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Before heading out on a motorcycle ride up to San Clemente, we decided to meet up at the Carlsbad Chocolate Bar. Had passed by the coffee shop many times, but never had the opportunity to stop in...until now!!! They are correct when they say you can satisfy all of your chocolate needs...from coffee, to dessert, to wines and also beers...it's there. Welcoming atmosphere, helpful and efficient service and delicious food. Will definitely return soon.
Favorite Dish: I ordered a slice of Chocolate Raspberry Cake with a cup of White Chocolate Mocha...so decadent and tasty!!!
Updated Apr 11, 2013
Address: 2998 State Street
Phone: (760) 434-4479
We've shopped numerous times at the Carlsbad Premium Outlet, but never stopped in to visit Bellefleur Restaurant. Since we were going to pick up some stuff for our upcoming trip to Costa Rica, we decided to attend the Sunday Brunch. Amazing...the amount of delicious food, decor, complimentary champagne and mimosas, it's a treat that shouldn't be missed.
Favorite Dish: Wow, where to start...I'll just give you an idea of what's available. There's a Carving Station for roast beef, ham, etc., an Eggs & Omelet Bar, Out-of-the-Ordinary Specials where you can choose from salmon, swordfish, chicken Marsala, macaroni, etc., Pasta or Stir Fry, BBQ Ribs & Chicken, Mexican Flavor, Seafood, Belgian Waffles, Salads, Pastry and lets not forget the never ending Champagne/Mimosas.
Written Apr 1, 2013
Address: 5610 Paseo Del Norte, Suite 100 B
Phone: (760) 603-1919
I had read some nice articles about Fresco Trattoria, so wanted to try it out...and since it was Valentine's Day as well a Italian, should be very romantic. It lived up to the descriptions and so much more. Owned by an Italian family from southern Italy, the restaurant had a beautiful interior decor, charming music and the food looked and smelled like you were sitting in mama's kitchen. Our waiter (Perris) was on top of things from the start and eventhough it was an extremely busy night, he handled the rush vey well. Looking forward to returning soon.
Favorite Dish: Fresco Trattoria has a nice menu with many things to choose from. We started off with Carpaccio di Bue (lemon cured thinly sliced beef with baby arugula & shaved Parmesan cheese). For dinner, LJ had Halibut alla Fiorentina (parmesan crusted halibut served over sauteed spinach with vodka cream sauce and steamed vegetables) while I had Filetto Gorgonzola (grilled 8oz U.S.D.A. Prime stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella served with tortellini and a mild cream sauce). Finshed off of course with a Cafe Corretto.
Updated Feb 23, 2013
Address: 264 Carlsbad Village Dr.
Phone: (760) 720-3737
If you like beer, this is a good pub to check out. I think there were around 20 different beers on tap. The bartender was great about letting me taste a couple before I ordered. The wait staff will even offer pairing suggestions for the menu. I think the Pintail Pale Ale was my favorite.
The food is almost gastro-pub quality. Definitely better than typical bar fare, but also a little pricier.
It's attached to the Pacific Palisades Resort & Hotel, and seems to be the official restaurant of the resort. Each night I brought a growler back to our room and my wife and I would hang out on our balcony after our 4 year old went to sleep.
Written Aug 24, 2012
Casa de Bandini has relocated from the original Juan Bandini home in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park to the Forum in Carlsbad this summer, 2009. I haven't actually been there yet, but Diane Powers, the owner of Casa De Bandini and of Baazar del Mundo in Old Town told me, "We have tried to create a new, second-generation Casa de Bandini reminiscent of Mexico's beautiful and festive haciendas with overtones of our original restaurant." Gone is the historical Casa de Juan Bandini but the fountained patio, old world Mexico spirit and great food is still offered.
You'll find more info about the progress and history of this restaurant on my Old Town San Diego State Historic Park page, House of Bandini
Favorite Dish: Diane Powers, assures me that the food choice and flavors have suffered nothing in this big move northward. Unique seafood items as well as the favored Mexican dishes are still on offer.
So, while in Carlsbad visit Casa de Bandini and enjoy the relaxed colorful spirit of Mexico.
Updated May 31, 2012
Address: 1901 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad
Phone: (760) 634-3443
Joey's serves Southern-size portions with California flair. The meat is marinated in a dry rub for 48 hours before going into electric smokers (brisket and pork are hickory-wood smoked for 14 hours; chicken and ribs, three to four hours). Customers may choose a sweet or mild-spicy sauce for their meat, which is then grilled to order. The owner plans to enclose the patio to increase indoor seating, which is limited to a handful of booths and high-top tables, so until then, grab a seat outside, kick back and enjoy.
