Mom’s Night Out in San Diego with Aall In Limo & Party Bus

With a fun holiday like Cinco de Mayo upon us, and Mother’s Day just around the corner, I couldn’t think of a better time to organize a little “Mom’s Night Out” on the town to give me and my mom friends a much needed break and some quality girl time. Cinco de Mayo also happens to be one of my favorite holidays because who doesn’t have fun with chips and salsa, margaritas, and maracas in the mix? Spoiler alert: no one.

mom's night out in San Diego

To make this Mom’s Night Out extra special, we decided to rent a limo from Aall In Limo & Party Bus and head down to Old Town to celebrate our night of freedom, complete with mini sombreros!

mom's night out in San Diego

Aall In Limo & Party Bus

Aall In Limo & Party Bus was started by Mike Reifeiss, after he went “Aall in” during  a poker tournament and won! He bought his first limo with his winnings and has continued to grow his business in San Diego and Temecula ever since. Aall In Limo & Party Bus offers town cars, stretch limos, Hummers and a Party Bus as part of its fleet. They specialize in Temecula winery tours, San Diego brewery tours, bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthday parties or a night out just because!

The thing that truly sets Aall in Limo & Party Bus apart from other limo transportation options in San Diego, is their service. I’ve personally experienced a few other local limo companies and nothing compared to the attention to detail, courtesy and overall service that Aall in Limo provided our group. I also thought the name was just so fitting after I wrote my “All in” Mother’s Day article! It was meant to be.

Mom’s Night Out in San Diego

With good intentions to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some Mexican food and margaritas, the seven of us headed to Old Town, San Diego. Tragically there were huge lines out the door  of almost every Mexican restaurant, so we made a game-time decision to head to Little Italy’s Kettner Exchange instead (afterall, there were some hungry pregnant women in the limo who needed to eat A.S.A.P.! 😉 ) Our limo driver, Joe, was so accomodating with the change of plans and got us safely to our new destination.

mom's night out in San Diego

Kettner Exchange provided the perfect atmosphere for a girls night out. Even with no reservation, the seven of us were able to claim a long community table in their lounge and instantly found ourselves with cocktails, mocktails and appetizers circulating.

mom's night out in San Diego

Although we tried many delicious tapas, I highly recommend the Fried Chicken (I’ll seriously dream of this dish), Kale Salad, and Cauliflower Tempura.  For my main course I had to order the Double Double Burger, because…well, have  you seen this thing? Yes, please. 

mom's night out in San Diego

Our driver, Joe, politely texted me when we were getting close to our departure time (I LOVED the courtesy text – so helpful), so with that we paid the bill and headed back to north county.

Despite the change of dinner plans, the night ended up being a huge success and a much-deserved night out for these mamas!

mom's night out in San Diego

Thank you Aall In Limo & Party Bus for perfecting our “Cinco de Mayo / Pre-Mother’s Day Mom’s Night Out” – no doubt we will be using your services again!

Book Aall In Limo & Party Bus for Mother’s Day this Sunday and receive $100 off your reservation! Find out more here.

 

Disclaimer: Aall In Limo & Party Bus provided complimentary transportation for the Mommy Project, San Diego. However, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Whine and Dine: The Patio on Lamont

If you read my restaurant reviews, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I’m all about the ambiance and overall vibe of a place. If I’m going out to eat, I want to feel like it’s an event: unique decor, music to set the tone and of course, delicious food and fabulous drinks to back it all up. After visiting the Patio on Lamont, this place checks all of those requirements and then some! (Warning: this post is going to be very picturesque because The Patio is so unique and photogenic, words simply don’t do it justice). San Diegans (and future visitors of San Diego): if you haven’t visited the Patio on Lamont yet, please add this to the top of your “must try” list.

