By Frank Sabatini Jr.
‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice everything, which is best reflected at Trader Joe’s. The company this year has rolled out 70 products flavored with pumpkin spice at all of its 457 locations in 41 states.
Ten of them are new, such as sticky pumpkin cake with hard sauce, pumpkin spice babka, cold-pressed pumpkin harvest juice, and in a most unlikely use of the flavor, pumpkin vinaigrette found in the refrigerated produce section.
“We’ve gradually released the products since September, and by now all of them are on the shelves through the holidays,” Trader Joe’s spokesperson Alison Mochizuki said.
The company launched its seasonal pumpkin-spice inventory nearly two decades ago with the introduction of pumpkin granola.
“As with all products carried by the stores, they must pass the scrutiny of our taste-testing panels,” Mochizuki added. traderjoes.com.
Famous for its burrito-size sushi rolls, Rolled Up in Hillcrest will move several blocks east from its current location at Fourth and University avenues into the HUB Hillcrest Market. In doing so, owner James Markham might incorporate a second concept into the eatery that will include breakfast sandwiches and a cereal bar under the sub-name, Crackheads. The move will take place within four to eight weeks. Also coming into HUB under different ownership is the long-awaited Asian-European gastropub, Whistling Duck, which hasn’t yet announced an opening date. 1030 University Ave., Suite B113; 619-358-9397, rolledup.com.
Kearny Mesa’s much-loved K Sandwiches, which was ravished by a kitchen fire in mid-2015, has announced on its Facebook page that it is ready to start rebuilding. The eatery, which doubled as a bakery, became known over the years for its inexpensive banh mi sandwiches and other Vietnamese fare. “It’s been an extremely enduring process … our plans for rebuilding are currently pending approval,” the post stated in part. 7604 Linda Vista Road, ksandwiches.com.
The family-operated Poki One N Half recently opened an offshoot of the eatery in North Park in the wake of launching its first location in Kearny Mesa this summer. Customers can craft their poki (or poke) from a choice of seven types of seafood and more than 10 toppings and sauces. Owner Yoojin Jeon said she plans to open at least two more locations within San Diego in the coming months. 3030 University Ave., 619-497-0697, onenhalf.com.
Bar by the Red Door craft cocktail bar opens Oct. 20 alongside its long-established sibling restaurant, The Red Door. The new venture replaces Wellington Steak and Martini Lounge, after owner Trish Watlington decided fill a void in Mission Hills with a gathering spot that offers cocktails and small plates made with ingredients from her own garden and local farmers. 729 W. Washington St., 619-295-6001, barbyreddoorsd.com.
Anil Popat, co-owner of Bombay in Hillcrest, is planning to open a similar Indian restaurant in San Diego’s El Cerrito neighborhood by the end of the year. The name hasn’t been decided, and Popat isn’t ready to divulge the exact address yet, but he said the menu will spotlight fusion dishes such as Indian sushi, tandoori mole and cross-national curries.
“Sooner or later we might start introducing some of those recipes at Bombay,” he said. 3960 Fifth Ave., 619-297-7777, bombayrestaurant.com.
Chocolate made from organic cocoa beans, and containing cane sugar as the only other ingredient, is available at a new shop in Old Town called Nibble Chocolate.
Owned by David Mejia and his wife, Sandra Bedoya, the couple originally launched the business in 2003 at the La Jolla farmers market before securing a kitchen in Sorrento Valley, where they make the chocolate. They source the beans from Brazil, Madagascar, Peru and the Dominican Republic.
At the retail shop, the chocolate appears in bars, drinks, pastries and “super nibbles,” which are truffles containing various nuts, dried fruits and seeds. 2754 Calhoun St., 858-848-1781, nibblechocolate.com.
—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.