Thursday, April 10, 2008

San Diego Favorites

Some of our neighbors are leaving on a PCS transfer to San Diego and asked me for a list of my favorites in San Diego. Here's the list off the top of my head. I'll come back and add to it later on if anything else comes to mind. Here we go...

These are my favorite actual sit down and be served by a waiter or waitress restaurants. Just below this, I'll list a couple of my favorite fast food places.

Crown Bistro
: THE BEST breakfast in San Diego County. If you take ANY of my recommendations, take THIS ONE and go have an extraordinary breakfast. It's on Coronado. Take I-5 to Rt. 75 over the Coronado Bay Bridge. After the bridge, follow the street through a couple of twists and turns. When you get to the traffic light at Orange, turn left.
Orange is the main drag through Coronado, and the Crown Bistro is about two blocks up on the right hand side. EVERYTHING is good there, but my favorite is the Bananas Foster French Toast.

Miguel's: Great Mexican. There are a couple of locations - one on Point Loma near the sub base, one way out in East Lake (Chula Vista). The one in East Lake is nice because they serve this awesome rotisserie corn on the cob. We most frequently went to the one on Point Loma due to its proximity to the sub base. To get to the Point Loma restaurant, take I-5 to the Rosecrans (Rt. 209) exit. Follow Rosecrans down into Point Loma. Turn left at the traffic light at Shelter Island Drive (there's a Wells Fargo Bank on your left and Blockbuster video on your right). Miguel's is right behind the Wells Fargo. Note: While on Rosecrans, you will pass both a Rubio's and an In-and-Out.

Parallel 33: Serves a sampling of foods from everywhere on 33 degrees north latitude around the globe. A little on the pricey side, but excellent food and service. It's on Washington. Take I-5 to Washington Street exit (you'll be able to see the airport runway). Turn away from the airport (east) off the exit ramp and it's about 1 mile up on the right hand side.

Onami: All you can eat sushi, Chinese, Japanese food buffet in Mission Valley. Go for lunch. It's like $23 for dinner and like $13 for lunch, but it's the same buffet either way. They have lots of things to choose from besides sushi (including a dessert buffet, too), but the sushi is really good. Directions are a little complicated, but I can write them out for you if you have an interest in going here.

Red Sails Inn: Seafood. Great food and service - above and beyond what you would expect given their equally great prices. Both indoor our large outdoor patio seating area. Use same directions as Miguel's, but continue on Shelter Island Drive a couple of blocks and it's on the left hand side.

Peohe's: Very nice seafood restaurant with a fabulous view of downtown San Diego. Pricey. It's on par with Roy's. Take I-5 to Rt. 75 over the Coronado Bay Bridge. After going over the bridge, follow the road through a couple of twists and turns then turn RIGHT at the traffic light onto Orange. Follow Orange all the way to the end. Turn RIGHT at the traffic light. You'll see signs for Peohe's about a block or two down on the left hand side after the Burger King.

Tom Ham's Lighthouse: Nice seafood restaurant, not too pricey, great view of San Diego. It's at the north end of Harbor Island across from the airport. Follow signs like you were going to the airport, then turn left at the traffic light onto Harbor Island instead of turning right into the airport. On Harbor Island, turn right and drive all the way to the north end of the island.

D'lish. In the Terra Nova shopping center in Chula Vista (just off I-805 at the East H Street exit). I love their salads and their sandwiches, and their prices are pretty reasonable.

Fast food: The term "fast food" has such a negative stigmatism with it. Here, I am just trying to distinguish between the restaurants where you get waited on (listed above), and the restaurants where you order your food at a counter and sit down with your food in hand.

Rubios. Two words: FISH TACOS. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it. These are the best, true Baja-style fish tacos. But wait! That's not all! They have a lot of other good stuff like carne asada steak burritos, etc. Our boys loved it, too. We used to go there frequently after church on Sundays.

In-n-Out. The menu is REALLY simple. Burgers. Fries. Milk shakes. They make the fries right there in front of you. Watch them pull out a whole potato and put it through the french fry press. The hard-core In-n-Out afficionados use the secret code words like "animal style" that aren't listed on the menu.


Zoo and Sea World
: Buy the annual passes for the Zoo and Sea World. It's really nice to be able to just go for like 2 hours in an afternoon to see ONE exhibit and then leave. Note that Sea World is an Anheiser-Busch park, so military and their families can get in once per year for free.

Lego Land. The first time we went there, ES was too short to go on most of the rides and I felt like we got totally ripped off. We subsequently went back a few times after that and the ES loved it.

Mount Soledad. Don't get the wrong idea here. Just because it's called "Mount" Soledad doesn't mean you have to drive for hours on end up winding mountain roads. This is a very large hill wedged in between Pacific Beach (south side), I-5 (east side), La Jolla (north side), and the Pacific Ocean (west side). On a clear day, go up and check out the view from the top where the big white cross is. There's a photo of the view on the wikipedia article here.

Mount Soledad has been a source of controversy in San Diego because of the large white cross on top of the hill. There have been many efforts to take it down. I think the resolution they came to was that they sold the land to the veterans memorial association so it's no longer public land. The veteran's memorial association website has more pictures and driving directions.

Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park. Both our boys love this place.

Flying Leatherneck Museum at MCAS Mirimar. If you drive along Mirimar Road along the northern perimeter of the base, you'll see a spot where there are like two dozen airplanes and helicopters set up on static display. That's part of the USMC Aviation Museum on the base.

Military Shopping: If you need anything from the NEX or commissary, the NAS North Island NEX is the newest, largest, and nicest - comparable to the NEX shopping complexes at Norfolk or Pearl Harbor. PLUS, there's a RUBIO'S in their food court!! (Keep in mind, it's been a few years since we left San Diego, so things could have changed since we left).

Best Wine Cellar: MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) next door to the airport has an awesome package store called The Cellar with some VERY nice, high quality wines for VERY good prices. Try something from Stag's Leap vineyards (it's my personal favorite).

Best Place to Watch Ships Departing or Returning from Sea or Deployment: Cabrillo National Monument at the end of Point Loma. You can see both out to sea as ships approach, and you can see into the harbor.

ES by the Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo, watching Daddy return from deployment in December 2003.

Picture my mom took from Cabrillo when the Mighty MSP pulled into San Diego for a port visit in July 2007.

1 comment:

E.P. said...

mmmmmmmmmm In-n-Out.....

(Any place that's in two blog comments on the same day...unrelated blog comments that is...has to be good)