Lemon Grove Thai

One of the newest restaurants in town Lemon Grove Thai was one of the first restaurants to make it on my staycation list. I finally got to go there today. 

It's an order at the counter type place and you can tell they put a lot of thought and hard work into the restaurant.
On the far end of the counter are the condiments and the plastic cutlery. There is also a large pitcher of ice water and cups available to help yourself. 

I ordered the Tom Yum soup. I really like the idea of being able to choose your protein and level of spice. I ordered a level 4 because for my entree I ordered a spicier curry. I'm so glad I ordered only a level 4, wow!! that is spicy and trust me, I can handle spice. After I got through the first few bites and blew my nose (sorry, gross I know) a few times I became a little more accustomed to it. I scooped down into the cup and dang, look at all the veggies and lovely mushrooms. This I will order again, and yes, I think I'll keep the level 4. Lemongrass is one of my favorites to cook with and the lemongrass broth was delicious 



While I was looking over the menu the lady at the next table asked me if I like curry, she had ordered the yellow curry and highly recommended it, spice level 8 which she said was spicy enough but she wouldn’t go above an 8 next time. I ordered the yellow curry with pork and spice level 8. Yes, it had a decent level of spice and if I wasn’t having another spicy dish with it, I think I’d kick it up a notch.
The rice was perfectly cooked, just sticky enough without being glommy and able to stay together on the chopsticks so it can be dipped in the curry. The curry is a nice blending of spices and herbs, well balanced. It had nice big pieces of potato that were not overcooked, they were cooked ”just right”, and of course onions and carrots.

Here are some out-takes of the menu


I ordered the small Tom Yum soup, vegetables, level 4


For my entree protein I chose pork, spice level 8


And my entree was yellow curry.

This is one of the restaurants on my short list of places I want to eat at again. 

And that's that!

Stop and Eat First

My stomach was grumbling on my way to my favorite Middle Eastern market.  Now, I know I’ve read it somewhere, either in the Bible or in the Constitution I don’t remember which, but I read somewhere that one is not to go shopping for groceries while one is hungry.

I was thinking about what I could grab in the store to eat while shopping to stave off my hunger, they have some pretty good in-store prepared food, then I saw their new restaurant was finally open so of course I had to try the restaurant.

I ordered the falafel bowl. It's a pretty good size so go hungry.


The falafel are served over basmati rice with chopped pickles and chopped tomato with tahini sauce.

The falafel are wonderful not greasy at all. They are crunchy on the outside and tender and well seasoned on the inside. Of course the rice was perfect. 

I'll eat there again in a heartbeat. 
I had this at Vine Ripe Market

So...the next time I was starving while out running errands I drove by a taco stand that I've been to before but not recently. Carnitas taco was all I could think so I doubled back and ordered a carnitas taco with rice and beans. 


I ate every bite, not even one grain of rice was left. 

I had this at La Esquina Mexican Grill

Don't go hungry!

And that's that!

Sushi? I'm In

My niece and I wanted to try the local sushi place Tuna Sushi while I was on my staycation. She's had take-out from there once, but neither of us has ever been in there. I was so shocked to find such a great sushi place in my neighborhood
We couldn't find much wrong with any of the food we ordered. If I could ding them on anything it would be the fried calamari, not because it wasn’t good, but it was in stick form, think fried zucchini sticks, not rings and I prefer the rings.

We ordered the tempura stuffed jalapenos with spicy mayo, fried calamari with spicy mayo, seaweed salad with yamagobo, sesame teriyaki bento and a dragon roll. Needless to say, we ate ourselves silly.

The tempura stuffed jalapenos are generously stuffed with crab meat and cream cheese.


 Nice combination of flavors, the crab and cream cheese help temper the spice of the jalapeño.


I like how it’s sliced so you’re not having to deal with it whole.


Like I said the calamari is fine, in fact, it’s really good, I just prefer rings.


I enjoy having seaweed salad along with my meal It’s very refreshing. No, this salad was not spicy like some of them are.

When it comes to the rolls, the spicy eel roll is one of my favorites.


 As far as I'm concerned you can put eel and eel sauce on cardboard and it will taste good. This one did not disappoint. 

They are not stingy with the bento boxes.

There was plenty of sesame teriyaki chicken, two huge tempura prawns, two huge pieces of tempura zucchini, four pieces of California roll, rice and half an orange that is already cut into sections.

The bento boxes I’ve had in the past had the salad in the box, it was nice to have the salad on the side.

Of course, the salad had lettuce it also had beets, carrots and ginger dressing. 

The bento also came with miso soup. 


K, the miso soup, hands down, one of the best I’ve had. The dashi was so rich and flavorful, light miso paste, nice little pieces of tofu and pieces of seaweed. I’m going to go back and try the soup again, just to see if it’s consistently that good if so, I’ll be there all the time.

So far it looks like I’m batting a thousand with my restaurant choices on my staycation.
Stay tuned.

And that’s that!

Charlie's Famous Hamburgers

This afternoon I checked off another place on my Lemon Grove Staycation list.

I swung by, Charlies Famous Hamburgers, on my way home from running errands


and picked up a deluxe cheeseburger


and a small order of fries for $7.00
No this wasn't the full order of fries, it's just a few I put on my plate. 


