Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gaffney's Wine Bar

~Enjoying Thursday night and the wine tasting selection~
Gaffney's has found a new home!!!!! Well its not totally new but it was "news" to me. Gaffney's was in the Encinitas Lumberyard for years. A couple of years ago we were there and Robert mentioned they were moving. I was flabbergasted. What? NO! We love Gaffney's! He said they were looking for a new location and everything would all work out. I never did find out where they moved to. :-(
Two years later Im out for a girls night of holiday shopping and dinner with Keir 
and I see the "Gaffney's" sign. YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
They are located in the Kohl's shopping center at the corner of Encinitas Blvd and El Camino Real!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Such a nice little spot. Very cozy and quaint. Robert and Donna are still there every night and make you feel as if you are enjoying a glass of wine at home. They know everything about wine and more than I could have ever imagined about cheese as well.
The evenings start early at Gaffney's. They have a fantastic menu and whats unique about this wine bar is they have kept it very homey. No fancy gold plated menus and no stuffy crowds. Its a real wine bar with hand written menus that change daily. Robert has been asked a million times why dont you have your menus printed? He simply replies, "Because I dont want to thats why". ha ha
I love it!
Donna makes the salads and the cheese selection they carry are all from local farmers. Robert and Donna purchase the cheese each week so its always on hand at the bar. Its nice to taste the cheeses and then be able to purchase a block to take home.
So fun!
~Cheese plate~

~Gaffney's famous art~

~Very buttery - Just how I like!~

~Robert & Donna~
~Seating option at the bar~

Its so great that Gaffney's has been in town for so long and I am happy to say its still as good as ever. Nothing has changed accept the location.
Its a gret time with great people.
So head to Gaffney's Wine Bar and tell Robert and Donna "PHIL & ANGIE" recommended you give it a try and remember to
Gaffney's Wine Bar is located at:
166 North El Camino Real
Encinitas CA, 92024

Friday, January 13, 2012

Solace & the moonlight lounge

~Warm House-Made Ricotta Dip, Spiced Honey, Oil Cured Black Olive Puree, Garlic Crostini~

 Solace is located on the corner of HWY 101 and E Street and is for sure a place you must visit. Now that we have been once we cant stop from going!!!
Day or night it doesn't matter. Solace is a very fun, quirky and the food is off the charts good. WOW! I was amazed. No one had really talked much about the food. Everyone just kept telling Phil and I we needed to go. His sister Marianne was already going weekly and was like "You little bloggers need to get over there!"
I was off work early one day, Phil was already done working and so we did our usual and took a hostage along..........Keir! Yipppeeeeeeeee
We started with the Ricotta Dip. You have to prepare yourself for a taste like no other. Its so good the three of us considered getting another one. The honey is so different but it really pairs with the ricotta perfectly and the garlic crostini was out of this world. Just delicious! I had a glass of chardonnay with it and I could not have been happier. Fabuloso!

~Grilled Four Cheese Tomato & Basil Sandwich, Creamy Tomato-Fennel Soup, Kennebec Fries~
Keir ordered the grilled cheese. This is gourmet grilled cheese, melt in your mouth style. It was like being in FRANCE but we were in our hometown of Encinitas. The food is so spectacular you have to taste it to believe it. Since I am the one blogging I HAD to try Keir's grilled cheese. Um yea. It was to die for. She was so full she couldn't finish her soup. No matter. It went perfect with my salad and chardonnay!
~“Bibbedge” – Butter Leaf Lettuce, Maytag Blue Cheese, Spiced Pecan, Pickled Onion~
I ordered the bibbage. I literally licked my plate it was so good. Well I didn't really but I wanted too!
~House Made Quinoa-Hazelnut Veggie Burger, Egg Bun, Lettuce, Tomato, Aged White Cheddar~
Phil 's burger had a little bit of a hiccup. The chef has been perfecting the recipe and it wasn't just right. The burger was falling apart while Phil was attempting to eat it. Of course he is too nice to say anything to the waitress. INSERT ANGIE HERE. I let the waitress know and she immediately suggested a different burger that came out perfect and Phil devoured it. We promise to order the veggie burger next time to give it a second chance!
~Keir - taken against her will but happy she went after all~

