Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Keys Creek Lavender Farm Guest Cottage- A Delightful Local Getaway

Maybe you have been to the very quaint Keys Creek Lavender Farm in Valley Center during Lavender season or participated in an off-season event like a soap making class, brunch or high tea. Did you know that you can also join in the occasional organized retreat (or create your own), and you can also rent the on-site guest cottage or a yurt (they have 6 total) on airbnb? The cottage is elegantly appointed in a French Provential meets farmhouse blend. There are no televisions to distract. When you come here it is about relaxing and recharging. I enjoyed a stay with friends where we chose to hike, wander the grounds, take photos, read and play games. 

The kitchen is utilitarian with only a small dorm fridge, microwave and sink. I recommend bringing food in and/or going to Yellow Deli which is just down the road a mile and a half. Upstairs you will find a spacious master suite decorated with delightful charm. Downstairs there is a pullout queen sofa bed that can sleep two extra guests. There is a tiny bathroom inside and also outdoor toilets available. Showering is strictly in the clean country air, and there is even an antique bathtub on the deck, if you dare. 😉 In the warmer months you can take a dip in the pool but it is not heated in the winter. A hot tub is available for your relaxation and pleasure year-round. There are many decks and seating areas to enjoy the lovely property and views. At night there are all kinds of lights illuminating the property and the many noises of the country including frogs, crickets and farm animals. It’s really quite magical. We really enjoyed our stay.

If you want to get away from it all without having to travel far, this is your place. Book it for your next getaway at: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/14691489?guests=1&adults=1

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Newer Restaurant/Eatery Buzz Around Town

Newer Restaurant Buzz Around Town!

Recently closed:

Ohana Cupcakes (Oceanside), Little Cakes (Carlsbad location only), Pisco (Carlsbad), Tea Lane tea house (Fallbrook), Solace & the Moonlight (Encinitas)


Culichi Town- Opening soon. Sinaloa style Mexican food. This is a chain. They offer very interesting food items- do not expect typical Mexican offerings. Please check out the menu to see for yourself.

Wildwood changed hands and adjusted their name as well, now it is going by Wildwood Crossing. New owners, new chef, updated interior.  Live music lives on. Check their schedule online. Great menu and reviews are coming in solid, including mine.

Cat & Craft- a delightful coffee shop that offers treats and savories and has a cat adoption sanctuary located in the same building. Make an appointment ($12) to hang out in the cat room for an hour while you sip your coffee.

Shak's Mediterranean Bistro- Brought to us by the folks of the former Armenian Cafe in Vista. Serving fresh Mediterranean, Lebanese foods. This is one of my faves! I recommend the gyro plate!

Dog Haus- Delish dogs and burgers served on toasted Hawaiian rolls. Lots of fun and interesting toppings! Messy, messy goodness.

Carlsbad Ranch Market- Small specialty market with fresh foods and local produce, some hard to find items and a hot bar, soup and salad bar and a small restaurant with some great happy hour offerings like burgers and craft beers. I can't wait to try it!

Que Tortas!  This is a very casual sandwich shop that serves their signature torta sandwich on a house-mad delicious bolillo roll. They also serve soup, a delicious fruit bowl with loads of varied fruits, acai bowls, smoothies, juices and aguas frescas. Locally owned and run. Stop in and tell the owner Martin hello.

Black Rock Coffee at 823 E. Vista Way.


EXHALE- by the people who brought us the very popular Local Tap House (LTH). Serving innovative wood-fired cuisine.

Blade 1936- Coming soon. Originally was supposed to open in October of 2018 in the former Blade-Tribune historic building in Oceanside. They will be serving modern Italian food.

Dija Mara-  Acclaimed Balinese fusion offerings.

Tambo Cafe- Peruvian Cafe from the folks that brought us Panca Peruvian.

Mangia e Bevi- Ocean Ranch is the location of this restaurant brought to us by the San Diego famous Tore Trupiano Family (Dominic's on the Harbor). Tore is using recipes influenced by his Grandma and bringing them to life with new inspiration. This is not your traditional Italian in the sense that you are used to it. Come in and ask Tore why.  I highly recommend the Chicken Saltimbocca!  So good!

Pacific Coast Spirits- Arriving this spring is a new distillery and restaurant that will serve farm-to-table style food and small batch spirits in their Coast Highway location.  It will be a big one with 12,000 square feet of space.

Senor Grubby's- Freshly opened an additional restaurant on Tremont St. in Oceanside.  Get your fill of  "California Grub" as they call it there...their twist on Mexican influenced foods that you love.

FUGU Taiyaki- Deserts and rolled ice cream. 420 Mission Ave, Oceanside.


Toast Gastrobrunch- A delightful brunch spot brought to us by the Sammy's Woodfired Pizza people. Takes the location of former Sammy's, then Pisco.

Clara- Fresh, market-driven foods and signature cocktails. Delish!

Jeune et Jolie- Serving upscale French food.

Harumama Carlsbad- Noodle house with some unusual menu items. I love their udon noodles!  Adorable savory or sweet character buns.  2958 Madison Street

Windmill Food Hall- This artisan food hall will host many food and drink vendors in the old TGI Fridays building across from the Carlsbad Outlets. Construction hit a few snags and they are running behind schedule.

Eureka!- Currently scheduled to open at the end of April in the Bressi Ranch area of Carlsbad (off Palomar Airport Road), Eureka is bringing brews and designer burgers to you and expanding their popular chain.

Richard Walker's Pancake House- Another expanding family restaurant has opened their doors at Square at Bressi Ranch in Carlsbad. From 6:30AM to 2:30PM, they are serving up some of your favorite breakfast items, for sure specializing in pancakes. They are perhaps best known for their fresh-baked apple pancakes. They also have Swedish pancakes, omelettes, crepes and a few lunch items. No reservations are accepted.

Texas de Brazil- Enjoy Texas de Brazil, where Brazilian Churrasco blend w/ the spirit of Texas hospitality.

Handel's Ice Cream- They serve 50 flavors each day (rotating menu) and make the product on-site daily with yummy mix-ins. 2825 State Street in Carlsbad Village.

San Marcos

My Yard Live- Coming soon.  This will be a large-scale, family-friendly dining and entertainment hub.  They will offer live music, food, drink, games and activities for all ages. Scheduled to open late June.


Prohibition Brewing Co Station- For right now, it's just alcohol offerings, but hopefully food will be added in the near future.