Mussels – size does matter

If you’ve been anywhere near me at a restaurant with mussels on the menu, you’re probably tired of me saying, “Hmm… but they’re probably not as good as the ones we had in Scotland.”  And I’m really sorry, but until recently it’s been very, very true.  The mussels I had in Scotland were small and tender, tasty and not rubbery.  Usually, when you order mussels, you get big ones that seem too large for a single bite and sometimes they just taste… off, somehow.  So, it makes me incredibly happy to tell you about two places where I had equally delicious mussels, right here in San Diego.

Halloween night, those of us in town ventured out for dinner and a Hillcrest viewing adventure.  We had dinner at Urban Solace, a place that can do no wrong when it comes to tasty plates of food.  Incidentally, their pork belly will turn you into an addict.  I decided to take a chance on their mussels.  I mean, they do everything else well, surely they wouldn’t disappoint me here, right?  The mussels were so perfect, I honestly can’t remember a single other dish on the table, aside from the bite of pork belly I got to taste.  The mussels were sweet and soft (but not mushy) and tender and delicious.  I soaked up the broth with bread and was honestly sad when all the little shells were empty.  I believe the mussels came from that farm in Carlsbad, so you can bet I’m taking note any time I see them on a menu!

Not too long after that, my mom and aunt came to visit and my aunt left me (well, us) some money to go to dinner (thank you, Aunty!!)  I asked T where he would like to go, but apparently I was really asking him to ask me where I wanted to go since I kept declining his suggestions.  We ended up at Ritual Tavern, which was a win-win due to the beer (T) and good food (me).  Bolstered by my successful mussel ordering at Urban Solace, I decided to try the mussels at Ritual.  They must get their mussles from the same heavenly supplier because they were also delicious!  Yum yum yum.  Yum.

Oh, I think we also had Shepherd’s Pie and a pork chop – all of which were tasty and plentiful – and then had no room left for dessert.  But, the bottom line is that there are reliable places for mussels in San Diego!  Yay!  Of course, I’m probably the last person to find this out since everyone else has probably been enjoying mussels while I was being wary.

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2 responses to “Mussels – size does matter

  1. I’m headed to urban solace on thursday so I’ll have to give them a try. I think my favourite mussels were in Edinborough too, we had them at the mussel house, who has their own farm. Still dream about them!!

    • You get a fairly good sized dish of mussels, even though it’s listed as a starter. If you’re really hungry, though, I’d add a side of veggie or maybe a small salad. Or a side of duckaroni!

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