Sunday, July 14, 2013

BABS- Bao's Awesome Burgers and Sandwiches

After a day of galavanting on a hot California day, we absolutely had to have a juicy burger. Cravings are a monster. Our first choice was closed. A restaurant closed on a Sunday afternoon. Guess making money isn't their thing. We decided to check out this small mom ad pop place in Clairemont next to Crab Hut which is literally the worst parking lot ever. Still, we braved the madness because that's how badly we needed to eat a cheeseburger. 

I totally hunger brain farted and forgot to take pics of the appetizer which was a triple medley of fried veggies. Fried zucchini, onion rings and fried corn (described as similar to corn fritters). I will never know since they ran out of them. They also ran out of pickles. A sad day in burger land. They graciously let us have cream cheese wontons as a sub for the fried corn. So they do a decent fry job here- enjoyed their 4 onion rings and the 3 slices of zucchini that were given. I wanted more dangit! The wontons sucked. Filling had chopped white/ yellow onion inside (meh) and was at best Luke warm. I'd skip the won tons next time. 

My order- the Avocado Swiss burger.  All their burgers are stuffed with cheese inside so the patties aren't really flat. I like to kind of squish my burger flat for better traction so I didn't like the shape of this burger. Also the meat tasted like generic dumpling meat.  I kid you not. It had the same texture and taste as eating a steamed bun or dumpling. Not bad necessarily but not what I want from a burger for sure. Their bacon is a thicker cut (yum) and the bun was nicely toasted. But I didn't order a dumpling burger. Tasty fries though. 

Burger #2 was the Samahan burger. It had a stuffed patty as well with fries, cole slaw, sautéed mushrooms, Chinese BBQ pork, and a fried egg. Hubby agrees about the meat patty being off. Like a dumpling. Almost like my very Asian mom making a hamburger for the first to at home. He didn't really like the BBQ pork and said there wasn't much in there either. Le sigh. Pic below.

Beware. If you have a diaper wearing baby, they don't have a changing table in the restroom. Or if your child pees on your lap like mine did, you are pretty much S.O.L. The lady who helped us was very nice and attentive. Place appeared clean and in fact, they were wiping the chair bases of the empty tables while we were finishing up. 

Dang it. I still want a good burger. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

SAHM or not to be

As part of my new job as mother, I've come to rely heavily on the www. for answers to my ridiculous questions, advice and product research. I've also picked up a few acronyms I'd like to share with you guys in case you ever find yourself at a loss when reading a blog/fb/ text message in case Wikipedia doesn't yet have an entry for it. 

SAHM stay at home mom
LO little one
EBF exclusively breast feeding 
TIA thanks in advance
PPU pending pick up
VBAC vaginal birth after Caesarian 

Sigh, wasn't the world easier when we just did pager code? 6000 171647. Give a guess in the comments. 

Back from...oblivion

In case anyone is still out there who had my blog on feed status, I'm back biz-na-yees (an embarrassing Love and Hip Hop reference). In my absence, I've been eating, trying to get great deals wherever I go and happily mired in all things baby. So this blog will thus follow suit and jump around on food, family, and deal hunting. Also I currently am only blogging via iPhone so you won't see novels anymore from this girl. Welcome me back now thanks. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Red Bean and Custard Sweet Griddle Cakes at 99 Ranch

Ive been to 99 Ranch roughly a hundred times in my short life.  I usually prefer the K-markets b/c it reminds me of my heritage and the selection is better/ cheaper for my korean ingredients...or the Vietnamese markets for the awesome price points.  However, 99 ranch is awesome totally in its own right.  The one in SD has also several small shops/ restaurants under the same roof including the eye doctor I have frequented, a vietnamese deli, a jewelery store, a makeup store, a funnish Hello Kitty kind of store, and two decent and well known Chinese restaurants.  I have also seen this little lady who operates a little stand that makes little round treats that are best described as round spheres of batter filled with either red bean or custard creme.  Each one is 60 cents and part of the fun is watching her make them.  B/c I adore you guys, I secret-agent style took some pictures of the action.  She may have heard the first flash b/c the iphone will not be silenced so easily, but i muted and unflashed for the rest of the pics.  

