feb 27 2014 116

Flower Hill Promenade ( Juice, Coffee, Burger, & Cheese: My Afternoon-cay ) – Del Mar, CA

Peanut and I were depressed b/c we were hoping to see each other this month. But I didn’t have the time or discretionary funds to fly to San Francisco and have a fun girls week with her. And the bugger went sky diving too (maybe it was a GOOD thing I couldn’t make it up to SF then…)

So it got me thinking. ‘Self…what can we do to give you a vacation….Self, where can we go today…’

I had a budget. I checked my wallet.

I’d like to say to that I’m booking my flight to Bora Bora right now. And I’m staying in one of those luxury tiki homes over the water and having a monkey (a nice, friendly monkey…not like the rabid monkey from Outbreak) fetch me a coconut from a nearby tree.

But, yeah…no. I gots $25 bucks in my wallet. What the heck can I do with $25 for a much needed vacation.

Ah-hahh. I gots it.

I’m going to take an Afternoon-cay (Afternoon + Vacation = Afternooncay).

I dd a lunch time work out (I’m doing this aerial Pilates thing now – totally cool) and decided to take the afternoon off. I was in Del Mar, had my computer, and thought I could visit a coffee shop somewhere. I remembered the Pannikin Coffee & Tea in The Flower Hill Promenade. I used to go to the Pannikin when I was in high school. We’d all meet up here if everyone was in the area.

I looked at my $25 and thought ‘hmmm, I wonder if I can use this $25 and make it into a mini afternoon-cay for me today’.

So I thought I’d wing it and see what happens. So here was my own little Afternoon-cay at The Promenade that day..

Whole Foods (1st stop):

Whole Foods is in this strip mall. It’s been open for almost a year now. They have a juice bar that is ridiculously expensive BUT they honestly use the best organic stuff AND they don’t add ice to their specialty juice drinks.

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– Doctors Orders $7.00 (16oz)

parsley, spinach, cucumbers, celery, apples, ginger, and lemon (I think)

Like I said, they don’t usually add ice but I like this drink super cold. Plus, I feel they give you more when you ask for your order in a larger cup (24 oz as shown above). It took me some time to get used to this drink because 1) it’s expensive and 2) it can be a bit ‘bitter’. But they really use ALOT of fresh produce for this ONE drink and I think it’s worth the $7 if you take into consideration the cost of each single item in this drink PLUS the time it takes to juice it.

Reader Soo sent me a groupon link to Whole Foods (the $5 for $10 deal is no longer available though)  – so hopefully others took advantage of that deal. Thanks Soo!

I love walking around Whole Foods. There’s just something about the colors and the organization that makes me happy. You can read about it from one of my super early posts when I first started this blog. Here are a few pics that best represent how mesmerizing I find this supermarket:

 

 

I come here quite a bit by myself. I don’t even always buy stuff. So it’s nice to get my expensive juice and peruse as many aisles/items as time permits.

Pangaea Outpost (Stop #2):

After Whole Foods, I decided to head over to Pannikin and maybe get some work done on the computer. I barely remembered where they were at this mall because I wasn’t sure if they had been moved by management. There used to the cutest bookstore adjacent to this coffee house so I was super surprised to find Pangaea Outpost.

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This Outpost has a ton of random stuff (and it’s attached kinda to the coffee shop). They have books, keychains, clothes, shoes, lotions, etc etc…but most importantly, they have my favorite candle in the whole wide world!

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– Voluspa: Goji Tarocco Orange

This isn’t the actual candle but it’s a Room & Body Spray with my very favorite scent!! For those who know me, I have a borderline disorder with scents. Peanut googled it one time when we were roommates because she said she’s never seen anyone ‘sniff’ things as much as I did. She said, according to her research, that my propensity of smelling everything is actually an OCD behavior. Go figure.

There were SO many candles here at this store that I wanted to smell.

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But I was holding all this crap in my arms (computer, notebook, juice drink, etc) that I knew I needed to come back  after I got some stuff done.

Pannikin Coffee & Tea (Stop 3):

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This is the view of the Pannikin from the Outpost. There’s no wall dividing the two places.

