Where will the road take YOU?

Destination Diaries

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San Diego

By Angela Ash


San Diego is a beautiful city in California, where the sun seems to shine every day.  It is 120 miles south of Los Angeles, and directly adjacent to the Mexican border.  It is also right on the Pacific Ocean, which means plenty of gorgeous beaches, specifically well-known Coronado Beach. 

However, when I think of San Diego, the first thing that I envision are the open gates of Sea World!


Sea World is one of the most beautiful parks that I have ever visited.  They must hire an entire crew to lay in wait for that stray paper that may float away into the wind, ensuring that it never even touches the magnificent grounds of this meticulously manicured theme park. 

While many parks focus on rides only, the "feeling" here is definitely different.  Around one corner may be a ferocious coaster, and around the next you may run into a playful dolphin that insists on flipping his fin every time he passes you. 

And of course, there is Shamu. Performing in heart-pounding shows is just the beginning.  Visitors may opt to dine at Shamu's private patio, where every delicious bite may be supplemented with a daring dive into the water.  This is truly the epitome of "dinner and a show". 

And Sea World ensures that there are plenty of thrills for those who seek to be dropped, turned, and drenched. Hope on Journey to Atlantis, culminating in a 60 foot plunge, or soar away on Manta, San Diego's first multi-media double-launch coaster! And make sure the kiddos visit the Sesame Street Bay of Play, where they can even meet their favorite characters from the Street!

The animal encounters are endless! See turtles, sharks, dolphins, penguins, and tons of other fish and other ocean dwellers.  And if this isn't enough, Sea World offers special encounters with Beluga Whales, dolphins, and more!

Visit them online for additional information, or call 1-800-25-SHAMU. 

And now that you know the best place to visit when in San Diego, let's talk about food!  I have found that the best eateries are lining the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter, the historic heart of San Diego.  In a little over 16 blocks, you will find everything from breakfast specialists to wine bars.  I'll share a few of my favorites!



I absolutely love breakfast.  I love it in the a.m., for lunch, and even for supper.  I swear that I could eat biscuits and gravy for every meal for a year... maybe even two.  So I literally feel like I am walking into a dream when I visit the Broken Yolk. Please... no one pinch me! 

The first thing that I notice is the atmosphere.  Everyone is happy... drinking the delicious smelling coffee... eating the fluffiest blueberry pancakes I have ever seen.  The servers are all smiling... offering refills, extra warm syrup, and more sugar for the French Toast. Oh my goodness!  I'm never leaving this place!

The Broken Yolk is open for breakfast and lunch, and even though I am a self-diagnosed breakfast addict, the lunch side of the men u is taunting me with an extremely delectable French Dip. I could always settle in the middle with the Monte Cristo. 

Believe me when I say that this is the best breakfast experience that I have ever had.  The service is impeccable, and the food is beyond words, but I am making a desperate effort.

The only problem is that I have now reached my biscuit plateau, and all other biscuits will now be compared to the delicious, elusive biscuit that I must fly to the West Coast to eat. 

Well, I do like to travel...

Visit the Broken Yolk online for additional information, or call 619-338-YOLK. 

And continuing on with the theme of breakfast, San Diego has another little gem tucked up her sleave!


The only thing better than a great breakfast, is breakfast served 24/7.  Brian's 24 is downtown San Diego's only 24 hour, full service dining establishment.  That's a nice club to be the only member of! 

The atmosphere is bustling, as that it is almost always packed with eager patrons, waiting for chicken and waffles, tasty burgers, meatloaf, and steaks.  The variety is amazing, and there is literally a dish to match whatever you may crave. 

And if you can somehow save any room for dessert, be prepared for an absolutely sinful array of milkshakes, malts, floats, sundaes, blondies, and cheesecake.

Visit them online for additional information, or call 619-702-8410.


Something that I am always on the hunt for is a GOOD Irish pub... not a restaurant that throws fish and chips or a mediocre Shepherd's Pie on the menu and calls itself "Irish".  No, I am looking for authentic food in an energetic atmosphere, and a FANTASTIC Shepherd's Pie.

Luckily, the Field Authentic Irish Pub is alive and well in San Diego, although it hasn't always even been on American soil.  This gorgeous, turn-of-the-century pub was literally shipped piece by piece from Ireland. I don't think you can get more authentic than that.

