Sunday, April 12, 2009

Carnival Cruiseline (San Diego/Ensenada, MEXICO) April 2009

I am copying this from another place I blog....

Quick Recap:

Thursday: I took the Amtrak from Oxnard to San Diego. This was a little over 4 hours. I arrived in San Diego about 12:15 PM I walked two blocks to the cruise terminal and got my stuff all geared up. I was on the ship by 1 and I was eating lunch by 1:30 PM. I walked around the ship and got acclimated..found the dance spots, the bars, restaurants and what not. I went back to my room and took a nap until dinner time. I did the early dinner at 6:00PM. I arrived on time and was seated at a table for 13.....I was the only person there for about an hour...didn't bother me at all!!! Ha ha, I met some table mates from Las Vegas and they were really cool. Late, but cool! I walked around a bit and went back to my room to sleep so I could see the 10:30 PM welcome show...umm, I didn't wake up till 2AM!! I told yall this was the SNOOZE CRUISE!!

ETA: For dinner, I had pan seared tilapia and some of the best macaroni and cheese known to man...please don't tell my mom!

Friday: We arrived in Ensenada, Mexico. I was debating taking a tour but decided..not to because I had already been there before and I promised my mom I wouldn't get off the ship....everybody so scared about what's happening in these border towns. I just took some pics from the ship. This was my chill out day! I was so happy they had grits from breakfast everyday!!!! That was a truly southern girl's highlight!!! I listened to some reggae on the sun deck and walked over to the adults only deck called Serenity. Got jealous and went to my room to put on my swimsuit!! Ha ha, I soaked in the hot tub for an hour or so. That was probably way too long!! Anyway, it was cool cause everybody talked to me! I got out of the hot tub and went back to my room and showered and SLEPT again until dinner. I ordered a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from room service just for the heck of it. I also ordered what they called the Mexican Mama drink...I think if I had lit that thing up, the whole ship would have been in flames! Anyway, I went to dinner for formal night! LOBSTER!!! Oh yeah and it was delish! This night I had some new tablemates from Huntington Beach. I watched one of their Vegas style shows which was very good! Anyway, after the show I decided to go listen to some people sing this time, I had had another drink so I was good and ready to sing!!! Well, I mustered up the courage to go sing Doing the Butt by EU Band.....oh lord...why did I do this. I had about 10 blonds from Southern Cali come up and me my backup singers!!!!! They were drunk and I was already tipsy as hell!! Anyway, I barely made it through the song but I did it!! They did a great job too...the next day, people were telling me how much they enjoyed the song and everytime they'd see me, I'd shake my butt and laugh!!! Ha ha, after kareoke, I went over to the Romeo and Juliet Club to listen to some live music. Ended up having another drink here and decided to hit the dance floor.....I did not stop yall!! Folks kept coming over telling me about my dancing...what can one say!!!!! I decided to be a real cruiser and I went to the Midnight Buffet which was Mexican food. They had these really good salmon enchiladas or whatever they were...SO GOOD!!!! I went to my room, watched tv and fell asleep!

Saturday: This was Fun Day at Sea. I had my usual grits again! This was pretty low key for me. I played bingo for $800..too bad I didn't win! Also watched the ice carving demo and the Hairy Man contest..I about died laughing on this one! I went back over the the adults only deck called Serenity and chilled out for a while. I ran into folks I had met and talked briefly. I went to the debarkation talk just for the heck of it! I ate way too much this day...they had some macaroni there that tasted way better than some people I know that really know how to make it!!!! I need to go on a diet now!!! I went to the sit down dinner and gave my facebook info to my tablemates to keep up with me. I did kareoke again and this time I did Jill Scott..A Long Walk..I won't do that again!!!! It was fun though! Also went back to Romeo and Juliet but I didn't dance. Just listened to music. Hit up the late night dining for a slice of pizza and headed off to bed!

Sunday: Woke up early and had breakfast by 7. I was out of my room by 7:45 AM and off the ship by 9AM which gave me plenty of time to get to the train station! I am back home!!!

I'll be back to clean this up with FOOD ONLY!!!!

Mandarin House (Camarillo, CA) April 2009

Mandarin House
4585 Pleasant Valley Rd
Camarillo, CA 93010

I will be back for a full review but this place serves the QUICKEST meals I have ever seen. One of my friends lives in Camarillo and she introduced me to this place. I've already been back less than a week of the introduction....

PLACEHOLDER..I'll be back!

