By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes
All 24 locations of Papa John’s throughout San Diego County are taking part in a fundraiser for San Diego LGBT Pride. For the remainder of August, the pizza company will donate $2 to Pride from every purchase of a newly introduced combo that features two large one-topping pizzas, an order of cheesesticks, and a 2-liter soda for $25. Customers must use the promo code SANDIEGOPRIDE when ordering. Since reaching out to Pride earlier this year, franchisees from some of the locations also marched in the organization’s annual parade through Hillcrest last month and provided meals for the event’s volunteers. papajohns.com.
The Rise and Shine Restaurant Group is due to open North Park Breakfast Company in late August or early September. The group also operates Breakfast Republic, which now has a total of seven locations throughout San Diego County. This newest venture is about five blocks east of Breakfast Republic’s original location and promises to be different in terms of food and design.
The two-level structure will feature fewer egg dishes in comparison, plus additional vegan options, bowls, sweet and savory waffles, signature buttermilk-cornmeal pancakes with honey-infused ricotta, and more. 3131 University Ave., breakfast-company.com.
Chef and restaurateur Hanis Cavin of Carnitas Snack Shack is up and running with his latest venture, The Pioneer, a barbecue restaurant with a full bar located in San Carlos.
Cavin partnered with the Cohn Restaurant Group and chef Willie DePasquale of Moceri Produce for the project, which features a rustic-industrial tone created by local designer Philippe Beltran (BO-beau kitchen + cache, Tacos Libertad, and Draft Republic).
With its soft opening behind, lunch service was recently added to what started out as a dinner-only operation. The bill of fare throughout the day includes smoked meats such as dry-rubbed ribs, spicy cheddar sausage, pulled pork shoulder, and brisket. There are also BLT sandwiches using fried green tomatoes, short rib croquettes, burgers and more. 8622 Lake Murray Blvd., 619-825-7787,-
Mr. Moto Pizza House in North Park and Mission Beach has opened a new location in Point Loma. The business was established several years ago by pizza master Gibran Fernandez, who invented the fictional, mustached character “Mr. Moto” as his mascot. All three locations offer the same menu, which features scratch-made pizzas, some of them traditional, and others flaunting uncommon ingredients such as raspberry-chipotle sauce, sour cream, burrata cheese and garlic paste. Mr. Moto took the title of “best gourmet pizza in San Diego” at the 2016 inaugural Gourmet Pizza Fest in Liberty Station. 1166 Rosecrans St., Suite 102, 619-501-8488, mrmotopizza.com.
Spanish paella with California and Baja twists is the specialty of a new catering outfit based in Normal Heights called Matador Paella. The venture was launched by Bryan Taylor, a former Napa Valley winemaker, and business partner Matt Marcacci, who worked for a beverage distribution company. Both traveled throughout Spain learning to make paella before starting the business.
Matador caters to small and large parties as well as private and public events. It also sells paella every other Thursday at the Oceanside Farmers Market, and sporadically at Circle 9 Brewing in Kearny Mesa and New English Brewing in Sorrento Valley. Check the website for the schedule of upcoming appearances. 619-564-7537,
Craft House North Park recently took residency inside Rip Current Brewing, which last housed an offshoot of Sublime restaurant from San Marcos. The new bill of fare, available at the brewery seven days a week, includes hormone-free burgers made of short rib, chuck and brisket. There are also hearty sandwiches, tacos, and assorted versions of mac n’ cheese. The Craft House kitchen is run by chef Caesar Huerta, who also owns Monster Crafts Food Truck. 4101 30th St., Suite C, 619-255-1151,
Everything’s coming up in twos at a popular Downtown eatery on Aug. 24 for National Waffle Day. Restaurateur Terryl Gavre, who wore a waffle on her head in a stylish billboard photograph that appeared throughout town more than a decade ago, is celebrating the “food holiday” with her signature, “golden waffle.” It will be available that day for $2.22 at Cafe 222, the long-established eatery she owns at 222 Island Ave. in Downtown San Diego. The malted waffle normally sells for $9.50. 619-236-9902,
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.