Friday, January 8, 2016

8 Must Try Restaurants in San Jacinto Valley | @VisitSJV #VisitSJV

PUBlic House Temecula

During my recent trip to the San Jacinto Valley in California, I had the pleasure of trying a variety of different restaurants that I feel worth mentioning.  From casual to country clubs and all in between, I thoroughly enjoyed being a foodie.

We started out our trip in Old Town Temecula, which is about 20 minutes from the Valley,  where we had a delightful lunch at the PUBlic House.  This was not a new restaurant to me as I had visited here early in the Summer but as they change their menus with the seasons, I had the chance to try something new.  

It was here that I discovered my new favorite TEA of all things!  Since we met up for an early lunch before exploring Downtown Temecula, I decided to try their Cheery Cherry Iced Tea.  I was so impressed by this tea, I asked where to buy it.  Thinking that I would have to order it online, I was pleasantly surprised that there was the Spice and Tea Merchants only a block away that was the creators of this delightful drink.

Temecula CA

Another new for me was duck.  I had never had the opportunity to try duck in my travels and took the opportunity to try the Duck Stuffed Pork.  I wasn't sure what to expect but I was game.  My dish was well plated and a delight!  I had heard that duck can be oily but the duck mixed well with the juices from the pork which laid on a bed of kale.  I would definitely order this again.

Looking for dinner where you can enjoy food and decor straight from Switzerland?  The Anchor Bar offered us a variety of dishes, I chose the Swiss dish that was recommended by the owner herself.  While I cannot ever hope to pronounce the dishes name, it was wine infused pork with a light gravy over mashed potatoes.  WOW!  I was instantly in love.  

Hemet CA

I loved the nautical decor throughout the dining room and had no idea that the restaurant held a surprise bar and billiard area through the doors.  You had the intimacy of the dining area and yet you could let down your hair in the next room.

It is no surprise that I am a meat lover and the next restaurant had high recommendations from friends all over!  Sweet Baby Janes BBQ was a place of my own heart.  The restaurant houses large smokers out back that could slow cook a couple steers to perfection!  This little restaurant packed a big punch. 

Hemet CA

We were serenaded by an elderly duo which made our feet tap and smile the entire time.   The portions, YES, PLEASE!  You will not leave here hungry and if you do, its your own fault!  I ordered the ribs that took me straight to the south with a lemonade and cheesy bread.  I would consider this a must have when you visit the Valley.

Being a Californian, I am pretty picky about my "Mexican Food".  Raised in California, I usually judge my Mexican food by their chips and salsa and drinks.  Bad, I know.  Not only did the El Patron have great chips and salsa but the owner made us fresh guacamole right at our table.  It as DELISH!  I had ordered simple enchiladas but I had filled up on the guacamole and only nibbled.  

Hemet CA

Bringing myself to the drinks.  I am not a tequila drinker usually but this Blue Margarita changed my mind.  Who says you have to be the beach for a good margarita? 

Hemet CA

We had a fabulous time with the owner and his family and staff.  I loved how hospitable Hemet was!

With our trip almost at an end, we had time to squeeze in a couple more restaurants.  Driving through downtown Hemet, we saw a line of people heading out the door of a small deli.  The Downtown Deli was the place to be!  As we ordered our sandwiches, the coffee drinks  popped off the menu.  Hmmm coffee sounded good.  A Coconut Mocha Iced coffee hit the spot.

I have to warn you, if you don't like fresh crunchy home-made bread with your full of flavor sandwich, you will hate this place.  I had intended on eating half of the large Italian sub

sandwich at the deli and bring it back to my cottage for an evening snack.  I ate one half and the other half just cried for me to not leave it so I obliged.  Before your know it, I didn't have a snack anymore.  Oops!  It was worth every crumb!  I could see why there was a line 20 people deep!

Hemet CA

There was no way that I could fit anything more into my stomach!  Well, until our guide mentioned ice-cream.  OH BOY,  my weakness!  As we drove a block down the street, we entered the La Michoacana.  If you don't know what that is, it translates to everything fresh!  All of the gelatos, popsicles and ice-creams were fresh-made daily.  In fact, the it doesn't even close until 11 at night!  

Hemet CA

All of the fresh-fruit treats were made by the owner and his family every night,  I was tempted to get the fruit treats until I saw my favorite ice-cream, bubble-gum.  Don't judge but it is hard to find and I jumped at the chance to try a all natural version that I now dream about.  :-)  There were smiles all around as we waddled out the door to our next destination.

Our last destination of our trip was at the Soboba Country Club where we were delighted to meet one of the Soboba Indian Elders along with the Mayors of San Jacinto and Hemet.  We felt as if they welcomed us into their family that is the San Jacinto Valley and memories and souls we won't forget.  Salmon, Chicken Marsala with a mushroom risotto, and bread pudding were the specials of the night.  We enjoyed the wonderful company by the firelight of a large hearth and soft lighting.  The country had picturesque surroundings and large ballrooms perfect for conferences and special events.

San Jacinto Valley

I was sad to leave my new friends in San Jacinto Valley but I came home with new memories and experiences that I can share with my family on our return trips.