I wasn’t done w/ my juice drink yet but I couldn’t just sit there at the coffee shop and not order something. The place was super packed but I was lucky enough to get a small table.

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– Counter to order

You have to go up to cashier and place your order there. I think these cookies/pies are freshly made there.

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– Cafe au lait $2.50

I cannot remember the last time I was served coffee in a REAL cup (at a coffee shop). I’m so used to a plastic container or a paper cup thing. So it was a nice treat to have fresh coffee with steamed cream served in a real white cup (hey, even small things like this make the afternoon-cay special right).

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– my work station

It wasn’t pleasant to drink hot coffee and juice at the same time. But forget that part. I started to notice how the juice started separating. Not sure why it’s pink like that.

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Here’s a view of their front entrance and outside patio

So there’s a fancy chocolate shop right next to them (I noticed this b/c there’s a glass wall that separates them). I heard so much about this chocolate place but knew it was expensive.

Dallmann Fine Chocolates (Stop 4):

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I just wanted to take a quick peek inside. It’s a tiny little shop and there was one nice girl working there that day.

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Look how pretty these are. I think she said it’s cheaper if you buy them by the box versus by the piece (I want to say it’s $3/piece?).

 

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They also do some sort of cheese and chocolate pairing.

Maybe I should get this for my ingrate sister who eats all her favorite chocolates in box with her husband and gives me their crummy leftoversdumb mean sister….

Joking aside, they do seem to have some nice chocolates. I’m just personally not the type of person who would splurge on a piece of chocolate for $3 bucks. BUT, I would come back here and purchase something for a friend/family member who adores gourmet chocolates.

The Burger Lounge (Stop 5):

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Ok now I was getting hungry. I’m not a big burger person and when I do crave a burger, In-n-Out more than suffices. Sis always raves about Smashburger but she’s never been to Burger Lounge. So I thought I’d try this place out and rub it in her face.

You go up to cashier, place your order, pay, and they give you a number to place on your table.

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I just realized the 2nd pic might look sad b/c it looks like I’m drinking only water to save money (and make the $25 go further). No worries – I don’t like soda or ice tea so I usually drink water with my meals :)

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– The Lounge Burger $7.95 and Onion Rings $3.99 (small)

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The onion rings come in the most adorable baby paper bag with a side of ketchup. They kindly brought me a side of ranch as well. The rings were indeed crispy but they mostly tasted of the crunchy batter. If you look at the second photo, you can barely see the super thin slice of onion. It’s honestly all batter (which is awesome if you like just straight up crunch).

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Served “Lounge Style:” Lounge Bun | Organic Cheese – White Cheddar or American | Fresh or Grilled Onion | Crisp Lettuce | Fresh Tomato | House-Made 1000 Island

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They verbally tell you that the patty is prepared crispy on the outside but pink on the inside. I asked if I can have mine prepared medium rare which the nice cashier boy noted and said yes.

But as you can see, the patty was prepared well done. It still tasted alright – not too dry. a yelp friend, Cindy, came here some time ago and said she found the burgers to be too greasy.

I may have to agree with her on that but I found the grease alright in this burger (the grease helped w/ the moisture of the well done patty). Take a closer look at the last pic. The bottom of the bun was beautifully shiny. And I think that shine came from the grease. Yum yum gimme some right…it wasn’t too bad though. The buns were toasted quite nicely but did get soggy quickly.

So that was about a $12.90 lunch (after tax).

Nothing Bundt Cakes (Stop 6):

I used to come here quite a bit (prior to the mall’s remodel) to buy little bundt cakes for friends. I’m not a huge dessert person but I think the bundt cakes here are quite extraordinary. PJ actually told me that I should have gotten a Red Velvet cake from here for the Cupcake Throwdown a few weeks back. And I facepalmed my self after she told me that b/c I have a feeling that NBC would have won that Cupcake Throwdown. No joke.

This location is completely remodeled (exterior) so it’s much more bright and noticeable.

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And wouldn’t ya know it…

LOOK what free samples they had that afternoon…

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– Red Velvet with frosting

F…M…L.

Are you kidding me.