I dined with my two sisters and daughter in what turned out to be a beautiful “girls day” for lunch on The Patio:

The Low Down:

  1. An Environment to Remember: The Patio on Lamont is the type of restaurant where you feel like you could just sit there for hours – pretty, comfortable and interesting enough to stimulate your senses. We opted to sit outside on the patio (because, when in Rome), next to the beautiful green living wall. Succulents adorned every table with bulb lights hanging overhead, and a brick fireplace and cool indoor/outdoor bar to complete the scene. Scratch wanting to stay here for hours, I wanted to move right in! I was pleasantly surprised that The Patio’s interior was just as gorgeous – big windows, dramatic mirrors, fun chairs, and mood set by way of chandeliers (my favorite!)
    the patio on lamont
    the patio on lamont
    the patio on lamontthe patio on lamontthe patio on lamont
  2. All-Day Happy Hour: I mean, how can you say no when they offer half off wine, drafts and cocktails, Monday – Friday 11AM – 6PM? Both of my sisters ordered the Patio Mules (Bourbon, Ginger Syrup, Pear Puree Lime Juice and Ginger Beer) and I was feeling fancy so I went with some bubbly: the sparkling rosé to be exact. All were excellent and now I’m a huge fan of sparkling rosé, a new one for me. Weekend goers are also in luck because they offer an afternoon happy hour, Saturday and Sunday from 3PM – 6PM.
    The Patio on Lamont
  3. Let’s talk about the food: If I could pick two words to describe their cuisine, it would be delicious and beautiful. Besides food that tastes good, I always feel the presentation really drives it home and get’s your taste buds excited, like “I’m about to experience something incredible.” And it was all incredible. We shared the Radicchio & Grilled Endive Salad with arugula, apples, candied walnuts, chevre, and dijon-agave vinaigrette, the Roasted Beet Bruschetta with beets, goat cheese, arugula, candied walnuts on ciabata bread, and the Beef & Bleu Flatbread with new york steak, Gorgonzola, Mushrooms, roasted Garlic sauce and white truffle oil (I want to have this flatbread everyday for lunch, and maybe even for dinner!) And of course, the perfect end to our dining experience: Crème brûlée! Check out these show-stoppers:the patio on Lamont
    the patio on lamont
    The Patio on Lamont
  4. Smaller Bites: They offer a kids menu including some favorites, chicken tenders, grilled cheese, cheeseburgers, pasta with marinara and pasta with butter sauce.
  5. Bring the Pup: They’re dog friendly! I just get SO excited when I hear the words “dog friendly” because my first (and furry) child, Tucker likes to join in on family fun days as much as possible!
  6. Live Music: Every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 6-9PM. The vibe of this place was already so cool, I can only imagine what live music does for the already-stellar environment. I MUST come back to enjoy some live music while sipping my sparkling rosé. Heaven!

My Favorite Part:

Besides me wanting to move into this restaurant because of the decor, my favorite part was the roasted beet bruschetta with goat cheese! It was absolutely delicious and I just couldn’t get over how pretty and colorful it was! A must try!
the patio on Lamont

Visit the Patio on Lamont:

4445 Lamont Street
San Diego, CA 92109
858.412.4648
Website

Disclaimer: I received complimentary food and beverage to review this restaurant. However, all opinions are my own and the Mommy Project, San Diego only features restaurants that we can truly recommend. 

Whine and Dine: Ignite Bistro

After recently reading many rave reviews and receiving stellar recommendations from friends about Ignite Bistro, I had to try this San Diego restaurant for myself! So, off Mike, Blake and I went to experience another Whine and Dine for the books!

Upon entering this venue, you immediately feel like you’ve left the real world at the door and entered into a tropical vacation. Welcoming you to Ignite, lush plants and a stone outdoor fireplace and patio confirm that you’ve now officially checked-in to a hidden oasis tucked away from every day life. You suddenly get the urge to order a fun cocktail, share some appetizers and mix and mingle with the other patrons on the big open patio – this is Ignite, and everyone is in a good mood!

We opted to sit outside on the patio and enjoy the beautiful ambiance next to the stone outdoor fireplace – it just felt right when dining at a place called Ignite!

