Favorite driver's magazines

"Baggers", June 1, 2012


PHOTO: J. Joshua Placa


Bikers love to eat. Whether it’s a convenient excuse to pull over, take a break and eat a burger, or a matter of much needed fuel to keep our senses sharp, motorcyclists often find themselves bellying up to the dinner table. And for motorcycling’s hungriest segment, Baby Boomers, dining has become a destination.

It’s puzzling, considering a biker’s biggest road expense next to accommodations, why more editorial attention isn’t paid to where to eat. Not so here, where we know the importance of a tasty meal. San Diego offers excellent dining diversity, dishing up everything from sumptuous seafood and gourmet steaks to tasty turkey burgers and homemade fries. Go ahead and take a big bite:


A rousing base camp for Comic Con or pre- and post-San Diego Padre tousles, the FleetWood is a quirky mix of sports bar and fine dining. From ping-pong to bottle service, this venue has something for almost anyone.

We experienced elegantly presented and tasty dishes and cocktails. The Chili Brown Sugar Ribeye with House-Made Tater Tots, Peppercorn Sauce, with Green Beans ($29) was a standout; Crème Brulee ($6), the perfect finish.


639 J Street

San Diego, CA

(619) 702-7700


Whether you consider yourself a grazer or a three-square meals type, you’ll relish this seafood. The menu adjusts daily with seasonality and availability.

The Fish Market serves it up just-caught fresh, courtesy of their own fisheries. Everything from both kinds of chowders to bounties of shellfish and fish filets, sushi, and sashimi tempt. Salads, pastas, side dishes, burgers, and steaks round out the fare. Quality service, atmosphere, and cuisine are standard.


(multiple locations throughout the San Diego area)


Burgers of all stripes, healthy grass fed beef, luscious turkey, quinoa, and salmon are masterfully prepared and accessorized with farm-fresh fixings, then nestled in fluffy buns.

Chicken tenders, glorious salads, fresh cut fries, and onion rings are all presented in a memorably tasty form. Forever etched on your brain, you’ll pine for these savory flavors like a rock star for a supermodel. The Coronado location is one of those fine Sunday putt spots, near the beach and away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city. Sit outside and watch the upper middle class walk by.


(multiple locations throughout the San Diego area)

CAFÉ 1134

This charming Coronado mainstay will give you a sense of the local, relaxed vibe. Friendly faces greet you from behind the bar, serving up coffee, teas, espresso, wine and beer, pastries, and bistro fare. Dine in their interior main floor and loft areas, or al fresco. The café also offers a nice vantage point ideal for eyeing the meandering tourists, usually headed for the historic Hotel del Coronado nearby.


1134 Orange Ave.

Coronado, CA 92118

(619) 437-1134


Chef de Cuisine, Sarah Linkenheil, and Sushi Master “Kaz” Kim have made this one of San Diego’s finest restaurants. The waterfront view is ideal for a menu boasting seafood, with steak, lamb and chicken hearty options.

Sally’s offers tantalizing lunch and dinner menus; breakfasts on the weekends. The outstanding cuisine brings in the locals and tourists alike. The resort is fortuitously placed between the San Diego Convention Center (Comic Con central) and the popular Seaport

Village. Sally’s offers three-hour validated parking, a nice little savings of about 25 bucks.

Every bite of sushi & sashimi was the height of freshness and beauty. We were equally pleased with the Half Maine Lobster Paella ($36) and the Chili Crusted Maine Diver Scallops ($31). For a special treat, try their incredible dessert menu.


One Market Pl.

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 232-1234; (619) 358-6740


It’s always a good sign when there’s a bunch of bikes parked out front, right? Motorcycle enthusiasts not only frequent Bice, but many of the staffers are bikers.

This joint lends itself to impressing a date, with its swanky décor, extensive wine library, and accolades that make the chef’s momma proud. A nod is given to the local and seasonal ingredients. Elegantly presented pastas and seafood dominate the menu. Scrumptious desserts make this eatery a special spot to pause after strolling the Gaslamp Quarter.


425 Island Ave.

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 239-2423


This highly pervasive trend to serve “sustainable” and “sincere” food could make JSix its poster-child. Chef Christian Graves puts his own spin on what has also been called, “conscious, coastal cuisine.” The idea is to save the Earth by growing locally and dishing up organically.