Out of ALL the samples you could have put out that day, WHY…WHY did it have to be red velvet. Why. I’m not kidding you when I say the Red Velvet Throwdown gave me nightmares. I couldn’t eat anything red velvet after that event. I couldn’t even read Kirbie’s recipes about red velvet because anything, and I mean ANYTHING, red velvet would made me think of that cupcake spit box. So seeing these samples literally made me gulp in fear and take a few steps backwards towards the door.

(Weird flashback to college years but this red velvet phobia reminds me quite fondly (NOT!) of my Jagermeister phobia. I can’t touch anything Jager now. Hmmmph. Interesting….)

But I remember their bundts being delicious. And look at this tiny baby sample w/ the swirly frosting,

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That’s my thumb trying to steady it for the pic.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to try it as I was probably comparing it to a Jager shot at that point. But whatever, it’s just flour and sugar right. And gosh darn it, Phobia Be Gone!!!

Thank goodness this a small sample. It took me 3 bites (I eat weird – sorry). It was yums though. Like super duper yums. I wish I had bought this cake for the RV Throwdown instead of that lame Sprinkle’s one.

All their cakes come frosted and is stored in the fridge. The cakes still, somehow, stay so moist.

Pangaea Outpost : Stop 6.5

Ok had to go back and smell the candles.

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This red currant candle made by Trapp was my favorite (of a new candle brand that I hadn’t seen before).

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– Huh?!

How is there a candle scent for Water? Like how would one describe the scent of water.

Still smelled beautiful though.

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– Local honey!

It’s hard to find local honey at supermarkets (even Whole Foods) so I was excited to see this here. I am not a fan of honey (I actually kinda hate it) but everyone has been telling me that eating local honey will help me with my awful allergies. So I’m going to have to come back and get one of these honey bears.

The Wine Connection (Stop 7):

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This was the wine shop I purchased my first really expensive bottle of wine for a client many years ago. I haven’t been here in ages so decided to take a quick look and I was curious to see how expensive their wines can be.

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– 1989 Dalle Valle – Maya Cabernet 9.0L : $4,499.00

Hey, great deal. Let’s see here (opening my wallet…)

Whole foods juice:  $7.00
Cafe au Lait:           $2.50
Burger/Rings:         $12.90

Total: $22.40

Ok, so…hmmm….that leaves me with….$25.00 – $22.40…

Yep. A whole $2.60 left.

So, if my calculations are correct, I only need about $4,496.40 (can’t forget the .40c right there) to buy this sucker (assuming store waves the sales tax).

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I break my wine glasses all the time so I was nervous when I picked up this wine glass and saw it priced at $99.99. WTF man.

I didn’t even know they made wine purses (last pic) ! Did you?

Venissimo Cheese (Final Stop – #8):

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I had such a fun time on my last visit here that I thought I’d stop by and take another smell look.

I also remembered that Jinxi stopped by here some time ago as well.

I was so happy because the two same girls were there: Summer and Tami. The store was empty so they had some time to catch up with me and show me a few cheeses.

Yippeeee :(

You know what I was thinking on the drive home afterwards…

Cheese to me is like…a Fart.

It stinks and it’s an afterthought.

You can patent that phrase if you want. I thought it was pretty brilliant when I was saying it outloud in the car.

Summer and Tami both know my fear of cheeses so they try to give me ‘milder’ cheeses to sample.

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– I think this is the ‘milder’ cheese section?

 

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– This is Tami giving me a sample of a brie

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– REALLY stinky cheese section

Tami was too funny. She was telling me how she hated bleu cheese at one point but that now, she’s able to eat it. This section has all the stinky cheese, refrigerated, and on 3 shelves. I felt pretty comfortable with these girls so I kinda just asked earnest ‘I can’t believe you just asked that Faye’ questions:

“So, like…the bottom shelf…is that like the ‘not as stinky’ cheeses. And like…the top shelf…is that like the TOP SHELF creme de la creme of STINK.”

