Monday, November 05, 2007

San Diego Neuroscience Convention: Where to Eat

As I enjoyed dinner with my friends who are in town for the Neuroscience convention, I thought I would do what I did for comic con and recommend some places to eat that are in close walking distance from the Convention Center and the area hotels. I'm kinda just going off the top of my head, but I'll do my best with the little time I have.

The Local- This is where we and a group of us ate last night. As the name indicates, they prefer to stay low on the radar as far as tourists go, and with a small kitchen and only one cook, service isn't always fast. But, if you're looking for reasonably priced drinks and food, The Local is your spot. I recommend the Steak Stuffer- a stuffed sandwich with chunks of steak, grilled onions and mushrooms and oozing with cheese, the pesto cheese tortellini (comes with grilled chicken), or stick with the burgers. You'll spend a whole lot less than the Yard House next door with a more relaxed attitude and better beers. (Just because Yard House has a lot of beers, doesn't make it superior. Think of how long some of those less popular kegs sit there and ask yourself if you really want stale beer.) The Local serves lunch, dinner, and has daily happy hour specials. The Local is located on 4th Avenue between Broadway and C.

Lucy's Taco Shop- Not necessarily the best Mexican food around, but if you want a "'berto's" style taco shop downtown on the cheap, say to order a breakfast burrito to nurse that hangover, Lucy's is reliable and cheap. Try the Machaca burrito for breakfast. Of all the taquerias downtown, I think Lucy's is the best. Because of the odd location, Lucy's closes at 3 pm. Lucy's is located on C St between First and Front.

Grab N Go Subs- Right next to Lucy's. Sub sandwiches for about $6. Try the Italian Village Special or the Grilled Cheese Feta. Tell Tito Rosey said hi, that I was laid off, and that I miss seeing him. Corner of C and First.

California Grinders- The best tuna sandwich in town, hands down. Order it on the croissant instead of the house roll (ciabatta). Their chicken salad sandwich kicks ass, too. If those don't work, be adventurous and try the Gilroy- a chicken breast with a slice of ham with a garlic bleu cheese spread that is scrumptious. Try a side of the potato salad. Just like mom's. California Grinders is located at 921 6th Avenue, next to the Hustler store. (they also close at 3pm)

Cafe Sevilla- Spanish tapas. One of the best bargain happy hours in town, with half price tapas. If you don't know what to order here's what I would get for two people: pan para dos, tortilla espanola, croquetas de camarones, albonidigas al jerez, and I don't think it's on the half price list, but the bocadillo platter is delicious. Wash it down with a few sangrias.

That's all I can get to right now. I'll update more when I get the chance, but one more mention to the House of Blues. I have my issues with the music venue, but that doesn't mean I don't love the happy hour there. From 4-7 M-F they serve half priced apps, $2 drafts, $3 wells, and $4 wine. On Mondays (that's tonight, fool!) it's ALL NIGHT HAPPY HOUR. Have a Stella and some catfish nuggets. Can't go wrong.

I haven't updated in a while, but I have an old food blog that has other downtown spots reviewed, like Richard Walker's Pancake House and more. Oh, and everyone was asking me about Sushi. Ra has a good happy hour but in general I feel it's overpriced. Sushi Deli, Too is inexpensive but in their case, I feel you get what you pay for, and I've never been impressed there. Instead, if you want some good fresh sushi for takeout, head to Beach City Market in Horton Plaza at the end by Norstrom and 24 hour fitness. Try the two hand rolls, and special order one spicy tuna and one eel. Too good for $8. If you want nice sushi for a sit down dinner, check out the Fish Market on Harbor Drive, just north of Seaport Village. From the Convention Center, just follow the sidewalk around the embarcadero and you'll run right into it.

OK, that's all for now. You neuroscientists go get your think on and I'll add some more to the list later. And if you're still in town through the weekend, come to the Ken Club on Thursday night. Catch the #11 bus from Downtown ("Skyline Hills Via SDSU") and get off when you see the "Kensington" sign hanging over the street, then catch a cab back downtown afterward. Cheap drinks, great music, and no cover. Can't go wrong.


Tom said...

Check out this map of "Cheap Eats near Neuroscience 2007":,-117.163889&spn=0.012638,0.019956&z=16&om=1

There are also some great Italian restaurants if you go up 5th St away from the SDCC.

Rosemary Bystrak said...

thanks, Tom, though I'd have to say of all those places listed, I would only recommend Ciro's or The Cheese Shop. The rest are still overpriced for what they are and if you're gonna eat, it might as well be good.

There are a lot of restaurants downtown, I just personally prefer not to be anywhere on 5th or 6th between about Harbor and E St. I think the area smells, you have to push through crowds and the food is (generally) overpriced.

Also, a better pizza place than Ciro's (in my opinion) is City Pizzeria. It's a hike, but right near House of Blues and the new Stout bar on 6th between B & C.

I did this list only to encourage conventioneers to go beyond those awful 3 blocks.