San Diego based food and restaurant review blog. Documenting all types of food, events, and recipes.

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This product review is for the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill we purchased in 2016. Even though this post is long overdue, it also means I can give a comprehensive review from two years of personal usage.


The REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill is an electronic grill and smoker which is fueled by small wood pellets fed into the cooking chamber by a motor-driven auger. The onboard controller will automatically adjust the feed rate of the pellets based on your target temperature and current temperature. For me, this was absolutely amazing because it meant that I did not have to constantly monitor, adjust heat, and replenish wood like with my previous smoker. I ccould leave it running and trust the REC TEC computer to manage everything.

With school starting this week, the summer is beginning to wine down. Luckily San Diego continues to have beautiful weather for longer than that! We were invited to check out the summer-only dinner menu at The Cottage La Jolla. Most people are familiar with this restaurant's popular brunch so we were curious how an evening meal would be! Plus, it's always wonderful to enjoy a quiet dinner on a patio with a loved one. 

Pepper Crusted Salmon at The Cottage La Jolla

Aqui es Texcoco - Traditional Mexican Lamb and Cabeza Tacos

Dennis recently asked if I posted anything for our blogiversary! Hold up... it's already been 12 years? Who even writes for that long? Coincidentally, my fellow food crawl buddies. I had suggested getting together for eats and CC of Pink Candles at Ridgemont High took the lead in planning a food crawl around the Chula Vista (south Bay) area. Mary and Jake of This Tasty Life completed our group of four. Those two blogs are only a couple months older than mine! My last food crawl was Burger Week so I'm eager to share my latest adventure! Carry on!

Barons BBQ Beat, Bitter Brothers Brewing Co, and six San Diego BBQ Pitmasters

Our friend Mercy of Baron's BBQ Beat helped organize a Family Dinner BBQ Bash with six talented BBQ pitmasters in San Diego. This event was hosted at Bitter Brothers Brewing Co. on Sunday July 29, 2018 between 5-8pm. The $75 tickets provided a 6-course meal with beer pairings as part of a fundraiser for Feeding San Diego (a leading hunger-relief charity & food bank serving San Diego County). It's above the costs of a typical dinner for me but hey, I'm supporting a friend and a charity all in one! Plus, who wouldn't mind some quality BARBECUE? The menu preview looked fantastic!

Mother's Meatballs at The Goat and Vine in Old Town Temecula

Our Old Town Temecula eats continues! This latest spot was The Goat and Vine, interestingly enough, on the same street block as our two other visits to Havana Kitchen and Blackbird Tavern. This business was highly rated but we also noticed most Temecula spots were favorably reviewed as well... time to find out in person!

The doorway to The Goat and Vine is sort of hidden away, covered by these huge columns outside of the restaurant. You could easily miss the smaller business sign off to the side! The smaller patio is a bit shrubby, almost tucked away like the entrance! The last place with extra greenery abound was Churchill Arms during our London trip.

Sterling Caviar Classic, Royal and Supreme sampler pack

Did you know it's National Caviar Day?! Sterling Caviar is the leading producer of domestic caviar and they provided us with a caviar sampler pack. I also attended an informative facebook live with Sterling Caviar that taught me about the sustainably-farmed sturgeon that produces the caviar. You can see the replay on facebook here. True caviar comes from sturgeon eggs and anything else must be prefixed with the source, such as salmon caviar, rather than just saying caviar!

Salt and Pepper Wings at Cross Street Chicken and Beer on Convoy Street in San Diego

When I get a craving for fried chicken, Cross Street Chicken and Beer is one of those places that pops into my head. The restaurant used to only offer dinner hours after 3pm but I was thrilled once they added lunch hours. The drive is only ten minutes away from work! It IS in the middle of Convoy so parking can be a pain. We typically have to walk a few blocks if we don't luck out with parking.

Service Counter at Cross Street Chicken on Convoy Street in San Diego

There's a sign-in at the front to add your party size. The service counter and kitchen is to the left upon entering. Do you see that rubber chicken there? It has a couple of special signatures on there... more on that later.

Eats at Blackbird Tavern in Old Town Temecula

After attending a cousin's wedding in Temecula, we decided to explore a little more of Old Town Temecula. We had noticed Blackbird Tavern when we ate across the street at the popular Cuban spot Havana Kitchen. It happened to be Father's Day (though we're not parents yet) and Blackbird Tavern was already half full (much busier than last time we peeked inside with 2-3 tables).

A huge advertising blackboard was to the right of the entrance. According to this, Blackbird Tavern had been open since 2013!