You may know me as San Diego’s burger expert, and while I do love a good cheeseburger, I’m equally passionate about great meals that are as delicious as they are affordable. Every Monday, I post about a new find on San Diego Magazine’s Food & Drink blog in a column called Everyday Eats.
I began the column during my days as an in-office staffer, and have been able to continue it as an on-couch freelancer. It’s easy to sum up the content as simply “cheap eats”, but I see it less that way, and more as a guide for people who are enthusiastic eaters and want to stretch their dining dollar as far as possible. Cheap is one thing, but affordable and excellent, quite another. I hope you’ll become a regular reader!
Here are my top Everyday Eats picks for 2012:
1. Pancakes come standard at most breakfast spots, but they’re nothing like the Berry Ricotta Pancakes ($10) at Hannas Gourmet, which have fluffy ricotta folded into the batter and big, jammy berries on top — so many, that you don’t have to go even one berry-less bite. Read more about these magnificent ‘cakes in my Everyday Eats review.
2. The Bananas Foster Belgian Waffle ($10) at The Red Door are some of the best-dressed waffles in San Diego, with caramelized bananas, toasted macadamia nuts, whipped banana cream, bananas foster sauce, and a chocolate drizzle. Find someone who will split them and the brunch burger and you’re set. Need more convincing? See my Everyday Eats review here.
3. Plumeria is billed as a vegan and vegetarian spot, but their Spicy Noodles ($8.50) are flavorful enough to satisfy anyone, even staunch carnivores. You can get mock meat or tofu, but I embrace the opportunity to eat a big plate of perfectly cooked veggies instead. See more in my Everyday Eats review.
4. The Macaroni and Cheese ($13) at Cafe Chloe is absolutely outstanding, with three different cheesy textures represented. On top, there’s a crisp layer of baked cheese, while just underneath, there are long, melty strands and a thick, creamy bechamel crafted from a blend of blue cheese, gruyere, fontina, and white cheddar. Read more in my Everyday Eats review.
5. Isola Pizza Bar has one of the best food-forward happy hours, with 12 items under $5, including this margherita pizza. At that price, you can’t get a bargain pie from the Hut, let alone a hand-tossed pie with primo toppings. Take a closer look at some of the other items in this post.