Jan 2007

Tamarind – San Diego (La Mesa)

Photo by YellowBot

December 28, 2006
Cuisine: Thai

7970 University Avenue Suite 310
La Mesa, CA 91941

Phone: (619) 337-2581
Website: http://www.tamarindthai.com/

Pad Thai – Stir fried small rice noodle with egg, tamarind sauce, leek, bean-sprout served with ground peanut on top ($8.50)

My friends Kellie and Aaron along with Kel’s husband Mike met for dinner at Tamarind to reminice about old times, catch up on new times, and eat some great Thai food.

Every time I eat at a Thai restaurant I make a conscious effort to order something other than Pad Thai. Sadly though, my efforts are usually futile because I REALLY like Pad Thai. Although I tried hard to order something new, this visit was no different, I ordered Pad Thai.

Tamarind makes a killer Pad Thai; I ordered mine with tofu. Other options include mock meat, vegetables, chicken, seafood, or beef. It must be noted that the noodles were superb due to their natural elasticity. I don’t think I have ever had such great noodles. Additionally, the sauce was appropriately sweet and sour. But since I like my Pad Thai on the sour side, I squeezed some fresh lime juice on top. Lastly, the tofu was fried to a nice crisp and the fresh bean sprouts brought a lovely crunch. Overall, a perfect rendition of my old standby.

Kellie ordered a fantastic Green Curry. The taste of lemongrass permeated the entire dish.

Tamarind Thai on Urbanspoon

Jan 2007

Á Châu – San Diego

December 30, 2006
Cuisine: Vietnamese, Deli

4644 El Cajon Blvd Ste 111
San Diego, CA 92115-4432

Phone: 619-281-4066
Website: none

Bánh Mì Dāc Biêt ($2.50)

Bánh Mì Thịt Nguội ($2)

A Chau sells the best bánh mì on the planet. The bread is perfectly crisp and always fresh, the meats are high-quality, and the pickled carrots and daikon are crunchy and flavorful. I always pick up some bánh mì whenever I am home because Philly bánh mì doesn’t stand a chance.

On my recent visit to A Chau, I ordered the bánh mì thịt nguội, which consists of cold cuts, pickled vegetables (carrots, daikon, onions, and cucumber), pate and cilantro. I always ask for my sandwiches without mayo. As always, the sandwich hit the spot and filled me up nicely. My other favorite sandwich at A Chau is the bánh mì bì cha, which comprises of shredded pork, slices of pork sausage and a drizzle of scallion oil.

Cousin Phil and Danny ordred the Bánh Mì Dāc Biêt, which came with everything on my sandwich with additional slices of pork sausage (cha).

A-Chau on Urbanspoon

Jan 2007

Old Town Mexican Cafe – San Diego

December 27, 2006
Cuisine: Mexican

489 San Diego Ave
San Diego, CA 92110

Phone: (619) 297-4330
Website: www.oldtownmexcafe.com/

Tortilla chips with Pico de Gallo (complimentary)

Appetizer II: Fresh corn and flour tortillas

Entree I: Machaca con Huevos – Shredded beef, eggs, onions, bell pepper, chiles, and spices; served with rice and beans.

Entree II: Burrito Colorado – Chunks of beef with red chile sauce

Dessert: Cinnamon and Sugar Churro with Vanilla Ice Cream

As a small child, my aunt Ut used to take me to the Old Town Mexican Cafe. Even though my taste buds weren’t full developed yet, I loved their fresh flour tortillas smeared with butter. While home for the holidays, we decided to see if the Old Town Mexican Cafe was still magical after all these years.

The restaurant is located in Old Town San Diego which has become quite the tourist trap these days. Plenty of souvenir shops and historical placards line the streets. We dined on a Wednesday afternoon around 2:30 PM but still had to wait at least 30 minutes for a table. Que popular!

We were famished by the time we were finally seated and quickly ordered some tortillas to snack on. We also enjoyed some complimentary chips and dip. The tortillas were just as great as I remembered them. They were warm off the griddle and amazingly pliable. Supermarket tortillas tend to tear easily, but these tortillas could be stretched and folded without harm. They also tasted wonderfully, especially the fragrant and earthy corn tortillas. My small cousins enjoyed the flour tortillas smeared with butter. The circle of life continues.

For my entree I ordered the Machaca con Huevos, which were served with a side of tortillas, rice and beans. I thought the meat and eggs could’ve used more salt, but the rice and beans were right on point. My uncle ordered the Burrito Colorado at the suggestion of my aunt. He found it a bit too salty, but since my entree was mild, I appreciated the saltiness. My aunt and cousins shared a steak quesadilla. I did not get a chance to taste it, but my cousin Madison proclaimed that it was “so, so good.”

For dessert, my cousins Megan and Madison shared the churro with ice cream. The churro wasn’t up to Megan’s standards so she cast it aside and focused on the ice cream. Madison was also a big fan of the ice cream. In fact, she sipped up the melted ice cream with a straw.

Maddie

Old Town Mexican Cafe on Urbanspoon