My first food outing was a quick dinner at Prado (in the lounge) in Balboa park. I wasn't really impressed considering the prices but the food wasn't bad. We were pressed for time so I just got the shrimp tacos. In case you can't tell from my blog, I like to eat well for cheap. So I wasn't thrilled that my two tiny shrimp tacos were $7.50 when I'm sure I could find the same thing for much cheaper and even tastier (right, Kirk?). Don't get me wrong, the food was perfectly fine and is probably a great place to go if you're a tourist checking out Balboa park (which is SO beautiful! I should go more often).
For breakfast on Monday we went to St. Tropez bakery and cafe in Hillcrest. I wanted to get something cheap and they had a few pastries available up front. In my opinion, you can tell if a French restaurant is going to be good by their pastries. If their pastries aren't good then you probably won't like the rest of the food. I always love brioche (especially the round kind with the sugar crystals on top) and almond croissants so I figured I couldn't go wrong. To be honest with you, I was really disappointed. I miss the French bakery near my house when I was growing up. These pastries were extremely dry. I had to wonder if they even baked them that same day. (Which is sad because it was only noon! They should still taste fine). My companions got egg dishes that came with a side of potatoes. The potatoes were pretty good and they seemed to like the eggs so if you like eggs you might enjoy this place. I, on the other hand, will probably not go back. Oh, and my friend had a side salad which I SWEAR had store bought Italian dressing on it. You can call me a snob, but I think that's a big faux-pas in a French cafe/restaurant. Can't they make a vinagrette themselves?
For dinner we decided on P.F. Changs (it's one chain restaurant that I actually love). I know it's not authentic Chinese food but I love to go to P.F. Changs when I'm in Mission Valley. We ordered the chicken lettuce wraps (pretty good, I hadn't had them before), pan fried veggies dumplings (very good but small), spicy green beans (they got rid of the long beans! but these were fine), mu-shu chicken wraps (I didn't try this), and crispy honey chicken (one of my favorite dishes, usually I get the shrimp dish, though).
For dessert we decided to get some Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. I had actually never had cheesecake there. My keylime cheesecake slice was nice and light. I also tried the vanilla bean and chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecakes. They were all tasty.
So, now I'm going to get prepared for a dinner I'm having on Monday for four friends (plus my husband and I). Here are some restrictions: no cilantro, one person doesn't like shrimp, one person doesn't eat meat but does eat chicken/seafood, and no apples or pears. I have some dishes in my repetoire that I could make but I would like to make some new dishes too. If you have any ideas let me know! Oh, and my mom is visiting this weekend so I'll be doing most of the cooking the day of the dinner.
Hope you all had a great weekend!