Tag Archives: Food

New batch of San Marcos eateries raising the bar on kid-friendly dining

New batch of San Marcos eateries raising the bar on kid-friendly dining

San Marcos is steadily ranked as a great place to raise a family, thanks to its top-notch schools and high quality of life. Look around town and you’ll see that affirmed. Children 9 or younger make up about 15 percent of the city’s population. That’s higher than San Diego County’s rate, which is closer to 12 percent. 

The local dining scene has taken note, too. A fresh crop of family-focused restaurants has sprouted in recent years. And these aren’t the kiddie chains most of us remember from our childhoods. At these spots, parents can still enjoy a quality meal while their kids can—well, be kids.  

The newest to open its doors is My Yard Live, 288 Rancheros Drive, which serves family-style food with a backyard vibe (think smoked brisket by the pound and picnic tables). Billed for the “young and young at heart,” it aims to entice folks to linger awhile—much like you would at a neighborhood party. Live music, lawn games and lots of lounge areas underscore that comfy vibe. 

For example, families can relax on a large patio that features a play area and treehouse for kids to explore. Months of research went into perfecting this treehouse, and the company that built it has created similar structures for Disneyland. 

Because My Yard Live brews its own beer, parents can sample its in-house program—or one of the many guest brews it has on tap. There’s also a full bar offering all sorts of craft cocktails and wine. 

Many dishes can be served family-style, including roasted chicken, St. Louis-style ribs, smoked brisket and a sausage platter. Adults can also pick from salads, sandwiches, burgers and entrees—while kids can take their pick from staples such as mac-and-cheese, hotdogs and chicken tenders. 

Just across Interstate 78 is URGE Gastro Pub & Common House, 255 Redel Road, a sprawling eatery serving up family fun with a hip twist. For starters, there’s a bowling alley with a Big Lebowski theme. And yes, parents can order a proper White Russian at the bar—there are nine varieties, in fact. Parents with younger kids will appreciate the gutter guards and bowling ball ramps to make the game easier. Because there are just eight bowling lanes, everyone is encouraged to reserve one online at sm.urgegastropub.com/bowling—and check rates, as they vary. 

The back patio also feels more like a backyard thanks to a large, grassy area, which was recently added with kids in mind. In fact, this space offers all the makings of a family game night—including giant sized chess, Jenga, Connect Four,  cornhole and bucket ball. This back patio is dog-friendly, so families can bring their four-legged children, too. 

Urge also houses its own brewery, Mason Ale Works. Those in-house brews are on tap, along with dozens of other local craft beers. There’s also a hefty whisky list with more than 70 varieties, plus a full bar and sophisticated wine list. 

Most of the menu can be summed up as classic pub food, which includes burgers, fish and chips, schnitzels and meatloaf. There are also several salads, flatbreads and shared plates. The kids’ menu includes crowd-pleasers, such as mac-and-cheese, chicken tenders and sliders.  

The past couple of years has also ushered in Landon’s East Meets West—formerly Landon’s Gourmet Kitchen—1020 West San Marcos Boulevard. As the new name indicates, the restaurant recently pivoted its concept to feature a more Asian inspired menu. That comes through in dishes like kimchi fried rice and tandoori chicken. Fans of the original menu will still find burgers, flatbreads and stuffed avocados—and many of the other dinner entrees will return soon. 

A good selection of wine and craft beers also remains, though some imports have been added to pair with the Eastern-inspired entrees. The kids’ menu includes crowd-pleasers such a grilled cheese and  gluten-free chicken nuggets. 

Lucky for parents, one thing that hasn’t changed here is the supervised playroom, which truly sets this restaurant apart. Here, attendants will happily entertain kids for a reasonable rate ($8 per hour for one child or $12 per hour for two children). Kids can make crafts, play games or enjoy the treasure trove of toys, including a life-sized stuffed pony, dollhouse and musical instruments. 

The playroom, however, is not open every day: It is now only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays—though there are plans to eventually open it on Sundays. 

Also, worth noting: Dining is allowed in the playroom, which a gamechanger for parents who want to enjoy some uninterrupted adult conversation over dinner—while still giving their kids a fun night out.   


