Mariscos La Ensenada

It's time to shine the spotlight on Mariscos La Ensenada, a nondescript little Mexican seafood place in a shabby strip mall on El Camino Real just south of Oceanside Boulevard. While Mariscos offers a wide array of typical Mexican fast-food, including the ever-popular carne asada burrito, the specialty is seafood, and it’s surprisingly fresh and tasty. My personal favorite is the shrimp ceviche, which can be ordered as a standalone dish called "ceviche y consome." You get a huge plate of shrimp (and we’re talking whole shrimp, complete with head) and a bowl of shrimp broth. Another favorite is the lobster burrito. Locals also like the whole fried fish, seafood soup and the salsa bar — one of the best in town.

1405 South El Camino Real, Oceanside

760-967-6024

Carlsbad Village Coins

The Internet and eBay may have spelled doom for antiquarian bookstores and other niche businesses that deal primarily with collectors. But one vanishing breed, the coin store, still has a presence in North County. Carlsbad Village Coins has high-priced collectibles as well as "beginner coins," moderately priced Indian head pennies and buffalo nickels ideal for getting the kids interested in the coins of bygone generations. Carlsbad Village Coins also has sells (and buys) gold and silver, and has a nice array of collector merchandise on hand, including coin books and coin tubes.

2977 State Street, Carlsbad

760-434-6601

On the agenda:

On Thursday, August 26, Encinitas merchants will present the 21st annual Taste of MainStreet, a culinary extravaganza in which visitors get to sample food from 40 restaurants for just $25. The fun starts at 6 p.m. and lasts until 9; stroll and nosh at your leisure along the Coast Highway. Plenty of live music and other entertainment will keep you occupied between bites. Participating restaurants include St. Germain’s, Angelo’s Burgers and Siamese Basil. Tickets are available at the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association offices through 8:30 p.m. the day of the event.

Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association

818 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas

760-943-1950

encinitas101.com/events/the-20th-annual-taste-of-mainstreet

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