Grilled Dinner
A foodie's desk

A.M. to P.M. Los Panchos, Old Barn, Sushi Time

We celebrated daughter Vicky's birthday on Sunday. She was visiting her sisters in Colorado on her birthday, so Sunday was the first time we could get together.
Stan and I stopped and had a quick breakfast on our way to Vicky's. We stopped at Los Pancho's off Greenfield in El Cajon.


We've been stopping by here for years for a quick good meal. It's apparently the favorite place of one of our local heros, Nascar race car driver Jimmy Johnson. He reportedly ate burritos in here as a kid and now has burritos flown in to him when he's racing in Fontana, CA



Since we were going to have a late lunch, early dinner type meal, we didn't want to fill up on breakfast so we split an order of Chilaquiles. As I see it, the trick to great Chilaquiles is keeping the integrity of the tortillas while smothering them in an enchilada sauce with <ingredient of choice> and cheese. They nailed this dish. The tortillas are a thicker style corn tortilla. The tortillas were cut into sort of rectangles, and I'm thinking they were baked off in the oven, (There was something about the tortillas in this dish that made me think they weren't deep fried) then layered with scrambled eggs, enchilada sauce and topped with cheese.
Their enchilada sauce is the standard by which an enchilada sauce should be judged. It was deep, rich, flavorful, perfect texture and spice. The beans were good, not outstanding but good. The rice was fluffy, tasteful and had little bits of corn in it, very, very, good. I do wish Mexican food restaurants would start using Cotija or some style of Queso Seco rather than the Cheddar, Jack cheese combination that is so popular. That's one thing I like about La Casa Maria is their use of Queso Cotija.


Los Panchos has a condiment bar that has 3 types of salsa, spicy carrots and a salsa cruda. Half of the condiments bar


Very clean and pleasant place to eat.
Los Panchos
1709 E. Main
El Cajon, Ca
Off Greenfield Dr

We picked up Vicky and went to Fashion Valley Mall. Vicky and I parked Stan in a comfortable spot with a nice breeze, a Starbuck's venti mocha frappuccino and his book, then we shopped 'till we dropped.
We wanted to go out for sushi and I thought Vicky would like to experience Todai for something different. We got there in between the lunch and dinner seatings (4:00ish) and they were closed until 5:30. O.K. That was all I needed to head for Sushi Time in Lemon Grove.
Here we go again, showing up before serving time, jeesh!!!, my timing bites. Sushi Time wasn't going to open until 5:00 so we had about a half an hour to kill. This turned out to be a good thing, right next door to Sushi Time is a nice steak house called Old Barn Steak House.


It's all Vicky's fault, she suggested we go into the bar for a beer and wait for Sushi Time to open. Considering this day was in celebration of her birthday I felt obligated to accommodate her. Beer schmeer, Vicky had one of the best Bloody Mary's I've <ahem, she's> had in a long time, and I had a killer Margarita on the rocks made by a very talented lady named Kathleen.


Kathleen is bubbly, friendly and efficient. As we were sitting there enjoying our drinks we watched her serve some danged good looking meals.


Thumbs up Old Barn, we'll be back for one of those good looking steaks.
Head Chef from the Mirage in Las Vegas
6954 Federal Blvd
Lemon Grove, CA 91945
Mon-Fri 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Open Sundays
Happy hours and dinner specials

Sushi Time opened and in we went for another memorable meal in there. See Girls foodie weekend 

Since our last visit I have learned that it is a good idea to leave it up to the sushi chef to make what he would like for you. WOW!!! am I ever glad I followed this advice. Joe our sushi chef from our last visit was there along with Paul. You can see Joe in the Girls foodie weekend post. Paul was very nice also and spoke Japanese. Ahem! Joe.


Our meal started with a serving dish of wasabi, (yes, I know it's not the real wasabi) ginger and edamame. We've heard that one beverage commonly drunk with sushi is beer, so of course we had to keep with tradition.



After we ordered a cucumber salad which is made with cucumber, smelt roe eggs and mayo, we left the rest of the order up to Joe.

In the background is the cucumber salad, in front is the rainbow roll, it has salmon, halibut, tuna, white tuna, shrimp, avocado with crab meat and cucumber. I wish the close up photo had turned out better. I renamed this "happy mouth" I don't know what to tell you, I wish I could do this justice. It all worked so well, it's one of those, make you want to jump for joy, it's so good dishes.


Then he passed us a roll called the San Diego oooohhh...YEEeahh!!! it's made of spicy tuna, eel, cucumbers, and avocado plated with an eel sauce and spicy mayo. This also was outstanding, I was jumping up and down inside, another "happy mouth meal". My first experience with eel. It tastes like chicken. ;-)



Well, it was in celebration of Vicky's birthday so we had to have dessert. Joe suggested the Banana Tempura Boat, their take on a banana split, only a thousand times better. The tempura bananas were crunchy and still steaming hot when served with a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of green tea ice cream topped with whipped cream and cherries and a drizzling of chocolate. Guess what, it's served with three spoons. ;-)


How lucky are we to have two great places right next to each other.


See you all again soon.