Ignite Bistro

The Low Down

  • Knowledgable Service: The service couldn’t have been better as our waitress was extremely attentive, efficient and knowledgable about menu items – recommending great food and drink options.
  • “Pretty” Craft Cocktails: Like I mentioned before, I was feeling very “vacation-like” dining al fresco at Ignite, so I journeyed beyond my usual wine order with dinner and opted for a craft cocktail from their amazing craft cocktail happy hour menu. It was extremely difficult to choose just one because everything sounded inredible, so I ended up just asking our waitress which one was the prettiest. (Because you know if I’m going to drink a craft cocktail, I’m immediately uploading it to instagram). She steered me to the “Hipster” made with tin cup whiskey, St. Germain, lemon juice, simple syrup and fresh grated ginger and mint. Delicious and pretty – sold.
  • Calling all Bacon Lovers: Two words: Man Candy. Forget everything you know about your favorite bacon appetizer – this is way better than anything else. Trust me. A sweet and spicy homemade bacon appetizer. (Ignite: 1, any other bacon appetizer: 0).
    20140622_162157_20140709190341742
  • Calamari with a Kick: If you like Calamari, you must try this unique dish: the Thai Firecracker Calamari. I’m definitely a calamari kind of girl and I’ve never tried anything like it – bold flavors burst through (I guess you could say, like firecrackers) in this tasty dish.
    Ignite Bistro
  • Harris Ranch Beef & Fresh Fish: Mike and I split two entrees: the Gorgonzola Steak with Harris Ranch natural twin filet mignon medallions, mushrooms, sweet onions, steak sauce, and mashed potatoes (wow) and the Wood Roasted Salmon with wilted spinach, wild rice and lemon-caper butter sauce. Confirmation: this place has a great ambiance and the food to back it up – everything was incredible.
    Ignite Bistro Ignite Bistro
  • Fun for the Kiddos: Although Blake is not quite old enough to partake in ordering from the kids menu, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Ignite is very kid-friendly. Children can make their own pizzas that are then cooked in the stone fire grill, followed by fun s’mores for dessert!
    Ignite Bistro
  • …In a Mason Jar: We almost made the horrible mistake of NOT ordering dessert, but somehow found the room to order the Banana Cream Pie…in a mason jar. Just let that soak in for a second and take a look at the photo below (disclaimer: yes, it was just as good as it looks – probably better).
    Ignite Bistro

My Favorite Part

I can’ t choose just one so I’m going to list all of my favorites for you: the Man Candy, Craft Cocktail list, Wood Roasted Salmon and Banana Cream Pie in the Mason Jar…oh and the overall oasis-like ambience of this San Diego restaurant. I also really appreciated Chef Alex coming out to say hello at the end of our meal – a very nice and personal touch.
Ignite Bistro

So, if you’re keeping close tabs, then yes, I just listed most everything I experienced at Ignite Bistro. This place gets all tens in my book.

Visit Ignite Bistro:
6996 El Camino Real,
Carlsbad, CA 92009
760.438.7800
Also, follow Ignite on Facebook as they’re heavily involved in the community and always have fun events and specials happening weekly!

 

Disclaimer: I received complimentary food and beverage to review this venue. All opinions are my own and The Mommy Project, San Diego only shares businesses that we can honestly recommend.

Whine & Dine: Hello Betty Fish House

As I’ve mentioned before, I love being a part of the San Diego Mom’s Night Out team! Such a fun group of supportive women. And we all have young children, so when we schedule a “team meeting”, of course the little ones are included!  During this particular get together we visited Hello Betty Fish House in Oceanside.

Upon entering this San Diego restaurant you immediately release the stresses of the day and forget any worries weighing down on your mind because, chill out dude, you’ve entered surfers’ paradise. And get ready, because good vibes, ocean air, freshly caught fish and cold drinks are in your immediate future. Old surf pictures line the walls, and you can hear the ocean through wide open doors and windows facing the surf just across the way. Sit inside or outside, it doesn’t matter, because every seat in the house feels like you’re outdoors, experiencing the most epic summer of surfing of your life. Plus, any restaurant that blasts Kings of Leon gets an A+ in my book.