Pho Saigon (Port Hueneme, CA) April 2009

Pho Saigon
826 N Ventura Rd
Port Hueneme, CA 93041

I typically don't go to Vietnamese restaurants..I'm just not that adventurous but I am working on that. I'm a changed woman...!!!! My coworker called and suggested that we eat at this place and I ok the recommendation. He told me that we needed to leave early because the place fills up. Well, I had no idea but that place was FULL..folks standing at the front waiting to sit down for a hot plate of whatever the speciality is!

I ordered a number 33 which is the shrimp fried rice and I ordered number 1 which are the eggrolls without the salads. Their shrimp fried rice is the best shrimp fried rice I have had in Ventura County. Now admittingly, I get our fried rice from Chinese restaurants but honey, the Vietnamese have got this art down packed. I don't know what they put in there but I went back the next day for a carry out order. The rice is $8.50 which is considerably more than other restaurants but once you taste it, you'll know why.The eggrolls reminded me of the crispy lumpia you can find in Filipino restaurants except these were longer/thicker and filled with a bit more mushrooms and cabbage plus meat.

I am definitely going here again this week for that. Say hello if you see me!

Lobster Trap (Oxnard, CA) April 2009

Lobster Trap
3605 Peninsula Rd
Oxnard, CA

I ate at this restaurant last week with an old friend I haven't seen in months. It was great catching up on old times with her. It was also funny watching her flirt with the waiter...I got to find her a man!!! Anyway, on to the skinny! I've never been to this restaurant but I read the reviews and wasn't sure what to expect. I had my trusty gift certificate so it really didn't matter!

First off, the view from this place is magnificent. Great view of the harbor.

We settled into a cozy booth to review the menu. I saw crab cakes on the menu and decided to order these as an appetizer. For my meal, I decided to be a glutton....I ordered the fried plate with fried shrimp, beer battered shrimp, calamari and clam strips. My friend order prime usual, I have no idea but she was licking her fingers in public...must be a good sign!

The crab cakes arrived and they were on top of what appeared to be some type of guacamole concoction. Ok, I've had several crabcakes in my life and I am used to the Maryland/Virginia/East Coast crabcakes. Umm...these crabcakes I had were the worst I've ever had. Something wasn't right and I didn't want to know what it was. When I say they were the worst, they were edible by all means but I'm used to that flaky, white crabcakes from the East Coast. Save you $10 and don't order these!

My fried platter could have fed the mulititude! This plate was massive...french fries piled up to make a fat kid like smile all day long. This plate is really for two people! Cost was $16.95 and I would say it's worth it.

Not much more to say about this place. I will try it again in the future. Stay away from the crab cakes...go to Maryland instead!

Safire (Camarillo, CA) April 2009

4850 Santa Rosa Rd
Camarillo, CA 93012

Happy Easter!'s still early in the month and I am already naming this hotspot Restaurant of the Month. For a place to be named ROTM so early is a pretty good indicator that I'll be back there again. I really need to go some place where the owner will start putting my reviews on the wall...nah, that will never happen!

Anyway, we went there for dinner tonight. I had no idea there were going to be Easter specials. There was a three course meal for $29. Lucky me, I had my $25 gift certificate from, a website that is fast becoming my bestest friend!

I ordered the shrimp cocktail, bbq salmon and the lavender scented vanilla bean panna cotta....fancy didn't know I had that in me did ya???? The other half ordered prime rib. I'm not a steak eater so I have no real comments except he ate the whole thing and he did not complain..that should answer the mail for you!

The shrimp cocktail consisted of three jumbo shrimp served with cocktail sauce and a little bit of horseradish. It was served in a large soup bowl filled with ice...that's classy baby! The bbq salmon was served a top of a bed of yukon mashed potatoes and melted leaks and spinach. I love spinach so this dish was a hit for me. The bbq sauce on the salmon was savory.....I almost wished that it was chicken I was eating but oh well, I did order the salmon. My dessert reminds me of flan but with a slight gelatin taste. This dessert was topped with strawberry slices and caramel sauce on the plate.

Now, the food was definitely the highlight for me..but the real surprise was the margarita. I typically don't drink on Sundays (don't ask!!! just kidding!) but I decided to be brave and I ordered the Caribbean Margarita..this drink took me to Jamaica all over again. I literally thought I was lounging in the warm waters of Negril..ok, back to reality! The margarita was freshly prepared and guess what, COCONUT RUM in a margarita...who would have even imagined this. Definitely, probably...maybe the best damn margarita ever. I am sure I'll be going there again just to sample this smooth and silky concoction. Probably tomorrow..any takers???

The bill was about $76 with tax. This place is somewhere in between upscale and kinda urban decide. I will try it again soon. Who knew we could get this type of food in Ventura County...I'm tired of driving to LA!