harry’s coffee shop / la jolla, ca

Nestled in downtown La Jolla, Harry’s Coffee Shop is an established landmark that’s been serving up breakfast and lunch since 1960.  Now run by the family’s second generation, the restaurant is a throwback to traditional east coast diners with a long counter, vinyl booths, Norman Rockwell prints and vintage sports memorabilia lining the walls.  It’s warm, comfortable and familiar. Continue reading harry’s coffee shop / la jolla, ca

the secret cookie service / san diego, ca

A brief knock on the door. I peek outside and see a well dressed guy in sunglasses, black slacks, white shirt and a tie holding a briefcase. I quickly usher him inside. Agent Snickerdoodle has arrived with my special delivery and I’ve been waiting all night for it to arrive. What’s in the briefcase that could be so important?

Why, cookies, of course!

[hand delivered brown paper bag contains the goods]

The Secret Cookie Service has been in operation since September 2011, delivering late night cookie treats to the students at UCSD. The service has recently expanded to deliver to nearby neighborhoods and has recently set up shop so the students at SDSU don’t miss out on any of the cookie service goodness.

While they are mainly an at-night service, placing an order 24 hours in advance can net you a daytime delivery if you don’t live the vampire — or student — lifestyle.

Agent Snickerdoodle, after passing a screening from my dog, Maya, handed me this seemingly plain brown paper bag that contained what I’d been jonesing for all night. I couldn’t wait to dig in and try out this stash!

[mysterious white envelopes holds the cookies together during transport]

These random looking white bags are not really random at all.

For they contain delicious treats.


[reese’s pieces cookies]

These aren’t peanut butter cookies per se, but they are loaded with Reese’s Pieces, one of my very favorite candies. There’s a sweet peanut butter flavor from the candy but the cookie itself is just a base for holding the pieces. There’s a good candy to cookie ratio here – I got a Reese’s Pieces in nearly every bite. The cookies are very soft and chewy. My second favorite of the bunch.

[mint chocolate chip cookies]

The mint chocolate chips were still kind of melty and sticking to the white envelope. The nice thing about that is that it let me know the cookies were baked fresh very, very recently and I love when chips are partially melted still. That’s the best part of warm cookies! These were quite soft and had a good minty-chocolate flavor.

Agent Snickerdoodle informed me that this is one of their best selling cookies and I could definitely see why.

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puesto mexican street food / la jolla – san diego, ca

Puesto Mexican Street Food is a new taco shop located in the heart of Downtown La Jolla. The concept is fun and simple – you get to chose what you want on your tacos, selecting from a variety of fresh, healthy choices as toppings for your tacos. In addition to tacos, you can get a guisado bowl or a salad as well as a variety of sides and drinks. I was recently invited to come in and check it out for myself – bringing Jake along to help me sample all that Puesto has to offer.

We were greeted by one of the owners – Eric – who showed us the ropes. You start by grabbing a laminated card that shows you all of the possible options – meat choices, toppings, salsas and more. He helped us decide on a few combinations and then we leaned the cards up against the glass divider so the chefs could start making our creations.

[My tacos on the grill]

One of my favorite toppings was the crispy grilled cheese that you can have added to your tacos. They just layer down a good amount of cheese right onto the grill and put your main ingredients onto the cheese. Above  I have the huitlacoche and zucchini flowers on one taco (I decided to try an all veggie one), pork on the other and shrimp on the non-cheesy taco.

[taco fixings]

Toppings and fixings galore!

[Making my salad]

Oodles of salad toppings (including nuts and cranberries and the like). I was surprised to see nuts and cranberries, actually. Especially at a taco shop.

[Mango salsa, Jamaica salsa, and Pistache salsa]

Puesto also offers up some interesting salsas for topping your tacos. I asked for all of the on the side so I could try them before deciding which tacos to put them on. The mango salsa is more like a salsa fresca, with mango, habanero, tomato and cilantro. The Jamaica salsa has hibiscus flowers and chiptole and the Pistache salsa (my favorite) has pistachio and jalapeno in the mix.

These are my creations – all topped with a beautiful slice of avocado. Oh yes!
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la jolla brew house / la jolla – san diego, ca

I don’t usually document negative experiences but:

A) I’m tired
B) I decided I don’t care
C) I’m doing a service for you guys, right?
D) I’m too tired to think of a D.

Anyway. Bear (bare? no, definitely bear. I’m definitely tired if I’m leaving these inane comments in) with me for a few minutes.

I had a Groupon for the La Jolla Brew House and I dragged Jake along with me since the coupon was about to expire. It seemed like a really good deal – two burgers, plus desserts and two beers or sodas for $18.

There was a little bit of a wait so I put my name down on the list and we wandered over to a couch to sit for awhile. It was a nice evening and we were out on a patio. The garage doors were up and people were enjoying the evening. I got a kick out of seeing puppies on the patio. Dog friendly! I love it. We kind of bugged out for awhile waiting for our table. We were told the wait would be about 20-30 minutes. No problem.

[playing the waiting game on the patio]

I kept peeking over to the hostess stand and noticed there were less and less people over there, but still, we were never called. It was over 30 minutes later when I poked Jake and asked him to go check. A few minutes later he came back and sat down.

“She said we’re next. She skipped us.”
“When I asked, she said my name was already called. Then I told her the name put down was Mary and she kind of freaked out a little.”
“She got caught lying, that’s why!”
“Yeah, that was obvious. She just skipped us.”

Not an impressive start if you ask me.

[page two of stapled together menus]

We were given these stapled together menu’s to look over though since I had the Groupon, there wasn’t much choice. We could have a classic cheeseburger, a mushroom swiss burger or a BH burger. Both came with either fries or sweet potato fries and either 2 pints of beer or 2 16-ounce sodas (+ dessert).

[sunset trivia]

They were doing trivia that night, hosted by Sunset Trivia. The guy came over and quickly explained the rules to us. They were over halfway through the trivia, but we did it anyway. It was totally fun! They have three different categories each round and you put down the amount of points you want to bet for each round. You write your answer down plus the points you’re betting. The guy calling out the questions also keeps score for you.

I didn’t even have to suggest a something for our team name. I just looked at Jake and he wrote down the above. Jake knows me so well!

[mushroom swiss burger / regular fries]

I got the mushroom swiss burger. You can see that my cheese is just slightly melted on my burger. The burger was only warm to the touch. It tasted okay, nothing special really. Standard button mushrooms that were slightly sauteed, mild seasoning on the burger. It was cooked to medium rare per my specifications. The burger was just really lacking… something. Flavor. Oomph. Heat. Something! The fries were not very hot, not very crisp and not very good. The best I can say about my meal was that it was “meh”.
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