It’s time again for my semi-regular feature where I round up folks from North County businesses and have them share their favorite places to eat. US Crossfit is located in downtown Encinitas in a beautiful indoor/outdoor facility and has developed a passionate following of people looking to take their fitness to another level. In a nutshell, it involves a program of scalable functional movements set into short, constantly varied and intense workouts conducted by professional coaches in a group setting that really helps with motivation. They take advantage of their amazing location by incorporating the beach and being outdoors whenever possible. The coaches all take into consideration your fitness level coming in and have you fully prepared for any increased intensity.
Diet is also discussed and while many of them subscribe to a paleo type of diet, most go with the 80-20 rule which is eat right 80% of the time and allow 20% room for indulgence. All I know is that Crossfit has enabled me to become very fit while eating enough to fuel this column and my radio show with content. It would be very difficult for me to go back to a regular gym after this experience.
Now on to the staff and some of their favorites. Coach Alan Anderson is a big fan of Kim's Restaurant in downtown Encinitas and their BBQ Pork Banh mi sandwich served with some “amazing coconut soup” as he put it. He is also quite fond of the value, coming in under $7. He also mentioned The Fish Joint in Oceanside. “Everything here is good but my favorites are the Gorilla Balls, Chronic Roll, Surf n Turf and the Hog's Breath. This is one of my personal favorite spots to hang out and have a good time”.
Chris Haskell is another coach and big eater selected The Lumberyard Tavern & Grill for “the beefiest of burgers, including the Southwest Bacon BBQ burger and the leviathan 4x4 Challenge which I miraculously completed”. The 4x4 is one of those crazy gigantic eating challenges that I could see a serious Crossfit appetite conquering. His breakfast pick is Honey’s where he goes for the Salmon Scramble or Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes. For a succulent Acai Bowl Chris heads to Lotus Cafe. And on the other end of the spectrum, after a night at the bars, the bacon breakfast burrito Filibertos does him right.
Crossfit member turned coach Christine Read loves to enjoy St. Tropez with her family. Her personal choice for lunch is the St. Tropez panini but as she said, “you can't go wrong with any of the sandwiches as the ingredients are always fresh and flavorful.” Christine fills her 20% indulgence with the huge array of pastries and will occasionally order the French toast for desert.
Sean Lake is another US Crossfit coach who loves to eat and when he is going healthy, Juice Nation in Solana Beach is his go-to. Sean described it as serving “only fresh fruit and veggies, and a menu of cleansing options which are oh so popular with the North County health hipsters”. He added “My favorite juice is a carrot, ginger, beet juice, mostly because the beets make your pee look funny, if funny looks like internal bleeding”. Thanks for the visual Sean I’ll have to give that one a try. Like so many others, Fish 101 is on Sean’s list too. He likes the affordable, fresh and simple menu options and the laid back ambience that is close to communal style dining. He also pointed out that it’s an easy paleo friendly option.
US Crossfit founder and CEO Mark Divine counts breakfast is one of his favorite meals, and he will often wander down the street from the US Crossfit training center in downtown Encinitas to see Jim at the Potato Shack on I street. His special order is a spinach, bacon and cheese omelet, topped with sausage gravy, cottage cheese and fruit on the side. For lunch Mark is also a fan of Lotus Cafe. “Lotus is an enlightened restaurant,” said Mark. “It’s very inviting and warm with an amazing menu of high prana treats. I especially enjoy their Turkey burger with a side salad. Topped off with a double shot of wheat grass and I am fueled up for a busy afternoon”. Dinner will often find my wife and me at Robbie’s Roadhouse, where I will have a top sirloin and enjoy some live music.
Good stuff US Crossfit, some new places to check out mixed with some solid veterans of the local restaurant scene. If you have not heard of or checked out Crossfit and are looking to get serious about your fitness, check this very dedicated and fun group out at www.uscrossfit.com.