March 30, 2015

Idyllwid, CA

A few days ago Chris, Penelope and I hopped into the car and headed out the cute mountain town of Idyllwild, CA. Nestled in the San Jacinto mountains and about an hour and fifteen minute drive from Temecula.


The main part of town is filled with several little shops where you can get everything from jerky to vintage records. It also has a few eateries and a couple of ice cream shops. The town reminds me of Talkeetna, Alaska only with more to do. It is quiet and sleepy, the kind of place you could live if you never had to go anywhere. It is a tourist destination but it wasn't over run and didn't feel very touristy. Maybe it's the time of the year. I hear it's a popular place for campers, hikers and those who like to rock climb. We strolled through the shops and Penelope had fun spending her allowance on gems to add to her rock collection. We had lunch at a restaurant called Gastrosnome per a locals suggestion.


The menu was kind of random but the food was pretty tasty. I enjoyed the crab cakes.


While Chris had a shrimp salad and really good cream of jalapeno soup.


Penelope's chicken strips were probably some of the best chicken strips from a kids menu she has ever ordered. They were made fresh and not frozen! Service was excellent, the ambience was just like the town, quiet and mellow. We also enjoyed some sorbet and gelato before heading back home.


Here is a shot of the valley below. Gorgeous!

March 29, 2015

Shrimp Fajitas

Here is a simple recipe for Shrimp Fajitas that according to my husband and stepson taste like restaurant fajitas. I say they are better...

Shrimp Fajitas

1 pound raw medium size shrimp, shelled and de-veined.
1 Red bell pepper sliced
1 Green bell pepper sliced
1 Half of an onion sliced
2 Minced garlic cloves
Cajun Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil

Toppings

Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Mashed avocado
Hot sauce


In a large pan or wok on medium/high heat add the veggies with a little olive oil. Once the veggies start to soften up add the shrimp, a little more olive oil and the seasonings. Cook until the shrimp turns pink and the veggies start to get a little char on them.


Serve in warm flour tortillas with desired toppings.

March 27, 2015

Yummy in my Tummy- Garage Brewing Company


Chris and I had driven past Garage Brewing Company in Temecula several times before we finally decided to stop in. I expected there to be beer on the menu of course and I expected a menu filled with fried appetizers, burgers, wings, you know your typical sports bar food. When we walked in the hostess greeted us and asked two questions, "do you like beer?" and "do you like pizza?" our answer was a yes to both. So I was right about the beer part but as for the menu it consists of pizza and a couple of salads. They have a few pizza suggestions on the menu but mostly it's create your own style. You walk across an assembly line telling the pizza makers what you would like on your pizza. Think Subway without the sandwiches.


The pizza wasn't too exciting, the crust is thin and semi crisp and they pile on the toppings. Your dinnerware is fine paper plates and your glasses are cups from the gas station across the street. We asked for spicy pepperoni, bacon and peperoncini's on our pizza. It was a tasty combo but the sauce and cheese was a little sparse.


The real reason to go to Garage Brewing Company...the beer. According to their website the building that the pizza place and brewery are now in was originally a garage, hence the name. They offer a variety of beers that can be purchased and enjoyed on site or can be put in growlers or kegs to enjoy at home. They also have rotating seasonal and limited edition beers, these unfortunately can not be purchased to take home.


We opted on trying the limited edition flight. The Nitro Cherry Chocolate Stout was amazing as was the Candy Bar Porter and Peanut Butter Cup Porter.


Our bartender also gave us a couple others to try, their Indian Pale Ale which was smooth and tasty. I don't recall what the other one was I was too busy being impressed with the Nitro Cherry Chocolate Stout. It was seriously good and I am usually not a big stout fan. Chris who is, said it was the bomb. (Are we still using that word in 2014?)

Anyway, if you like good beer and mediocre pizza and happen to be in Temecula I would try this place.

