Tuesday, April 26

"I get by with a little help from my friends..."

Most people cried at their high school graduation. But I had to fake it. Inside, I was rejoicing that this "hell" was finally over. It just wasn't fun for me, the whole high school thing. I tried to make it work, but my heart just wasn't there. I didn't like myself, which made it hard for others to like me. I was always confused, I felt jaded and I was constantly trying to be someone that I wasn't.

But college graduation will be a different story. I know it's commonly said, but these past four years have been the greatest of my short 22 years of life. I have grown a lot. I've learned what it's like to love, and lose. I've learned to truly let go of people who just aren't worth it, no matter how long they've been around. Although the following are still works in progress, I've learned about myself, what I stand for, who I want to become and what I'm searching for. But most importantly, I've learned about friendship. I've met the people who will be in my life forever and after four years of spending every waking minute together, I can't imagine what life will be like in just a few short weeks when we're separated.

Thankfully, I know these friendships are strong enough to withstand the great distances we'll be from each other. I apologize if this post seems unusual, since characteristically I write about either nothing at all or, of course, my latest favorite meal. But I thought it was important to touch on a subject that has been overwhelming my thoughts and emotions for weeks, at times making it hard not to shed a tear (or 10). Plus, I wanted to pay a little homage to all of the people who have undoubtedly shaped the person I've become and made these past four years truly irreplaceable (you know who you are).

But enough of this sob story; besides being the best friends in the world, my friends also know how to eat (thank GOD). So without further adieu, our latest potluck masterpiece...

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Casey's famous guac


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Siobhan's caprese salad


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Step one to empanada-making... lots of chopping.


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Ready to pop in the oven...


Finished product.


I'd write a step-by-step on how to make these, but really, all you have to do is sautee anything you think would be good in croissant-ish dough with garlic and olive oil (maybe a little pesto). Cut puff pastry into rectangles. Fill rectangles with sauteed-goodness and cheese. Fold and seal with a fork. Paint egg on top so it looks all glossy and professional and pop 'em in the oven at 400 degrees until the tops are golden and crispy.

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Enjoy with Blue Moon(s) and your best friends.

Tuesday, April 19

super stylish salad

Since the relocation of my internship, I've been forced to explore a new area of downtown San Diego, obviously searching for the best places to grab a quick lunch in the middle of a busy day. Salad Style, located just a few blocks from San Diego Magazine on F Street, creates some of the freshest and best salads I have ever tasted.
lights
Besides this, there's usually reggae music playing and they have very cool light fixtures made from wine bottles.

caesar

I have ordered the caesar salad both times I've been there. Typically, there is absolutely nothing unique about a caesar salad. But at Salad Style, the caesar comes with crisp romaine, cojita cheese, avocado, hearts of palm, yellow corn, toasted croutons and the option to add grilled chicken. This "caesar with a twist" definitely hits the spot.

cous
Today I sampled the couscous, which seemed to be infused with curry and had lots of currants throughout the dish.


bruschetta

But so far my favorite little treat from this hole in the wall is their tomato, pesto and garlic bruschetta. Crunchy tostini with a perfect layer of homemade pesto and topped with fresh and sweet tomatoes that had been marinated in garlic. Now that's a snack!
(Sorry for the poor quality, iPhone photos... it's all I had!)

Monday, April 18

comfort food at its best

As an intern at San Diego Magazine, I spend a lot of time looking up restaurants and researching the latest and greatest menu item or newest specials. In the midst of this research, I find myself scouring the menus to determine which restaurants should be added to my "must-try" list before I depart from San Diego in just five short weeks. You can imagine that this list is getting lengthy, but I'm positive I can eat at all the places I've been hoping to try. Last night, Stephanie and I, feeling a little lazy and under the weather, decided to try out Urban Solace in North Park. (Sidenote: North Park is slowly becoming one of my favorite areas in San Diego. It seems to be very up and coming, especially in the restaurant realm... highly recommend giving it a shot).

Urban Solace is tucked away on 30th Street, which if you aren't familiar with is pretty much the go-to spot for an amazing, trendy restaurant. Reservations seem to be a good idea for Urban Solace, but luckily we were sat immediately. The restaurant's lighting was dim and the decor was simple yet comfortable. The first thing I noticed about the menu was the extensive cocktail, beer and wine lists. The second were the fried pickles.

