My first exposure to Hansen’s was around 2001 when I approached them out of the blue and asked them to sponsor my marching surfboard brigade in the Encinitas Holiday Parade. Without hesitation, Josh Hansen agreed and for the next few years the brigade grew and won awards like “most unusual” and “second place, marching division.”It was a fun few years working with them and since then, they have been my go-to surf shop for gifts and the occasional splurge on me. I ran into Josh again recently at Crossfit and we thought it would be fun to include them in my monthly “Lick the Plate” business profile. Josh rounded up some Hansen’s foodies including La Tessieri, Megan Dixon, Julie King and Martinique Carte.
I’ll start with Josh and some of his favorites. Breakfast is an important meal for Josh and he has two spots he frequents. The first is Encinitas Café, which he describes as, “A hometown cafe with all the traditional breakfast options like steak and eggs, biscuits and gravy, and eggs any way you want them. My second choice is Swami’s Cafe across the street from the famous surf spot Swami’s. They have great outdoor seating and enormous portions.”
Josh is also a big sushi fan and his go-to is Zenbu for sushi early then he will sometimes stick around for the fun bar scene later. His favorite casual eating on the water in Encinitas is Bull Taco for the outside deck area overlooking the beach and the killer food.
His after work watering hole is Union Kitchen & Tap because of the location right across the street from Hansen’s and it’s fun open-air environment. Nice picks Josh!
Next up is La Tessieri, who has East Coast roots and is always in search of the best chicken wings. La likes the Lumberyard Tavern as their wings come the closest to those at the original Anchor Bar in Buffalo where she is from.
Her close second is Peabody’s on Encinitas Boulevard, which she describes as a “very local spot to go for good wings and great food at very reasonable prices.”
La is also a fan of Bully’s in Del Mar and her Mexican favorite is Jorge’s Mexicatessen in Encinitas. For happy hour drinks she keeps it local as well at the Beachside Bar & Grill, “for their awesome bartenders Baron, Nicole and Yancy.
I really enjoyed seeing that Megan Dixon picked The Flying Pig in Oceanside, which is one of my favorites also. Megan is a longtime fan and she was at the Pig “since the day they opened when there were maybe five customers in there, now it’s at least a 20 to 45 minute wait during their dinner hour. But don’t let this scare you away, the food is well worth the wait.”
Picking her favorite dish proved difficult for Megan but she went with the fresh ground chuck burger served with grilled onion, mustard, aioli, tempura avocado, aged white cheddar with an egg on top and vinegar fries.
Julie King picked Norte Carlsbad for their Tostada Supremas and Taco Tuesday for the $2 tacos enjoyed outside on the great patio dining. Gregorio’s and their eggplant parmesan is another Carlsbad favorite of Julie’s.
Keeping in the Carlsbad theme, she rounded out her selections with West Steak House and West Bistro for their wide-ranging menus and fun happy hour happenings.
West Steakhouse and Bistro are “Lick the Plate” favorites also and it’s cool that Executive Chef Eugenio Martignago has access to a full 1-acre farm two miles from his restaurants that supplies both with most of their seasonal produce.
Martinique Carte wraps up the Hansen’s mix with some Oceanside and Solana Beach choices. In Oceanside she likes Jitters Coffee Pub for their simple, delicious breakfast options and perfect cup of coffee. Also in Oceanside, The Privateer Coal-Fire Pizza offers “gourmet flat-bread pizza and the best cauliflower side-dish, we’ve ever tasted.”
Down the coast In Solana Beach and Del Mar, Martinique loves Claire’s on Cedros because “they offer gluten-free options and summer dinners on their patio; and Le Bambou because they have the best Vietnamese clay pot ever.”
Great selections Hansen’s crew! I love it when I’m turned on to new places and dishes as a result of these columns and there were several here. Be sure to check out Hansen’s Surf Shop in Encinitas and online at hansensurf.com. They have some great e-mail-only specials that are worth signing up for.