Favorite Dish: We ordered a 1/2 Slab of Sweet Ribs (slowly cooked over hickory wood and glazed with the family secret B.B.Q. sauce & grilled to perfection) and the Texas Smoked Brisket (slow smoked to perfection and hand carved). Both meals came with Mama's downright addictive B.B.Q. beans, creamy cole slaw & corn bread.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 6995 El Camino Real
Phone: (760) 929-1396
This has been a San Diego restaurant institution for over 20 years. Located in Old Town, Casa de Bandini (a restored 1829 adobe hacienda) offers it's customers live mariachi music, giant margaritas and an awesome dining experience (as you can tell from the number of VT'ers who've eaten here).
You can choose from many Mexican specialities and seafood entrees while dining in your choice of three elegant dining rooms or on the patio (surrounded by lush trees, flowers and fountains.
It was in this location where we got together and had dinner for visiting VT'er from Belgium...pbyuse2 (Peter), his son and friend. What a fabulout time we all had!!!
Note: This restaurant has now moved to Carlsbad
Favorite Dish: While LJ had Shrimp Ole' Salad (tender shrimp and avocado slices surround fresh garden greens, garnished with cucumber, tomatoes, olives and a house dressing with spicy sauce on the side, I had Camarones Mojo de Ajo (broiled shrimp, Mexican rice and corn salsa).
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 1901 Calle Barcelona
Phone: (760) 634-3443
Located on the hill overlooking the Carlsbad Flower Fields and next to Legoland, this refreshing restaurant is hip, fun and full of life.
Favorite Dish: We met friends who were in from Phoenix and started the night off with Brewery Fries (large quantity of fresh cut fries with a garlic/parmesan coating). For dinner, LJ had the Drunken Shrimp Entrée (shrimp sauteed with Woodie Gold pilsener, garlic, spices, a touch of cream, diced tomatoes, and fresh herbs served with garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach) and a cold pint of Woodie Gold while I had the Dirty Rice Entrée (grilled andouille sausage, mesquite marinated chicken breast, Cajun cream sauce, and broccoli served over seasoned rice) and a cold pint of Red Trolley Ale.
As part of our date night, we recently had the opportunity to return to Karl Strauss for dinner. We started off with Ahi Poke (Sashimi grade chopped Ahi, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and cilantro tossed in spicy firecracker sauce with wonton chips). For dinner, LJ had the Beer Battered Fish & Chips (caper remoulade & house-made slaw) while I had the Sesame Ahi Steak Sandwich (Seared rear Ahi on top of crunchy endamame slaw in a peanut soy ginger dressing, ale mayo and house-made potato chips). Our drinks included a Scotch Ale and Woodie Gold.
Updated Mar 22, 2011
Address: 5801 Armada Drive
Phone: (760) 431-BREW (2739)
The folks who own the property have created a restaurant whereby everything on the menu is made in-house from only the highest quality and freshest ingredients. It provides guests with a fantastic culinary experience. From pizzas and pastas to burgers and paninis, and from braised meats to the freshest fish, the chef has created a delicious menu that promises to delight everyone.
Favorite Dish: We started off with the Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Sautéed diced chicken with yellow peppers, garlic, green onions, shiitake mushrooms, snow peas, peanuts, cilantro & mint in a sesame-soy sauce & served with iceberg lettuce cups with sides of sweet chili & Thai coconut sauces). For dinner, LJ had the Oven-Roasted Mahi Mahi Macadamia entrée (crusted with macadamia nuts & served with tropical fruit salsa & a sweet rice wine butter sauce) that came with steamed jasmine rice pilaf & sautéed spinach as a side dish while I had the Grilled Flat Iron Steak entrée (with an Asian marinade) that came with sautéed mixed vegetables and steak fries.
Updated Mar 30, 2010
Address: 4960 Avenida Encinas
Phone: (760) 930-8008
The restaurant and staff are committed to serving you only the highest quality steaks, chops and seafood complimented by an outstanding wine selection. And they are eager to provide you with exceptional and friendly service in a unique and exciting setting that makes you proud, warm and comfortable.
Favorite Dish: We've actually eaten there twice...anniversary & birthday celebrations. LJ has selected the USDA Petite Prime Filet (Au gratin potatoes with carmelized onions & bacon, wild mushrooms) & the USDA Prime Filet (Au gratin potatoes with carmelized onions & bacon, creamed spinach) while I've had the USDA Prime New York Strip (creamed corn, wild mushrooms) & USDA Prime Cowboy Bone-in Ribeye Steak (wild mushrooms, German spetzle). We've also tried the White Chocolate Crème Brulée as well as the Chocolate Lava Cake...ummm, ummm good!!!
Written Nov 2, 2009
Address: 4980 Avenida Encinas
Phone: (760) 930-9100
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