Keeping kids (and food) safe in the kitchen

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s the perfect time to share traditional foods and recipes with your family. Dr. Jaime Friedman reviews some kitchen safety basics to help you make sure the kids are safe while cooking, baking and making new holiday memories!

Children’s Physicians Medical Group (CPMG), in partnership with Rady Children’s Health Network, is dedicated to offering outstanding healthcare for your kids, from birth through age 18. One visit to our website can help you find a doctor, explain why CPMG is right for you and allow you to view videos on our doctors and other health topics.

We’re also very social! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Taste of San Marcos 2017

Taste of San Marcos

Sample and judge the best bites from 20+ of our finest local restaurants. Your vote will award the Golden Fork to the best bite of the day. Upgrade your ticket to include unlimited craft beer samples in our own Beer Garden.

Taste of San Marcos 2017
Date: September 23, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM4:00 PM PDT
Hosted in the hippest area of San Marcos – North City!
(all along North City Drive)
Contact Information:
Melanie Jamil 760-744-1270
Ticket Sales – In Advance
$20.00 Food Sampling Only
$30.00 Food & Unlimited San Marcos Craft Beer Samplings

Ticket Sales – At the Door
$25.00 Food Sampling Only
$35.00 Food & Unlimited San Marcos Craft Beer Samplings

Participating Restaurants
Ara Lebanese Grill
Cay Bistro
Chronic Tacos
Cocina del Charro
​Curry Craft
Decoy Dockside
Dickey’s Barbeque Pit
Halcyon Craft Bar & Coffee House
It’s Tabu Sushi Bar & Grill
Jersey Mike’s Subs
Landon’s Gourmet Kitchen
Nekter Juice Bar
Old California Coffee House and Eatery
Panda Express
Pick Up Stix
Pizza Nova
Rossi’s Pizza
​San Marcos Brewery & Grill
Stella Public House
URGE Gastropub & Common House

​Participating Breweries
Hop Concept, The
Lost Abbey, The
​Mason Ale Works
Newtopia Cyder
Rip Current Brewing
Stumblefoot Brewing Co.
​Port Brewing Co.

Local San Elijo Hills Resident Offers Handmade Fresh Pasta, Sauces for SEH Delivery

Hello San Elijo Hills –

We have something local and special for you! Westridge-San Elijo Hills resident from Italy Chef Fabrizio Facchini has handmade fresh Italian holiday meals ready for delivery this holiday season. Get you orders in soon for Christmas and New Year’s. See San Elijo Hills Menu for selections and pricing. Call Frabrizio with questions at 760 846-9692 and text orders to 760 846-9692.

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Local Flavor By: P-Dish (A new guest post from SEH local food fanatic)

Chino Farms RSF


Local Flavor

By:  P-Dish (A new guest post from SEH Local food fanatic)

If you’re like me, food is an integral part of life. Food inspires, nurtures, and brings people together. What has shaped my love and passion for cooking spans my lifetime. Maybe like you, some of the best memories center around amazing meals cooked for me and dare I say, by me..Lately, I’ve had the good fortune to be invited to numerous BBQ parties which always stirs up a little insecurity. See, I was not raised with a grill master nor did I marry one! So, I leave the grilling to the experts and try to complement their cooking with dishes that celebrate summer and round out a great meal.

Summer food=simplicity. Let the food speak for itself. If you’ve ever had a ripe, home grown tomato, you know what I mean…and since I can’t manage to grow tomatoes because of the creatures that get there before me…I head to Chino’s Farm in Rancho Santa Fe. They truly have what California’s bounty has to offer..and the staff are really friendly too!

So here is a tried and true recipe that I always look forward to making this time of year, because of it’s simplicity and flavor:

Tomato Basil Pasta Salad

  • 3 large vine ripened tomatoes(diced)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil..as much as you want but 1 cup is about right (chopped)
  • 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • Proscuitto (6 slices chopped, sorry I wing the measurements) I buy this at Costco or Trader Joe’s because it’s good quality and affordable.
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • Parmesan to taste..good quality makes all the difference
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper (if desired)
  • 1 lb Penne pasta

In a large heat proof bowl, add diced tomatoes, garlic, 1/2 the basil, 1/4 cup olive oil (or more), salt, pepper, red pepper. Stir gently and let sit while you cook pasta.
To the bowl, add the cooked pasta, toss in the proscuitto and rest of basil, and parmesan.

