Monday, March 25, 2013

Fat Sal's Deli, Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA

The Front Door No One Uses
 Sometimes you just feel the need for something that's bad for you.  You know what I mean, something that goes beyond the bounds of unhealthy and slips into down right disgustingly decadent.  Something that you don't want to know how many calories went into it, or how it will make you feel afterwards.  Something with the word "Fat" in the title, which is how the wife and I wound up at Fat Sal's Deli.
Packed until we got there, must have just missed the lunch crowd.
I usually don't go to downtown Pacific Beach as it is a royal pain to find parking.  This time I didn't care.  I'd just run a good eight miles, half it uphill, and my body was screaming for something bad for me, which is after all half the reason I exercise anyway.  After crusing around for a good ten minutes to find a parking spot my wife and I walked up to Fat Sal's.  Though it label's itself a deli you won't find any blocks of chicken or ham to be carved.  Everything is done in the back and most of the ingredients aren't the type you'll find in a deli anyway.

A large opening in led into pretty much brand new tables bolted to the ground and a long legged stools to sit on.  We walked up to the cash register in the back, made our order, and then ambled on down to a recently vacated seat near the front, the perfect spot for people watching.  About 20 minutes later our sandwhich came out.  Now this is where it gets good and decadent.
How can something so small looking be so bad for you?

I had decided to go with the Fat Sal.  It was an "extra wide" garlic bun filled with roast beef, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, fries, brown gravy, and mayo.  Wow that's a mouth full.  It was stuffed, literally with everything that was bad for you.  I took a big bite and managed to get a piece of roast beef, mozzarella stick, and onion ring.  I got to admit when I list of ingredients online I wondered if they could really make it work, but after the first bite I realized they had.  It was actually pretty good.  The only thing I didn't like about it was the lack of roast beef.  It was like they sacrificed a delicious cut of meat in order to put the cheaper fried food into the sandwich.

The Fat Sal
My wife settled on the Fat Anthony which had chicken fingers, mozarella sticks, fries, marinara, on top of ham, genoa salami, pepperoni, provolone, sweet peppers (thought she always holds the peppers), shredded lettuce, tomato, and red wine vinaigrette.  Half of that belongs to another hero sandwich in and of itself.  I took a bite of hers and though it wasn't bad but I liked mine better.  I put it down to not being a big fan of marinara in a sandwich.

The Fat Anthony
After we had finished eating we ambled out fat and happy, only to see "supposedly" Fat Sal just outside hustling a few departing patrons to "foursqure" and "Facebook" the hell out his place.  Normally that would be a big turn off for me, but this time it was nice to see an owner really pushing his business to succeed.  "Fat Sal" managed to do it without being a total jerk about it.

Outside of the sandwiches being good but not great, I really liked Fat Sal's.  It had a nice open PB atmosphere, the tables were clean, and the people were nice.  I'll probably head back there the next time I feel the need to eat something that I have no question is horrible for me.  I can't wait to try the Fat Juanita.  ... ouch...  I just hope my heart can handle another round.  It hurts a bit just thinking about it, but hey no one lives forever.

Fat Sal's Deli
956 Garnet Avenue
San Diego, CA 92109
(855) 682-4373

Monday, March 18, 2013

El Patio, Chula Vista, San Diego, CA

 There are few Mexican restaurants so good that I go there and don't feel the need to order meat.  Strike that, there is only one.  My wife introduced it to me when we first started dating, and told me it was a place that her parents went to in their youth.  In the middle of Chula Vista there is a place that looks like a bomb shelter on the outside and an authentic Mexican restaurant on the inside.  It is a place of sweet aromas, and kind faces, and people who start off speaking Spanish to me, but quickly realize I am a gringo, and switch back to English.  It is one of my favorite places to grab Mexican food, and the only place I order Chile Relleno.  That place is El Patio.

Now my wife does not like the fact I mention this, but El Patio is a hole in the wall, and if you have ever been inside of it the lack of a view might turn you off, but the inside is decorated with beautiful paintings that take the eye away from the small windows looking out (if you were to stand on a bar stool) to the street.  Recently they have updated the restaurant with new booths, and a new menu.  Thankfully the menu only looks new, it still has the favorites that lured my parents-in-law there so many years ago.

So my wife and I were free on a Friday night and felt like something special so we headed down to Chula Vista for a bit.  We were greeted at the door, and quickly shown to a booth were we proceeded to snack on chip and salsa with a side of hot carrots (small bowels of pickled slices carrots, onion, and jalapenos).  My wife and I ordered while I sipped on ice tea.  Before I'd even gotten to my third ice tea (I was pretty thirsty after running right before we came) they'd brought out our food.

I had a number ten, two cheese stuffed Chile Rellenos with a side of rice and beans and a single gigantic tortilla (usually one is enough to fill me up, but I was pretty hungry that night). My wife went with her usual, the Guacamole Enchilada with rice and beans, which I just realized is also Vegetarian, go figure.  As usual my Chile Rellenos were perfect.  Scrumptious chilies stuffed with cheese.  I usually stack it with the rice and beans on a strip of still steaming hot tortilla and shovel it all into my mouth.  My wife, meanwhile, managed to finish one and a half Guacamole Enchiladas before calling it quits, but not without a big smile on her face.  I should add to this day my wife compares every Enchilada, Guacamole or not, to the ones at El Patio, and they almost always come up short in comparison.

So a smile on our faces, and a bulge in our bellies my wife and I exited El Patio.  Who knows when we will return.  Judging from my wife's expression I'd guess sometime next week.

El Patio Restaurant
410 Broadway Street
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 422-9745