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Food & Drink

Greek redux

Posted: August 18th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Restaurant Review

I have a major problem dining at Olympic Café.

Nearly every menu item — Greek, American and the house-made desserts — sends me into a state of shameful gluttony quelled only by overeating and stealing forkfuls of food from my tablemates along the way.

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Foodie Flashes – Aug. 4, 2017

Posted: August 4th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes Noted for its burgers, hickory smoked wings and craft beer selection, The South Park Abbey closed on July 30. The nearly 10-year-old establishment, which previously housed South Park Grill, alerted patrons to its last day of business on Facebook, but offered no explanation for shuttering. 1946 Fern St.

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Top-floor boss

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Restaurant Review

Ingrid Funes has figuratively and literally made her way to the top since leaving her native El Salvador at age 15 to pursue a restaurant career in Los Angeles.

Now the executive chef of Cusp Dining & Drinks, where customers are afforded opulent views of La Jolla from an 11th-floor dining room and bar lounge, Lunes proves that you don’t have to be a man or an alumna of some highfalutin culinary school to achieve success.

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Foodie Flashes – July 21, 2017

Posted: July 21st, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes “No borders!” is the theme of this year’s fourth annual Ceviche Showdown, to be held from 1 to 4 p.m., Aug. 13, at Fifty Seven Degrees in Middletown. The event includes for the first time restaurants from Mexico that will compete against chefs from several local establishments such as Old Town Tequila Factory, Red Card Café, Coasterra, Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant, The Blind Burro and more.

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Backseat dining

By Frank Sabatini Jr.        

It was a reservation for two.

“We have the car for you,” said the hostess to our bewilderment, while leading us toward the rear section of the warehouse-style dining room and past a busy, open kitchen.

Within moments a shiny red Fiat perched a couple feet off the ground came into view. Its front seats were missing and the side doors were ajar. Implanted inside was our table, an attention-getting perch that sent my tall spouse into a moment of panic.

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A marriage of beer and liquor

Posted: July 7th, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, Profiles, Top Story | No Comments

By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Since opening up just in advance of Pride weekend five years ago, Hillcrest Brewing Company — touted as the only LGBT-owned brewery in the world — has become a welcome addition to the gayborhood. Their popular pizzas, tangy wings and array of house-made craft beers and guest craft brew taps draw people from all over to their humble, industrial-style space.

Each year they brew up a special “one-off” craft beer for Pride week, and there is another change this year, one that may take some by surprise: Hillcrest Brewing Company now has a liquor license.

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A carnivore’s paradise

Posted: July 7th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Restaurant Review Their goal was to take the mystery out of meat by showing consumers how regionally sourced free-range livestock is broken down for consumption, with few parts excluded. After generating revenues through crowdsourcing, Trey Nichols and James Holtslag opened their dream business, an educational butchery named The Heart & Trotter in North Park.

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Foodie Flashes – July 7, 2017

Posted: July 7th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes Restaurateur Frankie Terzoli, a former contestant of Bravo’s “Top Chef” (season two) who once ran the long-shuttered Big Easy in Hillcrest, will open a seafood-centric restaurant within 57 Degrees wine and craft-beer bar by mid-fall. Tentatively named Fish Mongers Market, the venture will occupy a front section and back patio of the sprawling structure and serve lunch and dinner. Terzoli also plans on utilizing an existing deli area inside […]

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Grapes, suds and coffee

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

The most commonly asked question by first-time visitors to Negociant Urban Winery is, “Do you make the wines here?”

According to co-owner John Rinaldi, their jaws often drop when he answers “Yes,” despite stacks of wooden barrels forming the backdrop to a modest-size tasting room and wine-making facility that formerly housed a tanning salon.

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Foodie Flashes – June 23, 2017

Posted: June 23rd, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes Little Miss Brewing recently opened a tasting room in Normal Heights with 16 handles carrying signature beers produced in its Miramar facility. Among them are two new rollouts: Patton Porter made with coconut and Norma Jean Blonde Ale made with cranberries. All pints are $5.

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Endangered species

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Restaurant Review

We were seven strong, a modern family of two same-sex couples, two high-achieving college girls we collectively and proudly call our daughters, and their grandmother visiting from Missouri.

If this were 1971, when Bully’s East — which now has “Prime Bistro Sports Bar” tagging the name — we’d be paying only 15 cents for bottomless coffee and $4.50 for prime rib with side dishes. We would have also been brunching in an insufferably discriminating climate, no matter where. (I’ll take today’s prices any day with the bonuses of freedom and acceptance.)

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Foodie Flashes – June 9, 2017

Posted: June 9th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes New and recreated dishes at Bull & Grain have been introduced in the wake of Chef Daniel Barron’s departure from the Hillcrest restaurant. Owner Simon Wolujewicz said a new executive chef will be announced “in the next month or two,” and that his kitchen staff has since added to the menu items such as gluten-free eggplant lasagna without pasta and hanger steak with blue cheese-peppercorn sauce.

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Sticky fingers

Posted: June 9th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Despite small price hikes over the past couple of years, Rose Donuts ranks among the cheapest places in San Diego to consume a hefty well-made sandwich plus a sugary treat and beverage of choice for as little as $5.45 — and at any time of the day or night.

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Vegan suppers inspired from the heartland

Posted: May 26th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. The term “Midwest comfort food” conjures up images of gravy-smothered meats, cheesy casseroles and butter-loaded desserts. They’re precisely the kinds of dishes Roy Elam grew up eating outside of St. Louis until becoming a vegan 12 years ago. Since then, he’s headed the kitchens of two vegan restaurants in the Los Angeles area, helped open a vegan eatery in Bahrain, and sadly lost his mother to breast cancer, which led him […]

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Foodie Flashes – May 26, 2017

Posted: May 26th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes Bring an iron stomach or a roll of antacids if you’re delving into the new, outrageous foods at this year’s upcoming San Diego County Fair (June 2–July 4) at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Here’s a partial list of what to expect: From locally based Chicken Charlie’s comes Krispy Kreme chicken ice cream sandwiches, peanut butter and beef meatballs, fried pineapple with ice cream, and beignets on a stick.

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