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Monday, December 26, 2016

Pancake Perfection

It would be wrong of me not to get at least one more solid pancake review in before the 2016 year lets out so here have it. This is much overdue actually as both of these visits took place on Sunday mornings over the past two weekends prior to my flying home to Madison, WI on December 22nd for leave time with family over the holidays. I write this blog post from my hometown matter of fact.

My SD culinary adventures took me back into 2 places I have been before to quell my always present craving for pancakes. Anyone with a bent for hotcakes likely has heard of or is well aware of both venues......they are none other than Brians 24 and Richard Walkers Pancake House. Perhaps the two most well-known and popular establishments in all downtown San Diego or even the city IMO....when it comes to the BEST EVER pancakes.

Let's recap what was had and what better bite you can land yourself in the coming Sunday's of 2017!

745am Sunday Dec 18th: Richard Walkers Pancake House (downtown)
A plate does exist under this monster!


I got the HUGE German Pancake as I had not had this before here but had seen it many times and finally decided it was my turn to test it out.....glad I did! Different than any kind of traditional pancake I had ever had to date. It looks different, taste different and is different. Just look at it! This giant plate engulfing "pancake" has a nice crispy rim but a soft custard like bottom with a truly amazing texture and flavor that's half pancake and half french toast/custard. Dusted with powdered sugar and comes with lemon slices and butter to drizzle on. I went sans butter myself as I wanted to taste the real flavor of the pancake alone. I found that was good enough! I found that the standard recommendation of "cut and roll tactic" is truly the best method to eat this monster so that you get the soft bottom wrapped in with the crispy rim in every bite. Service was fast, kind, friendly and on point. Prices are fair and dining outside on the patio is a treat in itself with the heated vents. What better way to take in a Sunday morning in DT San Diego?


3pm Sunday Dec 11th: Brians 24

Bacon, banana and chocolate chips packed in every bite!


Having eaten here over 25 times (in the past 2 years) according to my Yelp.com check-in history.......I am no stranger at all to Brian's 24. I think half of those check-ins are for pancakes as well. I also think 1/4 of their Facebook pictures are from me as well.....just saying. I was really feeling creative on this visit and was torn between going sweet or savory style hotcakes. Normally plane Jane buttermilk does just fine and dandy for me at Brian's 24. This time I needed to venture out more. Then my creative mind with help from my roaring stomach came to a compromise.....maybe even Elvis himself shot down a bolt of inspiration at that moment....bacon, chocolate chips, and banana please! My server had no problem with my request becoming a reality. I got the short stack of 2 giant plate size (their plates are hubcap size mind you) hot pancakes riddled with my trifecta of goodies in each pancake. I even happen to bring in my own little concoction of peanut butter "frosting" which I make often and top many homemade items with. It's just a combo of whey protein powder, almond milk and powdered peanut butter. I smothered a generous dose of that on my hotcakes and OMG!! That with the banana-bacon-choco chip combination was something I had not tasted in a LONG time!! Every single bite was a flavor explosion of flavors and textures. (Brians 24 hotcakes as the fluffiest and softest you will ever have btw..) So just when I thought I had experienced the very best of Brians 24 pancake selection, they go and raise the bar yet again with some help of my own creative gastronomic impulses.



So the year is now over yet and if you need to get 1-2 more pancakes fixings out of your system still, or if you need a new years day venue to recover at and soak up some pre-evening booze....then I have found two of them for you. Close out 2016 or bring in 2017 with a Better Bite and order up some hotcakes that will make the German in you scream with joy or have Elvis rocking in the grave....its win-win either way for you!

Happy Holidays to you all! Good eats and good wishes!




Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Better Bites found at Barrio Star

On a Friday night just last week I found myself with a hankering for some tried and true Mexican food I could rely on. Having been to this venue 3-4x before for breakfast and never once been disappointed with the food or the service, I decided to venture into the dinner menu of the the one and only Barrio Star in Bankers Hill. 

