In 2013 and 2014, Pure Burger was voted the city's best burger by the readers of the San Diego A-List. And it's really no wonder the patties won, given their origins: organic, free-range, grass-fed beef from California. Using this as a base, chefs make each patty by hand, customizing it with whatever collection of fresh, locally sourced produce the diner desires. This passion for top-notch ingredients extends to other sections of the menu, as well, with french fries made from freshly cut potatoes and shakes made with Tillammok hand-scooped ice cream. In order to please just about everyone, Pure Burger even whips up a handful of alternatives to their signature sandwiches, including bun-free burgers, veggie burgers, and Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free buns. Those who prefer poultry can enjoy a savory sandwich made from ABF Farms' Never-Ever certified, cage-free chickens.
After graduating from high school, Reza Karkouti dreamed of opening his own teriyaki restaurant. He garnered support from family and friends, and he and his father, Ahad, opened a tiny eatery called Tokyo's Teriyaki in Encinitas in 1992. Through hard work and an attention to detail, the restaurant's reputation grew, and the demand for juicy, teriyaki-glazed chicken and beef quickly spread to other cities. This led Reza’s younger brother, Amir, to help open a second location. Now a seven-location, family-owned chain, Surf Brothers Teriyaki still sees its two siblings focusing on customer service and quality products.
The duo chooses natural meats that are minimally processed, hand trimmed, and grilled, avoiding shortcuts such as microwaves, frozen foods, and laser-based slicing. Their Hawaiian-themed restaurants and catering business have been featured in numerous television spots, radio shows, and newspaper articles. Michelle Murphy Zive of SanDiegoFamily.com says the restaurant offers "a taste of Hawaii" and "healthy food served fast." The brothers give back to the community that helped them grow by donating to charitable organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Homes project.
Every day at more than 770 locations, Jamba Juice proves that good nutrition can be both convenient and delicious. Since the beginning, the company has based its philosophy on choosing whole fruits and all-natural ingredients over artificial flavorings and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial trans fats, and it makes additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
Although Jamba Juice is serious about using wholesome ingredients, the company is a little more playful when it comes to the palate. Whole fruits and veggies can be blended into an extensive menu of great-tasting smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. But Jamba Juice?s commitment to keeping healthy eating simple informs its solid-food options, too. Customers can kick-start their morning with a steaming bowl of slow-cooked, steel-cut oatmeal, or stay energized throughout the day with six varieties of Energy Bowls: nutrient-rich blends of whole fruit, Greek yogurt or soy milk, and an assortment of dry toppings and fresh fruits.
In addition to nourishing and energizing the human body, Jamba Juice fights childhood obesity by sponsoring Team Up for a Healthy America. The initiative encourages fans to join the Team Up community of celebrities, athletes and other leaders committed to getting kids active?which they can do by visiting the main Jamba Juice website.
Carlsbad is a seaside city, known for its pristine beaches?and, thanks to Carlsbad Food Tours, its burgeoning restaurant scene. On the company's three-hour walking trips, participants sample dishes at seven or eight of the city's eateries, which have been carefully curated by company owner Cherimarie Poulos. Her decades of experience in the food service industry mean that none of her choices are arbitrary. Instead, Cherimarie uses her insider status to pick the spots with the freshest ingredients and roundest plates. Additionally, when participants aren't mingling with local chefs, they're listening to the guide's anecdotes about Carlsbad history, culture, and architecture.
The expansive menu at Vista's Icebox contains more than 30 sandwiches, each assigned to one of four taste-oriented rankings. Beneath the ?really good? status, customers find classics, such as tuna on wheat and egg salad, while the next level up??better sandwiches??offers BLTs and shrimp pitas. The shop?s ?best sandwiches? list includes a club stacked with bacon, turkey, and ham, and at the top lies Vista?s ?finest sandwiches?: Reubens, heros, and BLTs dressed up with avocado and crowned in laurel leaves.
A whiteboard relays the day?s handwritten specials, beneath which reads a list of hearty sides, such as coleslaw, potato salad, and tortellini pesto. The kitchen also churns out daily-made soups, breakfast burritos, egg sandwiches, and frozen yogurt.
At Ignite, chefs hand-sculpt specialty Angus burgers and pitch Neapolitan-style pizzas into a wood-fired oven. Caputo flour and San Marzano tomatoes import the flavors of Italy to the menu's authentic pizzas, topped with wild cremini mushrooms and roasted garlic ($10.95 for lunch; $12.95 for dinner) or artichoke hearts and homemade mozzarella cheese ($11.95; $13.95). Made from 100% Angus beef, the huntsman burger ($11.25) slays hunger pangs with a stack of hickory bacon, caramelized onions, and stilton huntsman cheese on a brioche bun, all served under a wooden box propped up with a stick. Sandwiches made with freshly baked flatbread ($8.95) anchor the lunch menu, and for dinner, seared scallops pair with a pecan wild-rice pilaf in light lemon sauce ($18.95). During either meal, diners can sit inside, where TV screens and artwork surround a 360-degree bar, or move to the outdoor patio, staring into the stone fire pit's mystical flames for visions of the latest stocks and hockey scores.