Food and Drink


I love tacos. For anyone who follows me on the gram, this isn’t news. I seriously have a taco problem.

family Food and Drink San Diego Living

Watching our garden grow

January 10th, 2010

March 5th, 2010

March 29th, 2010

April 10th, 2010

You don’t notice the growth day-by-day. But when you look at it like this, it’s plain to see!

Food and Drink hmm... thoughts

Christians are Bad Tippers

Photo by garryknight via Flickr
Photo by garryknight via Flickr

The other day I was reading Steve Dublanica’s blog, Waiter Rant, in which he had a post entitled “Who are the worst tippers? Essentially, Steve was querying his reading audience… people who make most of their money from tips… who are the worst tippers.

And the comments were revealing.

There seem to be two kinds of bad tippers in the United States.

  1. People from countries where they don’t tip.
  2. The after church crowd.

But the worst? Sunday Church goers who sit for hours and hours and leave 3 bucks on a $40 bill.

What does that say about believers that we think so little of the people who serve us that we, as a people group, are known as cheap?

‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matthew 25:45

Let’s review. Here’s a link to some tipping ettiquette. This is what is expected, to not do at least this is rude.

If you are going to go to lunch after church and hang out for an extended period of time, it is also customary to double tip on your table since the server is actually losing another table because you’ve stayed so long.

Let’s presume that we, as a people group, are doing this because we just don’t know any better. But now that you know that “we” are known as bad tippers, I’d hope “we” adjust our behavior accordingly. I’d hate to presume that we really are cheap jerks!

family Food and Drink San Diego Living

Little Italy Farmers Market


Yesterday, the family spent some time down in Little Italy at their Mercato. It was super fun for mom and dad– the kids just kind of put up with it and were placatted by free samples. (Paul’s love language is food.)

Here’s an exceprt from Kristen’s review over at Beyond the Zoo:

Not just a food market, the Mercato offers something for everyone. I was initially side-tracked by a display of locally made jewelry. With a little help from my family I refocused and let my nose guide me to the heart of the market, the food. Never able to turn a blind eye to food, our kids loosened up when offered samples of juicy softball-sized peaches. It should be noted that the Little Italy Mercato is a great location for selecting locally caught seafood, as well. One unusual sample my husband could not resist was live sea urchin. He’s still alive after trying this spiny wonder! He said it was tasty with the texture of an overripe peach with a hint of brine flavor.

read the rest

Food and Drink hmm... thoughts San Diego Living

Dinner with the Bailey’s

Kristen and I are having one of those fun weeks that is also really busy. Other than Dave, we’ve not had many visitors since our moving to San Diego. That has been both good and bad. Good in that we’ve been forced to find new friends… and we’ve been doing that. Bad in that we miss so many of our friends.

Yesterday we had a chance to catch up with Bill and Shannon Bailey. Back in fall 2007, Kristen and I had the chance to spend a week on their boat, the Pacific Catalyst. It was a great week of fun and relaxation for us as we explored the San Juan Islands. The San Juan’s are a group of islands that create the border between Canada and the United States in northern Washington. During summers they lead adventure cruises in Alaska but in the spring and fall they like to lead trips near their home in Friday Harbor. We shared hilarious memories, including Shannon’s attempt to get me into a sea kayak. I fit, barely. As Bill described, my belly formed a perfect seal which didn’t need the kayaks skirt to keep out water. And I’m pretty sure you could hear a suction “pop” when I got out a couple hours later.

Bill and Shannon are some of the most hospitible people I’ve ever met. You know someone has the gift of hospitality when they make you feel completely comfortable in their space without effort. Within an hour on their boat you feel at home.

We felt at home in their company about 8 seconds after they came to the YS offices yesterday. We tooled around the offices (They’ve been youth workers forever and have known YS and the conventions for about two forevers.) then we headed out for an early dinner at Casa de Pico in La Mesa. It was fun to re-connect with them and linger over dinner, not wanting it to end. We caught up on life, ministry, YMX, and shared some stories. We even connected their lives to the life of a staff member at our church. (I love that small world feeling in the Christian world!) It was one of those nights that Kristen and I really needed.

We came home feeling very normal when we’ve not felt normal in a while. There are times when we feel like we’ve been in San Diego for a while and everything seems routine and as if we fit in. But the last few weeks we’ve felt very much like foreigners on a vacation that lasted too long. Tough to explain that emotion. But if you’ve ever moved and had to start over in life… I think you’ll understand. San Diego seems like home at the end of a long trip when we come home. But we have a long way to go until we can comfortbly declare “we’re from San Diego.

Perhaps that what was so odd living in Romeo? We felt like we were “from Romeo” almost immediately and maintained that small town pride as long as we lived there.

At the end of our time with Bill and Shannon we said our goodbyes and made plans to meet up again this fall in Washington. I hope we get to spend more time with them on the Catalyst and I hope we get to see orcas this time!