I got in about 645pm and the place was pretty busy but not crazy. Greeted right away and seated by the host. Took a table end seat with a nice view of 5th ave. I really wanted to explore the dinner menu as much as a I could on this visit so thats just what I ordered up. Having had the Barrio power bowl and Barrio power burrito on several occasions before from the amazing breakfast menu they have.....I had high expectations for the dinner menu as well. I was not let down!

Below are shots of the spread I got....


Fresh ceviche appetizer (perfect use of lime)

Cucumber appetizer (love the marinated and  curry spices)

Chicken Pozole Soup Bowl (light and flavorful)

Mexican Chopped Salad with added chicken (dressing is on point!)


Side of organic steamed greens (dressing is amazing!)

Everything I got was delicious! Flavorful, fresh, well seasoned and authentically made with a true Mexican spin. The use of spices and juices/marinades for the chicken, salad dressing, ceviche, soup and even the greens was a hit on all levels. Very robust flavors that enhance the natural flavor appeal of the foods themselves. Nice to eat a meal that goes down well and sits well also because of its natural and wholesome foundation to begin with.

My server Jenna was awesome! She was very kind, super tentative and very caring for me during my experience. Able to keep my large order 100% straight without even writing it down! My dishes came out quite quickly as well from the cucumber to start with and ending with my very well seasoned and steamed greens. Everything was before me within 15 minutes of ordering! Not bad for a fairly busy Friday night I'd say.

So its pretty clear that Barrio Star can pull off both the breakfast menu and the dinner menu without missing a beat. Love a place I can find solid, consistent meals made fresh and authentic for a good price with good service morning, noon and night. That's what I call A Better Bite!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lets Mangia! Eating Well in Chula Vista...

I took a little side-stroll into Chula Vista after work this particular evening being I work just outside National City on NBSD. I had a late day, still had to hit the gym and did not feel like making dinner when I got home to Point Loma later. Something local would have to do! I slid over to the 24 Hour Fitness in on 3rd Ave in Chula Vista to get my pump on and pump we did! Working up an appetite, I needed to find close, fit the bill of pallet pleasing and stomach filling without causing me to pass out 30 minutes after eating.......what to do...?...Mangia as we say in Italian! Eat!

A check with Yelp.com (190 reviews, 4/5 stars) pointed me to a place just 3 blocks...yes 3 blocks away with high reviews, promising pictures, good prices and a seemingly authentic Italian menu offering......decision made! Mangia Italiano on Third is where I was headed.

615pm or so I came in and found the place fairly busy with a group in the back and several families in the front half of the restaurant partaking in their Tuesday night dinner buffet option ($12) which upon my review looked really good and almost swayed me to opt for it with its vast range of salads, pastas, soups, pizzas and grilled meats. The notion of going more traditional Italian got the best of me however and I stuck to my guns and ordered off the menu. Feast your eyes on my selections below...


Veggie Premavera (low carb entree selection, no pasta)
Well seasoned, not too much oil or butter, great option for those who want flavor, satiation and portion without calories or a gut bomb later. Comes in a shrimp option also!

Dinner Salad
Small serving, nothing amazing or over the top but it comes with meal so mine as well take it. Salad was crisp and fresh.

Minestrone Bowl of Soup
Robust in flavor, chalk full of veggies and potato. Nice smooth tomato base with good seasonings.

House made Foccacia Bread
Served warm and fresh right from the kitchen. Herbs adds nice flavor! Sop up the soup with this! Just do it!


My whole meals was under $23 before tipping so prices here are very affordable for what you get. Service is pretty quick as well. Being it was decently busy but not packed they were moving pretty well. McKenna and Ashley were the two servers I happen to interact with on this visit and both are amazing! Super kind, friendly and helpful to all my needs the whole visit.

