RCubed Eats: SDCC and Afterward

I’m a bit sad that my gastronomic adventure through SD last month wasn’t as great compared to last year. Again, I blame it on the constant moving. But I did manage to discover a few new places and check off a few from my to-eat list.

After picking up our Conan tickets on Thursday, some of my group was in need of sustenance. From Spreckels Theatre, we headed to Werewolf to grab breakfast. Although it’s mainly a bar, they have a pretty good breakfast menu which is available until 1 pm daily. My eyes immediately locked in on their Pork Belly Benedict, which included poached eggs and thick slices of maple glazed pork belly atop house made potato cakes. I’ve had a good amount of eggs Benedict, but this one by far has been the most indulgent.

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The Monday after SDCC weekend, a friend and I had lunch at Lucha Libre. I’ve gone here quite a few times and have yet to be disappointed. My favorites include their Surfin’ California burrito (featured on the show Man vs. Food) and their Champion’s fries. I would have kicked myself if I didn’t get carne asada fries at least once during my trip. The craving for them doesn’t really occur for me unless I’m in the area. I’ve tried a few versions of it up here in the Bay Area, but seriously, no contest.

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Champion’s Fries with steak

 

2 food cravings were fulfilled on my last full day in SD. In the morning, I checked out the new location of Breakfast Republic at Liberty Station. I initially wanted to try something new, but couldn’t resist ordering their breakfast mac n cheese again with their Jurassic Pork bacon. The latter is a thicker cut and lightly glazed bacon, which I highly recommend adding to any of their dishes that has it as an upgrade or as a side. This kept me full throughout most of the day. Another friend ordered their Steak ‘N’ Eggs. The skirt steak was perfectly cooked, and the chimichurri sauce on top of it was amazing. I would definitely consider ordering that next time if I’m hungry enough to stomach it (I just had a bite). If you’re ever here, it’s located right next to the Liberty Public Market, so you can give yourself an excuse to walk off that meal.

 

 

I had a pretty late dinner that night, but it was totally worth it. The poke hype has been increasing in San Diego within the past few months. With new establishments popping up every so often, I needed try at least one of them out. I heard about Pokirrito through word of mouth and a post that a friend had made about it. The website doesn’t do justice with their menu. In fact, the Mauna Lani burrito that I ordered isn’t even on it. From what I can recall, this one had fresh salmon, avocado, tamago, cucumber, carrot, lettuce, lotus chips (which added a nice crunch), and crab. They also offer a few sauces you can get on the side to dip your burrito in or top it with. I chose their Golden Ratio Pokirrito sauce. Fancy! I was only able to get through half of it (I finished the rest the following morning), but trust me when I say it was pheNOMenal.

 

 

One of my SD friends has gotten heavily into cold brew coffee. Last time I was in town, he had me try the Colada from Holsem and I was immediately hooked. This has cream of coconut, cane sugar, and is topped with toasted coconut. Who would have thought coffee would ever take me to paradise? They have a few other versions of flavored cold brew on the menu that I hope to try on a future visit.

 

 

My Summer food adventure in SD was a nice way to tune out the stress that I had during SDCC. It was surely comforting, and I look forward to trying out more good eats down here.

SDCC and Star Trek Beyond Contests Galore!

I came across yet more contests to attend SD next month for either Comic-Con or the Star Trek premiere. Good luck to those of you who decide to enter.

SD Radio contests:

The following radio stations in San Diego are giving away pairs of single day badges to SDCC. Just text the code to the specified number and keep your fingers crossed! All of these are only open to San Diego County residents 16 and over until July 21st.

Magic 92.5

91X

Z90.3

General SDCC contests:

Designer Studio is giving away 2 single day badges for Sunday. Open to US residents 18 and over. Enter here by July 7th.

Star Trek Beyond premiere contests:

Colorado radio station 99.5 The Mountain is sending 1 winner and a guest to the premiere. Open to Colorado residents only. Enter here by July 8th.

Residents of Canada (except Quebec), this one’s for you! Tribute Entertainment will send a winner and their guest to the premiere. Visit here for entry and prize information. Contest ends July 10th.

Are you an 18+ resident of the US with a Star Trek memory to share? You may want to check out this contest. Visit the YOMYOMF page here for entry and prize information. Contest ends July 6th.

For even more contests for both events, including SDCC  related ones, please visit the SDCC Unofficial Blog’s Contest Hub page.

