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San Diego Eats Roundup – swell

San Diego Eats Roundup

I’ve got to get this up ASAP or it’ll keep me from posting other things that I’m planning on.  I just got back last night from six days in San Diego, where I (mostly) grew up.  It was lots of fun, but at the same time, I am SO happy to be back home.  My girlfriend and my cat (squee!) picked me up at the airport last night after midnight, and I’m pretty beat today.  At any rate, onto the food, in chronological order.

People are crazy for acai in San Diego… it’s quite common to find “Acai Bowls” available at cafes for breakfast.  Here’s one topped with fresh fruit, granola, and shredded coconut:

My sister and I escaped the rain at the beach (rain! in San Diego! in August!) one day and ate lunch at Vegan Zone in Pacific Beach.  I had a vegan Thai iced tea and Kee Mow, a tasty noodle dish with soy “chicken,” basil, tomatoes, and bell peppers:

I met my oldest friend and went to a sushi restaurant with her and her boyfriend/fiance Friday night.  Note to self: stick to vegetarian sushi rolls and never get un-sauced rice and veggies topped with tofu (which was unseasoned, uncooked, and COLD) for which you then get charged $18 dollars.  Here is a dark picture of the better part of the dinner (apart from the wine I needed):

After dinner with my stepdad and his fiance on Saturday, we got dessert at Stephanie’s Bakery: chocolate, pumpkin, and strawberry cheesecakes.  We all decided that the strawberry one was tastiest:

This is a food blog, of course, but I couldn’t resist sharing this photo of one of the burrowing owls my girlfriend and I saw while birding the Salton Sea.  (We also saw a barn owl come flying out of a bushy palm tree, but he flew too fast for a photo op.)  Cute, eh?

My sister and I went out for breakfast one morning at the Mission, a local breakfast/lunch chain in San Diego, where I was disheartened to learn that the potato portion of the Papas Loco is made with butter (boo!  This means I’ll just have an extra-good reason to be veganizing it for zine #2).  I opted for the Zen Breakfast, with tofu instead of eggs, and a tasty soy mocha.  It ended up being really delicious!

I went to People’s Organic Food Market in Ocean Beach, which is San Diego’s only co-op — and it’s all vegetarian!  Their deli is full of vegan goodness and they have a cookbook that I bought and am excited to cook from (I’ve heard rave reviews about their Vegan Mac & Cheeze).  I was into sweets the day I went, so I got some Nut and Seed Cookies (very hippie-tasting, but it grew on me), some Almond Cookies (sweet and sticky and crunchy), and some pre-packaged Peach Passion Peace Pie made by a raw bakery in Encino (so good and peachy!):

On Tuesday I went back to Stephanie’s for lunch, as I’d noticed some tasty-sounding streudels.  I got a slice of the savory mushroom variety, which had a rich and creamy filling inside soft and flaky pastry.

Feeling carb-happy, I suppose, I also had a cinnamon roll for dessert, which they baked and iced freshly for me.  Mmm!

One of the things I really miss living in Minneapolis is going out for good veg*n Mexican food.  And while our dinner at Rancho’s in Ocean Beach was awesome (sadly, I didn’t photograph it), most of the fajitas and burritos didn’t really live up to my fonder memories of them.  It might be because I’ve been testing for Terry, or just because I’ve learned to make things that I like at home instead of going out, but now I know I’m not actually missing out on too much by not living in So. California.

What mattered for me the most, whether the food was good or not-as-good, was that I got to eat it with people I love.  Here I am (on the left with some messy coastal hair) with my second cousin Jenny (in the middle) and my sister Elisabeth (on the right), on the last night of my vacation:

Margaritas?  Yes, please!

I’m hoping to get back to everyone who has emailed me about zines by tomorrow evening; thanks for your patience while I catch up!

26 Responses to “San Diego Eats Roundup”

  1. Nora says:

    golly, that soy mocha!! it looks so perfect.

  2. maya says:

    so many good eats! the thai noodles look amazing. thai is my favorite!



  3. Shelby says:

    Between the acai bowl and the cheesecakes…I think I need to go to San Diego!

