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Posts Tagged ‘san diego’

  1. Gualbertos: I’ve Lost That Loving Feeling

    April 8, 2011 by Jill

    Reviewed by Jill Harness on April 8, 2011

    Before I started working from home last year, I worked in Kearney Mesa. One of my favorite neighborhood spots for lunch was Gualbertos #4 in Kearny Mesa, which, aside from having a terrible name was a seriously wonderful taco shop.

    I recently swung by there twice last month and was disheartened to discover the shop has lost its value and quality. On the first trip, I got one of my favorite dishes at the place, the Hawaiian burrito (something you cannot get anywhere else). It’s a carne asada burrito paired with pineapple and ham slices. If you like Hawaiian pizza, you’ll probably like this, if not, you’ll probably be disgusted by its mere existence. My BF got a carne asada torta, which ended up being soggy and not particularly flavorful.

    While my beloved Hawaiian burrito was as delicious as I remembered it, my stomach started killing me about a half hour after I ate it. Since my boy friend’s stomach was fine and I always seemed to have stomach issues, I chalked it off to my normal belly problems.

    The next week though, we tried Gualbertos again, and I found out that it was most certainly fallen from glory. When I used to work there, you could get a massive pile of nachos, loaded with sour cream, meat, guacamole, etc. My boyfriend and I both ordered nachos this time -his with pollo asada -which had so little flavor it was essentially just regular grilled chicken meat, and mine with carnitas.

    The restaurant now filled up only the front half of the container with chips, cheese and meat and reserved the back for beans, guacamole, salsa and sour cream. Although the price was the same as it was a year ago, we essentially got about half of the quantity. Even worse, the bland chicken must not have been good because while my stomach didn’t hurt after eating the carnitas, my boyfriend’s iron-cast stomach was essentially slaughtered for the rest of the night.


    After two bouts of stomach troubles, seriously decreased portions and a few mediocre meals, I’ve called it quits with Gualbertos. In fact, the restaurant has dropped their rating from a 5 out of 5, to a 2 out of 5.

    Image by Yelp user Jason B.

  2. Pat & Oscar’s Carmel Mountain Ranch: Tasty, Tasty Value

    March 30, 2011 by Jill

    Reviewed by Jill Harness on March 29, 2011

    Whether feeding a family or grabbing a quick lunch by yourself, Pat & Oscar’s is always a great value for the price, but the one in Carmel Mountain Ranch puts the other locations to shame. Their breadsticks taste fresher and are covered in even more buttery garlic than those at other places and their lemon chicken tastes even fresher and more flavorful.

    The prices (while the same at all locations) are unbeatable as well. For only $6.50 you can get a quarter of a chicken, fries, salad and breadsticks. I personally prefer the lemon chicken and Greek salad (with their delicious house dressing), but the barbecue chicken and Caesar salad are also tasty. For $3 more, you can also have meaty, juicy ribs with the meal. Or, step up to the family meals and enjoy half a chicken, a massive bowl of pasta, eight breadsticks and a large salad for only $19.


    Whatever you get, you’re certain to enjoy amazing food for an unbeatable price.
    I would certainly give Pat & Oscars a 5 out of five.

  3. Sunny Donuts: A Wonderful Chain Experience

    December 10, 2010 by Jill

    Reviewed by Jill Harness on December 10, 2010 .

    I’ve been a fan of Sunny Donuts in La Mesa ever since I had them the first time back in 1998. With delightfully different flavors like French apple, blueberry, coconut cream and chocolate frosting filled, the company has always managed to stand out from other donut shops and the flavor of the donuts is always great. They’re also relatively cheap, going at around $7.50 for a dozen.

    With their tiny location off of Spring Street, I always assumed they were family owned, but I was surprised to learn the company is actually a rather large California chain that was created when a number of Dunkin Donuts franchisees decided to work together on their own chain.

    If you find yourself in the vicinity of a Sunny Donuts while traveling through the Golden State, stop by and try one of their delicious treats.

    Sunny donuts is entirely deserving of a 5 out of 5.

    Image by Yelp user Grey D.

  4. China Diamond: The Jewel of El Cajon

    October 7, 2010 by Jill

    With some of the most flavorful Chinese food in all of East County, China Diamond is an amazing value. While all of the dishes are cheap and delicious, the buffet is the best way to go, offering tons of choices for under $8 during lunch and under $10 for dinner.

    The orange chicken is rich. The egg drop soup is perfectly balanced. Don’t miss the shrimp dish, although it changes every time, it’s always heavenly. When it comes to sweets, the sesame buns and donuts are always crispy and replaced frequently, so they are always toasty.

    The servers are friendly and incredibly attentive, refilling your water and other drinks long before you even think to ask for them.

    All in all, it’s a great place for an unbeatable price. Try it out.

    1265 Avocado Ave # 108
    El Cajon, CA 92020-7783
    (619) 588-9898

    Image courtesy of Yelp user Mustafa J.

  5. Sun Tacos: Changed Name=Changed Quality

    March 7, 2010 by ruetheday

    If you live in La Mesa, you may very well have enjoyed the little taco shop on Baltimore that was once known as Buenos Dias. Unfortunately, although the shop is still owned by the same people, the name change to Sun Tacos, which does not sound nearly as delightful to the ear, reflects a drop in both value and price.

    While the menu options are the exact same, even the trademark Buenos Dias burrito with potatoes, beans and eggs, the prices have risen as much as a dollar per item. You can even see the old prices shining through the menu board, mocking you for having spent more than you really should have.

