Saying Goodbye to San Diego
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, including my wonderful San Diego trip. Our last full day in Coronado was amazingly sunny and relaxing. In our usual fashion, we spent at the pool and the spa. Such a rough life, I know. Brittanny and I even splurged and got wonderful massages at Loew’s. After our hour-long massages, we headed back to the pool for a late lunch and an afternoon in the sun. We ordered take out from The Market at Loew’s and I enjoyed a delicious cobb salad with balsamic vinaigrette, instead of ranch. (Clearly, we didn’t want to miss any precious sun time.) While we waited for our orders, the chef even came out and spoke with me to double check what I could and could not eat. They were amazingly attentive considering that we were just ordering take out in the midst of their crazy and huge Sunday brunch. Since I didn’t get blue cheese on my cobb salad, they doubled the amount of avocado on mine. Yummy!
For our last dinner in San Diego, Brittanny and I went to the Hotel del Coronado, in the town of Coronado Bay. Built in 1888, this historic hotel looks Victorian and opens up onto the water. Because of daylight savings, we got to watch a beautiful sunset at the hotel while we enjoyed cocktails at the Babcock & Story Bar with a great view of the water. For dinner we chose to eat at the more casual, Sheerwater Restaurant, as opposed to 1500 Ocean, Hotel del Coronado’s fine dining establishment. I must clarify that Sheerwater is not a sports bar or a Chili’s by any stretch of the imagination. In fact the entrees are quite fancy and not cheap. Sheerwater’s decor is a bit more casual and beachy than the rest of the stunning and dramatic hotel. We even sat outside, under heat lamps. (San Diego restaurants and bars are all about the heat lamps.) Sheerwater’s menu reminded me of a steakhouse, with an array of meat and seafood options with sides that can be ordered in addition. All entrees come with a delicious, and flavorful, array of mixed veggies, including cauliflower, broccoli and baby carrots.
As I enjoyed seafood the previous night at Osetra, I decided to go the ‘meat route’ at Sheerwater. I ordered California Rack of Lamb and Braised Shank with Natural jus. Yes, the rack and shank of the lamb both came as a part of my entrée. My meat was so tender and the natural jus added a nice sauce that complimented the flavor of the meat well without overpowering the protein. Brittanny and I decided to share a side of the Yukon gold mashed potatoes. I consider myself to be something of an expert on mashed potatoes and Sheerwater’s might have been the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten. Creamy and buttery, but not bland. The perfect amount of salt gave these mashed potatoes great flavor and using Yukon golds added a nice dimension to the flavor and texture components. I could have gotten two orders of the potatoes for dinner and been totally happy.
The next day Brittanny and I awoke early and took advantage of a few hours of morning sunshine before going to the airport to head back east. A great vacation full of delicious restaurants, beautiful weather, sight seeing, massages and reading time. It didn’t even bother me that I missed most of the ACC Tournament games. I’ll take sunny San Diego any day.
Wow! An entire vacation without getting sick. In fact, I was out of town for a total of 17 days during the last month and didn’t get sick or contamination once! Amazing. Traveling always comes with a side of anxiety for those of us with celiac. Dining out and eating in the homes of others makes me vulnerable and nervous. I don’t get as much anxiety as I used to, but I must admit that I was a little on edge about being away from my kitchen for over half the month. Thanks to great friends, family and overly accommodating restaurants, I stayed gluten-safe and feeling healthy. I still traveled with snacks, packed my own lunches when flying, and ate lots of M&Ms, but overall, I felt very well taken care of throughout my marathon travel. Being away is fun but it’s time to be back in my own kitchen, cooking and creating dishes to share with David and friends.