  4. I love San Diego! Being from Florida I don’t get there very often, but I’ll be there next year for a work trip and can’t wait. Your post reminded me of when I went to Nature’s Express http://www.natures-express.com/menu-sandiego.html

    They have a buffet inside and fast food drive through outside. Very cool. We tried to order a burger while inside looking at the buffet and the very bored, uber-hip guy said, “Uh, you’ll have to order that outside at the drive-through” (There wasn’t anyone else in the restaurant.) So my sister and I walked outside and around the building to place our order, and watched as he slowly walked from the buffet area to the take out window. “Can I help you?” he asks us. It cracked me up.

    This place also looks great! http://www.spreadtherestaurant.com/menus.php

    • a-k says:

      That’s a funny story! I passed by Nature’s Express one day and have heard about it, but didn’t get a chance to check it out (I was eating too much other food!). But it’s definitely on the list for next time I’m in San Diego!

  5. shellyfish says:

    Such a sweet owl!

    I love San Diego, but I haven’t been there in like a million years. When I lived in AZ we would road trip over and sleep on the beach…good times.

    All that food looks delicious, and I really like your specks.

    • a-k says:

      Sleeping on the beach sounds lovely… would you believe I’ve only ever slept on the beach of the Gulf Coast of Texas? I think I’d prefer the Pacific by far :-)

      I really like my specs too… I can see so much better with them!

  6. Nicole says:

    Wow!! Your trip seems awesome. Your photos are so lovely. Especially the noodle bowl!

  7. All that food looks amazing! I think I need to take a trip to San Diego…especially for all that cheezecake!

  8. Courtney says:

    Welcome back–I am glad you had a safe/fun trip! Your food looks amazing…yummmmm…..

  9. Mona says:

    The vegan mac and cheeze from that cookbook is to die for. My vegan-skeptical father and roommate both loved it and I of course couldn’t stop eating it. I found the recipe reposted online though and I was hoping to be able to purchase the cookbook, but I don’t live anywhere near San Diego. Do you happen to know if there’s an online source?

    • a-k says:

      I don’t think there’s an online source (a search of their website and blog revealed nothing), but I wonder if you’d be able to order it from them somehow? It wouldn’t hurt to try :-)

  10. liz says:

    Those cheesecakes are flat-out gorgeous! I’m taking notes on how to layer things now… ;)

    Wish I could go bakery-hopping with you someday, you have a knack for jumping on the best stuff (cinnamon rolls and mushroom pies!!). *Especially* now that it’s scarf season, this is when I love taking those long walks downtown for no other reason than to hit a bakery and get a big cookie and a tea and just smell stuff in the air. :)

  11. Yoga Witch says:

    YUM! If you get a chance, I’d love to hear more about the acai bowls. What is it made of? Acai berry smoothie? Or puree? Thanks!

  12. Lauren says:

    What a delicious trip!!!!!!

  13. mihl says:

    Amazing pictures…all that food looks great, I don’t know where to start. That owl picture made me gibbgle. What a cute bird.

  14. mihl says:

    Yeah, I ment giggle.

  15. Lorena says:

    Yum! Those are some of my favorite places to eat in town — I’m a native San Diegan. Of course, there looks like a couple of other places I should try out!

    And I know what you mean about Terry’s influence — even though I LOVE Mexican food, I’ve found myself going out for it less and less, since I can make my own yumminess at home. And I’m so looking forward to sharing some of Terry’s recipes with my Mexican family over the upcoming holidays, too!

  16. JENNA says:

    As much as I’m loving all the delicious looking food you got to eat in San Diego my favorite thing about this post is the owl!

  17. veganhomemade says:

    So many cool places to eat! San Diego sounds great. And I LOVE the picture of the owl, it’s perfect. Love his little skinny legs.

  18. Jenni says:

    Wow, can’t believe all those yummy desserts are vegan! I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t eat eggs and I also try to stick to organic dairy, so I often eat vegan desserts when out and about. I wish it was so easy to get such gorgeous vegan puds where I live!

  19. Celine says:

    the food looks scrumptious as always, but allow me to SQUEE at the adorable burrowing owl instead! we enjoy seeing them here too, but alas, they are building so much crap that we get less and less opportunities to say hi to them. pity that. ah, I love owls so much…

  20. t says:

    Oh my goodness, everything looks fabulous, but especially those cheesecakes! Glad you had a good time!

  21. This is one of my favorite posts ever from bloglandia. Beautiful pictures of food and a sweet/dorky owl. Who could ask for more?

    Can I also add that Stephanie’s sounds like absolute nirvana? Sign me up for a savory pastry and cinnamon roll.

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