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Yes, it looks EXACTLY like this I promise
Oh. My. God. Talk about dining like a king! In case you haven't realized by now, I'm a bit of a foodie. That being said, I always love a good steak (or any other tasty morsel). A part of my job includes making reservations, and when Donovan's offers a restaurant credit for each guest I refer, it makes my job that much more enjoyable.

With the coming of Spring Break, I offered my roommate (also a food aficionado) to come dine with me at one of San Diego's finest establishments to start the break off right. Oh did we eat...I felt as though I was going into labor after that ordeal...

Starting off with a glass of scotch (compliments of the management staff), we worked our way into a couple of appetizers, followed by salad and soup, our entrees, and of course we had to have room for dessert. While everything was SUPERB, I would feel terrible if I didn't recommend the 16 oz. Bone-In Rib-Eye steak. Talk about top tier steak, this is the juiciest part of the cow and it was worth every penny ($64 a pop). Just before that though we sampled the Cajun spiced lamb chops...and all I have to say is one word: wow. I could go on, but the food is well worth the price!

The ambiance of the place reminded me of one of those ritzy LA establishments that require reservations months in advance. Lucky for me, I'm a "VIP" in their book! The staff of course was gracious and notably attractive, then again I'd expect nothing less of a place that'll run ya a few hundred when it comes time to pay the bill ($300 bucks between the two of us...thank God for that restaurant credit). Overall, I'm giving this place 5 stars and a thumbs up to their popular phrase "America's Best Steak & Chop House". Is it the best? Who knows, but I will say it was DAMN good. On to tomorrow...got a ticket to the Elite 8 (I've never been to an NCAA tournament game, much less the Elite 8!).

I think it goes without saying that I'm stoked! If only SDSU could have beat that damn Kemba Walker...oh well...cheers to new things!!

 
 
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What's there to do that has yet to be done? Lots of course. Trying a new place to grub? Always an option. Located in the former space of La Promesa, and La Torta prior to that - is Buddy Burger. If SDSU was missing something, this may have been the golden ticket...or somethin like that. Anyway - I happened to stroll in at 10:15 tonight to conquer my munchies. It was only after I had ordered that I found out that this spot actually closes at 10...yet Buddy himself let it slide. Considering he had only opened the night before, I think he was looking for any customer he could get (I doubt it will stay that way for long).

Buddy's restaurant is simple, In N Out kinda style if you catch my drift. Vintage surf films playing on the flat screens, Roy Orbison belting out "Pretty Woman" on the speakers, and family photos plastered on the wall...this is Buddy's dream (at least, that's my take on it). Sticking to burgers, hot dogs, fries and shake menu - it's almost too easy to f-up, yet so delicious to consume. Like I mentioned earlier, SDSU was missing a good place like this (assuming you don't count Jack in the Box as legit)!

The food was good, and the staff was cheery. A note of caution, if you're hungry - order the double (my roommate was mildly disturbed by the size of one patty). Overall, this place will probably last longer than their predecessors...though they might consider staying open a bit later than 10 if they really want to make some money (though I fear the drunk crowd might overrun the place).

On to tomorrow, gotta try new things...

 
 
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Bringin' my bell bottoms and platform shoes next time...
So 2 days without sleep led me into not hearing my first alarm(s) this morning. In other words, I was tired and hungry.

My solution lay a mere block away at Mary Jane's. No, I didn't blaze for breakfast. But I did grab a caffeinated beverage and a tasty morsel to hold me over 'til lunch. Specifically it was the cafe' mocha and blueberry muffin filling the hollows of my stomach. If you aren't on the go and are looking to enjoy a breakfast (or lunch), this could easily be your solution.

I won't lie, I kinda liked the theme of the place too. Sure, it looks like the 70's threw up and died here, but hey its cool by me. Overall, the staff was super friendly and the food was good. What more do you want?

Lucky for me, this place is right down the street. I suppose it's better late than never to find the finer places in life, like this one. Speaking of missing things...it seems like some of the coolest places have been right under my nose for awhile? Give me some ideas because I can always eat (or try new things of course)!

 
 
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Mmmmm....Cheba....
My friends put this place high on their 'go-to' places, and considering I've been at State for 4 years...it was about time I checked it out.

For a sandwich shop, this place is pretty awesome. Using catchy "420" style nicknames for their menu items, this place offers a wide variety of toasted subs to choose from. As for me? I had the pizza sub which is otherwise known as the DANK by menu definition. The name says it all...tasty and delicious...or just dank.

Food aside, the staff is friendly and the shop is inviting (if you choose to dine in). I'll have to come back soon, as there were so many sandwiches to choose from I would feel left out if I didn't make a return trip. And for those reading from places outside of the SDSU area, they have multiple locations across the US (including Oregon, Arizona, and even as far reaching as Iowa).

With that being said, the next time you get the munchies, be sure to check this place out - located off of El Cajon and Choktaw Street in the College Area. And for those checkin' this site out for the first time (or more?), be sure to give me some suggestions so I can experience new things. Leave your tips in the comments!

 
 
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Located off of 10th & J in East Village
Remember that free lunch perk I mentioned awhile back? Good stuff I know, well sadly the food selection today wasn't all that my stomach was hoping for, thus the quest for a new dining spot was in motion.

Trying to figure out what sounded good, the mention of burgers seemed right down my alley. The tough part now was finding a place that 1.) I had never tried before and 2.) Finding a place that offered take out. The answer would be found at The Corner in East Village.

