The other day I told you how Doc and I stole a couple of bikes from the Sofia Hotel and held them hostage for over 12 hours.
I have to recommend to you that, any time you stay in downtown San Diego, bikes are the premier mode of transportation for getting around.
They haven’t reached the popularity of a Seattle or Key West yet, but you see quite a few locals smiling to themselves as they buzz around the concrete jungle, knowing they are smarter than their neighbors who drive.
- The weather is almost always perfect...... so you can get a little sun and fresh air
- The incredible architecture to look at
- You avoid enormous parking fees and wasting time searching for the handful of available spaces
- You save gas
- There are some really cool areas to bike in, on and around, including the Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Plaza, Petco Park, the Convention Center and obviously the Embarcadero near the bay.
- You can take your bike on the Ferry to Coronado Island
By far, I think the last benefit is the coolest.
So that is exactly what Doc and I did.
From just about anywhere in downtown San Diego you can see the bright blue, soaring bridge that leads you to the unique beach community of Coronado.
What I originally thought was an island (Coronado Island, right?) is actually a peninsula possessing a picture perfect beach town boasting one of California’s best beaches.
There are neat and orderly neighborhoods robed in red tile roofs, vegetation that explodes from every front yard, bountiful boutique shopping and one of the coolest old resorts I've ever seen.
After jumping off the ferry, we zig- zagged aimlessly through the neighborhoods until we got close to the Hotel Del Coronado.
The rear tire on Doc’s bike developed a huge blister so we decided to get it fixed at a local shop.
Since it was mid-afternoon, we decided to stop for a bite to eat and some frosty adult beverages.
The repair guy at the bike shop suggested a little greasy spoon up the road called the “Night and Day Café” so we took his advice.
We hit pay dirt.
The place was your typical greasy spoon with minimal counter seating facing the grill, an open front window, a few small tables against a food stained wall and a direct view into the back food prep area.
There was absolutely, positively nothing fancy about this place.
There was dust on everything and multiple shades and layers of grease decorated the cooking area.
The TV hanging in the corner was blaring a football game.
The front was being handled by a couple of unkempt, burly guys that could have been the owners, the managers or the cooks.
My guess is they were all three.
If that type of atmosphere bothers you, all I can say is, don’t be fooled by the looks.
Burly Guy #1 stepped right up as we sat down at the counter and tossed us a couple of plastic menus.
We ordered a round of beers to help us make up our minds on the food.
The menu had breakfast, some standard “American" fare and the balance was solid list of Mexican entrees.
Doc decided on the “California” Burrito and I had to try the fish tacos.
We exchanged our empty beers for new ones and watched the cook prepare our lunches.
It looked like he knew what he was doing.
The place was busy with local patrons coming and going.
We knew they were locals by their breakfast choices at 2 in the afternoon.
The plates were hot, hearty and the aroma of the food was enticing.
Yep, this was indeed a “dive” with great food.
The fish tacos were big, spicy and sloppy..... just the way I like them.
They had ample chunks of tender, tasty fish, mounds of fresh cabbage and were topped with a spicy, yet sweet, mango salsa.
Doc’s "California" burrito was the size of my head.
It had to be at least a pound of meat wrapped in a soft flour tortilla and topped with delicious cream sauce.
It wasn't hard to hear Doc moaning with delight as she tore into the cavernous culinary creation.
If you live for high priced, pretentious food served in a “stuffed shirt” and sterile restaurant, then this isn't the place for you.
If you prefer tasty, hand-made fare, with more regard for taste than cleanliness, that is relatively inexpensive, then this is a joint I can highly recommend to you.
The "Night and Day Cafe" is open 24 hours and has a full breakfast menu alongside the complete Mexican menu.... and sells beer and wine.
They advertise their “Happy Hour” specials on a small chalkboard in the corner.
The day we were there, it started at 4 PM and was $2 tacos.
I hope to be back soon to check them out as well as their breakfast menu.
I love to visit this place.
We spent the next couple of hours lounging on the beach watching the Navy F/A 18 jets doing maneuvers in the bay.
If you were following us closely, you could also see us wandering in and out of the hotel for cocktails as well.
Built in 1888, the Hotel Del Coronado is a Victorian beachfront masterpiece with its iconic red turrets and beautiful landscaping and graceful architecture.
The "Del" radiates with a confidence of gracious Victorian splendor that is without equal.
I can only imagine what it felt like to wander this place back in the 1800's when it was first built.
It is an incredible monument to our distinguished lifestyle of the past.
Once I find a good discount coupon or travel deal for this place, you can bet we will be back to stay here.
Knowing that the ferry ran all the way to 10:30 PM, we again wandered our way, in no hurry, back through the captivating, tree lined streets of the Coronado neighborhoods.
We decided to grab a bite at the “Ferry Landing” before it got too late.
The “Coronado Ferry Landing” is a charming collection of shops, art galleries, fine restaurants and casual eateries surrounded by swaying palms, waterfalls and family parks.
In other words, it’s your typical tourist area, but it does have one of the nicest skyline views of downtown San Diego especially at night.
There are at least 10 different restaurants ranging from the charcoal broiled, gastronomic extravagance of Burger King to the exquisite French/Mexican fusion cuisine at a high end restaurant called “Candela’s On The Bay.
We opted for something in between that would meet the criteria of our low stress itinerary: Beer and Bar-B-Que.
It just so happened that we found a nice outdoor barbecue joint called Lil’ Piggy’s Bar-B-Que.
Come back tomorrow and I’ll let you know how it was and we’ll talk a little more about what we discovered in the Gaslamp District of San Diego.
It's easy to tell them about it.
Forward it on to them or just email them my blog link at www.survive55.com.
The more Baby Boomers we can help, the better place we make this world !!!
Thanks for joining me..........................................................