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To a PheNOMenal New Year

Ended 2015 and kicked off 2016 on a rather tasty note. I arrived in San Diego early afternoon on Thursday. Prior to my trip, I had already developed a craving for a lobster roll. A friend recommended Supernatural Sandwiches and whatever I wanted was on them. Sah-weet! Their menu of sandwiches is amazing. I wish I lived down there so that I could try them all (in due time, possibly). Of course my choice would be the Cthulhu due to my craving. It consisted of a buttery roll filled with lobster claw and knuckle meat mixed in with chives, umami butter, crispy garlic, and house made garlic aioli. This surely brought the lobster party to my mouth. The shrimp chips that came with it had a bit of a kick from their seasoning, which made the meal complete.

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Behold, the mighty Cthulu.

My NYE celebration with food didn’t stop there. I had dinner later that night with another friend at an old favorite, Tajima. Ordered my “usual” of their Tonkotsu ramen, with an extra half egg and pork belly. So good, but they added more noodles than I had expected. We also ordered lychee nigori (unfiltered) sake, which tasted like juice. Deceiving stuff, that is. Again, my meal was paid for. I felt so spoiled!

New Year’s Day led me and my stomach to Breakfast Republic. This has become one of my favorite 1st meal of the day spots in San Diego, and for good reason. Not only do I love their Breakfast Mac and Cheese, but they also have some amazing shrimp & grits.

Good food with good friends, and lots more to come. What a great way to start the New Year!

Pinky Up! My Favorite Places for Afternoon Tea

Winter’s creeping up quickly here in the Bay Area. One of the things I like to do during this time of year (or any time of year, really) is have a nice afternoon tea. I’ve been to quite a few places, but wanted to share the ones I liked the most. (All places listed in this post are linked to their websites.)

Crown & Crumpet

Located in San Francisco’s Japantown off of Post Street, this has been a frequent stop for me and my friends when satisfying our afternoon tea craving. Their Tea for One includes finger sandwiches, warm savories, a scone and crumpet, desserts, and a pot of tea of your choosing. I either get their Strawberry Oolong or Murky Water (it’s actually a fruit blend tea, and really good). For $28, that’s the best deal I’ve seen by far up here.

Satori Tea Co.

Once located in downtown San Jose, they have since moved to their new one in Saratoga. I loved the inside ambience, not to mention their extensive selection of teas. Customers are able to look at and smell the different types before placing their order. The English Afternoon Tea ($37) or Tea for Two ($63 or $31.50/person) would be my recommendations if you’re willing to go all out. I would prefer the former because it includes a crumpet. I really don’t eat those anywhere outside of afternoon tea!

Tea Upon Chatsworth

Call me biased if you will, but I absolutely adore this place in San Diego even though it’s the only SoCal location I’ve visited. I’ll heighten that sentiment even more because I celebrated my birthday here with some good friends. Their Queen’s Tea is $29/person, offering seasonal menus of various finger sandwiches, sweet and savory pastries, dessert, and unlimited pots of tea. They even gave me a candle lit mini cupcake and sang since it was my birthday. Talk about awesome service!

Looking for more options? Here are a few honorable mentions:

Regardless of where I’ve been, these are my favorite afternoon tea items:

  • English Breakfast tea
  • Crumpets with clotted cream
  • Lox or cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwiches

 

I highly suggest making reservations, especially if there’s a large group. Some locations will take walk-ins depending on availability, and they may also have gluten-free options upon request. It’s always best to plan ahead, and bring an empty stomach because some of these menus can be surprisingly filling.

Have you ever had afternoon tea before? Feel free to let me know if you have any recommendations.

My Gastronomic Adventures in San Diego

While I was in San Diego last month for Comic Con, not only was I trying to cram in as many events as possible, I was also on a mission to try out more food places. Very happy to have crossed a few off my to-eat list. Of course, there’s still lots more left to discover. Pic heavy post coming right up!

This has been the 3rd straight year that I’ve kicked off my Comic Con experience with a stop at Donut Bar the morning prior to Preview Night. Can’t really beat visiting around this time since they have Marvel, DC, and geek themed donuts during the week of the event. Even the employees dress up for the occasion.

When it would be time to grab a bite during the convention, I’d head over to Petco Park’s Interactive Zone since they had several food trucks. Day 1’s stop was Salt + Lime, which featured authentic Mexican food. If you’ve ever or never been to San Diego, this stuff is on point! Had their Al Pastor and Carne Asada tacos, and a Nutella Chimichanga for dessert.

Lunch on Day 3 came from Super Q. Everything on their menu looks good, but I ended up ordering their Brisket Melt (All their melt sandwiches have mac n cheese in them. Crazy!). No regrets here.

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My final truck visit on Day 4 was at Currywurst. Per a friend’s recommendation, I ordered their Polski Dog, which had kielbasa, German red cabbage, sauteed onions, and honey mustard. It’s unlike any Polish sausage or hot dog I’ve ever tried.

