Restaurant Review : ‘Swami’s’ in the Midway District

by on April 17, 2017 · 10 comments

in Ocean Beach, The Widder Curry

Restaurant Review

“Swami’s”
Midway Towne Center
3924 W. Point Loma Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110
619-222-6600
Swamicafe.com

“Widow” get-together time again for Irene, Candy and myself.  I have tried to eat at all of the restaurants in Ocean Beach proper, and find that I have reviewed most of them during the six years I have been writing for the OB Rag.  There are still two that I want to visit, but found that neither of them are open at lunch time.

I have been to Swami’s in La Mesa and Encinitas.  This time I decided it was time to try the one in my “own back yard.”

I have fond memories of Embers, and not so fond memories of its replacement, so went into this restaurant with a little excitement and trepidation.  Some people told me it was good; others were not so nice.

We were greeted by Melissa, who turned out not to just the hostess but also our waitress.  She was delightful; very helpful; very patient; and very good.  We were asked if we wanted to eat inside or outside, and chose inside because there was a breeze blowing.

The inside of the restaurant has not changed much since it was Embers, and I had a nice feeling when we walked to a table that I had sat at before with my husband.  We were handed the regular menu, and, for some reason, only one menu of the breakfast/lunch specials.  We asked for two more and Melissa brought them to us quickly.  (I also asked if there was a take-out menu which she also brought to me right away.)

The breakfast/lunch menu was very extensive.  There were 17 (!) breakfast entrees, beginning at $10.95 and going to $13.95; there were eight different kinds of pancakes listed, including Ricotta Cheese pancakes; Orange Raspberry pancakes; Berry Bliss which was a combination of many berries; Blackberry/Banana pancakes; Pineapple Upside Down pancakes; Blue Corn pancakes, Sweet Potato pancakes and the one that Melissa recommended – Bacon and Cheese pancakes.

There was a Coconut Granola French Toast as well as a Stuffed French Toast.  For those of you that need a gluten free diet there were gluten free pancakes, gluten free French toast, and gluten free waffles on the menu.  They ranged from $8.95-$10.95.

Since we arrived at 11:45am, we were not sure if we wanted to have breakfast or lunch, so we looked at the lunch menu also.  Remember, these are from the “special menu”, because there is a regular menu also.

The lunch menu had 15 items listed, beginning at $10.95 and going up to $13.95.  There were Salmon Wraps, Shrimp Taco’s, Buffalo Burgers, Reuben Deluxe, New Jersey Devil, etc., on this menu.  Irene was not sure if she was going to have the “Chicken Caesar Wrap” on the special menu or the one on the regular menu because there was a difference in the price. (The regular menu was less expensive.) But in checking the ingredients, they were not exactly the same.  Both menus offered, with the meal, regular fries, yam fries, salad, fruit, or chips and salsa.  Gluten Free bread was $1 more.

There is also a beverage menu, that had draft beers, ($6.50-$7.50); Wine by the Glass ($7.50-$9.); “Craft Cola’s” for $2.50; mineral water – $3.50;  Fiji water – $2.50 and a variety of Kombucha ($6.).

After changing our minds several times about what to order, Irene had the Chicken Caesar Wrap off the regular menu.  It consisted of a grilled chicken breast, Spanish rice and a Caesar Salad all wrapped up. The cost was $10.50.  She ordered the fried yams as her side dish.

Candy ordered the Reuben Deluxe, $11.95 – which was the typical Reuben sandwich with sauerkraut, special dressing and corned beef. She ordered a side of coleslaw.

I ordered the Pastrami Wrap ($12.95) and asked that sauerkraut be added.  This was done at no extra charge.  It was very similar to the Reuben, but the meat was Pastrami instead of corned beef.  I also ordered the fried yams.

Without exception, all of the meals were good.  My pastrami was a little salty and stringy, but that is fairly typical of pastrami.  Candy’s corned beef was tender and the sandwich bread (rye) very tasty. Irene’s sandwich was good, but messy.  Melissa must have known that we would need extra napkins because she brought them to us without our asking for any more.

The restaurant was not particularly busy but there was plenty of help available if needed.  Out meals were served by Melissa, and she frequently came back and asked if we needed anything.

I would also like to point out that there is a Happy Hour Menu from 4-7pm.  The items on that menu are two prices – $6.95 or $7.95.

Although we asked for separate checks, the total bill was $38.14, which is not bad for the amount of food that we received.  We each left a tip based on the price of our meal.

Would we go back? Yes. Without question.  There are many other items on the menu we would like to try.

I want to mention two things:  Melissa did not ask us if we wanted any dessert.  I don’t know if we would have said yes or no, but we did go across the street to Baskin Robbins and had ice cream.  Since the regular menu offers ice cream smoothies, ice cream may be an offering.  There are no “desserts” , per se, listed on the regular menu.

There are a multitude of coffees available also.  None of us had any, but they were very enticing lined up in canisters on a “coffee bar.”

It was a very enjoyable lunch (until we were rear-ended by a driver looking for her cell phone).  We don’t think that will happen the next time – and there will be a next time.

 

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

OBC April 17, 2017 at 11:33 am

Awesome, another great review Judi! I too have very fond memories of Embers and have been reluctant to try Swami’s as a result. Sounds like they are worth checking out though! Thanks a ton for including the gluten free information too, as someone with celiac disease I have to be very careful when I eat out so your attention to it is very much appreciated.

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Judi Curry judi April 17, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Thank you. I am trying to include those things my readers have asked me to do. It was really a very good meal.

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OBC April 18, 2017 at 10:20 am

Just wanted to let you know, Judi, that I tried Swami’s for lunch yesterday and they were GREAT. Their corn beef hash was some of the best I’ve ever had and is well worth a try if you’re a fan. Thanks again for the great suggestion.

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Judi Curry Judi April 18, 2017 at 10:28 am

Thanks for letting me know. It always makes me feel good when others have the same good experience that I had.

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Jan Hall April 17, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Hi Judi, Jim and I and at least 2 of our daughters have been to Swami’s several times for breakfast and never been disappointed in any way.
After reading your review we will return for lunch. You have whetted our appetites.
Many thanks, Jan and Jim Hall

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Claudia April 17, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Judi,
Your thorough description leaves me feeling I just ate there myself. It sounds good and the photos make the food look delicious! I’ll have to try it out sometime, soon. Thank you for enlightening us and taking some of the guess work out of choosing a restaurant.

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Judi Curry judi April 17, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Any time you want to join me let me know. I’m working on a May schedule now.

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Rudy April 18, 2017 at 11:59 am

We stopped in to have a drink and a snack before tackling the Groc Out next door. The happy hour wings and drinks were pricey, $7 for six wings? I liked Las Olas better, and Embers was nice, too.

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Judi Curry judi April 18, 2017 at 2:19 pm

I agree about Embers; Las Olas was, in my opinion, a restaurant that should never have opened. Were the wings good? Looking at other restaurant prices, I find that they are right in line with others. How were the drinks?

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bob April 21, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Just my 2 cents… first visit I had the Huevos Rancheros [ over easy ] and I was very satisfied with it. My wife had the chorizo omelet. She said it was good but a little lite on the chorizo.

My second visit I had the Mahi Mahi fish tacos, and although there was fish in the tacos I really couldn’t taste the fish… I think there was just too much “other stuff” in there, and not enough fish. Fish tacos really should be focused on the fish, especially when using grilled fish. I stole some French fries from my friend they were VERY good.

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