There’s quite a few prime steakhouses in San Diego, and being a big lover of steak, I’ve dined at almost all of them at some point or another. Donovan’s has been on my to-do list for quite a few years, as many have proclaimed it the best steakhouse in San Diego.

I’ve actually been to Donovan’s before, but only for their happy hour, which is quite popular because they offer complimentary samples of filet mignon sandwiches during the cocktail hours.

BF and I made a date to check out Donovan’s after discovering that they have been offering a three course prix fixe menu.  For $45, you choose from the following:

Starter. Choice of One.

Caesar Salad

Diced Chop House Salad
Tossed greens, cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, sweet onion, fresh bacon, hearts of palm
Soup du Jour

Entree. Choice of One.

Twin 4 oz USDA Prime Filet Medallions
Topped with Blue Cheese & Port Wine Demi-Glace
6 oz Prime Filet & Shrimp Scampi
North Atlantic Salmon With Maître d’ Butter

Dessert. Choice of One.

Cheesecake With Strawberries
Chocolate Mousse Cake

All dishes are also served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. With most of their steak entrees priced around $40, this is a pretty great deal to check out the food at Donovan’s.

We chose the La Jolla location, which offers complimentary valet parking. Once inside, we stepped into the dark atmosphere that is classic of many steakhouses.

We were seated in a small dining room area that was separate from the main dining room. I enjoyed the quiet this room had to offer. It was also completely decorated in San Diego Charger’s memorabilia.

Shortly after being seated, we were given some chilled filtered water and hot bread and butter. The bread was good, but nothing extraordinary. I couldn’t help but think of the bread and flavored whipped butters from Fleming’s, which remains one of my favorite complimentary starters from a restaurant.

For the appetizer, I chose the soup of the day which was cream of mushroom.  Donovan’s take on it was just alright for me. I liked the variety of mushrooms used, but the base of the soup could have used some work.

BF started off with the Caesar salad, which I preferred over my soup.

For our main course, we both chose the twin prime filet medallions.

We both requested a medium rare cooking temperature, and the steak was cooked just perfectly. The steaks were cooked in a port wine demi glace sauce. I wished they were cooked without any sauce. I prefer to taste my steak with just some minimal seasoning. I thought the sauce detracted from the taste of the steak.

We chose to add a creamed corn side to our meal. I’ve had many variations of creamed corn and Donovan’s is my least favorite. The creamed corn sat on some crispy polenta. The polenta made up the majority of the dish and there was very little actual creamed kernels. The cream sauce was also very liquidy, to the point it was really a soup consistency. The kernels of corn was also very dry. The dish tasted to me more like a corn muffin drenched in gravy rather than creamed corn.

For dessert, I chose the chocolate mousse and BF chose the cheesecake. The desserts were pretty standard, neither of them really standing out.

The service was attentive and the steak was cooked well. Overall though we both left a little disappointed after hearing so many good things about Donovan’s. Out of the steakhouses in San Diego that I’ve tried, I give the slight edge to Fleming’s.

I think in terms of the steak, the Big Three steakhouses in San Diego (Morton’s, Fleming’s and Donovan’s) are all on pretty equal footing when it comes to preparing their steak. But I think Fleming’s offers a better starter dish and better desserts and they have some great monthly dining deals.

Donovan’s Steakhouse
4340 La Jolla Village Drive
La Jolla, CA 92122
(858) 450-6666
Donovan's Steak & Chop House on Urbanspoon

A few weeks ago I made pepperoni pizza puffs which ended up being a huge hit with the BF and on the blog. I was really surprised as they were just something I made on a whim. I never thought they would be so popular.

From the comments I received, I realized that the ingredients of this appetizer isn’t just appealing to BF, but to most men, and this really is a “man dish.”  So for Superbowl weekend I thought about how I could make this appetizer even more “manly.”

The solution? Bacon of course. So I took out the pepperoni and replaced it with bacon. Mini bacon and cheese pizza puffs. BF loved it. I personally prefer the pepperoni version but both work pretty well.

Bacon cheese puffs (adapted from recipe found on the family kitchen)


3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar and mozzarella)
4 ounces chopped bacon (precooked)


1. Grease a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, milk, egg, cheese, and cooked bacon, stirring until completely mixed.  Spoon batter into the prepared mini-muffin cups about 2/3 full.

3. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes. Serve while warm. For more of a pizza taste, you can serve with some marina sauce for dipping.

It’s a week away from Valentine’s Day so I’ve been making some time to try out some Valentine’s Day dessert ideas.

I love using my rose muffin pan this time of year. I’ve previously made red velvet roses, which came out beautifully and would also be perfect for Valentine’s Day, but this weekend I chose to make chocolate roses because the BF loves chocolate and isn’t a fan of red velvet.

There’s quite a few chocolate cupcake recipes on my to-do list to try but this weekend I stuck to one I’ve used before with a lot of success. These cupcakes come out very light and moist.

They did stick to the pan a little more than I would have liked. It may have been because I took the cupcakes out earlier than usual, so they were just barely done or it may have been the recipe itself, I’m not sure.

Chocolate Cupcake Roses (usingHershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake recipe)


2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease rose muffin pan or line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt
in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of
mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour
batter into prepared pans.

3. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes.