Brent Bernasconi

San Diego Restaurant Week Returns September 15-20

San Diego Restaurant Week - September 2013

San Diego Restaurant Week - September 2013

With hundreds of amazing restaurants throughout San Diego county, it can be hard to pick which one to try when lunch or dinner rolls around. This September, the California Restaurant Association San Diego County wants to help make that decision a little easier with a week of delicious prix-fixe lunches and dinners at many of San Diego’s award winning restaurants.

San Diego Restaurant Week

More than 180 San Diego restaurants will invite diners to indulge in three-courses prepared special for this occasion only at discounted prices with prix-fixe lunches priced at $10, $15, and $20 and three-course prix-fixe dinners are $20, $30, or $40. No tickets necessary for this event, just make reservations for any of the participating locations, show up, choose from their prix-fixe menu and let your taste buds enjoy!

When: September 15-20, 2013
> Find out more about San Diego Restaurant Week


#SDRWTaste2013 is an exclusive first look at what San Diego Restaurant Week September has to offer with over 40 of San Diego Restaurant Week’s best restaurants will be serving up samples of house specialties that will delight your taste buds! Each food sample will be paired with a unique beverage to enhance the flavors of each dish you sample.

Where: Broadway Pier, San Diego, CA 92101
When: September 12, 2013
Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: $60
> Find out more about #SDRWTASTE2013

> Explore more of San Diego’s delectable dining options

Which restaurant are you excited to try during this September’s San Diego Restaurant Week?


Beachside Eats: Where to Grab a Quick Bite near the Water

Surfer in front of Imperial Beach Pier in San Diego's South Bay

As the days are getting longer and warmer, it’s hard to escape the allure of San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline. Of course, when you’re enjoying a day along San Diego’s sparkling shore, dressed in your finest flip-flops and swimsuit, the last thing you want to do is pack up your towels and beach lounger in search of quick beachside eats. Fortunately, a tasty meal is only steps away from the sand at these casual beachside restaurants and snack shops.

San Elijo State Beach – Bull Taco

The view of San Elijo from Bull Taco

The view of San Elijo from Bull Taco

Located just steps from the sand, Bull Taco is a favorite stop for hungry visitors to San Elijo State Beach. This small joint features a big menu that includes a wide variety of fish and exotic meats like alligator and kangaroo.

Pacific Beach – Taco Surf

Pacific Beach is the epitome of the SoCal beach experience, with wide stretches of sand packed with good-looking locals and a boardwalk teeming with rollerbladers, bicyclists and skateboarders. For the perfect SoCal snack, head over to Taco Surf. The classic beachfront taco shop has been serving up San Diego staple since 1988.

Imperial Beach – The Tin Fish

The Tin Fish - San Diego Beachside Eats

The Tin Fish has several locations in San Diego – see what USA Today’s Larry Olmstead had to say about them.

No need to head inland to find a snack in Imperial Beach – to find the Tin Fish, just head out into the Pacific Ocean…via the Imperial Beach pier, of course. Nestled out on the end of the pier, the Tin Fish serves up more than fish, with plenty of burger and chicken options.

Pacific Beach – The Baked Bear

Ice cream sandwiched between two red velvet cookies? Yes, please!

Ice cream sandwiched between two red velvet cookies? Yes, please!


What could possibly complement a day at the beach better than a cool, creamy ice cream sandwich? Beachgoers with a sweet tooth won’t want to miss the Baked Bear, where you can choose your own combination of ice cream flavors sandwiched between freshly baked cookies, brownies or waffles.

> Find more beachside eats in San Diego

Where’s your favorite place to grab a quick bite when you’re at the beach? Let us know in the comments below.


San Diego Restaurant Week 2013 Preview

Was your New Year’s resolution to start feeding that piggy bank? If you’re like me, you want to save money without feeling like you’re missing out on the good things in life, like fine dining. January is always a great time of year for money-saving travel to San Diego, when hotel rates and airfares have dropped from their peak holiday prices. And thanks to San Diego Restaurant Week, you really can live the good life in San Diego without breaking the bank.

