After the night of the wedding, eating and drinking ourselves into oblivion we did not get up early the next morning. It seems day 4 is the one where the jet lag is gone. Which is great as we were off, back to Ohio the following day, but whatever. Since we actually slept in, we didn’t bother with exercise and went straight to breakfast. Since we had had the hotel breakfast for a couple days, we decided to head out and see what San Diego could offer. I researched a bunch of places beforehand, but I stopped my search when I found a place that offered pancake flights. It’s like a a flight of beer where you can taste different samples…but with pancakes. C’mon son.
We drove over to Snooze Hillcrest and had a brief wait before breakfast. As the wife and I normally do, we ordered a ton of food knowing we won’t get back there anytime soon. In this case we went with a flight of pancakes (spiced pear, pineapple upside down, and the special of the day: pumpkin), the corned beef hash, a side of bacon (for me), and quinoa porridge. Holy crap…it was all amazing.
After breakfast, and stuffing our faces, it was time to say goodbye to my mom and her boyfriend as they headed back towards the LA area. We, however, had the whole day to kill. So we dug up some suggestions from my cousin and headed out. The first stop was Balboa Park. Balboa Park has a ton of stuff going on in it. There are museums, gardens, a theater, and it’s connected to the SD Zoo. We aren’t really zoo or garden people, so we hit up the one of the museums that was there. They had a small exhibit on beer and another on torture…so we thought…what the hell.
There were no photos allowed in the torture museum, but let’s just say…that stuff is messed up. Definitely not a pick me up to the day. However, once we were out of there we shook off the bad vibes and decided to head to Pacific Beach. We ended up parking right next to a pier there and the views were gorgeous as you walked out on it. I could sit there and listen to the waves for hours (if I didn’t get sunburned so easily).
As we walked along the beach, we started to get a bit hungry. We ended up going right by the Baja Beach Cafe. We were almost passed it when the wife saw some of the margaritas they were serving. That with some fish tacos on the menu and we were out on the patio having lunch.
For being a little spot on the beach, the food was pretty good. We had wanted to get some fish tacos before we left SD and this place did a pretty good job of fitting that bill. After a full belly of fish tacos and lobster taquitos, it was off again on our day.
We had planned on a nice dinner out, but after a nice walk on the beach and our big meals already…we decided a change of plans was in order. We went back to the hotel for a little rest and then decided that we would figure out what to do after. I started looking up places to get flights of beer and that lead me to a bottle shop in the Little Italy area of SD. We got dressed, got in the car, and headed out.
Little Italy was about ten minutes from our hotel in Mission Valley. We got a parking spot right in front of the bottle shop. The downside here is that the flight the bottle shop was offering was not something that I was excited about. The upside is that the Ballast Point tasting room was a block away. We walked into Ballast point and set up shop. The wife went to grab a little bit of food (a nice charcuterie plate for only $15) and I went to the beer. They offer up samples for a great price. I ended up getting six different samples of some of their experimental and stuff only at the tasting room. I was in heaven.
We ate and drank while people milled about and football was on TV. I could live in a place like this. Meats and cheeses and beer. Heaven. As we finished our little snack and beer, we decided to walk around Little Italy and see what the place had to offer. There were restaurants and cool little places all over. As we started to pass a restaurant that was connected to this little Italian market, the wife spotted some lasagna in the window. Even though we had a lot to eat during the day, it was late and the stomachs were growling a little. So, with our food radar going off, we went inside Filippi’s Pizza Grotto.
The place was quaint and kind of what you picture when you think of typical Italian restaurant. The walls were covered in paintings that made it look like you were in Italy. Candles were on every table and if memory serves there were fake ivy in places. However, don’t let the decor fool you, their food is legit. We ordered a salad (the small would feed four) and a piece of lasagna. Oh my…just…
The lasagna reminded me of my grandmother…and that is a high compliment. The sauce was light and fresh. Just enough meat in it, but not enough to make it super heavy. I swear there were a million layers to this thing, but the noodles and cheese ratio was perfect. We did our best, but left a little back on the plate. This is a time when I wish we lived nearby so I could take the rest home. Alas, we had to leave a little behind. It brought a slight tear to my eye. Sometimes, it’s little places like this you just wander into and have one of the most amazing meals in recent memory. My mouth is watering as I type this thinking about that lasagna.
After our dinner, it was time to pack it in. We had an early morning the next day to fly back to Ohio. That being said, I was able to hit up Stone one more time…in the airport…for breakfast (sadly no beer for me).
After some awful Delta flights later, we were back in Ohio. We will miss San Diego and all of the food, beer, and fun it offered. The weather was great, the sights were amazing. I’m glad my family lives out here as it gives us more reason to visit…and often. I can’t thank my cousin enough for inviting us and our Grammy for watching the little guy for our trip.
We’ll be back…but for now I’ll just have to live through the pictures!