It has finally come to the end of the line for the San Diego travelogue, and perhaps my last blog post in a long time to come as I begin my journey through graduate school tomorrow. I’ll try my best to post on her, but life has a funny way of hijacking my best material. As always on Mastication Monologues, I plan on highlighting the culinary stops we made along the way during our travels as well as any fun or exciting events of note. Day three was much more laid back than day one or day two aside from a little shoe scare toward the end of our trip.
As we woke up from our deep slumber from the crazy night before, we were definitely feeling the results of dancing and indulging ourselves all night long with great company. Thankfully, the newlyweds were hosting a farewell brunch for guests at another eatery on Coronado Island called Il Fornaio or “The Baker” in Italian. It was one of seemingly a million Italian eateries strewn about San Diego, but it was clearly inspired by the signature villas one could find in the Tuscan countryside with the sand colored walls and arbor vitaes lining the entrance. On the inside, it was light and airy with exposed woodwork and a kitchen that was open to the public eye. While we didn’t eat from the official menu since it was picked out to be more wide ranging for the multitude of guests’ palates, the waffles, eggs, and sausage that were provided were all excellent, especially the fluffy waffles topped with a spritz of whipped cream and some freshly sliced strawberries. We didn’t touch any of their alcoholic offerings like their signature mimosas or bellinis (a nod to the classic Venetian drink at Harry’s Bar), but they didn’t mess around when my fiancee asked for her personal elixir of life: Diet Coke.
Once finished with chowing down on the delectable morsels, we strolled out onto the outdoor patio that overlooked the entire San Diego skyline. A breathtaking view for a trip that has felt the same way at certain points due to the immense amount of activities that were planned. We were under the canopy, soaking up the last few rays of humidity free weather, when suddenly Janice remembered she didn’t have her high heels from last night. I quickly traced our Uber driver down online and called him. Luckily, he had them in the back of his car, and offered to drive to the restaurant to drop them off. After we wished the Cua and Ng family goodbye and thanked them for their hospitality, our Uber driver arrived right on time with the goods. It seemed like nothing could stand in our way on this perfect vacation. Not even when we looking for a place to satisfy our rumbling stomachs as we waited for our plane. As mentioned in my day one post, the wedding party hosted a rehearsal dinner with barbecue catering. Lo and behold, Janice and I ended up eating at the same company’s franchise location in San Diego’s airport: Phil’s BBQ. After looking over their full menu of chicken, ribs, salads, sandwiches, and fixin’s, I decided to share a quarter rib dinner with Janice ($10). It included four of their ribs and with two small sides or one large side. We opted for the former choice in the form of potato salad and macaroni salad. It also came with a side of cornbread which might not be offered at their main restaurant locations. The ribs were smaller than the gargantuan ones offered at Sabrina and Thompson’s rehearsal dinner, but that didn’t mean that they were lacking in flavor. The tomato-based sauce was on the sweeter end with not much of a smoky profile to it. They weren’t as mouth-wateringly transcendent than the Twin Anchor ribs back in Chicago, but they were better than some fancy Italian dining at Sbarro. The sides were competently made but nothing of note. I did enjoy the cornbread that was warm and soft without the waterfall of crumbs that typically accompany each bite of cornbread. I’d recommend trying Phil’s BBQ if you have a layover and want to try some Ohio style bbq, but it isn’t a must for any traveler. At least the food was more satisfying than the Euro 2016 final between Portugal and France we watched. By the time we were boarding, Ronaldo was lifting the trophy, elated beyond words, while we were less than enthused to come back to reality after such a wonderful time. Perhaps the West coast really is the best coast after all that we saw, experienced, and tasted. Until next time, readers! Keep on traveling and eating!