Casa de Reyes is one of my favorite stops in San Diego. It is part of Fiesta de Reyes, a dining and shopping experience located in the heart of Old Town (the birthplace of San Diego). The original Mexican pueblo was established in 1821. There is live music and beautiful art in the plaza. Casa de Reyes is an outdoor restaurant that serves up traditional Mexican fare with flare. I ordered the Dos Beef Tacos platter and a Reyna’s sangria. It was delicious and filled me up for the evening.
Switch Restaurant & Wine Bar is a contemporary lunch and dinner restaurant located in the heart of downtown Phoenix just off the light rail path. With its beautiful spacious modern decor, Switch is a nice relaxing place to eat or stop in for a drink. They also have a great patio area with some unique artwork. Their menu is influenced by American and European cuisine and they use fresh seasonal products that allow them to ‘switch’ up their menu from time to time. Switch is known for their popular ‘Ombre speciality drink (a spicy jalapeño pineapple vodka cocktail) that is very popular with regulars. I had the Switch House Burger (9 oz of angus beef with goat cheese, crispy onions and Canadian bacon) and found it fresh and delicious along with a great tasting Sangria. The staff was very friendly and I look forward to stopping in again sometime.
Pura Vida (“Pure Life”) – that’s the slogan of this RestoBar in Phoeniz. Ticoz Resto-Bar is a Latin cuisine restaurant/lounge. I really enjoyed the intimate relaxed atmosphere feel to it as I walked in. The food is influenced by the flavors of both South & Central America and Mexico. I started off with one of their amazing sangrias. I got Passion Fruit which consisted of red cabernet with fruit juice and various fruits. I got to admit that it was one pretty good sangria. The tortilla soup was a good choice for an appetizer. For my entrée, I got the Blue Corn Enchiladas. Basically it is two blue corn tortillas loaded with chicken, green chile, various cheeses, sour cream, green chile sauce, rice and grilled zucchini. It was a fabulous dish full of flavors, not too spicy or too bland. Ticoz rates high on my list and a great place to take a date.
Located in the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, Cha Cha Cha is a popular spot for tapas and sangrias. Their spicy food has a Caribbean, Cajun and Spanish influence. I grabbed lunch here with my good friend Candace that I have known for years. I love having a friend in San Francisco I can stay with to experience the culture here. Her and I always have a blast together and this was our first stop of a full packed day. We got the jerk chicken, plantains and Cajun shrimp along with some amazing sangrias.
This family restaurant started in the 80’s. They pump in some great Latin tunes (Cha Cha Cha) and have some fun funky decor that gives this place a vibrant atmosphere. The jerk chicken (chicken marinated in habanero peppers, raisins, garlic & tomatoes) was nice and tender and their infamous sangria hit the spot. My favorite was the Cajun shrimp. The shrimps are sautéed in a spicy cream sauce and served in a mini cast iron skillet. I got hooked on plantains when I visited Belize a few years ago and the plantains here are just as wonderful. I recommend anyone visiting San Francisco to make a stop here for some authentic flavors and a little taste of culture.
Here is a video of FoodTube.net’s visit to Cha Cha Cha
Redemption. Christin and I went through a tough breakup and God restored us. We were back together and we needed a little time away to reconnect. We took a trip to northern Arizona and toured some of the wineries in Oak Creek. We then stayed in Sedona and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the red mountains. We ate at Taos Cantina and then headed north to the Grand Canyon. We camped on the outskirts and enjoyed a quiet evening to ourselves under the stars. Burgers, corn on the cob and some sangria was on the menu for dinner. We then headed into the park and gazed at the magnificent size of the Grand Canyon. What an amazing trip it was!!