Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

West Coast Roadtrip, Jul-16-2011

After a lazy morning, we went to brunch at Hob Nob Hill in San Diego. I was particularly anticipating Hob Nob Hill, because buffetbuster had repeatedly mentioned it as his favorite breakfast anywhere, and he is a man who has sampled a great many breakfasts and may be presumed to know whereof he speaks when it comes to breakfast.

The interior decor of Hob Nob Hill is a genteel coffeehouse, with a touch of elegance from the chandeliers. The slogan written near the ceiling is "Pleasures in life are few, one of ours is serving you!"

Lori got the pineapple coffee cake. At this late date, all we remember was that it was good. I barely remember a nice roasted-pecan flavor from my pecan roll, but I fear I might be synthesizing that memory instead of accurately remembering it.

I ordered the machaca (shredded beef scrambled with eggs). It was very good and very tender.

Lori chose the bacon, avocado, spinach, and cream cheese omelet. It was a very good, with a nice medley of three different richnesses.

It was all very good, but we've had much more extraordinary breakfasts elsewhere.

From there, we went to Old Town San Diego. It turned out that it was the 242nd anniversary of the founding of San Diego, and had we known that, we might have planned differently. On the one hand, there were interesting reenactors in old colonial garb, and we might have liked to arrive earlier in order to spend more time with them. On the other hand, parking was so massively crowded that we ended up parking a dozen blocks away, even after the crowds had thinned a little, so maybe we would have gone somewhere else entirely.

Old Town had a nice combination of small museums and quaint little shops. I saw one shop that particularly fascinated me:

I really like sampling jerky and I really like sampling quirky local sodas. But the House of Jerky and Root Beer was too much for me. I consider myself fortunate when I find a store with one or two unfamiliar sodas to try, but of all of these varieties, I had only tried five or six. So I couldn't make a real dent in the variety in a single visit. I chose a cold Leninade ("A taste worth standing in line for!") I can only describe the taste as "fruity". I tend to scoff at products that can only be described so vaguely, but it was pretty tasty and I would drink it again.

Lori really wanted to take a ghost tour of San Diego, but we weren't sure whether the timing would work out properly to do so. So we took a quasi-substitute: we took a tour of the Whaley House, claimed to be one of the most haunted houses in the US. Now, I like ghost tours when they're history tours with a touch of the macabre, but this was very ghost-focused, and I'm very skeptical about that. I'm not certain about ghosts, but I definitely believe in fraud and foolishness. (The temptation to insert a political joke is immense.)
With that context established: In the first room, the guide talked about seeing the chandeliers sway when there was no breeze. Now, I know that San Diego is on the Pacific Rim, and most of the Pacific Rim is an earthquake zone. And I have seen people fail to notice medium-size earthquakes because they happened to be walking around at the time. So I think that earthquakes should have been mentioned as a possible explanation for the swinging chandeliers, and failing to do so snapped my suspension of disbelief in the rest of the tour. Not all of the stories that were told can be explained by earthquakes–but all of them were retold by someone who can't think of natural explanations that were obvious to me. (Our trip notes say "Parts explained by earthquakes - are you kidding me? GHOSTS!!! Lots of ghosts!" You may guess who wrote the last part, though it was written in jest.)

These spooky-looking pictures are entirely due to natural causes and inept photography on my part.

For dinner, we went to El Indio, a Roadfood-listed Mexican restaurant. Our notes say "Whoa, that's great neon!"

Lori ordered the chicken tamale and cheese enchilada combo, which was a bit too spicy for her.

I quite liked my fish tacos. We've read that the tortillas are house made, but we didn't see them being made while we were there.

Lori finished with very cinnamony rice pudding.

My dessert was the cherry fruit burrito, which is a lot like a fried pie with a slightly different crust. It was very tasty.
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