5. antique row cafe: people pile onto the wait list here every damned weekend, swarming the sidewalk corner for what looks to be some humdrum diner. inside a greasy spoon dreamscape awaits, ready with the turn-and-burn attitude that provides constant (but never annoying) attention and coffee galore, including flavored options of vanilla and hazelnut. like i said: dreamscape. their menu spans the usual brunch and classic diner expectations, but the specials keep the real goodies with combinations like chocolate chip waffles & new york steak. as its name indicates, everything within is born from antiquity, from framed photos of kennedy to a well-stocked pie display case. it is a world removed from this city, better suited to collect road trip travelers off highway exits than be a brunch destination in sun-spoiled San Diego, but so it is and that’s plenty okay.
4. ramen: personal ramen consumption is at an all-time high, but favorites have yet to be established.
3. escargot & red burg combo: 3rd corner has really stepped up their escargot game with a new in-shell set and fancy clamps to go with the classic French preparation of garlic and herbs. red burgundy and extra baguette required.
2. playing host: whether coursed with pairings or family-style dim sum, there is no better way to kick yourself for fucking up a dish than doing it in front of friends.
1. roast beef & cheddar pretzel rolls: these little beauties cast a dizzy love spell on me for two nights. built with a simple spread of mustard and horseradish mayonnaise, this midnight snack had me taking selfies with it, just for the memories. again, red burgundy required.
red burgundy: just beginning to fall down the rabbit hole.