Monday, May 29, 2017


Yes, it's the name of my favorite drink in the summer. Any way that you make it, classic, flavored with mint or strawberries, or an Arnold Palmer (sweetened ice tea and lemonade mixed together). Lemonade is also the name of one of the newest restaurant endeavors to come out of Southern California (LA specifically), spreading freshly prepared hot and cold dishes with the area's special flare. 

San Diego currently has two Lemonade locations: Hillcrest and UTC. For our review, we visited the UTC location, conveniently right in the Westfield Shopping Center. The location is really nice to pop by for an easy meal while shopping, or just for lunch or dinner! One of our "dates" these days is to go to the mall, let P run around, then get food. 

Lemonade combines the ease of a buffet to pick out what you want with fresh, healthy options to give customers the best of both worlds. Healthy food with lots of flavor, and portioned just how you want it. 

 The decor is adorable, keeping with the lemonade theme of sunny, cheerful, and forever summer -- just like San Diego!

Essentially, customers come through a cafeteria-style line and pick the items that they want from the gourmet offerings. Prices are listed with each dish, so customers can pick and choose based on taste and budget. 

Everything is priced quite reasonably. It's a very "a la carte" system; however, the company has released the Chef's Seasonal Plates, which are pre-selected quantities for each item. For example, "The Big Chill" in one of the Chef's Classics ($12). This plate offers a choice of 1 Land & Sea protein, and any 2 Marketplace Salads, plus a fresh baked crisp. The Chef's Plates offer an economical savings, and can be a bit less overwhelming than going through the line and having all the choices! 

We were able to try two of the more popular plates this season: the "California Picnic" and the "Farmer's Marketplace." The Picnic features a choice of one sandwich, a marketplace salad or soup, and seasoned chips. We chose the herb grilled chicken sandwich and the avocado and cherry tomato salad. So good! The sandwich was freshly made, with fresh bread and thick pieces of white chicken meat. 

The avocado salad with cherry tomatoes was so fresh and just tasted of summer. Californians love their avocados (who doesn't?), and this salad is satisfying with rich avocados, bright and sweet tomatoes, all mixed with a light vinegar dressing. 

The Farmer's Marketplace is a true sampler platter of four of the marketplace salads on the menu. For our sampling, we tried more of the delicious avocado and tomato salad, the Tuscan Kale and Kumquat salad, the Backyard Grilled Chicken, and the Pineapple Chicken and Green Beans. The kale salad was very good, with mushrooms and a vinaigrette dressing. The grilled chicken was wonderful, with cucumbers, white meat chicken, and peppers dressed with white balsamic vinegar.  Served cold, this salad reminded me of a picnic classic, and would be great to order and take out for a beach sunset. The pineapple chicken was surprisingly spicy! Made with jalapenos, toasted coconut, and jerk dressing, the white meat chicken was incredibly flavorful and had the perfect mixture of sweetness and heat. 

 We also had a couple of bites of the "Poke Goodness" Chef's Platter, featuring the ahi tuna and avocado poke, and a cabbage salad with ginger sesame dressing. The poke was fantastic; it's not a spicy poke at all, but just dressed with a ponzu sauce and finished with radish and tangerine slices. 

 And a place called Lemonade will definitely have lemonade, right? We tried four of their varieties: the old-fashioned, strawberry rhubarb, cucumber mint, and peach ginger. 

Could they be more pretty and colorful? Each one was delicious. Even now, I'm having trouble putting my finger on which was my favorite. The cucumber mint was lovely and refreshing, the peach ginger innovative and different, the strawberry rhubarb was the perfect combination of sweet and sour, and the classic, well, there's nothing wrong with classic lemonade flavor. 

The desserts are not to be skipped! We tried three: the chocolate chip cookie, peanut brittle caramel cookie, and the coconut layer cake. Both of the cookies were nothing short of amazing, and I'll definitely be stopping back in the future for one. The coconut cake was something that I wasn't certain that I would like, but it was so good! Fluffy, moist cake with two layers of coconut frosting. 
 Seriously, though, try these cookies!!!

I'll definitely be back for more of the delicious food and lemonade from Lemonade! 

May 29, 2017 / by / 0 Comments

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