Gawking at architecture and stopping to smell the roses really works up an appetite.
I had originally wanted to eat at Panama 66 when we visited Balboa Park, but it was closed for the day for a private event. We thought about eating at the Japanese Tea House, the scenery was charming, but we weren’t feeling noodles. By default, we meandered into Prado, and in the end we were happy that we did.
Our heads turned in every direction as we settled into our booth. There was quirky, eye pleasing artistry everywhere we looked. The colorful ceiling, the strange antler stand that held blown glass frisbees, even the lights had an air of deliberate design.
We found ourselves overwhelmed by the menu. Everything sounded so good.
We were greeted by our genuinely friendly waiter who set dishes of hummus and flat-bread before us.
The hummus and flat-bread were so yummy we had to pace ourselves so we didn’t inhale it all in the first few minutes.
For my meal, I ordered the Marinated Skirt Steak Panini. Served on a garlic-shallot roll, it contained marinated skirt steak, fried tomatoes, horseradish cheese, field greens, and chimichurri sauce. It probably should have come with a breath mint, but it did come with homemade yucca chips.
The chips were tasty, a little puffier and less greasy than potato chips. As my side dish I got the chorizo-charro beans. They were smoky, a tiny bit spicy, and oh so good. I probably could have gobbled up two or three more bowls.
Shannon got the Deliful sandwich. Roasted bison, pastrami, turkey, bacon, pickles, sprouts, tomatoes, whole grain mustard on malted brown bread. It was a lot of meat.
Shannon said it was yummy. His sandwich came with french fries, and he agreed that the beans were delicious.
There is just something delightful about the first- full- day- in –a- new- place lunch, and the wonder of an entire week stretched out before you. We took our time eating, no need to be in a hurry, no place we absolutely had to be. We discussed our itinerary for the next few days and kept exclaiming things like,
“We’re in California!”
“We’re on our trip!”
“We’re eating lunch in Balboa Park!”
“We don’t have to go to work on Monday!”
Though the desserts were tempting, I had my sights set on a specific ice cream treat at the ballpark, so with fortified energy, we exited our booth, and continued our wander around Balboa Park.
If you ever find yourself in Balboa Park, give Prado a try. It’s a lovely little escape inside a lovely escape.