Okay I know I went to San Diego over a month ago but between traveling, holidays, and baby – let’s face it I am a little strapped for time and “baby brain” is in full effect. Who goes to San Diego and brings only their cell phone to take pictures? Oh ya this mama! But enough excuses..I was so excited when my parents called me to tell me Daddy had a conference out in SD. And to my surprise they said I was invited for my birthday. And John decided to tag along for our “babymoon” as well! So the planning began…on where to eat of course – that was my main focus and priority!
First stop was Rubicon Deli. My panini guru friend Kathy over at Panini Happy lives out in San Diego and I asked her where the best place to go for a sandwich was. This place did not disappoint. There were only about 5 or 6 tables in this cozy spot so getting there at the right time was keen. I got the Rubicon Special…Turkey, Smoked Gouda, Roasted Red Peppers, Lettuce, and Pesto Mayo (turkey is still what this baby is craving – 2 months straight). If you ever go there, order the half portion I promise it will be enough. I of course did not, but it ended up saving this pregnant lady every time I needed to nibble on something. Luckily we had a fridge at the hotel.
Then on to La Jolla for a little sightseeing & shopping. Look at this view – breathtaking isn’t it? We watched the sea lions for quite a while which was very entertaining! And went to George’s at the Cove for some drinks and appetizers before dinner. Watching the sunset at their ocean terrace was great. They even made me a fun virgin version of their El Corazon – Soho Lychee, passion fruit, pomegranate, blood orange, and champagne.
Next stop – birthday dinner at Herringbone. The reason I was so stoked about this place was the chef Brian Malarkey. Remember when I met other Top Chefs Sarah Gruenberg and Tre Wilcox? Sadly, I didn’t see him. But the ambiance and food were great! I had the Pan Seared Duck Breast with Hazelnut Polenta, Crispy Pancetta & Wilted Beet Greens and then dessert was a Peanut Butter Puck – Peanut Butter Mousse with Concord Grape Sorbet in the center with a Chocolate Shell. Both were definitely devoured!
Then back to our hotel the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina- views from day & night. Too bad you can’t see any of the seals that lined some of the docks.
Our next day was spent at Balboa Park which included a trip to the San Diego Zoo. Baby Blueberry got quite a few things from there!
Then lunch at Prado where I had the Black Bean Soup with spices, red onions, sour cream, and lime. And Grilled Steak Tacos- chile lime marinated steak, cabbage slaw, charro beans, Spanish rice, chimichurri sauce, and a virgin mojito. Hey don’t judge I was on vacation so I had to indulge a little.
Even though you think I would have stuffed myself full by now I haven’t even mentioned the best meal I had. Actually let me rephrase that, it’s probably one of my top 10 favorite meals I have had in a long time. The place: Cucina Urbana. We started with appetizers for the whole family. I had them step out on a limb and try the Stuffed Fried Squash Blossoms with Herb Ricotta and Basil Pesto and Ricotta Gnudi in a Sage Brown Butter Sauce with Parmigiano and Amaretti. For my entree, both my daddy & I got the Lasagna al Forno with Beef, Pork, Veal and a Pomodoro/Bechemel Sauce. This lasagna is something I can’t even describe. I definitely want to try and remake it!
Our final day we stopped by the bay and looked at some of the ships. Then finished by having a southern brunch at Craft & Commerce – I like to describe this place as a retro speakeasy restaurant. I had the Fried Chicken and Biscuits with Espresso Gravy. It was great but it doesn’t come close to the Maple Bacon Gravy John makes.
Then we ended the morning with a trip out to Coronado where the Navy Seals train. And to complete the trip I of course had to run around on the beach like a little kid and put my toes in the Pacific Ocean (which by the way was freezing). Then off to my dad’s childhood friend’s house to watch the Auburn game. Note I was wearing my gameday colors. You can take me out of the South but you can’t take the South out of me.
This is a trip I will never forget. Thanks Mama, Daddy, and John for making it so special!