Well we don't usually eat at the mall, but my wife is a fan of the South Beach options offered at Uno Chicago Grill at Fashion Valley, so being in the area and in need of a break we headed over there. We had thought that 3.30pm would not be too much of a busy time for lunch, even on a Saturday. We were mistaken however and greeted with a 15 minute wait then entering the restaurant. This was okay and we sat at the bar and had a pre-lunch drink. Initially I was kind of surprised to see the long line of men propping up the bar - it seemed a strange choice of establishment for an overpriced pint of beer. It then struck me of course that this was the ultimate market- bored husbands whose wives are there picking out new outfits take refuge in this bar- presumably drowning their sorrows and trying to forget how much their credit card is being maxed out. (I don't wish to post tired stereotypes but this really did seem to be the case).
To drink I had a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale, a beer that bizarrely appears much more popular over here than in it's native England- I am certainly a fan. My wife chose the specialty of the restaurant a Pomegranate Mojito. She was not so pleased with this sweet artificial tasting beverage that was not even presented with a sprig of mint.
We were seated after not too long- our waiter was extremely amusing, quirky, not wasting our time, ad definitely out to please. Upon guessing that my wife was not enjoying her Mojito he divide an elaborate scheme to serve with a shot of well tequila- explaining that if we were "caught" by the manager we had to state we had asked I don't quite know what. It was all rather strange, but we appreciated the gesture just the same.
Eating wise my wife immediately went for the goat cheese and vegetable wrap (whole-wheat tortilla), with some smashed cauliflower. (Very good South Beach options), Dr. Agatson would have been impressed). I went for the less healthy steak and cheese sandwich with a side of fries. (Come on- it’s the weekend!). The food arrived after a short interval- (during which we surreptitiously downed our free tequila). Everything was actually really good- my steak and cheese sandwich reminded me that sometimes it is the simple fare that tastes the best. The fries were some of the best I have had in San Diego, and my wife’s dish was just as great as she had hoped, the smashed cauliflower being particuarly nicely prepared.
The good thing about these mainstream eateries is that they never have the pretentious price tags that we find in North Park and Hillcrest- their food might not be quite so exotic but it sure tastes good.