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One of My Favorite Quotes...

“The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.”

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Inspiration: The true entrepreneur...

"The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer."
- Nolan Bushnell

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jalisco Cafe for Mexican Food in Bonita

We put those Groupon coupons to use again and our next stop is Jalisco Cafe in a small South Bay community of San Diego called Bonita. So, we had the meals to-go and placed the orders. I got one of the combination plates that they offered which is Taco, Enchilada and Tamale. I don't know what I was thinking, but the enchilada and tamales were both cheese. That was my mistake. It was cheese overload and couldn't finish the meal. The taco was ok, but a bit dry. But I was thinking more of a street taco than a crisp tortilla one.

Taco, Enchilada and Tamale at Jalisco Cafe in Bonita - San Diego

Taco at Jalisco Cafe in Bonita - San Diego

This next meal is the Two Beef Enchilada. I was told that the meal was also ok. It's funny how I look back at these photos and see how boring it looks. Maybe unpleasing as well. I just wish they added some color to the food by adding and topping it with tomatoes and such. Cause we all know that you eat with your eyes first and my eyes were disappointed to say the least.

Two Beef Enchilada at Jalisco Cafe in Bonita - San Diego

The truth be told, the Tortilla Chips were the highlight at the time. Crazy huh! And I really can't remember or say why! That kinda says a lot right there...

Tortillas at Jalisco Cafe in Bonita - San Diego

To be honest, I probably wouldn't come back unless I find some sort of discount. There are way too many Mexican food shops out there that appeal to my taste buds and are much more convenient. At least I can say that I've given the place a shot. But who knows, I may be there sooner than I think just to try out the other foods on the menu. Their great service deserves that second chance and next time, I'll stay away from the all cheese meals. HAHAHA!

Jalisco Cafe
4026 Bonita Road
Bonita, CA 91902

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Sandwiches from Panera Bread! Yum!

It's no secret that I love the sandwiches at Panera Bread. They're so light and tasty, yet they're also fulfilling. And lets not forget about their delicious soups. I've posted photos on this blog a few times and here are some new ones to share. The first one is a Asiago Roast Beef Sandwich. Being shown is half a sandwich. The sandwich is asiago cheese demi with roast beef, smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and horseradish spread. It was so good and I really think that the spread is what made the sandwich ok to good.

Smoked Ham and Swiss Sandwich @ Panera Bread

Then there's the Smoked Ham and Swiss from Panera. The Asiago Roast Beef is one of their Signature Sandwiches and the Smoked Ham and Swiss is their Cafe Sandwiches. The smoked ham and swiss is on stone milled rye with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, salt and pepper. I took a bite and it was pretty good. I felt nothing extraordinary about it. I actually prefer their signature sandwiches or hot paninis over it.

Asiago Roast Beef Sandwich @ Panera Bread

And I can't forget the awesome Broccoli Cheddar Soup. I don't know what it is. But I just keep coming back to it every time we go to Panera Bread. The other soups here are just as good and in general, I don't order soup. As strange as it sounds, I order more soup here than I have at other restaurants combined. I don't eat soup often, but theirs is like crack to me. I just got to have me some if I enter those doors.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup @ Panera Bread

Panera Bread
2015 Birch Rd #1605
Chula Vista, CA 91915

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Croom's BBQ in Chula Vista/San Diego

There's a BBQ joint in Chula Vista called Croom's Catering and BBQ that friends and family mentioned when the subject of BBQ came up for the South Bay area. I've always heard about them, but have never been. Crazy part is that I've driven by this location many times and wasn't aware it sat there. Now that Hoheezee took advantage of the Groupon offer for some tasty food at Croom's, I'm ready to get my grub on. I believe it was a $10 for $20 and a deal at that. So with the coupon printed and the BlackBerry in tow, we headed over there.

2 Hot Links and Chicken - Croom's Catering and BBQ in Chula Vista - San Diego

My first impressions were that Croom's is pretty small and has a seating for about 25 people. Luckily, we missed the dinner rush and were able to find seating easily. As you enter, the counter is directly in front of you and that's where you place and pick up your order. We did just that and I ordered and dinner plate that consists of 2 hot links and chicken (above) with cornbread. It comes with two sides and I choose the mac and cheese as well as the candied yams. They asked if I wanted hot or mild hot sauce for the meal, which I thought was strange and I asked for mild since I don't handle spices well. It wasn't that spicy and most of the heat came from the hot links. From what I remembered, it came to a total of around $10.

