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Monthly Archives: October 2011

San Carlos is Golden

I should say go here.  This says it all and there’s only one thing missing:  Everything I’ve eaten at Golden Cheers tastes wonderful.


There’s some truth to the saying good things tend to go together with good things.  I’ve written about how good the Golden Bagel is (Bagels have a new meaning for me, they are Golden ).   I was amazed to find out just today that Golden Cheers is owned by the same person who owns Golden Bagel and they are both oh so good!


Now I’m delivering the same sermon on goodness with a different name. The funny thing is I’ve been eating the food from Golden Cheers Deli for years and I’ve always loved it.  In fact I’ve driven miles out of my way just for Cheers because it is so good.  Golden Bagel I only recently discovered is owned by the same person.  It is no wonder then that they both offer great food.


I believe my task here is to let readers know where to find good food and where not to go due to a lack of good food or service or value.  So I say this is a place to keep in your GO TO file, for good food, good service, and priced right.


The menu is huge.  They open at 8:00 a.m. and fulfill your hunger needs until 11:00 p.m. unless it’s Sunday when they close at 10:00 p.m.  You can buy sandwiches, with over 30 to choose from, salads (they make over 12 named salads), with a choice of 4 side salads, deli meats by the pound, cheeses by the pound, and sides by the pound.  I should also let you know the address is 6893 Navajo Rd,San Diego.


They tell you better than I can, ‘Today, our deli is the most talked about in the neighborhood for its high standards. Our meats and cheeses are freshly cut in front of our customers as they order. Our variety of breads are freshly baked and delivered every day of the week especially for our deli. The generous portions we use to make the sandwiches and salads, along with our unique style and recipes in preparing the food results in a delicious gourmet, New York Style sandwich with the California touch, at an affordable price.’


Always good burgers in La Jolla while watching the Browns



I’ll start in IB and make my way toOceanside, enjoying great atmosphere and food along the way.  I’d like to think beyond reviews I could find additional, fun things to do, killing two birds with one stone.


It seems a trip onPacific Coast Hwymight fill the bill but that won’t get you to Mickies Bar & Grill in IB nor The Spot, which puts you on Prospect inLa Jolla.  So I want to simply find great or near great sports bars inAmerica’s Finest oceanfront communities with things to do nearby so as to maximize the dollars spent road tripping.


I’ve been to Nick’s in P.B. (Nick’s my kind of sports bar  ), Tiny’s  (Tiny’s Tavern an O.B. trophy ) in O.B. and now I want to get my appetite satisfied in LJ.  I’ve heard the La Jolla Brew House ( ) is good and they make great burgers.  So it’s burger time inLa Jolla.  Located at7536 Fay Ave, you’ll find off street parking at LJBH.  They’re open from 11:00 a.m. till midnight every day. Their web site says they’ve got you covered for 0 – $10.00 but I think it’s been a while since they’ve updated their site.  Still they are competitively priced with the burgers.


Knowing is Cleveland Brown territory, I wore my NFL Reebok Cleveland Browns Sideline Training Camp Straw Hat, very nice to keep the sun off.  This made me a very popular guy as I ordered my Mushroom Swiss with sautéed mushrooms and onions for $10.50 and was pleased it wasn’t done to pershoeleather.  I’ll do anything to get a competitive edge on good service and tastes.  Overall this place works if you want decent food and nice atmosphere for the game on Sunday.


I’ve been toldJamul,CAis the horse capitol of the world.  If so, then La Jolla is the art gallery capitol of the world (excludingParis).  If you like art, I counted no less than 10 galleries within five square miles of LHBH.  For really nice doings on the cheap, just head downCoast Blvdfor breathtaking views of the best urban shoreline in the country.  I love ocean views so for my next anniversary I want to stay at the nearby B & B the historic, La Jolla Cove Cottage and watch the sunset with myNancyand a bottle of Moscato.

Fight breast cancer with little of no effort on your part

It seems more and more as though everyone knows someone with some a chronic disease that is if you don’t have one yourself.  Take me for example.  I’ve got chronic growing older after mid-life-crisis phenomena.   I also suffer from the lesser known disease called diabetes.  Who amongst us doesn’t know someone with cancer?  Some call it a manufactured state created by Freemasons or the Illuminati.  Is that even possible?  Whatever… I do know many people with cancer.  A good friend died nearly a decade ago of breast cancer.  My own brother passed with his entire body riddled with cancer.


