Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gourmet Bagger

The first time I went to Gourmet Bagger, I had the All That And More Albacore.  It was the best tuna melt I've ever had.  The perfect amount of crunch from the bits of celery on lightly grilled sourdough with cheddar, a single leaf of romaine, slices of tomatoes and a generous pile of sprouts.  Mmm...sprouts.  Too bad I started getting itchy eyes after I finished my sandwich.  Turns out, I'm allergic to something in the tuna salad.
The next time I went back, I opted for the Chicken Salad on whole wheat.  Like the tuna, it came stacked with sprouts, tomatoes, romaine and nice crunchy texture from the celery.  It's delish.  Still, I jealously eye my co-worker's ATM Albacore that she always orders.  Maybe it's the fact that I know I shouldn't have it.
The Egg Salad was good.  Though, unlike the ATM Albacore and the Chicken Salad, the Egg Salad was a little bit drippy.  I'd order it again.  Each order comes with a small soft chocolate chip cookie and a piece of candy.  For $0.99, you can get 2 chocolate chip cookies that are about the size of a small saucer.
On another visit, I noticed that their soup of the day was Lobster Bisque.  Never mind that it was about 75 degrees out and I was getting the Bagger Cheesesteak as well.  I added the bisque to my order.
I've never been to Philly and I can't say that I'm any kind of cheesesteak conniosseur, but I liked it.  Caramelized onions, red bell peppers, mushrooms, thin sliced steak meat, and provolone cheese on a lightly toasted soft roll. Wish there were more mushrooms, I love mushrooms.  I can't wait to try their other hot sandwiches.

The Lobster Bisque had a strong cheesy flavor, but the shellfish flavor also came through.  Not a traditional lobster bisque, but still quite yummy.  I got it again two days later when I went back for a Chicken Salad on wheat.

The drill at this little sandwich shop is to order at the counter and then find a seat.  The cashier writes down your name and order on a brown paper bag and passes it on to the kitchen.  You then take a seat and one of the guys from the kitchen come out with your order calling your name.  There are indoor and outdoor seating.  This place gets pretty busy during the lunch hour, but it usually doesn't take too long for your food to get to you.

Gourmet Bagger

Point Loma location: 3357 Rosecrans St, San Diego

Miramar location: 7128 Miramar Rd, San Diego

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dinner at Thee Bungalow

For my final Restaurant Week meal, my friends and I decided on Thee Bungalow.  Since I was going to be dining with some slightly pickier eaters, we had to review several menus before making that decision.
Every table received an amuse-boucheof Beet Salad served on a spoon with a twisted handle, compliments of the chef.  The yellow beets tossed in olive oil and topped with microgreens were simple and refreshing.  For my first course: Lobster Bisque.  Nice creamy texture, but the stock was a little weak on lobster flavor.  I'd order it again. One of my friends had a deconstructed interpretation of French Onion Soup. It came in a soup dish with a cheesy crouton floating in the middle.  The focus was all on the sweet oniony beef broth  My friend, whom has never had French Onion Soup before, really enjoyed this.  
I had the New Zealand Rack of Lambs with baby carrots and baby squash.  The eight pesto crusted chops were a warm pink.  The meat was very tender and tasty, especially when it sopped up some burgandy-mustard glaze.  I was using my fork and knife at first.  After attacking most of the meat with my utensils, I switched to a more hands on approach and gnawed on the rest of the bones.  It was delish and extremely filling.  I struggled to finish my plate, but I did it. 
 Two of my friends orders the Scottish Salmon, which came with roasted purple potatoes, sauteed pea tendrils, sweet corn foam, and a pinot noir sauce.  I tried a piece and it had very good sear on the outside, moist inside layer.

Our other friend had the Beef Short Ribs with sauteed chard, truffled potatoes, and two pieces of cantelope.  The short ribs were so tender that it fell apart as soon as the fork came near it.

The Meyer lemon crème brûlée was good.  It had a nice even sugar crust.  It had a smooth custard and subtle citrus flavor.
We also pre-ordered the chocolate soufflée that is suppose to serve two for the four of us to share.  The server brought out 2 gigantic chocolate soufflées.  Even if we had not just had a complete 3 course meal, these two soufflées would have been enough for all four of us to share.  The chocolate sauce was poured table-side.  The texture was light and fluffy.  The flavor was very rich and not overly sweet.  All in all, I was very satisfied with my meal.

Parking lot alert: The parking lot is a gravel lot.  Drive in carefully or you will end up with loose gravel flying up at the sides of your car.  Also, not high-heel friendly.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Crab Stuffed Tilapia!

1201 First Street
Coronado, CA 92118

A friend of mine had raved to me about the Crab Stuffed Tilapia that she had ordered from Peohe's a couple of months ago. Since it was one of the items on their Restaurant Week menu, I had to try it out for myself.
We had made reservations, so were seated pretty quickly.  Unfortunately, the service was really slow.  Seems that the kitchen wasn't keeping up with the demand.    The servers were very attentive, but it was a long wait in between placing our orders and being served each course.
My first course of Lobster Bisque was extremely flavorful.  The essence of lobster really came through in the stock used for this. However, I would have preferred the bisque to be creamier.  I wonder if they added any cream, other than the little swirl that was drizzled on top.  Lobster meat is generally used as a garnish, if at all, in lobster bisque.  There was a really generous chunks of lobster meat in the bisque. Gotta love that!
Second course: Crab Stuffed Tilapia!  The tilapia was breaded with panko crumbs and, of course, stuff to the max with real crab meat.  The fish was moist and well seasoned.  I would go back just for this.  There was a very generous side of wild rice.  I really enjoyed mixing some of the panko crust with the rice.  It was yummies.
My biggest disappointment was the crème brûlée.  Mainly with the brûlée part.  There was only a bit of the burnt sugar crust near the edge. The custard was nice and I loved the macadamian nuts, too bad I didn't get more of the crunchy, sugary crust that makes custard into crème brûlée.