Be sure to say hello to Kathy the owner as well. I got a chance to speak to her after my meal to ask about the history of the venue (10 years and still going strong), menu design, Italian influences (classical/traditional Italian dishes) within it as well as the rare but nice to see tenure many of her staff and head chef have there. Many with 7 years or more working for her. The head chef has been with Kathy since they first opened which I found very interesting and a testament to the genuine vibe they have going here. I would say they have something going here at Mangia Italiano on Third! And its more than just a place to find Abetterbite!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Debut at THE LOT

I am officially off my contest prep diet at last!!



As of this posting (Nov 20th technically) my 20 week contest prep diet has ended of which the last 6 did not have me dining out 1 time! Or at least eating anything when I did go out with others.......sad but true sacrifice of being a stage based fitness competitors and fitness model on the side.....worth it yes, struggle at times?......also yes! But thats done and so now I can loosen the reins up just in time for holidays to enjoy being a bit more normal again......by fitness folks standards mind you!

To kick off my return to humanity and normal culinary experiences beyond my own grill or kitchen, I made big plans to make my debut visit to THE LOT in Liberty Station in Point Loma with a close friend and fellow foodie of mine Maggie. This was also her debut visit to the venue so we both had a novel experience to come in for. Let us begin.....

A Sunday evening around 630pm after a draining 3 hour photoshoot I got into the venue and had a 645 RSVP but was quickly seated anyway in prep for Maggie to arrive. The single catch we had all night (which was rectified) was that the app order I placed at 7pm slipped the order placement and at 725pm had still not come out....nothing major. The GM Brent came to the rescue and he himself took our full order down and got it placed pronto.

Maggie and I both got to meet the sou chef William Jacobson to ask some questions on our menu item selections which was cool for us as we both love knowing how and where the food came from and comes to be what it is. Brent was sure to take care of us all night with regular checks which I liked. 

As my pictures below show, the two of us got a full spread of foods from the menu to try out and review. 

-Entrees-

1855 flank steak, (mine)

marys chicken, hers (Maggie)

-shared-

chicken tortilla soup

Brussels sprouts

shishito peppers

LOT salad

grilled veggie flatbread


Notes on the items we got:

Sprouts and peppers, simple, get them both! Some of the best of both apps I have had anywhere. A must!

Flatbread- Nothing super amazing IMO. Very flavorful as all toppings are local and fresh. I am not a bread/flour/wheat person so I tend not to have a taste for items like this but again, I still would get it again for sure. Not a crumb was left between us so consider that to folks!

I would order all of these again hands down no question. My steak was amazing and cooked perfectly medium rare as I like it. Chimi topping was on point! The red roasted potatoes which I am a HUGE fan of were $$ as well. Soft but not crispy with just enough evoo and butter to add flavor but not drench it either. 

The soup here really blew my away! Way good! Full of robust flavor made only from a chicken broth base and pureed tomato and carrot according to the chef. I was very impressed with this soup and I am a soup NAZI!

Our LOT salad was good but not amazing, it simply lacked a texture pow and we both agreed that some wasabi peas or spiced croutons would do just the trick to match the pickled veggies and light lemon dressing they use on it. 

Maggie's chicken dish which I sampled was some of the most moist chicken I have ever had. The plum sauce they use with it is a must use on every bite as well! And OMG the polenta it was served over! Melt in your mouth warm, cheesy creamy goodness!


Service, food, all good, price are higher yes, but you get what you pay for plus the ambiance is worth the added cost IMO. When you can watch the SNF game on the big screen and take in a nice meal all at once......your winning in the game of finding ABetterBite!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Village Impresses!







So here I am with yet another Yelp Elite event to highlight about for you all! This one being a bit different in that it not only highlights amazing foods but also an amazing venue and living residence in Mission Valley. Having lived in an apartment just 3/4 of a mile away from this community during my first year of life in San Diego, It was ironic I had passed this place so many times before and had no idea how awesome this neighboring location of apartments truly was. I know better now and I think you are too!

This event was held on a Tuesday night from 7-9pm where myself and about 100 or so other local SD Yelp Elites amassed to experience the full spectrum hospitality of the Village in terms of staff, food, amenities, rooms and more.

