Tag Archives: restaurants

A Fun Day of Food and Family

Sorry I haven’t written much in a while. Life gets busy! Lately I have been sharing quick Instagram posts. It takes a fraction of time to post a quick picture there, and can be done “in the moment.” Yet instant is fleeting and soon forgotten. And days like this last Sunday are meant to be savored and remembered.

San Diego Food - 1

Ever since Papa Bird and I flew the coop to celebrate the first anniversary of the fun restaurant/night spot Kettner Exchange, we have had a gift card to their side business, Devil’s Dozen Donuts. The donut shop shutters up once they sell out and every time I’ve been by we were too late to get any. I try to feed the kids a balanced breakfast, aka not pure, refined sugar. But I got the tip that on the weekend they make a secret menu item: a breakfast sandwich with eggs and bacon on an unglazed donut. It sounded healthier, right?

Devil's Dozen Donuts

We also selected a salted caramel and a Nutella hazelnut “sweet treat.” My plan was for us all to share everything. But Littlest Bird (age 2.5) said, “No, I don’t want to share! I want the whole thing!” Little Bird (age 4.5) said, “It’s too pretty to eat.”

Devil's Dozen Donuts

If you go, you can park for free in the Kettner Exchange valet spots. Don’t miss the view from the second story balcony. (I guess I didn’t take a picture, but we enjoyed the Jacarandas, planes, and boats.)

Next the girls and I rolled over to our favorite place to shop, Specialty Produce. The last time we were there, Littlest Bird thought it was hilarious to run away from me. Keeping kids close is a big rule there as it is a busy industrial warehouse, with forklifts, carts, and lots of people. She even ran past an “employee only” sign into the truck loading area. So this time I asked her if she would like to “go uppies.” We haven’t worn Miss Independent in any wraps or the Ergo in ages, but she thought it was a blast to go for a ride. Problem solved!

Specialty Produce - San Diego

Along with groceries for the week, we picked up a baker’s dozen of local corn from the Farmers’ Market cooler. We were headed to a potluck that night. Alright, I didn’t think I’d be sharing a recipe today, but here is one:

  • Soak corn in the husk in water for 10-30 minutes.
  • Grill for 20 minutes or so at 375*-400*.

Simple food, peak of season… the best way to eat.

soaking fresh corn for the grill

We also brought summer berries and stone fruit (all from local farms and found in the Farmers’ Market cooler) to share with our friends. Clockwise from the top in the picture below, Carmen Miranda nectarines, blackberries, Saturn peaches, Persian mulberries, and elderberries. The elderberries were quite tart. I later looked them up in the Specialty Produce App and learned elderberries are meant to be cooked. Technically they are considered poisonous raw (oops) but the toxicity level is pretty low.

summer berries and stone fruit from Specialty Produce

All of the pictures in this post were taken with an iPhone, with the exception of the following. I received a new camera for my birthday and have been trying it out. This is a preview for an upcoming post for a nectarine pie. Please hold me to it so I finish the new recipe before summer is over!

Carmen Miranda nectarines

And if that weren’t enough yumminess for one day, we sampled nearly half the menu at the soft opening of a new restaurant. Urban Plates is a smallish chain with nine locations throughout California. They focus on “from scratch” salads, braises, pastries and more, and highlight quality organic and natural ingredients. If you have been reading my posts, you know that’s how we like to cook and eat! See the current menu here.

Urban Plates La Jolla

From left to right: the urban kid plate with grilled free range chicken, roasted Brussels sprouts with turkey bacon, and chargrilled focaccia, served with organic apple juice. Seasonal replenisher (a watermelon and mint agua fresca.) The grilled steak salad with pineapple-mango salsa, jicama, mint, coconut roasted cashews, and a mild jalapeno lime dressing. Corn and poblano soup. Moroccan chicken braise (free range chicken slow cooked with squash, onions, preserved lemon, olives, turmeric, paprika, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, parsley, cilantro) with brown rice. Seasonal green drink. And finished with a chocolate dipped macaroon and a slice of famous mango tart. It was all delicious!

Urban Plates Mango Tart

Ah the famous mango tart! This dessert is what started it all… My co-worker was raving about the tart one night and then brought one in for us to share. The fresh mango is perfectly ripe and painstakingly shaped into flower petals. The cookie crust is crisp and not too sweet and the rum cream filling subtle. Perfection! My dad would’ve loved this dessert. I snapped the above pic and posted it on Instagram. I then started following @urbanplates and learned they are in the process of opening a new restaurant location in San Diego. Their community manager invited us to the soft opening. That’s the best of social media, right there! I almost forgot to add, all of the money collected at the opening went to St. Vincent de Paul’s. I used to work at the shelter for four years and was happy to have our money go towards the homeless and hungry after such feasting.