Hello Betty Fish House

Hello Betty Fish House Hello Betty Fish House Hello Betty Fish House

The Low Down

  • Fresh Fish to Start: Be prepared to split some fantastic appetizers – they all come in sharable sizes and you’d be doing yourself a disservice to order just one! We tried the Shrimp and Cheese stuffed Jalapeno wrapped in bacon (I know – it was insane), Baja Stone Crab and Cheese Dip and Ahi Tuna Poke. Fresh fish and bold flavors – my kind of eats!
    Hello Betty Fish House Hello Betty Fish House Hello Betty Fish House
  • Service with a Smile: The service we received mirrored the vibe of the place – friendly and laid back. We asked our waitress for recommendations and she did not steer us wrong throughout the lunch.
  • Channel Your Inner Paparazzi: Come equipped with a camera to take photos of your little one (or you) inside of the Hello Betty Fish House’s sparkly gold beach dune buggy, parked right inside the restaurant (her name is Coco). I’m not sure which I loved more – the car or the sign on the car, that read, “All unattended children will be given an espresso and a kitten.” Hilarious!
  • Fizzy Fruity Drinks: If this was a dinner or late afternoon meet up, you know I would have tried a frosty margarita or a cold beer from their extensive craft brew list, but I opted for a lunch appropriate pick, a Grapefruit soda. It reminded me of a squirt but with a slight grapefruit taste – delicious and refreshing.
  • Fish & Chips: For lunch I ordered the fish and chips because I consider myself a fish and chips connoisseur – they did not disappoint – crispy and tasty.
    Hello Betty Fish House
  • Ocean Views & Top Gun: After lunch we toured the upstairs patio complete with sweeping views of the Pacific. If you’re looking for an amazing spot to host your next party, look no further – this patio can be rented out for private events. Also, the house from the movie, Top Gun, (cue, Take My Breath Away) is directly across the street! Best.Movie.Ever.
    Hello Betty Fish House Hello Betty Fish House

My Favorite Part

Probably the overall vibe of this place – it just screams summer time and exudes good energy. And of course, I loved when Blake made this face when I put her in the driver’s seat of the dune buggy:
Hello Betty Fish House

 

Visit Hello Betty Fish House:
211 Mission Avenue Oceanside, California 92054
760.722.1008

 

Disclaimer: I received complimentary food and beverage to review this venue. All opinions are my own and The Mommy Project, San Diego only shares businesses that we can honestly recommend. 

Whine & Dine: Pacific Coast Grill

I’ll always remember this Whine & Dine at Pacific Coast Grill because this was my first Mother’s Day celebration! The hubby did good! Pacific Coast Grill literally sits on the sand in Cardiff-by-the-Sea with outdoor patios on the first and second floor. Really, there’s not a bad seat in the house. From large bay windows all you see is sandy beaches, blue ocean water and some built-in entertainment watching the surfers and kite surfers cruise by. This place exudes a true San Diego ambiance.

The Low Down

  • Super friendly service. We eat at Pacific Coast Grill about once a month. The manager, Ryan, recognized us when we walked in and warmly welcomed us back – we were very impressed and the small gesture made us feel like valued patrons. Our waitress was also extremely accommodating.
  • Appetizers that don’t disappoint. We always order the regular guacamole as an appetizer to start because it’s phenomenal. On this day we decided to upgrade and go with the Lobster and Dungeness Crab Guacamole – essentially the same amazing guacamole covered in big chunks of lobster and crab. Heaven!
  • Pink Drinks. No PCG brunch is complete without a Blood Orange Mimosa or a glass of Rosé. I had a glass of each because it was Mother’s Day and I was parched.

