the huddle / mission hills – san diego, ca

I first read about the Huddle over on Dennis’s blog, A Radiused Corner. It’s been tickling the back of my mind for awhile now. I’ve been searching for a good “go-to” place for breakfast and looking for the elusive “perfect” hash browns after my favorite place for hash browns closed last year.

The Huddle has recently earned a place in my heart with it’s down-home, “sit and stay awhile” feel. This local, family owned restaurant has been around for quite awhile and I’m glad I finally got to make my rounds to drop by for a visit.

On our first visit, Jake and I (with two of the kids in tow) make only a conservative effort at tackling their massive menu.

The first thing I ordered? The “Del Mar Fair Cinnamon Roll”. It called to me. I had to answer the siren song.

[The Del Mar Fair Cinnamon Roll – $2.50]

The huge hunk of a cinnamon roll is the same recipe from the lady who makes the famous cinnamon rolls you get at the fair every summer. The Huddle puts their own spin on the roll by slicing and grilling the massive roll and topping it off with their own homemade cream cheese icing. What you get as a result is a fresh, warm cinnamon roll with a little crisp and crunch from the grilling. The creamy icing melts on top and should be slathered onto very bite for maximum enjoyment.

Four of us happily split this cinnamon roll and devoured it in record time. It’s so big that I do highly recommend you share this with a friend to avoid the onslaught of a sugar coma.

PS – This is my new favorite cinnamon roll in town. For reals!

[Corned Beef Hash and Eggs – $9.50]

I had a serious hankering for some corned beef hash. Jake only made a slight protest and then told me to “order whatever I wanted” since we were sharing. I was going to get something else, but since he’s a good boyfriend, made it sound like it really didn’t bother him if I ordered this. So I did.

We told our waitress we’d be sharing the plate, so she went ahead and split the plates for us. How nice is that! I was very touched by this little detail – and that we didn’t have to ask for it to happen and it was done at no extra charge. That is what I call some fine service!

The corned beef hash itself was quite good – it had a nice, crispy top and was soft on the bottom. Not too salty but with a good overall flavor. If you dig this type of thing, then the version they serve here won’t disappoint you.

[Homemade jams]

The other thing that I found exciting was their lineup of homemade jams.

Our waitress, who’s family has owned the Huddle for years, told us that the jams were her grandmother’s recipe. The jams you see above are: apple butter, strawberry rhubarb, and orange marmalade.

Continue reading “the huddle / mission hills – san diego, ca”

the trails neighborhood eatery / la mesa – san diego, ca

I used to watch Food Network almost non-stop. I loved all of the cooking shows – Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis. I picked up so many great hints and tips just by watching their shows on a Saturday morning. While I don’t really watch those shows too much anymore, I still enjoy some of the other, newer shows. One of them is Restaurant Impossible with Robert Irvine, sort of knock off on Kitchen Nightmares. I’ve gotten Jake to watch it a few times and he’s actually into the show now. When I told him that they had done an episode at a restaurant here in town, he was totally game for going and checking it out.

The restaurant in question is The Trails Neighborhood Eatery in La Mesa. I had never heard of the place before I saw it on the show. It’s in a pretty nondescript part of town, within an old strip mall in San Carlos/La Mesa. Driving by the strip mall, it really doesn’t look like much. There’s a CVS and a Keils food store which looks like one of the oldest stores ever.

Once you step inside though, you immediately see the homey, updated version of the restaurant. It has a really cozy feel with lovely colors and the images of the family throughout the restaurant give it a very welcoming feel.

We just happened to go the first time on a Sunday morning. When we watched in, they had the Food Network channel on which just happened to be playing their episode! We mused if it was a recording that the restaurant played, but the owner, Stacey, pipped up. “No, it just happens to be on right now,” she explained, with an embarrassed grin.

We ended up waiting over an hour for a table, no doubt because of that recent airing of the episode. I was determined to try it though even though maybe I hadn’t picked the best day/time to go.

[Cinnamon Roll Pancakes – Swirls of cinnamon roll filling and topped with cream cheese frosting – $6.99 / with bacon & eggs – $8.99]

On our first visit, Jake and T. shared an order of the Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. It’s covered in a rich cream cheese frosting which doesn’t require anything else to go on it – it’s quite sweet enough with that frosting!

The impressive cinnamon swirl is done right into the pancakes, giving it the classic cinnamon roll look and all of that cinnamon taste right in the pancake. The few bites I snagged from Jake were quite delicious. The pancakes were light and fluffy with a nice bit of cinnamon goo in them. This would have to be something to share in my opinion since it is rich and sweet – but very good.

Continue reading “the trails neighborhood eatery / la mesa – san diego, ca”