Mo Pho!! I'm In Love With Super Cocina, Si!
Trip Start Apr 05, 2007
9Trip End Apr 22, 2007
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Arrived in San Diego last evening (Saturday) with little incident, save the disagreement at the airport over my bike box and fees. Regardless, after $50 US, we both arrived safe and sound to my waiting friends Heather and her husband Craig. Heather moved down to San Diego about six years ago when she married Craig. Among other things, Heather and Craig are both "foodies" like me.
My relationship with Heather actually dates back about 50 years, believe it or not, as her parents and mine became fast friends when Kay and Al Howes worked for a short time in Cornwall, ON. The Smith and the Howes families remained friends as each expanded and relocated (in our case, back to Toronto), so much so that I would argue Heather is more like a cousin to my sister and me. It was wonderful to see her again, and as always, takes very little time to catch up from wherever we last left off.
Our first stop was for Pho at a local favourite restaurant of theirs called Pho Cadao - Pho is a Vietnamese noodle and soup dish, likened to fast food for the Vietnamese. It's pretty yum-my!! I took Heather's advice and went with a small number 18 - raw beef - and made it moderately spicy (which to those who know me, would be super spicy). The rest of the evening was spent catching up.
Talking Nature at Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines State Reserve. This beautiful stretch of land is situated adjacent to the Torrey Pines Golf Course, where the likes of my friends Tiger and Mike sometimes play a friendly game of golf. (We could see the course at one point during our hike, but to be honest, the view was much more interesting).
After an initial 30-minute downpour that confined us temporarily to the car, the sky (thankfully) cleared up and we set off on our nature hike. Interestingly, while we remained within the same eight-mile stretch of land along the Pacific, each turn offered up different scenery, soil, smells, and even plants. It was quite extraordinary.
See You at Super Cocina!
After a quick change and clean up at home, we savoured a small shot of rare whiskey I picked up for Heather and brought from Toronto. Other than putting the proverbial "hair on my chest," it was actually really very nice...until I realized I had little on my stomach and started to feel a little bit wobbly.
In an e-mail of about three weeks ago, Heather had mentioned a Mexican restaurant they recently "discovered." She was raving about the food and insisted we indulge in a visit during my stay (ohhh, twist my ever-so-rubber arm!). Super Cocina
I asked Richard to give me the run-down on the 10 or so different authentic dishes I could choose from, all of which were described by him as "hot" or "very hot." No problemo for this gringa! I've conquered Old La Honda! I can take the heat - turn it up, babey!!!
While I was tempted to have the chicken in Mole sauce (made with chocolate...) I opted for spicy pork and potatoes, along with a cheese-stuffed chili pepper, which accompanied rice and beans and tortilla. I added delicious smoked chilies (OMG they were so good, I was eating them on their own. Zipp!!!) as a garnish, along with a little cilantro and fresh lime. I also tried a drink made out of dried hibiscus flowers, which was really very tasty. My meal was splendid in all its spiciness - the more I ate, the more I wanted.
During dinner, Richard explained to me that chilies release endorphins in your blood system, giving one that euphoric, drunk-like feeling (up until this point I actually thought I was still a little high from the whiskey), which everyone else corroborated. I'd never heard this before, but it kind of made sense. I really like hot food, but have never noticed this phenomenon. Soon, we were all glossy-eyed and rubbing our tummies full of wonderful, zesty food.
It was a delicious evening, topping off an even better day. As if I didn't know it before, I can tell already that this week is going to be all about enjoying the good things in life. Now that's a vacation!
Welcome to the start of week two - hope you have a good one!!