Our second full day in San Diego was, by far, my favorite day of the trip. We started off with a hearty breakfast at The Daily News in Carlsbad. I think the real star of this meal was the toast. Whole wheat toast with the perfect amount of buttery goodness. Oh my. It was glorious. I think the fact that we were eating outside in the sunshine may have made this taste even better. I even removed my jacket for the first time in days. It was marvelous. Never underestimate the power of the sun, folks.
After breakfast, we took a long walk down the beach, where we saw crazy people hanging out in swimsuits. Keep in mind that Eric and I were both wearing long-sleeved shirts, jackets, and pants. I guess these people just have a higher cold tolerance than I do. I wish I could walk on the beach every day. Betsy and Rich, you guys are so lucky!
After the beach, we took a long drive through the California countryside. The transformation from developed San Diego to rugged countryside is incredible. It’s just mountain after mountain, hill after hill, weird tree after weird tree. And the hills and mountains are covered in enormous boulders. Betsy described it perfectly, saying that it looks like God was just playing with some rocks. This drive brought about my first wild cactus sighting (Eric’s parents were shocked, as Eric’s dad grew up in Arizona, land of cacti), and a bit of motion sickness. Once you get into the countryside, the roads get really windy. It’s super beautiful, but apparently my body is not much for twists and turns and sunshine.
All of this was gone once we reached our destination: Cordiano Winery. If you are ever in Southern California, you MUST go here. In fact, if you are ever within 300 miles of this place, you must visit. Seriously. This winery really deserves a blog post of its own, but for the sake of sparing you from paragraph after paragraph of “the bread is so good,” I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.
First of all, the view from this place is spectacular. The winery is located on top of a mountain. Surrounded by a valley. Surrounded by more mountains. Holy cow. It was too cool.
As if the view wasn’t enough, this place also serves pizza. Brick oven pizza. Baked outside in their brick oven on the patio. Did I mention that the owners are Italian? And they made the pizza from scratch? Using ingredients grown on their property? That they grilled and roasted before placing on the homemade dough? Holy cow. I’ve eaten a lot of pizza in my life (as a child it was one of the only 2 foods I would eat, I think), but this pizza was, by far, the best. Could it be because I ate it while sitting on a patio overlooking the California countryside? Could it be that the warmth from the outdoor heater was making me groggy? Perhaps. But the pizza, along with a bottle of Merlot, was fantastic. But then there were the breadsticks.
Breadsticks can really suck. These breadsticks were the exact opposite of sucking. They rocked so hard that we were literally groaning with pleasure over these things. I was prepared to get down on my hands and knees to beg for this breadstick recipe. But all we learned was that they made their own dough, and then brushed it in butter before dipping it in parmesan cheese and oregano. You can bet I will be attempting to replicate these breadsticks for the rest of my life. I’m also considering sending the winery a letter begging for the recipe, with a signed contract swearing I’ll never share it with anyone else. Worth a shot, right?
There’s one more San Diego post on the way!