Archive of ‘Restaurant’ category

Sun Flower Bagel in Carlsbad Is My Everything (Bagel)

Sun Flower Bagel - Partially Eaten

Yes, this is less than half of a bagel. I had to stop myself from devouring the entire thing before I could get a photo.

Today I found myself running errands while J was at school. To my delight, I drove right by Sun Flower Bagel in Carlsbad, CA, where I promptly pulled into the parking lot and quelled the rumble in my tumbly. (Sorry, I’m around my kid too much.)

I used to frequent Sun Flower Bagel when J took a gym class next door. We had a routine of going to her class and then getting lunch at the bagel shop. The gym closed abruptly and I was left hanging.

They make THE BEST everything bagel! The everything bagel is salty, savory and also covered with seeds from top to bottom. I have found most everything bagels aren’t covered everywhere. The bottom of the bagel is always sparsely coated.

Sun Flower Bagel - Everything Top & Bottom

This is the top and bottom of the “everything” bagel.

My heart stopped for a second this morning when I looked in the display case and didn’t see the basket labeled “everything”. It’s pretty much the only bagel I order no matter where I go and my favorite here (see above). Then I entered bagel nirvana when the man behind the counter said they were fresh out of the oven. Oh Em Gee!

What’s even more interesting? They’re run by a Japanese family. On the weekends and Wednesdays they have Japanese bread and baked goods. I only tried them once (and I don’t remember what I got), but the place was jammed packed with people buying this stuff. They start selling them at 11am, and dammit, I was there at 9am!

They make a variety of sandwiches too. I’ve had the veggie as well as the lox. Both were excellent and served with the most delicious thinly sliced red onions. I know that’s an acquired taste, but I love onions on my sandwich. And of course, I order my sandwich on the everything bagel.

My other top faves for (everything) bagels are I Love Bagels Cafe in Oceanside (just off the 78 and College) and New York Bagels & Cafe in Rancho Bernardo (east of I-15 on Bernardo Center Drive).

You can find Sun Flower Bagel at 6955 El Camino Real # 105, Plaza Paseo Real, Carlsbad, CA – off El Camino Real and Aviara Parkway.

Local Tap House & Kitchen in Oceanside, CA

**UPDATE 4/16/15** I can happily say this place is still excellent! We have been here several times since I first posted this review and it is one of my favorites.


Last night Curt, J and I went to Local Tap House & Kitchen in Oceanside. The food, drinks and atmosphere were great and we’ll be going back soon.

Pink and Billy Idol

I never thought about it until tonight…Billy Idol might be Pink’s father.

Recently opened this spring, Local Tap House is one of several new restaurants bringing the local gourmet foodie movement to North County – thank god! They have lots of beers on tap (hence the name), a full bar, upscale food at a reasonable price AND lots of TVs for watching sports. They also play great music – I heard Billy Idol, Pink and Bad Religion coming over the speakers (negative points for playing REM, but no place is perfect).

Local Tap House Pomegranate MartiniI started off with a pomegranate martini and Curt ordered red wine. No, we didn’t drink any of the beers on tap. It’s on the list for next time. My drink was refreshing and not too sweet. It had several pomegranate seeds at the bottom which were juicy and vodka-soaked by the time I ate them.

Local Tap House - Deep Fried Pickles

We devoured the pickles like a swarm of locusts.

We ordered the Deep Fried Bread & Butter Pickles as a starter. As you can see by the photos, we devoured them. After picking the lasts bits off of the plate, Curt declared, “Mmmm, I ate your crumbs.” Okaaaaaay. They were served on a light bed of greens with a smear of spicy sauce beneath. It may have had some chipotle in it. There were two other dips. One tasted like dill (almost like tartar sauce) and the other was a spicy habeñero sauce. Shame on me for not remembering the exact description on the menu but I’m still working on this whole “write a review” thing. J loves dill pickles but she wasn’t a fan of these. No problem, more for me!

For our main courses I had scallops, Curt had chicken pot pie (see, I wasn’t lying in my other post when I said it’s his favorite) and J had chicken fritters with fries. The chicken fritters were “nuggets” but not of the golden arches variety. They were whole, white meat chicken, lightly seasoned and screaming hot (temperature). The fries were not hot. Normally this would be a bad thing but when serving a kid, they were the perfect temperature. J loved the chicken and hand-cut fries. It would make a good appetizer for adults.