The upstairs lounge space we had reserved for our group was very nice. 2 large flat screen TV's to watch game 6 of world series was perfect as it would be for any big sports event. 2 large seating areas for guest. A kitchen demonstration and cooking space, a balcony area adjacent to the kitchen with amazing views of the pools outside.

The food came racing out from behind the kitchen counter all night where we had some very well prepared apps all night long. We had enoki mushroom sliders, prime rib sliders, bruchetta, noogatine desserts, artichoke hearts over goat cheese on crostini, chocolate cake that looked like it was actually worth dying for, creme brulee cups, wine, cosmos and much more I am sure you will see in the slide show of pictures.


SLIDESHOW OF PICTURES FROM THE NIGHT


The single bedroom demo room I looked at was just breathtaking. Super modern, open, lots of windows for natural light to come in, big closets, an open kitchen with movable center work counter space, big bathrooms. Very spacious and open which I liked. Nice little patio space to see outside as well.

The gym rivaled any small scale express gym you may see out in town and in fact beat some of have seen hands down. New top of the line Precor fitness equipment, machines, cardio, free weights, group exercise (rooms and classes with instructors) TRX spaces and more. I found this way cool being a fitness guy by profession and by hobby! No need for a gym membership if you lived here!

The pools speak for themselves, 1 lap swimming pool, several lounging pools all over the property, salt water at that! One pool they keep heated year round as well!

They have gas grills all over the property as well which are first come first serve use. These are like top notch massive grills as well. As one self proclaimed grill master I found this quite impressive all by itself. I would likely be found down at those bad boys nightly if I lived here, no joke! Between the open space fully equiped kitchens, clubhouse kitchen demo space and these outside gas grills, I think I would be known as the community "cooking/baking/grilling guy" very quickly! What a way to make quick friends right!?

The clubhouse (where the event was hosted) was out of this world. Lounge areas, study areas, pkush chairs, hardwood tables, coffee lounge spots, a full bar area with seating, TV's. coffee station, happy hour specials, high speed wifi and more! Again....no reason to leave this place!

In a couple months I am told a small market is opening up as well stocked with essential grocery items sourced from only local merchants and farmers markets! OK now you really do not have to leave at all!

Now after all this info and footage you have been priveed to I cannot speak on prices, I did not see those nor do I have that info as of this posting either. I am told spaces range from $1800 to $2800 by some of my fellow Yelp Elite folks I attended with but that is all I have for you. My awesome tour guide Heather is sending me just this info when she returns from some time off so I can link that in the comments below when I get it.

If anything else I highly suggest you stop in and ask for Heather to offer you, your own tour to see the property, pools, gym, clubhouse etc........let this wet your whistle for now but don't stop there. Go check it out for yourself and see how amazing the Village really is. You are sure to find A Better Bite here but oh so much more as well!




Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Another Yelp Elite Debut!



I just dined hear for the very first time this past Sunday at 1030am as part of a Yelp Elite event I attended with my fellow local Yelpers. About 50 of us were in attendance while I was there for this debut visit. 

I have been by near here many many times during my HQ visits on other occasions but never for a dining experience at S52, brunch, lunch or otherwise. Today was brunch!

Now do forgive me folks, really, forgive me, if you find it wrong that I have dined in at two venues now (this being the 2nd) event as a Yelp Elite member who did not try a single bite of the foods made available to us (beyond some really good Columbian coffee) then I may let you down a bit with this review as that is the honest case and thus cannot offer feedback on the food taste or quality from my perspective.

I am under 5 weeks out from a big men's fitness contest at the pro level in Hermosa Beach, CA with my sponsors all riding on this as well as my coach, family, friends and my own high expectations to do very well.....so cutting corners and eating out at all has went to the way side about 2 weeks ago period. Lets say my home grill and kitchen have been an endless zone of personal creativity lately!

Anyway......Seasons 52. The pictures below show the awesome foods served up with one omission on my part and for that I am sorry because they looked bomb!....the S52 Eggs Benedict! I had a picture but deleted it from my camera before uploading it! My bad! 

