Puesto: Puesto, West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA Puesto at the new and improved Seaport Village “Headquarters” is some of the tastiest Mexican food I’ve had North of the border. The street taco style from Tijuana plays out in about a dozen creative hand held tacos. You can get a plate of 3 for $11 dollars and you will leave stuffed and ever so happy. The options for the taco fillings are plentiful. Including the classic San Diegan fish taco, carnitas (pulled pork), grilled shrimp, lobster and beef as well a good number of vegetarian types. There’s really something for everyone here. The entire plaza has been transformed into shopping and restaurants in what was formerly the old police station and a prison. There’s a very interesting preserved part of the jail to walk through while you wait for your table. Check out the wanted posters! They are hysterical! The interior of the restaurant has old remnants of what was housed there before. There are staircases hanging from the ceilings and it’s decorated with graffiti style street art. It’s a very intriguing and colorful place. Taco Tuesday happy hours have $1 tacos and $1 Tecate beers! Don’t miss out on that!
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Soda & Swine: 2943 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA
Soda & Swine is possibly the first restaurant that I went to twice in one day. Soda & Swine consists of two parts. The menu is based on four kinds of meatballs with different sauces you can eat a la carte, on a slider or as a sub. The menu is supplemented by such standards as mac and cheese and fries, but also has unique offerings such as roasted chick peas and polenta, Next door is Polite Provisions and they have wonderful creatively flavored cocktails for the evenings!
The modern design of the Soda & Swine is lovely. The cafeteria style dining room is open to the sky yet enclosed on the sides. Polite Provisions was an old pharmacy and they’ve kept the old fixtures but modernized it a bit The effect is beautiful. Be sure to pay a visit to the bathroom and pay special attention to the floor!
Con Pane: Liberty Station Suite 105, 2750 Dewey Rd, San Diego, CA
Con Pane is the perfect Point loma place for a tasty breakfast or a quick lunch. Con Pane is a bakery and they bake the most amazing fresh breads each day. My favorites are the rosemary bread and the Point Loma Sourdough.
For breakfast grab an orange cinnamon roll and a giant latte and you’ll be set until lunch time. The sugar and cinnamon coated roll is light and fluffy and slightly orange flavor, just perfect! You can also order a sandwich for breakfast, if you’re feeling like brunch.
Their sandwiches come in whole or half sizes, they are great for sharing as they are quite hearty servings. My favorite is the turkey cobb sandwich. I order it with no mayonnaise because it doesn’t need it. There’s avocado, zesty gorgonzola crumbles, lettuce and a good amount of quality turkey breast.
If you’re seeking something simpler, they even have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Also, keep in mind, they are closed on Wednesdays! Sandwiches are $6 each, which is very reasonble for the high quality!
Izakaya Masa: 928 Fort Stockton Dr, San Diego, CA
Izakaya Masa was recommended to me by a great foodie friend and she told me just what to order. And she was right! You must try the: Takutsu ramen (get the half bowl size), the Tuna Carpaccio, a spicy yellow tail roll, pork gyoza and a Sapporo big beer.
The ramen bowls come in 2 sizes and are more than generous. Even the half size is very filling and the full size is enormous.
The tuna carpaccio is gorgeous, it’s topped with some oily sauce and crispy fried garlic slices that match perfectly with the tuna. I could eat one or two of these on my own.
The pork gyoza are so lightly fried on the bottom you can tell yourself they’re healthy. They are light and melt in your mouth.
We also tried the “San Diego Dream Roll” that was beautifully displayed and the little crunchies on top were so good! The roll is stuffed with generous portions of tuna, salmon, and avocado. It’s topped with caviar too, it really is a San Diego dream.
The restaurant is hidden in a strip mall filled with lawyers’ offices. While it’s not the place you’d expect to find top notch sushi, the line out the door says otherwise. Come on a weekday night and come early and the line won’t be too bad!
Fun Fact: Granada means “pomegranate” or “grenade” and while I didn’t see either while I was in Granada, it was still quite the adventure. Granada is a hippie central and for that reason I loved it. It reminded me so much of my beach town at home in San Diego. There are many people called “perro-flautas” which are hippie/wanderers that have a dog (perro) and play a flute (flauta). Our teacher flirted with a few of them and bribed them with beer to tour us around the alternative side of Granada.
Darling white washed houses and traditional Spanish roofing tiles abound. The graffiti is colorful and inspiring. The vibe of the city is a positive one and it’s just so sunny! The Alhambra is breathtaking and you’ll wish you could move right into this expansive castle. Plan to spend a lot of time there as the gardens alone can take all day to explore. Granada is easily one of my favorite Spanish cities, you have to visit!
Cordoba is full of history and bursting with the traditional Southern Spanish culture. The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is the main highlight, and for good reason. The combination of Muslim and Christian architecture is gorgeous and tells an amazing history. Cordoba has an unexplainable charm and is a romantic city to explore. The small idling streets with whitewashed homes are beautiful to explore. When you visit Spain be sure to take at least a day trip to explore Cordoba.
Parc de la Ciutadella is a place for all of Barcelona to come, enjoy the sunlight and be themselves. You’ll see people painting in the park, relaxing with their loved ones and forming drum circles. At the top of the park you’ll see an Arc de Triomf, constructed for the 1888 World Fair.
It’s a great place to people watch on Sunday afternoons. Since nothing is open in the city, people tend to crowd toward the park. Be sure to visit when you’re in Barcelona to get a real feel for the city’s people.
My most recent trip to Chicago was prompted by my Uncle’s wedding, which was absolutely spectacular! Visiting Chicago with the entire family was great fun and I have a few recommendations. Take the Chicago river boat architectural tour. You’ll learn so much Chicagoe history and it really helped to reinforce some concepts I learned in architecture school. The tours are fun and family freindly, everyone is sure to have a great time! I may have learned more on that boat tour than I did in architecture school!
Millennium Park is very cool to walk through. It’s full of odd modern art that you can look at and try to figure out what it could possibly mean. The giant bean, called “Cloud Gate” is the most popular landmark in the Millennium Park. Be sure to stand under here and take a funny picture. Also grab a beef sandwich at Al’s!