2 Ribs and Chicken - Croom's Catering and BBQ in Chula Vista - San Diego

Hoheezee also got the dinner plate, but his consist of 2 ribs and chicken (above) with cornbread. He also got the same sides as I did. We both agreed that the cornbread was a bit dry and the servings were a bit small for the price. To be honest, I was expecting a bit larger serving at those prices compared to other BBQ joints in San Diego. The meals were pretty decent and have no serious complaints. But be aware, the meats were drowning in the sauce and it was hard to taste the actual product with all that sauce. So, if you're one of those hardcore BBQ foodies, you will be disappointed. And that's coming from a guy that's easy to please. That meal also was around $10.

Mac and Cheese - Croom's Catering and BBQ in Chula Vista - San Diego

The mac and cheese was ok and was pretty cheesy, which I prefer when it comes to mac and cheese, but I did find that it was lacking a bit in flavor. I was looking for more than just cheese. But to be fair, I don't eat it that often and don't have anything to compare it to in recent times. The candied yams seemed different to ones I've tried at other spots and don't know what to say about it. I actually would like to have the sauce in the yams to be a bit thicker than runny. The yams itself was fine; I kinda wanted the sauce to be sweeter too.

Candied Yams - Croom's Catering and BBQ in Chula Vista - San Diego

All in all the food at Croom's Catering and BBQ was ok and the service was excellent. Would I come here again? I would, but that would have to be with another coupon offer. I was a bit taken back at the price and the serving size. I was expecting more. Compared to Phil's BBQ in Point Loma, Croom's is cheaper. But for $2-3 more, you'd have more food and I honestly feel that the quality does not compete with Phil's as well as the flavors. The only thing is, you don't have to deal with painfully long lines at Phil's which is a turn off for me and I love their food.

So, there you have it. Until next time, happy eating...

Croom's Catering & BBQ
573 H St, Chula Vista, CA 91910

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

The B Spot for Burgers in Kearny Mesa

After reading reviews and seeing these awesome photos of juicy burgers from The B Spot in Kearny Mesa/San Diego, I knew I had to give this place a try as I make a quest to find the best burgers in San Diego. Knowing Kearny Mesa pretty well, I found out that they took over/replaced the Green Tea House. So, I knew exactly where it was. And knowing this location, I remembered how much of a pain it was to find parking and in itself just parking cause of the compact parking spots. I curse it every time I drive there. But it's cool; I'm doing this in the name of delicious burgers and this blog.

The B Spot does their burgers differently than what you would see in San Diego. The owner stated that they basically make an East Coast type burger. I'm not familiar with the way the right coast does it, so I can't compare. I thought a burger was a burger as long as it's done well. Well, they do a "Juicy Lucy" type burger where they stuff the burger patty with cheese right in the middle. That's right! Cheese in the middle of the burger. I never had a burger like that and it was AWESOME!

Roast Beef Burger - The B Spot in Kearny Mesa - San Diego

I had the Roast Beef Burger, which is pictured above. Please forgive me for the photos. I didn't realize my camera settings were off as I couldn't wait to dig my mouth into it. So, I rushed it. The photos do it no justice. It's a burger topped with roast beef with cheddar and peppercorn mayo. I've got to tell you that this is one of the juiciest burgers that I've had in a long time. I loved every single bite of it. I remembered reading "The Cheesiest Burgers in San Diego" on their out side sign and couldn't agree more.

I also had the Sweet Potato Fries to go along the meal. This is an added cost. I don't know what it is, but theirs was different. It's different in a good way, but not great. But then again, I'm not much of a fries guy. But my buddy Hoheezee thought it was good. I think it may have been the salt on the fries that made them better.

The B Spot in Kearny Mesa - San Diego

The photo above it a cross cut of the Roast Beef Burger from The B Spot. As I mentioned earlier, they have a "Juicy Lucy" type burger. You can just see all that cheese starting to ooze out of the burger. That's a lot of cheese! By looking at the photo, you'd think that it would be too much cheese, but when you bite into it, you really don't notice it much. The taste was so good!

My buddy Hoheezee got the Mushroom & Swiss Burger shown below. He echoed the same things. It's one of the best burgers that he's had in a long time. It was so juicy and tasty and not bland like so many others. It has some kind of sauce topping it off, but I don't remember what it was.

