koi and swan, sepia

Saturday, December 21, 2013

good eats

I was driving on the coast one night last week after looking at a collection and I was hungry. Leslie was playing mah jong with the girls or something and told me to figure out my own dinner.

My first inclination was to go over to La Especial Norte for chicken soup. La Especial, located on Highway 101 in Encinitas, has long been the gold standard for chicken soup in the area. But the reality is that the soup isn't quite as good as it once was. Lacking a bit of essential schmaltz, a little skimpy on the chicken. Still great, but...

In the beginning there was La Especial, and then through a divorce and partnership break up, there was La Especial, Jorge's and Raoul's, all claiming that the precious soup recipe was originally theirs. Jorge's, located on Santa Fe, offers their version in a slightly hotter Texcoco style. My spouse isn't exactly crazy about the place because you dine with paper and plastic. What to do? I kept driving.

We all have our spots for comfort food. Pizza Nova is great in Solana Beach but I didn't want a big production since I was by myself. Being able to read the newspaper in peace is a must for me. Lot of times I just need to hide in a corner.

Carlitos in Oceanside always fits the bill for the original pollo loco style grilled chicken but I eat there all the time and wanted something fresh and different.

So I was driving past Palomar Airport Rd. and thought, why not german? Tip Top Meats is right there and I hadn't eaten over there in ages. Tip Top is a german butcher shop and restaurant that does a really good job. Once in a great while I stop there for lunch, practically never for dinner. Tip Top is the place to go if you need an odd cut of meat, a grouse or a pheasant, a perfect steak or chop. Been in the same spot since 1967. Owner John Haedrich runs a very tight ship.

Place ain't fancy. I stood in line and thought about the possibilities. You get an amazing meal at Tip Top for ten bucks, salad included. I considered the prime rib roast, the rouladen and the sauerbraten but settled on a gigantic stuffed pork chop festooned with mashed potatoes, red cabbage and sauerkraut. Very delicious and I was able to finish the sports page without anyone talking to me. It was a good decision and the food hit the spot and was beyond tasty.

Tip Top Meats‎
6118 Paseo Del Norte
Carlsbad, CA 92011
(760) 438-2620


For a guy who doesn't drink very much I am sure finding myself over at the Fallbrook Brewing Co. a lot, the microbrewery caddy corner from my shop. They have a nice assortment of beers that they make and sell in nice 4 oz. tester glasses as well as larger sizes. Flights for eight bucks. I favor the vanilla and coffee stouts with nitro but the russian imperial is really good too. They do a lot of seasonal brews and are currently serving a beer called Murica, an 8.2% beer brewed by armed service veterans.

Last week Corrie met us there and we ordered in a pizza from Vince's (they can't serve food at the brewery with their license.) The other night I stuck to pretzels with R & D. One of the cool things about Fallbrook Brewing is that is is all ages friendly and has a healthy mix of many factions of the community. Jim Helms' painted car hoods decorate the walls.

Occasionally they have really good music. Shoshana's husband Luke was playing his Gibson sg bass with a local rockabilly type band that had a really good singer, who I found out later was my next door neighbor's nephew. Not sure his name but it might be Alex Boren. Played some Johnny Cash, some Kinks, really good pipes, the whole thing was a lot of fun.

Brewery got really full as the night got older. Nice venue for our community. Owners are nice people too. Come by and let's have a beer. Couple tasters and you are good to go.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Robert,

I enjoyed the blog today. The beer at Fallbrook Brewery is Merica.