Totally emotional and painful marathon experience aside, last weekend involved some good eats since we were kind of on a mini vacay.
Saturday morning, before heading out of town, we stopped in at Magnolia Cafe (Magnolia and Warner) for breakfast. I only suggested this place because it’s been here forever, and I’ve lived here my entire life without having tried it. I suppose there’s a reason for that. Aside from being a tad outdated and the older clientele, the food (breakfast at least) wasn’t amazing. It was your standard breakfast fare that you could make at home (if you were so inclined and didn’t mind washing the dishes afterwards). It wasn’t even cheap for being a local diner ($8.25 per plate). I would come back to try dinner if I’m craving some American homestyle cooking, but will definitely not be returning for breakfast.
We arrived down at the San Diego Convention Center around 11AM. Spent about 2 hours around the Expo, checking in, getting free samples of stuff, talking to people, navigating our way through crowds, and getting $1 MGD Light Beer 64 Calories (is that really the name for it?). It was crazy crowded at the Expo (but, then again, what should we expect for 30,000 runner + friends and family + volunteers and vendors). I bought a new can of TriSlide (and got some free Foggle) and a headband for the race from Sweaty Bands.
After getting out of the Expo, Minh and I went on a search for good pizza. Minh was trying to find the place we had pizza from after the Amtrak Century (1.5 years ago), but he couldn’t remember where it was. So we decided to try out Ciro’s Pizzeria in the Gaslamp Quarter. The pizza was good, when it was hot. The thin crust was the perfect crisp, the sausage was nicely flavored, and the cheese had just the right amount of stretch. And it was a good deal (less than $10 for 3 slices and a soda).
I booked our room at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, which sounds high class and posh, but isn’t. Maybe it was back in the ’70s when it first opened, but now it’s just old and outdated and needs a huge renovation/makeover. The only reason we ended up staying there was because I got a good deal on Hotwire.com (where you don’t know the exact hotel until after you pay). It was good for a room, but we probably would have been more comfortable (and saved more money) at a Motel 6. It was a weird place. Like stepping into the Twilight Zone.
After checking in and relaxing for a little while, we headed out to El Indio, the supposed birthplace of TAQUITOS!!! We weren’t really sure what to expect (a hole in the wall joint, a taco stand, a nice restaurant?), so we headed out there in anticipation of the original taquito. We ordered 3 beef taquitos, 3 potato taquitos, and 1 pork tamale. We also grabbed a bag of chips and a container of salsa. Everything was DELICIOUS. They weren’t the best taquitos I had ever had, but there were pretty good. They had a good crunch to them that didn’t turn too soggy while they sat smothered in guacamole and cheese . The tamale was AMAZING. The salsa verde was pretty hot, but didn’t take away from the flavor of the pork. As a plus, the tamale was huge (probably the size of two tamales that you can buy from Costco). The chips and salsa were also really good.
Overall it was good Mexican food, regardless of whether or not they actually invented the taquito. The establishment had also been visted by Guy Fieri of the Food Network back in 2007. It was one of his Diners, Drive-ins and Dives stops. And, of course, he left his mark.
We stopped by Vons on the way back to the hotel to pick up food for breakfast the next day. I got two bananas and a light strawberry yogurt from Lucerne. That would go well with the Cascadian Farms dark chocolate almond granola sample I picked up at the Expo. We headed back to the hotel and just relaxed and got stuff ready for the next day. Went to bed around 8:30PM.
Sunday, after the marathon and getting cleaned up, we headed over to Stone Brewery in Escondido, CA. We had some amazing mac’n’beer cheese and wild mushroom penne. We also drank some beer and enjoyed a nice tour of the brewery.
It was a nice little mini vacay that Minh and I really needed. Good eats and a good time. And, looking back, the running wasn’t all THAT bad. Enjoy the gallery!