On a spur of the moment whim, Wing and I decided to have lunch at The Prado restaurant tucked away in the heart of San Diego’s Balboa Park. Although both of us grew up in SD, neither of us had ever eaten at The Prado. I’ve always seen it and wanted to eat there, I just never had. Well, I’ve finally eaten there, and I can now say, “What was I waiting for?” The food tasted good, the ambiance was laid back but nice with all of its art deco, and the service was friendly. We opted to sit inside in the AC since it was too hot to sit outdoors, but I’ve heard the patio dining’s view is elegant, and knowing the location, I’m sure that it is. Anyway, upon being seated, we were given flatbread with chipotle hummus. Now, I’m pretty picky about my hummus and this one was good. Maybe it was the chipotle or maybe it was the flatbread that I really liked. I’m not sure exactly, but I know I liked it.

Prado_drinks bread

Wing and I decided to splurge and we bought drinks. He ordered a Mai Tai and I ordered a chocolate martini that I put aside for dessert. I really want to go again so I can try more drinks. Some of them sound so good! Wing liked his Mai Tai, saying it was very fresh and refreshing. My drink was very tasty as well, but definitely a dessert drink. I liked it so much I almost didn’t allow Wing to try it (he ignored me when I told him he waited too long and the window of opportunity had vanished). We didn’t order an appetizer because none of them really suited my taste… calamari fries, shrimp cocktail (you can read in the about page that I don’t do seafood), etc. For our meals, Wing ordered the softshell crab BLT and I ordered the grilled ham and cheese sandwich with tomato soup. Wing liked his sandwich – it was panini-style and the crab was fried well, not too greasy but nice and crunchy on the outside with tender meat. My soup and sandwich were good, too. The sandwich was pretty typical (I guess there’s not a lot you can do differently with a sandwich) but the tomato soup was really good. It was chunky (which I like) and I’ve definitely had worse from places! But Wing and I agree that the star of the plates were the fries! There was a seasoning on them that we couldn’t figure out, but they were so good that Wing asked the waiter what was on them and, supposedly, he didn’t know. We didn’t insist on finding out, but we were a bit disappointed because we’re the types that would try to recreate them at home… and that’s probably exactly what the restaurant is trying to avoid.  Or perhaps the waiter just really didn’t know.

Prado_sandwich dessert

Then came the dessert… my favorite part! We ordered the very non-traditional tres leches (three milk) cake (but hey, that’s what contemporary American dining is all about, right?). The presentation was picture-perfect with a fried plantain resting on a bed of ice cream. The cake itself was pretty good. It wasn’t as moist as some I’ve had, but the crispy pistachio meringue that was nestled at the bottom made the dish. There were caramelized bananas in the middle of the meringue that gave it an extra sweet and delicious touch. Like the drinks, there are a few other desserts I would love to try. Maybe there will be another Prado post in the future!

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