What to Eat in San Diego | USA

Thursday, 29 June 2017


During my first year at Edinburgh University, I made lots of new friends and many of them were American, including the guy who is now my best friend. So when he invited me to come and stay two weeks in San Diego with him, I was very excited! We planned it out a lot and had so many ideas of what we should do and eat! It was an amazing two weeks holiday for the first two weeks of June and now I have been back nearly two weeks and I have time to write some blog posts about it as I have been back and forth from London for the past week! I thought the first blog post I would do would be about the food that we ate as I had never been to America before and I found some of the food really cool! Brandon, my best friend, obviously lived in San Diego until very recently so he knew lots of places for us to eat, we worked our way through most of the places on the list to give me a both a taste of America and California specifically!

Mexican Food in California

Okay, so for this whole year, Brandon had been saying that Mexican food in the UK ‘isn’t real Mexican food’ and whilst I get that it’s not as fresh and authentic as what he is used to, (living literally on the border to Mexico) I was quite defensive of UK Mexican food but unfortunately, I can’t be anymore. We ate a hell of a lot of Mexican food and guys, UK Mexican food is just not Mexican food. It was the first food we ate when we got there, we went to a Mexican fast food place called Rubio’s and I had fish tacos which were amazing (although I was so confused as to how to eat them as the British person inside me wanted to use a knife and fork). We also ate at Chipotle which has the best guacamole ever, that was incredible. I tried a Chimichanga for the first time at a Mexican restaurant called Mi Guatalajara, we ate more Mexican in San Diego’s Old Town, ate at a place called Chronic Tacos in Irvine when visiting some friends and had even more Mexican at home. We had a lot of Mexican food but my god, was it amazing.

Souplantation

Brandon had been telling me about Soup Plantation for this whole academic year. Primarily about the Ranch dressing. It didn’t let me down. Souplantation is an all you can eat buffet serving salad, soups, pastas and pizzas mainly. It was such a filling meal and the ranch dressing is absolutely incredible. I am not really a salad person unless there is a really good dressing as otherwise I don’t think it tastes of much but my goodness, this ranch dressing was good and we just don’t have anything like it in the UK!

Island’s Burgers

More ranch dressing. This time alongside burgers. We went here after my first full day in San Diego and their burgers are incredible. I had the Maui burger which had guacamole and salad with a veggie burger and it was so tasty. This was the same day as Souplantation so I had a lot of ranch dressing on this day but I don’t regret a thing.



Baked Bear

Baked Bear was a revelation to me. I had seen pictures and I didn’t believe it could be as good as it sounded but oh my goodness it was. Essentially they have a variety of flavours of cookies, brownies and ice cream and you can create a custom ice cream sandwich! Mine was a snickerdoodle, as we don’t have those in the UK alongside a brownie and caramel fudge ice cream, it was heaven.

Frozen Yogurt


Now we do have frozen yogurt in the UK but compared to what you can get in California, it’s just a bit naff. We have about two flavours at the place in Edinburgh and it’s really expensive but when we got it in San Diego, they have so many flavours and you do it yourself, add toppings and then the price just comes completely from the weight which makes it a lot cheaper than when you buy frozen yogurt in the UK.


Acai Bowls

We went to a place by Cardiff on Sea that was a Acai Cafe and I have to be honest I didn't have a clue what Acai was and actually, I still don't but it tastes really good! I got a peanut butter, chocolate and banana bowl and essentially it's a little like yogurt with granola and fruit but not quite, it's more dessert like and we had it for a light snack after lunch and it was delicious. I really don't know quite how to describe it but it was so good and I felt really healthy after eating it which is always a plus!


Panera

Panera is amazing, I can't quite deal. Essentially it's just a cafe but their bread is absolutely incredible. I had a toasted bagel with egg white, avocado and spinach and it was such a good breakfast! Their cinnamon crunch bagel with cream cheese is also excellent and I am now going to focus on adhering the Panera HQ until they open up UK branches!


Cauldron Ice Cream

OK so this place isn't in San Diego but it's amazing so I felt like I needed to include it. Cauldron is near Irvine/Santa Ana and it's an ice cream place. Firstly their ice cream is really amazing, they freeze it on site with liquid nitrogen so it's super creamy and amazing. But above that, they can serve it in a puffle cone which comes in three flavours (I got red velvet) and then they do toppings for example, I had the Smores cone which consisted of chocolate ice cream (I also got it shaped as a flower) in a red velvet puffle cone with graham crackers on top and melted marshmallow. I died. 

They are pretty much the highlights of the places we ate in San Diego, we ate in a few more places e.g iHop and In N Out but they are a little more standard, I mean still really good, but they aren't particularly specific to San Diego. Let me know if you have any questions about San Diego!

Palace of the Parliament Tour | Bucharest, Romania

Friday, 23 June 2017

When I visited Bucharest last December, one of the things that I was really excited about doing was the tour of the Palace of the Parliament. Bucharest has the 2nd biggest governmental building in the world (2nd to The Pentagon) and it was built during its communist regime during the 1980s. I had seen lots of pictures of it during my research before the trip and I was excited to tour it which we did on our first day there.


We set off from our hostel and wandered around a little before the tour, grabbing breakfast on our way and admiring the architecture of the new country we were visiting. On the way to the parliament, we met some American guys who were also going to do the parliament tour so we joined them and set off to the parliament.

The tour isn’t too expensive with the full tour costing 45 Lei which equates to around £8.50 and it was definitely worth that as it took about 2 and a half hours and we didn’t even cover half of the palace, it is that huge. The palace itself covers 350,000 square metres with 12 floors, 8 being underground. It is a very extravagant and decadent building with many crystal chandeliers dotted about and one in the theatre particularly that is huge and apparently, it takes 4 men to change one of the lightbulbs in it!



Not all of the palace is open to the public, the tour is guided and there is quite a bit of security before you can embark on it as of course, it is an operating parliamentary building so there is the standard security that you go through at an airport and you must take your passport with you to hand in which you reclaim at the end of the tour. It is also quite busy, at least it was when we went so you sometimes have to queue for a little while.



It’s a really amazing tour, it covers the main parliamentary building, the underground area which has an exhibition about Romania’s communist period and the balcony on the roof which gives you a great view over Bucharest! I would really recommend this tour if you are going to Bucharest, it’s definitely a fun way to spend a morning and then you can go and get a lovely warming meal at Caru cu Bere, at least that’s what we did in December!
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