Rubicon Deli

One morning while in PB on an errand (I wish I remember what kind of errand there would ever be to run in Pacific Beach of all places. The only thing that comes to mind is having to retrieve my forgotten credit card from a bar) as I was about to go home, the bf called me and told me he and his friends were coming down to Mission Beach to play volleyball and I should meet them there. It was quite early and there was not much open as everyone knows PB as a whole has to sleep off its collective hangover until it can rouse itself around 11 am and gear up for bottomless mimosas at Cabo Cantina or something to that effect. But I found one sandwich shop on Mission that looked pretty good, I had heard about it before and I stopped in and got a breakfast sandwich and an acai bowl. It was AWESOME. Like an unequivocally infinitely better version of Subway with crispy toasty bacon, real avocado, super fresh veggies and the most amazing giant-baby-sized loafs of soft bread (I am partial to the Dutch Crunch). And acai bowls. I cannot stress how much better than Subway this is. Note: I hate Subway. Sorry Subway.

 

Rubicon Deli

Rubicon Deli

 

Rubicon now has two locations the original in Mission Bay and the new one in Mission Hills. We go to the Mission Hills one as its much closer to us.

 

Rubicon Deli

Interior

Rubicon Deli

Exterior

 

They have a lot of options of their own signature sandwiches which are quite good. They even have one with tri tip! Personally I would get the Mozza Bella which has “Herbed Chicken Breast or Roasted Veggies, Fresh Mozzarella, a “Beautiful mix” of Roasted Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Asparagus, Kalamata Olives & Fresh Basil, Lemon Caper Mayo”. Seriously HOW much more awesome does that sound than that scary Subway sandwich with ‘lobster’ in it.

 

But ironically enough my standard order here is the Superfood salad! They have really good salads too kids. This is a pricey-ish ($11 for the full size, no meat) salad but its really tasty and really good for you, two circles on a Venn diagram that rarely seem to intersect at most delis. It is a bed of dark greens topped with cheesy kale chips (or at least they taste cheesy, they might be some other vegan cheese doppelganger) generously topped with avocado, walnuts, blueberries, baby shiitake mushrooms, hemp seed, and a goddess dressing made with omega-3 rich flax oil. So many good things and at the same time lots of texture (crunchy kale chips and walnuts), sweet bites (bluhberreez), creamy (avo) and who doesn’t like mushrooms. Plus the salad is generously dressed but its fiiiine because its flax oil.

 

Rubicon Deli

Superfood Salad

Rubicon Deli

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Rubicon Deli

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Oh and if you add chicken to the salad you get A LOT of chicken.

 

The bf actually used to hate this place, not sure why. That is until he found his perfect designer sandwich creation child: Turkey, Bacon, Pepperjack, Lettuce, Red Onions and Spicy Mayo on Jalapeño Cheddar Bread. What exactly prevents you from assembling this at home you might ask. Well, how often do you have hot, perfectly cooked crisp bacon and super fluffy-crunchy-fresh loaves of bread on hand? Probably not at 7 am when you are bleary eyed and staring into your fridge trying to mentally create something you can stuff into a tupperware and take into the office that will be mildly edible/desirable by noon. What I am trying to say is, bacon and good bread are pretty important for a great sandwich and you don’t always have those on hand. This is why Rubicon is here. Oh and perfectly ripe avocados! Those things seem to take 4 days to get ripe and then are good for 12 hours until all that nice green starts getting mottled with brown specks. Little weasels.

 

Rubicon Deli

Sandwich Butt.

Rubicon Deli

Sandwich Face.

 

Lastly if you come here early enough they give you free mini gluten free chocolate chip cookies with your meal! At least it happened twice to us so I’m almost sure they do it everyone. If not my b, they are 50 cents you can just buy one you cheapass (kidding, if it wasn’t given to me I wouldn’t buy it either. Quarters are too precious for my laundry to spend on cookies).

 

However if you want something a bit heftier than a little 50 cent cookie they also have large real cookies! With gluten and everything. The flavors are pretty interesting too with everything from potato chip chocolate to birthday cake. Bf went with the birthday cake because that is his jam.

 

Rubicon Deli

Birthday Cookie

 

Overall its a bit pricier than your average sandwich joint but I think the quality ingredients and homemade bread make up for it. Also the half sandwich is more than enough food for one person (the sandwich shown in the pictures is a half sandwich canyoubelieveit), so make sure you note the size of the bread (gigantimous) before you mistakenly order a whole.