My companions all had good things to say about every item we were served let me say that. Not one person had anything negative to say about anything. Great drinks, food, service and the venue itself its very nice, classy and higher end but no super over the top either. A very wise choice for anyone looking at a solid Sunday brunch location to bring a bigger group and be able to satisfy everyone from the vegetarian, meat eater and anything between with breakfast/brunch staples of a higher end quality.

Shrubby Mary and Mimonsa!

Dessert Mini's (5 flavors!)

More lovely desserts!

Veggie Frittata

Brick Oven Brioche French Toast

Garlic-Parm Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes

Happy Yelpers!

Shashuka

Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Brunch Menu- full description



Safe to say that even without having tried anything myself......this venue is indeed a sure means to a BetterBite and one I will return to post contest to fully indulge in!



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nothing Common about it!

So I finally have a local SD based venue to bring to your attention!!




With my eating/dining out norm having been on the down-low with the contest prep diet I am on I have very few meals out anymore at all being just 5 weeks out from the big day. Last night however, a Thursday from 6-8pm myself my fellow Yelper Elite status friends came into The Commons Bar on 4th and F St in downtown Gaslamp.


This event hosted here by our good man and local SD community organizer, Brad and the awesome people of Commons Bar. I had never been here until this event so this was a true debut experience full of novelty and first times. Not my last either let me say that now. 


Brad and I having a darn good old time at The Commons Bar

Take it from a San Diego Yelp Elite like me to tell you where to find "A Better Bite!"


The venue itself is smaller but does the job just fine. With outside, 4th ave patio seating, general floor level bar seating and a smaller row of upstairs seating it works out well I found. Plenty of TV's all over the place for watching the big game or sports event as well, always a plus. Its a bit loud but what sports bar-ish type place is not right? We had live music on this evening as well so that added to the acoustic vibe as well (and he was good too!) 







From the food side of things I got to see (sadly not sample) their cheeseburger sliders, house wings, pretzel bites and pita/veggie/hummus plate. All of them looked like true winners in my book. Items I will order in the future for sure. My dining companions tore through the samples being brought out during our stay so I think they liked it all, safe to say!







Not one to ever really drink much at all other then red wine, I cannot speak on the booze side of things. The darn diet does not have room for any booze sadly, for now anyway (I know, how could I!?) But these bad boys seemed to be real hits among my comrades all night.


Tipsy Palmer 


Service was great, very kind gals working the bar and the floor, quick to keep drinks full and food trays stocked during our 2 hour group event. 

This is a great place to watch a game, hang out, grab drinks or take in a downtown weeknight happy hour with friends and co-workers. Once this contest is done and my diet ends, give me a shout and let me know when your coming in......lets make this place a truly Common Bar to hang out at hey?


Yelper Elites enjoying and reviewing the not hotspot.

Live music! Yeah buddy!

Perfect spot for the game!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

ProSupps Stack Review

The second review within the dietary supplement/sports nutrition arena I will cover is the ProSupps brand. I selected this brand because I have been following the company for a good year now. I have followed the company CEO and his career as a successful bodybuilder and businessman since 2004. His story is inspiring to say the least. A guy who has his track record as a former athlete, deeply connected to the sport he now serves as well as a professional businessman with 10+ years in the sports nutrition industry. He has owned companies with annual revenues of over $65 million so its safe to say T.J. knows a thing or two about the unique sport, the lifestyle, the products and quality.


 So, the three products that particularly really got my attention for their potential to help me with my own personal fitness goals of competing in my upcoming fall men's physique contest within the UNBA which will take place in Hermosa Beach, CA on November 19.


I chose these 3 items among the many items ProSupps brand offers because these have the best direct purpose for my goals. I say this as I urge anyone using dietary supplements to have a purpose, a justified, rational reason for taking and using any supplement brand at all. Make sure the ingredient(s) have substantiated benefit for your particular goal or outcomes as well. Be it stamina, strength, power, body composition, more lean muscle mass, fatigue reduction, recovery enhancement etc......take a product that fully supports that outcome. NEVER take a product "just cuz" or because Jack/Jane "know it all from the gym" said so. That's just, wasteful, silly and dangerous as I see it. 


