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Food Reviews

Healthy Places To Eat in San Diego

 Burger Lounge San Diego

I recently was in San Diego for a few days for a mini vacation with the kids and visiting an old friend. I’d heard about Burger Lounge from someone that is often in San Diego and thought we’d give it a try. It was only 20 minutes from Sea World (where we spent the day) and burgers seemed like the perfect food for dinner. We were all starving and a bit of a mess (from Shamu splashing us) and we wanted high quality food that didn’t require is to be dressed up.
We arrived and parked a few stores down (first parking space we saw so we grabbed it) threw money in the meter and ventured inside to meet the manager, Edgardo. He was expecting us. He told us to order whatever we wanted to try out on the menu and even managed to save an empty table for us. The place was packed with people of all ages. A group of college kids. A couple on a date. A few families. No one complained about the line since it was moving fast and they knew the food was worth it. Burger Lounge is a must-dine-at restaurant while in San Diego or Las Angeles.

We ordered a variety of burgers, drinks and I even let my daughter order a Big Lounge chocolate shake.

The prices were fantastic and when we got our food and dived in there was barely any conversation at the table.  We received A+ service and felt like we were celebrities.  This place is awesome!

Got Our Drinks & Food Is On The Way

  The Big Lounge Chocolate Shake.

 Also available in vanilla or malt and they also have a root beer float. I didn’t try this but my daughter did.  There wasn’t a drop in the glass after she was done.  She said it was thick and rich and full of flavor.

The Lounge Burger.

100% fresh, American Grass-Fed Beef.  This was my burger and it was huge. The burger was just made and hot when it arrived at the table, as well as all the other food.  The bun was soft and the whole burger was a melt-in-the mouth experience.  Regina ordered the Chicken Digglers.  I’m not a fan of ‘chicken nuggets’ so didn’t think I’d want to try these until I was encouraged.  These taste nothing like a children’s menu of breaded chicken pieces.  Kids might love it too but it is definitely an adult favorite as well.  The chicken was tender and full of flavor and the sauce that comes with them is a house-made chili-lime.  I even took some sauce to go.  I’m thinking I need to see if I can order this sauce online and have it shipped to my house.  I try to eat a salad with every meal and saw a few healthy ones to choose from.  I decide on the Fresh Vegetable Salad.  Not much of a name but this salad was 100% fresh and was piled high.  This salad had romaine, spinach, mizuna, tomato, corn, carrot, cucumber, red onion, jicama, aged ricotta and a choice of two dressings.    The Seared Albacore Burger isn’t a traditional fish patty.  It is more like a fresh cut piece of fish that is lightly grilled.  Regina ordered it well done and enjoyed it was tomato, watercress and dressing.  The burger was recommended by the server and was thoroughly enjoyed.

  The Classic Burger With Bacon

Delicious juicy 100% grass-fed beef burger with bacon added on.  The servers also had some awesome Bacon-themed t-shirts that were getting a lot of positive feedback.

1/2 and 1/2 Side of Onion rings and French Fries added (we all shared these).    Happy faces and full bellies all around happened after dining here.  We could totally understand why the line was out the door when it 8pm.   A children’s meal, veggie and turkey burger and other desserts are also on the menu as well as ‘Mexican Coca-Cola’ (coke with real sugar, only made in Mexico), Lavender Mint Lemonade, iced tea, soda and beer. Right now Burger Lounge restaurants are in 14 locations in Los Angeles and San Diego counties as well as one location in the Inland Empire.  I’ll be crossing my fingers, hoping they come to Ventura County soon.

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Smoke’s Poutinerie in Hollywood

Trying Poutine For The First Time

We recently ventured out to Hollywood to check out a brand new restaurant.  Originally from Canada with stores all over the place we got to dine on something fabulous on opening day.  What exactly is Poutine?  Well, I had to ask too, so don’t feel stupid.  According to Wikipedia Poutine is  is a Canadian dish (originating in the province of Quebec) made with french fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy-like sauce.  It dates back to the 1950’s and is roughly based on ‘fries with curds and gravy’ but has morphed into a whole restaurant with over 25 items on the menu.  They even have vegetarian dishes. Poutine can be ordered at  Smoke’s Poutinerie in Hollywood in three sizes and drinks are available too. The place was packed with people ordering and the staff was on their toes getting all the orders made promptly.

IMG_5935.JPG Everyone was extra nice and it was fabulous meeting and chatting with the owner.IMG_5940.JPG We tried three out different poutine dishes.

