Old Town, New Shops

Most of today was spent getting ready for my trip back to Utah. I had to unpack and repack the car, and after moving things around I realized just how little I actually had with me. I went to Sprouts to buy quinoa, bulk soup mix, steel cut oats, and 6 grain oatmeal for my breakfast (superior to Bob’s Red Mill 5 Grain Oatmeal – they really need to step it up). I finally picked up Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, the 4th book in the Eragon series at Barnes & Noble, and to my astonishment it would have been less expensive to purchase it in New Zealand. With tax the book came to $30 and change, and in NZ it would have been $33NZD ($25USD equiv) and paperback instead of hard cover. Both were as big as bricks, however.

I then drove down to Rosecrans St just north of San Diego’s CBD and dropped my car off at Jiffy Lube while I walked to Old Town to get my much anticipated flavored hand-made tortillas and cup of tea. Although the car wasn’t due for an oil change I wanted the fluids washed through and honestly I was there to pay $30 for them to adjust the tire pressure. I tried to fill the tires the night before at the gas station, for the first time ever, mind you, and it just didn’t work – tire pressures all over the show.

After a short walk I made it to the Tea Shop in Old Town, possibly my favorite shop in San Diego, though less so since the new owners took over. Their selection has dwindled and they no longer sell an entire wall of tea in nice wooden boxes. I asked for a cup of the Indian Spice Chai, and while the tea itself smelled flavorfully of cardamom and cumin, I didn’t find my brewed cup as enticing as other chai teas I’ve had. I decided to purchase the pineapple and coconut rooibos instead since it has a unique flavor I haven’t had anywhere else.

I strolled around looking for a restaurant to bring Emily to for dinner and walked past Barra Barra into the far courtyard. I saw a sign for a hot sauce shop and wondered why I had never checked out the stores in that area before. I tried several sauces, before my tongue went on strike, and purchased Scotty B’s Berries in Heat. I normally don’t like sweet flavors in my spicy sauces, but this one is definitely an exception. They some how managed to successfully combine my two quite opposing favorite foods – berries and extremely hot spices.

I picked up Emily from the airport and returned to Old Town for round two of tortillas, tea, and hot sauce shopping. After tasting a few more red teas we went to Barra Barra for their happy hour, and San Diego’s best margarita. For $5 they make the margaritas with Herradura Blanco, one of my favorite tequilas, and use fresh lime juice so they aren’t too sweet. We also grabbed some Indian flat bread tacos at $2 each – the veggie ones are extremely tasty – to go with our chips and salsa and selection of hot sauces to try out.

I was hoping to taste some peri peri and ghost pepper sauces, since they are what I am in the market for, but unfortunately they didn’t have any. I went to the hot sauce shop again after dinner and for my extra spicy hot selection went with Satan’s Ghost Hot Sauce. It’s made with Indian Bhut Jolokia, commonly called ghost peppers, apparently the hottest peppers in the world. Anyone who chooses to dine with me in Park City, beware!

As I am reading up on these peppers I find it interesting that capsaicin, the chemical in chilis that make them hot, causes a release of endorphins. The more capsaicin, the more endorphins are released in the body. Instead of killing off all my taste buds as I suspected, the reason I’m able to eat hotter and hotter foods is simply because I’m becoming a drug addict. Well that explains everything now doesn’t it.

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