The 3 products I selected were those with strong utility and purpose in my own training goals and needs as it relates to preparing for this contest. The 3 items are as follows: Click the product title to be taken to the page that gives full description and use and ingredient facts labels.


  • CRASH (sleep assistance and support)
    • I train at 530pm and end at 7ish so I am pretty wound up yet after workouts and its nice to be able to come back down and sleep well for better recovery and so this item (taste is amazing) with 6 oz water 30 minutes before bed has been helpful so far. I sleep pretty well as it is by keeping a very consistent sleep wake schedule all week long. This helps establish a strong circadian rhythm and better recovery. I also control things like blue light, noise and room temperature as best I can to promote better sleep conditions. I also like my coffee but make sure not to ingest much after 530pm so its out of my system by the time I hit the hay around midnight......I am a total night owl by the way.

  • HDYRO BCAA (intra-workout training support and muscle retention)
    • A staple year round product for me during my workout sessions. Research has shown equivocal to some positive benefit to using properly dosed (6-10g) BCAA in a 2:1:1 or more ratio to help with preventing muscle breakdown from strenuous resistance exercise. While dieting on lower calories like I am now; I find BCAA's like this with electrolytes and citrulline to be a nice buffer for keeping every ounce of muscle I worked to build. It also promotes hydration and muscle performance by keeping sipping more fluid and the added sodium/potassium.
Blue Raz flavor is amazing! 2 scoops mixed with 50/50 Sprite Zero & Water with ice. Take that to the beach!

  • I LOAD (post exercise blood sugar and insulin control)
    • When dieting down for contests like I am, getting ultra lean (5% or less) is the goal and it is not normal to be this lean for long. Doing so takes careful design in training and diet to get there. Carbs for me are needed to do my day job, train 90 minute sessions of my own in the gym and function as a human. I cant and do not do the keto or super low carb thing....I cant. I stay around 200g carbs even in the grinding end of my contest prep diet. But to get super lean carbs must be taken in strategically to do their job but not stall fat loss. Timing, type and amount are the keys to making this work. Manipulating the hormone response to these carbs I eat is also something I found very helpful. This product takes chromium and 4 other well known ingredients, helpful in keeping a tight rein on blood sugar and insulin and thus, better fat loss. This allows me to eat higher carbs before and after training sessions to promote recovery and performance without stalling fat loss. Diabetics and those with hypoglycemia issues should consult a sports dietitian (CSSD credential besides RD designation) prior to using this item or those like it.


With this being said I do not mean to say anyone has to use or take these items. If your goals do happen to match that of my own then consider these as possible aids in such pursuits. The flavors are on point, they are all manufactured in a cGMP facility and made here in the USA. No adverse event reports have ever been filed on these 3 items that I could find on SupplementWatch or ConsumerLabs. I hope some of you found this 2 series blog post edition on sports nutrition and dietary supplements a nice change of pace and perhaps if you all like this, I will do more in the near future.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Protein On The Go!

As promised in my last blog post, I would be making a review on two new brands of dietary supplements of which do not run in direct competition to my sponsoring brand affiliate ProLab.

As I also noted before, I do no get any kind of endorsement or financial kick for these reviews. I simply wanted to try them for my own insights and thoughts. I figure I can help benefit many of you blog readers in the process of doing so as well.

So here we go. Brand one, product 1, E-Hydrate Protein On-The-Go.

These unique and first of its kind dry pack pouches are pretty neat. You stash them in a pocket easily prior to a long hike, long ride on the bike, a long run session, stock a few in a glove compartment of your car (which I have done). The super convenient nature of these foldable, small, lightweight packs gives them utility that other bottle based powders or bottle based protein powders do not. Not that grabbing a pre-made and bottles protein or meal replacement shake is inconvenient either.....but for the truly on the go type person or athlete who needs/wants an easy and super versatile protein option, this is a no brainer.