Steak Fajita had flat iron steak, onions, red peppers, salsa and sour cream along with cheese curds. This was delicious.  The mix of everything on french fries made the meal filling and full of flavor.  with the onions, peppers and salsa it was definitely a south-of-the-border taste on top of fries.IMG_5944.JPGMontreal had shaved Montreal smoked meat, pickle and mustard. This was my favorite.  The steak was phenomenal and the mustard and pickle added extra flavor, like a meal at a baseball game.
IMG_5943.JPG Bacon Cheeseburger had bacon, prime ground beef and cheese sauce.  My son devoured this one and tried some of the other two.IMG_5942.JPG We met another blogger, Michael Welsh, from Eating Around So Cal while there and he posed for some silly photos with my son in front of the Smoke’s Poutinerie background.IMG_5953.JPG The crowd was huge the whole time we were there, with people eating outside as they socialized and took pictures.IMG_5954.JPG

This is a must-stop to dine place while in Hollywood.  They can also be found in Canada and Northern California.

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Located at 1552 N Cahunga Blvd, Hollywood, Ca.

 

 

Disclosure: I received one or more products for review purposes only. Despite the free item, my opinions remain 100% Honest and my own.This post may contain affiliate links, if clicked I may receive compensation. If a giveaway is being held: No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. Odds of winning are based on number of entries received. Giveaways on this blog are in no way affiliated with Facebook or any other social media networks.
 

 

 

Kona Kai Resort & Spa in Shelter Island

Kona Kai Resort & Spa in Shelter Island

We recently stayed at the Kona Kia Resort while in San Diego.  It is located in Shelter Island.  A tiny peninsula with peaceful water and boats on both sides and some hotels in the middle.  We stayed here three days and two nights and had a fabulous room while being close to a lot of things in San Diego.

Our room had double beds, perfect for me and the kids, and had a large flat screen tv, a beautiful balcony, mini-fridge and awesome little table and chairs inside and on the balcony for me to set my laptop up on so I could get some work done.  Inside the hotel it was quiet and we barely saw anyone in the hallways.  The pool was often full of families swimming and sunbathing and the beach below our hotel hosted a few parties including a wedding reception, work party and birthday party.  Fire pits are available to rent on the beach too.

 

I love the Hawaiian feel of the room with the decor.  The beds and pillows were comfortable and we slept great.  We did have a problem on the second night with the outside party going until 11pm but once I notified the front desk it was taken care of.

The view outside was so beautiful that I just wanted to sit on the balcony and soak in the view. I’d never been in a hotel so close to the water and it was relaxing.  The cool breeze kept the days nice enough to be able to have the balcony door open and A/C turned off.

    

We roamed around on the other side of the hotel and found a old Asian bell and some statues.  There is plenty of benches (some with shade) and grass areas for people to rest and enjoy their vacation.

          About a 10 minute drive away was a fishing place to rent rods or go out on a fishing boat. Jet Skis and other water crafts were available for rent as well.

We dined at the Vessell restaurant for lunch on Sunday and I had a delicious salad with fresh greens and veggies as well as an order of fish and chips.   The food took quiet a long time to arrive but was piping hot and we devoured it quickly.  The kids ate burgers but dug into them before I could get a picture.

  

 

The resort also offers a spa with all of the special pampering. Pedicures, makeup, hair, massages and more. They also have a fitness center with bike rentals available.

We had a wonderful stay here and all of the staff at the front desk, pool and maid service were friendly and polite.  I love how child-friendly the resort it, since most vacations I take are with both kids.  We were able to drive to Sea World one day and back to the hotel again and went to downtown San Diego the other day.  Everything was within 20 minutes of Shelter Island. I love that I felt like we were on our own private beach and not in a busy city.

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Olive Garden Nice Dinner Out

Olive Garden in Santa Clarita

My boyfriend and I recently went to the Olive Garden in Santa Clarita for a date night.  We got there right at the rush hour so were told there would be a 20 minute wait.  We took the buzzer thing and went out to walk around.  We waited less than ten minutes and were buzzed to come back. Our table was ready.  We ordered drinks, an appetizer, salad, dinner and dessert and the total, including the tip, was under $75.

I ordered the seafood pasta dish.  I loved the little ‘kick’ it had from the chili pepper and the mix of tomatoes and asparagus with a variety of seafood made it a delicious dish.o 1He ordered a lasagna and chicken pasta meal and was pleased with all of it. Olive Garden is famous for pasta, soup, salad and breadsticks.
o 2 We also ordered a mixed appetizer, salads and dessert.  The dessert was a little expensive.  $7.99 for one slice of cheesecake. But after one bite we were sold and decided it was worth the price.

