Another great report!
I miss San Diego and the Granola at The Cottage!
Isn’t San Diego an amazing city? So glad that Ray got to see it and in such great company, too. This report is timely, since I have a trip to San Diego planned for next month. In fact, we already have Thanksgiving dinner reservations at Hob Nob Hill. And our first stop in town will definitely be Point Loma.
Mr. Chips is very special.
Mr. Chips, thank you so much for this very wonderful report. You’ve got a big heart, sir! I love your descriptions of the food, the sights and especially your take on how the trip was viewed through Ray’s eyes. Very touching.
Wonderful report! Who said you need pictures?
Wonderful report Mr Chips! Thanks for sharing this!
Sometimes I’m not fond of guided tours but we were fortunate in that our guide gave the type of information that I find fascinating. Dr Suess was a regular visitor to the San diego zoo and used the plant and animal collections there as model for characters in his books. The Lorax was modeled on the aloe vera trees at the zoo’s plant garden and the sneeches were modeled on a couple of the odder looking creatures on hoof and horn mesa.
Dr. Seuss was a fixture in San Diego. The year my brother graduated the University of California San Diego, I was able to enjoy the commencement address—-given by Dr. Seuss. The school’s main library is now the Theodore Geisel Library—–a fitting tribute to the man who gave so much of us pleasure with his books.
Day 2 of our trips’s main focus was the world famous San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park. We made a brief stop at Crystal Pier before going to the zoo. Ray again loved watching the fishermen and the surfers and our hike over the water. We thought about stopping at Kono’s Surf Club but the line was around the block so we simply enjoyed our view of the beach and then took off for the zoo.
The San Diego Zoo is large and can be a bit overwhelming once you get inside. There is a marvelous collection of flamingos on view just inside the entry and ray was excited with these birds he’d never seen before. We elected to take the guided tour of the zoo to at least get the highlights and also be able to catch the bus that goes around so the extreme hills and valleys would be less of a problem.
Sometimes I’m not fond of guided tours but we were fortunate in that our guide gave the type of information that I find fascinating. Dr Suess was a regular visitor to the San Diego zoo and used the plant and animal collections there as models for characters in his books. The Lorax was modeled on the aloe vera trees at the zoo’s plant garden and the sneeches were modeled on a couple of the odder looking creatures on hoof and horn mesa. In addition when “The Lion King” was in preproduction, Disney animators made frequents visits to San Diego to sketch the then relatively unknown meercats to get proper movement. We were also lucky enough to see the polar bears up and active and discovered that zoo feeds them a low fat diet so they do not bulk up and do not hibernate in the winter. It was strange to see a polar bear with a carrot in his mouth.
The zoo has changed a bit since I was last there. Hoof and Horn mesa has been reduced some, there is a much larger exhibit on elephants but some old standbys remain. I love the koalas and ray seemed to like them as well, the galapagos tortoises have been interesting, and I think the aviaries are wonderful. We saw a kookabura from Australia and heard its cry familiar from a gazillion movies and I of course had sing the kookabura song from the old nursery rhyme. It was a sunny day with a lot of glare but we did see a lot of animals.
We lunched at D.Z. Akins , a huge roadfood reviewed Jewish deli located near san Diego State. We lunched on rugellah,egg cream, cheese blintzes, sandwiches, and borscht. Ray acutely disliked his chicken salad sandwich but loved the sweet stuff. Overall a positive with extremely nice waitresses and great deli food. our only mistake was that Ray really seemed to dislike rye bread.
Ray and I drove to nearby Encinitas on the suburban northern San Diego coast. We stopped at the roadfood reviewed and 500 things mentioned Juanita’s Taco Shop. The fish taco was a thing of simplistic beauty, crisp fish in a corn tortilla with cabbage and self-applied sauce. They have recently added a porch with eight seats and it was busy the entire time we were there. It is a standard Mexican place but the fish tacos were special and it is enticingly close to the ocean.
We drove along the old highway 101 and it was surprisingly different from the drive on nearby I-5. Lot of seafood restaurants, lots of ocean views and lots of people on the beach on a day when temperatures soared into the 90’s. Surf equipment shops, state beaches with lots of visitors, and lots of folks in beachware made this a wonderful drive.
We stopped at Solanna Beach at the 500 Things reviewed ” Fidel’s Mexican Restaurant” for a grilled Mahi-Mahi taco with homemade mayo and great salsa. I would never have found this place without roadfood as it it is located about a mile from the main highway and it is mostly a neighborhood place and does not look that special. it eseemed to fit in with our trip’s emerging theme of fish tacos and exploration of San Diego’s b,29,616743.002001001001001001001001001001001001001,13,12500,18.104.22.168
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Rugella and borsht? What an interesting combination.
I love your descriptions. No way you’d ever know what Ray didn’t like without tasting.
Next deli trip…. Halvah and Herring!
I am so glad you visited, and enjoyed, the San Diego Chicken Pie Shop. I was there several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed both the chicken pot pie pie and the dessert pie (I had cherry, I believe). I seem to recall that it also came with a homemade biscuit or roll, and a couple of sides, but they don’t stand out in my memory.
