Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Eatin’ the North County Way Part 3

Attack of the Two Cafés
Just a couple of casual mentions this round – I don’t have great descriptions nor have I been to either of these more than a couple of times. Except for my lunch (I could write a book on the Qualcomm cafeteria – which is quite good!) I find that we would rather try new (to us) and different restaurants rather than become regulars at the same place. But I wanted to toss these out for your review in part 3 of a 10 part series I'm calling Firefly Fifty Five’s Quick Ones™

Café Luna
This is a little hidden treasure – an Italian restaurant! – in Carmel Mountain Ranch behind an Olive Garden that I don’t think gets too many mentions – yet they have been pretty busy especially on Friday and Saturday nights. We’ve just been there twice over the last few years – but I remember it as being quite good. Pasta and meat entrees rule the day here – oh, I’m sure they have a few fish specials. I remember them serving a very good tomato based dipping sauce with their bread. I don’t know if she is still there, but they had a relatively young head chef that really seemed to energize the menu. Service is friendly.

I don’t have much else on the place – but wanted to add it to my definitive list of my area restaurants. And remember, if you are waiting an hour for a table at that Olive Garden, just look across the parking lot and find out if Café Luna just might have a table for you. I know Google is my friend, but I can find no webpage for this restaurant – but here is the newspaper write up.

Athens Market Café
As long as I’m talking Carmel Mountain I might as well mention this little Greek restaurant next to a movie theater in this shopping center that also houses that great T.G.I. Fridays. We’ve only been there once – a couple of years ago – but it seems that they serve up home-style meals – none of that crumby slop. They do the flaming cheese (saganaki) while shouting out “Opa!”. Our meals were fine – but Greek isn’t a cuisine we crave just too often – though I like those little grape leave things. Looking at their website – I imagine I got the Greek Combo with a couple of baked dishes like pastitso and moussaka. (I wonder if Scott Bakula likes baklava? Probably.) On the other hand, my wife mentioned that she preferred the Greek restaurant very near the Trader Joe’s in the same area.

Back to the Athens Market Café – we’ve driven by since we dined there and see that they took over the space next door (a hot dog joint I think) to double the size of their dining room so business must be hopping.

Heads up!
If you read this before Thursday evening, something called Infusion Culinary is offering up a free seminar at the Macys Home Store in Mission Valley:

Come and get some technique, and a taste, when Chef Joey Nerenberg of Infusion Culinary, a San Diego culinary school for serious cooking enthusiasts, presents “Pan-Fry/Pan-Roast.” This free 90 minute course is open to everyone and includes demonstrations, helpful hints and plenty of food samples.

Thursday April 27 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Macys Home Store in Mission Valley, 1555 Camino de La Reina, San Diego.


Anonymous Rorie said...

I ate dinner with Lisa (formerly of Comfort Food) at Cafe Luna last week - we loved it! Very yummy Italian food, decent wine list & great service, too.

April 27, 2006 6:23 AM  

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