And we’d all just look at each other, blinking b/c you just know it’s such a stupid analogy…but…omg ….all three of us just started laughing. I think she said perhaps that’s how they organized that section of stink cheeses. But as a wine bar uses price to gauge their bottom and top shelf selections, I guess a cheese shop can use the bottom/top shelf concept to gauge the stinkiness of a cheese (or at least that’s how I envisioned it).

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– two of their bleu cheeses

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– I still don’t believe this

Well. I did it. Or, they got me to do it.

I must give credit where it’s due. No one has ever gotten me to try bleu cheese. Not my sister. Not my blood relatives. Not the guys I’ve dated. Not that I take great pride in that – it’s just I can’t handle bleu cheese. If it’s somehow, even accidentally, on my plate or in a dish, I’ll more than likely send it back.

But, I was having so much fun here with Tami and Summer. And they were encouraging me to try different cheeses. They both picked one bleu cheese that they loved and found mild enough for me to try. I was shaking my head like a kid getting ready to get a vaccine shot. But they both had a great idea to help me sample the cheese better:

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They said bleu cheese paired with honey will make the taste less harsh for me. But why try ‘something’ that has to be covered with honey in order for that ‘something’ to taste good. Made no sense.

Summer said to first taste the honey, then the cheese, then chase it with the honey (I’m laughing out loud right now b/c it seriously reminding me of those drinking years in college). 

Well, I tried it, followed their instructions to the tee, and you know what…

I still cannot handle bleu cheese :(

I’m sorry. I can’t bear it. It tastes so bad – like so so so bad.

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– Munster from France

Behold, dear readers, THIS is their STINKIEST cheese in the shop. They taught me that the rind of these stinkiest of cheeses will always look different than the other cheese rinds b/c the cheese maker constantly wets the rinds to encourage more bacteria growth.

Well ain’t that effing dandy. 

They both said that they cannot eat this cheese b/c it was too strong for them. They let me smell it (maybe I do have OCD) and let me tell you. Words CANNOT even describe the funk of this thing. They all took another whiff too and we were all just howling from laughing. Like “OMG. WHO in their right mind would smell THIS and say Oh gosh, I must put in mouth’. But they said people LOVE this stuff and buy it . That there are customers who come in here, shove a piece of this cheese in their mouth, and proclaim it to be THE BEST cheese they’ve ever eaten. Sucks to be the girlfriend of that particular dude.

We heard the door chime and a customer walk in. And wouldn’t you know it – it was my mentor’s husband! He strolled in and was there to buy a few cheeses to surprise his wife that night.

So more samples ensued.

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I believe these are a few of his favorites.

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– 3 milk soft cheese: Goat, sheep, and cow (?)

He took the lid off so I could take a few pics. He said this is one of my mentor’s favorite cheeses. Do you see all the hardened bubbled up rind on top.

This cheese 1) looked scary as all frek and 2) smelled horrible. I think they said the mold grows from inside out or something? Which produces that weird rind on top.

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– Look at the mold on this one.

I tried ONE more time to confirm that I cannot do bleu cheese. Let me try to explain how this particular cheese tasted. Do you remember when you were little and your parents would take you to the Wild Animal Park. There was a petting zoo there where little goats would be running around. Remember the distinct smell of dirt, hay, poop, goat, etc. all combined.

THAT is exactly how this bleu cheese tasted. Like barnyard poop funk.

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Could I have ended this Afternoon-cay any better.

Me thinks not.

I was driving back and still tasted bleu cheese in my mouth (from the two little nibbles I took – I know – it was probably all in my head). So I stopped at Starbucks to get an iced coffee.

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– Grande iced coffee in Venti cup $2.50

This is a Starbucks located inside a Vons so this iced coffee is .05c more expensive than a regular Starbucks. They had samples of their pumpkin bread too. Score.

So let’s recap:

Whole foods juice:  $7.00
Cafe au Lait:           $2.50
Burger/Rings:         $12.90
Starbucks:              $2.50

Total : $24.90!! I was under my budget! No way. By .10c too.