 

CHECK:
Half-Sandwich + Avocado + Bacon $6.99 + $1 + $1.25
Large Superfood Salad $10.99
Cookie $3
TOTAL (w/ tax) $25.09

 

Rubicon Deli – Mission Hills
3715 India St
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: 858-488-3354 ex #2

 

http://therubicondeli.com/

Shake Shack

So I was writing my Maui post, thinking about how I should have taken my camera to Chicago so I could have done a proper Chicago post, when it occurred to me I never posted about the second part of my New York trip! Clearly need to get better about posting on time. I did a NY post on the sweeter side of life on Laduree and Levain Bakery but never posted all my savoury food pictures! So much like in real life I started with dessert and will now do the meal. Behold.

 

MURRAY’S CHEESE BAR:

 

Murray's Cheese Bar

Murray’s Cheese Shop

Murray's Cheese Shop

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How wonderful is the idea of a cheese bar. Like an establishment cheese lovers can go to and just binge-eat cheese, with cheese on everything, where you can get cheese-wasted. And it’s all ages! Cheese-drunkenness for all. Not only that but Murray’s Cheese Shop (the shop not the bar) is immediately next door and they have a very wide variety of cheese (as well as all the other accoutrements that go well with cheese) plus are very generous with their samples. The perfect place to go shopping for a picnic really. Or for dining with the vegetarian that is decidedly not lactose intolerant.

 

Murray's Cheese Bar

Menu

Murray's Cheese Bar

Menu

 

APPETIZER: We started with the Burrata, crispy artichoke and grilled bread:. The burrata was magical really, a pillow of fresh mozzarella filled with creamy burrata goodness inside. The bread and the artichoke were the perfect accompaniments but what really made this dish was the drizzle of basil olive oil on the burrata. Could eat this forever and ever.

 

Murray's Cheese Bar

Burrata, crispy artichoke and griled bread

 

ENTREE: For entrees we decided to share two dishes. Note this was not lunch or dinner, it was a “We have not eaten anything all day and must eat or ultimately perish meal, even though its 3 o clock and we are eating Brazilian BBQ in 3 hours. Oh well”. The Murray’s Melt was quite stellar as well. This features their “secret blend of cheeses” on thick-cut Pullman bread with a cup of smoky tomato bisque. Really good grilled cheese. My sister loved it and she probably eats grilled cheeses every day of her life / always orders it at restaurants so this is quite the seal of approval as she is probably a world-class connoisseur on the subject. Then again it is hard for grilled cheeses to really suck. I really liked the tomato soup and the puffy little cheese crouton on it.

 

Murray's Cheese Bar

Murray’s Melt

 

We also ordered the Mac & Cheese which has another secret or non-specified “Our blend of four dreamy cheeses” and is topped with crunchy breadcrumbs. For me mac and cheeses can be really hit or miss and even though they are super simple in general tend to find that most restaurants can really screw it up with too-dry or too-greasy or too-congealed mac and cheese. This was none of those things. Reveal to me your mysterious blend of dream-inducing cheeses Murray.

 

Murray's Cheese Bar

Mac and Cheese

 

Lastly we topped off our pseudo-linner with their Goat’s Milk Cheesecake. It came with figs and a dried fig cookie crust and it was divine but I have no pictures of it because (as often happens with the dessert course in this blog) I got too excited and forgot to halt my family’s eating to get a picture of it. It was quite tasty though and like everything else we got I recommend it.

 

Murray's Cheese Bar

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Murray's Cheese Bar

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CHECK:
Burrata with grilled bread $14
Murray’s Melt $12
Mac and Cheese $12
Goat’s Milk Cheesecake $8
TOTAL (w/ tax) $50.14

 

Murray’s Cheese Bar
264 Bleecker Street
(between Leroy and Morton)
New York, NY 10014
646-476-8882
http://www.murrayscheesebar.com/

 
 
 

SHAKE SHACK:

 

Ahh Shake Shack. You know I have probably been to New York at least 15 times in my life and had until this point never tried Shake Shack. Although I am a die-hard West Coaster for life (awkwardly and imaginarily throws up “W” gang sign with right hand) I am always secretly proud when I fool people into thinking I am a New Yorker; especially when on the way to the JFK airport cab drivers ask me things like if I am traveling for work or for fun to California as “I can tell you’re not a tourist”. Ha. Well to be fair I have an encyclopedia-like knowledge of places to eat in NY and the numbered streets and avenues make it the only place I can easily navigate with my impaired sense of direction. Also, I wear A LOT of black. Anyways, my New Yorker impersonation sham always comes to a screeching halt when I reveal I have never tried Shake Shack. Clearly you cannot live in the city and never have paid your respects to this storied burger-slinging institution.

