The things I do for Free Stuff

I love free stuff. I love swag. I didn’t even know the word swag until Peanut and Cdj saw me go through a cubicle of free stuff like a tazmanian devil. That’s why I love Yelp events because of their swag. That’s why I love Costco because of their samples. I have to sometimes work for swag (sis and I have been known to switch outfits to get another free cupcake – that’s another story though). But last year I had to do something that, to this day, makes me shake my head.

My friend Ricky is a manager of a gym. Last year he and Cdj were trying to convince me to reconnect with my inner beast and get back into the gym. He said the gym was having a party (WITH free food) and a charity event that would garner me a free month’s membership. All I had to do was give blood. *All*. I asked the guys if it was an easy process and everyone said yeah it’s like 10 minutes and is so easy. So yeah – ok – free food and free month’s membership. I could totally do that.

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Seaside Buffet ( $19.88 AYCE weekend lunch) – Miramar, CA

I’d like to think I’m going through a transformation of some sort. Sports used to be such a big part of my life and I’m determined to get back into it. Friends have helped me greatly with this (they know the bone this dog needs to have in order to get fixated again). I’ll share more about that Friday. Anyway, I’ve gotten my butt back into working out and it sucks. Like S.U.C.K.S. But, it’s working and I can tell you I’ve lost zero pounds. Kidding aside, going to the gym again has helped me and last Saturday was no exception. I was done with a muay thai class and decided to eat something healthy. I called Cdj and he suggested an AYCE Chinese buffet to completely negate what I just accomplished in class. So Seaside Buffet was what we decided on.

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Pho Ca Dao & Grill – Rancho Bernardo

Pho Ca Dao & Grill is my favorite Vietnamese restaurant at the moment. I think sis or V introduced me to this Rancho Bernardo location and I’ve been hooked ever since. The restaurant is clean, bright, and comfortable. There’s always a wait during lunch but it goes by quickly with the fast host that seats people efficiently. Pho Ca Dao & Grill has air conditioning so eating pho or freshly fried egg rolls on a hot day doesn’t seem to phase us.

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Island Style Cafe

The weekend was scorching hot miserable. So what do friends suggest doing during a heat wave. Take a hike. Not the ‘go away you weirdo’ take a hike. But literally let’s go to some desert mountain and hike. It was awful. I couldn’t wait to be done with it and sit in the air conditioned car. I wasn’t keen on trying a new restaurant but Cdj suggested Island Style Cafe since 1) he’s been there with his Hawaiian buddies and 2) there’s a/c in the restaurant. Island Style Cafe is located in Tierrasanta.

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Brothers Provisions – Rancho Bernardo, CA

The last few weeks have been just draining. Everything seemed to hit me at once and I still shake my head thinking about it. I’d like to think I was supergirl and took care of business the way a grown ass woman should do but no. That’s what friends and family are for. They’ve had a finger under my chin the entire time to give it a gentle boost up when the clouds were grey. Friend took me to Brothers Provisions last year on a rainy day. Brothers Provisions is located in Rancho Bernardo with plenty of parking. They serve salad, soups, sandwiches, draft beer. They also have a market that houses tons of cold beers, gourmet snacks, and even cheeses.

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Fireside by the Patio (@ Liberty Station)

I’ve fallen in love with Liberty Station. I wasn’t such a fan of Liberty Station in the past but the edition of their indoor public market has gotten my food loins going. Friends often joke that I should have the same passion about dating that I do with food. Yeah, like that’s *ever* going to happen. I’ve read about Fireside by the Patio and their charcoal yakitori items sparked my interest. My mom isn’t the most adventurous of foodies but she cheerfully agreed to try Fireside by the Patio that afternoon.

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Coyote Bar & Grill (+ dessert at Vinaka Cafe) – Carlsbad, CA

This is an overdue post as I visited Coyote Bar & Grill sometime last year. Carlsbad is a beautiful town that I should visit more often. The drive along the coastline was serene and perfect that afternoon. Friends have this bucket list for me and an item on the list it to take a long drive somewhere up North (maybe to that famous castle) one day. God help the poor soul who’s in that car with me for all those hours.

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KASI Fresh. Fast. Indian (+ Lifu’s first drive thru ramblings ) – Carlsbad, CA

I haven’t spent much time with sis lately as life has gotten between us talking and catching up on a daily basis. But there’s a bond between us that even if we don’t speak for a few days, we still have a weirdly sis-sense (I just realized how money that word is) about one another and what’s happening in each others lives. We happened to be in the same area for work recently so she suggested trying out KASI Fresh. Fast. Indian for lunch. Actually, she suggested Fish District but was willing to try out KASI next door for the sake of this blog.

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Snooze an A.M. Eatery – Del Mar, CA

Does life get so busy that you forget to write about a breakfast place. Or maybe the food wasn’t that great and your blog’s subconscious doesn’t want to put in the effort. Can a blog even have a conscience. Or maybe there was meaning behind the meal that wasn’t worth sharing about at the time right. Snooze has been here in Del Mar for some time now. I remember when it was IHOP and I’d eat here once in a while. The food was pretty bad when it was IHOP so it was nice seeing Snooze take over the space and re build it to a pretty hip location. The lines have always been long even on a weekday.

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Westroot Tavern (Carmel Valley, CA)

A bunch of us were waiting patiently for the opening of Westroot Tavern. We only recently noticed their restaurant signs go up and final completion of their outdoor patio. So I was excited when one of my best friends said she was free one afternoon to meet for lunch to finally try out Westroot Tavern. Be warned that many of their menu items has “COMING SOON” pasted next to quite a few dishes and those ‘coming soon’ items aren’t listed on their website yet.  I had called Westroot before the lunch and spoke to a nice gentleman, David, who gave me a run down of what items were and weren’t available the day of our visit.

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So it begins…A San Diego Food Blog