What do they have in common? They both NEVER go out of style!
With all the world's technology moving at a lightning pace, never more so evident than here in San Diego. A great burger some good service and a classic handmade tortilla still reign as king of food service for me.
Let me tell you first about the Cheesecake Factory in Fashion Valley. This was "hands down " some of the best restaurant service I have received in a long long time. So good in fact that my usually picky Mother, wanted to go back for dinner. We tried but it was still just too busy at 9:20pm.... hmmmm it's no wonder!!
As we arrived the door was opened for us by a host, this place was busy, however when properly staffed he was able to bring us directly to a table. When I inquired as to the restroom location. There was no "pointing" or mumbled directions, he simply showed me the way. This is a big place.
The waitress "Carrie"....was awesome, as are most "Cary's & Karey's & Carrie's" :) she came right away and brought us our drinks quickly. Since my extended bout with sobriety, ice tea has become my new drink of excess, so imagine how stoked I was to be offered 3 types of ice tea, I went with the "tropical" it was refreshing and delicious! And my large glass, extra lemons and as I call it the "yellow sugar" never went empty. Steph and mom both got salads which were yummy and generously portioned.
I went with the "Classic Burger" at $15.95 it was worth every penny! The sesame and Brioche Bun was fresh yet firm and properly toasted. The handmade patty was cooked perfectly! Medium well, as a burger should be. A hand cut thick slice of char broiled onion on top of melted cheddar. It also came with a House made garlic and herb mayo. Very good!
Since we needed to get back to SDSU for a parent meeting, Carrie boxed up the ladies' salads (my burger was totaled) with forks and knives and napkins! Dropped a check and ran my Amex. We were on our way. One of the professional and attractive hostesses,went out of her way, to thank my Mom on her on our way out! Just an awesome experience from the moment we arrived to the moment we left.
I also had an opportunity to visit one of San Diego's Classics. The Old Town Mexican Cafe. First let me tell you that "Old Town" is full of choices, but this place still has a line out the door.
The tortillas are handmade on a red brick comal it looks like it's been there since the beginning of time. You can watch them being made from a window on the curbside.
Once again, even though very busy our wait for a table was short and once seated we were greeted promptly and our drinks arrived quickly....Yes, it was tea. I ordered the battered fish taco on a handmade corn tortilla.
It came with a white sauce and finely shredded white cabbage. A garnish of chopped tomato. Served on a handmade corn tortilla with a few slices of lime, it looked great. However upon eating it became apparent that the battered fish spend a little bit too much time in the hot oil Jacuzzi. We did enjoy our shared Carnitas, the house specialty, with hand made tortillas. The guacamole was made with fresh California Haas avocados and was excellent, this made Steph very happy.
Neither one of these places relies on iPad technology or gimmicks, to place them ahead of the pack. Good "Olde Fashioned" great service, hand made food and sticking to the basic philosophies of food service is what delivers a memorable experience.
Cary Peterson Chef/Owner Kohala Burger & Taco, Kohala Coast Catering