Champagne Dreams on a Working Man’s Budget!

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While it is a good bet that on any given night of the week you’ll find me in one of San Diego’s numerous 24 hour Taco Shops, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to “suit up” and head someplace nice for dinner every once in a while. There are so many options in town that I almost don’t like going to the same place too often, because I want to try them all!

With the economy the way it is these days, everyone is watching their pennies. A lot of times that is reflected in the places we eat and the activities that we do. Fine dining restaurants have definitely seen this reflected in their dining rooms over the last year.

So..I was super excited to hear about a new website promoting prix-fixe, 3-course meals at fine dining restaurants throughout San Diego county. To my knowledge, there isn’t anything else like this around the country! Ingrid’s List has begun working with a number of fantastic restaurants in the region to bring $30 and $40 prix-fixe meals to those of us who might be a little short on the cash, but still wanting to dine with The Joneses.

Desert at Bertrand at Mister A's

Dessert at Bertrand at Mister A's

It’s truly simple. Log on to the Ingrid’s List website and see which restaurants fall under what pricing. Pay online and print out a certificate at home. Then just call the restaurant to make your reservation (this is fine dining after all!) and tell them that you’ll be using an Ingrid’s List gift certificate. Upon arrival you’ll have your choice of a few different options for each course. In a sense, this is like a year-round Restaurant Week for fine dining!

My stomach is growling just thinking about it!

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Benjamin Eastman

About Benjamin Eastman

I lead a pretty active lifestyle and try to spend as much time outdoors as possible. On any given Saturday morning you'll find me on one of San Diego's beach volleyball courts and quite possibly on the water or a hiking trail at some other point during the weekend. As a single professional I definitely enjoy experiencing the nightlife throughout the county - but lean more towards the Gaslamp Quarter, North Park or Hillcrest when planning a night out. I love to eat, and try to keep my ear to the grapevine about new and exciting restaurant openings.  And while I'm certainly excited to try the latest, trendiest restaurant in town, I am also infamously known for late night trips to 24-hour taco shops. Basically, whether I'm in board shorts or a bow tie, I try to enjoy all the many opportunities available to me in San Diego!What would you do on your ideal San Diego day?I’d start with a leisurely, late morning brunch.  Spend some time on the beach.  Grab some rolled tacos at a taco stand and then grab a nap.  In the evening I’d hit the Gaslamp District for dinner and then end the night at a rooftop bar/lounge.If you were invisible, where would you go?If I got to pick a superpower, I don’t know that I would pick invisibility…but if I were to become Mr. Invisible, I guess I would go to all the live music, theater and symphony performances in town.What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?On a beautiful, San Diego day there is nothing better than playing beach volleyball.  The sun on your back, a gentle ocean breeze, and a whole lot of bump, set, spiking!  And of course the perfect day of beach volleyball isn't complete without a grill to barbeque some burgers or carne asada on.Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?Both actually!  That’s the beauty of the San Diego food scene.  I CAN have my cake and eat it too!  Depending on my mood (and my finances!) I am happy to chow down at a hole-in-the-wall neighborhood burger joint or a luxury steakhouse. I'm actually a founding member of a Burger lunch group that eats at a different burger restaurant each month.  We've been going for 6 months now and still have plenty of locations to visit before we exhaust all our options!

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