Eating in Encinitas, CA

Last weekend I enjoyed a treat: my first solo trip since having kids (my oldest will be ten this summer!). Once the plane landed safely in San Diego, I was able to take a deep breath and enjoy myself.

I was lucky to have a friend at my destination. My cousin, leadership coach Jenny Jacobs, was my guide and nonstop chat companion! I think we just about covered all of the topics during our four-day gabfest in her new hometown of Encinitas. It was muy delicioso!

Chatting with a friend and enjoying the natural beauty of southern California is all well and good, but let’s face it: what’s the point of leaving home if you’re not going to delve into the local food? Four days was not long enough to try everything, let alone go back for seconds, but if I could have I’d have gotten chiliquiles from La Especial Norte in Encinitas every morning. We ordered them “extra crispy” with eggs over-easy and salsa verde. Sweet mercy!

Suffice it to say there’s an abundance of Mexican restaurants in Encinitas. I’d be curious to try all of the top-rated places on Yelp and see how far you get in the rankings before you find a place that’s mediocre — I’ll bet it’s a long time coming. My favorite SoCal burrito was a California burrito: carne asada, french fries, cheese, salsa fresca and guacamole. We got ours from Filiberto’s in historic downtown – less than a 10-minute walk from Moonlight Beach. (I will definitely be trying California burrito recipes at home, starting with this one.)

Another notable treat was a cuppa at Better Buzz coffee in historic downtown. My daily drink is plain drip coffee with a splash of cold soy, but when I am out and about I like to order a soy latte. There was a line at Better Buzz, but the atmosphere was so inviting with the windows and doors flung open to the gorgeous weather that I just went with it. The line moved faster than I anticipated but gave me time to peruse the menu… which included a little something called “Best Drink Ever.” What fool would say no to that? Not this one. As described, it was a classic americano plus their signature creamy vanilla. It was the perfect “treat” latte – not sickeningly sweet, and really creamy. An absolute delight.

Last but not least, we had brunch at The Crack Shack. In the past I have made a big fuss over despising the use of “crack” in the names of recipes to indicate how “addictive” they are (i.e. “crack brownies.”). However, The Crack Shack is about cracking eggs. Guffaw! Aside from the fact that the Senor Croque breakfast sandwich was amazing (crispy chicken, bacon, fried egg, cheddar, miso-maple butter, brioche bun), I also love that they use Jidori chickens which are truly pasture raised, antibiotic- and additive-free.

Thankfully the weather was gorgeous for my trip, so I could use mornings and evenings to walk off all the food at Moonlight Beach (seals, surfers, pretty rocks and waves crashing ashore – idyllic!). I can’t wait to go back!