Monday, April 18

comfort food at its best

As an intern at San Diego Magazine, I spend a lot of time looking up restaurants and researching the latest and greatest menu item or newest specials. In the midst of this research, I find myself scouring the menus to determine which restaurants should be added to my "must-try" list before I depart from San Diego in just five short weeks. You can imagine that this list is getting lengthy, but I'm positive I can eat at all the places I've been hoping to try. Last night, Stephanie and I, feeling a little lazy and under the weather, decided to try out Urban Solace in North Park. (Sidenote: North Park is slowly becoming one of my favorite areas in San Diego. It seems to be very up and coming, especially in the restaurant realm... highly recommend giving it a shot).

Urban Solace is tucked away on 30th Street, which if you aren't familiar with is pretty much the go-to spot for an amazing, trendy restaurant. Reservations seem to be a good idea for Urban Solace, but luckily we were sat immediately. The restaurant's lighting was dim and the decor was simple yet comfortable. The first thing I noticed about the menu was the extensive cocktail, beer and wine lists. The second were the fried pickles.

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I don't even like pickles and these were INCREDIBLE. Perfectly fried in a really unique batter, my guess something wheat-ish and served with the chef's homemade blue cheese dressing (also not a fan of blue cheese usually but was actually in heaven with this dipping sauce). I had to email Matt Gordon, the chef, after dinner to get the scoop on how they heck they made the dressing/sauce taste so amazing. "It's a pretty simple dressing, really. Sort of a hybrid blue cheese/ranch. We use buttermilk, mayo, sour cream, onions, blue cheese, a little vinegar, lemon juice and some secret spices," Gordon said.

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Steph ordered the tomato soup, which was adorably displayed in a mini mason jar.


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We both ordered the portobello sandwich, which was very tender and topped with goat cheese, lemon aioli, grilled onion, arugula and tomato all piled onto an egg bun. The lemon aioli was the key ingredient in this dish, making the seemingly heavy sandwich seem light. The fries... oh the fries, were maybe top three best fries I've ever had. They tasted both sweet and savory at the same time (which might sound strange but I promise you, these were beyond anything I could have ever wanted/imagined in a french fry).

Although pretty much everything I've mentioned in this post was fried/unhealthy, the menu is actually really diverse. Other items that I'll need to try include: warm cheese biscuits with orange honey butter, pan roast wild salmon, warmed seasoned quinoa and MAC N CHEESE. I will be back, sooner rather than later... best meal I've had in a long time!

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