Exquisite Dining near the Sea over at 333!

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Did you know….

Oceanside is situated on the Pacific Coast named quite literally because of its location.   Its history begins in the agriculture-rich San Luis Rey Valley, which was first explored by the Spanish Explorer Portola in 1769, followed by the founding of the Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in 1798.

The Mission, with its vast fruit orchards and cattle raising activities included a large population of Native Americans. The Indians who were gathered at the Mission were called “San Luisenos” by the Franciscans, later shortened to “Luisenos.”  Indians were instrumental in building the Mission compound as they provided the labor.  Mission San Luis Rey was the largest building in California when completed and was the most prosperous of the missions, earning the name “King of the Missions.” (oceansidechamber.com)

Today’s Restaurant

333 Pacific – Oceanside, Ca 

Average Cost

$31-60

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Sweet Chili Calamari, California Rolls, Steaks, Vegetable Stir Fry

So every year, we take a family trip to a fun and exotic location.

This year we decided to go to the sunny and beautiful San Diego, California country to enjoy the awesome weather, San Diego Zoo, Safari Park and Seaworld.

Gathering family together is always a pleasant and memorable experience for me, but also how we get down when it comes to food.

We decided to go out to eat and boy did we do it big at a restaurant right off the beach called 333.

Let’s talk about it…

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Tender Sweet Love to your Belly when you’re Dining at Kelsey’s!

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Did you know….

The first barbecue sauces were mostly butter. In “Nouveaux Voyages aux Isles d’Amerique” by Frenchman Jean B. Labot in 1693, there is a description of a barbecued whole hog that is stuffed with aromatic herbs and spices, roasted belly up, and basted with a sauce of melted butter, cayenne pepper, and sage, a popular technique from back home that probably came to the new world via the French West Indies by slaves and Creoles. The French are incapable of making anything without butter. The French also were big on meat juices in their sauces, an ingredient still found in some homebrewed Texas barbecue sauces and more recently in Adam Perry Lang’s Board Sauces.

The German fondness of pork with mustard resulted in the wonderful yellow barbecue sauces still popular in a band of South Carolina from Charleston to Columbia.

In 1867, just after the end of the Civil War, after all the slave cooks were freed, the Georgia widow Mrs. A.P. Hill published Mrs. Hill’s New Cook Book dedicated “to young and inexperienced Southern housekeepers… in this peculiar crisis of our domestic as well as national affairs”. It contains the first reference I have found for a sauce for barbecue. It is mostly butter and vinegar: “Sauce for Barbecues. – Melt half a pound of butter; stir into it a large tablespoon of mustard, half a teaspoon of red pepper, one of black, salt to taste; add vinegar until the sauce has a strong acid taste. The quantity of vinegar will depend upon the strength of it. As soon as the meat becomes hot, begin to baste, and continue basting frequently until it is done; pour over the meat any sauce that remains.” Interestingly, Mrs. Hill shares many “catsup” recipes, among them two for tomato catsup that are pretty close to what we know today. Originally ketchup was probably made from fermented fish.(amazingribs.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Kelsey’s Food & Drink – Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, Ca

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Everything!!!! Ribs..Collard Greens, Pork Belly Baked Beans

Something about tender rich meat smothered with barbecue sauce just gets me excited in every way.

Arousal in my eyes, my sense of touch, my palate, my stomach, even my sexual parts.

Then you take that and mix it with collard greens, baked beans and corn bread and I’m liable to explode.

I had an awesome, memorable breathtaking experience at one of the best barbecue joints I have been to in my life and that was at Kelsey’s in the Pechanga Resort & Casino.

Let’s talk about it…

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You will Lose your Mind from the Food at 1909!

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Did you know….

The Temecula Valley.  Southern California Wine Country.

The history of winemaking in California began with the founding of Mission San Diego de Alcala in 1769. As the mission chain advanced northward from San Diego, vine cuttings were planted at each of the new missions, with some mission sites more successful than others at producing wines. Among the most successful of the missions was Mission San Gabriel, just north of present-day Los Angeles, whose wines were generally regarded as the finest of all the mission wines. By the early 19th century the California wine industry was concentrated in Southern California, with a number of successful wineries being established in what is today downtown Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley, and other favorable locations, including, somewhat later, Cucamonga Valley. During much of the 19th century Southern California provided most of the wine produced in the state, eventually being supplanted by Northern California as the wine production center of the state.

In the late 1960’s Southern California grape growing and winemaking began a revival in the Temecula Valley with the planting, beginning in 1968, of substantial wine grape acreage. The first wines from the new vineyards were produced by Brookside Winery in their Cucamonga winery, but in 1974 the founding of Callaway Winery marked the beginning of winemaking in the Temecula Valley. Since then numerous additional wineries have been built, some with restaurants and overnight facilities, including luxury resorts.(temeculawines.org)

Today’s Restaurant

1909 Restaurant – Temecula, Ca

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

1909 Burger, Beer Battered Fish Tacos

So it’s the ‘Best of The West’Pop Warner Football event in Southern California; and I am here to watch my youngest son (Safety) finish off his football season with their Super Bowl event.