Local Tap House - Chicken Pot PieThe chicken pot pie was a generous size and served with a side of sauteed vegetables. Curt didn’t eat the side veggies, but I took them home and just polished them off! They were great left over. I tasted his pot pie and it was very good.

LocalTapHouse - ScallopsMy scallops were served over garlic udon noodles with bacon, peas and mushrooms, and a fried egg. At $17, I thought my dish was extremely cheap for seafood. When I got it, I saw there were two large scallops and that’s when I realized why my dish was not $30. There weren’t a lot of scallops but the twins were delicious. I took some of the noodles home and they made great left overs too.

We wrapped up the meal with deconstructed smores served in a mason jar. While the presentation was beautiful, I don’t think it’s a practical way to serve this dessert, as it was really difficult to dig down to the bottom and get the crushed graham crackers. Luckily we had a clean appetizer plate left on the table so we dumped everything out and were able to dive right in. Salted caramel ice cream, fudgey melty chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers were a sweet ending to a great dinner.

At just over $100 including tax and tip, this was actually a reasonably priced and complete meal for us: 3 adult drinks, 1 kid drink, 1 appetizer, 1 kid’s meal, 2 entrees and dessert.

LTH’s web site is under development. You can see it here or find them on Facebook.

308 S Coast Hwy
Oceanside, California
(760) 547-1469

I Got Stuffed at Betty’s Pie Whole

Betty's Pie WholeIt’s a restaurant…get yer mind outta the gutter, sheesh!

Betty’s Pie Whole is an adorable little restaurant and bakery on the corner of Encinitas Blvd and Quail Gardens Road (Encinitas, CA – that’s in San Diego). It’s in the Sunshine Gardens lot.

I’ve been here twice, both times after visiting the Botanic Gardens with J and her friends / my friends (i.e. play date or playgroup).

Betty's Pie Whole - Get Along Lil' Kielbasy Pie

Get Along Lil’ Kielbasy Individual size pie

The first time I ate here I ordered the individual size Chicken Pot Pie. This time I ordered the individual Get Along Lil’ Kielbasy Pie. Oh my, is this good! The crust has savory herbs (sage and I don’t know what else) and inside is poultry kielbasa, red potatoes, mushrooms, spinach and béchamel. I like to pretend it’s good for me since I’m eating my spinach…just ignore the cream sauce and flakey butter pastry that envelopes the ingredients like a cozy edible blanket.

Betty's Pie Whole - Mississippi MudJ gets an individual Mississippi Mud Pie for lunch. Yes, I let my daughter eat pie for lunch. Don’t judge. It doesn’t happen everyday. This is the description of the pie, according to Betty’s web site: Chocolate shortbread shell is filled with Belgian chocolate pudding,  house-made marshmallow, brownie chunks, butterscotch swirls, and finished with two kinds of chocolate drizzle! 

Now I’ve tasted this little bit of chocolately heaven and it is delish! My odd ball child won’t eat the hand made marshmallows, she prefers Jet Puffed. Kids!

There is a nice room to enjoy your meal and also an outdoor space where you can let your rug rats run free while you lick every last crumb out of the bottom of the pie tin (oops, I didn’t mean to say that outloud). The decor is saloon / western style with a little bit of humor — a toilet with a jade plant sits outside of the restrooms.

Betty's Pie Whole - Uncooked Individual Pies

They put a cute little “c” on the Chicken Pot Pie!

Here’s another GREAT thing about Betty’s Pie Whole, you can take a pre-made, uncooked pie and bake it at home (individual and full sizes)! Since Curt’s favorite food is chicken pot pie, I decided to be a nice wifey and bring one home. I also bought another Kielbasy. If you’re going to eat the pies that night, just refrigerate them. But if you want to serve in a day or two, they recommend freezing. You can cook straight from the freezer but it will add quite a bit of cooking time. Ask for printed cooking directions when you buy your pie.

After tasting the Chicken Pot Pie and the Kielbasy side by side at home, I will say that I prefer the chicken. BUT, don’t get me wrong, the Kielbasy is great. I would (and will) order it again. And the chicken.

For more information, visit Betty’s web site or stop by 155 Quail Garden Dr. Encinitas, CA 92024

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