Wednesday, July 20, 2011

saying goodbye to socal, part three: food

I wrote this a few weeks ago before we left SoCal.
photo: yelp

I'm a bad friend when it comes to food.

When it comes to my friends, I will only tell them about my favorite restaurants if we're actually close enough that I want to eat there with them.  Call me cold-hearted if you must, but I fear that restaurants I love will become exponentially more popular if I play the role of taste-maker among my friends.  I worry my small group of friends will tell their friends who will, in turn, tell their friends ad infinitum until everyone in the whole world knows and my favorite restaurant either becomes so crowded I cannot get a table or it becomes a popular franchise that inevitably loses the qualities that initially attracted me to it and becomes yet another disappointment in life like taxes, death, traffic, and comedies starring Patrick Dempsey.

Because we're leaving, I will spill my guts below about our local favorites for a few different metropolitan areas in SoCal.

Riverside:
Simple Simon's: pretty much everything is awesome
Baker's: bean and cheese burrito w/two hot sauce packets (more for dipping if you'd like), fries w/spicy ketchup (fries are mediocre but spicy ketchup is brilliant)
Campus Pizza: the works
Cherry on Top: froyo, get it done
Yard House: yes, it's a chain, but we tried it in Riverside first - turkey burger or bbq chicken pizza during regular dinner time, chicken nachos during happy hour

Temecula:
Public House: get. the. fries.  I won't talk to you if you don't.  Also, the macaroni and cheese will make you cry real tears.  It's like eating a piece of Beethoven's 5th in a good way.
Mr. Kabob: chicken shwarma wrap (not the plate), regular hummus (not spicy)
Rosa's Cantina: chicken tacos, get the guacamole, the mild salsa.  seriously, the mild.  Lindsey and I would fill a swimming pool with it if we could.  I would help you move a piano for their salsa.
Mangoz: four words . . . carrot cake frozen yogurt.  It tastes like chai, or dreams.

San Diego:
Cafe 222: peanut butter and banana stuffed french toast - recommended by Bobby Flay on The Best Thing I Ever Ate.  The curry turkey sandwich was delicious also.

Some places were omitted because we can get them in SLC (i.e. In N Out, which is also a bit overrated compared to Nebraska beef like the hamburgers at Runza).

SoCal friends, what are your favorites?
Former SoCal friends, what do you miss?

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