Food and Drink Funny Stuff Video Clip

Krispy Cream Eggs and Cheeseburger?

I felt a little dirty watching this. This wasn’t the least bit appealing to me. In fact, I am now convinced that these women had just finished smoking a bowl before saying “action.”

Food and Drink

Adam’s Rules for Sushi

Last night I learned a big sushi lesson. Actually, three good sushi lessons.

Lesson #1 Any dude from Indiana shouldn’t make a sushi run at 8 PM. He is hereby required to take someone who knows what the heck they are doing.

Lesson #2 Eight orders for two people means you’ll have so much left over that not even the dog will be able to eat it all. From now on, 1 fish order and 1 roll order is plenty per person.

Lesson #3 Be adventurous in moderation. I ordered cajon seared tuna… completely awesome coice. But I also order a more traditional raw tuna choice. It was good, but I had wish I had done something else in the “seared” category.

p.s. Yes, for those Michigan folks… Kristen and I really are getting Californiaized, aren’t we?

Culture Customer Service Food and Drink

Picasso Tapas in Hillcrest

Last night Kristen and I discovered a fun little place in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego called Picasso Tapas. Walking around the neighborhood we settled there purely because it was busy when nothing else was. (Little travelers tip right there.) After wiggling our way past the door we found a nice seat and settled in to enjoy this cozy hole in the wall.

If you’ve never done tapas you need to know this is a place to skip the entrees… tapas is all about ordering several “little plate” appetizers. The owner suggested we get 2 each and share, we were hungry and so we ordered 5. Also, tapas places typically have a European approach to a meal. So if you want something fast and have high expectations for minute attention to detail you’ll be disappointed. Since Kristen and I came with the idea that we’d be there a while so relaxed and enjoyed their famous sangria. Originally, we were going to grab a bite to eat then head to a movie but we ended up staying so long that dinner was plenty for one night.

A couple of the things we ordered were good. Tasty but not special. But two items really stuck out and are worth the hassle of parking down on 4th & University. First, the turkey meat balls were about the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Full of flavor and tender, not dry, we actually had to cut the 5th one in half and contemplated another order. Second, the almond shrimp was stellar. I’ve had my fair share of shrimp in my life and I’ve never bit into a shrimp to taste almond. It was a great flavor and this order came with an abundance of very large shrimp. Both items were recommendations and I kind of wish we had just asked for more instead of taking chances on some of their other 37 tapas to chose from. One negative, like was mentioned in a few reviews elsewhere, we never got all of our 5th dish. I’d tell you about the mushroom tapas but it never arrived. That didn’t disuade us though as we just ordered a dessert, flan, and were quite pleased.

The service was quaint and added to the cozy factor. I think midway through our meal we graduated from the owner, a man from southern Spain, to a “real server.” I can’t lie in saying that I preferred the owner talking about his wife (the chef from northern Spain) better than a boring server. All-in-all though the service was very typical of something I expect on the Continent.

The price was right. We ordered a lot and I was stunned that the bill was so little. If you arrive before 7 PM there are some great deals to be had from the $5 menu. I actually suggest coming early as this small place fills up with locals and gets louder as the evening progresses. Also, if you have a party larger than 4 it may be hard to get a table.

Overall, I highly recommend this place. No website and none needed. Check out some other reviews on Google and you’ll get the idea. Locals love it and critics don’t. My kind of place.

Food and Drink

Fish & Chips are Evil… apparently

SharkfoodApparently the food I ate at the chippy last week wasn’t what I thought it was. Turns out it was shark meat! Ooops. Darn good shark meat though.

Since "spiny dogfish shark" is not the most appetizing name, in
recent years fishmongers have given it other names in hopes of
appealing to consumers. In France it is sold as small salmon. Belgians
know it as sea eel. Germans smoke the meat and call it Schillerlocken.

It is perhaps best known in English-speaking countries, particularly
the U.K., as rock salmon, one of the most common fish in "fish and
chips" shops.

"Since everything is fried, fish and chips can be almost anything," TRAFFIC program associate Jill Hepp told Discovery News.

Hepp said restaurant demand for "rock salmon" has devastated the
shark’s population off the coasts of Britain and France, where "the
spiny dogifsh is widely considered to be critically endangered."
Vendors now often look to the United States for catches. The sharks are
fished from around the mid-Atlantic states to the coast of

Food and Drink

Another good sign for LaShish

Lashish_2Yesterday we again went to LaShish. This time, we went to their Rochester location on University.

Just three observations.

  1. The food and service were great. We didn’t have a reservation for our group of 15… no problem. Our waiter was fantastic and didn’t miss a beat.
  2. The place was fairly full. Over the last few visits there, we’ve seen the place fill in more and more. I think most area Detroiters are getting over the accusations of connections to Hezzbolah. I’m going to support the place until their is a conviction and proof of something.
  3. The music was funny! We’re used to hearing a certain type of music at LaShish. But for whatever reason… they started rocking some R&B. It was just out of place. But a good giggle.