The Polski Dog
The Polski Dog

The last dinner I had with my SDCC group before everyone left to travel home the following day was at Bub’s @ The Ballpark. Some of us were highly craving tater tots, and this place has several variations of them. They even have them as dessert (sadly, no one decided to try them). My order of Tater Skin Tots hit the spot after a few rounds during happy hour at Altitude.

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Before dropping off the friends that I roomed with during Con, we had lunch at Phil’s BBQ. I’ve been curious about this place for some time, and friends that had tried it had positive feedback. One said that it didn’t really compare to the original location in Mission Hills. But you know what? Anything close to it is fine by me. I ordered the quarter rib plate, which was more than enough to fill me up. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and absolutely pheNOMenal. We all had leftovers, which were taken home back to SF with the others.

Once I was settled near Mira Mesa for the remainder of my stay, I made dinner plans with another friend. They suggested Kula Sushi, and I dared not say no. Again, the local buds had spoken about and liked it. Plus at $2.25/plate (otherwise specified on the menu), I didn’t have much to lose.

Slightly different from other revolving sushi places I’ve seen, the conveyor belt brings them around with sealed plastic covers. The only way you can take the plate is by a slight pull/tilt motion that opens up the cover.

Orders can also be placed via touch screens that are at every booth in case you want anything extra (e.g. miso soup or ramen) or want other sushi not on the revolving belt. In under 2 minutes, your request is sent to you via another conveyor belt located above the revolving one. Check out the video I took of it below.

I took advantage of this on both my visits here (Yep, took another friend here for lunch before I flew back to SF since they haven’t been yet.). I even managed to make room for dessert and ordered mochi ice cream from it. I also tried my friend’s order of soy milk donuts. They came with a scoop of ice cream and weren’t dense. Good stuff!

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The following morning, I met up with some other SD friends and had breakfast at Breakfast Republic. It’s currently been open for a few months, and I’ve heard before my visit that the food was great. I definitely believe it! I recommend either the Breakfast Mac ‘n Cheese with Jurassic Pork bacon (how cool of a name is that for bacon?!) and their pancake flight. There’s a few flavors to choose from for the latter. My friend ordered theirs with the Bacon, Oreo Cookie, and Cinnamon Roll pancakes. Ah-mazing! I hope to head back here again soon.

And for my last evening in San Diego, a small group of us had dinner at Slater’s 50/50. I’m a fan of their 50/50 burger (half of the patty is bacon), but decided this time to try something different. I made myself a custom burger (you can name them too) with my usual Nutella shake.

The longer the trip I have down here, the more places I get to try. I’ll be back in a few months to hopefully knock out a few more. Will be sure to feature them in another post! 😀

6 Values When Choosing A Comic-Con Hotel

My friends and I are joining hotel registration (aka Hotelpocalypse) tomorrow morning. This post has some great info when it comes to choosing one to stay at during the convention.

 

Crazy 4 Comic Con

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For those of you that have survived the Comic-Con badge gauntlet over the past few months, your registration journey will complete with the Hotel Sale on March 24 at 9 am pst. I know it feels like we have been waiting a long time but this is over two weeks earlier than last year’s reg date! Unless you are a Jedi Master, this can be an intimidating experience and it can feel pretty daunting trying to choose a hotel just based on price or distance. For you first timers, here are a few details to consider when choosing a hotel for the Con (with my personal favorite is listed below too). Then a few ‘values’ to help you make your final decision.

  • Make a list and check it twice: Here is the list of hotels to choose fromThe Hotel Reservation system allows you to input 6 hotels ONLY (in order…

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SD Comic Con 2014

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This year marked to be the most stressful for me preparation wise, as I made a great amount of effort to gather up as much info for my group as possible, and even helping others outside of it during the process. And thankfully, it paid off. Each year is another learning experience  for better ways to ready everyone else and myself as well for this ever growing event.

I didn’t have to deal with that many issues this time, and enjoyed myself a lot more than the year prior. Lack of sleep was a given, yet I was able to get in a full day of panels and checked out some dope off site events. Sadly, I didn’t get to see most of the friends in SD that I normally do, but it tends to happen around this time of the year more than the other times when I visit. Either way, it was still a memorable experience. I even got a small bit of the media spotlight as I was asked to do an interview for YouTube (made it to 2 videos as a result). I’m hoping I can use the same approach in preparing for 2015. As much as I’d love to avoid panels completely, there will probably be one or two that will grab my interest as it’s done in the past. Couldn’t be prouder of my group (20 heads and counting) for making this another successful Con. I always wonder how much longer I plan to do this, but in all honesty, as long as most of them are for it, then count me in.

(slide show contains highlights from the weekend)