Hello foodies! I hope you’ve all been eating well this last month. I know a lot of people who have given up certain foods for Lent and if you’re one of them I hope you got your fix in before the fast!
Let’s get right into it. Recently a restaurant opened up called East Village Asian Diner. This place is situated in the heart of Hillcrest and has a clean, industrial vibe going on and the two times I went, they were playing Shaolin Soccer on one T.V. and Spirited Away on the other. Props to them for that! The menu has a range of Asian dishes — some traditional and some leaning towards the fusion side. Their main feature though is the Monk’s Stone Pot, a rice based dish that includes spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, over easy egg, sprouts and bamboo shoots. You can add any meat you want for an additional price. The whole thing is served in a really hot stone bowl that adds some crisp to the rice as you’re eating it (stir often if you don’t want your rice too crunchy!) My first visit I got the Salmon Monk’s and added kimchi, and the second time I got the Mongolian Monk’s with kimchi. Both of these were delicious and though on the not-so-cheap side (~$14 for my salmon since I added the fish and kimchi). I think it’s worth your money because of the portion size. It could probably feed two people if you also shared an appetizer, or would be a sufficient meal if you took home your leftovers!
East Village Asian Diner also boasts an impressive beer selection, with choice brews on tap and bottled. From local to imported, with some Asian beers thrown in as well, you’re sure to find something you love to drink. They even have Hitachino, one of my favorites!
I love Asian food but I also love sandwiches. I hang out at Better Buzz the Lab a lot, and I always pass by Rubicon Deli, I’ve always heard about this place and they’ve got rave reviews on Yelp but for some reason I’ve only very recently given them a try. I chose the Stallion (half size) with a small Baby Bleu Eyes salad for me and for my brother I got a Dom Pastrami (whole size) and I was very surprised at how much food this ended up being. It fed us for two separate meals and I was full both times! The to-go bag itself was already super heavy, and it’s because they stuff their sandwiches with as much meat as their fresh baked breads can hold. Their sandwiches are unique and flavorful and though pricier than your typical sub, they are a step above in quality and taste. They also carry The Cravory cookies! If you’re in Mission Beach or Mission Hills, or for some reason you find yourself in Reno, NV, I highly recommend giving Rubicon Deli a try.
I wanted to sign off by letting everyone know that it’s Burger Week! This is only the second year of Burger Week but I hope it sticks around. Participating restaurants are offering a $5 burger special until this upcoming Sunday (3/16). If you are a fan of a good restaurant burger, this is your chance to try them for cheap! Participants include Burger Lounge, Tioli’s Crazee Burger, and the place my boyfriend and I went last night, Carnitas’ Snack Shack! Their secret special for this occasion (wasn’t on any signs or menu at the restaurant) was the Pork Burger — ground pork patty, candied bacon, gorgonzola and pretzel bun. I am a huge fan of this place’s regular burger but this Pork Burger special may just be my new favorite. The patty was fresh and crumbly, the bacon salty-sweet-delicious and the pretzel bun was perfectly toasted and held the whole thing together from beginning to end. I savored every single bite and am praying they keep this beauty on the menu for good.
Once again, I’d love to see what you guys are eating too! Please hashtag your Instagrams with #graciousdelights and #eatsofeden, especially if you’re trying one of my recommendations. Happy eating!