San Diego

How San Diego Does Comfort Food

Nov 2nd 2010 10:50AM / by Nanette Wiser

Comfort food is no longer just about chicken soup. According to Flavor & The Menu magazine, we're lusting for blue-plate specials, fried chicken and hush puppies, sophisticated sausages and hot dogs, sentimental sweets, home-style cooking and handcrafted pub fare. San Diegans embrace this tradition, but with a twist. We love our mac 'n' cheese, but we want gourmet comfort food: duck mac 'n' cheese from 25 Forty Bistro in Old Town or Dussini Loft Bar's dish with lobster, shallots, brandy, Dijon and truffle oil (or their parmesan-crusted onion rings, served with sun-dried tomato aioli). Fickle gourmets, fulfill your Ozzie and Harriet yearnings now.

All American Grill: Wyoming buffalo meatloaf, bacon and corn mashed potato, and red pepper gravy wowed me at All American Grill, as did the bacon-wrapped "Big City Red" hot dog and Minnesota white bean chili with chicken and cheese.
7510 Hazard Center Drive, Suite 215, Mission Valley; 619-296-9600
Analog: I couldn't stop eating the Twinkie tiramisu, truffled grill cheese, prosciutto mac 'n' cheese, gourmet tater tots done nacho style with cheddar cheese and bacon-wrapped meatloaf at Analog. 801 5th Ave., Downtown; 619-233-1183
Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant: The food at this bar and restaurant is quirky and satisfying, especially the buttermilk fried chicken with white cheddar biscuits and pan gravy, deviled farmers market eggs with lemon potato chips, and dark beer battered ling cod fish and chips.
2202 4th Ave.; 619-231-0222
Quality Social: At Quality Social, go for the crisp pork belly BLT with heirloom tomatoes and arugula, house-smoked hot dog with homemade condiments, deviled farm eggs, pork rinds with chili pepper, homemade pretzels with cheese sauce and Stilton blue mac 'n' cheese.
789 6th Ave., Downtown; 619-501-7675
R Gang Eatery: Don't miss the smoked Gouda or sopressata mac 'n' cheese, duck-fat fried tater tots (or the Philly tots stuffed with grilled steak and onions) and banana s'mores at R Gang Eatery.
3683 5th Ave., Hillcrest; 619-677-2845
Terra Restaurant: At Terra Restaurant, I can't get enough of chef Jeff Rossman's garlic Asiago french fries with chipotle aioli, the Maine lobster BLT and bacon jalapeño cheese tater tots.
1270 Cleveland Ave., Hillcrest; 619-293-7088
West Coast Tavern: The mac 'n' cheese changes with the chef's whim at West Coast Tavern, and the chicken and bacon waffle is to live for.
2895 University Ave., North Park; 619-295-1688

Favorite Hotels
The Pearl Hotel
Hotel del Coronado
1906 Lodge on Coronado
The Cosmopolitan Hotel
Andaz San Diego
Paradies Point Spa & Resort
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Hilton San Diego Bayfront
The Se San Diego
Porto Vista Hotel & Suites
The Grand Del Mar
Temecula Creek Inn

Everywhere Else
Anna Maria Beach Cottages
Epic Hotel Miami
Los Cabos Resort
Crystal River, Florida
Sanibel Beach Resort, Florida
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