Under budget + free samples + belly laughs = Successful Afternooncay

I hope this post is finding everyone well this beautiful rainy Friday…

23 thoughts on “Flower Hill Promenade ( Juice, Coffee, Burger, & Cheese: My Afternoon-cay ) – Del Mar, CA”

  1. Awesome afternoon-cay except the cheese part! Just thinking of the smells gives the the shivers. The horror…

    What a mean sister eating the best chocolates! It would be okay if she ate all the pieces with nuts though.

    Thanks for the awesome food photos. Delicious sausage, baked goodies, and chocolate. Mmm… So good… and Burger Lounge. I love their wild boar and elk burgers. :-)

    That was a glorious afternoon and a well spent $25!

    1. Hi Soo,

      Ohhh that’s great that someone else besides me hates cheese funk too!

      Not sure if you ever get those See’s box of chocolates. But did you ever comb through those chocolates – my sister and I (when we were little) used to go through each piece (smell and then a nibble). But the trick is to take the nibble from the bottom of the piece so that when you put back the yuck piece, your parents won’t notice it :) I don’t mind the nut pieces as much (I hate the gooey weird fruit ones).

      Is Burger Lounge’s wild boar and elk burger two separate burgers or one burger (combined together)? I remember seeing the elk on the menu I think.

      Glad you liked the post – have a great weekend !

      1. Faye,

        I only eat Cheetos and Cheezits. Don’t like real cheese.

        I use to get See’s. I would eat whatever I chose as the chocolate was so good. I would have preferred not to eat the ones with nuts or the weird fruit ones. Lately I go for Godiva chocolates as they got me hooked with the free piece every month. :-)

        Burger Lounge has a limited edition burger every few months. So far I have tried wild boar burger and the elk burger in my newest review.

        Have you tried the sausage at Whole Foods? They look great but are kinda pricey…

        Have a great week!

        1. Ohhh you’re part of the Godiva monthly club thing too! Sis put me in that club so it’s fun to go there once a month to get that free piece of chocolate.

          I love the super spicy cheetos!

          I think I might have to go back to Burger Lounge per your rec as they might have better burgers for me to try. So thanks for letting me in on what’s good there.

          Haven’t tried the sausage at WF yet. I just might have to now that I have that groupon deal you sent me (thanks again!)…

          1. Faye,

            Sis is pretty cool! During your birthday month you get a $10 certificate. Now I just need to decide what to use it on… So many choices at Godiva…

            My fav is the original Cheetos crunchy. :-)

            The grass fed beef isn’t super flavorful but the wild game meats are.

            You are welcome!

            I think I’m gonna go to Whole Foods later in the week for their Caribbean Chicken or some of the smoked meats. It’s so awesome they have a smoker in-store now. :-) If you get the sausage let me know how it is!

          2. Oh yeah I forgot about the $10 bday gift from Godiva!! You should try to shop their clearance items to maximize the full potential of the free $10. Oh! – or try their ridiculously expensive chocolate dipped strawberries!! Oh the possibilities…

            I wish Dallmans offered that huh.

            Crunchy Flamin Hot Cheetos are the best IMO. I wish they made them spicier.

            I could never taste the difference b/w grass fed beef and regular fed beef (?). I mean, In N Out doesn’t use grass fed and I still think their burgers are pretty good.

            Sis and I are going to WF later this week with our Groupon deals. You should go to their BBQ section by the meat department – they have a variety of bbq items (remember the stuff I bought for Toxie’s bday), they smoke those items in house, and they let you sample those items before you buy em.

            Have fun !

  2. Oh what a fun day! I love cheese. I cannot have it without the accompaniments though, like the mambrillo, honey, some fruits (fresh or dry), some preserves, and some bread…baguettes or fruit breads will do. It’s funny, I used to like bleu cheese, but now I don’t like it either. I don’t know why that changed. I had some really yummy cheese last night from France. It was so creamy and delish.
    Yeah, I don’t understand why people love stinky cheese either. I guess it’s an acquired taste.

    That is so funny how you are a sniffer too. So am I. My mom always used to bitch about that. It just seems automatic for me. My grandma (paternal) was a sniffer too. It must be in my genes lol.

    The rain was much needed and feels so refreshing, doesn’t it?! I’ve been sick with a cold all week though. I lived on my bed for three days and am barely getting out now finally!