Taste wise its not bad at all. Chocolate and vanilla both have legit flavor with no funky aftertaste. As long as you add enough water to the fill line listed on the pack and mix it really well with the cap screwed on well (check that!) it mixes pretty well. No clumps or chunks. Use cold water it all possible as its thicker and just taste better that way I found.

Nutritionally speaking, these bad boys are not bad at all. As seen below on the supplement facts label, a nice macro profile that's suitable for all types. Whey comes from a combo of whey isolate, concentrate and hydrolysate, giving the consumer three profiles/tiers of high grade, fast digesting whey for muscle recovery. The addition of some sodium and potassium is also a plus for the active person in the midst or between workout sessions where electrolyte replacement is as important if not more so in the acute sense....than the protein itself.






E-hydrate protein powder can be bought in both straight 1.3lb tubs and as the 3 or 6 pack pouches in at their company website which is found right here:  https://e-hydrate.com/


With this said.....it looks like some companies such as this one now make it possible for the athlete of all levels to find "A Better Bite" while on the go! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Short Term Shift Perhaps?

In the coming two weeks I will be taking slight twist in the blog posts I discuss here. Food however, either that of which I make on my own at home (majority for the next 7 weeks leading to my second of two fitness contests this fall) and those very few I do perhaps go out to and review for the first time. As of right now this is just two spots this month...... Seasons 52  for Brunch and The Commons Bar. I have Yelp Elite invite events to attend and my duty as a Yelp Elite status member is to uphold my promise to visit, review, experience and report back to the SD people just like you who read this, about such hotspots from a devout foodie insiders perspective.

Beyond those two formal dining out plans I have this month, I plan to highlight on a few new dietary supplements I am looking to sample out or have been sampling out and really finding some great utility with.

So far one such item is MitoXcell protein blend. I bake with, blend with it, freeze with it, mix with it and more. Its texture, taste, nutritional profile and versatility in the kitchen has made it a go to item for my protein powder based recipes I make almost weekly if not more.

This concoction below is a little sum-sum I call "protein muscle-mash"


  • 20g unsweet cocoa
  • 24g pbfit powdered peanut butter
  • 1 cup unsweet almond milk
  • 30g chia seeds

Mix well, let sit for 4+ hours in fridge for chia to soak and thicken with other ingredients. Stick in freezer for up to 1 hour before consuming this and enjoy!

I have also made peanut butter fudge protein oatmeal bars, and some amazing greens power smoothies using this product with tremendous outcome each time. The whey/casein blend really makes for a unique and useful consistency in the above items I find.

Full Disclosure Statement: I do not receive any kind of compensation/kickback or benefit for the promotion or endorsement of this brand or its product line. I have obtained small batch samples to review for my own use as well as educational workshops only.


As mentioned in the beginning of this blog post, I did say I would be changing the theme a bit only for the next couple weeks. The topic will shift to cover my review of two different supplement brands/products. These are are the first supplements not from my normal past selections nor my current sponsor (ProLab) that I have even bothered to try in months if not longer.

The brands are:
ProSupps-
E-Hydrate-

Which items I will be reviewing over the next 2 weeks from each brand will be kept a secret until the time comes to post my final thoughts, insights, outcomes and perspectives.

Stay tuned for these and find out where your next "Better Bite" in the nutritional supplement realm may come from and if its worth buying, using for your needs.

Until next time......eat well my fellow San Dieagans!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bring the "better bite" to you with buff brownies!

