San Diego CityBeat - North Fork <![CDATA[Notorious Burgers underwhelms with more flash than focus - Salt and vinegar fries are excellent at this Carlsbad joint; everything else is a who-cares]]> The Prohibition-themed burger joint (6955 El Camino Real) has quirky, mafia-adjacent names, servers in old-timey suspenders and overloaded menu items that are intended to be "notorious," I suppose.]]> <![CDATA[Wagon Wheel serves up cowboy kitsch - Solid diner food and a comforting, nostalgic vibe in Escondido ]]> Wife-and-husband team Nancy and Sumner Rollings have been running Wagon Wheel since 2001, and one or both of them will probably greet you when you walk inside.]]> <![CDATA[Café Topes is hip and happy - Grilled cheese with apple and fig is a standout in Carlsbad]]> Café Topes occupies a busy corner one block off the main drag, with plenty of outdoor seating for watching the beach-bound go by and a great menu to fill your belly.]]> <![CDATA[Café Stoked brings originality to San Elijo Hills - Spanish-influenced menu and community vibe overshadow small kinks]]> Café Stoked (1215 San Elijo Road) has a great selection of coffee, pastries and smoothies, including cold-brewed "Kyoto" style coffee that slowly drips, for 14 hours, through a twisty glass tube into the coffee pot below.]]> <![CDATA[That Boy Good excels at fried chicken, bluesy charm - Southern-flavored Oceanside barbecue joint welcomes hungry hordes]]> Even if you’re not a homesick Marine, That Boy Good delivers on making you feel like you’ve found your secret Southern hangout. Just save me some chicken skin. ]]> <![CDATA[Avant at Rancho Bernardo Inn: accessible yet refined - El Bizcocho re-launch is less fussy, more forward, and the roast chicken is exceptional]]> Avant feels much more like how San Diego does fancy: no dress code, but still classy and casually elegant. I was looking for a date night away from our 2-year-old, and Avant gave me a great excuse to put on earrings.]]> <![CDATA[ZigZag Pizza Pie has terrible crust - Decent chopped salads, freezer full of ice cream in Oceanside will please most]]> I’ve never been a crust snob. I take pleasure in gooey cheese and greasy toppings. But after experiencing the bizarre yuck of ZigZag’s crust, I’m now a convert to the church of crust.]]> <![CDATA[Vista’s Chili Coast Burgers is greasy and friendly - Let’s embrace brown, canned chili as its own unique thing]]> Chili Coast Burgers is in a rundown block of businesses in east Vista (1330 E. Vista Way), a hole-in-the-wall next to a battered Jazzercise building.]]> <![CDATA[Bratwurst and beer at The Regal Seagull - Leucadia bar serves up the best in sausage and ale]]> The folks at The Regal Seagull have a good thing going. After the success of their first location, Mission Hills’ The Regal Beagle, the "sausage and ale house" has expanded northward to beachy Leucadia (get it? Seagull?).]]> <![CDATA[Tony’s Jacal has been charming diners since 1946 - Comfortingly familiar food done really well in Solana Beach, and strong margaritas]]> Tony’s Jacal is no secret hideaway. The Solana Beach favorite (621 Valley Ave.) has been around—and owned and operated by the Gonzales family—since 1946.]]> <![CDATA[Rim Talay a tiny dining room with big tastes - Food at Oceanside Thai restaurant is familiar and homey, staff kind and warm ]]> There are no surprises on the menu; Rim Talay is tasty, accessible Thai food. The green papaya salad is a crunchy, spicy way to start a meal.]]> <![CDATA[Jeremy’s on the Hill is your autumn getaway - Sweet outpost in Wynola has farm-to-table charm]]> Generally speaking, seasons are overrated. In other places, it’s six months of ice and snow that makes those spring flowers so magnificent, and it’s the hellscape of summer most of the country has t]]> <![CDATA[The Privateer’s clam-chowder pizza is weird and outstanding - Oceanside joint helps justify region’s newfound pie reputation]]> The Privateer in Oceanside (1706 S. Coast Hwy.) is one of many San Diego County pizza places adding to the area’s top-notch pie reputation.]]> <![CDATA[Pelly’s is the quintessential area fish cafe - Simple sandwiches and a knockout key lime pie in Carlsbad]]>

All this mulling over the sea brought me to the conclusion that Pelly’s Fish Market & Café in Carlsbad (7110 Avenida Encinas, Suite 101) is a quintessential San Diego dining experience.

<![CDATA[Sal & Ceci’s defeats breakfast mediocrity in Vista - Biscuits, gravy, latkes and more—we’ll also talk pie]]> Sal & Ceci’s has that time-warp vibe that made me feel like I was 9 years old, going out to eat with my grandparents, scooching inch by inch along a booth seat, legs sticking to the vinyl.]]> <![CDATA[Sea & Smoke is grownup and beautiful - Matt Gordon creates a menu of elegant, family-style offerings in North City]]> The dining room at Sea & Smoke (2690 Via De La Valle) is beautiful—warm woods, a clean black-and-white palate, and I can’t stop thinking about the deep, peacock-blue wainscoted walls.]]> <![CDATA[Priority Public House brings fresh energy to funky Leucadia - Craft cocktails, savory meatballs and a damn good sandwich ]]> It delights me to no end that the craft-cocktail scene in San Diego is elbowing its way to prominence just as fiercely as the burly beer crowd. Priority Public House does indeed have an exceptional beer menu for those of you who prefer the less-fussy hocus-pocus of cocktailery.]]> <![CDATA[Awe of the claw - Lobster West brings East Coast flavors to Encinitas]]>

if you’re not planning a trip to Maine in the next few months, you’re in luck. Lobster West (765 S. Coast Hwy.) in Encinitas has the rolls you’re looking for.

<![CDATA[Mariscos Ensenada is a bustling Oceanside favorite - The ceviche and fish tacos are exceptional]]> I’ve driven past Oceanside’s Mariscos Ensenada (1405 S. El Camino Real) dozens of times on my way to Target, wondering if there was anything behind their doors worth exploring (like a tiny Target, for example).]]> <![CDATA[The kitchen at Bellamy’s came to play - Chilled corn soup is a summertime highlight in Escondido]]> Bellamy’s in Escondido feels like the kind of place your parents would totally love for a fancy night out. I know, I know: You’re way too cool for that kind of vibe.]]>