The verdict?  It was ok.  Like anything that you build up so long, it was bound to disappoint.  Husband didnt know these things existed and therefore loved it when he tried it.  At 60 cents, I dare say that you can afford to go get your own and opine on your own.  xoxo

Los Carbones Taco Shop- San Ysidro

After a morning of busy bargain shopping at Las Americas Outlet, my credit card was wincing and my stomach was a-grumbling.  Across the street from the outlet, we saw a sign for 99 cent tacos and I was like a moth to fire.  This is gonna be a short but to the point post but overall, I would definitely come back here again.  Case in point:

 This is the sign that drew me in.  Do you blame me?  Plus we were STARVED.  

 Pictured is the 99 cent fish taco with the soft corn tortilla and the potato taco in the background. The tacos were definitely not like a street taco size and pretty hefty in size.  Fish fillet was nicely fried flaky white fish of some kind and a decent size overall.  It also had pico and cabbage.  Could compete with any other fish taco out there and blows 99 cent tacos out of the water... The potato taco is made of like mashed potatoes filling.  The size is also generous.  What I was most surprised by was that for a fried taco, very little grease factor! I love that about this taco.  It also is filled with iceberg and shredded cheese.  The carrots were offered at the salsa bar that I didnt take a pic of.  The two red sauces in the bar are awesome by the way, the green did not sampled unfortunately.

The ubiquitous carne asada fries.  Hubby and I love these things but we only let ourselves order it once every month or two.  I liked that they use skinny fries but I didnt like the fries themselves. The beans are part of the fries but I asked for it on the side.  I wasnt a fan of the beans but I will let you sample them on your own.  The carne was nicely seasoned and tender and I could have used more guac, but I am a guac monster.  I could seriously just eat a bowl of it with a fork...even without the fork actually...sssshhhhhh dont tell.  At about 6.50, it was in a medium- high price range for this kind of food item.  I wont get this again, but mostly because I need more of those tacos asap.   

Another interesting observation- I happen to catch a glimpse of their california burrito at the counter and gosh dang dilly, that sucker was hefty.  It actually had me wishing I could measure it up against my forearm to size it out, but I dont have the cajones to ask a perfect stranger if I can borrow his burrito for a second.  Other people tended to order tacos, saw some tortas, and quesadilla.  

We will be back.  Go check it out!! =)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Forgot about these...

As I type this, several things are running through my mind.  I love food, I miss my husband (away for a few days), I'm hungry again, and I love GLEE.  Glee just makes me feel better no matter how crappy my day is.  Ryan Murphy is a genius and I wish I had my glee squad around to make me feel better every day! Back to the star of the show...

 $2 Fish taco special.  Larger than usual size taco on a nice corn tortilla.  The fish reminded me of fish and chips standard fare.  The taco didnt have as much of the toppings/ sauces that I like such as cabbage, slaw, or sauce.  Just a pico de gallo which was forgettable.  But for 2 buckaroos?  It could be worse...

 Neighbor got three carne asada tacos.  Somehow the marinade didnt hit a home run with me.  Again, $2 each with the purchase of one drink (I think).  Sometimes, its not good to take too long to post b/c small details get lost in the wind.  Some guac would have been nice or even some shredded lettuce.  

Cheese fries.  Just meh.  It was also on sale happy hour prices.  Thats all I have to say.  

***Parking is awesome and you get a view of the glam National City harbor.  We got to eat at the table with the fire pit outside that has the cool glass rocks that keep you moderately warm and lit up.  They also had HH drink specials.  


 Sourdough bread, turkey, avocado, sprouts, tomatoes and cheese.  Just meh.  I think it was the Californian sandwich.  Also came with pasta salad...more on that later.  

 Isnt the sticker so cute?  Moving on.

 Husband's reuben. He liked but not loved it.  He usually loves reubens so that was ominous.  It is one pretty sandwich though isnt it?  