Pacific Coast Grill

  • Fresh Fish. Going to PCG and not ordering some sort of fish dish is like going to Napa and not ordering wine -it’s just inexcusable! I ordered the Spicy Tuna Roll with tempura jalapeno – absolutely incredible! – my husband ordered the Surf & Turf roll with seared steak, and my sister ordered the Pan Seared Sea Bass. I had a bite of everything and it was all amazing. I’m still dreaming about this Spicy Tuna roll.

Pacific Coast Grill

  • A Dessert to Remember. When it was time for dessert the Butterscotch Granny Smith Apple Pie with Tahitian vanilla gelato caught my eye and yes, it was just as incredible as it sounds. Imagine chunks of butterscotch baked into the warm pie and then topped with the cold vanilla gelato. Perfection.

Pacific Coast Grill

My Favorite Part

Hands down the Apple Pie! Oh, and after lunch Blake insisted on wearing her new heart sunglasses (they’re adorable) and we all walked out onto the sand right behind Pacific Coast Grill to take this little gem of a picture. Successful Mother’s Day with my beautiful family and great food!

Pacific Coast Grill

 

Pacific Coast Grill
2526 S. Coast Hwy 101
Cardiff, CA
760-479-0721

Whine & Dine: Notorious Burgers

There’s not too many things in this world that beat a good burger and a craft brew on a Friday night. My husband and I had been wanting to try Notorious Burgers in Carlsbad for a while, so when Friday night rolled around and we wanted to go out somewhere casual with good food and local beers on tap, Notorious Burgers it was!

The Lowdown

  • This restaurant gives off the old neighborhood speakeasy feel and I love this line, straight from their website: “…this old city speakeasy reminiscent of the Rat Pack’s glory days will transport you back to a time when made men made history, prohibition proved pointless and bootlegging was boss.”
  • The menu is made up of a selection of Appetizers, Gangster Greens, Notorious Burgers (obviously) and Speakeasy Sandwiches.
  • I have three words for you: Mobster Lobster Fries – just order them.

Notorious Burgers

  • You can either build your own burger or order from their house burgers like the Big Poppa Bacon BBQ Burger with all natural beef, bacon, cave-aged cheddar, hand-battered onion rings and bbq sauce or the Lucky Luciano’s Truffle Burger with all-natural beef, Stilton bleu cheese, bacon, micro arugula, and wild truffle mushroom demi – wowza!

Notorious Burgers

  • They proudly serve all-natural grass-fed beef.
  • They have a phenomenal local draft beer selection – I love that they support local brewers.
  • The service was fast and pleasant and very accommodating for our car seat and little Miss Blake.

Notorious Burgers

My Favorite Part

I fell in love with this place when I saw that they actually have a burger called the Notorious B.I.G. – I love me some Biggy Smalls (may he R.I.P.)! And OF COURSE I had to order it while “Hypnotize” played in my mind. Note: It was incredible!

Notorious Burgers

Whine & Dine: Casa Sol y Mar

San Diego is full of great Mexican food. That’s one of the things I love about this city – no matter what neighborhood you’re in, you can always count on a great Mexican food restaurant just around the corner. Casa Sol y Mar in Del Mar is no exception.

It was raining the night we decided to try this place out, so I was extremely thankful for the convenient parking lot in the Del Mar Highlands shopping center – not having to search for street parking is always a plus when you have a baby!

The Low Down

  • The ambiance was very cool – I loved all of the colorful lanterns hanging throughout the main dining room and the bright red ceiling. There is also a large outdoor patio that would be perfect for dining on a non-rainy day (so, the other 360 days of the year in San Diego).

Del Mar Restaurant

  • The hostess purposely sat us in the back in a quiet booth because Blake was sleeping, so imagine the look on my face when the 4 piece mariachi band began playing (complete with a trumpet) right next to us! I studied Blake’s face waiting for her to be startled awake, but she just kept on snoozing as if nothing was going on – impressive!
  • The food was great. I usually judge a Mexican restaurant by it’s chips and salsa – so after I devoured the whole basket of chips and bowl of salsa, I knew our entrees were going to be good. I had the chicken fajitas and a corona (while channeling a peaceful white sandy beach and palm tree like you see on those Corona commercials). Everything was fantastic and the service was spot on.

