On the Road Eats: San Diego

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I headed out to a conference in San Diego.  One lunch and two dinners were mine.  The rest- conference food.  I stayed at the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter and took advantage of the easy walk to various restaurants.  I even tried out the scooters left around the city- super fun and a must try if you see one laying around!

Volcano Rabbit
I was staying in the Gaslamp district and arrived right before lunch.  I needed a quick spot close by so I could eat and then head to the conference hotel and grab my shirts and badge.  This was a short walk and a great meal to start my trip.  Time for some tacos – Chili rubbed Octopus and Sticky Beef Short Rib…..YUM!

Double Standard
I decided on a solo dinner and wanted something hearty.  I found Double Standard on OpenTable and I was able to sit outside.  My meal was fine but next time I will opt for a different spot.

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Lucky’s Lunch Counter
Right around the corner from the Marriott is Lucky’s lunch counter.  I wanted a breakfast burrito since I was going to be in meetings and in a sales booth most of the day.  Lucky’s hit the spot.  Egg whites, cheese, veggies, bacon – perfect start to the day!

Lionfish Restaurant at The Pendry Hotel
Some hits, some misses.  This restaurant got great reviews but I should have listened to the server and stayed away from the sushi.  You should never use avocado that is not ripe in a roll – never.  But on the positive side, the appetizers- octopus, mussels and the duck tostadas were a hit!

Jsix Restaurant at the Kimpton
Sometimes sitting down with a colleague after a work event is a necessity.  Debrief on the day and get ready for the next.  A refreshing adult drink, crispy spring rolls and guacamole hit the spot!

Soleil @k at the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter
I ended up with one monring to grab an early breakfast and decided to do so at the hotel so I easily bring my laptop with me.  Chilaquiles were on the menu and a must for me.  A bit spicy but really good!  Ready for the day ahead!


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On the Road Eats: Kansas City

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I have been to Kansas City so many times for work and almost always have a great food experience.  And there is one restaurant that will remain on my favorites list!

Oklahoma Joe’s
My favorite spot – I can visit the original location at a gas station, eat great barbeque and be in and out within 30 minutes.  Pulled pork and coleslaw on a sandwich – AWESOME!!!

Gram & Dun
It’s been a few years since I have been here but the food is always good, it’s an easy walk from the hotels on the plaza and they are on OpenTable.  After a crazy rain storm that forced allowed me to get some work done at the hotel, I walked to the restaurant with iPad in hand and got a high top table in the bar.  A glass of wine with the double cut breaded pork chop, creamed brussels sprouts with house-smoked bacon – my happy dance took place on the way home!

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Tavernonna
I admit, I didn’t love this restaurant but I think they had an off day.  I had the lunch special – salad and pasta (and added a meatball ).  The caesar salad needed to be chilled – it was as if they plated it and left it sitting on the line while they waited for the hot items.  As for the pasta, should have been cooked a minute or so longer to be perfect.  The flavors were good and I would return but there are too many other great spots to try.

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Residence Inn Kansas City Country Club Plaza
I stay here quite often IF I cannot get a room at The Raphael Hotel.  It’s super convenient to walk to many of my appointments and a block off the plaza.  It’s quiet and clean and they have a good amount of parking.  One night, Marriott points…all is good.

 

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On the Road Eats: South Bend, Indiana

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Another trip to South Bend.  The fun thing for me about visiting this city is I see or experience something new each time.

Aloft South Bend
I stayed here again.  And no reason not to.  The service is great, the rooms are large and clean and I can walk everywhere.  Bonus when they make you a great breakfast!

Render Kitchen & Bar
I knew the spots downtown and the ones near the college. So I decided to Yelp! and came across something new, new to me, as this great restaurant I found has been around for a couple years.  I sat at the bar, had a very friendly bartender and got to listen to a group of college girls chat about what they are doing after school.  Add that to some great food and a lavender infused cocktail – I will be back next time I am in town!

South Bend River Lights
Since the weather was still warm, I was able to wait until the sun went down and walk over to the bridge and see the lights.  They are interactive based on motion, change colors and are a great way to spend a few minutes at the end of the evening.

Cafe Navarre
This is the restaurant that comes up most often in my searches.  I was there about 5 years ago and it was great.  So I knew I had to stop by for a quick lunch before I headed to the airport.  Small caesar salad and the french onion soup- perfect.  And my boss joined me for lunch and said the beet salad was excellent!

Cafe Navarre Lunch

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My Favorite Things: Houston’s

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If you have read my other posts, I think you know I am not really a fan of national chain restaurants.  The menu may be designed by chefs but on any given night, they do not have the freedom to create.  But there is one exception to my “national” chain rule and they have lots of options due to having many different restaurants in various parts of the country.  Houston’s is the exception.  I love that anytime I visit Houston’s, both the service and the food are consistently fantastic. I have my favorites when I visit, it just depends on the mood I am in.  Crab Cakes, the Ahi Tuna(either the entrée or the salad), the ribs, the grilled artichoke…….I could go on.  And my husband loves their food and he’s happy to sit at the bar and have a small bite at the end of a night if we are not ready to go home.  It’s even kid-friendly.

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I think to a recent visit for my husband’s birthday.  They brought out the apple dessert with one candle.  No singing(my husband is not a fan), no big group of people, just a candle and a quick Happy Birthday and we were left to enjoy.  I don’t think I have ever left this restaurant disappointed.  Now if only I could get a peek of their spinach dip recipe, I would be the happiest lady in town!

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