Mushroom and Swiss Burger - The B Spot in Kearny Mesa - San Diego

The owner was cool and very upbeat as well as attentive. As you walk in, you see a pretty large TV in the front that rivals sports bar. But instead of showing the games, it had the Food Network on. How awesome is that?!? I love it! I think that was on purpose. I'm already hungry walking in and then having to wait to get my meal, only to be watching Adam Richman on Man vs Food stuffing his face in goodness. That made me hungrier. The interior design is less to be desired and small, but that's alright, I came here for the food. And I was impressed!

Inside Photo of The B Spot in Kearny Mesa - San Diego

The B Spot in Kearny Mesa is a terrific new place to check out. Their burgers were definitely worth it or at least to try once. Keep in mind; their burgers are far from healthy. They're pretty greasy and it does drip. But people like me don't really care about those small things. HAHAHA! All in all, I think I just found a place to add to my regular list. And so far, The B Spot just became my A spot for burgers.

And before I forget, don't forget to pick up a frequent buyer card. "Get a FREE Burger after 7 Burger or Sandwich Purchase". I see myself getting that free burger in no time. I can't wait for the next visit...

The B Spot
4646 Convoy St, Ste 103
San Diego, CA 92111

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Friday, March 18, 2011

NOTICE: Site Maintenance on 03.18.11

This is just a notice about the site maintenance that will be happening on Friday, March 18th, between 23:00 and 03:00 Pacific Daylight Time (Saturday, March 19th, between 06:00 and 10:00 UTC). When this happens, you'll notice some photo/images will be down on this Blog, Communicating Ideas by Visualnewbie. This is where I host a majority of my photos for the site, Lapada Gallery. But don't worry, Communicating Ideas will be back up and running in no time. Besides, the content will remain, just not the photos during the maintenance...

As you may already know, I have been using Zenfolio hosting service for organizing, hosting and presenting my photos online. You can view my home page at http://www.lapadagallery.com/

Some of the features Zenfolio offers are:
- Unlimited storage
- Elegant pages with a choice of layouts and theme designs
- Highest quality presentation of photos online
- Easy to use intuitive interface
- Full screen Slideshow
- Links from auctions, blogs, and forums to seven different image sizes

You can use my referral code 7KP-95Q-85X during sign up to save $5.00 off your own subscription. Zenfolio offers a Free Trial account for two weeks so you can see if you like it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Delicious Cupcakes by Babycakes

After having cupcakes from Sprinkles about two weeks ago, I'm still craving these small desserts. They were outstanding! Only thing is, the trip to La Jolla is kind of a pain. So, what's the closet dessert shop to me that I find oh so yummy? Babycakes of course! They got some of the best cupcakes in San Diego. Instead of getting the usual dozen, we went with six. Starting with Mocha (top brown one) and going clockwise is Red Velvet which is my favorite, forgot the name of it, Peanut Butter & Jelly which I love just as much, Pistachio, and Carrot (middle).

Delicious Six Cupcakes by Babycakes

Here's a shot of the tasty Red Velvet from Babycakes. All by it's itself. So good! It's probably the messiest Red Velvet I've had too...

Red Velvet, Delicious Cupcakes by Babycakes

3766 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fish Tacos @ TJ Oyster Bar in Bonita, CA

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and as a Catholic practiced the abstinence of meat during this day. So what does that mean? I'll be eating fish tacos from TJ Oyster Bar in Bonita. It's a small community along the 54, south of San Diego and north of Chula Vista for those who don't know. We basically came here for their popular 99 cent fish tacos and ended getting other types of seafood tacos to-go out of impulse. Get this, the 99 cent fish tacos are an everyday price and not a special. How awesome is that?!?

Fish Tacos @ TJ Oyster Bar in Bonita

The above photo is TJ Oyster Bar's popular Fish Taco for under a buck. It's dipped in house batter and deep fried served with cabbage, tomato and cream. It's so delicious! The tacos are smaller than the ones you get at Rubio's. But it has larger fish pieces and has better flavors and at a better price that you can't ignore. I also like the batter they used for the fish at TJ's more too. So far, they've got the best fish tacos in San Diego. But I'm not done yet...

Garlic Shrimp Taco @ TJ Oyster Bar in Bonita

I also didn't want just ordinary fish tacos. I wanted to get their Garlic Shrimp Taco (above) to change it up a bit. The taco has plenty of small shrimp, guarantying a shrimp in every bite. I could have eaten a ton of these if it weren't for the $3 price tag. It was worth it for one, but wanting more than two, the value diminishes a good amount.