Alright this is the interesting part.  Their pasta salad tasted like a ranch sauce...a different take on the traditional deli salad.  Also seemed to have some kind of cheese on top.  Al dente pasta as well.  Not bad my friend.  

***Mind you, it is tucked in an industrial part of El Cajon, so it might have office kind of hours and parking was spotty.  You also risk the usual corporate lunch rush as I had to wait about 15 minutes for my order.  Friendly staff btw.  They also seemed to have some delish specials such as lasagna on a stated day of the week.  Lmk if you have tried any of their non sandwich items...


 Portugese sausage breakfast plate.  If you like sausage, you have to try this.  The eggs tasted like eggs, home fries like home fries.  But that sausage....

 Outdoor seating.  I just love these cement garden mosaic tables...

 Literally on the Gillespie Field airport grounds.  This is what you can see if you eat outside.  One poor mom nearby had to drag her screaming son home b/c he was in love with the planes flying by and refused to leave.  

Sausage gravy and biscuits.  Not the best but pretty tasty.  Nice portion size too.  I personally like the more rustic home potatoes style, not the shredded potato action.  

***Im glad I used a coupon for this place.  Its nice to try out new places that you wouldnt drive 20 minutes out of one's way to save a few bucks, test the food and scout the locals.  

Peace out home skillets...its off to bed for this girl! =)

What I have been eating in the past month...

Since I still appear to be in my blog updating slump, this is going to be one gigantic blog-a-thon just so you guys can see that I am still alive, what rocked my socks and where you should avoid at all costs.  Motivation is hard to come by and it cannot be bought, bartered for, nor can you will it to come back to you.  Fickle like a young lover, it comes and goes without a moment's notice even.  Here is mine, fleeting as it may be.  

 A round of drinks to start...their sangria is freaking phenomenal! The other drink was a donkey punch, also reported to be tasty...

 Triple Dip appetizer- white bean hummus, red pepper romesco and spinach artichoke dip.  Just standard, save your dollars for something more exciting.  

 Portabella mushroom sliders (the original and lamb sliders somehow didnt get photographed).  I'd go for the lamb if you had a choice, like vegetarian lifestyles or allergies.  

 Plain mac and cheese- creamyyyyyyy-licious.  They also have a chef's choice mac an cheese offering which is this foundation with some mix ins.  

 New zealand black mussels- interesting take on mussels cooked in wine...the apples and currant bits were fun to eat and made the juice on the bottom of the bowl kinda sweet but take away a bit from the butteriness I was looking for from this dish.

 Tavern chicken and waffle: I wish the waffle was bigger! Perfectly cooked waffle base, but the chicken was tad too crunchy for me.  I'm sure that not everyone would think that this is a bad thing.

Grilled chicken flatbread- definitely has a spicy kick!!!! I thought it was appropriately crispy and pliable as a good flatbread ought to be, saucy and a better portion than many other things that night.  I recommend.  

****Word of caution- not the cheapest eats by any measure.  The four of us with a drink or two and two dishes each spent about $150. That kind of caught me off guard since the word tavern doesnt usually scream expensive especially in the middle of North Park.  I'd go for HH or maybe if they have a groupon or some other similar coupon deal.  

 They brine their own pickles here and you can have as many as you like since its already sitting on each table with a few different mustard choices to nosh on while you wait for your order.  

 Pretty sure this is the reuben special with the tongue substitution for a few bucks extra instead of the standard pastrami or corned beef.  Tongue was tender and just fatty/ creamy tasting enough.  They also make a good rye that you can buy at the bakery counter on your way out.  

 Corned beef reuben lunch special.  I only ate half b/c it is really filling and I just wasnt the biggest fan of their corned beef.  I am not a CB expert btw!!  It just didnt register with my palette i guess.  Boo! I'd definitely look for the lunch special menu if you are there since you save a few bucks and it comes with the fries.  

