Chargers at Ravens, Sunday Nov. 30, 1:00 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium, CBS
Monday felt positively San Diegan here. The temperature topped 70, the sun shined brightly, and the Ravens did their part to preserve the beautiful day by beating the Saints in New Orleans. By Wednesday, the weather turned downright nasty, which hopefully will be the case when the Chargers come to town Sunday for a critical game between 7-4 teams. If you've never been to San Diego, imagine a place where it's always sunny and you don't need a thermometer that goes above 90 or under 50. Weather-wise, it's paradise, which is why the Chargers often struggle in cold-weather locales late in the season. This year they're 2-3 on the road.
What to Eat: California's second-largest city (by population) is known for its fish tacos, which are as popular on bar and restaurant menus there as crab cakes are in Baltimore. Unfortunately for tacos de pescado lovers here (and crab cake aficionados there, for that matter), the dish seems to fizzle on the opposite coast. There are a few places around town that offer their take, including Captain Larry's in Locust Point, Little Havana in Federal Hill, and Riptide by the Bay and Papi's Tacos in Fells Point, all of which use mahi mahi. Holy Frijoles in Hampden favors beer battered cod. For my money, the best fish taco in Baltimore can be found at Tortilleria Sinaloa in Fells, which uses tilapia with an Old Bay butter sauce. The difference maker is its fresh tortillas, which you can buy and use to make your own version.
Speaking of which, this is the intriguing recipe I'll be using to make tuna, goat cheese, and spinach tacos on Sunday.
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 ounces room-temperature goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 1/2 pounds (1/2-inch-thick) tuna steaks
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 4 tortillas
Combine sour cream and goat cheese in a bowl, stirring until blended. Set aside.
Sprinkle tuna steaks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add tuna, and cook two minutes per side. Remove from skillet, and set aside.
Add tomatoes to skillet, and remove from heat. Cook tomatoes with residual heat for one minute, stirring constantly. Add spinach; stir one minute or until slightly wilted. Remove from skillet.
Warm tortillas according to package directions. Slice tuna across the grain into 1/4-inch strips. Place strips on half of each tortilla. Top with spinach and tomatoes, and drizzle with goat cheese mixture.
What to Drink: Like many cities, San Diego has undergone a craft-beer revolution in recent years. The best to migrate east, in my opinion, is Stone Brewing Co. (located in nearby Escondido), which brews the tremendous (and tremendously hoppy) Stone IPA. Mixed 12-packs, the devilish Ruination IPA (8.2 percent ABV), and other varieties are available at Total Wine in Towson and other liquor stores in the area.
If you're thinking cocktail, look no further than this one, inspired by the man who delivered the most memorable line in the history of local news The Ultimate Ron Burgundy Scotchy Scotch Scotch Cocktail, created by Nate Howell, head bartender at Cusp Dining & Drinks in La Jolla, just outside of San Diego:
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 oz. Scotch (Howell uses Famous Grouse)
- ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
- ½ oz. fresh grapefruit juice
- 2 dashes peach bitters
- 2 dashes angostura bitters
- 1 orange or lemon peel, for garnish
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat brown sugar and one cup water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a shaker with ice, combine the Scotch, lemon and grapefruit juices, half-ounce of brown sugar simple syrup, and bitters. Shake vigorously and strain into a short glass with large ice. Garnish with an orange peel.