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I don't even like pickles and these were INCREDIBLE. Perfectly fried in a really unique batter, my guess something wheat-ish and served with the chef's homemade blue cheese dressing (also not a fan of blue cheese usually but was actually in heaven with this dipping sauce). I had to email Matt Gordon, the chef, after dinner to get the scoop on how they heck they made the dressing/sauce taste so amazing. "It's a pretty simple dressing, really. Sort of a hybrid blue cheese/ranch. We use buttermilk, mayo, sour cream, onions, blue cheese, a little vinegar, lemon juice and some secret spices," Gordon said.

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Steph ordered the tomato soup, which was adorably displayed in a mini mason jar.


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We both ordered the portobello sandwich, which was very tender and topped with goat cheese, lemon aioli, grilled onion, arugula and tomato all piled onto an egg bun. The lemon aioli was the key ingredient in this dish, making the seemingly heavy sandwich seem light. The fries... oh the fries, were maybe top three best fries I've ever had. They tasted both sweet and savory at the same time (which might sound strange but I promise you, these were beyond anything I could have ever wanted/imagined in a french fry).

Although pretty much everything I've mentioned in this post was fried/unhealthy, the menu is actually really diverse. Other items that I'll need to try include: warm cheese biscuits with orange honey butter, pan roast wild salmon, warmed seasoned quinoa and MAC N CHEESE. I will be back, sooner rather than later... best meal I've had in a long time!

Sunday, April 17

"When poets write about food it is usually celebratory. Food as the thing-in-itself, but also the thoughtful preparation of meals, the serving of meals, meals communally shared: a sense of the sacred in the profane."
                   Joyce Carol Oates 

Friday, April 15

best kept secret. ever.

Pacific Beach. Bustling with drunk college students and spring breakers, tons of bars and even more jay-walkers. But in the midst of the chaos lies a beautiful, tiny restaurant just off of Cass Street. Enoteca Adriano, open just a few years, is literally a getaway in your own backyard. AJ and I discovered this restaurant last year, when we were searching for a reasonably priced feast on a random Tuesday evening. Unfortunately, we ended up spending $30 each, but it was well worth it.
Since then, I have been back more than a few times and have even gotten a few of my friends obsessed with the amazing and creative food and the quaint atmosphere. On this occasion, I met my friends, Annalisa and Sam, to play catchup on our lives (and of course, enjoy more than one bottle of wine and indulge in one of the best meals ever).

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Meals at Enoteca Adriano always start the same: a bottle of wine and their warm and cheesy bread with herbs and olive oil.
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One of the best things on the menu is the burrata, which is a type of Italian cheese, a little softer and sweeter than mozzarella. Embarrassingly enough, I have tried all four of them. The one above, the Burrata Pesto, is definitely a favorite, with fresh, homemade pesto on top of the burrata, spinach, candied walnuts, heirloom tomatoes and artichokes.

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Fortunately, our waitress, Holly, messed up our order and a free burrata was granted to us. This one, also one of my favorites (minus the prosciutto) is called the Burrata Enoteca. It comes with thinly sliced pieces of parmesan cheese, heirloom tomato, balsamic reduction and wilted garlic spinach. The combination of these ingredients is absolutely unreal (I like to pile pieces of each and put it on top of the cheesy bread yummmmm)
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Although everything on the menu is, for lack of better words, PERFECT, I usually stick to the Gnocchi Di Casa, which has spinach, walnuts and pesto in a gorgonzola sauce. Usually, I think gorgonzola sauces tend to take away from the dish rather than add to it, but the Gnocchi Di Casa is an exception. And like I said, it's perfect.

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Annalisa ordered one of the specials. I can't remember what was in it (pasta with chicken?) but she enjoyed it!

Besides the food and the completely romantic atmosphere, this restaurant just feels comfortable. The staff is friendly and it almost feels like they're your family, making you a home cooked meal instead of waiting on you. In my opinion, dining at Enoteca Adriano is more than just "eating out," it's an experience.

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Saturday, April 9

C Level Feastin'

Well hello dere! I seem to have abandoned poor Tumblr for a while, but alas I am back! Thanks to those who called me out on my lack of posting :]
Last weekend, Mama Deedie came to town for Mom's weekend. Naturally this means free food (and a new outfit for me, yay!) and of course some quality mother-daughter bonding.

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Aren't we just so presh?

Anyways, we decided to go to C Level, the casual side to the very expensive Island Prime, located right on the harbor with amazing floor to ceiling windows, perfect for views of downtown and the ocean. The restaurant was loud, but in a trendy/fun way and the food, well, the food was pretty awesome. Take a peak!

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Lobster Mac n Cheese


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AHI TUNA STACK WITH TARO CHIPS, CAVIAR AND SUPER DELISH DIPPING SAUCE! (and yes, it was as good as it looks, nommm!)