This past weekend I got my trial order of Buff Brownies DIY mix packs in the mail from the awesome people working at the company BuffBrownies.com  where they just recently started offering a shipped to you DIY version of what has been so far, a VERY successful local (Perry,OH) pick up services of their popular health and fitness  friendly flavored brownie loaves. They make 5 flavors of which I got to try 4 of this past Saturday as part of my 6-day high carb/refeed day I use within my contest prep strategy. Now 6 weeks out from my first show and 8 weeks from my 2nd show this fall, I am always looking for foods that taste good, fit my nutritional plan needs and are relatively easy to make. I saw a picture comment on Facebook linked to their page from a friend of mine. I checked over the Buff Brownies Facebook page  and in about 10 minutes of picture viewing, I was emailing Jeremy Goldizen, the owner and head chef behind these unique protein packed brownie loaves. 

They ship you the mini baking tins and the packets you need to make the brownies. All you need to do is add water and egg white, spray your tins, mix and bake! That's it! I baked all 4 of my mini loaves at once using the directions below and the picture shows you the outcomes.


Do note that the serving they suggest is half a loaf which matches the macros above. If you eat the WHOLE loaf, double the macro numbers and calories. For me, this worked great as I was able to have 1/2 of each loaf to sample all 4 flavors and hit the macros I needed by adding some fat-free Chobani vanilla greek yogurt over the top of each. Talk about a guilt-free meal that feels like cheating!




Top to bottom: 
-Lemon
-PB Cookie
-Cinnabon (best one of all)
-Mint

As one who LOVES all things cinnamon it was not a shock this one stood out for me. True cinnamon flavor like a cinnamon roll in both smell and taste. Very impressed with this one. 

All 4 flavors were authentic and delicious. Strong aroma and flavors from each in their own right. Texture was moist, chewy and very....well, brownie-like!

I now plan to be using these almost daily on my lifting days when my carb intake is higher and fats are lower. I will certainly have several of these as part of my refeed days now that I know just good they are and how macro friendly they can be. I love that I can make 4-5 or more at one time and have them ready to go for on the go treats or mini meal snacks as well.

So although this post was not directly about a food find in San Diego, this may be even better, you can have these shipped right to you be it San Diego or any other city you may reside in. A Better Bite now finds you!

Friday, September 23, 2016

New sushi spot "rolls" into Point Loma


Just this past Friday night about 8pm I came on into the new, just opened (like 2 weeks ago new) Sushi Lounge on the west end of Rosecrans Blvd at the corner of Dickens St. I had seen all the hype on social media about its opening, the pictures, the strong, positive reviews and the fact it was just a mile from where I live pretty well sealed the deal for me......I was going and soon! 

Being I am 14 weeks into my contest diet with 6 weeks to go yet it is soooo nice to have a cravable food like sushi that's all rice carbs and lean sashimi grade fish protein I can use on my higher carb intake days and really indulge both my palate and my nutritional needs/limits. That being said this was a real treat as I had not had sushi of any kind for a month....far too long to go in this town. 

Read and on peruse the pictures below to see how this debut visit went for me on this hopping busy Friday evening......




My first bite of sushi in over a month......that's unheard of!!


(Photos shot with Cannon PowerShot G7X)


Classic Miso!



Garlic edamame with an amazing cinnamon glaze!! Must try item!



My go-to roll to test new spots true quality.....rainbow roll! Spot on the $$ here!



Vegetarians will go nuts for this.....Green Monster roll



Speciality roll, Hawaii-5-O Roll, winner in my book! Even more so while dieting!


My grand finale selection.....The Tsunami Roll......has a kick and I like it!!




Katie and Frank, Co-Owners of the new Point Loma Sushi Lounge location . Both are amazing people, doing sushi the right way, traditional, quality assured, flavorful and fresh. The customer service I got from my waitress Katelyn was outstanding, super friendly, informative to the menu and on point all night during my visit. Alison the GM was there to greet me right at the door and assure I was welcome to the new location and explained the full menu and drink specials to me.

Knowing they have half price Monday's on select rolls and apps as well as half off sake' Tuesday AND a daily Happy Hour gives anyone reason to make this regular spot any day of the week as I see it.

Being they are a mile down the road from where I live......there is a very good chance your going to see me "rolling" on into this place to find "A Better Bite" near home! And so should you!