Sunday, November 25, 2007

Turkey Weekend Is Over

Back to work. Thanksgiving is over – on to Christmas dammit all.

Just a short post today. We had our turkey dinner in Poway at House On The Hill. They had a fixed price menu: $24.95 per person with a choice of three entrees. Turkey! Ham! Or Salmon!

The price included a serving of cheese spread (homemade, they said) and a few crackers to start you off, a choice of corn chowder or house salad (it was really good!) and then on to the main that was served up with a small little pile of sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce along with bigger piles of green beans (traditionally my least favorite, but they were really good) along with stuffing and garlic mashed. Oh yeah, a bunch of slices of turkey too.

Dessert was a choice of pumpkin or apple pie. Both were served cold. And then in a cool little move, when they bring the check you get leftovers. Yes, extra leftovers of turkey sammich to go, as they said, “so everyone has traditional leftovers!” Overall, a nice restaurant and good service – they look to have a decent American menu of fish and steak. They have a large patio which would be pretty nice on warmer nights or hell, most lunches through the year.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Big Bear!

A recent weekend was the perfect time to check out Big Bear. Well, maybe not completely since a fire was still burning in the Lake Arrowhead area to the west and one of the three highways into town was closed but why let that stop us?

Yes, but how was the food?

If you’ve been there you’ve probably driven by The Log Cabin advertising THE BEST BREAKFAST! We stopped in since we could eat with the dog on the patio. If you get the German Breakfast it winds up being the wurst breakfast! Ach ya! Yes, you get eggs however you want them plus knackwurst, kielbasa AND bratwurst plus 2 potato pancakes and applesauce. Nice place, it’s been there since Hector was a pup (that means a long time) and they have a friendly staff. Another doggie option for breakfast or lunch, I’ve read, could be the North Shore Cafe. And I think there is a Grizzly something that apparently does the biggest lumberjack breakfast but it is in a tiny little place.

There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of BBQ restaurants – I picked Outlaw BBQ for take out one night. I was attracted (or maybe just intrigued) by a beer battered rib option. Now, I’m not that big on deep friend food though once I had a deep friend hard-boiled egg that had been wrapped in bacon and all those deep-fried cheese curds I’ve had so I should know what I am talking about. I got a half and half order – half normal and half deep fried. I would compare the breading to what is on a corndog. Honestly, I wouldn’t get them this way again but the regular ribs were really good.

Another evening meal was at the Mandoline Bistro in “The Village”. I had a delicious Pork Tenderloin with (as copied from their website) a guava BBQ sauce, apple and chili chutney, vegetables and tamale. Wow. This was good! And The L had the Cedar Plank Salmon, served up with mushroom risotto and a lemon sauce. We didn’t take the dog, but if you are wondering, I’m pretty sure they allow dogs on the large outdoor seating on warmer days. This place probably winds up being one of the better restaurants in the Big Bear area – and they have music upstairs on weekends.

Lodging was found going through – ended up being cheaper since we booked with the owner and not through the property management company though we did pick up our keys from them.

Wine and Food Fest
This was the “Grand Tasting” at a park behind Seaport Village. If you saw a guy there with food slopped on his shirt – that was me. I had a couple of mishaps. Jeez. It was a little hectic and rushed – though it doesn’t really need to be. The food was good and plentiful. Even more so for the wine. So much wine. We sampled all the food and got the heck out of there before the drunkards completely took over. It was fairly crowded – I think they could space out the booths a little. They have booths on both sides of the 8 or 10 foot wide sidewalk that circles the park. It’s not until you get to a large grassy knoll that you really have room.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Brett's BBQ

Depending where you live this place is way up or over or down or out there or even WTF. Brett’s BBQ is in the oddly named 4S Ranch. No doubt a nominee for worst neighborhood name yet. I’m assuming that a Sam, a Shirley, a Sue and a Steve are the main investors. Or the main dude said, “Let’s call it Forest Ranch” and they secretary got it wrong.

Anyhow, I read about it in a North County Times article that said they do it "low and slow" in an "Ole Hickory smoker … from 12 to 14 hours". Yum. And talk of the famed smoke ring? That was enough, I checked the website and phoned in my order of a rack of spare ribs, asked the girl, “where da heck are ya?” and drove off.

OMG. Delicious. Meaty and tender. I’m not sure if they offer up more than one sauce or if it is from Sysco, nor do I know if they have homemade sides but they got all the normal ones. And you don’t get a corn bread muffin with the rib meal.

The place is in a strip mall environment, order at a counter (or phone in the order) pick up and eat at one of the few tables in or out. There is a pizza place next door – maybe Del Mar Pizza. I remember seeing ads/coupons for a Firehouse Pizza earlier this year. Is this where it was? Or is it still around.

So, big thumbs up for the BBQ – I should note that while I was raving about the ribs, my wife didn’t care that much for them. I also got a ½ pound of beef brisket that she liked (though I thought was just so-so, but hardly paid attention to it.)

Wine and Food Fest – San Dee-ag-o Style
Grand tasting on Nov. 17th. Anyone going? Let me know, we might be able to say hi to some other bloggers. I’m thinking we’ll pick up a couple of designated driver tickets (discounted to $50) just to sample the foods. We like going to wineries and wine tasting but neither of us quite want to get into that this time.

Blog stuffs…You’d think I’d update this more often. I have a couple of posts written in my head, I just have to take time to get them in. Maybe I’ll have a goal of once a week. Maybe a Sunday morning post. I have a couple of trips I can write about.