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CHICAGO AUTUMN TRIP 2014 – PART 1

I swear I have posts about food in my blogging pipeline. Swear. But my past gift of being ‘somewhat’ consistent with food posts has *kinda* slipped these past few weeks. PLUS, I haven’t had a working refrigerator for almost two whole weeks now (that was a total desperate attempt to garner sympathy right there).

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to visit Chicago for a few days. It was around my birthday so it seemed like the perfect opportunity (and no planes crash during one’s birthday right). As much as I joke about Frat Boy (ahem, FB as he’s known on here), there’s a side to him that’s somberly genuine and it was probably most reflected when I met his family. My parents have always taught me that you can learn alot about a guy by observing his parents. Case in point…
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GREEN FLASH BEERS

GREEN FLASH BREWING COMPANY

GREEN FLASH BREWING COMPANY

What does a girl get a guy for an anniversary present. I know, barf right. We were celebrating a particular month anniversary but for stronger reasons than ‘oh stare into each other’s eyes’ kinda lame-o stuff. I had to think long and hard but being the brilliant woman blogger that I am, I devised a plan that would easily satisfy a former frat guy (I guess it’s not really a ‘former frat guy’  as once a frat guy, always a frat guy no). I figured a Beer Crawl of sorts would make for a fun (albeit totally not romantic) anniversary thing. So Green Flash Brewing Company was the first idea on my list.

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SPINACH SHRIMP DUMPLINGS

LUNASIA CHINESE CUISINE- ALHAMBRA, CA

LUNASIA CHINESE CUISINE

It’s always been said that Los Angeles has better Dim Sum than San Diego and ya know what. It’s totally true. It’s hard to crave dim sum in San Diego when there’s few high quality dim sum restaurants to choose from. Lunasia Chinese Cuisine in Alhambra sets the bar high for certain dim sum items that makes me *KINDA* miss Los Angeles. Ok, not really. I hate LA. But that doesn’t mean I don’t MISS the food in LA.

Things are getting a bit serious between me and FB so mom wanted us to drive up to San Gabriel so he and my mom could have the ‘talk’. Story to follow at end. The weekend we went up there was seriously THE hottest day of the summer. I swear the car temp registered 105 degrees at 2p in San Gabriel. Dim Sum at Lunasia Chinese Cuisine ends at 3p (with last call at 2:30p)  so I was in  a mad panic to eat there before 3p.

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GARLIC PORK $7.99

BEIJING CITY – POWAY, CA

BEIJING CITY

You ever fall in love with a restaurant and then have that love shattered (and nooo, that wasn’t no metaphor for my love life). Many years ago, my dad introduced me to Spicy City in Convoy. There were certain dishes there that sis and I just fell in love with. Then, one day, the owners sold the restaurant and the food just didn’t taste the same (to us) after that. So, imagine my surprise when my uncle and cousin told me about (possibly) the original owners of Spicy City opening Beijing City in Poway. It almost felt surreal because for ALL these years, we had no idea where the original owners went.

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Rubio’s Giveaway: National Taco Day

Behold.

FayesFork’s first dang giveaway. Can I get a wut-wut and a Boooyaahhhh.

Ironic that it’s for something I don’t eat all that often.

But hey, what *I* like doesn’t mean what you guys gotta like (unless you’re dating me – THEN it’s a different story).

It’s National Taco Day this Saturday October 4, 2014 and Rubio’s is offering its guests  a coupon for a Free Taco with the purchase of any Sustainable Seafood Taco & Beverage. So make sure to take advantage of this coupon regardless of the giveaway.
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PUERTO LA BOCA

PUERTO LA BOCA

PUERTO LA BOCA

Let’s keep the streak with my Groupon obsession shall we. I bought a Puerto La Boca deal off Groupon some weeks ago and surprise, surprise – the Groupon was expiring soon. I had read great reviews about this Argentinian restaurant and Soo has raved about the steaks here. So I figured I’d schlep FB with me to try dinner at Puerto La Boca last week.
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QT POT

QT POT – MIRA MESA, CA

QT POT

A few things to be happy dancing about: 1) new iPhone6; 2) QT Pot; and 3) cooler weather. You’d think the new iPhone6 would be the highlight of my life right now but it ain’t. I honestly would have to say it’s the cooler weather that’s making this particular blogger the happiest right now.

V told me recently that a new restaurant took over Best Taste of China (or China Chef II) in Mira Mesa. We used to go to Best Taste of China for their AYCE hot pot. So I was curious what possibly took over this Mira Mesa restaurant. V had no idea so I felt it was up to *me*, this slick snooping food blogger, to investigate.

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GYU KAKU JAPANESE BBQ SAN DIEGO

GYU KAKU JAPANESE BBQ – SAN DIEGO, CA

GYU KAKU JAPANESE BBQ

I wish my vice was shoes. It just ain’t. I wish I could look at a pair of stilettos and ask Santa to have it waiting under the Christmas tree in a few months. But no. You wanna know my vice. Groupon. Groupon is FayesFork’s vice. I’m a sucker for Groupon. I buy Groupon for restaurants and end up never using them. And wouldn’t ya know it – they sent me an offer to Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ ($17 for $30) early September that I JUST HAD TO GET. Why can’t I love shoes just like the everyone else.

I was surprised that this deal allowed for the funds to be used for Happy Hour. Generally, no Groupon deals will allow for Happy Hour so this offer for the $30 to be used at Gyu Kaku Japanese BBQ was pretty awesome. Plus, it’s ALL DAY Happy Hour Monday nights.

I was able to secure one of two OpenTable reservations for a Monday evening (BTW, did you know if you make an OT reservation via yelp, you do NOT get your +100 points – so be careful). The RSVP pickings were slim (4:45p and 5:15p). I was thankful that FB works close by and had no problem with a 5:15p reservation.
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BELLA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB AND CAFFE

BELLA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB AND CAFFE

There aren’t many new eating places in San Diego that have taken my breath away. I mean, aside from expensive bougie La Jolla or Del Mar restaurants-with-a-view places, I really haven’t been, sigh, blown away. I’ve heard about Bella Vista Social Club and Caffe some time ago but I assumed parking would be horrible and I’d never find the place anyways because I’m unfamiliar with the Torrey Pines area. Fortunately Soo works in this area and suggested meeting here for a quick lunch.

I first read about Bella Vista Social Club and Caffe from Cathy’s post at mmm-yoso. She visited early evening and had the chance to try out their Happy Hour. I appreciated her tip on the validated parking which the restaurant happily gives you for 2 hours.
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FRIEND'S HOUSE KOREAN

FRIEND’S HOUSE KOREAN

FRIEND’S HOUSE KOREAN

Gosh. What an odd name for a restaurant no? Like what my grandparents would say, in their broken English, to me and sis before we left for a class mate’s house or something. Friend’s House Korean has been on my radar for some time now because of their lunch specials and steamed dumplings. I’ve been going through a weird dumpling phase again. Go figure. I visited Friend’s House Korean some years ago and found it to be ‘meh’ at best. I ordered some sort of spicy squid dish and didn’t think too much of it back then.

Friend’s House Korean is located in the same plaza as Hanmi Bank and Dede’s. Just beware of the lunch and dinner rush these plazas get and don’t be surprised with the new dent in your car door when you’re done with dinner. I visited Friend’s House Korean last week for an early mid-week lunch at 11am.
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So it begins…A San Diego Food Blog