The Josephine bar.  My choice for our to-go dessert, which I have to add that I rarely order dessert.  But they have this impressive shiny deli counter with meats, cheeses, and sweets and I'll be gosh darned if they cant get me to spend even a few more dollars each time on take home items.  Evil! Back to the almost 5 bucks (prices are not marked on the display), I better have loved it and wanted to take its last name.  I didnt.  Ate one bite and pouted at how much I didnt like it...too sweet and not flaky enough.  Wish I could have a do-over on this one.  

***Overall, they arent too cheap either as their dishes range from 8-14 bucks.  Parking is a capital B word and the place gets pretty packed.  In the past, I have very much enjoyed their tuna melt and fries and hubby loves the tongue there.  They dont normally have coupons that I have seen.  Its definitely a San Diego landmark place so you should at least give it a whirlsky though.  

Drove by and saw this immediately excited....and had to try it out.  Seeing as how the other tofu stew places on the same street average a good $3 a bowl more than this place, I just had to do it.  

 Banchan spread- not bad I guess for a lunch offering.  I really liked the fish cakes...just like mom used to make them.  From left top corner, you can see sprouts, cabbage kimchi, some kind of root in a soy sauce vinegar mix, turnip kimchi, sweet soy sauce potatoes and the lovely fish cakes.  

 I went for the seafood tofu stew.  I figured it was a safe choice as I'd get a flavorful broth and get to taste the essence of this place.  I knew not to expect a whole lot of seafood meat, but boy was I underwhelmed overall.  BLAND.  Exactly one piece of the following seafood bits i.e. shrimp, clam and I believe a mussel.  Not spicy at all.  If you wanted the egg to mix in while it was bubbling, this place didnt offer it (I didnt ask for it either, but other places usually bring it out automatically).  I did like the mixed rice favorite but a pain to make at home.  

 Korean blood sausage stew with a paltry side of the said sausage.  Even worse than my tofu stew, probably b/c at least I knew my stew was cooked.  I tried one of hubby's sausage bites and it was one of the worst I have ever had.  I also wouldnt have bet money or even cheerios that it was even cooked all the way through.  Husband basically threw it into the stew to cook it and dumped the seasoning salt accompaniment directly into the soup to make it edible.  On the plus side, it was also 5.99 I think.  

***I realized after sitting down that this was where the AYCE Korean food buffet used to be.  Staff was nice and the place started filling up as we left.  5.99 tofu stew in san diego, fail.  We can do better guys!!!!! 


 Crab rangoons- the filling was crabby and creamy like it should be but I find myself wishing that they would have put more in there.  See how flat and deflated it looks?  Nicely fried too.  

 One of my favorites here, although sometimes are better than others.  Spicy eggplant with basil leaves.  When I eat this dish, I totally see myself doing the vegetarian thing no sweat...then I think of crab hut, spam and fried chicken and then I resign myself to a life of partial vegetarianism.  Depending on the day of the week. Get even tastes good the next day.  

 Pad see ew.  Love their version as well.  Even better?  They keep crushed peanuts on the table so for a kick, I threw some on top of the noodles and voila...everything I heart about pad thai  (peanut and egg) with the wide flat noodles and sauce.  If you can take some heat, that is the way to go here... This version had beef inside but I have had it with seafood and it rocks both ways.  

Cant remember what kind of curry this was...panang?  I liked it but I only had a little bit of it.  I love that this place is not stingy with the basil leaves in their food! 

Mango sticky rice.  This was my first time, but not the last time.  Their mangos are perfectly ripe and just firm enough.  I personally am gonna ask them not to put the coconut sprinkles on top next time, but that is just my own coconut weirdness.  Attractive presentation and decent portion.  Perfect end to a nice spicy meal...I promise.  

***Beware that the parking lot is tiny and it can be hard to find a spot around lunchtime.  I also have never seen any kind of parking here search as I might.  The portions are standard but the service has been friendly each time I went.  I reviewed this place before and always recommend it to others.  

The only thing that I ever want to eat here- ahi poke stack.  poke, wasabi, carrots, sprouts and avocado laid on top of fried wonton skins squares.  Can someone bring me one asap? 