Melissa D'Arabian at Urban Plates La Jolla

As we enjoyed our lunch, I noticed that the woman next to us, eating with her daughters, looked awfully familiar. Turns out it was cooking show host Melissa D’Arabian. She comes across on TV as genuine and friendly, and she is even nicer in person. We met three of her four daughters, and learned her daughter Charlotte loves cooking with her. Little Bird, who has been cooking since before she could walk. See this post of her first recipe here. For more cuteness, see this short video of Little Bird at age 3. She also LOVES watching other kids cooking. We have already seen some of Charlotte’s videos, like this one.

Urban Plates La Jolla

We will be back to Urban Plates, and I will order the refreshing steak salad again. As for last Sunday, our feasting did not stop there. We ate very well at our potluck with good friends. I left my phone/camera in the backpack and enjoyed the company. You’ll have to take my word that the food was all delicious, homemade with love and authentic. Arroz con pollo from a Cuban, homemade tabouli, Caprese, Asian grilled drumsticks, cornbread and potato salad, various tequilas, wine, cheese, cake….  Never stop, my friends! Keep eating and enjoying life.

Please enjoy, too!

Devil’s Dozen Donut Shop

2001 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
619-780-0914
www.devils-dozen.com

Urban Plates La Jolla

(Opened yesterday)

8707 Villa La Jolla Dr
San Diego, CA 92037
858-263-0818
urbanplates.com/la-jolla/

Specialty Produce

1929 Hancock St., Suite 150
San Diego, CA 92110
800-221-9730
www.specialtyproduce.com

Barmel

If you have been following the #BurdFamilyRoadTrip on Instagram, then you might have seen we recently went up to the Monterey Peninsula. With Nana taking very good care of the Little Birds, we escaped for a date night into my hometown of Carmel. It happened to be the busiest weekend of the year up there, as the Concours de Elegance seems to have grown into “Monterey Car Week,” and we couldn’t get a dinner reservation until 8:45 pm. So we decided to get a drink and bite beforehand. Since I’m a longtime fan of Mundaka, trying out the new Barmel next door was an easy choice.

Barmel cocktail and tacos

Mundaka owner, Gabe Georis, took over the old dive next door about a year ago, and completely redesigned the space — which is very approachable, comfortable, timeless yet contemporary. The “bar” is vintage and there is a small stage for live music. That night a bluegrass trio played. The Barmel Facebook page is the best place to see the line up. The Georis family does great restaurants. They also know music. Papa Bird can be hard to please, so it was super satisfying to see him relax and enjoy the food, drink, show and feel.

barmel menubarmel menu

Since I couldn’t find a menu online, I’m sharing it here, even though they aren’t the best quality photos, and the menu probably changes frequently. Chef Brandon Miller of Mundaka does the food here, as well, and I suspect they share a kitchen. We tried all four of the street tacos. And then ordered more. Living in San Diego gives us a taco-critiquing license and they were tasty, as was my “Country #2” cocktail (Bourbon, Absinthe Rinse, Lemon, Ginger.) We got to chat with the chef, a total character, as he took a break to hear the music and sip a Calimocho. I also slipped away for a few minutes to shop for cute clothes for me and the girls in the new boutique, Kai Bella, in the same courtyard. Super cute stuff.

And our dinner reservation? The moment we sat down at the other restaurant, Papa Bird missed the atmosphere and wished we had stayed at Barmel. The other place has a great reputation as “farm to table.” But their waiter had pushed us to order a Caprese that had underripe tomatoes. Underripe tomatoes. Even had they been ripe, it would have been a boring plate, and I was wishing we had ordered the mozzarella stack at Barmel with house made cheese.

Maybe next time. I’m sure we will be back!

Barmel Info

  • San Carlos St, Between 7th and Ocean Ave Carmel, CA 93921 (That’s as close as an address you will get for Carmel — it’s too quaint for street numbers.)
  • No website but here’s the Facebook link.
  • Hours: 2:30 pm – 12:00 am, Daily
  • Live music: Thurs-Sat 7-9pm, DJ’s Fri/Sat 9-midnight.
  • Happy Hour: 4:30-6:30pm.
  • (831) 626-3400
  • Kids are okay! Just have to be 21+ to sit at the bar.
  • No reservation at Mundaka? Have a drink at Barmel, and they will get you when a table is free.

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