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San Diego California

The Village Cafe

Restaurants

Bencotto

Outstanding and trendy Italian on 750 W Fir in Little Italy. Dinner for 2 $115 inc tip. The canelonni sold out quickly, the black pasta shrimp linguine quite superb. The semi freddo icecream a good choice. I would definitely return . Note - v laid back dress code - shorts and flip flops evident !

Underbelly

This recommendation came from a local. 750 West Fir St in Little Italy. A hip industrial type raman noodles restaurant. Sit half inside, half outside; the windows fold away, or take a stool at the metal bar. The waiters will ask you to take your bowls of steaming meat and noodles as the broth should be drunk at the end. The routedoctor is not shy of chillis but really struggled with the goats chilli paste. Dinner for 2 $50 with three glasses of the Cultivar chardonnay. Try it!

The Burger Lounge

A chain but high quality and fast food burger joint. 6- 8 dollars will allow you to refuel. Not your average UK high street version. Buisness types even come for lunch.

Cafe Chloe 721 9th Av

Tired of baying tourists and the fast food and beer from the Gaslamp. Come to civillised haven Cafe Chloe for lunch.The lavender lemonade a highlight, the omlette perfect and the coffee strong. Lunch for 2 $42-60.

Craft and Commerce

A 'good-time' gastro-pub in Little Italy with an enormous range of local beer. The routedoctor spent much of his youth sampling real ales but prefers the predictable bottled variety in the US. Lunch and drinks for 2 $26.

La Puerta 560 4th Avenue

A suggestion from ther concierge. In the heart of the Gaslamp area, a busy Mexican themed bar - stop at the nachos and guacamole (8-79), the mole enchilladas, slop with no taste. Good cocktails, the blonde companion favoured a 'purple haze'. As always in US restaurants, ask to eat at the bar if no tables.

San Diego beer

IPA seems to be popular , most bars serving a wide variety of niche beers that are best avoided. Memories of the routedoctor's undergraduate days. Stick to reliable bottled US fizz.

Breakfast - Always a highlight in the USA.

The Broken Yolk Cafe , close to the conference centre on 6th, provides a cheaper alternative to hotel breakfasts. The full panacke stack ($6) is too big for a human being. Yogurt Parfait very good value at $5-99 and an alternative to the carb onslaught. Bacon and eggs $9

Broken Yolk Cafe large pancakes

Village 631

631 9th Avenue. A trendy urban East Village cafe . Belgian Waffles ($9) vast , granola bowl ($8-50) was an error following the pancakes as constituted half a box of granola.

San Diego Zoo

A world famous institution, allow a day to explore and wander through adjacent Bilbao Park. Take the cable car to Northern Frontier and walk downhill. The trained Zebra between the rhino and the Outback, and the Cheetah who is taken for walks around the park were highlights.

The architecture of the museums of Balboa Park is worth seeing and the Botanic Gardens enticing, even to a non-gardener. Taxis back to downtown San Diego available outside the very helpful tourist office. Try the crumb cake (2-25) in the Gro cafe within the building containing the San Diego Museum and railroad museum - 1649 El Prado.

Hotel Indigo restaurant

Try the BBQ pork sandwich $14

SeaPort Village

Would I visit again - no !

The Midway

Entry $19 adult.

A truly oustanding experience. If serving in the UK military ask for a discount - it works sporadically in various San Diego attractions.

Make an effort to sit and listen to the presentations from former pilots on the flightdeck and in the pilot 'ready-rooms'. Many of them flew in Vietnam and have fascinating stories to tell. Avoid dehydration - take water with you - it gets hot down below.

Shopping

The Sweet Factory 227 Horton Plaza. There were not many reasons to visit this uninspiring city centre shopping mall but an excellent range of 'candy'

More to follow.



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