    1. Hi MK,

      I’m sorry you’re not feeling well. The rain is coming down here in SD too. It is totally refreshing and just beautiful. I’m writing this on my sofa with my doors open so I can hear the rain…

      I had to just google mambrillo – is that quince? I don’t think I’ve ever tried quince before. I bet you get to sample the best cheeses. The girls at the cheese shop said bleu cheese tastes excellent with slices of granny apples. Do you have a favorite bread you eat w/ cheese? Like a french baguette or a specific type of bread? Do you ever eat cheeses with crackers or those specialty crackers from gourmet shops?

      Thank you for being a sniffer too. My mom gets irate about that as well- I don’t know why. Like who am I hurtin’ when I’m sniffing something :( Freshly baked breads, candles, lotions are my top 3 things I sniff. I’d be curious to hear your top 3.

      It was a fun afternoon and I hope you treat yourself to a mini vacation soon (once you feel better!) -

      1. Yeah, mambrillo is quince paste. I love French baguettes and sometimes fruit/nut bread with cheese. http://instagram.com/p/k_c8pUk1e_/ That cheese was really yummy. Granny Smith Apples are great with cheese too! I love crackers sometimes too.

        I like sniffing lotion, bread, and candles too. But I also have a habit of sniffing unpleasant things. I just came from Walmart….and every time I come into contact with the cart or basket, my hand smells weird (not in a good way). I always sniff my hands after lol. I don’t know if the sanitizer wipes always help much in some cases. Some people just have odor on their hands or something lol. So yeah…my hands are probably what I sniff most, especially after coming into contact with something (public). You now how OCD I am about hand washing. I just can’t stand having weird smells or traces of anything on my hand (except lotion). They need to be clean and odor-free at all times, or I just get really irritated.

        1. I’m going to look for that quince paste next time I’m at a cheese place.

          I’m so glad you like sniffing lotions, breads, and candles too!! Smelling things with weird funk is totally normal too according to that OCD page my roommate found. So don’t worry – you’re not abnormal :)

          A friend of mine had a huge OCD with washing her hands like you too. But her hands were really wrecked from the washing (and anti-bac gel). They were so horribly and painfully cracked (her hands). But she couldn’t stop washing her hands. So I hope you’re being careful with that – they also have lotions that have anti-bac in em so maybe you can look into that after you wash your hands.

  3. Dang, you had two coffees AND a juice all within a few hours? Sounds like you got an iron bladder in training there. Whole Foods definitely has some of the best produce around – I mean, yes, they do charge more than any other supermarket besides Bristol Farms, but you’re getting local produce, same as the farmer’s market. That being said, the farmer’s markets are cheaper by a bit, and if you go near the end of the market, you can get discount fruit for way cheap.

    On that note, have you visited the Hillcrest farmer’s market? It’s on Sunday, in the morning to around 2 PM. If you go near the end, one particular stall called SweetTree Farms sells fruit at 10 dollars for one standard-sized grocery bag packed with as much fruit as you can fit, and they’re organic and carry the best fruit I’ve had.

    I wonder how Dallman’s compares to Chuao and Eclipse? I’ve had several of Chuao’s products before, and while they are quite good, I’m not the biggest chocolate person, and most higher qualtiy dark chocolates all taste the same to me.

    Burger Lounge is really disappointing for me – the grassfed flavor of the beef barely pulls through because they overcook their poor burgers to the death. I find the chain Smashburger to be comparable, but so much better (despite not using grassfed patties).

    I think Nothing Bundt Cakes’ secret to getting their cakes to be super moist is pudding mix/pudding. I had a friend who used to bake cakes and let me in on their little secret.

    The huge wineglass can hold a whole bottle of wine! Perfect for those nights when you just wanna down an entire bottle of Stella Rosa (please don’t judge me).

    There’s a guy who sells honey at the local farmer’s markets around here, and the raw wildflower honey is absolutely amazing – but I must admit, if you’re not a fan of honey, I’m not entirely sure you would enjoy it more. It’s lighter in flavor and color than the generic clover honey, but it is a raw honey – so there’s a high pollen count, but there’s also other bits of vegetation and perhaps the odd bee wing or so. Of course, being unprocessed, I think it would help with your allergies more than bottled stuff, especially since local honey uses our local flowers that you’re much more likely to encounter.

