Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

A Farmhouse in Qualcommland

Place

Corner House Café & Pizzeria

11815 Sorrento Valley Road, San Diego

"It's a ways off," warns Officer Butts. He's shouting. We're trying to communicate across the railroad tracks at Sorrento Valley Coaster station. These tracks you don't cross. Amtrak trains hurtle through at, like, 80 mph.

I figured Officer Butts would know where the yellow farmhouse is. Hank and I spotted it when we were here last week, smack in the middle of San Diego's Silicon Valley.

"Yessir, I'd say a good mile," Officer Butts shouts, "but worth it. Gr-r-reat food. Good luck!"

Whew. He's right about the mile. Country mile, I'd say. I walk and walk, between glossy, glassy offices and the sanitized factories of Qualcommland. Then, time travel! From out of the ancient past, a clapboard farmhouse, yellow, two stories, in a large garden filled with pepper trees, fountains, tables, chairs, benches, old farm wagons -- and a red English phone box.

There's no inside eating. Just people lined up outside an order window.

"You walked all the way from the Coaster?" says this guy who's also talking into an ear-miked cell phone. "Try 'The Ironman' sandwich."

Think he's talking to me. I check the wall menu. Ooh. I see they have a $2.75 soup of the day. Today's is tomato bisque. "I'll start with that," I tell the woman in the window.

"Sorry. We're out," she says.

Okay. How about that Ironman sandwich? "Grilled chicken breast, fresh avocado, Swiss cheese, honey-mustard dressing, tomato, and sprouts on sourdough bread, $6.35." Sounds good. Actually, all 18 deli sandwiches do. On the other hand, a mandarin salad with grilled chicken is only 64 cents more. Or, hey: rotisserie chicken -- a half chicken with side salad, mashed potato, and garlic bread. Same price.

"Uh, I'll have the half chicken," I say.

"Sorry, out of that too," says the lady. Maryam. She and her husband own the place. "You need to come earlier, before the lunch-hour rush."

Ho-kay. Now we're looking at chicken strips and fries for $6.35. Or a chicken kebob with grilled tomato and white rice or a salad, also $6.50. I skip pizzas and look for pastas, like spaghetti with marinara or meat sauce for $5.35 -- that's a deal -- or with meatballs, or homemade lasagna for $6.35.

But it's the very last item that captures my heart and my dinero: the chicken tequila fettuccini. Probably top dollar on the menu at $7.50. But what the heck. In a mad moment I add some $1.60 fries on the side.

"To drink?" says Maryam.

"Coffee?"

"We don't do coffee, but if Lily has any at her place, I'll give you one free."

Wow. Turns out Lily has another piece of the house, Lily's Closet Café, where she sells smoothies and the like. (Around the other side, next to a small surf shop, is yet another eatery, Caliente Mexican Food. All sprouting out of this same old house.)

So I pays my money and head into the courtyard behind the red phone box. Nice. You sit under an arbor, among ferns. An artist has painted murals of plants and kids on the yellow walls. Birds twitter in the trees.

A woman roars up in her Mini Cooper, orders a "Sorrento's Choice" sandwich (turkey breast, cream cheese, sunflower seeds, tomato, sprouts, and mayo on whole wheat, $5.85), and roars off. Everybody who comes seems to be, well, highly caffeinated and Sorrento Valley cool.

Maryam brings out my tequila fettuccini and, yes! A tall coffee. The fettuccini comes in a round aluminum box, with a cardboard lid you lever off to a puff of steam. But the food's the real thing. Green pasta, red and green peppers, spinach, cilantro, grilled onions, and sinful golden creamy sauce. I honestly can't taste any tequila, and for me it needs a good shake of salt, but then, suddenly, this becomes a killer meal. The flavor kicks from the sautéed onions and peppers are beautiful. This ain't sandwich-shop stuff. It's sophisticated cooking.

And too much for me to handle, 'specially with the fries on the side. And the garlic bun. But I try, chowing away in this sweet little courtyard, marveling at how an old house could have survived the Sorrento Valley 'dozers.

Kiu, Maryam's husband, says the house was built in 1922. He doesn't know the history, but it had to have started off as a farmhouse. They took over four years ago, when the place was just a deli.

"Maryam and I come from a background of fine dining. We had Bollicine ("Little Bubbles") in La Jolla. An Italian restaurant. This is different. It's mainly lunches, but we insist on starting from scratch every day with fresh food, just as we did at Bollicine."

Kiu and Maryam arrived here from Iran 30 years ago. "We have Iranian friends tell us that this reminds them of the mountain resort cafés near Tehran," Kiu says. "You should see it here in summer. People eating all through these gardens, the fountain going, the lines at lunchtime. It's quite a scene."

I have to ask Maryam to pack up half the fettuccini. I'm full. Plus, got a Coaster to catch, and that country mile to walk.