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Bacony, BBQ-y goodness in the palm of my hand
Reviewing the website beforehand, I had noticed dozens of comments claiming this place had the BEST burger in downtown. I needed to see for myself, so when I made the call I took the recommendation made by the hostess on the phone and ran with it.

I chose to order the popular BBQ burger w/tots (though the sweet potato fries are pretty tasty too apparently). If you like BBQ, you'll love this.

Start with a 1/2 pound slab of freshly ground beef, add a layer of gooey cheddar cheese, applewood smoked bacon, carmelized onions and top it off with the sauce...you'll love it. My stomach was definitely at capacity well before I could finish this bad boy off, but for those of you seeking an even larger bit of glorious grilled goodness, check out the 3LB burger challenge. A 3 pound burger w/6 slices of cheese, chili, and 2 eggs...if you finish it in under an hour its FREE!

In review, I think it's safe to say I'll be back...maybe on a Tuesday as suggested by the bartender (2 for 1 burgers, who can pass that up?!). Anyway, The Corner is a great* local spot in East Village that should not be skipped!

Leave me some suggestions for new things / places in the comments!

*On behalf of my tastebuds and their opinions...I'd put this place 2nd to Nicky Rotten's...but hey there can be 2 good burger spots right?

 
 
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Photo Credit: Yelp
Today just so happened to be a necessity. Before I proceed further, I will say I truly appreciate the free meals provided by my place of employment. But on that same note, the aforementioned free lunch wasn't going to agree with my stomach today. So began the hunt for a new destination that was A. Close by, B. Cheap, and C. Delicious. My supervisor suggested BASIC - and wouldn't you know it I hadn't even tried it. Didn't go in today, but the photo says it all. Cool and relaxed, this modern bar and pizza joint offers old-fashioned style pizza sure to please every taste bud on your tongue. Food aside for a minute, this place is also a pretty popular hang out in the Gaslamp. Good food and a good social atmosphere, what more could you ask for?

Back to the food. BASIC allows you to customize your pizza exactly to your liking. Seriously, you've got a lot of options (including but not limited to Mashed Potatoes and Fresh Little Neck Clams).

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Delicious
The pizza of choice for this evening included red sauce, mozzarella cheese, fresh green peppers, chicken, and onion. So simple, but something slightly magical happens when you eat this pizza. I can't really describe it, but its pretty good stuff - especially if you're into the thin pizzas. Normally a 3 topping small will run ya $15 bucks, but it's quality that your paying for...and a small pie will fill most stomachs. As for my pizza cost...well, call it good karma? The fine folks at BASIC hooked me up and waived the charge. I love being in the industry =D. No offense to the complimentary lunch service, but BASIC was the better option today...

On to new things tomorrow, give me ideas in the comments!

 
 
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I've lived in San Diego my whole life, and been at SDSU for 4 years...yet somehow this little neighborhood of Kensington eluded me all this time. Continuing my hunt for new things involved a good friend who we shall call "Randy" for safety purposes. Names and oddness aside, he too was interested in going exploring with me, so we consulted Yelp for a quick solution...

Kensington Cafe is located about 3 miles from SDSU, on Adams Avenue between Marlborough Dr & Edgeware Rd. Serving breakfast and lunch all day, this local spot was all that I could hope and dream for - delicious and inexpensive.



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Order this and a trip to the ER on the side
I myself opted for the waffle special of the day, which as you can see included a fresh waffle topped with bananas and peanut butter, drizzled with chocolate to taste. Get a side of bacon and eggs - DAMN. My spider senses told me this place would be good, but who knew that 10 bucks (not including my mocha) would leave me a happy camper.

Anyway, my counterpart Mr. Marsh took a leap of faith and chose one of the panini's from the lunch menu, with a side of fresh chili and a Stone Pale Ale to wash it down. Like me, Randy was enthusiastic about his option and the price (~$15 for the works).

All in all, the food = awesome. The service = awesome. The location = awesome. That's 3 awesomes, which have absolutely no meaning other than its all good. Next time your looking for a good spot around State (or don't mind a quick trip into a pleasant neighborhood) then stop by Kensington Cafe for a bite! Cheers to new things!

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Randy's got good tastes
 
 
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Ahh so pretty...now let's eat!
One of the perks of my job at the Marriott includes enjoying the finest dining the Gaslamp District has to offer. That being said, today's achievement involved eating - and lots of it! Cafe 21 is located on 5th Avenue between "F" and "G" Streets, though it is easy to miss if you aren't on the lookout. Personally, I prefer these places some times. Anyway, Cafe 21 is a Russian owned breakfast and lunch spot that can fill you up on the cheap. That's my supervisor Priscilla on the left. That plate in front of her - $9. The food on that plate - absolutely delicious. In case you're wondering, that's french toast with sweet cream, topped with strawberries and bananas with a side of the freshest tea you can get in downtown. Seriously, the guy had to give us instructions on how to drink it! And according to the tea guru (Priscilla), no sweetener needed with this.

What did I eat? A meal fit for a king I'd say. Or at least someone looking to eat well, though not quite as cheap ($15). Judging by the looks of it (see below), I think I hit pretty much every level of the food pyramid with this Filet Mignon omelet with a side of fresh fruit. And as you judge the looks of it, you know damn well it was tasty and DELICIOUS.

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I want one of those skillets...and more of the food that was in it!
Overall, the atmosphere of this place is mellow and relaxed. The service is up there, with a waiter checking in every few minutes to ensure the quality of your experience, though not too over the top. I don't usually give stars or points or anything like that, but I'll take a line out of Arnold Schwarzenegger's book and say "I'll be back". Check it out next time your in the Gaslamp!