By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes
The Bankers Hill Business Group will present its fifth annual Bankers Hill Art & Craft Beer Festival from 6–9 p.m., March 31, in conjunction with the San Diego Brewers Guild.
The event spans throughout two levels of The Abbey, a 10,000-square-foot historic space that will allow for nearly 15 local breweries and several neighborhood restaurants to dole out samples as local artists showcase their pop-up exhibits.
Among the vendors taking part are Hillcrest Brewing Company, Thorn Street Brewery, Pizza Port, Mister A’s, Cucina Urbana, Barrio Star, Hornblower and more.
Admission is $30 (or $25 during early bird pricing). Attendees must be 21 years of age or older. Tickets can be purchased online at bankershillbusinessgroup.com/events. The Abbey is located at 2825 Fifth Ave.
Missouri native Roy Elam has taken animal proteins out of Southern cooking at a restaurant he opened recently in Hillcrest called Donna Jean.
It’s named after his late mother and features dishes such as black-eyed pea burgers, bourbon chili, tempeh Salisbury steak with red eye gravy, and cast-iron mac n’ cheese using cashew milk.
The menu extends to a few desserts as well, including non-dairy buttermilk sugar pie.
Elam converted to a plant-based diet more than 10 years ago and was head chef at two different vegan restaurants in Los Angeles before moving here.
He launched Donna Jean in partnership with the owners of Evolution, a vegan eatery next door, and Plant Power in Ocean Beach.
His drink menu includes wine, craft beers, ciders, kombucha, teas and Dark Horse coffee. 2949 Fifth Ave., 619-299-5500, donnajeansd.com.
San Diego-based Pure Project Brewing will debut its latest beer, The Mind Expander, from noon–4 p.m., March 19, at Carnitas Snack Shack in North Park.
The eatery’s chef-owner, Hanis Cavin, will dish up “specialty bites” to pair with the suds, which the brew masters describe as “one-of-a-kind English cream ale with honey.”
In addition, the Shack’s special sandwich of the month is a muffaletta with ham, salami, mortadella, white cheddar and pickled veggies on ciabatta.
Available through the remainder of March, it sells for $11.75 with a portion of the proceeds earmarked for the North Park Public Library. 2632 University Ave., 619-294-7675, carnitassnackshack.com.
The Wine Lover in Hillcrest kicks off a series of monthly sit-down wine tastings with various winemakers and the establishment’s owner-sommelier, Serge Chablé.
The first one will be held from 5–7 p.m., March 25. It will feature both popular and obscure varietals hailing from different growing regions around the world. Artisan cheeses will also be in the offing.
The tastings continue on the last Saturday of each month through October. They range in range in price from $30 to $45, depending on the wines served. Chablé said an average of five different wines will be poured at the events.
Reservations are required. For schedule updates call The Wine Lover or visit the web site. 3968 Fifth Ave., 619-294-9200, thewineloversd.com.
Raffles for various prizes and discounts on pizza and beer are in the offing as The Haven in Kensington celebrates its fourth anniversary from 4–9:30 p.m., March 28.
The restaurant, a popular destination for Neapolitan-style pizzas and craft beer, was named by owners Lauren Passero and Kate Grimes after a maze of caves that were dug beneath a nearby home more than 75 years ago. 4051 Adams Ave., 619-281-1904, thehavenpizzeria.com.
Look for a late-March opening of Karina’s Ceviche & More, a walk-up window in Mission Hills that will sell various ceviches, shrimp cocktail and more than a dozen different types of tacos and burritos. The fast-casual venture is an offshoot to Karina’s Seafood Mexican Restaurants, and replaces Saffron Thai Chicken Shop.
The company will mark its neighborhood debut with free tacos on the Tuesday after it opens. Check the website for updates. 3731-B India St., karinasgroup.com.
Talavera Azul in Chula Vista recently partnered with El Zarape Restaurant & Tequileria.
Starting March 30, daily breakfast will introduced (except Mondays) and feature several popular items from Talavera’s morning menu, such as café de la olla (Mexican coffee) and five different types of chilaquiles. Various egg plates and granola-fruit bowls will also be available.
El Zarape’s lunch and dinner menus will remain the same. 3201 Adams Ave., 619-578-2600, elzarape.biz.
Get your foie gras fix on March 20 as Bleu Boheme in Kensington puts a French twist on National Ravioli Day by offering a saffron-poached ravioli stuffed with the goose liver and served with balsamic fig jus and crispy shallots. The shareable dish costs $25, or $40 if opting for shaved black truffles on top. 4090 Adams Ave., 619-255-4167, bleuboheme.com.
—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.