Good and cheap eats
After a not so good experience last week at an upper-end fish house (see previous blog) we have tried some cheap eats this week and have had some great experiences and some good food. A visit to Torrey Pines, enjoying a spicy mexican breakfast burrito and a pint of Dos Equis and carrying our own beer and pizza through a restaurant are a few of the cool things we have discovered in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Cardiff and other sea side towns. 

Torrey Pines Golf Course, La Jolla, California
Before hiking in the Torrey Pines State Park we stopped for a quick walk through the golf shop at Torrey Pines. The crew was still cleaning up from the Farmer’s Insurance Open but the grounds were pristine. It was hard to believe that thousands of people had just been tromping through. The public clubhouse area is small (attached to The Lodge) but inviting and we decided to have lunch. The servers are dressed for a high-end steak house but the menu is perfect for a golf course, one page of standard golf course fare with somewhat reasonable prices (keeping in mind that a public green fee is $229 on the South Course).

Jeff ordered the Sloppy Joe ($12) with fries ($2 extra instead of salad). He was very impressed and wondered why more golf courses don’t offer a Sloppy Joe. The fries were crispy and golden (Macdonald’s style) and very good.

I ordered the B.L.A.T sandwich ($10) and a cup of clam chowder ($4 extra instead of salad). The butter lettuce instead of iceberg or greens was a nice touch. There was lots of avocado and tomato and the bacon was crispy as ordered. The bread was toasted perfectly and I enjoyed the sandwich and the soup very much.

We would definitely eat at the golf course again before a hike in the park.

Pizza Port, 571 Carlsbad Village, Carlsbad, California
We loved the concept of this laid back pizza place that was recommended to us by a few people we met our first week in the area. There are 5 locations along the coastal communities.  We walked in and were not sure what to do but figured out that there is one line for beer and one line for pizza. I grabbed a spot at one of the long communal tables and Jeff went to the beer line. He came back carrying two pints of beer made on site – a pale ale and a hefeweizen. Then it was my turn to line up to order pizza. The staff was great explaining where to get napkins and cutlery and that my name would be called to pick up the pizzas when ready. A box was even provided for any leftovers. The pizza and beer were both cheap – $9.25 for a small pizza (with leftovers) and $5.50 for a pint (all taxes included here) and both were really quite good. The pizza was a bit crusty but there were lots of toppings and flavor. It was a fun and cheap place to eat.

Norte Mexican Restaurant, 3003 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, California
We had been to Norte on a trip three years ago for dinner and remember it being very busy so this time we decided to go for breakfast (OK really at lunch time). We arrive at 11:45 and the restaurant was already full but there were seats in the bar. (There is a great patio but it is shaded so it was not quite warm enough to dine outside). Once I read through the large menu I decided on a Crab Enchilada instead of breakfast but Jeff chose a chorizo and cheese omelette. Both were good and cheap and the bartender serving us was very friendly. The decor is quite retro and it is a relaxed and fun place to eat.

So after a not so great and fairly expensive dinner choosing some laid back places was a great idea. We enjoyed them all. Next week we are in San Diego so we will try some other upscale places then but by the beach the cheap eats win out.

Jeff & Tara Ciecko of CK Golf Solutions write two blogs on their website, one is their 19th Hole Blog where they share personal experiences and the Biz Blog where they share business best practices and golf industry related opinions. They have owned CK Golf Solutions for 5 years and provide marketing, social media and business services to the golf and other industries.