Mariln with Cheese Taco @ TJ Oyster Bar in Bonita

Now I'll tell you what was worth the $3 price tag. It's the Marlin with Cheese Taco. They pack this taco full of delicious juicy Marlin. This taco isn't a light meal like the first fish taco. It's a bit heavier and more fulfilling. I could eat two Marlin tacos and it would feel like I ate four of the regular fish tacos. So good!

Be prepared that TJ Oyster Bar is really small and has a good following. So you can expect to see lines coming out the door at times. But the service and food are worth it, so check them out...

TJ Oyster Bar
4246 Bonita Rd
Bonita, CA 91902

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Homemade Filipino Pancit Sotanghon

Last week was my brother's birthday and as a tradition in the Filipino culture, we (Mom) cooked pancit to celebrate it. We basically eat pancit as it's a symbol of long life and prosperity. At least that's what my mom tells me. I've posted different kinds of pancits on this blog in the past and this version hasn't been shared yet. This variation of Filipino noodle dish is called Pancit Sotanghon. Man I love mushrooms and you can see some of the pieces of them lying around the noodles. Yum!

Mom's Homemade Filipino Pancit Sotanghon

Sandwich and Soup from Panera Bread

Here are some quick shots of a meal I had from Panera Bread sometime ago. Since I'm a big fan of their sandwiches and soup, I decided to not stray from it. So, I got one of Panera's Signature Sandwiches called the Italian Combo and the Broccoli Cheddar soup. The Italian Combo Sandwich is roast beef, smoked turkey, ham, salami, Swiss cheese, peperoncini, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and their special sauce on a Ciabatta. It's a pretty big sandwich and I would have perfectly fine with half. But I'm a big boy so a full one was just enough....

Italian Combo Sandwich from Panera Bread

The Broccoli Cheddar Soup is chopped broccoli, shredded carrot and select seasonings simmered in a velvety smooth cheese sauce. The soup is also served with freshly baked bread. I can honestly say that I can eat a gallon of this stuff if I hadn't eaten the whole sandwich. It's so good! And I'm not even a soup kind of guy. Go figure...

Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Panera Bread

Monday, March 7, 2011

Yummy Cupcakes @ Sprinkles, La Jolla

One of the latest shops to open up for business in San Diego with these portable treats called cupcakes is Sprinkles Cupcakes in La Jolla. Having been to their other locations and in most cases disappointed at the sight of long lines, the La Jolla store is a definite welcome. But make no mistake, this Sprinkles store sill attracts a good amount of people and long lines and waits are common. Over the past month, I've made the trek north two times for these delicious snacks to satisfy the sweet tooth. And each time we ordered a dozen cupcakes a day ahead of time to bypass the lines at the door. Good thing too, I wasn't willing to wait...

Sprinkles Cupcakes at La Jolla - San Diego

Sprinkles Cupcakes at La Jolla - San Diego

For the first dozen of Sprinkles cupcakes, we ended up getting six flavors to try out. You can also see the full dozen in the above photos. Those flavors are the limited offered German Chocolate, Chai Latte, the popular Red Velvet, Strawberry, Lemon Coconut, and Black & White. I've written many times that I'm no critic and would be a terrible reviewer because I'm pretty easy to please. And if I don't like it, you must be doing something terribly wrong. Fortunately, Sprinkles has nothing to worry about as I savored every single bite that I took in every single cupcake that I had. It was absolutely fantastic! More photos here...

This is the German Chocolate that Sprinkles offered for a limited time. The topping on this Southern classic is a rich, golden caramel laced with fresh coconut and crunchy pecans. This cupcake is pretty sticky and some may not like that. It really does have you wanting to lick your fingers as you finish it off. And that doesn't bother me. Besides, for some reason, I love coconut.

German Chocolate from Sprinkles Cupcakes at La Jolla - San Diego

Here is the Chai Latte cupcake. The Chai Latte is spiced chai tea cake with chai-vanilla frosting. I didn't get a chance to taste this. But from what I was told, it was delicious and light. Some like their snacks sweet and others don't. This cupcake sides on the not too sweet...

Chai Latte from Sprinkles Cupcakes at La Jolla - San Diego

Whatever cupcake store I go to, I always get the Red Velvet to try and compare. And Sprinkles is no exception. This is the Red Velvet and it's a southern style light chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. The frosting is light on the cream cheese and leans toward the sweeter side, which I personally love. Compared to other Red Velvets, Babycakes in Hillcrest leans more toward the flavor of the cream cheese which I also love. I tend to favor sweeter is better and Sprinkles got me there...