I say we can’t give up looking for successful treatment for disease in this country.  Not even GOAMLC (see above for definition).   Now comes the bottom line.  Money is at the root of nearly every endeavor to change what is, to something better.  We are struggling to just keep the roof over our heads right now, so join in a win-win situation here and now.  Go for the shared efforts of heroes in our world willing to put out services or products and share the money with efforts to overcome disease… (!)


I’m a big fan of Mimi’s as some of you know ( Se Magnifique? ), but the deal is this, Go to Mimi’s for dinner November 2, or 3rd after 4:00 p.m. and they will donate 15% of your check to Breast Cancer Research and this won’t cost you a dime extra, thanks to Mimi’s generosity.


Or you can do another win-win by making a purchase from the breast cancer site directly.  There you can find something you already planned to purchase from a department store near you, so why not go here and buy it from a spot working for the cause. .


Disease research requires energy to overcome.  Let’s reach out and give a little energy to make this a better world.  You can exert your own energy with a walk for the cure, or with a drive to dine with a champion… but let’s get out and do something for those of us destined for a short life due to an infliction that might otherwise live long and prosper.

Memphis or Texas, if in El Cajon, I’ll take Texas from the Pit

2388 Fletcher Pkwyis the top of the hill, still considered El Cajon, but it would appear to be the top of the wall of the box on your way west to La Mesa, and that’s where you’ll find the Barbeque Pit restaurant.


Joe Browning was a mere youth arrived inSan Diegoto become a U.S. Navy Man ready to fight in World War II.  He hailed fromTexasand eventually married Lila Coates back in the 40s.  After the war, Joe and Lila moved to Joe’s home ofTexas, where Joe’s step daddy owned and operated ‘Shoemaker’s Famous Barbeque’ in theDallasarea.  It only took one hotTexassummer to motivate Joe to move back toAmerica’s finest city.


Joe and Lila’s brother-in-law, Ed Jenson pooled their money and opened the first of two BBQ joints.  They started with two locations in San Diego,  were successful, and over the years they operated restaurants in North Park; Pacific Beach; National City; Linda Vista; 6th Ave. in San Diego; 63rd and El Cajon Blvd; El Cajon Blvd. in El Cajon; Escondido; Kearney Mesa; Chula Vista; Fletcher Hills and San Marcos.


Today there are two Barbeque Pit restaurants in operation.  One is at theFletcher Pkwy spot covered in this review, and the other is located inNational City.  The two long running businesses are now operated by Joe and Lila’s son Gary and his wife Sue.


‘Don’t argue with success’, so they say.  And with that philosophy, Gary and Sue continued doing business the same way as did Joe and Lila.  They use the same recipes and still prepare the foods as did the original Shoemaker’s fromTexas.  Only ‘choice’ cuts of meat, slow cooked over an oak wood fire.


I started eating BBQ in the middle of the last century inNational City, but am happy to eat at theEl Cajonspot now.  My son-in-law loves all of it.  Great ham, beef, or chicken!  They do much more than the meats… I also enjoy the potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, beans and fries…  Nancyenjoys their split pea soup and pies.  I just hopeGary’s sons Todd and Tim continue for another decade or two so I can continue to enjoy good Texas BBQ.  They also cater, and offer packaged foods to go.  I’ve even stopped in for a quart of BBQ sauce.


San Diego does it best at Aero Club of Mission Hills

Ever wonder what Jim Morrison was talking about when he wanted to be shown to the next whiskey bar?  Can you hear the Kaliope playing in the background?  What a circus!  If you never wondered about the next whiskey bar, go to the Aero Club Bar at3365 India Streetat the base of Mission Hills.  They offer 130 different flavors of whiskey and 100 vodkas.  Who knew there were that many?  Plus you can go mellower with 20 beers on tap.  They even claim to have 28 different labels of gin.


This is your standard if you want to know what a typical dive bar would be.  Don’t be looking for no stinking truffles in this place, it’s a whiskey bar with lots of character.  Go for the good service, good booze, good prices and the TVs turn to sports when they are the thing to do.


Jim Morrison wouldn’t like it but the only smoking done is outside on the patio.  The entertainment here comes through the juke box and pool tables, unless you like people watching. Lot’s of people come here to unwind.  Plenty of 21 – 35 year old folks hanging out as if it’s there place as is typical of a dive bar, but again I found a few grey hairs hanging in with the group too.


