Saturday, January 12, 2013

What’s the Purpose of This Blog?

Not much. But we have some food photos left over that are too good to go to waste.

We found ourselves asking the question, “Should it be fried clams (Studio Diner) or cheesesteaks (Gaglione Brothers)? And the answer would be cheesesteaks.
We visited the Friars Road Gaglione’s so often that in the span of seven short weeks we filled in their “frequent eater” card and earned a free cheesesteak.

Chuck invariably ordered the basic cheesesteak without onions, but on this occasion forgot to specify the twelve-inch and got the smaller eight-inch.
Still, on that visit he admitted that the smaller was probably a good idea.

I went with the pizza steak which was my “go to” cheesesteak while living in Philadelphia. The expertly chopped meat (kudos to Caesare) was topped with mozzarella and house-made marinara.
My Philadelphia pizza steak would usually include fried green peppers and onions with hot peppers on the side. Here I forewent those and added the wonderful giardiniara.

On our next visit, Chuck made sure to order the larger (although not the largest at eighteen-inches) sandwich while I went in an entirely new direction.

As much as I love mushrooms, I have never ordered a mushroom cheesesteak—either in Philadelphia or in San Diego.
This is a mistake that I won’t make again. This may now be my all-time favorite. There is something about the earthy taste and chewy texture of the grilled mushrooms that makes them the perfect addition. And on this visit I chose the twelve-inch. I knew that I would never finish it in one sitting, but having elevated microwaving leftovers to a high art, I knew that the remainder would make the perfect breakfast.

Earlier we introduced you to Caesare, and we would be remiss if we didn’t say a special thanks to Corey, the General Manager of the Friars Road store. This young man is never still. If he is not taking orders or assisting in sandwich preparation, he is cleaning tables or visiting with customers.

Before leaving San Diego…

we made sure to have one more meal at Red Lotus in Santee. And, as with all of our meals there, we started with the calamari appetizer.
In an earlier blog, I pondered whether they tossed the squid with rice flour or cornstarch. On this visit I asked Mrs. Lin and learned that it was cornstarch that produced the ultra-thin coating.

And, lucky for us, the soup that day with the lunch specials was the hot and sour.
In the past, I ordered the Hunam Beef but this time selected the Hunam Chicken. Like the beef, the chicken pieces had been wok-fried and then cooked again in the rich brown sauce.
But, in this case, the chicken did not have quite the degree of chewiness—which, at least to me, is appropriate.

Chuck’s selection was the Ku-Ting Chicken—large chunks of battered chicken tossed with a somewhat sweet sauce and garnished with large walnut halves.
And, of course, both of our plates contained a small, but fresh, egg roll and a cheese stuffed fried wonton.

Both Gaglione Brother’s and Red Lotus are our 5.0 Addie “go to” San Diego area stops, and we’re sure that we will return to both.

But before departing San Diego,

one last stop at—egad!—a chain restaurant. But a semi-local chain with about a dozen restaurants in both Orange and San Diego Counties.

It was a morning of errands, and we wanted something fast and cheap. Luna Grill had been recommended as a place for good Mediterranean fast food.
As you would expect with a fast-food place, you order at the counter and then find a seat until your name is called.
Chuck’s lunch was the Gyros Wrap with a side of fries. The soft pita contained a generous amount of seasoned thin-sliced gyros meat along with lettuce, tomato, and onion and a cucumber and yogurt dressing.
Nothing fancy, but he was happy—and that’s all that matters.
My lunch was the falafel burger, which was a large falafel patty on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, and the same dressing.

This was a unique take on falafel, and one that I enjoyed.

Luna Grill was certainly not gourmet food, but we got what we wanted – fast, cheap, and better than just good and earns a 3.5 Addie rating.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

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