    For me though, the real disappointment was the food. While the restaurant was once one of the rare taco shops that wasn’t too greasy and cooked everything to perfection, the food has taken a nosedive. The carne asada was chewy; the beans, flavorless and greasy; the tortillas, stale; and, worst of all the potatoes in my once-beloved Buenos Dias burrito were crunchy and undercooked.

    If you had once enjoyed the restaurant, it’s best to leave your memories the way they were and simply avoid the location at all costs.

  6. The Delectable Dive Bar of Delis

    September 10, 2009 by ruetheday

    The Lunch Bag Deli is exactly what a tiny local deli should be: cheap, uncrowded and delicious. It also has all the best characteristics of a good dive bar: full of empty space, yet decorated in a themeless mess of collectibles. Your sandwich maker could just as easily be pouring you a Jack and Coke as he could be loading up your pastrami on rye and his short bursts of conversation wouldn’t change either way. There’s an unused fan in the corner that is so dirty it would choke the whole establishment with dust if someone ever had the nerve to turn it on. On top of one of the refrigerators sits a dusty, antique display collection of fine oils and vinegars that will never touch one of the sandwiches on the menu. If a yuppie mother came in here, you could be certain she would be constantly hounding her children not to touch anything.

    Fortunately for you, the fan’s not on, the oils and vinegars remain capped and you are not the child of a yuppie. Enjoy a meatball sub, a turkey cappicola, a tuna melt or an Italian sub, whatever you get, you’re sure to enjoy the fresh meat that’s piled high atop a delightfully soft roll. Best of all, the subs here are dirt cheap. Get stuffed to the gills on less than $5 and you’ll be thrilled to start filling your lunch bag exclusively with Lunch Bag Deli subs.

    For more info: Just stop by 4085 Pacific Hwy., San Diego, CA 92110, or call (619) 295-3484

  7. Free Birthday Meals In San Diego

    June 14, 2009 by ruetheday

    2552746558_939642c44fLet’s face it, your family doesn’t want to spend all kinds of money taking you out to dinner on your birthday. They want to go somewhere and eat some good food and they already bought you presents, but why make them pay an additional $10-$20? And after the family and friends dinners, wouldn’t you be happy to have a few free meals to go? Here’s a few places in San Diego that offer free food for birthday diners:

    The day of:

    -Onami: This is a great, all you can eat sushi and Japanese food restaurant, meaning it is a little pricey usually. On the bright side, if you eat there on your actual birthday, you get a coupon to come back again for free.

    -Ihop: While participation varies by location, many Ihop’s will give you a free meal just for coming in on your birthday. Call ahead for details.

    -Disneyland: So it’s not in San Diego and it’s not a restaurant, but you can save yourself a $70 admission fee for visiting on your birthday. It’s a great deal that can leave you with fantastic memories. Also note, the registration is not mandatory, it merely makes admission faster.

    On a set day of the month:

    -The Boathouse: This upscale restaurant selects one day of the month to offer a free prime rib meal with the purchase of another meal for all people born on a particular month.

    Emails for near-birthday coupons:

    -Rubios: When you sign up for their Beach Club, you get a free taco automatically. When your birthday rolls around, they give you a free meal worth up to $7. No other purchase is necessary.

    -Mimi’s Cafe: Sign up for Mimi’s eclub and you’ll receive a coupon for a free breakfast worth up to $10. For your birthday, they’ll send you a coupon for $10 off you next meal over $20.

    -Black Angus: If you want a steak for your birthday, sign up for their Prime Club and receive a buy one get one free meal coupon for your birthday.  Your meal can be worth up to $19.99.

    -Red Robin: Get a free birthday burger when you register at their website…best of all, there’s no other purchase necessary.

    -HomeTown Buffet: When you sign up here, you can get one free buffet dinner when you purchase another buffet dinner. You’ll recieve another coupon like this for your birthday.

    -Coldstone: Get a free like-it size ice cream for your birthday when you register at their site.

    Know any other freebies? Let me know in the comments!

    Photo Via Aloha Orangeneko [Flickr]

  8. Free Trip to the San Diego Zoo Tomorrow

    October 5, 2008 by ruetheday

    Admission for the San Diego Zoo is waived on October 6, for Founder’s Day. If you’re anywhere around the area, I recommend stopping by. It really is an amazing place.

  9. Janet’s Cafe: The Best Breakfast in San Diego

    July 10, 2008 by ruetheday

    Janet’s Café is one of the best breakfast spots in all of San Diego. The catch: their three locations are all in the East part of the county that few tourists, even few locals, bother to visit. For food this great, and at these portions, it’s worth driving a little out of your way to try some. Best of all, you can incorporate your stop into part of your trip out to beautiful Julian.

    I believe that for portions, specials and atmosphere, the best of the three Janet’s Café’s is the one located in Alpine. Conveniently, it’s also right on the way to the far East of San Diego County, so you’ll pass it on your way to Julian, Borrego Springs, Palm Springs, Arizona, etc. Hooray for it being on the way.
    Here’s the dish on Janet’s

  10. Inexpensive Eats Near the Tourist Center of San Diego

    June 19, 2008 by ruetheday

    Balboa Park is one of the best places in San Diego in a lot of ways. It is a crucial piece of San Diego history, the most agriculturally diverse area in the county and holds a plethora of local museums. The World Famous San Diego Zoo is also here. Of course, the problem with this area is the limited number of good eats at decent prices. The Prado restaurant offers fantastic gourmet cuisine, but nothing a cheapskate can afford.

    With this in mind, you should most definitely visit the lovely Japanese Friendship Garden and stop by the Tea Pavilion Cafe for lunch.
    Cheap Food In Balboa Park, Hooray!