The Fun Boss

Travel, Military Life, Motherhood, Lifestyle

San Diego Fun: Trolley Barn Park and Dinner in University Heights

San Diego Fun:  Trolley Barn Park and Dinner in University Heights

The husband got home on Saturday after being gone for most of the week, so our weekend didn’t really start until Sunday.  I went out solo Saturday night for a Birthday dinner with a bunch of single ladies (which was oh-so-fun and also depressingly reminded me of just how uncool I am now), and Sunday morning we had brunch with an old out-of-town friend in the Gaslamp at Cafe 21. Sunday afternoon we wanted to let the baby roam outdoors, and get some food.

Old Trolley Barn Park was recommended to me by my friend (and Mom), Michelle.  It has quickly become one of my favorite parks for its cleanliness.  It also has that bouncy rubber mat material under the play gyms, decent parking, shade, a sand area, tons of grass, baby swings, a nice view over Mission Valley, and just generally has a great neighborhood-y vibe.

Old Trolley Barn Park

While we were there Sunday, lots of couples and families were set up in the grass with chairs, blankets, and some seriously well provisioned ‘park regulars’ had decent music going, which was fun.  I’m totally the person who always has to have music or something on in the background — it just makes me feel happy, so I loved the music.  We hung out for awhile and Frank helped Estelle down the slides and such.  5 O’clock was fast approaching, and toddler dinnertime for us is 5:30, so we decided to find some food.

I know eating out with kids can be a hassle.  But, if you are like my husband and me, we have always loved to eat out, and (sometimes against our better judgement) we don’t let Estelle stop us from doing it on the weekends.  The other great thing about Old Trolley Barn Park is that there are great places nearby to eat or grab something to go for a last-minute pickup.

A few weeks ago we came here after making a quick stop at Señor Mango’s on 30th.  They have realllllly good fruit salads, smoothies, acai bowls, etc.  Get the Escamocha if you want a refreshing treat.  Check them out here.  Their Yelp reviews are bonkers good – DO IT!

Meatball Sliders and Polenta with Burrata at Soda and Swine

This time, on tips from multiple Mom friends, we decided to try Soda and Swine on Adams and 30th.  The cuisine revolves around different kinds of meatballs served as a sandwich, slider, on pasta, or a skillet.  They also have lots of yummy sides to choose from, craft beer on tap, a rotating assortment of bottled sodas, and even “champagne slushies.”  The service is ‘fast casual,’ so you order at the counter, and they bring the food to you.  We got there around 5, and our food was out in under 10 minutes.  By the time we left, there was a steady line out the door, so keep that in mind if you make the trip.  There were high chairs available as well.  The seating is bench-style, but there are some booths to be had if you arrive early. Oh, and if you find yourself here without kids, Polite Provisions is right next door.

Estelle loved everything – the meatballs, broccolini, and polenta with burrata dish we got. My husband wasn’t too impressed with his meatball sub, but the polenta and burrata dish really won me over.  It was crispy and creamy deliciousness.  No kids menu, but you really don’t need it.  Everything is a la carte, so get the kiddo’s a meatball and a side, and they will be happy!

Have you been to Trolley Barn Park?  This Saturday, April 16th is their 25th Anniversary Celebration featuring Hullabaloo.  Get all the information on this event here.




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  1. Amy

    Sounds like fun!! We should go there!!!!!

    1. abbyh1384

      Cool, yes, we should! So many other great places around there as well!

      1. Amy

        And another comment….you may be a wife and mom now, but you’re a cool one!

  2. ddupre315

    Soda and Swine sounds great, right up our alley. We’ll check it out if we make it back to San Diego at some point .. haha

    Oh and Abby you will always be cool. You just went from single hot cool to fabulous Navy wife cool to hawt mom cool. It’s an evolution. 😀

    1. abbyh1384

      LOL, Diana! You guys would def like Soda and Swine =)! I miss you so much. Hat Mom Cool, I can live with that.

  3. Michelle

    Thanks for the shout out! 🙂 Our favorite takeout Thai place, Bahn Thai, is right by the park. Check it out sometime if you need a quick meal after hitting the playground hard!

    1. abbyh1384

      Of course, gotta give credit where it’s due! Um, that is an amazing suggestion because take-out has been such a staple on those nights when dinner time has almost passed, and you don’t really want to risk a sit-down meal! I like the idea of calling an order in from the Park, and then stopping by on the way home. THANK YOU!

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