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Antelope View

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Good eats of old

As a San Diego native who has been around the block a few times and shared more than my share of good meals there are a lot of restaurants of yesteryear that I miss and remember fondly, all over the county. Some fancy, some plain, all good.

I guess we start with San Diego proper, where I had my start. Blumer's, the best deli that ever was on 54th and El Cajon. Lubach's, where the elite and power brokers went to eat on Pacific Highway. The Islandia, Pernicanos, Miki San, the first place I ever had sushi, in Banker's Hill. Busalacchis on Fifth,  where the Sommers family had a gold nameplate. Manny's. Tarantinos in Point Loma. My dad loved Pinos in Encinitas. Ship Ahoy in Solana Beach. Quimbys in Rancho Santa Fe. The original Charcoal House in La Mesa. The Top Shelf.

Royal Palms in Oceanside, where Fidel's now sits served excellent Italian food and was situated in a beautiful room. The Waffle House in Solana Beach, Rog-O's Pie shop in San Marcos, Champion's in Escondido. Champions was my go to breakfast place and when I was going through a tough divorce, the girls would sometimes slip a little kahlua in my coffee in the morning so I could get through the day a bit more smoothly. Sand Crab Tavern.

Le Restaurant in Carlsbad was a pretty epic spot in the 70's on the lagoon. I dated the Maitre D, Anna, for a while when I was young. Wonderful food, nice girl. The great sushi bar in Solana Beach near the trains restaurant, whose name I now somehow forget. Was an English place before. Pepper Tree in Encinitas was a family food sleeper in the Food Basket mall. Summer Breeze in Cardiff. Mountain Rose Soup Parlor in Julian. Ed's Country Kitchen. Mission Chinese Restaurant in Oceanside. Leslie and I would call them at night when we would leave the Del Mar Antique show and our duck and roast pork would be hot and sitting on the table when we walked in. What a sleeper that place was.

Another place whose name I now forget was the French Romanian place in Temecula that served delicious food and had the violin player come to your table. Long gone now. As was the restaurant that served what they decided to serve you in Rainbow that sat right where the freeway now sits near the Border Patrol checkpoint. After Tim's Tiny Acres it had an Italian name when I arrived. Mexico Chiquita was great and had mariachis. It burned down. They had a wonderful Sunday brunch as did La Costa.

Fallbrook had a chef like no other, Robert at Le Bistro. My god, where can you find Beef Wellington today? Kitchen Cupboard, where the paint store now sits. Opals. The Packing House of course. Hard to get a decent steak in Fallbrook now, you ever notice that? Scampis served wonderful food, still miss the pancakes on Sunday. I also still miss the recently departed Aydees, can't find Guatemalan food anywhere like that.

I know I am missing a few. You longtime residents like to offer anything I have forgotten?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a relatively new resident, I have in fact noticed very much that you can't get a good steak in Fallbrook! The thing that makes Fallbrook so wonderful, that it's off the beaten track and not a drive-through-to-get-where-you're-going place, also means no great bakery, no great steakhouse I guess. I'm content to live with that for the other wonderful things here, you and Leslie being two of them. ~ Diane O'Bannon

Blue Heron said...

That is very nice, Diane. We appreciate that.

RoxAnn said...

That was trip down memory lane and after sweeping the cobwebs away here are a few treasures I recall. We were broke SDSU students in 1972 so a $2.99 steak at The Sizzler on El Cajon Blvd was a splurge. No Michelin stars, but a memory nonetheless. My first job in San Diego was at Pernicano’s and their pizza was the best. Probably contributed to my “freshman 15#” even though I was a junior at the time. When I moved on to cocktail waitressing at The Black Angus a few of us would breakfast after 2:00 am at Saska’s in Mission Beach or Krishna Mulvaneys. Once we were keeping normal hours Sunday brunch at The Spice Rack in PB was terrific. A treat for dinner was The Rib Cage on Shelter Island. We remember going there during the beef shortage and the servings were half the size which was disappointing since we’d saved to afford the fare. No leftovers that night. Then there was Eric’s Ribs in Old Town. They had the best and tallest haystack onion rings I’ve ever eaten. I was taken out to Old Trieste on Moreno Blvd once. Very pricey, dark and stuffy, but delicious. Thee Bungalow in Ocean Beach was a special date restaurant. Always delicious. Upon moving to Fallbrook in 1976 The Cauldron was a well known lunch spot. Buses would pull up so people could antique shop on Main and then stop in for lunch. The name escapes me, but a favorite breakfast place was on E.Mission across from El Toro Market. Grandmas Attic maybe? We’ve had many Valentine dinners with Robert at Le Bistro. He was quite a character. I know the Beef Wellington was a favorite for most, but I preferred the duck.

Thank you Robert for sharing your posts, music and beautiful photography in 2020. It’s made the days brighter. Happy New Year to you and Leslie.

Blue Heron said...

My dad loved Old Trieste. They made you wear a tie. Opals was the breakfast place you are talking about. Sizzler on El Cajon beat the Chuckwagon.I remember puking there, had a queazy stomach. Hurled at the Brigantine too. Thanks for the memories.

Helen Killeen Bauch McHargue said...

I can't stop laughing about your puking memories. If we're confessing where we've hurled, I'll admit to a couple of times at The Tam O'Shanter in Glendale. The employee discount from Lawry's made over-indulging budget friendly.

island guy said...

Abalone sandwiches at Anthony's in the 1960’s. I Street cafe In Encinitas in the 1970’s. Thanks for the foodie writing, always enjoy your opinions, whether acerbic or laudatory.

Blue Heron said...

Can't go back to the Brigantine and its been forty years. The spicy fries maimed me for life, Helen. Ricardo, when I was little the special places were the Belgian Fox and the Star of the Sea room at Anthony's. Remember having totauva there. Still the best Louie ever. was a crime they were bumped by the puke restaurant at the harbor.

Blue Heron said...

My go to dish at Le Bistro was the pork normandy. The subsequent owners tried to recreate it but could not. The scampi omelet was great too. Loved to spend Sunday morning there with my newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Margarite’s in OB was my college go-to brunch treat - the wine margaritas are a fond memory...

island guy said...

The quality at Anthony’s when we were kids versus what the tourists are getting now is a good example of some things really being better in the old days. I don’t cling to nostalgia at all but we’ve lost a lot. Certainly gained a lot too, I appreciate the passion of the current generation of American chefs.

Blue Heron said...

The Anthony's restaurant chain, like Pernicanos, always had different levels of quality at Casa di baffi and the Star of the Sea Room.

Liz said...

I still miss Blumers. I think it is my favorite all-time restaurant. I would even tolerate Don if it meant lunch at Blumer's.

There was an article in the Times this week about the death of Jewish delis.

Happy New Year. I love you,