    As ashamed as I am to admit it, I want to try that stinky, stinky cheese they have there…. my favorite cheese is Morbier, which has a delicious, almost hazelnut-like nuttiness to it, but a lot of my friends who I’ve gotten to try it tell me it smells and tastes like moldy socks. I like the milder blues, but once you get into the funkier ones, it starts to get overbearing for me. But I definitely want to try that stinkbomb of a cheese.

    1. Ben!

      You’re alive ! It’s always nice to see your comments. Hope you’re enjoying this rain as much as I am.

      I used to live at Bristol Farms when they first opened (or took over that location). But I felt their quality start declining for some reason (and it always seems so dark and sad inside that market lately).

      I’ve never been to the Hillcrest Farmers Market. I really have a hard time parallel parking :( and I heard the parking there is super bad. Do you have any parking suggestions for that Sunday? I’m really curious about the Sweet Tea Farms now – do they usually have a decent selection at the last hour for your grocery bag?

      I was just at Chuao earlier and I think their chocolate sells for $2.50/piece. Maybe Dallmann is more high end b/c they charge .50c more (I don’t know!). I just saw a deal for Eclipse that I sent a few of the bloggers and friends. You might be interested in it b/c the deal includes savory dishes from their menu as well. http://www.travelzoo.com/local-deals/San-Diego/Restaurant/104012?utm_source=localdeal_us&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=1699056_html_san-diego_deal%3a104012&utm_content=1699056&tz_adid=1699056

      I’ve heard of adding pudding mix to cakes to make it more moist. I wonder if it works though. I thought the trick was to add sour cream (sounds weird but you can’t really taste the actual ‘sour cream’ in the cake so it’s alright).

      I was laughing so hard about the wineglass holding a whole bottle of wine! You’re totally right about that. That wine glass would be perfect for me as the ‘I’ve only had ONE glass of wine’ comment could actually mean a WHOLE bottle of wine (and it ‘technically’ wouldn’t be a lie). I think I’ve had Stella Rosa before. It’s like $10 bucks right (you rich yo – j/k). This is a comment I just found on Stella Rosa : “What Sunny Delight is to orange juice, Il Conte d’Alba Stella Rosa is to wine.”

      Hahahahhahaha…sorry, I’m wiping away tears from laughing so hard…but hey, I’m not judging you. You’re talking to a girl who likes two buck chucks and $2.49 Whole Foods wine.

      Where is this honey bee man? If you have the guys info, let me know. I’m desperate to try anything at this point to help my severe allergies. I don’t think I’ve ever had raw honey. I want a high pollen count as I heard that’s the best honey to treat someone with allergies. Not sure about an odd bee wing being in there though. Ew. I don’t even want to ask you if they somehow purify or cleanse the honey before they sell it ( I know, I know – it probably wouldn’t make it ‘raw’ then but I still get the eebee jeebees when I think about WHERE honey actually comes from).

      I just googled Morbier and not sure if you knew this: 1) it’s like top 5 stinky of cheeses and 2) there was a recall on this cheese last year?

      http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm363301.htm

      Hopefully you didn’t get sick from this ‘moldy sock’ smelling cheese (your friends have such a great way of describing things). You should visit Venissimo b/c that one section of stink cheeses is seriously right up your alley and I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to let you sample those ass cheeses.

      Have a great weekend Ben – it’s supposed to rain until tomorrow night so enjoy this weather while it lasts yeah?

  4. I actually splurged on 6 pieces of chocolate at Dallman’s (pre-Valentine’s). Ouch. $3 a piece. But the chocolate was really high end as were the fillings and the flavor combinations.

    I just wouldn’t do it again though.

    This was our first time at that particular mall. Del Mar is not really our hangout. We were only there for the John Lennon art exhibit earlier in Feb.

    1. Hi CC

      Oh wow – 6 pieces at Dallman’s?! I’m trying to find it on your blog now. How were the chocolates?

