Miguel’s Cocina


I was just in San Diego for the first time, which was an amazing break from the NYC frigid temperatures. I was only there for a bit over a day, but still found time to stop for some Mexican food at Miguel’s Cocina in Carlsbad. 


For over thirty years, Miguel’s Cocina has been serving authentic Mexican cuisine, including their handmade tortillas, fresh salsas, and colorful crispy chips made daily right in their kitchen. And speaking of these chips and salsas, a full basket of Chips, Salsa and Queso are dropped off at your table upon sitting. Yeah, free queso, when does that happen? At Miguel’s, learn about it. The chips are warm, crisp, and addicting. The salsa is fresh and has a really nice heat to it, which you can cool down with the smooth and creaminess of the queso. 


I started with a beverage, and chose their Hibiscus Margarita (Bracero Blanco, Monin hibiscus, lime juice, cinnamon). I really enjoyed this, it was sweet, but not overly sweet or floral. It’s a really pleasant and light cocktail that actually carries a bit more potency than you’d suspect from the smooth taste. 


For my entree, I ordered the Sesame-Seared Tuna Salad (Pink grapefruit salsita and ginger-habanero vinaigrette). I loved this salad. The ingredients are fresh and abundant, and dressed with a spicy ginger-habanero vinaigrette. Caution, it is definitely on the spicier side, so, if spice isn’t your thing, take the dressing on the side. The tuna was perfectly seared, just giving it a kiss on the outside and rare in the center.

The Shorts:
Name: Miguel’s Cocina
Location: 5980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, San Diego
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, the atmosphere is bright and airy, the service is great and the food is super tasty.
Would I recommend it? For sure, all the food looked amazing, and it’s right by the beach. So, stop by for a drink, a meal, a snack, whatever, and walk it off with a stroll in the sand. 


The Hamilton


Another weekend day, another brunch, right? Right. So, my friends brought me to The Hamilton in Washington DC. This grand venue has a couple enormous dining rooms, another room for a bar, and even a room downstairs where they’ll host a Gospel Brunch. Hallelujah!


They have a really eclectic menu too, with some great American classics, Southern dishes, a sushi menu, and even some signature boozy milkshakes. While the decor really gives you a grand, and elegant atmosphere, you can actually dine pretty casually. 


To start, I ordered  their Hibiscus Mimosa (Carmina Prosecco, hibiscus flower, Byrrh Grand Quinaquina). Loved it. It was refreshing, not too sweet, and the best part is the edible candied hibiscus flower at the bottom.

Then for the table to start, we had the Salted Caramel Pecan Sticky Bun. Yeah, you should probably get that. It’s generous in size, served warm, with a sweet and slightly salted glaze that’s perfectly topped with candied pecans. I mean, nothing to complain about here. 


Then, for my entree I had the Herb Crusted Cod with smashed peas. I really enjoyed this dish. The peas were a mix of smashed and puree and whole, which was a really great textural combination. The Cod was savory and flavorful with a really nice texture, going so wonderfully with the peas. 

The Shorts:
Name: The Hamilton
Location: 600 14th Street, N.W., Washington, DC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure. That hibiscus, the sticky bun, it’s a win-win situation. 
Would I recommend it? Yes, and I’m pretty positive the Gospel Brunch is amazing.