I got a gift certificate from some PR people for McCormick & Schmick’s forever ago – but I only just recently went. It’s because I don’t like going to Downtown San Diego – there’s never a good place to park and you usually will end up paying and walking a bunch of blocks. Besides, I remember when Downtown was not trendy and hip and it still surprises me that it’s the new mecca of hip. Oh well.
My gift certificate was expiring soon, so it was high time that I went. Jake went with me on a rare date night for just the two of us so we could check it out. I knew we couldn’t really afford things on the regular dining menu, but Alyssa had given me the scoop on their Happy Hour menu. They have 2 Happy Hours daily: 3pm-7pm & 9:30pm- 11:30pm and variety of cheap specials that fit nicely into our budget (aka the price of the gift certificate). We ended up liking it so much that we brought Jake’s kids back with us over the weekend so we could take the kids to a fancy place without the fancy prices. Score.
The $2.95 cheeseburger was one of our favorites – it’s a big 1/2lb. burger with fries…. for $2.95. You really can’t beat that. It’s well cooked, not exactly the best burger I’ve ever had in my life, but for the price at this restaurant, it’s hard to beat. All fixings come on the side so you can add what you want to your burger (it comes with more than what’s shown, Jake just requested no tomato or onion).
These Potato-Chipotle Flautas ($1.95) were amazing. They’re crispy flour tortillas with chipotle mashed potatoes stuffed inside and fried to a really crisp golden brown. Pretty crunchy and crisp with a good amount of spice to them. They have a little kick – making me only able to eat about half before I give it to Jake to finish off. This was Jake’s favorite item off the happy hour menu.
I shared these Peel and Eat Shrimp ($3.95) with Jake’s daughter, since she and I have an affinity for shrimp while all of the boys detest seafood. These were pretty good – almost like a shrimp cocktail but on a plate. The shrimp were a good size and weren’t overcooked. I felt like they could have used a little bit of flavor somewhere in there so I used a little cocktail sauce on them (though traditionally I like my food sauce-free).
For myself (on our second visit) I decided to try the Blue Cheese Sliders ($4.95). I got three mini burgers topped with tons of blue cheese and caramelized red onions and a little coleslaw on the side. I stole a little of Jake’s mayo to top my burgers off since I felt like they needed a little something extra. These are super duper cheesy and bold flavored. I tried to move the cheese around a bit so it wasn’t too overpowering and it worked out well. The bottom buns got a little soggy which I didn’t like, but overall they are tasty little burgers.
One other thing we tried were the Beer Battered Fish Tacos ($3.95) but Jake and I didn’t really like them. They seemed to be lacking flavor and didn’t have any oomph. They didn’t taste very crispy and seemed kind of blah. I ate half of my taco before I decided I didn’t want to eat it anymore. And I’m not a big fan of cabbage – why do they put it in fish tacos? Can’t I just have some regular lettuce?
All in all, it’s a super nice place – and pretty budget friendly. The only thing about the happy hour is a $3.50 beverage minimum. If you’re planning on kids like we did, there are 4 tables set aside next to the bar area where you can sit with the kiddies. Good times.
McCormick & Schmick’s
(Inside the Omni Hotel)
675 L Street
San Diego, CA 92101-7022
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