      It’s a fun mall if you’re in area and it’s a cool place to window shop in my opinion :)

      Hope you have a great week CC -

  5. I always have water when we go out. I think it’s a waste of money to get soda or something (unless I really want iced tea and they brew it themselves) when I could spend more money on FOOD. Water is good for you and tastes good to me so I’m usually okay with just water. The only time I have been to Burger Lounge was when I had a sample mini burger during the Taste of Hillcrest – it was pretty good and I keep meaning to go back but just haven’t managed it yet.

    Ohhh, you and the cheeses, haha! I can understand it though, blue cheese is pretty strong and kind of tangy. I only like some of them, but I absolutely love it with honeycomb and crackers or bread… mmmm. I also love them with pairs for the sweet/salty thing. I’m sure what I just wrote is making you cringe all over! Don’t worry, that just means more blue cheese for ME!

    It sounds like you had a lovely, on budget va-noon-cation. :D

    1. Hi Mary,

      I love how we’re both so cheap to spend money on soda. How much water do you drink a day? I try to chug like 2.5L a day. Do you have a certain brand of water you like?

      Mini burgers are the best. I’m not sure why I like them so much (I think anything miniature makes me feel powerful like a Giant or something). I wish all sliders could be re labeled as mini burgers. Let us know if you revisit Burger Lounge.

      Yes – your cheese paragraph made me cringe. You lost me at TANGY. Yuck. Like sour cheese or something. Blech. Seriously, reading tangy cheese and Ben’s comment about the kid and the chocolate fountain is making my tummy hurt so bad right now…

      It was a really nice va-noon-cation for me. I’m quite proud I didn’t exceed the $25 :)

      Hope you and Jake are enjoying this week. I need to borrow S one day b/c there are a few recipes I wanna try out.

      1. Rent-a-Teenager services are still available :P heehee I like Fiji water but heck if I could afford to drink that every day. I just buy whatever’s on sale by the case and keep it in my car and at home I’m fine drinking tap water. Gasp, I know! You know what cheese I don’t like – COTTAGE CHEESE. If you like that, you can keep all of that to yourself forever and ever because it’s one of the grossest things I’ve ever had. :D

        1. BAHAHAHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! Rent-a-Teenager!! Dude. Patent that yo. You can make a bajillion bucks. But I don’t think you’ll find too many cool teenagers like S.

          You drink…what?? Tap…tap water?! NOOO!!!! I like Fiji’s packaging but not sure why they charge an arm and leg for their water.

          Cottage cheese (although still gross) is 1000xs better than bleu cheese. You can dump a ton of honey on cottage cheese and it won’t taste like cottage cheese anymore (where as bleu cheese still tastes like sweaty feet). I guess you’re scared of the texture of cottage cheese? I can’t even describe how and what it tastes like (I never eat it so I can barely remember). But dang, it’s one of your ‘grossest’ things you’ve ever eaten? Now I’m totally curious to take another gander at it.

  6. Looks like a fun afternoon! I did not even know there was a back side to that plaza with all those stores! Was that always there!? I only went to one restaurant on that side, Paradise Grille, which is no longer open. Hmm, I like burger lounge and had no idea there was a location closer to me than downtown’s location. I am also interested in visiting that cheese place after seeing your samples. There’s a cheese festival in the fall that is run by the same group that did the chocolate festival I attended, although you might prefer chocolate more?

    1. Hi Lynn

      It was a totally fun afternoon. The backside of that mall has always been there – they’ve just remodeled it extensively. I think the Promenade is a fun place to wander if you’re in the area. I went to Paradise Grille too! We had a groupon deal for their burgers (wasn’t very good). Sea & Smoke now resides in that spot. You might like their outdoor patio area – it’s pretty nice. I hope you visit Venissimo – maybe I was lucky on both my visits but I had almost too much fun when I was there. Don’t forget that the Whole Foods next door also carries cheeses so that’s another place to visit as well.

      I wish I had gone to that Chocolate Festival :( Yeah the cheese festival isn’t really my thing as I probably wouldn’t sample as many items. But thank you for letting me know about both festivals!

      Happy Wed Lynn!

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