** This Dish is perfect for the vegetarians in the group.  Minus the proscuitto and you have 2 dishes in 1.

Serve pronto



Food Trucks, The Gathering -San Diego Magazine

San Diego Magazine


Thousands of food truck fans trekked to San Marcos’ San Elijo Hills earlier this month, when the housing developments’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting coincided with their first Foodie Fest – a collection of close to twenty food trucks from Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. The aptly named Cluster Truck Events and their team of food truck wranglers helped to organize the mobile food frenzy, which included local MIHO Gastrotruck (farm-to-table fare), Joe’s on the Nose (gourmet coffee drinks), Sweet Treats (ice cream and baked goods) and the Devilicious truck, which marked its grand opening with a menu that included lobster grilled cheese and a smoked bacon hot dog with agave mayo. READ MORE VIA SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE

Hometown Realty Holiday Food Drive this Saturday, the 11th

In the spirit of giving? If so, don’t forget about the Hometown Realty Holiday Food Drive this Saturday, the 11th for San Elijo Hills. It’s a perfect way to help those in need and all donations benefit InterFaith Community Services. Here are the details:
Grab the brown paper bag you received in the Fountain Newspaper, fill it with canned goods and leave it on your driveway or in a visible area Saturday morning. Pick-up begins at 9am.

San Elijo Hills Foodie Fest Cheat Sheet

Get to steppin!

Plan to arrive at the Foodie Fest early.  We expect lots of people, so we strongly recommend you and your family walk to the event.  Not only do you not have to worry about parking, but you’ll work up a healthy appetite for all of the food trucks!

Do Your Homework

Prioritize! Know what food trucks are coming to Foodie Fest and make a short list of your must have’s and must try’s. Click HERE for a complete list of participating trucks.


Come rain or shine, the trucks are coming.  Depending on Mother Nature’s mood, jackets, umbrellas, hats and mittens may be needed.

“Bring yo’ money, honey”!

Be on the safe side and bring cash.  While a few Food Trucks take plastic, cash is preferred and great to have on hand.

Divide and Conquer

Bring your foodie friends to Foodie Fest (only ones who love to share). Each teammate can take on a different food truck line and bring back their winnings to share with the group. This way, you can try more food and split the cost.

There’s more than food…

Come for the food, stay for the fun. Be sure to give your tummy a break and check out what else may be going around you, like the beautiful tree lighting and ornament decorating for the kids!  Also, the towncenter shops will be open into the evening.  Take advantage of the specials!

Tis’ the Season to Vote… the Foodie Fest contest is on!

Vote for your favorite food truck at the Foodie Fest! Cast your vote on the San Elijo Hills Facebook page by ‘liking’ the photo of your favorite trucks. The truck with the most ‘likes’ will win a Flip video camera to document their food trucks adventures. Voting ends December 10th.

Post a photo of you, your friends or family enjoying Foodie Fest (maybe enjoying a beer at Happy Hour, getting a mani-pedi, painting an ornament, or anything else you can think of) for a chance to win an American Express gift card! Post your photo on the San Elijo Hills Facebook page. A winner will be selected on December 10th.

The San Elijo Hills Foodie Fest & Tree Lighting Dec. 3 Showcases 20 Gourmet Food Trucks and Fabulous Street Fare

To kick off the holiday season, on December 3rd, 20 of Southern California’s hottest gourmet food trucks will surround the Town Square for the San Elijo Hills Foodie Fest & Tree Lighting. Choose from a wide variety of around-the-world delicacies ranging from sushi to sweet potato fries and Mexican-Korean barbecue fusions to Indian curries as well as an assortment of desserts and treats. Entrée prices range from $3 – $10. Most food trucks do not accept cards, so please be sure to bring cash.

The event will start with a happy hour at 4 p.m. at surrounding eateries. The culinary feast on wheels will take place from 5 to 8:30 p.m and the annual tree lighting will start at 7 p.m. Throughout the evening there will be holiday entertainment and festive crafts for kids.

Please dress warmly! San Elijo Hills residents are encouraged to walk to the event due to the high amount of traffic anticipated in the Town Square. For more information, please contact (760) 798-1765. For a complete list of participating food trucks, please click HERE.