 

I love a good burger and with everyone’s general excitement about Shake Shack as well as Danny Meyer’s name attached to it I knew I should try it but it was always impossible fit in with our carefully scheduled plans of a million billion other restaurants we wanted to eat at. I did once almost miss a flight back to San Diego trying to run to the terminal in JFK that had a Shake Shack…only to find a disappointingly giant line and having to shamble back to my terminal, arms sore from dragging my overstuffed carry-on and ultimately burgerless. Sigh.

 

But it finally happened! It was 10 am and not really an appropriate burger time at all but with (for once) no breakfast plans, I just went for it. Shake Shack for breakfast (YOLO).

 

Shake Shack

Shake Shack

Shake Shack

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Shake Shack

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Not surprisingly there was no line at 10 am, surprisingly by 10:30 am there kind of was. As for the burger….ahh I hate to say this and perhaps I am just fully indoctrinated into the West Coast cult but…I like In N Out is better. I know plenty of people will disagree with me (including my own sister) and it was a pretty good burger but not a great or particularly outstanding burger. You can absolutely tell the beef is really good quality and the bread, a soft squishy potato roll, is way better than In N Out, but overall in the end my life was not changed. I went with the basic single ShackBurger, a basic cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and Shack Sauce. Maybe I just quite like the In N Out sauce better than the Shack Sauce. I love pickles and I get my cheeseburgers animal style so I missed pickles and grilled onions on this guy.

 

Shake Shack

Single ShackBurger

Shake Shack

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Shake Shack

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The patty is very nicely cooked and you can see the crispy outside of the patty in the pictures. The veggies were very fresh. I think the Shack Sauce was mildly disappointing. I went with the single patty basic cheeseburger because I wanted to try their ‘base’ product as well as it was 10 am and I was not yet psychologically ready for a giant bacon cheeseburger. I do want to go again though and try their SmokeShack burger that comes with applewood smoked bacon and cherry peppers or their Shake Stack that is a cheeseburger with a fried portobello mushroom. As far as options go this is leagues better than In N Out. You can add bacon and the veggie options (the Portobello mushroom burger for example) are infinitely better. They also have a variety of hot dogs and concrete shakes. In N Out shakes are ok but super artificial tasting, I generally do not get them. But the concretes here are pretty tasty. Ooh and their Strawberry Lemonade has real strawberries. Yum.

 

Shake Shack

Strawberry Lemonade

 

My sister tried the basic Chicken Dog that comes with a Shack Shack chicken, apple and sage sausage. It was good but pretty basic. She doesn’t eat beef or pork (or bacon or seafood, geez) so this was ok for her but if you eat other animals I would try another one of the hot dogs.

 

Shake Shack

Chicken Dog

Shake Shack

Relish

And oh right the Concrete. I got a s’mores-ish one and it had Rocky Road ice cream and lotsssss of brownies. It was pretty delicious. And clearly necessary to top off a healthy and complete breakfast (with all my essential vitamins and minerals….and cheese and mayo and ice cream. eek).

 

Shake Shack

Concrete

 

CHECK:
Single Shackburger $4.75
Chicken Dog $4.40
Regular Strawberry Lemonade $2.60
Single Concrete $4.25
TOTAL (w/tax) $17.44

 
Shake Shack – Upper West Side
366 Columbus Avenue

(at West 77th St.)

646.747.8770

 

http://www.shakeshack.com/

 
 

P.S. Also have tons of pictures of a cute Italian place we went to in Soho with really good pasta and Pok Pok in Brooklyn but the pictures are how do you say uhhhhh – crap, because the lighting sucked. Also this post was already too long. Perhaps I will put up the rest another time in a “NY – Poor Lighting and Improper White Balance Edition”.

 

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