And I gotta have time to thank Officer Butts.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Kahlee310’s snitch rapper reactions

“He’d literally do anything for the money or fame”
Place

Corner House Café & Pizzeria

11815 Sorrento Valley Road, San Diego

"It's a ways off," warns Officer Butts. He's shouting. We're trying to communicate across the railroad tracks at Sorrento Valley Coaster station. These tracks you don't cross. Amtrak trains hurtle through at, like, 80 mph.

I figured Officer Butts would know where the yellow farmhouse is. Hank and I spotted it when we were here last week, smack in the middle of San Diego's Silicon Valley.

"Yessir, I'd say a good mile," Officer Butts shouts, "but worth it. Gr-r-reat food. Good luck!"

Whew. He's right about the mile. Country mile, I'd say. I walk and walk, between glossy, glassy offices and the sanitized factories of Qualcommland. Then, time travel! From out of the ancient past, a clapboard farmhouse, yellow, two stories, in a large garden filled with pepper trees, fountains, tables, chairs, benches, old farm wagons -- and a red English phone box.

There's no inside eating. Just people lined up outside an order window.

"You walked all the way from the Coaster?" says this guy who's also talking into an ear-miked cell phone. "Try 'The Ironman' sandwich."

Think he's talking to me. I check the wall menu. Ooh. I see they have a $2.75 soup of the day. Today's is tomato bisque. "I'll start with that," I tell the woman in the window.

"Sorry. We're out," she says.

Okay. How about that Ironman sandwich? "Grilled chicken breast, fresh avocado, Swiss cheese, honey-mustard dressing, tomato, and sprouts on sourdough bread, $6.35." Sounds good. Actually, all 18 deli sandwiches do. On the other hand, a mandarin salad with grilled chicken is only 64 cents more. Or, hey: rotisserie chicken -- a half chicken with side salad, mashed potato, and garlic bread. Same price.

"Uh, I'll have the half chicken," I say.

"Sorry, out of that too," says the lady. Maryam. She and her husband own the place. "You need to come earlier, before the lunch-hour rush."

Ho-kay. Now we're looking at chicken strips and fries for $6.35. Or a chicken kebob with grilled tomato and white rice or a salad, also $6.50. I skip pizzas and look for pastas, like spaghetti with marinara or meat sauce for $5.35 -- that's a deal -- or with meatballs, or homemade lasagna for $6.35.

But it's the very last item that captures my heart and my dinero: the chicken tequila fettuccini. Probably top dollar on the menu at $7.50. But what the heck. In a mad moment I add some $1.60 fries on the side.

"To drink?" says Maryam.

"Coffee?"

"We don't do coffee, but if Lily has any at her place, I'll give you one free."

Wow. Turns out Lily has another piece of the house, Lily's Closet Café, where she sells smoothies and the like. (Around the other side, next to a small surf shop, is yet another eatery, Caliente Mexican Food. All sprouting out of this same old house.)

So I pays my money and head into the courtyard behind the red phone box. Nice. You sit under an arbor, among ferns. An artist has painted murals of plants and kids on the yellow walls. Birds twitter in the trees.

A woman roars up in her Mini Cooper, orders a "Sorrento's Choice" sandwich (turkey breast, cream cheese, sunflower seeds, tomato, sprouts, and mayo on whole wheat, $5.85), and roars off. Everybody who comes seems to be, well, highly caffeinated and Sorrento Valley cool.

Maryam brings out my tequila fettuccini and, yes! A tall coffee. The fettuccini comes in a round aluminum box, with a cardboard lid you lever off to a puff of steam. But the food's the real thing. Green pasta, red and green peppers, spinach, cilantro, grilled onions, and sinful golden creamy sauce. I honestly can't taste any tequila, and for me it needs a good shake of salt, but then, suddenly, this becomes a killer meal. The flavor kicks from the sautéed onions and peppers are beautiful. This ain't sandwich-shop stuff. It's sophisticated cooking.

And too much for me to handle, 'specially with the fries on the side. And the garlic bun. But I try, chowing away in this sweet little courtyard, marveling at how an old house could have survived the Sorrento Valley 'dozers.

Kiu, Maryam's husband, says the house was built in 1922. He doesn't know the history, but it had to have started off as a farmhouse. They took over four years ago, when the place was just a deli.

"Maryam and I come from a background of fine dining. We had Bollicine ("Little Bubbles") in La Jolla. An Italian restaurant. This is different. It's mainly lunches, but we insist on starting from scratch every day with fresh food, just as we did at Bollicine."

Kiu and Maryam arrived here from Iran 30 years ago. "We have Iranian friends tell us that this reminds them of the mountain resort cafés near Tehran," Kiu says. "You should see it here in summer. People eating all through these gardens, the fountain going, the lines at lunchtime. It's quite a scene."

I have to ask Maryam to pack up half the fettuccini. I'm full. Plus, got a Coaster to catch, and that country mile to walk.

And I gotta have time to thank Officer Butts.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego Lotharios rejoice at news of mandatory 10 pm nightlife shutdown

Closed Doors = Closed Deals
Next Article

Albert Brooks’ mockinfomercial introduction

The glad-handing human laugh track, assures his audience, “That was funny.”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close