From left, Leo, Julie, Charlie, Chad, Robert, Jason and Fred from Encinitas Foreign & Domestic. Photo by David Boylan
Columns Lick the Plate

Lick the Plate: Where Encinitas Foreign & Domestic eats around town

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Encinitas Foreign & Domestic (EFD) owners Julie and Leo Macaluso for the past 10 years and have always been a fan of their approach to running their business. Leo is a self-described “fixer” who would rather find a solution and repair than take the easy, and sometimes expensive route of just replacing the part. They also walk the talk when it comes to sustainability with a sizable rooftop solar system powering their entire repair section of EFD and their home. They are big foodies as well, and you might see Julie at events around town with her homemade and delicious gelato cart. All this made EFD a perfect business for our quarterly look at where local businesses eat around town.

I’ll start with Julie and Leo, who like to take a daily stroll down the street to Darshan Bakery & Café. Julie describes Darshan this way. “Everything is made from scratch with great ingredients. We enjoy a coffee along with a little treat at around 10 in the morning. Leo usually picks the lemon tart and it takes us to a Zen place for a few minutes of calmness and incredibly wonderful people. It’s also fun to practice our Italian and feel as though we are in a European bakery. We’d like to give a shout-out to Union. They’ve done a great job for our Christmas Party for the last couple of years. The private area is perfect for our group. It makes for a fun evening.”

Chad Mothé is the parts manager and has been with EFD for 25 years. He’s been a big fan of Fidel’s in Solana Beach for decades. “It’s the original location that used to be their house where the owner cut hair and started serving food to their clients and it evolved from there,” he said. “I love the Chile Colorado with Carne Asada, the sauce has a nice spice to it.” Another favorite for Chad is Chief’s Burgers and Brew in Solana Beach, known for their huge portions and as a great place to catch a game on TV and I definitely agree on their burger being one of the best around.

Master Technician Robert Charles enjoys working in the heart of Encinitas and being surrounded by so many diverse restaurants. Two of his favorites are Blue Ribbon Pizza and Zenbu. “You can’t go wrong at Blue Ribbon Pizza. The brick oven cooks up thin and perfectly crispy crusts on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. My favorite is My Father’s Pizza and for dessert their famous butterscotch pudding. When I want sushi I head for Zenbu in Cardiff. The fish is always fresh and their sauces are quite tasty. The sushi chefs are friendly, the wait staff is attentive and it’s a great place to unwind after a long day at work.” Thanks for the Blue Ribbon reminder Robert, I love that pizza!

Charlie Buros is the general manager and lists Moto Deli in Leucadia as a new favorite. “I like the Turketta sandwich,” he said. “It has a lot of different flavors going on for such a basic sandwich. Another good spot, also in Leucadia, is Mozy’s Cafe. They have hands down the best Acai bowl in the North County. Served in a large bowl with granola, berries and shredded coconut. It’s a lite refreshing meal good at any time of the day. Also a favorite at Mozy’s is the Bowl of Happiness. Loaded with black beans, brown rice, hummus, fresh veggies, plantains and a delicious dressing.” Good stuff Charlie, I need to try that bowl of happiness.

German Car Master Technician Fred Worsch is one of the many who have recently discovered The Crack Shack in Encinitas and the G Bird is his go-to dish. For special occasions Fred will hit up the Chart House. “We’ve enjoyed the Cardiff Chart House for the past 30-plus years,” he said. “The beautiful sunsets, great appetizers, spinach salad with squaw bread and delicious fresh fish dishes never disappoint. Our favorites for Mexican fare are Rudy’s for the chicken tacos and Roberto’s for the breakfast scramble burritos. For breakfast, we enjoy Champagne Bakery or Claire’s for their quaint outdoor dining. Both restaurants accommodate pets and our dog Sandy loves to join us at either spot.”

Jason Jonsson is the shop foreman at EFD and is a Pizza Port guy and a fan of both their pizza and their beer. He had this to say about his favorite pizza and a beer joint. “Their head brewer, Mike Aubuchon, is a master of his craft and they always have dozen or more original beers on tap. On the non-alcoholic side of their beverages, my son really enjoys the craft root beer float. The beer and the food are great but the people are what make this my favorite spot. Most of the seating is picnic table style so everyone eats together like a family.” For coffee, Jason hits up Jitters in Oceanside. “Jitters is my favorite coffee spot located in Oceanside on the Coast Highway. The beans are locally roasted by West Coast Coffee Roasters and are absolutely delicious. The environment is relaxed with plenty of books to read and local arts and crafts available for purchase. The owner, Vallie Gilley, makes the best apple turnovers I have ever had. They are both people friendly and dog friendly.”

Thanks to the crew at EFD for their nice variety of selections. You can check them out at or 901 2nd St, Encinitas, (760) 632-0830.