Raspberry Cheesecakeo 3 The raspberry mixed in the cheesecake and the raspberry drizzle on the bottom made the whole thing come together perfectly.  I didn’t care much for the whipped cream on top but everything else was divine.  It even had a chocolate graham cracker crust.o 4 The building has a beautiful design and is very aesthetic for the shopping mall.o 5 Right now if you sign up for their e-Club you can get a free appetizer.og

Disclosure: I received one or more products for review purposes only. Despite the free item, my opinions remain 100% Honest and my own.This post may contain affiliate links, if clicked I may receive compensation. If a giveaway is being held: No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. Odds of winning are based on number of entries received. Giveaways on this blog are in no way affiliated with Facebook or any other social media networks.

Hidden Treasure At Belgium Waffle Haus

Hidden Treasures Found At Waffle Haus

Most people hear of a waffle house and think of a breakfast place.  Maybe brunch.  We found this hidden treasure in Granda Hills to have speciality coffees, breakfast items and much, much more.  Not only is breakfast available but The Waffle Haus is open until 9pm most nights, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts all day long.  We got to try two drinks and four meal items off of the menu and fell in love with this little eatery.  No wonder people are begging them to expand.  The hours are great and prices reasonable.  I can definitely see this house as a place being packed morning until evening with people going there for food and to hang out with friends.  Also a great place for tutoring or doing homework.  They have comfortable seating and free Wifi.

They have two different styles of food items.  Savory- which is more sandwich-type ingredients on top of a waffle and Sweet- which is more fruits, whipped cream, dessert-y type meals, also on top of a waffle. This is the Belgium Waffle Haus, right?  So everything is on a waffle. All waffles are made Eurpoean-style with Pearl Sugar and are a delicious mix of being fluffy and light with a crystallized crunch of sugar inside.

The Waffle Sandwich

Can be ordered Open Face or Sandwich Style (another waffle on top).  This one is a waffle topped with black forest ham, Swiss American cheese, avocado, red onion, tomato, spring mix, vinaigrete dressing, dijon mustard and mayonnaise.

w 1 Strawberry Mojito (non-alcoholic).

My daughter drank this and loved it.  A nice treat for an non-coffee drink.  THey also had Lime Mojito and homemade Lemonade plus lots of lattes, teas and coffees.w 3 The Banana Split Waffle

This is a summer delight.  A great dessert dish.  It has 2 scoops of ice cream (choice of vanilla or chocolate), chocolate, powdered sugar, bananas, oreo cookies, whipped cream and strawberries on top of a waffle.  I love how pretty the dish is too.w 4Tea Time

I’m not a coffee drinker but tried a Chai Latte that had a fantastic cinnamon flavor and a beautiful heart pattern on the top.w 5The tea came in a large cup with a saucer and was perfect without adding anything else to it.w 8The Custard and Berry Waffle

House Made European custard, seasonal berries, kiwi and powdered sugar.  My daughter does not like custard or pudding much but this dish made her change her mind and realize she does like it, as long as it is high quality and full of flavor.
w 10Up close photo to show details.w 6The Smoke Salmon

This dish I saw on their website and was dying to try. I loved smoked salmon (or we call it lox) and to have it as a meal sounded great.  I spread out the mixed greens and the salmon across the waffle more and ate it, cut up with a knife, like a fish salad on a waffle.  I thought the waffle with the fish might be weird but it was genuinely delicious and I’ll want to order this dish again.

It comes with smoked salmon, spring mix, vinaigrette dressing, cucumber, red onion and dill sour cream.
w 9My daughter enjoying the custard dish.w 11 Outside the Belgium Waffle Haus the parking lot is full of cars.w 12 Inside there is a steady flow of customers. Some ordering to go and some dining in.  One was a repeat customer from a few hours earlier.  She’d picked up an order for someone else and decided to come back and order something for herself.w 13 The corner by the door has nice cushy chairs and a couch with a coffee table.  Great for school work while dining.w 14 With so much on the menu to choose from it is hard to pick just one dish.  All depends on the time of day too.  They also have speciality coffees from all over the world.

Current store hours are:
Monday to Friday 8am-9pm

Saturday 8am-9pm

Sunday 8am-5pm

May 28th they are also have a Latte Art Competition with free waffles and more for those that attend. You can also check out their ‘happy hour’ for 50% off selected items.w 15

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Disclosure: I received one or more products for review purposes only. Despite the free item, my opinions remain 100% Honest and my own.This post may contain affiliate links, if clicked I may receive compensation. If a giveaway is being held: No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. Odds of winning are based on number of entries received. Giveaways on this blog are in no way affiliated with Facebook or any other social media networks.