Every year at the San Diego County Fair, Roxy Restaurant doles out roughly 7,000 of its falafel burgers. These award-winning creations feature a falafel patty with melted cheese, tomatoes, and sprouts. The strange part is: the falafel burger might not even be Roxy's most popular item. That distinction probably goes to the artichoker, a sandwich that, much like the healthiest wedding cakes, is stacked with marinated artichoke hearts, black olives, and sunflower seeds. Chicken enchilada and grilled fish sate meat eaters, but it's the creative, vegetarian-friendly dishes such as these have helped keep Roxy a go-to spot in Encinitas since 1978, when brothers Shoja and Shahram Naimi opened it as an ice cream shop. The brothers have continually built upon that modest foundation over the years, but they have never strayed from their dedication to fresh ingredients and made-from-scratch, preservative-free cooking.
Thai Juan On features a menu that is chock-full of authentic Thai taste foundations, slightly altered to fit the grooves of American Thai eaters' taste buds. Kick things off with the likes of crispy noodle/mee krob ($6.95), before diving mouth-first into the rest of the menu. The dinner terrain covers more than 40 soup, noodle, rice, and entree dishes, including the magnificent noodle/mee phat num prik poa, which melds egg noodles with shrimp, scallop, calamari, and veggies ($15.95). The mermaid's dowry/pla prik lets diners sample the spicy taste of grilled sole, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, and onions before awkwardly explaining to their parents that they're in love with a human-fish hybrid. Thai Juan On's daily lunch menu features midday palate jolts like the Crying Tiger ($9.95)—grilled beef with spicy lime sauce—and the Red Devil ($10.95), spicy beef masaman curry with potato and onion.
Moist double chocolate chip cookies speckled with rich chocolate chunks. Coconut cheesecake brownies drizzled in chocolate syrup. Chocolate mousse-filled buttercream cake frosted with tufts of dark chocolate. It’s clear that Loving Nutrition’s desserts embody indulgent excess. It may come as a surprise then that they also embody vegan ideals, containing no gluten, dairy, egg, soy, or nuts. A pastry mecca for those with vegan beliefs or food allergies, Loving Nutrition stems from the brain of Suraya Iller, a pastry chef and mother of two. After noticing that many children with food allergies were excluded from eating birthday cakes and holiday treats, she swooped to the rescue, baking desserts that everyone could enjoy. In addition to whipping up red velvet cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, and buttercream cakes, the shop also serves a variety of gluten-free breads, including tomato focaccia and pumpkin cranberry.
Qdoba's burrito baristas handcraft a catering menu of Mexican-inspired cuisine, customizable with a panoply of fresh ingredients for a taco, nacho, or burrito bar. Qdoba's culinary crafters craft succulent fillings for burritos, tacos, nachos, and quesadillas, including protein-packing choices, such as slow-roasted pulled pork, adobo-marinated grilled steak or chicken, and spiced shredded or ground beef, with vegetarian options also available. Taste the gooey flavor accents of the signature queso sauce, a three-cheese blend with roasted poblanos, tomatoes, and jalapeños, the pinto or black beans simmered in cumin and onion, or the creamy, hand-smashed guacamole that's ideal for filling up Queen Elizabeth's diamond-studded guacamole chalice. Tortilla chips with salsa bar and desserts complete each catered event, and customers can opt for burrito-boxed lunches and any add-ons.
Extreme Pita's sandwiches serve as a healthier, tastier alternative to fast-food options. Pitas are filled with meats, veggies, and flavorful sauces in inventive combinations. Chef-inspired sandwiches are inspired by various cuisines, with bourbon chipotle sauce giving grilled chicken a Big Easy kick and sweet chili sauce lending a Thai-inspired spin to the philly steak. Nutritional information for each sandwich is readily available on the website, and diners can eat with a clearer conscience and smaller carbon footprint knowing that Extreme Pita partakes in a number of green initiatives, such as recycling whenever possible and using tankless water heaters and Energy-Star-rated refrigerators.
Haritna Restaurant’s menu of regional Middle Eastern dishes plots out an exploration of international edibles accompanied by fresh bread baked in house. Twin skewers support the Kifta kebab’s seasoned ground beef mixed with juicy onions and leafy parsley, and the skewers can be recycled into jumbo toothpicks or extra crossbow bolts after the meal ($8). Insatiable incisors tear into the house-specialty barbecue chicken, a charbroiled half chicken delicately marinated to sport an appetizing tan while luxuriating on a beach of basmati rice ($8). Chicken-kebab and falafel sandwiches ensnare their respective ingredients in a doughy cell made out of a french roll, a pita, or sourdough bread ($5.50 each). Plunge slices of Haritna’s bread into a pristine pool of hummus ($3/small, $5.50/large) or fool, a combination of fava beans, garlic, and lemon juice mixed by an august clown ($3/small, $5.50/large). Harnita's also make sweets such as knafeh, shredded dough stuffed with cheese and syrup ($3.50), and harisseh ($1) in house.