Til we meet again or till motivation hits again.  Just keeping it real! 

Monday, January 17, 2011

In the kitchen...

My first attempt at Tortilla Soup.  Chicken bouillon, yes I cheated.  Sweet corn, tomatoes, zucchini, celery, cilantro, good salsa and avocado slices.  Just combine it all in a pot (minus the avo) and let her boil.  I recommend adding some grated cheese on top and some Tapatio to boot.  Look, its not fancy and probably not authentic but its pretty tasty and easy as all get out.  Try it and let me know if it works out as good as it did for me.  xoxo

Lighthouse Ice Cream & Yogurt- Ocean Beach

I so wanted to like this.  And its not that I didnt like it, I just didnt like it very long.  First few bites were heaven.  After that, the waffle gets cold and soggy.  Plus it wouldnt kill them to put some more ice cream in that bad boy.  Overall, not bad...just not great.  

Pros: nice concept, friendly staff, decent ice cream, many options for different ice cream/ dessert snacks, different waffle flavors
Cons: small serving, $3 for the small size is not equitable, gets soggy pretty quickly
Score: I am waivering between leaving it or giving it once more try...decisions!

Funky Garcia's- Downtown San Diego

Date night with the mister led us downtown this weekend.  Along with meeting the great Michael Flohr Michael Flohr's Official Website and chatting with him for a spell, we bought some mustache things, tried on eyeglasses for moi, and grabbed some food.  Have you heard of this place?  I thought it looked fun so we checked it out, even though it was not on the Entertainment Book.  The bouncer was a riot!!! He convinced us to come in and even recommended a few things.  

Pros: bouncer was cool as heck, happy hour specials seem cheap, cool atmosphere, prices are on the low side for being in dtsd (down town san diego).  The chips were crunchy and good salty and table chipotle un-freaking-believable, like I'd want to drink it.  
Cons: basically taco shop food, our waitress was pretty much not interested in helping us, parking of course, and menu originality. The Al Pastor tacos were bad salty and the shrimp tacos only had one skinny shrimp on them w/ a pound of cabbage.  The other item we ordered was the Funky Roll...aka a skinny carne asada burrito sliced to resemble sushi roll pieces.  Guacamole usually makes me happy...but too runny to be really called guacamole.  Disappointing really.  
Score: I might one day eventually some time possibly check out a happy hour here...or if someone else is picking up the tab duh.

South Beach Bar and Grill- OB

Do you miss the days of yore?  Of not having a care in the world?  Of lazy days and sticky fingers from candy or ice cream?  Today was a society sanctioned hooky day for me and hubby.  We went to go play in the sand at good old Ocean Beach.  Except I didnt go in the sand..I dont like getting dirty.  So we went to go eat at South Beach for tacos, although the original plan was Hodad's.  

Pros: ranch sauce on tacos, who knew the yummy factor?  Fried oyster/ calamari/ shrimp perfectly done, decent amount of non filler items inside the tacos.  
Cons: wahoo overcooked and dry... is it me or have the tacos shrunk in size? No shark meat available today.  It also took awhile to get the food today.  At about $4 a taco, I expect more senor south beach! 
Score: still love it, but it feels like we had a lover's quarrel somehow.  

p.s. it was like 75 today at the beach in good ole cali...hence the beer at 11 in the morning for the mister.  I never want to leave this place!!!!!

South Beach Bar and Grill website

I love presents!