From January 13 – 18, 2013, diners can enjoy a six-day exploration of the region’s exciting dining scene for a fraction of the normal expense.  More than 180 participation restaurants will offer special three-course, prix fixe dinner menus for just $20, $30 or $40 per person (beverages, tax and gratuity not included) and two-course, prix-fixe lunch menus for just $10, $15 or $20 per person. Here’s a sneak peek at some notable menus:

100 Wines Hillcrest

100 Wines Hillcrest San Diego Restaurant Week

100 Wines Hillcrest

100 Wines Hillcrest will be serving up their signature crispy cauliflower with pancetta, parmesan cheese and a balsamic port reduction. Follow that up with a proscuitto pizza creatively topped with house made mozzarella and green grapes.

Gaijin Noodle + Sake House

Gaijin Noodle and Sake House San Diego Restaurant Week

Ramen at Gaijin Noodle + Sake House

Gaijin Noodle + Sake House in downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter offers one of the tastiest deals with a starter, two yakitori skewers, half bowl of ramen and dessert (like their bacon s’more) all for only $20.

Terra American Bistro

Terra American Bistro San Diego Restaurant Week

Pumpkin soup and lamb at Terra American Bistro (Photo by Paul Body as it appears in “From Terra’s Table,” Chefs Press, 2010)

For diners who want maximum menu options, Terra American Bistro in La Mesa has you covered with more than 10 appetizer options and seven entrée options, including their Karl Strauss Amber Lager braised pot roast and sinful lobster mac ‘n cheese.

California Restaurant Month

San Diego Restaurant Week is part of California Restaurant Month, occurring January 2013, when 30 destinations across California are hosting restaurant week events.  Details are available online at

What restaurants are you excited to try out during Restaurant Week?

Brent Bernasconi

Spend A Day With the Kids on Coronado

Coronado Beach - Brett Shoaf
Coronado Beach - Brett Shoaf

Bring the Kids for a Day on Coronado. Photo courtesy of Brett Shoaf

Looking to spend a day with the kids at the beach in San Diego? With its pristine beaches, near perfect-weather, beachfront dining and plenty of sweet-treat shops, Coronado is a great and easy option.

To make your beach trip even easier, here are just a few of the things you can add to your itinerary throughout the day in Coronado.

Sandcastles at the Beach

Build a Sandcastle at the #1 Beach in America – Coronado Beach

Start off a day with the kids at Coronado Beach, the #1 Beach in America! The kids can easily spend hours splashing in the water and building monumental sandcastles while you lounge on the towel with your favorite book.

Lunch at by the Water at Sheerwater

When lunchtime comes around and the kids are hungry, you don’t want to have to go far and luckily Sheerwater at the Hotel del Coronado is just steps away from the beach. The kids menu has favorites including hamburgers, pizza, grilled cheese, chicken fingers and more. While the kids chow down, you can relax with more “adult” options while enjoying the sunshine and the sound of the ocean waves accompanied with your kids excitement.

Mid-Afternoon Treats

Elvis (and a cow!) greet ice cream fans at Moo Time.

After lunch, head back to the beach for a few more hours and then take a sweet mid-afternoon walk to pick up a yummy treat. If the day is really warm, pop into Mootime Creamery for hand-made ice cream served in fresh waffle cones, all made daily. With two convenient locations in the Hotel del and on Orange Avenue, you never have to go far from the beach.

In the mood for some chocolate or another confectionary delight? Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory is the spot for you and the kids. Chocolate, caramel and more are made daily for your enjoyment. If the kids are on their best behavior, they might even receive a free sample!

If you don’t need the sugar rush, spoil the kids by allowing them to pick out a toy at the Blue Octopus Toy Store in the Hotel Del. This blue store has something fun for everyone including big plush octopi (of course), stickers, games, coloring books and more. The perfect thing to distract the kids for the rest of the evening.

Make It Overnight for More Fun

Why not extend the fun with an overnight on the island. During the month of October (2012), book a stay at the Hotel del Coronado or the Glorietta Bay Inn and they will surprise the kids with a Free Welcome Gift.

With a room booked on the island, head out for dinner with Vigilucci’s Ristorante Coronado, which has a Kids Eat Free offer this October!

The next morning, step back in time with breakfast at Clayton’s Coffee Shop. Take a seat in a retro “leather” booth or cozy on up to a chrome stool around the horseshoe counter and start off the day with delicious pancakes, waffles, omelets or cup of coffee. Don’t worry if you sleep in, breakfast is served all day at Clayton’s!