Garage Brewing Company
29095 Old Town Front Street
Temecula, CA 92590

Yummy in my Tummy- Dogy's Hotdogs N More


I am a hotdog person, I love a good hotdog. My husband and I always talk about opening up a hotdog shop. I even have an entire menu in my head with hotdogs topped with everything under the sun. One day I decided to google a hotdog shop here in Temecula and came across a yelp listing for a place called Dogy's Hotdogs N More. After looking through all the customer photos and reading their reviews I knew I had to see what all the fuss was about. A few weeks ago I suggested Dogy's for lunch and my husband who is also a hotdog person, was also eager to try it. Dogy's is hidden in a little shopping/business center. It's one of those places that you either find out about word of mouth or by accidentally seeing it while out running another errand. When we walked in we were the only ones in the entire place besides one man that was behind the counter that looked to be running the entire operation. He immediately greeted us and asked us if we had ever been to Dogy's before. Our answer being no, he then proceeded to explain the concept. Sonoran style hotdogs. Sonora is located in the country of Mexico, it shares a border with Arizona and New Mexico. Traditional Sonoran hotdogs are wrapped in bacon and topped with beans, onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise, mustard and salsa. Dogy's menu offers these bacon wrapped hotdogs with slight variations. They really only have a few items on their menu but we were told that you can customize your dog anyway you want. This explains all the variations of hotdogs on Yelp that I did not find on the menu.


I decided to order the Super Dog which I am told is one of their most popular items. A bacon wrapped hotdog covered in guacamole, your choice of pinto or black beans, chopped tomato and onions, mayo, mustard and ketchup and if that isn't enough there was also a piece of fried ham tucked in there somewhere. The buns are made fresh daily and they are super soft and big. This hotdog was tasty, the combination of toppings along with the bacon wrapped weenie works.


Chris ordered the California Dog, chili and cheese sauce topped with slices of avocado, he also added jalapenos. He really enjoyed it.


And because these ginormous hotdogs were not enough we also ordered the Borracho (drunk) Fries. It was actually more out of curiosity that we ordered these fries topped with chili, cheese sauce, sliced bacon wrapped weenie and guacamole. We devoured these. Chris said they were the best fries he has ever eaten.

We left Dogy's with stuffed tummies already talking about what we were going to order the next time around.

Dogy's Hotdogs N More
41413 Margarita Rd.
STE K 102
Temecula, CA 92591

Yummy in my Tummy- Miso Harney Sushi


While "staycation-ing" in Old Town my husband and I stopped into Harney Sushi for lunch. It was a weekday and they had just opened so it was pretty much empty except for another table. Immediately upon walking in you get a laid back So Cal kinda vibe. Soundgarden was playing loudly through the speakers and the tattooed guys working looked like they were just hanging out having a good time. That being said everyone was also very attentive to us and by the look of the menu this place is more then just a cool place to hang. They stay open till 12am by the way!

I had a hard time deciding what to order because everything looked so good. Aside from the typical Japanese fare you find in all sushi restaurants, this place also had some unique dishes I have never seen before. We ordered the edamame and miso soup to start off, but these were no ordinary steamed soybeans and clear broth.


The Sesame Bacon Bonito Edamame was delicious. Aside from the traditional salted edamame, they also have two other unique recipes to go along with the Sesame Bacon Bonito. They have Garlic Manchego and Soy Truffle edamame as well. You can try one bowl of your flavor choice for $5.00 or try all four for $12.00. I wish we would have done this because the Garlic Manchego sounds yummy.


The Polenta Fried Onion Miso Soup has got to be one of my new favorite soups. It was creamy, buttery, salty and just plain amazing. I am drooling just thinking about this soup. They also have a Gyoza Miso Soup and a Seafood Miso Soup that I imagine are also pretty tasty.

We then decided to order two sushi rolls. I picked the Pirate Roll while my husband who was feeling the effects of our tequila tasting the night before decided on the fish free Hippie Roll.


