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Fallbrook Cafe provides a great place to eat during a San Diego winery trip

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Fallbrook Cafe restaurant


It is always nice to go to Temecula for a day of wine tasting. Temecula has really grown and modernized into one of San Diego County's nicer cities, complete with many excellent wineries. Right next door, however, lies Fallbrook, a small town where ranches dot the outskirts and no fancy restaurants or upscale malls dot the landscape. It is the perfect place to decompress after wine tasting, or enjoy a good old-fashioned meal before beginning your winery crawl. Right in the center of Fallbrook, the Fallbrook Cafe provides a perfect place to have some delicious home cooking in a place that looks like it has not changed much in decades.

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The Fallbrook Cafe advertises itself as “Home Cooking at it's Best” and it delivers. The signs in the dining room make sure to say that the chicken pot pie is a specialty and completely made on the premises. It really looks like that too. It is delivered to the table on a plate with the Chicken Pot Pie on it. This is not a chain restaurant pot pie.

The crust hangs unevenly well over the edges of the pie dish, with gobs of creamy chicken gravy cascading done some of the edges. The pie also has that just-baked golden brown sheen to the crust. At the first push with the fork on the edge of the crust, you can watch the crust break off to reveal many flaky layers, the sign of a nice handmade crust. It is much closer to a fine puff pastry crust than the usual hard crust. Putting a spoon into the top allows the crust to break away, releasing a puff of steam from the hot interior. Dipping the spoon into the gravy, large chunks of chicken and carrots come up, coated with the golden yellow thick chicken gravy.

This could easily be the poster child for a chicken pot pie. The gravy is not overly salty, instead seasoned properly with the taste of good chicken stock and nice herbs. The carrots arre tender and the chicken still has a nice firmness to the bite. It is hard to tell if there are potato chunks in it since they blend in so nicely that they did not dominate the chicken. This is a dish where you will find yourself scraping the plate and the dish to get every last bit of goodness out of the chicken pot pie.

The chili size remains one of Los Angeles' greatest culinary creations, easy to find now all all throughout California. It was originally a dish created at a place in the 1920's called 'Ptomaine Tommy's'! The Fallbrook Cafe's version runs true to the original, with a bun lightly toasted with the top split. A hamburger patty covers the bottom of the bun and is topped with a generous portion of delicious chili. On the side comes a dish of chopped onions and grated cheddar cheese to top the chili size with.

The Fallbrook Cafe's Chili Size delivers the flavor. Their house-made chili is seasoned just enough to not overpower the flavor of the hamburger patty. The chili has some beans in it but is not overly loaded with them. The crisp bun and chopped onions add nice texture to the dish. Overall, it is a delicious chili size and quite satisfying, another dish worth using a spoon to scrape up every bit of chili.

After a nice meal at the Fallbrook Cafe, a nice time can be had driving around Fallbrook and Temecula, enjoying the views of horse ranches, vineyards and wineries. A nice glass of wine at one of the wineries makes a perfect way to cap off a day in Northeast San Diego County, a nice day trip from Los Angeles. Add to that a meal at the Fallbrook Cafe and it makes for a nice way to enjoy a lovely spring day.

Fallbrook Cafe

739 East Mission Road

Fallbrook, CA 92028

Ph: (760) 728-1898