Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kensington Cafe

The ideal typical Sunday: wake up leisurely, the sun is shining, friends are in town, all are in high spirits, and all tummies are a-growlin'. Somehow, a group of 8 manages to meet at the perfect time to avoid the early risers and pre-lunch rush and head to a favorite corner spot with promises of a delightful brunch all around. It was my first time finally sitting and ordering at the Kensington Cafe, but certainly not the first time I'd caught wind of its edible delights. Even with a large brunch party (every restaurant's necessary but worst and most irritating fear), the servers scrambled to arrange a patio spot for us hup-quick, and within minutes and a few shuffled people later, we were nestled cozily in a corner spot, perfect for dog watching, which was plentiful this crisp Sunday morning.

Generally, I opt to start my morning with a savory bite. I find that too much sugar in the AM upsets the stomach and confuses the mind. This doesn't really make much sense to anyone but myself, but as someone whose sweet tooth is mightily overpowered by the savory desires this seems to make sense. However, something clicked in my mind when I heard the word "waffle" and it became instantly cemented in my mind that a waffle was the most logical and obvious choice for this particular brunch. Their menu strangely offers no pancakes, but for a bruncher in the mood for a flapjack I highly recommend switching it up and giving their waffles a try. Today, the seasonal waffle was a cinnamon apple waffle with candied walnuts and a cinnamon butter, which was my immediate and non-regretted selection of the day.

I ate half before admitting defeat from the rapidly oncoming sugar coma, which was somewhat thwarted by the sodium and protein overload aid from the $2 add-on bacon and eggs. The eggs were standard scrambled eggs (strangely enough, no salt or pepper was to be found outside?) but the bacon was great. Thick, hot, nice and salty, everything bacon should be. The tomatoes were generously donated by one of my party who, inexplicably, doesn't enjoy the chilled flavor of yummy offered from the red fruit! Inconceivable. Good thing I was there to ensure the sacrificed fruit didn't go to waste.

My comrade to the left decided upon the Spanish Revival burrito, which was a bundle of vegetarian goodness in a spinach wrap and a side of tasty-looking salsa. Looked promising, and he assured me it was a happy selection.

Bolstered with high recommendations, and having experienced the excellent service, good food, and the right price, along with happy extra treats like OJ in mason jars and apparently Cute Dog Headquarters of Kensington, I have an inkling I'll be frequenting this spot on the regular.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tioli's Crazee Burger

Burgers must be in high demand in San Diego based on the number of burger joints, large and small, that reside in this fair city. Rightfully so! While In-N-Out is still a great place (albeit chain) to snag a cheap burger and shake, we needed a new place to tantalize our tastebuds and meet the meat. North Park's Crazee Burger boasts its superiority, and with national spotlights like Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives (below!)

and various other news clips and features, how could we go wrong?

Their menu is as wild as they promise- ostrich, kangaroo, buffalo, not to mention beef, lamb, and more! All come topped with a smattering of gourmet sauces and toppings cooked up by the German partners, and have been pleasing crowds for years! I went for the Saturday special- Hamburgeeeeeerrrrr FRANCAISE with melted Brie Cheese with their special parmesan dusted fries.

It was fantastic! You can't go wrong in my book with huge amounts of brie, or any cheese for that matter, and this was juicy, succulent, and all around great. The fries were nice and crispy with lots of flavor, and even with 7 people on a Saturday night the service was fast and accurate. We had other reasons besides a delicious flavor experience to celebrate as well!

Nothing like celebratory cheeseburgers for getting engaged! Luckily, my soon-to-be life partner loves food just as much as me and was equally enthusiastic about toasting our new life together with hot meat sandwiches and orange soda. All in all, a creative and equally delicious place that I'm sure we'll find ourselves again.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Born Round by Frank Bruni

As an avid reader since childhood, it's easy for me to be extremely critical of many books that I come across as insincere, wordy, snobbish, or just plain sucky. However, nothing pleases me more than an accidental stumble upon something fresh, new, and that I can completely relate to. As a dedicated reader and foodie, Frank Bruni's book "Born Round" fulfills two of my great loves and engages the reader into the world of professional dining in a way that has never been done before. From chubby to college, from bulimic to the hot seat of dining, the New York Times restaurant critic, he explores his Italian roots where dining is an all-encompassing way of life, through his struggles with weight, acceptance, yo-yo diets, eating disorders, and finally professional accomplishment. It's a must read for anyone who either loves literature, loves food, or best of all, loves both.