Thursday, March 06, 2008

Mexico Trip #1- San Diego

As soon as I heard the radio station I've listened to every day since it went on the air a few years ago, Air America, was having a cruise to Mexico. I signed up. Although I had no interest in cruises (my parents once cruised the Caribbean, to no enjoyment whatsoever) or that part of Mexico, the opportunity to plug The Firesign Theatre to a bunch of people who could put them on the air for several million listeners was not to be passed up. Maybe I'd get some good food too.
The ship, the Holland America ms Oosterdam, had to boarded by Saturday at 1:00. It was difficult to get a flight to San Diego from Vancouver early enough to gauarantee I'd board on time so I went the previous day. I booked a motel near Old Town, which proved a perfect introduction to Mexico. Cute old builldings, touristy trinkets (I bought a much needed hat) and some fabulous Red Pepper Soup at O'Hungrys fortified me against the surprisingly chilly weather. I didn't know it ever got chilly in San Diego, just chilis.

Wandering around old town, full and happy from the amazing soup, some lovely flowers around a fountain that seemed lifted out of The Alhambra in Spain demanded I take their picture.

I searched the internet for the best restaurant for fine dining in San Diego and was directed to Bertrand at Mr. A's. The lobster strudel was a signature dish and sounded fantastic, on paper.
I’ve been looking forward to eating this Maine Lobster Strudel since I saw it on the website. As I begin eating it, it’s not nearly as good as I was expecting. The cognac lobster sauce is rather abrasive. I scrape the lobster out of the filo, but it doesn’t improve. The wine is an excellent pair, but the strudel isn’t really edible.
The Pan Seared Dover Sole Goujonnette, sauce Vierge, vegetables Provencale & Pommes Nouvelles is served with a fine Chablis that is supposed to cut the acidity of the Mediterranean ingredients. The server goes on and on about the Dover Sole, how it’s cooked differently than the usual way (what that would be isn’t explained). Well, I’m here for this great chef. His strudel sure didn’t impress me, now let’s try his fish. I get a great sommelier and a great view, do I need great food too? It’s more than I can eat, unfortunately. I’d damaged my stomach’s capacity with the strudel and the fish is superb. Olives and cherry tomatoes invoke the Mediterranean without all that worrisome acid. I evade desert and stroll out onto the balcony to savour the view.


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