We still have Sculpin on tap, as well as Speakeasy DoubleDaddy and Betrayal Imperial Red Ale….all fantastic choices for Friday drinking while enjoying the AC!!  So says Aero Club from their FB pages.  It’s definitely family flavor at the Club.  So if watching the game with friends over suds or bourbon is your thing, then this place is hard to beat.  

El Cajon Hacienda reminds me of the Yucantan

I once traipsed across theYucatanwhen it was mostly dense jungle andCancunwas barely born.  A long bus ride took us toMerida, no longer in the Caribbean but rather theGulf of Mexico.  There in the middle of this jungle was a great old hotel.  We’d stopped for lunch and I was immediately looking for Bogart and Bacall.  I knew I could move to this hotel and live cheaper than I could back in the states.  I contemplated moving there to write a novel but didn’t have the courage.  This experience wasn’t felt again until I went to Hacienda Casa Blanca for Fine Mexican Dining and was immediately transported back to my jungle hotel.


Located at700 N. Johnson AveinEl Cajon, the Hacienda waits to give you a ride to a different experience. BazaarDelMundo comes to mind when looking at this establishment.  Bright colors draw your energy up and out for great anticipation of nothing short of good tropical food, served with friendship and a desire to want you back for your next dining experience.


It is cloistered away in a humble looking strip mall west of ParkwayPlaza, so it’s easy to not see it at all.  Once you park in their lot and approach the front door, you’ll see a nice patio with the hint of the colors inside and the flora of a jungle ushering you inside.


We made our way up a set of stairs and waited to be seated.  On this Saturday, they offered a brunch distributed around an inside terrarium, with colorful blankets draped 10 feet above the diners.  All the food on the buffet line looked inviting, but if I do a buffet, it’ll be Sunday because they include the champagne with that brunch.


We ordered off the menu.  I took the cheese enchilada, beef taco combo whileNancytook the rolled taco combo.  Mine was good.  The beans were served in a tortilla bowl and the texture and flavor was very good.  The rice was exceptionally tasty.  I liked the scallions mixed in with a nice spice I couldn’t place but it was maybe the best rice side I’ve had.  My enchilada was good and the taco was pretty standard fare for beef taco in a hard shell corn tortilla. Nancydidn’t think she’d do the taquitos next time, but they appeared much like my taco.


I will file this report under bakery but could file it under sports bar because they do a pretty good job offering a nice bar with loads of TVs in the next room.  I’m thinking next Sunday, maybe champagne and Chargers at Hacienda Casa Blanca?

EB means Eastbound Bar & Grill in Lakeside

10053 Main AveinLakesideis where you’ll find real cowboys, cowgirls, rodeo riders, rodeo spectators, and Charger fans.  Come this Halloween you’re likely to find a few ghosts and goblins hoisting a few pale ales at the Eastbound Bar & Grill.


October 29th of this year, they’re hosting a Halloween Party – PIRATE THEME R come one come all.  I doubt I can entice folks from Mission Hills to enter a pirate themed Halloween party inLakeside, but if you want a good time in a friendly spot where you can ask for good food and plenty of beer priced right! Then y’all come on down ‘cause it’s worth the trouble gettin here.


Check out their web site it’ll show you the menu is ample and your wallet need not be huge to enjoy a long night.  They do enjoy the sports at EB.  On Sat & Sun they open at 8:00 so you know they do a good breakfast.  Other days they open at 10:00 and go till midnight.  If I have an issue it’s that they don’t have a private parking lot, but it’sLakeside.  They do have pretty decent street parking, not like they need valets though you could walk a block like I did when I went near noon.


I did the  Mushroom Burger

  • Half pounder with bacon, Swiss, grilled onions, and mushrooms sautéed with white wine. served with fries(9.95)
  • Served with a great infectious smile by a real cutie who was homegrown.

They really do have a very large menu and based on the burger, I’ll be wanting to go back to sample more of the food next time.


The ambience may seem a little bit country but it’s got plenty of skaters hangin out.  My gray hair isn’t the lone ranger at this bar on this day either.  Not to say it’s a geezer’s hangout, I’m still in the minority but I wasn’t alone there.


The bottom line is this is a fun place that tries hard to make you feel welcome.  I’ll want to go back again and hope to soon.