I love San Diego for all the cool places to eat. Olaina and Justin manage to find them all over the place. Justin is the one who cooks most of the time but either one of them would say that they are foodies. One day, they will realize this and come out of the closet about it. But I digress.
The place that they took Brandon and I to on Saturday is called Urban Solace. The place bills itself as the new American comfort food. And I must agree.
It is one of those places that looks like it could be utterly snooty. But it wasn't. The decor was chic without being unfriendly. I actually felt like I was sitting at someone's breakfast nook at some point. And the food reflects that as well--home cooked, basic stuff with just enough flare to make it somewhat gourmet, but even the pickiest of eaters can still appreciate.
I already had lunch before we got there (Arby's no less...should've waited!) so I settled for a side of sweet potato fries which was perfection dipped in a blue cheese sauce, and a cup of the tomato-fennel soup with garlic croûtons. It was delicious, but nothing I'd crave.
Justin ordered the house burger made with ground chuck and topped with aged white cheddar and grilled onion. It looked and smelled fantastic. He loved it.
The pickiest of the bunch, Brandon, ordered a side of their macaroni and cheese topped with bacon, skipping the roasted tomatoes. It was quite delicious, and one of the few from-scratch mac-and-cheese he actually likes. The issue we have it this is the price tag of $6.50 for an itsy bitsy bowl, the same little jelly jar that I had for the cup of soup for $2. This is pretty much the only item on the menu that we griped about the pricing. A full serving is $10.95 and obviously in a much bigger portion.
Olaina got the star of the afternoon, the 4-cheese grilled cheese sandwich which comes with a cup of tomato-fennel soup and sweet potato fries. She bypassed the fries and got a bowl of soup instead. To quote Olaina, it was an "orgasmically good grilled cheese".
We asked what the 4 cheeses were, the blend that got so nice and gooey, melty and delicious with tomato slices and fresh basil leaves between the egg bread. The heavenly mix was mozzarella, aged white cheddar, lovely Fontina, and, an ETA here courtesy of the friendly Urban Solace commenter, Cambozola.
Yes, your great food blogger didn't write down that fourth cheese originally. Blame it on my antibiotics that got me all loopy. All I remembered was that it started with a "C" and it sounded Spanish/Italian. And obviously, it was the cheese that gives the sandwich that lovely nutty note.
Cambozola is, according to GourmetSleuth, a soft creamy blue/brie hybrid made from milk with added cream. Wikipedia further elaborated that the hint of blue is actually Gorgonzola.
Now, I can TRY to duplicate the deliciousness at home so I don't have to drive down to San Diego every weekend, is all. The sandwich is not only orgasmic, but addictive as hell.
No, we didn't quite make it to dessert although butterscotch pudding got my attention.
Did I love it quite as much as I love Adams Avenue Grill? Not quite, but then again, this is only my first visit which I am sure there will be many visits to come.
After all, I have to find out what that fourth cheese is.