The Pirate Roll started as a spicy tuna toll and then topped with shrimp, avocado and Swashbuckler Sauce. The Swashbuckler Sauce is a combination of spicy tuna, spicy mayo, chopped jalapeno and masago. All of this was plated on top of a faux-nagi sauce rayu. This roll was fresh, flavorful and just a bit spicy.


The Hippie Roll was surprisingly good, I like my meat and seafood but this vegetarian roll is one I would definitely order again. Tempura sweet potato, shitake mushroom, avocado and cucumber all topped with tempura crunchies. Yum!

We thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and the food at this sushi joint and will be returning. There are so many things on the menu I need to try. Like the Candied Albacore (albacore sashimi, avocado, sriracha, negi, sesame seeds, minced ginger) and the Sweet Potato Frites with vanilla salt and roasted garlic aioli. They also have a second location in Oceanside, California.

Miso Harney Sushi
3964 Harney Street
San Diego, CA 92110

Yummy in my Tummy- D'Canters Wine Bar & Grill


My husband Chris and I were out and about today and decided to try a new place for lunch. We turned on our GPS and settled on the closest restaurant, D'Canters Wine Bar & Grill. It was just opening up for lunch when we got there so the place was empty. We were given their large wine list but I ordered a spicy Bloody Mary and Chris ordered a Margarita because it was on the menu board as one of todays specials, only $3.00.


We ordered the D'Vine Cheese Plate to start off. It had smoked Gouda, two other cheeses that we couldn't quite make out and some kind of spreadable cheese along with some crackers and fig jam. According to Chris they have a better cheese selection at Albertsons deli. It would have been nice if the server had told us what the cheeses were.

It took them awhile to take our order which was not expected since the place was empty. We did however receive our food pretty fast once we ordered. I decided on the Blackened Prime Rib Caesar Salad and Chris ordered the Grilled Scallops Hussard.

 
 
My prime rib was chewy and did not taste blackened at all. Chris' scallops were cooked well but it was nothing special. They were on top of grilled tomato and a bed of sautéed spinach. The food was pretty mediocre and not worth the price. Oh and they charged us $7.00 for the Margarita. It is Tuesday today right?

One more thing...D'canter's has a bottle of Temecula Olive Oil displayed on each table with a price tag of $25. It would be nice if they offered a sample of the olive oil to try, perhaps some complimentary fresh bread with some of the olive oil for dipping.

D'Canters Wine Bar & Grill
32100 Clinton Keith Road, Suite A
Wildomar, CA  92595

Yummy in m Tummy- Annie's Cafe


On a whim this morning we stopped at Annie's Café for breakfast. Great idea! This mostly American diner with a little British mixed in is open for breakfast and lunch. This particular location is actually their second restaurant the original Annie's Café is in Lake Elsinore and has been around since 1989. The place was jam packed which is always a good sign. We opted to sit at the bar instead of waiting for a table.


I love that they have an open kitchen so you can see the hard work these cooks are doing. They were non stop cooking and food was flying out the window. I ordered the Winston Churchill, a traditional English full breakfast.


Two eggs, two bangers, two English bacon, grilled tomato, Heinz baked beans, grilled mushrooms, potatoes and your choice of toast or biscuits. Really tasty and satisfying. My husband ordered the Filet Mignon and Eggs but when he received his steak he was pretty certain they had served him their sirloin instead. My husband is not one to send his food back so he gobbled up his breakfast anyway. My daughter ordered Kirsty's Double Chocolate Chip Pancakes with a side of sausage. I am assuming they were yummy since she just about finished her plate. Their sausage links were perfectly cooked to a crisp on the outside.

The food was great but even better was the atmosphere. All the workers were really friendly and the waitresses broke out in dance twice while we were there. Not to be unfair they also had the bus boys line up and perform Gangnam Style! It was very amusing. We loved Annie's Café and will be coming back, I am hoping the weekdays are not as packed as today was but I have a feeling that they are. This is a great place to bring visiting guests. Be sure to check out their small selection of British foods and candy bars on your way out.

Annie's Café
27313 Jefferson Ave
Temecula, CA 92590


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