Red Velvet from Sprinkles Cupcakes at La Jolla - San Diego

Next is Strawberry and its basically pure strawberry cake with sweet strawberry frosting. It's good but not exciting. So there's not much to say about it. With other bold flavors to choose from at Sprinkles, I'd rather try those than get the strawberry again.

Strawberry from Sprinkles Cupcakes at La Jolla - San Diego

The Lemon Coconut is one of those flavors I really enjoyed. It's Madagascar bourbon vanilla cake with lemon coconut cream cheese frosting. It's light and sweet and yet very refreshing.

Lemon Coconut from Sprinkles Cupcakes at La Jolla - San Diego

And the last flavor out of the first dozen cupcakes is the Black and White. It must be a popular flavor since its offered everyday on their menu. The Black and White is Belgian dark chocolate cake with creamy vanilla frosting. I also savored every bite of this cupcake. So good!

Black and White from Sprinkles Cupcakes at La Jolla - San Diego

For the second dozen cupcakes from Sprinkles at the La Jolla location we also bought six different flavors. And that's six different flavors that we haven't tried yet. Those are the Peanut Butter Chocolate, Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate Marshmallow, Ginger Lemon and Pumpkin. We also got the Vanilla Milk Chocolate that's not pictured. It looks just like the Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake incase you were wondering. More photos here...

The Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake it offered two days a week. It's chocolate chip-studded peanut butter cake with fudgy milk chocolate cream cheese frosting. Besides coconut, I also love the peanut butter flavor. Yum!

Peanut Butter Chocolate from Sprinkles Cupcakes at La Jolla - San Diego

The Chocolate Coconut is basically the same thing as the Lemon Coconut, only without the lemon flavor. It's Belgian dark chocolate cake with coconut cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate Coconut from Sprinkles Cupcakes at La Jolla - San Diego

Chocolate Marshmallow is Belgian dark chocolate cake and marshmallow cream with bittersweet chocolate ganache. I really wanted to love this cupcake, but I'm not much of a fan of marshmallow. So, I'm the wrong person to ask about this one...

Chocolate Marshmallow from Sprinkles Cupcakes at La Jolla - San Diego

The next two cupcakes in the next photo are the Ginger Lemon (top) and the Pumpkin (below). The Ginger Lemon is spiced ginger cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. The Pumpkin is spiced pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. I didn't a chance to try these out myself, but was told that they were excellent. Not too sweet and a nice light snack to have after dinner.

Ginger Lemon and Pumpkin from Sprinkles Cupcakes at La Jolla - San Diego

There you have it! Two dozen delicious cupcakes from Sprinkles in La Jolla and I'm ready for more. I can't believe it took me this long to finally blog this. The first dozen was picked up a week after they just opened their store to the public to give you an idea. And that's over a month ago. I guess it's better late than never. Until next time, happy eating!!!

Sprinkles Cupcakes in La Jolla
8855 Villa La Jolla Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pancit Bihon, Filipino Noodles

I'm not much of a cook. Not even close. But my mom on the other hand is awesome! Here are some pics of her homemade Pancit Bihon (Filipino Noodles). Pancit Bihon is one of many versions of pancit out there. And this one is one of many that I've posted on this blog. Enough with words and straight to the photos...

Homemade Pancit Bihon, Filipino Noodles

Homemade Pancit Bihon, Filipino Noodles

Rubio's World Famous Fish Taco

I needed a quick and light lunch and someone mentioned fish tacos. Well, fish tacos it is. Having eaten there before and thought it was decent, we ended up going to Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill and got their World Famous Fish Taco. It's no the best nor is it the worst, but it was a lot more convenient than our other options. For the most part, the fish tacos are the only reason I go to Rubio's and that's not often if not rarely. So here are some quick pics of it...

Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill's World Famous Fish Taco

Here's a short description of the World Famous Fish Taco taken off their site... "Rubio's original Baja-style Fish Taco since 1983. Crispy beer-battered fish, shredded cabbage, mild salsa and our tangy white sauce. Served on your choice of a soft corn or thick flour tortilla, garnished with a slice of lime."

Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill's World Famous Fish Taco

Even though the fish taco is a bit overloaded with cabbage, it wasn't bad for a quick fix and light to keep me going throughout the day.

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