Saturday, February 16, 2013

Low Carb/Paleo in Downtown San Diego

As you'd expect, there's no lack of good restaurants in San Diego. I didn't go to as many as I wanted to: I was hungry only once or twice a day, even though I did a lot of walking. Since I was doing so much walking, I ate more carbs than I normally do.

Grand Central Cafe at the YMCA Building, Broadway & India. So-so food; a little pricey for the lack of quality. I ate here a second time only because I didn't want to walk elsewhere in the coldest rain I'd ever been in. (I don't recommend their noisy hotel, either.)

Burger Lounge. Best burger I've ever had, anywhere. Excellent salad, too. According to their website, "Our beef comes from one farm, grown by a small company where the animals are well treated and never spend time in a corporate 'feed-lot'. Their diet consists of tall green grass from beautiful Kansas prairie land. This is what nature intended cows to eat and nothing more. No hormones, no antibiotics, no grain, no corn, just beautiful green grass." I ate al fresco in Little Italy at Cedar & India; there is also a Burger Lounge in the Gaslamp Quarter (528 5th Avenue) and one on Coronado Island (922 Orange Avenue). They also have a mobile kitchen, but I suppose it's too much to hope for that they'll be driving it to Denver.

A music box dancer pays homage to fine food during Carnevale.

La Villa. If you're a foodie and a wine aficionado, this is the place for you. They serve local vegetables and regional pastured meats; the waiter/bartender was up on the wines as well as the food. I had the carpaccio appetizer: the greens, shaved cheese and lemony vinaigrette harmonized to make it a delicious dish. Little Italy, 1646 India Street.

Spaghetteria. This unfortunately named restaurant with a home page photo that looks like the contents of a can of Chef Boyardee is really a gem.The Sunday night I was there, a good band was playing lively standards, the place was hopping, and there were several meat and fish (mostly fish) dishes on the menu. The stuffed pork was filling and tasty (but a little dry) and the house red wine was just right--not too sweet, not too dry. The waitress confirmed that the pork dish didn't have any flour (but she still asked me if I wanted any bread). It came with a bunch of rice, which I mostly ignored. Little Italy, India Street between Fir and Grape.

Dublin Square Irish Pub early in the morning. Perhaps the maddening crowds were nursing hangovers.

Dublin Square Irish Pub. I was out walking early one morning and smelled bacon. I walked for blocks looking for the elusive bacon, but the wind kept shifting. I ended up at Dublin and ordered corned beef hash and eggs. The waitress confirmed it didn't have flour, and agreed to substitute salsa for hollendaise sauce, which probably was thickened with flour. A little carby, and at $12.95, a little spendy for breakfast, but there was so much food that I had to box up some of it. Strangely for an Irish restaurant, the salsa (actually green chili) was some of the best I've ever had, anywhere. Gaslamp Quarter, 544 Fourth Avenue.

Wendy's. Hey, it's cheap, it's open early, the coffee's good, and you can get 500 calories for less than five bucks--just get a egg, cheese and sausage sandwich deal (it comes with potatoes and a drink) and throw away the bun. First and Broadway next to Spreckel's Theater.

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