Don’t ask how I first learned there was a Rita’s on the west coast, in San Diego, no less. I end up finding a lot of random info on the Internet, usually just clicking one link to another. Most of the time, it’s just a random tidbit that sticks in my brain for weeks until it pops back up. So, when T and I were planning a Saturday fun-day (Sunday fun-day sounds better, but this one happened to be on Saturday) that would bring us up to Carlsbad, Rita’s popped back into my head and then I did some Googling to make sure I wasn’t crazy.
I have come out of blogging hibernation for YOU! So I could offer you a giveaway! I think that’s quite nice of me…
The Annual Taste of Downtown is coming up next week (Thursday, September 26, 2013) and it’s an event we’ve participated in a couple of times. There’s a lot of walking, a lot of tasting, and I think it’s a fun way to discover new restaurants or dishes. We’re always pleasantly surprised at least once when we stop at a restaurant we would normally pass up, only to find they have one of the tastiest samples of the night.
I LOVE the County Fair. I know people who have lived in San Diego for decades and have never been to the Fair and then they look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them we go every year. Sometimes more than once, depending on what’s going on and whether we get free tickets or not. We also have a checklist of things to see/eat that must be done:
- Visit the Collections exhibits
- Watch the pig races
- Eat grilled corn
- Walk to the infield at least once (gotta get some exercise in!)
- Eat mini donuts with a carton of milk
- Walk through the vendor buildings
- Eat deep-fried cheese curds (this is one of Travis’ requests)
- Visit the garden exhibits
- Eat at least one new deep-fried something
- Look at the cute goats
As someone who hates to wait longer than 15 minutes for a table when hungry, I am often over-aware of how long it takes to get through a meal. On a good day, we can get through dim sum in about half an hour, if there are only two of us and we don’t spend a lot of time talking. When I had an internship in Vegas, I remember my mom would come pick me up for lunch (it was pretty much dim sum all summer long) and we’d be office door to office door in under an hour. But, dim sum is pretty efficient. Travis and I can get through dinner in an hour, an hour and a half if there are multiple courses being brought out. Dinner with girlfriends can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, mostly because of all the catching up we have to do.
I tell you this because when I hear about a fancy lunch at Vivace at Aviara in Carslbad, a lunch where you could linger and graze and relax for hours on end, I was curious how long Travis and I could really stretch out a meal if we had the time.
Disclosure: Our meal was complimentary, but I was not compensated for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.
Do you remember the first time you went to a “grown up” restaurant? One that had white tablecloths and more than one fork on the table, extraneous glasses, and possibly servers who would pull out your chair at the table? The first one I can remember was actually in New Zealand: I was tagging along with my mom on one of her international trips (she used to work for United Airlines) and we were dining in the hotel restaurant. I know we ordered lamb and that everything was served on beautiful white porcelain plates. And that they were out of the chocolate mousse my mom loved so much, but then we found a dish in front of our hotel room door containing that very (and very delicious) mousse!
Even now, when I mostly call myself a grown up, I’m still excited/nervous when visiting a “fine dining” establishment. I know what all the forks and spoons are for and which water glass is mine, but when everything looks so perfect and the servers are so formal, it makes me wonder if I really belong in such a place.