And if you came here to eat, you will be astounded by the choices that lay before you.  There is a savory FANTASTIC Shepherd's Pie, crispy fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, Guinness beef stew, and to my utter fascination and excitement, a full Irish breakfast! 

The bar is also a source of delight, with a gigantic selection of draft and imported bottle beers.  And while you are sipping on your favorite selection, live, traditional Irish music is playing just steps away.

If you are anywhere near San Diego, you must visit this pub!

Visit the Field online for additional information, or call 619-232-9840.

And just as with the Field, I love finding interesting restaurants that not only offer great food, but a distinctive surrounding, or an impressive back story.  San Diego once again delivers!


Walking into Croce's Restaurant & Jazz Bar is like stepping through a portal into another place altogether. The "spirit" of this establishment is absolutely amazing, exuding warmth and absolute hospitality... quite like the feeling of visiting a good friend's home for a made-from-scratch dinner. This description isn't far off base.

Jim and Ingrid Croce mused about starting a restaurant and bar, much like the description above... a place to basically eat good food and listen to good music. Both involved in the music industry, they could definitely envision an inviting property where music wafted out onto the sidewalk, and people passing by were literally drawn in. Tragically, Jim Croce passed in an airplane accident while on tour, supporting a slew of gold records and hit songs like Time in a Bottle and Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. Years later,to keep his memory and their unadulterated love for music alive, Ingrid opened Croce's Restaurant... right on the same corner where she and Jim once pondered opening a place of their own.

And their dream has definitely come to fruition, because this is a restaurant like no other, offering high caliber entertainment and some of the most delicious food that I have tasted! Serving breakfast and lunch on the weekends and dinner nightly, Executive Chef James Clark serves up classic dishes with a definitive twist. The menu offers so many choices that you must honestly return three or four times to explore it, with entrees including bordeaux braised short ribs with mac n cheese, shrimp carbonara fettuccine with Italian pancetta, pan-seared sea bass, and grilled free-range chicken. However, the prime contemporary meatloaf may just be the best dish I have ever eaten. Imagine the down home goodness of your grandmother's meatloaf, completely turned on its head and freshened with a creative mixture of herbs, and cooked to absolute perfection.

I can not stress that any trip to San Diego demands a visit to Croce's. They will be moving from the Gaslamp Quarter, so dine before they move, and then ensure that you return to see their new location!

Visit them online for additional information and details and dates of their relocation, or call 619-233-4355.

Still hungry?  Well good... because San Diego still has many more dining options for you to explore!



If you just can not experience complete contentment again until you have a bite of steak in your mouth, or a tempting chicken dish on the table before you, then Greystone Steakhouse is the obvious choice!

Open daily for dinner, Greystone serves delicious food options in an elegant atmosphere, complete with outdoor seating.  Needless to say, the steaks appeal to each and every taste bud, with prime cuts such as the New York Strip, the Bone-In Rib Eye, the Porterhouse, Filet Mignon, and a Flat Iron Kobe Steak. 

While it is difficult to leave Greystone without a bite of steak (even if it is stolen from your dining companion's plate), it would also be remiss to not indulge in their take on Chicken Florentine, which may make patrons forget their cravings for steak altogether.  And with many more seafood, poultry, and pasta dishes, diners will be hard pressed to make a choice when it is their turn to order!

Visit them online for additional information, or call 619-232-0225. 

Now, have you ever seen one of those delightful wine bars on a tv show or movie, and you think... where can I find a place like that?  Well, that answer is simple.  It's in San Diego!



Toast Enoteca and Cucina is the absolute epitome of a hip, trendy place to indulge in delicious foods that can be perfectly paired with a glass of wine or two. 

Nearly 400 wines are offered by the glass, by the bottle or via tastings from state-of-the-art wine dispensing machines.  Many of these wines are difficult to find in San Diego, and offer a real treat for wine connoisseurs. 

The dining menu offers authentic Italian food, with a vast array of delicious pizzas, pastas, and meats.  The roasted pork shoulder is so tender that, even though this term is terribly overused, it will literally seem to melt once it hits your mouth!

If you are looking for a beautiful locale for a romantic dinner or a Friday night stop on a girl's night, this is the place in San Diego!

Visit them online for additional information, or call 619-269-4207.

And now that you are ready to hit the streets and eat to your heart's content, you can begin to plan your getaway to sunny San Diego.  After all, of this great food isn't just going to eat itself!