Especially unsolicited.  Especially when its something I like.  Especially from my husband.  This is a post where I get to show off my new goodies from husband...God bless him sometimes.  The babushka measuring cups can nest or stand on its own.  The lunchbots is environment friendly and cute as a button.  What have you received lately that made you smile?  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Advice please

I'd love to make a little extra income from blogging each month. It's
probably unlikely that I would ever be able to live as luxuriously as
I am accustomed to... Hahaha! Seriously anyone have any good tips? I
know that some of you guys are able to turn a few bucks over from your
blog so any words of wisdom would help. Like practical advice...
Thanks. Sorry if this is out of left field. :-)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Panda Restaurant- Lemon Grove

They were nice owners.  Thats probably the nicest thing I will say about this place.  We got the shrimp fried rice and the foot long banh mi for lunch one day.  Large menu of chinese, vietnamese and sushi food items.  Yes i said sushi.  Moving on.  Who puts beansprouts in fried rice?  Filler failure.  Shrimp was fresh enough but I could have definitely used a few more.  The sandwich was another disappointment...who the hell grills the pickled veggies inside the banh mi?  Plus they didnt even taste pickled, the meat inside was limited and the bread wasnt too chewy.  Parking can also be tricky here...if you have been to the Lemon Grove post office, you know what I am talking about.  Lets get to the score....Leave it (in the kindest way possible).  

A&D Hawaiian Food- National City

If you havent been before, get off your butt and go.  If you have an Entertainment book, its in there for a B1G1 deal (no min purchase or stupid must buy a drink codicil).  I'm not going to mince words, the place could use a major rehaul decor wise and is borderline skeezy in cleanliness, but the food was awesome.  The salt and pepper chicken was piping hot with the perfect mix of peppers, garlic and onions.  We literally took the vittles and mixed the rice up into it.  The BBQ beef was tasty and tender.  The only thing I ddnt like was the onions in the mac salad...

Pros: S&P chicken is off the chain, cheap and good portions, coupon in the Entertainment book, friendly staff
Cons: on the not-clean side, order took a little while to come out but was piping hot so we didn't mind, parking limited
Score: Love it...the food, not the atmosphere...

Bull's Smoking BBQ- Morena Blvd

Photos (L-R) Sausage sandwich with cole slaw, Smoked pulled pork and smoke brisket sandwich with fries

Pros: Try the sweet BBQ sauce, unique take on cole slaw with the candied
almond slices, and nice chew roll. Oh yea, dog friendly!
Cons: portions small for BBQ joint, parking sucks bad, sausage was just ok
Score: undecided but leaning towards leave it

Aunt Emma's Pancake House- National City

Lets clear the air.  I've gotten a bit lazy with the blog.  I love the blog culture big time.  Dont confuse my lack of blog activity with an apathy for the blog world.  I ceremoniously check my google reader feeds through the day and love hearing some of my favorite bloggers (shout out to Lynn@The Actor's DietKirbie@Kirbie's CravingsCC@Pink Candles at Ridgemont HighKirk@mmm-yoso!!!!Ameena@Fancy That Fancy This, and The 99 cent chef@ at the similarly named blog, and so many others I couldnt possibly name).  So how can i still share my food experiences?  I am going to occasionally try blogging from my iphone for awhile and see how that tickles my goat or something to that effect.  Phone blogging means no fancy editing, images will be uncentered, and posts shorter than usual.  But it also means, we skip right to the gooey middle of the shizzz.  I'm also gonna try a new rating system- love it, leave it or undecided.  Cross my fingers, hope it flies.  

Aunt Emmas Pancake House
National City CA
Pros: price, neighborhood joint, parking, friendliness of staff, generous on the sauce and avocado in lieu of turkey meat (which would probably have been cheapo sandwich meat)
Cons: bland, bland bland. Good thing I had my entertainment book coupon...
Score: Leave it 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

McRib Ribbit Ribbit

A bit overdue so call this foodie review 999,999,999 of the infamous McRib.  Do you like the dramatic picture?  Its quite metaphoric for the mixed feelings (mostly bad) that I had for this sandwich.  I literally havent had one since high school or college so dont go doing the math and aging me.  It does seem like a no-fail idea right?  Soft bread, bbq sauce, fake meat...yum.  The meat felt...too artificial.  Like trying to eat a chicken nugget after seeing that article where it showed what the nugget meat looked like in a pink paste form in the factory.  At least mine had plenty of sauce and the pickles did add a little taste contrast.  Cult following aside, I wasnt a convert.  Sorry guys.