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Here it is, my first 3Q blog. What am I choosing to write about? Definitely not upgraded URLs or mobile trends for 2015. My topic is one that is dear to my heart (upgraded URLs and mobile trends are too). I am writing about food. Why? Because optimizing accounts makes you hungry.
When you are visiting the San Diego office, we do not let you wander into the first Subway you see and grab a $5 Footlong. We take pride in making sure your trip includes the richest of culinary experiences to balance out those long conference calls and any “bad” weather that might be shifting that 75-degrees-and-sunny atmosphere.
If you are in the San Diego office and wanting breakfast, there is a very high probability that 90% of the office will walk with you three blocks north to the consecutive winner of Best of San Diego: Donut Bar. For the skeptics who are rolling their eyes and thinking about Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’, let me start with the national award list. Donut Bar has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Donut Shops in the Country by USA Today and Thrillist.com. Ellen Degeneres invited Donut Bar executive Chef Santiago onto her show, and they have also been featured on the NBC nightly News.
How could a little donut shop in San Diego create such a buzz? It’s called the “Big Poppa Tart” Donut, which weights over 1lb and has a Pop-Tart baked inside of it. As an office, we challenge you to finish one on your own. This donut gave Donut Bar the national recognition it deserved, but is by no means the “go-to” choice when visiting. My personal favorite is the Strawberry Split, which consists of a giant sugared donut, cut in half and stuffed with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. There are rotating donuts for special holidays and San Diego events (such as Comic-Con) that are always fun to try while they last. Donut Bar closes when they are sold out, so make sure to go early for best selection.
Perhaps sweets are not your thing. No judgment from the San Diego office (well, maybe from a few people); we will head over to The Mission for a healthy breakfast. The Mission opened their first location in 1997 in Mission Beach, thus the name. This quickly became a favorite brunch spot and the group expanded to open a second location in 1998, and a third in 2004 in the East Village neighborhood of downtown – close to Petco Park and our office.
The Mission’s vision is clear: “simple, healthy, tasty food with a whimsical edge and a focus on artful presentation at an affordable price.” No one can resist that! With a dog-friendly patio and an interior decorated with art from local artists, the atmosphere is perfect for inspiring creative ad copy or catchy sitelinks. For a plateful of health that is also delicious, try the Zen Breakfast. Picture scrambled egg whites, braised organic tofu, brown rice, grilled zucchini, and grilled squash, with a tomato-and- onion garnish. It is a completely guilt-free indulgence that will power you up for a long day of optimizing. My favorite breakfast at The Mission is their sweet corn tamales: sweet corn and green chili tamales served with eggs over medium and covered with roasted tomatillo sauce.
Are you booking your flight for a San Diego onsite yet?
The lunch hour is a corporate gift and one not to be wasted on basic food. However, that is exactly where we are taking you next – BASIC. Uncomplicated thin-crust pizza, fired in brick ovens within a restored downtown warehouse. Few things this basic are so perfect. This is another lunch spot that will pull the most zombie-fied QBR-deck-preparing officemates away from their desks. First up, the MASHED. The MASHED is a white pie layered with mozzarella cheese, mashed potatoes, and bacon. Try and resist the urge to completely stuff yourself on the MASHED because next we will recommend the SO MEATY. This is a red sauce pizza covered in bacon, pepperoni, sausage, basil, and ricotta cheese. My personal favorite is the 4 MAGGIO, which is uncomplicated cheese. A white base with mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, gorgonzola, and basil. It is perfection in thin-crust form.
Should you not want to put yourself in a pizza coma, the perfect spot to decompress and soak up some San Diego sunshine is Zanzibar Café. If you need a quick bite to go before getting back to work, Zanzibar has a European-style gourmet market attached that offers freshly prepares salads and entrees. Should you have some time to sit and eat, find a spot on their dog-friendly patio, where you can enjoy both your lunch and the weather (my apologies in advance if your visit coincides with the single week of rain San Diego receives each year). Take a look at the menu and notice the Turkey and Avocado Croissant. Featuring a freshly baked buttery croissant filled with an herbed goat cheese spread, avocado, red onion, tomato, and mixed greens, this lunch delight is served with sunshine and your choice of a side salad or fries. If you want to try one of their hot lunch entrees, we recommend the Grilled Chicken Panini on sourdough bread with roasted onion, fig jam, brie, and arugula. Their fig jam is also featured on the Rustic Flatbread covered with bacon, roasted onion, brie, and mozzarella. Either are worthy choices for your San Diego lunch selection.
We really should have started here, as everyone knows Happy Hour is the most important meal during the work week. Optimizing not only makes you hungry, it also makes you thirsty. Send that last client email, close your laptop, and head over to La Puerta for their self-proclaimed Mexperience. Every item on the menu is prepared fresh daily and served with a high level of hospitality. La Puerta is not only known for their food, they also have a tequila collection with over 100 varieties. If you can handle the spice, I recommend starting off happy hour with something off their specialty cocktail menu called a Bark at the Moon. The Bark at the Moon was listed in Travel + Leisure’s America’s Best Margaritas in 2004 and is Dos Lunas Reposado tequila, muddled serrano, fresh lime, and agave nectar. I prefer mine with mango, one of the homemade fruit purees offered at La Puerta.
Purple Haze is the name of a great drink for non-tequila people. It is La Puerta’s homemade sangria and the perfect way to unwind from a long day of running a search program. Sip on your Bark at the Moon or Purple Haze while snacking on any of the options off their “Papas Fritas La Puera” menu. You will be extremely pleased when you see the server approaching with a plate of fries topped with cheese, grilled onions, poblano peppers, crema, guacamole, pico de gallo, and your choice of protein including chicken, carne asada, carnitas, or the surf’n’turf. La Puerta is known throughout the city for their street tacos, and should you be here on a Tuesday night, they are only $2. Go ahead and order one for every person at the bar to make some new friends. La Puerta has a very local feel, which is unique for a bar located in the heart of downtown.
After all of that, you should be ready to approach a fresh new day of optimizing accounts with plenty of vigor. Come visit us in San Diego – your tummy and your clients will thank you!