Confessions of a Restaurant Addict

| July 15, 2011 | 0 Comments

I used to live in the suburbs, not far from SDSU, where there were few decent restaurants to choose from whenever I felt like going out to eat. There were the usual well known chains, a good deli and a very good seafood place. But that was about it. So unless it was an occasion or a Saturday night outing to another part of the city, I stayed in and cooked. It was also a good way to save on expenses. Not anymore. Living in the urban area, which to me includes Mission Hills, Bankers Hills, Hillcrest, University Heights and North Park and South Park, not to mention Kensington and downtown, I am overwhelmed with choices, and my charge card bill is proof of the pudding or sometimes the sea bass.

Each month my credit card bill is screaming at me with mostly restaurant charges accusing me of my penchant for trying new dining experiences. This is not good for my wallet or my waistline. This is also not my fault. I am a victim of my address. I live too close to all these good eateries that keep cropping up all around me, many within walking distance. What’s a gourmet girl to do? Last week I almost overdosed in my frenzy to try places I had not been to. I tried four in one week, a new record, and to make things worse they were all so very good I know I will return to each one of them. I also have a secret weapon in my arsenal – happy hours.  First I go to a restaurant‘s happy hour to try it out. That way the food and drinks are a bargain and I can get a feel of the place and glimpse the regular menu as well. There are very few restaurants that don’t have good happy hours, so I am always challenged by the choice of where to go. Most recently I tried the happy hour at the new Busalacchi’s Modo Mio in Hillcrest. The bar is open to the outside patio and happy hour is available inside or outside. The place is very attractive and an outdoor area is a big draw for me. After two very successful happy hours in less than two weeks I made the leap and went there for dinner. My friends were meeting me at six so I got there early enough to sit at the bar and get happy hour prices for my wine before they arrived, all part of my austerity program. Feeling proud of having saved a few dollars, I joined them for dinner and proceeded to spend the money I saved. It’s kind of a vicious circle, but to the mind of a restaurant junkie it somehow all makes sense.

Confession – since I started writing this month’s column I strayed from my usual urban haunts and actually hit the beach area with a dinner at The Fishery in Pacific Beach. It felt strange and a bit foreign to go to another territory but it actually worked out. The food was terrific, the drive was a whole 12 minutes and I felt like I was exploring a new world. Yes, I opened my mind to possible new dining areas, I ate dinner at the beach and yes, I’m going back.

Ilene can be reached at

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