weekday lunching at specialty’s, boudin bakery and opera cafe


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.

8 Responses

  1. Barbara says:

    Bummer that you are sick and I hope you get over it before your b’day week. I always enjoy reading about all the free lunches you find. Those sandwiches look amazing. I have been a brie lately too. I wonder if it’s the time of year on my part? I do enjoy brie so much. I will have to try it with turkey, looked great! Feel better and thanks for posting despite your cold. Take care, Barbara

    • mary says:

      Hi Barbara! Just to clarify, these lunches aren’t free, I paid for all of these. If it’s free, then there will be a disclaimer stating that (or, if free birthday food, you’ll know that too haha). For whatever reason I just really have been wanting brie lately. I hadn’t had it in a while and it sounded so good to me so I had to have a few lunches with brie last week. Thanks for the well wishes!

  2. Lynn says:

    Happy early birthday! I hope you’re signed up for lots of goodies! I’m already mentally preparing and trying to subscribe to the right newsletters so I’ll be ready when December rolls around. GLUTTONY! =)

    Haven’t been to Opera Patissarie in quite a while but I always think of the open faced seared tuna thing I got a long time ago. OMG yum. Except that you don’t eat raw fish so maybe the seared isn’t your thing either?


    • mary says:

      Hi Lynn! Yes, I printed out all the coupons I hope to use this year. Luckily most of them last for two weeks since I’m not getting out and using them with my dumb cold! I signed up for new things this year but didn’t seem to get stuff from every spot. Oh well, I got plenty to work with!
      Yeah… TUNA isn’t my thing hahaha. I had a bad experience with tuna growing up and now the flavor/taste/texture of it weirds me out so I don’t eat it. I have tried to eat it but I just don’t like it at all. Oh well, more tuna for you! 🙂
      I looooooooove brie!

  3. Cathy says:

    I hope you feel better soon! Fortunately the birthday coupons are good for at least two weeks after your birthday (Starbucks is one month) and since The Mister and I are seven days apart, we don’t use both at the same time and stretch out our freebies. I found Rubio’s ($7) and Einstein (any breakfast bagel, and the lox and bagel is $7) as well as BOGO at Souplantation are the best value; so many are a free milkshake…

    Specialty’s does test marketing, so I would hope the apple(sauce-y) flavor tasted right…I love soup, don’t need the bread bowl though so have stayed away from Boudin for years now and I *love* everything from Opera, get their newsletter so I can plan a meal (or just a soup).

    You are so lucky to be working near Green Acre, Bella Vista and Tender Greens. The restaurants inside any of the Whole Foods are also great (without going to the hot bar/salad bar). The key is to get there before or after the lunch crowd mess…

    • mary says:

      Hi Cathy – Thank you! Yes, I was printing out my coupons yesterday and happily saw most of them expire two weeks later. There are a few that I really plan on using since they are new to me. I don’t like the ones that are just a free dessert or BOGO coupons (unless it’s a place I really like) so many of them I don’t even bother with. I think the Cafe 21 coupon is my favorite of the bunch – free dinner!
      I tried to go to Tender Greens once for lunch and it was a nightmare, way too crowded… so I know what you mean about the lunch crowd mess! I’ll have to try Whole Foods for lunch sometime. Green Acre and Bella Vista are just far enough to make them a littttttle too long of a drive, but I have made it there before. I need to spread out a little more in my lunch plans.

  4. Happy early bday Mary! You are the queen of bday freebies! 🙂

    The steak/brie sandwich from Opera is what I want to order next time I’m there….I still remember the bite I had from your sandwich (drool, haha)….I want to try making that mushroom soup in a bread bowl at home as well…

    • mary says:

      Thanks, CC! I have new freebies on my plate this year that I’m excited about!! I just need to get over this cold like ASAP! I love that sandwich from Opera. I never want to order anything else, haha. I bet the soup is easy to make, I should try making mushroom soup at home as well. I love mushroom stuff!

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