to Italy to learn Italian and better understand the customs and way of life. To do so, he enrolled in cooking classes at the prestigious Instituto Culinario Apicius where he was award the title of "Best Student". 

  • Josefas Cocina Mexicana Restaurant Review

    Josefas Cocina Mexicana is a brand new addition to La Jolla from the same folks that brought us Iberico. As part of it's opening, I was invited to stop by for a lunch to check it out and share my thoughts.

    For the past year, I have been moaning that the San Diego restaurant scene sucks - and so a few PR teams ganged up on me to convince me that I just had bad luck in picking places. While I still stand beside my earlier comments, I am starting to discover that while San Diego doesn't celebrate - or demand - a certain high level of sophistication from its restaurants compared to the prices charged,... there are some fantastic gems. 

  • A Taste of Freedom! Hard Rock Cafe San Diego Freedom Burger

    I love big over the top burgers, rock and roll, craft beer, and honoring those who serve to keep our country the best in the entire world! When a place manages to combine all of those into one tasty (if not extremely messy!) package I love to share the news of it with you guys.

  • Islands Happy Hour - Burgers, Tiki Drinks, Wings, & Football!

    The folks at Islands Restaurants invited me out for a happy hour last night to watch the Chiefs and Patriots game... no, I wasn't up north... I was in warm sunny San Diego and we do football happy hours different down here.

    For those of you outside of Southwest US (California, Nevada, Arizona), Islands is a casual American style restaurant / sports pub similar to Fridays or Applebees but with an awesome Hawaiian theme, great burgers, tiki cocktails, and frankly super gracious staff.

  • El Agave San Diego Restaurant Review

    El Agave - it's the plant that when processed makes such delicious products such as agave syrup and tequila. In this case though, it is the name of one of San Diego's finest Mexican restaurants. For those of you who think "Mexican" is just tacos and burritos you are missing out on the fact that Mexico cuisines is as diverse as any other with influences from Europe as well as indigenous cooking techniques and plants.

    I have seen El Agave several times as it is located above one of my favorite liquor stores in Old Town San Diego. However I didn't know much about it until the PR folks contacted me recently and invited Heather and I to check it out.

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