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Lady of the lake, version #938

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A foodie's best of Fallbrook

Leslie at Spicy City in San Diego

I eat a lot, probably eat out too much. Thirty six years in town, I think I have a pretty good sense of the culinary possibilities. Fallbrook is notoriously tough on restaurants and anyone that manages to survive gets a tip of the chef's hat from me.

Rather than talk about specific restaurants I think I would like to talk about some of my favorite entrees in town.

My favorite dish in town is La Caseta's shrimp diavalo. We ask them to hold the onions. Heavenly dish. Rich, piquant, creamy, decadent. Try it if you haven't. We actually split the plate. We top the meal off with the pumpkin flan, which DeLos offers on a seasonal basis. Fantastic dessert.

Right up there with the diavalo is Rosa's shrimp and garlic, featured on the back page, camerones con mojo de ajo. A finger licker. Served on a sizzling iron plate of potatoes and zucchini, finished with rice and beans. The sound and smell alone is worth the price of admission. People move to town, I immediately send them to Rosas. Can't beat the chicken tacos and their green sauce.

We really like the thai restaurant Thai Thai. We order the duck fried rice, without vegetables, just duck and rice and chili and my god is it good. Lately we have been ordering the very seductive spicy noodle with beef as well. The wide rice noodle really hits the spot. Kind of like thai chow fun.

Try the Guatemalan tamale at Aydees just once at least. Unforgettable. Served on a banana leaf, rice instead of corn based, with currants, a dish both light and succulent. Not your run of the mill Mexican tamale.

I snuck into Oink and Moo the other night and ordered a custom variation of their duck burger that was delicious. I had them hold the blueberry sauce, which was a touch overpowering for me and added cheese and sauteed mushrooms instead. Epic. Their mac and cheese is outstanding too. Maybe not quite up there with 127 but you don't have to wait a half hour to order it.

I like two soups in town a lot, one of which I have just discovered. First is the old standby, the imperial seafood soup at Peking Wok. Love the various textures, the minced celery. The Lettuce Cups work too. Greek Chicken has quietly really upped their game with new ownership. Try their thick lemon chicken soup, it is fantastic, especially when it is cold outside.

Michael at Cafe Des Artistes does a consistently excellent soup as well, carrot, tomato and celery to name but a few. And speaking of Chinese I really love Shanghai in Temecula but I know that's out of the area and cheating.

Want to try a nice sandwich? Order the #17 at Dominicks, the hot sausage with spaghetti sauce. He has a mild and hot, I favor the mild. He flies the incredible sausage in from Chicago and it is truly addictive.

Still lacking a place to get a good steak. Closest is Rainbow Oaks. Is that Fallbrook? Banh Mi sandwiches at Pechanga?

I guess I better stop. I am not really an Estrellas guy, some swear by it and the place is definitely packed. I guess I could bring up the fried chicken burrito at Pedros, the beef yakisoba at Yamas but do I really have to? My go to burrito might surprise you, El Toro Market. Marinated chicken, rice, beans, sour cream, cilantro, lettuce and tomatoes, huge and the real deal.

Fallbrook is no culinary oasis, there are some serious holes in its game. Some might say that picking the best of Fallbrook is like picking the prettiest pig in the barnyard. I don't think that is fair. You have to look around but there are some good eats here.

And it definitely is a great place for cheap mex and that is not such a bad thing.

Please dish, what's your favorite hometown dish? What am I forgetting?

Until next time, from the groovy gourmet...

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