2833 Avenida De Portugal
San Diego, CA 92106
Strange how fate works. I have been asked five times in the last six weeks if I had ever eaten at Pomodoro. Several times I had planned on doing so but just had never been able to find the right time or right person to go with me. Then earlier this week I saw on Face Book that my daughter had lunch there and really enjoyed it. Then I knew I had to try it.
I belong to a support group where all of us have lost a loved one and it just so happened that we were going to meet on Saturday and it was my turn to select the restaurant. No question as to where we were going to go!
And let me start out by saying that I am glad we went. The restaurant is delightful; Andreas, the waiter, was wonderful; and the food was good. Although it was very cold outside – 57 – degrees, the “patio” was heated with space heaters that kept it very comfortable. However, we didn’t realize that when asked if we wanted to eat inside or outside, and we ate inside the restaurant. I was not as warm as I would have liked to have been, but I was not uncomfortable.
Andreas did everything. He seated us; he served us; he answered all our questions. He was the only one working – except for the kitchen staff – and I asked him about that. He said that he is the only one working the lunch time. No need for him to go to the gym!
We were given a special “lunch” menu as well as a dinner menu and a wine menu. I truly did not see much difference between the two menus except for the prices. I imagine, but am not sure, that you get a larger portion of food off of the dinner menu. But when you look at the picture of my spaghetti carbonara it is hard to imagine being served any more than what was in the dish!
We were given a basket of hot bread and a tomato dipping sauce while we were making our decision about what to eat. The bread was delicious. So delicious I noticed that we all had at least two pieces of it! I was not enthralled with the dipping sauce. It almost tasted like they forgot to add any seasonings; a tomato puree of sorts, and it was served cold. We all liked the bread better just plain. (Interesting enough we began talking to the people at the table next to us and I asked him how he liked the dipping sauce. He had the same feeling that we had – and also liked the delicious bread plain.)
The menu is extensive, beginning with eight Antipasti, starting at $6 and going up to $8.95. There are 7 Insalate’s, that range from $5-10. There are two soups – always Minestrone and a soup of the day. I was enthralled with the prospect of a creamy artichoke soup, only to find out that the waiter was wrong and the soup was a pumpkin soup. The soups are $4.95. I did not order the soup.
There are 14 varieties of Pasta, ranging from $10.50-14. There is a Ravioli, Risotto and/or Lasagna of the day, and the Ravioli for today was either made with Spinach and Ricotta, or Spinach and Mushrooms.
In addition to the Pasta, there is a section called “Secondi” and it included Chicken, Salmon, Veal, Scallop and Shrimp dishes. The prices ranged from $13.50-18.45.
The final item on the menu was desserts, and there were 6 of them, all at $6.50 each. (Just a hint; if you are going to have dessert bring your reading glasses. The print is so small I had to ask where the dessert menu was located!)
Candy and Irene decided that they wanted to share one of the special Ravioli dishes. They selected the one stuffed with spinach and ricotta. It was delicious. The kitchen divided up the order and both had a sufficient amount to keep them happy and share with Mary Kay and me. (Another note – the man that we talked to about the dipping sauce had the other Ravioli special and he said it was the best he had every had! He also told us that his daughter had ordered the Gnocchi and it was wonderful.)
Mary Kay elected to have the Pollo Arrotolato, which was chicken breast rolled and stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach, and served with carrots, and potatoes in a mixed mushroom sauce. The cost was $14.95, and, again, there was enough for all of us to sample it and still take enough home for a second meal. It was also served with sliced carrots that were crispy and slightly sweet. The meal was delightful.
I elected to have the spaghetti carbonara, not because it was the least expensive pasta on the menu – $10.50 – but because I frequently make carbonara for my students when I have left-over pasta and I wanted to compare Pomodoro’s with mine. The plate was huge – see picture – and half of it went home with me too. It was very tasty; I would have liked to have had it cooked a wee bit longer, but the pancetta added flavor to the meal. I would order it again.
As you can tell, we were pleased with everything that we ordered. Irene and Candy said that they would have liked it if the Ravioli was a little hotter; Mary Kay’s order and mine were steaming hot.
And then… we decided to order dessert. Of those items offered, we selected two – the Cannoli and the Napoleon. The Cannoli was excellent; crisp on the outside; creamy on the inside. The chocolate sauce dripped on the outside was delicious. I wish I could say the same thing for the Napoleon. First of all it was served to us still frozen. There was almost a bitter taste to it; and, although flaky, because it was icy it lacked the flavor that it should have had. It would have been easy to leave it on our plates – but, of course, we didn’t.
But then we received a surprise from Andreas. He told us that one of the desserts was “on the house”; an early Christmas gift. I do not know if this was the procedure, or if the chef knew that the Napoleon was not yet ready to be served. But we all appreciated the gesture.
All things considered, I look forward to a return visit to this restaurant to try many of the other things offered on the menu. The prices, at least at lunch, are reasonable; the food is excellent; the service very good. The total bill for the four of us was around $55, including the tip. Not bad for an excellent meal. Try it. I know you will like it.