Dec. 18 2015
In my house, one of our annual Christmas traditions is watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. And as I'm writing this, Clark Griswold is looking out the window, fantasizing about the swimmi
Nov. 20 2015
There are plenty of good restaurants and there are a smaller number of great restaurants, but only a few manage to combine exceptional food with a sprinkling of something magical. Casa del Q'ero (815 Birmingham...
Oct. 23 2015
Quei Bravi Ragazzi (QBR) Francesca Italian Kitchen (90 North Coast Highway 101) in Encinitas has that offbeat European charm that I love so much. There is an enthusiastic and completely un-ironic embrace...
Sept. 28 2015
Rarely has my enthusiasm for a restaurant started with just a humble cup of tea. I wasn't planning on having a hot drink, in Escondido no less, on a day when the mercury planted itself firmly in the mid-90s
Aug. 28 2015
The good folks at Betty's Pie Whole (155 Quail Gardens Dr.) in Encinitas know pie is awesome; so awesome, in fact, that their entire menu is pie-centric
Aug. 3 2015
Darshan Bakery & Café (949 2nd St.) in Encinitas is the latest eatery serving up my beloved baked goods in the Gallic tradition
July 6 2015
The Bagby Beer Company is massive. It takes up nearly half a city block, which is impressive considering it's situated smack in the middle of the congested stretch of the Coast Highway that runs through...
June 22 2015
Lotus Café made a go of expanding to Hillcrest a few years back but couldn't make it work. The original beach location remains, however, and it embodies the spiritual side of much of Encinitas,...
June 5 2015
Irina's Bar & Grill (3375 Mission Ave.) in deepest Oceanside is such an unexpected charmer. At first entrance, it's just another neighborhood bar, with industrial carpeting, a couple of pool tables...
May 22 2015
When I moved to a deep corner of North County (the kind of place where friends get lost trying to visit), I lamented the loss of easy access to food-scene bright spots like Little Italy and North Park
May 8 2015
Diana Benedek, founder of 2GOOD2BE Bakery & Café in Encinitas suffered from myriad debilitating health problems-from fibromyalgia to migraines-until she started to change her diet and learned, through...
April 24 2015
Plan 9 Alehouse has a great balance of food and brews that'll please lager lovers as well as those who just want root beer
April 11 2015
The Oceanside food scene is exploding, and Masters Kitchen & Cocktail has landed with a splash, bringing an upscale dining room and craft cocktails to the neighborhood. But upscale doesn't mean...
March 27 2015
Occasionally, a restaurant leaves me in a muddle. And not that pleasant muddle that comes from just a bit too much food and the perfect amount of fuzziness from a few cocktails
March 13 2015
Tucked inside a shiny Chevron on a busy suburban corner of Vista is When Pigs Fly BBQ (1211 E. Vista Way), and its owners hope you'll back away from the Slim Jims and tuck into some brisket
Feb. 27 2015
Hacienda de Vega is one of those San Diego County charmers that feel like they've been there forever. The restaurant (2608 S. Escondido Blvd. in Escondido) has been open for more than a decade, but...
Feb. 13 2015
San Marcos' Inland Tavern (1001 W. San Marcos Blvd.) has taken over the former confines of divey Brit bar Penny Lane and turned it into a clean dining room and bar with a coastal feel
Jan. 30 2015
The rooftop bar at Hello Betty Fish House in Oceanside is my new favorite place to gaze at the horizon and pretend that I totally saw the green flash-not to mention you're perched right over...
Jan. 16 2015
I love the beach as much as the next SoCal native, and I yearn for the day I can move just a little closer to the sand. But if I hear "Margaritaville" one more time, I'm going to stick my own head in a...
Jan. 3 2015
Fear not, squeamish eaters. This splashy new Carlsbad restaurant (2978 Carlsbad Blvd.) has an incredibly fun menu to explore, with fresh offerings that manage to be comforting as well as creative


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