After breakfast, finish off your stay by learning the history of the Enchanted Island at the Coronado Museum of History and Art. In October, the museum extends a special a Kids Go Free Offer.

> Find even More Kids Free Offers in San Diego for this October

Is there something or someplace else you would take this kids during a visit to Coronado? Let us and others know in the comments below.


5 of San Diego’s Top Tots: Best Restaurants for Tater Tots

Maybe it’s the crispy crunch of the golden brown crust. Maybe it’s the warm, fluffy comfort of the soft potato interior. Or maybe it’s that each bite transports you back to a simpler time, when Saturday morning cartoons and the contents of your lunchbox were the only troubles that weighed on your mind. Whatever the reason, the appeal of the charmingly nostalgic tater tot can’t be denied.

Satisfy your inner schoolboy (or girl!) with tasty tots from one of these top 5 San Diego spots (in no particular order):

1. Bub’s at the Ball Park

What’s more All American than a baseball game and a side of tots? Top off a Padres game at PETCO Park with an order of their Lunch Lady Tater Tots, which can be made with sweet potatoes for a twist on the classic tot, or go all in with the Ballpark Tots, topped with chili, cheese, onions and sliced hot dogs.

2. R Gang Eatery

This comfort food haven has taken the tot to the next level. You’ll find everything from the traditional tot to ones flavored with pickles, jalapeno and cilantro, blue cheese and bacon, or a side of foie gras crème for dipping.

3. Currant Brasserie

If you like your tots served in elegant bistro ambiance, try Currant American Brasserie located in the Sofia Hotel. Nothing says indulgence like enjoying some garlic and chive tater tots dipped in habanero ketchup or chive buttermilk ranch under the glow of their sparking chandeliers.

4. Eat at Recess

Trends collide when tater tots meet the food truck. With a menu featuring childhood favorites like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and grilled cheese, tater tots are a natural fit. Go for the original, or try some topped with cheddar cheese or truffle oil and feta. Their “Tatchos” come layered with grass–fed beef, jalapeños, cheddar cheese and Recess signature sauce.

5. Station Tavern

In a sea of venues trying to out-top each other’s tots, Station Tavern in South Park is a refuge for the tot purist. Their tater tots come served just one way, golden brown and deliciously crispy, seasoned just right with some salt and pepper, and as simple and wonderful as those Saturday morning cartoons.

> Find more delectable San Diego restaurants

Do you have a favorite San Diego tot spot? Share it below!


The Verdict is in: Currant is Delish

Yesterday, I was in downtown San Diego with an unexpected 1 ½ hour break as court recessed for lunch. Yes court, because yours truly had her first crack at the beloved jury duty experience.* I had decided an hour earlier, as my stomach began to rumble over the judge’s Q&A with the potential jurors, that if my day was going to be a wash, I might as well treat myself to a fabulous lunch to make it worth my while…and that is when I found myself drooling over the menu at Currant at The Sofia Hotel.

serving great food since 2007

A short walk away from the courthouse, right in the mix of downtown San Diego’s busy Broadway Street, I was seated in the shady outdoor patio at a relaxing table with a carafe of fresh water and too many delicious lunch options.

Currant al fresco


After some debate, I settled on the Turkey Burger with avocado, tomato, seasonal sprouts, chipotle aioli and thyme fries, and to make sure I got my veggie fix (and because this lunch outing was going to be the highlight of my day), I splurged a bit and added a side of Fiery Brussels Sprouts. The verdict? Delish!! 

turkey burger goodness

fantastic, fiery brussels sprouts

The burger was wonderful but the brussels sprouts stole the show. I plan on returning to Currant in the very near future to try some of the other lunch items that caught my attention like the Hanger Steak Salad, Calamari ProvenCal and Garlic & Chive Tots.

The moral of the story: Passing-up the opportunity to dine at Currant is inexcusable and is a crime punishable by law, so please take my advice and stop by for brunch, lunch or dinner and give us one less reason to be summoned for jury duty.

*In all honesty, jury duty really wasn’t bad. I didn’t get picked for the trial, but I appreciated the experience and found it quite interesting. Kudos to Judge M.G. for making the process enjoyable.