Queso vs. Cotton; Second Anniversary Dinner in San Diego
September 10, 2010 6:20 AM   Subscribe

First year anniversary is paper, second year anniversary is...queso? San-Diego-Queso-Filter

Help me locate a restaurant in San Diego to take the Mrs. Dr. Strangelove out to this weekend for our second anniversary. Criteria is that the restaurant should serve authentic queso, good lime margaritas, and be suitable for an anniversary dinner (whatever that means).
posted by strangelove to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Queso Fundido?, is that what you mean by queso?
posted by artlung at 6:54 AM on September 10, 2010

Response by poster: Correct
posted by strangelove at 7:06 AM on September 10, 2010

The tastiest cheese dish I know is saganaki, which you can get at most Greek restaurants.

Georgia's in Point Loma off Rosecrans is pretty good.
posted by Aizkolari at 7:10 AM on September 10, 2010

When you ask for an event, I think of the Acapulco in Old Town that has a wonderful view out toward the city at night. It's a chain though, and you mention wanting great food, and Acapulco is reliable, but not really exciting food-wise. But my data is old (read ~5 years). Plus, I'm not seeing queso fundido on the menu (they do have a queso with spinach thing).

Now, Cafe Coyote does have queso fundido, and would be worth a shot. Though I say that only after having heard of the joint, not after having eaten there. It's also always kind of a fun "event" to go to Old Town and listen to mariachis and stroll around when the weather is nice in San Diego, even if it can be a bit cheesy, er, kitschy.

You might try this google search: high end mexican restaurants san diego. I'm curious to see what you end up doing, I visit San Diego annually, though my tastes are more pedestrian: [Al|Roy|Adal|Nor]bertos, Cotixan, El Indio. None of these really work for an Anniversary Dinner. :-\
posted by artlung at 7:37 AM on September 10, 2010

Miguelito's is on Coronado within walking distance from the beach and the hotel. Not sure if it's anniversary material, but they have queso fundito and good margaritas. I'm not sure any "high-end" restaurants have queso fundido, but I'm not sure that's what you're looking for. Coronado is a nice place to spend an anniversary.
posted by jabberjaw at 7:56 AM on September 10, 2010

The most authentic queso is in Texas. Out here, some places will have queso fundido (at some places if you ask for queso w/o the fundido you'll get a quizzical look or a side of shreded cheese as it isn't that popular here) but it won't have that special something of its Tex Mex cousin. I eat at Mexican places several times a week but they tend to be more authentically Mexican (street tacos) as opposed to Tex Mex or Cal Mex so there's no queso or margs. I don't often drink margaritas, but I've had a few at Baja Bettys in Hillcrest. Not sure if that's what you mean by suitable for an anniversary dinner. I've only been there at happy hour.

El Vitral in East Village right by Petco park might be middle ground and suitable for a special meal but more expensive than I tend to spend. They have a trillion types of tequila and margaritas (there's a $300 margarita called El Chilango on the menu -- but most are in the $10 range) and have queso. Same with La Puerta in the Gaslamp.

Other Tex Mex that is hard to get in San Diego are migas and breakfast tacos in general. Instead California Mexican dictates one should have breakfast burritos which tend to be gigantic. San Diego's contribution to Mexican cuisine is the California Burrito* and carne asada fries. Best bought a *bertos taco stand that was once one of the old style brick Taco Bells buildings.

*California Burritos are on the menu at practically every Mexican place in town as if it is a requirement from the city in the issuing of permits. It is sort of like how you can get migas practically everywhere in Austin even places like IHOP of all places.
posted by birdherder at 8:05 AM on September 10, 2010

It's not in San Diego proper, but Hacienda de Vega has excellent queso fundido, margaritas, and a nice sit-down ambience, with a pretty outdoor patio, too. I'm sure if you called them and made a reservation and mentioned it was a special occasion, you'd be able to get a very nice table.

Yelp seems to not give it terrific reviews, but I've been there a few times and always thought it was very nice, if a bit pricey for Mexican food in an area that's essentially part of Mexico. Of the other fancy-Mexican places in San Diego (Casa de Gualajara, Casa de Bandini [RIP]) I can't think of any that serve queso fundido.
posted by booknerd at 12:35 PM on September 10, 2010

The only place I know of in SD that serves it is On the Border. Yippee.
posted by LionIndex at 10:30 PM on September 10, 2010

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