~View from outside dining above new Whole Foods Center~

~Angie & Phil - Happy to be done working and at Solace!~

~Beer selection is great - try one!~

~Inside the bar area and upstairs dining~

~Love the decor and art~

~Downstairs dining~
It was an awesome experience and we love love love Solace. We just went for the third time last Friday night and met his sister for happy hour. We sat outside under the heaters and had a great time. Everyone is really nice and the atmosphere is one of a kind. Make sure you call ahead for reservations.
Its always jam packed!!!!
So head to Solace & the moonlight lounge and tell them "PHIL & ANGIE" recommended you give it a try and remember to GO LOCAL!
Solace & the moonlight lounge is located at:
25 East E Street
Encinitas CA, 92024

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Carruth Cellars - Solana Beach

~Statue at entrance~
Since we love to GO LOCAL we took it a lil outside of the bubble of Encinitas and Cardiff and hit up the next town over, Solana Beach. Its a whole five minutes from our house so we figured if this place is good then whats a five minute drive? We took a hostage with us for our big mom.
Luckily she had been to Carruth before so when we said we were kidnapping her she was more than happy to be held against her will for a couple of hours.
Carruth Cellars is a lil hard to find so don't be discouraged. Just look for the big pink naked lady statue holding a wine glass. Then begin your ascent up the steepest hill of your life.
Even in 4 inch heels you can do it. I did.

~Phil & Momma Karen~
Once you're done hiking the hill ...... all is well. The cellar is awesome. Its a little hideaway amongst the hustle and bustle of Cedros Avenue where you can shop shop shop til you drop then stop and have a break with friends to mark the end to a great day. The wines are all from Northern California and all had fantastic tastes.
~Always wanted to do this!~

~When Ryan is "Naughty" send him upstairs to the lofts~
That caption was classic!!!! This barrel is right at the counter of the tasting room. Once we stopped laughing we were in the perfect mode to start tasting.
~Outside seating~

~Great place to have a glass and hang out~

~Tasting room~
We've lived in Encinitas & Cardiff all our lives and what we loved most about Carruth Cellars was it was in our hometown of North County. We didnt have to drive out to Temecula for an all day excursion. We hopped in the car, drove a few minutes and were able to have a few hours of local paradise.
Go for a tasting or order a case ahead of time!
Either way you can't go wrong :-)
So head to Carruth Cellars and tell them "PHIL & ANGIE" recommended you give it a try and remember to GO LOCAL!
Carruth Cellars is located at:
320 South Cedros Avenue
Solana Beach, CA

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lofty Bean

~Outdoor seating~

Are you having a bad day? A little cranky? Need a friendly face? If you're in need of a delicious cup-o-joe and alot of extremely cheery people stop into Lofty Bean in Encinitas. We were headin' to our usual coffee place when Phil said......"Hey, I saw a cool looking place the other day across from Encinitas Surfboards". I flipped a uturn and we headed back that way. I was in the worst mood! I know I know.....its Saturday, how could I be in a bad mood? But I was. It was hot out and all I wanted to do was hang in town and go to the beach but I had an event up in the mountains where it was going to be even hotter! Luckily we went to Lofty Bean and all my irritability was swept away. This is such a great spot! Right on the corner of HWY 101 just north of Encinitas Blvd.
Everyone is SUPER nice and my bad mood quickly turned into joking and laughing with the crew. Phil and I went back again on Sunday! Ha!
~Oatmeal with berries~
~American Panini~
~Phil - Very happy I obtained an attitude adjustment~
~Japanese drip tower~
I had the coffee from the Japanese drip tower. Its cool to look at and tastes even better!
~Indoor Lounge~
Locals and tourists alike have all made their way to Lofty Bean. We saw a few faces we knew from around town and while sitting outside on Sunday we met a nice group in town from Long Island, NY.
~Eric with "Charlie" the mascot~
Eric and Lofty Bean mascot "Charlie" are hysterical. Charlie was a ham as soon as I broke out my camera. He was messin' around until I said "Charlie smile" and he looked right at me with his best paparazzi pose he could muster. We are still laughing about it.
~Bar seating with WiFi~

~Gifts for sale~
Meaghan makes the place fun. She has cool style and a great smile and boy can she make ya laugh. Thanks Meaghan cuz on Saturday I needed to laugh and you really saved the day for Phil! Total attitude adjustment within minutes. Thanks again!
~Meaghan - Super Barista!~
My panini was so good. The pickles make it! Mmmmmmmm love the seating outside too. We love the vibe at Lofty Bean and both the coffee and food are incredible.
~Angie very happy with her panini~


The decor is super warm and inviting. We both felt like we stepped out of Encinitas into a little slice of zen. 