The event was held in Murrieta, Ca so I decided to stay somewhere close which was Temecula, Ca.

Temecula seemed to be a great town to stay in and it was impressive from the 1st night in.

They had a Christmas parade about 2 miles long with magnificent lighting, bands and everyone from the community lined up on both sides of the street.

They also have a huge casino called Pechanga with great entertainment, great dining and huge amounts of fun. I’ll talk about that on another blog..

Another great experience was the beautiful Christmas lit area downtown, with tons of restaurants and a party crowd that filled the scenery.

This is where my wife and I found ourselves on Friday night to enjoy the Southern California night life with some Southern California cuisine..

Let’s talk about it…

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I’ll Walk the Plank for Skirt Steak at Left Bank!

STEAK FRITES	26 8 oz natural skirt steak 34 10 oz Certified Angus Beef rib eye French fries, includes choice of Bordelaise, green peppercorn sauce, or Roquefort butter

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Did you know….

Skirt steak comes from the “plate” beef cut, which lies in between the brisket beef cut and the flank beef cut. The belly of the beef cattle is comprised of the brisket, plate and flank cuts. Towards the front of the beef cattle is the brisket and the flank is near its behind. Some drawings/pictures omit the plate cut entirely and depict the beef cattle having just having the brisket and flank cuts; this is not the most accurate.
What exactly is a “plate” cut? The only plate a non-veteran of the beef industry is familiar with is either the noun which describes the object we eat off of or the verb that describes how we place our food. Similarly, what is the skirt steak? It is actually the diaphragm of the cattle. You may or may not remember from biology class that the diaphragm acts as a divider between the thoracic/chest cavity (heart, lungs, ribs) and abdominal cavity (intestines, stomach, etc).(homeyeats.wordpress.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Left Bank – San Jose, Ca (Santana Row)

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Skirt Steak Frites with Roquefort butter and Green Peppercorn Sauce on the side!

Steak on it’s own is a delicacy that us meat lovers fantasize about daily!

There is just so many things you can do with a steak and it makes everything taste good.

Almost as good as bacon; but that is an entirely different story.

I love steak and eggs..

I love steak with gravy..

I love steak in soup..

I love a steak sandwich…

I’d love steak even if I had no teeth to eat it. I’ll borrow someone’s dentures to eat steak… Hahaha

A version of steak that I really love is Skirt Steak; and Left Bank has one to die for.

Let’s talk about it!

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The Mona Lisa ain’t got nothing on this Pizza!

Patrizio Pizza which contains Pepperoni, Prosciutto Cotto, Roasted Garlic, Oregano, Chili Flakes, Mozzarella,Parmigiano Reggiano, and Crushed San Marzano Tomato Sauce .

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Did you know….

“Purely an Italian-American creation, like chicken Parmesan,” said John Mariani, a food writer and historian who has just published a book with the modest title: “How Italian Food Conquered the World.” “Peperoni” is the Italian word for large peppers, as in bell peppers, and there is no Italian salami called by that name, though some salamis from Calabria and Apulia are similarly spicy and flushed red with dried chilies. The first reference to pepperoni in print is from 1919, Mr. Mariani said, the period when pizzerias and Italian butcher shops began to flourish here.

Pepperoni certainly has conquered the United States. Hormel is the biggest-selling brand, and in the run-up to the Super Bowl this Sunday, the company has sold enough pepperoni (40 million feet) to tunnel all the way through the planet Earth, said Holly Drennan, a product manager.(todayifoundout.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Pizza Bocca Lupo – San Pedro Square Market

Average Cost

Around $14

Rating (1-10)

9

Recommended Dishes: 

The pizza of your desires!!

Boy Oh Boy do I love pizza!!

If it weren’t for me trying to manage my weight then I would eat pizza for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between!

I love pizza when I’m sober..

I love pizza when I’m buzzed..

If I were hiking at the top of Mount Everest and needed a snack it would be pizza..

If I jumped out of a plane skydiving at 50,000 feet and needed a snack in the air; it would be pizza..

My last request on my death bed would be a hot slice of oozing cheese on a pepperoni pizza!

Let’s talk about it…

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Beer..Shots..Fish and Chips..The Dream of The English!!

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Did you know….

Fish and chips became a stock meal among the working classes in England as a consequence of the rapid development of trawl fishing in the North Sea, and the development of railways which connected the ports to major industrial cities during the second half of the 19th century, which meant that fresh fish could be rapidly transported to the heavily populated areas. Deep-fried fish was first introduced into Britain during the 16th century by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain, and is derived from pescado frito. In 1860, the first fish and chip shop was opened in London by Joseph Malin. (en.wikipedia.org)

Today’s Restaurant

The Brit – Downtown San Jose, Ca

Average Cost

$12-$15

Rating (1-10)

7.5

Recommended Dishes an drinks: 

Fish and Chips, Dry Rub Chicken Wings, The Beer of your Choice

It’s the weekend and what do you have planned for the night?