Del Mar Mexican Restaurant Mexican Restaurant Del Mar

My Favorite Part

When I looked down and realized that our guacamole was sticking its tongue out at me. Now, if that’s not a good time, then I don’t know what is. :p

San Diego Mexican restaurant

Whine & Dine: Solterra Winery & Kitchen

In my world, nothing says, I love you, like wine and tapas. My husband, knowing this, reserved the 3 of us an early Valentine’s Day dinner date at Solterra Winery & Kitchen. I had mistakingly been here once before when I was pregnant – talk about the biggest tease ever. See all of this great wine we offer? You can’t have any of it! I vowed to come back again one day when I wasn’t so… prego…and Valentine’s Day was the perfect excuse. Blake was the cutest little valentine I could have ever asked for and, true to form, the noise of the restaurant put her right to sleep and she peacefully napped while Mommy and Daddy enjoyed a beautiful dinner.

mommy blogger

The Low Down:

  • Very accommodating for the baby. They had originally reserved our table by the live music on the “winery” side of the restaurant (which would have been very cool had we not had little Miss Blake with us). They moved us to the opposite, quieter side of the restaurant without hesitation.
  • Amazing, friendly service. Our waitress was extremely attentive and friendly – she even brought Blake a menu so she didn’t feel left out  (I told her she’d take the filet and a glass of their best red). 😉  The owner even came by to thank us for the business.
  • Outstanding food. We ordered a smorgasbord of tapas including the Charcuterie Board (if you like green olives and prosciutto, this plate is for you), Aguachile (with bay shrimp – incredible), Tri-Tip Beef Skewers, Patatas Bravas and Krispy Brussels (with bacon!). Oh yes, and don’t forget the Costa Azul Malbec (come to mama)!
  • Ambiance gets a 10 – live music, surrounded by barrels of wine, country-chic feel (just my style)…perfection!

Solterra Winery & Kitchen   Solterra Winery & Kitchen

My Favorite Part:

Probably the Aguachile: Bay Shrimp, Hominy, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumber, Cilantro, Avocado and Lemon-Jalapeño Broth – just typing this makes me want to hop in the car, head back to Solterra and order two more!

Solterra Winery & Kitchen

And my obvious favorite was spending time with my two Valentine’s. I’m a lucky girl! 😉

Valentines

Whine & Dine: Kim’s Vietnamese Restaurant, Encinitas

My name is Kristin, and I’m a pho-aholic. There, I said it. I have an undeniable obsession love for Pho and would order it for take-out every night if that was acceptable in life.

That’s why I was extremely excited to find Kim’s Vietnamese Restaurant close by our house in Encinitas. Usually we order take-out from this place about once every other week, but in the spirit of our new vow to eat out more, we decided to dine in with little Miss Blake in tow.

The Low Down:

  • Very friendly service (they LOVED Blake).
  • Restaurant noise level was pretty quiet  with just enough white noise to keep Blake content.
  • The Vietnamese Zodiac Calendars pre-set on the tables were fun – I learned that I’m a Boar: “Noble and chivalrous (I started brushing my shoulders off). Your friends will be life long, yet you are prone to marital strife.” (Umm, what?! – Mike glared at me when I read the last part – haha!). Mike was a Rat: “Smart and honest (sounds about right). Prone to not having lasting friendships.” (Hmm – they really build you up just to cut you right down)!
  • We ordered egg rolls to start (delish!) and I got the Tofu Pho (I’m so predictable) and Mike went with the Chicken Chow Mein. Oh yes, and a glass of vino to bring out all of the flavors. 😉 Everything came out quickly, the food was piping hot and delicious and my water glass was always full (something I always appreciate)!

Pho Encinitas Kim's Restaurant

My Favorite Part:

Blake was awake throughout the whole dinner just peacefully sitting in her little car seat, watching Mike and I talk – so content. She even chimed in on our conversation with her sweet little coo’s every now and then. I just love her.

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