So head to Lofty Bean and tell Eric Myers "PHIL & ANGIE" recommended you give it a try and remember to GO LOCAL!
Lofty Bean is located at
90 N. Coast HWY 101
Encinitas, CA  92024

Monday, August 8, 2011

Union Kitchen & Tap

Ridin' to Union Kitchen & Tap
 Luckily for us we live in Encinitas. So a lil' bike ride to Union Kitchen & Tap is just what the doctor ordered. We love UNION KITCHEN! The first time we tried it out was the evening of the soft opening. We were with our friend Howard and we were looking for a place to have a drink. We were on our way to Cardiff and saw the old When In Rome that had been under construction for months finally had a name and was OPEN!!!!! We knew we picked the right spot as we were parking because all we could see were people laughing, talking and cheering their beers. The front of the restaurant faces HWY 101 directly across from Hansens Surf Shop. The windows are practically from floor to ceiling and the tables are right at the window. It was packed! People everywhere. We got in and sat down at a table. Breeze blowing in and up walks an old friend of Phil's, Jim Hurley! He manages the place. Jim told us the background of the design and the plans for the restaurant. We couldn't wait to tell friends & family all about our new find. Fast forward to just about every other weekend. Now we take a bike ride to Union Kitchen & Tap all the time. Seating is family style. Long tables with bar stools so everyone has to get friendly quickly. We like to sit in the booth and people watch but even the booths are family style so everyone scoots in and get acquainted.

 We like to order a couple of Palm beers and a flatbread. Union Kitchen & Tap is all about the beer so take your pick. I'm sure they have it. They have a great wine selection and of course their are cocktails as well. They have a wide variety of chicken and fish on the menu and a couple of vegan options for you tree huggers.

Bacon & Tomato Flatbread

 Union Kitchen & Tap is high energy and always a fun time. People pile in all day and all through the night. Its a great place to meet for happy hour, take your friends to from out of town or just sit with your beer and people watch!

So head to Union Kitchen & Tap and tell Jim Hurley "PHIL & ANGIE" recommended you give it a try and remember to GO LOCAL!
Union Kitchen & Tap is located at
1108 S. Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA  92024


Giovanni's Italian Restaurant and Sandwich Shop has been around since Phil and I were kids. We would walk from Moonlight or D Street after a long day at the beach and order sub sandwiches. As a kid the best thing about Giovanni's was it was casual. You walk in, sandy and tired from a long day in the sun, and Vito would greet us with a loud italian voice "WHAT CAN I GET FOR YOU"....We loved it! We felt like it was our very own families dining table. Now that we are adults we still love the same thing about Giovanni's and nothing has changed about the place since we were kids. We took Phil's dad Carmine, his brother Marty and his nephew Anthony to Giovanni's on Saturday for lunch. It was sunny and warm and Vito pushed a couple of tables together for us and we sat and people watched while we waited for our food. Like most of the restaurants in Encinitas the seating outside is along the sidewalk. People walk by with their dogs, their children, kids skateboard by and now and again you get people who dont know better cruising their bikes on the sidewalk. If you're from Encinitas you're used to this. If you're not it can seem a little annoying. But dont be annoyed. Just kick back and smile as people go by. Its pretty enjoyable. When we were there on Saturday we had several people on bikes go by and they were all dressed for a 70's costume party. Ya just dont see that type of thing everyday so like I said...........Kick back and enjoy the view. Its pure entertainment!
A few minutes went by and our food arrived. Three of us had Philly Steak subs, Phil had the Chicken Parmesean sub and Marty had the all time classic MEATBALL SUB. Everything was delicious. Not a lick of food was left between the five of us. We all had sandwiches but Giovanni's is more than a sub shop. Vito offers pizzas, pastas, salads and desserts. If you dont see it on the menu I betcha Vito will make it for you so just ask!
We shared some fun in the sun and our ultimate goal was met. We had a great day with "la famiglia" (the family) at one of our all time favorite restaurants.
So head to Giovanni's and tell Vito "PHIL & ANGIE" recommended you give it a try and remember to
Giovanni's is located at
764 S. Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA  92024