Surati Farsan Mart

Surati FarsanHow delicious is this place?! 100% vegetarian cuisine, not that I really know their ingredient list or anything, being an avowed carnivore myself. That is just what everyone claims about the place. Doesn't matter to me one bit, all that matters is that everything I put in my mouth tasted great. We had a small meal that was, none the less, very filling. It consisted of 3 orders and drinks. Chole Samosa, consisting of 2 vegetable filled puff styled pasties in a mix of spiced chick peas. There was a little sweet and little heat in this. One black roasted Thai like chili and what I suspect was a tamarind sauce that lay waiting in the bottom of the bowl. Surati Farsan Chole Samosa and Dahi Sev PuriMasala Dosa, consisting of a large bread like crepe that was rolled and stuffed with lightly curried potatoes. This was served with a vegetable based spiced soup and some mint and coconut chutney. Dahi Sev Puri, was purchased at the suggestion of the wait staff. This is a small deep fried whole wheat puff pasty shell stuffed with chick peas, potatoes and a green piquant sauce that I suspected was cilantro based. They were topped off with yogurt. Incredible!! To drink, Maureen had a Mango Lassi and I had a Falooda. The Falooda consisted of rose infused milk with vanilla ice cream and some passion fruit. Surati Farsan Masala Dosa and Dahi Sev Puri Highly recommended!!

Lesson Learned

I am uploading a big photo gallery through the software for WP. It slows the heck out of the site. I won't do that again in the future. Small photo galleries are OK but the large ones will have to be uploaded at night. Sorry about the slowdown. If finally finished. Ouch!

Assenti’s Pasta

Assenti’s Pasta is one of our favorite spots.  It is a straight forward pasta shop. There is typically a selection of 10-20 different types of pasta that are laid out on trays for you to look over.  This is the freshest pasta we have found in the San Diego area.  They are consistently good and there are some fairly unusual pastas like the squid ink black pasta, along with others.  They also have a little deli counter with a small selection of salami and cheese along with a few shelves with various Euro/Italian style of condiments such as EVOO, capers, arborio rice, etc., etc.  They carry a great Tuscano Salami that I like to pick up when I am there. There is not a lot to say, just that if you want the best pasta in San Diego, this is your spot.  Oh, one last thing to point out; CASH ONLY!  They do have an ATM but it charges you a small fee.  I’ve learned but messed up a couple times in the early days. They are located in the north end of Little Italy, across the street from Mona Lisa, 1731 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Mona Lisa Italian Foods

Mona Lisa Italian FoodsMona Lisa’s is located right across the street from Assenti’s Pasta.  What a great duo!  They have a number of things that we love to buy.  First off, they have some great home made sausage.  They are wrapped continuously so you can buy a sausage that is a couple of feet long.  For a nice presentation, we like to coil them into long coils and pan sear them until done.  The plain mild Italian sausage is the bomb, we love it.  They also have some awesome Provolone balls, rich and authentic stuff, like you won’t find almost anywhere else in town.  Pick up a can of the tuna belly if you like canned tuna.  It will ruin all other canned tuna for you.  Amazingly great.  Salted capers and salted anchovies are always on hand.  I had an espresso soda that was actually delicious.  There sandwiches are quite good and they have a solid selection of Italian wines that are not your typical brands.  Looks like someone there knows a thing or two about Italian wine.

O’Brien’s Pub

O'Brien's PubO’Brien’s Pub is kind of a classic, old school, pub.  Seems like it is usually full of thirsty guys.  My wife always comments that there are over 90% men there.  There are places that have a fancier decor, no doubt but NOBODY pours better brew on a regular basis than these guys do.  Their tasting events are legendary.  You can sign up for their email list at their website.  I read every one! A couple of my favorite events this past year have been the Russian River “Tion” tasting and the Alesmith Stout tasting. For the Russian River "Tion" tasting, they feature all 17 of the RR brews whose name end with “tion”.  For example, Damnation, Supplication, etc.  Most of these are sours.  I’ve attended this even for about 3 years now and it took two times before I became addicted to this style.  Now I am seeking them out everywhere I go. One other thing they had at one of these events was a cask version of their Porter.  That was totally awesome.  Imperial styled, this was the best Porter I have ever tasted.  Wish I could get it more often! O'Brien's "tion" TastingThe other event that was awesome was the Alesmith Kopi Luwak Speedway Stout release tasting.  This is a coffee bean Stout made from some of the most expensive coffee beans on the planet.  Wild stuff, look up Kopi Luwak in Google, if you don’t know about it.  Anyhow, along with this, they had some older cask versions of the Speedway Stout there too.  As a special treat, I pulled out a bottle of some aged Speedway that had about 3 years on it.  I think it was the beer of the night, which is saying something! Anyhow, O’Brien’s rocks for having the best beer.  Oh, and they have some decent food.  Gastropub style.  They make a darned good hamburger with stilton blue and bacon.  They do specials all the time and keep a board menu out front, as you walk in.  If you are hungry, don’t forget to check it out. They are located in kind of a strange place.  Right in the middle of the Oriental section of Kearny Mesa on Convoy Street.

Northgate Market: Favorite Grocery Store for Mexican Food

Northgate MarketFirst off, let me say that I shop at the store located off of 43rd Street in National City.  It’s hard to do this place justice without just going there.  This is an awesome store!  I found it when I was on a search for fresh Chilauca Chili’s.  They ALWAYS have them in stock.  I love to add these in strips to my homemade chili, especially when they are ripe.  They are hard to find ripened, even here, but I get them here and am happy to find any at all. The butcher shop and deli areas are massive and they wrap around the whole shop.  This is a big store, as big as a Super Ralphs, if that helps you scale it.  They have so many good things here.  Their prepared meats, especially the carnitas, are incredible and relatively cheap compared to many places.  Fresh salsas, soups and tons of prepared dishes are available to eat there or take home. They have a tortilla station and are more than happy to let you have a bag of freshly cooked ones if you ask.  They have some unusual versions as well.  Pretty cool. If you like to cook Mexican styled cuisine, you owe yourself a visit.  It’s one of our favorite places to shop in all San Diego.

Issue With New Site

I'm going through a fairly drastic change here.  For those of you who have links to various pages and images on my site, I have removed most of them.   Over time, I may bring some of them back but I am changing the fundamental way that I am using the non-forum areas of the site.  I will stockpile some pages of information as time goes by but most of the content will be based on my personal blog information that will include information on food, drink, and travel. If there is an article or image that you would like to see come back, contact me and let me know. I will have a contact form built by the end of the day.