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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 www.visitcalifornia.com/restaurantmonth.

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

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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!