The only seating they have is outside and it was nice and shady. I could have eaten there, but it was pretty hot today and besides that, wanted to have a nice cold beer with my lunch.

On my way home I started snacking on the french fries, OMGosh, I couldn't believe my ears and teeth, they actually were crispy and crunchy with soft interiors. I can't remember when was the last time I could hear myself munching on a french fry. 

The burger was delicious, besides the lettuce and tomato, it had my all time favorite thing to have on a hamburger, raw onion. I don't think I can be happy with a burger from anywhere else. Now I know why they are called Charlie's Famous Hamburgers. They've been here since 1973.

Oh Yeah, and on Friday nights the classic cars show up. How fun is that!

And that's that!

Lemon Grove Deli and Grill

I hardly ever go out for breakfast, I don't know why, well yes I do, that means I have to make myself presentable before I really want to. 

Today I was presentable enough to go out and have breakfast.


On my staycation, I'm trying to target family owned and operated restaurants, Lemon Grove Deli & Grill came across my radar. Since they are open for breakfast and lunch only, it's a pretty good bet I'll get a great breakfast there. FYI they close at 2:00 p.m.
Two of my favorite restaurant breakfasts are Chicken Fried Steak or Corned Beef Hash, both of which they have on the menu, surprise, surprise...not. 

When the nice cheerful waitress came to take my order,  I love it when they call you dear and sweetie, I asked if the corned beef was house made or canned, it's canned so I ordered the chicken fried steak. 


Nope, no eggs. I wish I could but we just don't get along. 

My choices were hash browns or home fries, pancakes, toast or biscuits and gravy. The chicken fried steak was very nicely cooked, nice and crunchy outside and tender and juicy inside. Job well done. That and the pancakes were the best part.
The hash browns were cooked very well also, nice and crunchy edges, soft insides, only they tasted a little off, I can only describe them as tasting like the grill. No, I've never licked a grill, that I can remember anyway, but I've cooked on and cleaned many of them in my time. I think the biggest disappointment was the gravy, the best I can call it is nondescript. I tasted it alone several times and I can't tell you what it tasted like, just very bland, even salt and pepper didn't help it. It wasn't awful, just no flavor at all. The pancake was so good I ate it without any syrup, I didn't want anything to mask the flavor of it. I ate only 1/4 of the top one. Now I wish I would have brought the rest home, it would have made a nice snack this afternoon. 

It's obviously a local hangout, most everyone in there knew each other. It reminds me of Cheers,  ♫♪ "where everybody knows your name, ♫♪ and they're always glad you came". ♫♪ You'll thank me for the earworm later.
My sister and her husband would go in there for sandwiches, the tuna salad was their favorite. I think I'll go back and try one of the sandwiches. 
I'm not going to write them off just yet. 

And that's that!

Imperial Taqueria a.k.a. Tacos, Oh yeah!!!

I've been driving past this taqueria for the past year and a half, and every time I do I think I really must try this place sometime. 


Well, sometime came the other day.
It has to be good because there have been very few times I've driven by that they weren't busy.
Some times the drive through spills out into the side street. 

KCB_1546Now you can see why.

I ordered two crispy shredded beef tacos with rice and beans. $7.99 

Just look at that fluffy rice. It is laced with celery and carrots and onion.  
I can almost guarantee they use a powdered chicken base to cook the rice. Don't ask me how I know.
The beans are equally good. They are not mashed beyond recognition, there are still some unmashed beans in there. No bean soup here. 

Do we really need to talk about the tender succulent beef?
The photo doesn't do it justice. 

So now, the rest of the story. 
I'm soooooo happy I tried this taco stand before I read the horrible, (understatement) reviews it received on one of the better-known review sites. 

Granted, it's not one of the cleanest places I've ever eaten at but come on,

KCB_1540It's not totally for the birds. 
I'll be back 

 6911 Imperial Ave, San Diego, CA 92114

And that's that!

Da Chicken Coop

The other day I had for the first time ever, chicken and waffles. The first venture on my staycation. 

I had them at Da Chicken Coop, almost right out my back door. Don't hate me. 

It's outside seating and you walk up to the window to place and pick up your order. No biggie, it was a nice day. 
I ordered the small dark meat chicken and waffle and was asked besides the syrup for the waffle would I like some hot sauce for the chicken. heckyesthankyouverymuch. 

That was the tenderest, juiciest chicken I've had in a long time. Wish mine was that good, and I'm a pretty good chicken cooker.

How do you eat your chicken and waffles? 
So first I tried a bite of chicken and waffle with just syrup on both, then I tried a bite with plain chicken and just syrup on the waffle, then I hit my jackpot. Hot sauce on just the chicken, syrup on just the waffle, stab the chicken with your fork, then stab the syrup-laden waffle, enjoy.

I was under the impression that it was a southern thing, after doing a little research it has been attributed to a similar Pennsylvania Dutch dish, but on further reading, it is said to be from Harlem and others say it's Southern Soul Food. 
Will we ever really know for sure?

Looks like I'm off to a darned good start on my staycation. 

And that's that!

Roots Community Kitchen

Can't believe I was lucky enough to spy this place while I was running errands Sat. They've only been open a short time and I hope they will be in business for a long time. 

It's great to find a restaurant, especially in my area, that serves local, organic food. 



I ordered the cheese pizza, made with their homemade mozzarella cheese. 

Come check the place out. 


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