Archive for August, 2009
Preserving traditions, ideals, values, spirit, …food…these are natural elements in living a sustainable lifestyle. Take only what you need and use everything you take. They are also the practices of the farms we do business with. Work with nature, nourish the soil, nurture relationships, pay it forward, educate while learning. These are inherent guidelines that allow farmers decades and centuries of fertile land and financial stability. In this 21st century, the speed of light is often not fast enough. This last unofficial week of summer, let us preserve tradition, slow down and make those guidelines our own. Save a seed, preserve a watermelon, make a dough from scratch. Know that preservation is not a trend, rather a principle that has afforded us the luxuries that we luxuriate in but should also appreciate. The slow process of preservation is the anti-establishment and in fall fashion words: it is the new black.
The summer heat has finally made its way to San Diego which means the last thing any of us wants to do after a long day at work is spend hours in front of a stove preparing dinner. Lucky for us San Diego is chock full of scrumptious places that are more than happy to endure the heat in order to offer an array of delicious dining options to all of us hungry patrons seeking refuge from our hectic and hot days in the city. One such place that fits this bill to a tee is Urban Solace in North Park. Walking into Solace is just that, as you enter the southern style building you are greeted by a friendly staff and cozy yet cool ambiance with the scrumptious scent of fresh baked biscuits lingering in the air.
Whatever cool summer heat beating beverage you are in the mood for they are sure to have something to fit your fancy on their extensive drink menu. The plantation tea sounded fantastic (pineapple juice + tea) but I decided to go with their summer special, the white sangria. Mangos, peaches, oranges and Vioginer, so delicious!
To start off our meal we ordered the much raved about Sonoma goat cheese and butternut squash dip. The dip came served with crackers, baguette and veggies (a gluten free option for me!) but to be honest the dip was so scrumptious I would have been perfectly content eating the whole thing with a spoon. The warm autumny flavor of the squash melded perfectly with the richness of the cheese and left my taste buds pleased as can be!
For my main entrée I went with the Jidori chicken, which came served with a Yukon gold potato gratin and glazed carrots. Normally I am not much of a fan of chicken served on the bone but this chicken is the exception, so much so that I have been known to shamelessly pick the meat from the bones just so I can enjoy every last tasty bit. As a potato connoisseur I can safely say that the gratin is top notch, the perfect combination of creaminess with a palate pleasing crisp exterior, and as for those succulently sweet glazed carrots, oh swoon! If they served these as a side dish I would not hesitate to order them by the bowlful!
Of course after a dinner this delicious I had to have one of their desserts too. I decided on the salted caramel pot de crème with dark chocolate and cocoa nib crust, garnished with whipped cream and a sprig of mint.
Served in a cute little jar this little piece of heaven might just be the most delectable dessert I have ever tasted. The rich creamy caramel is enriched by bits of sea salt, add to that sweet chocolate, bitter cocoa nib, and smooth cream and you are left with one happy mouth.
As if the food at Urban Solace was not reason enough to hightail it down there right this instant, they always seem to have fantastic music being played there as well. The night we were there we were fortunate enough to have the pleasure of listening to the musical styling’s of a fantastic bluegrass band and an operatic duo whose voices were the most talented I have heard outside of an opera house.
Stepping out into the warm summer evening, still reveling in the deliciousness of the evening I noticed a sign out front of the restaurant…
I know where I will be going this Sunday!