Last weekend my wife and I flew to San Diego for a 3 day weekend. For this trip we stayed at the Westin Downtown since we had some SPG points to use up and they offered a free airport shuttle. (I made the reservation before the Marriott/Starwood merger was announced.) We had not been to SeaWorld in 30+ years and wanted to see the killer whales one last time before they discontinue the killer whale shows. (Spoiler alert, the killer whale show is already a thing of the past, predominantly politically correct videos with a few spins around the tank by the whales.)
Thursday evening we walked 8 blocks to Little Italy and had a wonderful dinner at Buon Appetito. We had never been to San Diego’s Little Italy before and were amazed at all the Italian restaurants in the neighborhood.
Friday morning we walked the 3 blocks to the Transit system store and purchased 3 day passes for $12 each. We took the Trolley and buses to SeaWorld. After we returned from SeaWorld in the early afternoon, we walked around downtown San Diego looking for some place to eat. We finally settled on a bar/restaurant in the Gas Lamp District with 32 beers on tap, many of them local. Over the last few years we have become fans of roasted Brussel sprouts and after some so so appetizers, we finished up with some wonderful Brussel sprouts with a second tasty local beer. (We split our beers as well as food) As we were walking around downtown, to the west of the Gas Lamp District, we came across a Richard Walker’s Pancake House. It was closed by this time, but we put it on the list for our Saturday breakfast.
Saturday morning we walked the 10 blocks to Richard Walker’s and managed to beat the crowds that were close behind. RWs is supposedly famous for their coffee and oven baked apple pancakes. According to the menu history section, there are 4 RWs, 2 in Illinois and 2 in San Diego. The coffee was good and the oven baked apple pancake was AMAZING! It covers a full 10” plate and is like a soufflé, it comes out of the oven with a dome of apples with a sugar/cinnamon layer and as they put it on the table it starts to deflate. It is not something I would eat every day, but it may become a regular on our trips to San Diego.
We spent the rest of Saturday walking downtown San Diego and walked past the new Marriott Vacation Club which is taking over the Declan Hotel just south of Balboa Park. We are going to try this on our next visit to San Diego in mid-July.
When we were walking to Little Italy Thursday night we walked past the Karl Strauss Brewery, which was 2 blocks from the Westin, and looked interesting. Saturday night we tried it out. We had a KS beer along with the baked cauliflower appetizer. Wow, the appetizer could have been an entrée! It is amazing what chefs are doing with all the vegetables that we grew up hating.
Sunday we took the trolley and bus out to Liberty Station which is the old San Diego Navy Boot Camp. A very interesting repurposing of an old Navy base.
After our 3PM checkout (no hassles getting) we took the Westin shuttle back to the airport. After 3 wonderful days in San Diego I choose to ignore the trauma of the return to Phoenix via our wonderful air system in the U.S.
Indulge yourself, find a Richard Walker’s Pancake House and have an oven baked apple pancake!
I'll be traveling to San Diego next weekend with family. We'll be staying at the new Renaissance, next to the W hotel. Thanks for the recommendations, I'm definitely adding Karl Strauss and Richard Walker to the list. Also, thanks for putting in the blocks/walking distance. The family is big on walking so that's probably how we are gonna get around.