I’ve read some online reviews recently that suggested it had gone downhill, so it’s good to know it is still a great choice.
I also bought a delightful teeshirt there — navy blue, with the name of the restaurant and cartoon chickens silk-screened on it, in white.
As always, a great contribution Sir Chips.
Stephen Rushmore Jr.
Long time readers of these boards may remember I used to be a volunteer chaperone for a travel agency that planned trips for intellectually disabled adults. And that I travelled with a client to various spots around the Pacific Northwest. This client, Ray, had been hoping to go to San Diego for almost 5 years. Last month, Trudy, he and I finally made that trip because he had to spend down his money to stay eligible for medical benefits. Our trip was a combination of tourist sites and roadfood.
Day 1 one was a long one. Our flight left Portland at 6:40 a.m and we had to be at the airport very early. It was Ray’s first flight and we were a little nervous as Ray is autistic. He has travelled on the train before and it turned out our worries were groundless. He loved the flight attendants who brought him food and gave him wings and we were able to talk him thru take-off and landing.
Our arrival in San Diego brought the first surprise. Ray was captivated by the palm trees at the airport. He kept pointing at them, smiling. He touched one and just kept looking. it’s been so long that i’ve forgotten how exotic my first views of palm trees were and it was good to be reminded how awesome things we take for granted can be when someone sees them for the first time.
Our first stop was La Jolla where we ate the best meal of the trip at the roadfood reviewed The Cottage. There are 10 recommended dishes on the review and the 500 Things book strongly recommends the granola. While waiting for a table, we were able to munch on complimentary coffeecake and Ray and I walked around the neighborhood. Tall palms and bright blooming flowers were a delight though we were a little too far from the ocean to reach it.
We were seated outdoors and ate a wondrous breakfast. I had the granola which was tasty and filling and which had fresh strawberries, raspberries and bananas as accompanyment. Ray and Trudy had huge waffles which featured strawberries, raspberries and bananas maserated in orange juice and brandy. The coffee was first rate, the weather perfect. and the vibe pure California. The folks at the entrance told me that Michael Stern was writing a book on their recipes and i must say I’m not surprised. Lunches and dinners have also been praised on this website and in the Sterns’ books and I hope to return to The Cottage some day to sample more of the food.
We next drove thru the main business avenues of La Jolla, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach and Pt. Loma to Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma. This is one of my favorite spots as you can see sailboats in the harbor, a military runway where i have seen jets take off and huge naval ships in drydock. Unfortunately neither of my sons and none of my intellectually disabled clients have liked it and i still have not made it to the top of the lighthouse there. I was surprised that Ray did not like it much but it fit in with the track record.
From Point Loma we went to Newport Ave in Ocean Beach. There are 4 present or former roadfood reviewed places in a one block area. Tall palm trees line the street and it ends at the ocean. The wondrous hamburger place Hodad’s is located there and as usual there was a huge line of folks to get in. We got Acai Berry smoothies at the roadfood reviewed OB Juice Bar and Sub shop where i was most impressed by the huge supply of wheatgrass. Also got fish(mahi mahi)tacos at the 500 Things reviewed South Beach Bar and Grill which has a wonderful location just off the beach. The tacos were wonderful and cheap but the music was loud and the bar raucous. Ray was uncomfortable so we got the tacos to go and ate them at a picnic table gazing at the ocean. Ray was fascinated by the many people with wetsuits and surfboards who walked past us. He was also a little puzzl,29,616743,0,12500,22.214.171.124
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Great trip…and of my favorite stops…I love The Cottage, Hodad’s and the SD Chicken Pie Shop. My last meal there was so worht the $10! And lots of pie choices for dessert!
Ray sounds like a neat guy…what other places have you traveled with him to?
Ray and I and Trudy have made a few trips to Seattle, trips to the Oregon coast to Newport, Lincoln City, Astoria, and Seaside, a trip to Bonneville Hot Springs resort near North Bonneville, Washington, and autism camps near Florence, Oregon(on the coast) and near Mt. Hood. We also go out in portland to our science museum, the art museum, and any shop that sells decent pie. Ray choses not to speak but communicates well non-verbally. We have done community outings for 14 years.
I can’t believe you were in Point Loma and didn’t go to Shelter Island to Pt. Loma Seafood for their famous fish sandwich: a big piece or two of crisp-on-the-outside moist rockfish on sourdough with tartar sauce. Simplicity itself, but absolute perfection. Sit outside and watch the fishing boats come in and enjoy. It’s been our first food stop whenever we go to San Diego for over 30 years! [8D]
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/showprofile.aspx?memid=12500 mr chips, You sir are a Roadfooding machine. Move over http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/showprofile.aspx?memid=37546 ChiTownDiner and http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/showprofile.aspx?memid=9261 buffetbuster[:D]
I congratulate you on a great trip report and your dedication to helping others[8D]
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