Are you going to a bar? Out dancing? Or hanging at home?

Whatever you are doing I hope you enjoy yourself and have a moment of relaxation to get yourself back to the basics of living to enjoy life and not for life to overwhelm you.

One thing Virginia and I like to do on weekends is to have an ice cold Lagunitas IPA with a couple of Jameson shots and some bar food to go with it.

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Holy Mole!!

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Did you know….

A common legend of its creation takes place at the Convent of Santa Rosa in Puebla early in the colonial period. Upon hearing that the archbishop was going to visit, the convent nuns went into a panic because they were poor and had almost nothing to prepare.

The nuns prayed and brought together the little bits of what they did have, including chili peppers, spices, day-old bread, nuts, and a little chocolate. They killed an old turkey, cooked it and put the sauce on top; the archbishop loved it.

When the nun was asked the name of the dish, she replied, “I made a mole.” Mole was the ancient word for mix; now this word mostly refers to the dish, and rarely is used to signify other kinds of mixes in Spanish. (wikipedia)

Today’s Restaurant

Cascal Restaurant – Mountain View, Ca

Average Cost

$10-15

Rating (1-10)

9.5

Recommended Dishes an drinks: 

Beef Short Rib Adobo, Mexican Gorditas,Peruvian Ceviche, The House Margarita, Raspberry Caipirinha

It’s Friday night and time to end the week with a bang! One of my favorite places to go for drinks and ridiculous tasty Spanish food is Cascal Restaurant in Mountain View, Ca.

I am one of those foodie types where I need a variety of different foods throughout the week. Journeying to the same part of the world of food two to three times a week is not my style so I’m always experimenting and dining on something new. I’ve learned in the past that when you want Mexican food you should find a good hole in the wall restaurant to go get it because that is where the best tasting food will be.

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Lollipop lollipop oh lolli lollipop…

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Did you know….

Kung Pao Chicken gets its name from its first adoring fan: Ding Baozhen.

As a boy in Guizhou the early nineteenth century, the story goes, Ding Baozhen accidentally fell into the water. He couldn’t swim, but he was saved by a man who happened to be passing by. Ding grew up and became a government official, eventually attaining the rank of Gōngbǎo (宫保) at a post in Sichuan Province. Reflecting on the man had once who saved his life as a boy, he decided to pay the family a visit to express his gratitude.

While visiting their home, Ding Baozhen was served a dish featuring diced chicken, peanuts, and spicy Sichuan peppercorns. He liked the flavor, and legend has it that he asked the family chef for the recipe and began eating it on a regular basis and serving it to his own guests. The dish quickly spread around Sichuan Province, where it came to be called gōngbǎo jīdīng 宫保鸡丁 in honor of the dish’s most ardent fan, Ding Baozhen.(theworldofchinese.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Sino’s Restaurant – Santana Row

Average Cost

$12-$30

Rating (1-10)

8.5

Recommended Dishes: 

LolliPops, Hot & Sour Soup, Firecracker Chicken, Wok Fired Steak, Szechuan Green Beans

Once you pop you can’t stop!

It’s Thursday night and Friday is so close you can almost taste it. I’ve always thought of Thursday’s as a good night to go out and start the pre-weekend with a few drinks and there is no better place to have drinks and appetizers than Santana Row in San Jose, Ca!

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Bring a bib for some beer and ribs…

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Did you know….

That boiling your ribs in Coke or Dr. Pepper before you grill them will do something magical to your ribs. The sugar and the carbonation will tenderize your ribs and make them extra tender and sweet.

Today’s Restaurant

Yardhouse – Santana Row, 300 Santana Row #101, San Jose, CA 95128

Average Cost

Around $15-$25 per plate depending on the dish- Unless you make Happy hour then more like $5-$10 for most appetizer dishes

Rating (1-10)

9.5

Recommended Dishes: 

St. Louis Style BBQ Ribs, Rib Eye Steak, Miso Sea Bass, Firecracker Wings, Spicy Thai Chicken pizza, Edamame, BEER!!

Friday night at 8..and I just can’t be late. Got a Happy Hour date.. She will soon be my mate.. That would be so great. Great..Great..Great..Great! I can hardly wait!

It’s the end of the week people and time to relax with a beer and get my hands on some finger foods. What better way to enjoy a Friday night than with good company and saying ‘Cheers!’

One of our favorite places to go on a Friday night for Happy Hour is Yardhouse in Santana Row in San Jose, Ca.

Happy Hour runs from 3pm – 6pm M-F but if you are not there by 5pm then you could be waiting for an hour to get in. We made it by 4:45pm so Virginia and I waited until about 5:20pm to get seated.

The hardest part is just standing there and looking at how happy people are with their Alaskan frozen glasses with bubbles of luscious brew bouncing in their glasses. I can see people wiping their mouths after biting into steaks dripping with its tender succulent juices, people stretching their necks back as far as they can to pull the cheese away from their pizza with their mouths and me siting there catching a whiff of all the aromas coming from every dish.

My pocket feels a vibration. Yes! It’s time!

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