Edible borage flowers dotted my salad of organics and cheese, a feast more for the eyes than the palate. Various meals are offered, but as the sun sets, this place and its floral relief ceilings glow in ethereal light, creating a romantic ambience well suited for the dating or wannabe-dating crowd.

The restaurant’s distinctive cocktails use basil and other herbs from JSix’s rooftop garden, and an assortment of palate awakening stimulants. If indulging or getting lucky, the plush Hotel Solamar’s check-in is just steps away, or you can catch the nearby trolley.


616 J St.

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 531-8744


Praise Jesus and pass the biscuits and gravy. If you want some of that good old-fashioned religion served up with your southern fried chicken and shoofly pie, the House of Blues’ popular Gospel Brunch will satisfy your appetite and feed your soul.

The hearty, southern fare gives you the energy for what’s next: a rousing, bible thumping, old-timey dose of singing, dancing and preaching. Even the hardcore biker pagans in the audience were moved to whooping and hollering and praising. The minister almost had even me converted until he told us how small his earthly problems appeared while looking out over the vast ocean from his multimillion-dollar beachfront home.


1055 Fifth Ave.

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 299-2583


Despite Hollywood stereotypes to the contrary, bikers enjoy their creature comforts; the cozier the better, especially for the bagger generation. Unless you actually like sleeping on the hard, wet ground or at questionable motels, there is a better way:


I have never before wanted to stay in a room more than to sober up and shower. That’s changed. Seventeen unique, gorgeously appointed rooms and suites make this a new, sparkling jewel in what is considered the “Crown City,” Coronado, CA.

Located within walking distance to famed beaches, seaside boutiques and contemporary cafes, the property is certainly befitting the biker who appreciates the pristine and shiny. The property is racking up high praise on travel review sites, and deservedly so. The staff, gourmet breakfasts, daily wine and cheese in the parlor, spa-ahhh tubs, and (motorcyclists will lick their chops over this) a state-of-the-art, secured, underground garage. Now that’s the lush life.


1060 Adella Ave.

Coronado, CA 92118

(866) 435-1906


Swashbuckling, anyone? It’s easy to imagine rollicking swordsmen being in their element here. Traditional Spanish stucco archways, awnings and shutters, red tile roof, and bougainvillea petals floating lazily onto the Spanish tiles. Guests are quickly transported into their own Roman Holiday as they present your keys, and I’m not talking about those tacky plastic key cards.

Are you the type who has some special ride tucked in your garage? You know, a little retro, sporting mileage and the patina of a lovingly maintained machine. These accommodations are like that, clean and classic.

This 40-room inn, built in 1902 as a private residence, features a courtyard-enclosed heated pool, whirlpool, and barbeque area. In-suite kitchenettes are provided in the charming accommodations. Modern amenities, such as the flat screen TVs bring the hacienda up to speed.

The friendly and efficient staff and excellent location make this boutique hotel a favorite. It’s in the heart of the village, just a short walk to one of the best beaches in America, the historic Hotel del Coronado, and main thoroughfare, Orange Avenue. On property, there are 12 shops and three restaurants.


1351Orange Ave.

Coronado, CA 92118

(619) 435-4131


San Diego’s Little Italy is a frenetic hub of transportation. By sky, land and sea the conveyances never cease coming and going. For an up-close eyeful of a Boeing 747, for example, just stand on the corner of Kettner Boulevard outside the Harley dealership. Every few minutes, jetliners fly in so low you can see the smile on the pilot’s face. Vespas zip by, trolleys clang and motorcycles rumble down Little Italy’s main drag, India Street.

We packed our earplugs and good humor, and nestled in at the Italian B&B. Restored and reopened in 2010, this four-room inn is located in the heart of Little Italy and just up the hill from the waterfront and near downtown San Diego.

Attracting an international clientele, a Danish couple, two Norwegian youths in for Comic Con, NoCal honeymooners, and our raggedy selves chatted over yet another incredible breakfast. The fun innkeeper, Mary Trimmins, has a custom chopper and a formal culinary background, which we tasted with every delicious breakfast bite.


2054 Columbia St.

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 238-1755

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