the prado / san diego, ca

On a rainy Sunday in March, I met up with my long time friend, Sarah, and took her to the Prado for lunch. Sarah was in town visiting from Alaska, not very happy to find that it was raining in usually sunny San Diego. I originally couldn’t find a place to park downtown for another place we were going to go for breakfast, but we ditched that plan and headed over to Balboa Park. The Prado doesn’t actually serve breakfast and isn’t open until 11AM, so we killed a little time walking in the misty rain. The botanical gardens are a neat place to visit when it’s slightly wet out – though I still recommend a jacket and either a hat or an umbrella to keep your mind off of getting wet.

When the restaurant started taking customers, we stopped back over and were seated in a pretty spot overlooking the wet terrace. I must admit that the Prado is usually out of my price range, but I figured we’d find something a little cheaper on the lunch menu for us to enjoy. We decided to each get a bowl of soup and to split balsamic grilled portobello mushroom sandwich. A split plate charge allowed us to each get our own sides and half of the sandwich for an additional $3 – score!

I got the Prado Tortilla Soup ($6.95) to warm up my belly that day. The soup was at an excellent temperature – ready to eat right away, but not too cold to make me think it had been sitting out for awhile. It was just spicy enough for my taste buds, with big strips of chicken and tortilla chips that got soft from sitting in the balmy liquid.

The Portobello Mushroom Sandwich ($11.95) comes on a baked ciabatta roll with a lovely chimichuri sauce. The flavors of the sandwich were really excellent. The only problem was that my mushroom kept trying to fall out of my sandwich and I discarded the roasted bell pepper before I even began (since I don’t like bell peppers). We got homemade taro chips to crunch on and a marinated veggie salad for side dishes. The veggie salad had a really good crunch and an excellent medley of flavors that I really enjoyed.

The one other thing that I really love at the Prado (that I did not get on this visit) is the crispy calamari fries. They come in this totally awesome Asian sauce and I love love love them. I could probably eat them as a meal by itself. And maybe I will next time. And take photos to share with you. Oh yes. They will be mine.

The Prado
1549 El Prado
San Diego, CA
(619) 557-9441

Prado at Balboa Park on Urbanspoon

Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 11+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

One Reply to “the prado / san diego, ca”

  1. The Prado is a lovely restaurant located in San Diego’s Balboa Park. Enjoy a walk through the surrounding park grounds…this is one of the most scenics sections of the park. The Prado is famous for their delightful pork chops, but you’ll find a wide range of dishes at this restaurant. Make reservations to dine outdoors. This is one of the best places for outdoor dining in San Diego. They also have a great happy hour with special prices on appetizers and drinks.
    .-= Melissa Howe´s last blog ..Apr 2, Hotels With Jacuzzi Suites =-.

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