At a special dinner for local food bloggers hosted by Caffe Calabria and Specialty Produce (and catered by chefs MJ Testa and Javier Plascencia), Specialty Produce gifted me with a Farmers’ Market Box brimming with delicious things, like juicy blackberries, heirloom garlic, beets, tiny radishes with a peppery punch, dill, citrus, and more. Inspired by a renewed commitment to eat better, I decided to put as many ingredients as possible into a ridiculously healthy salad. Here’s what I came up with. I think it’s a keeper!

roasted beet and quinoa salad

In case you missed my Thrillist post on the 10 best outdoor bars in San Diego, here’s a link. Putting lists together is fairly straightforward, but ranking a list of places adds another layer of complexity (more so because I tend to over-think these things!) In any case, the list features a wide range of patios, from pet-friendly spots like Tidal to brunchy spots like Queenstown Public House. Take a look!

Bali Hai Cocktails San Diego

Sovereign, the modern Vietnamese restaurant helmed by two-time Michelin Bib Award-winning chef Michael “Bao” Huynh, isn’t open in the Gaslamp Quarter quite yet, but Food Shop, the restaurant’s more casual kitchen, is. There, you’ll find a shortlist of affordable street-food inspired eats, including pho; bowls with rice, vermicelli noodles, or veggies; wok dishes like garlic noodles and drunken noodles; fresh and fried rolls; and most importantly: banh mi. I’ll gush over the banh mi in a bit. For now, I wanted to share some photos of the other options I tried during back-to-back visits.

Beef Banh Mi from Food Shop in San Diego

There’s been a lot of talk about gluten-free this and that, but I think it’s time this culinary trend bites the dust. In 2015, let’s be honest and admit that gluten (and carbs) are an integral part of some of the most delicious food imaginable, including pizza, doughnuts, sandwiches, and toasted bread with tasty things on top. Take a look at four cures to your carb cravings.

Streetcar Merchants doughnut

Menu changes are inevitable and 99% of the time, they’re a good thing. But when a restaurant removes your absolute favorite dish with no warning or explanation, it hurts. In hopes that San Diego chefs won’t do this to me (and anyone else with good taste, who theoretically is as emotionally attached to these items as I am), I wrote this piece for Thrillist, hoping it would be enough to guarantee the status of 15 of my favorite dishes. Take a look…

best restaurant dishes in San Diego

If you’re a fan of pancakes, you’re going to want to add this collection delicious and creative takes on the iconic breakfast dish to your must-eat list. From cocoa-infused ‘cakes topped with mounds of mascarpone and cocoa whipped cream to the indulgent ricotta pancakes pictured below, I foresee many happy brunches in your future.

best pancakes in San Diego