By Frank Sabatini Jr.
After about 18 months in the making, Sisters Pizza has opened in a charming 1930s-era building in Bankers Hill. The pizzeria, which specializes in a range of other Italian-comfort food such as chicken or eggplant Parmesan, spaghetti with house-made meatballs, and hearty submarine sandwiches, occupies a quiet corner at Fourth and Brookes. It greets with an expansive patio and a cozy interior with midcentury touches.
Owner Emily Green Lake is a former literacy teacher who became motivated to open the restaurant after the unexpected passing of her sister, Kate Green.
“I always wanted to run my own restaurant, and my sister and I were big pizza lovers,” she said.
Helming the kitchen is Long Island transplant Marc Damiano, who previously worked at Mr. Moto Pizza House and Surf Rider Pizza.
On any given day there are nine specialty pizzas available by the slice. The pies are also sold in 16-, 18- and 20-inch sizes, in addition to a 14-inch gluten-free option.
Sisters Pizza is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Brunch service on Saturdays and Sundays is expected to begin in July. 3643 Fourth Ave., 619-255-4200, sisterspizzasd.com.
Former “Top Chef” contestant and LGBT community member Rich Sweeney has taken on the role of area culinary directory for Los Angeles-based Tocaya Organica, a popular health-conscious eatery with locations in the Gaslamp Quarter (755 Fifth Ave.), UTC in La Jolla (4301 La Jolla Village Drive), and another coming soon to One Paseo in Carmel Valley.
Sweeney, who is also known for the comfort fare he dished up when operating the former R Gang Eatery in Hillcrest for five years, most recently served as executive chef for North Italia in Fashion Valley Mall. Before that, he helmed the kitchen at Waypoint Public in North Park.
“I’ll be doing quality control and training-development in San Diego and for two locations in Arizona,” Sweeney told us, adding that he is fond of Tocaya’s culinary concept.
“The entire menu starts out vegan, and then if you’re a meat eater, you can add meat and cheese to the dishes. We buy just about everything we can organic. And the environments are cool and welcoming — not hoity.”
San Diego’s first ice-cream festival is coming to North Park, bringing together nearly two dozen local ice-cream makers in celebration of the centuries-old craft.
Scoop San Diego will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 23, at North Park Way and 30th Street. Organized by Daniel Szpak, a co-founder of Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream, the event will benefit Monarch School, which is dedicated to helping homeless students break the cycle of poverty.
Participating ice-cream vendors include Mariposa Ice Cream, An’s Dry Cleaning, Chocolat, Moo Time Creamery, Stella Jean’s Ice Cream, Scoops La Jolla and more. They will dole out samples in weights averaging 2 ounces. Some will be dairy-free. Tickets range from $20 to $35. For more information, visit scoopsandiego.org.
Look no further than the new North Park Breakfast Company for dishes such as waffles topped with mashed potatoes and spicy sausage, and crispy chicken thighs served with eggs and cauliflower confit.
The eatery opened recently as an offshoot to Breakfast Republic, a proliferating chain founded by Johan Engman of the locally based Rise & Shine Restaurant Group. The menu at this newest venture, however, is different due to more vegan/vegetarian options, craftier cocktails and a general “sweet-meets-savory” flavor profile that defines many of the dishes. Hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. 3131 University Ave.,
A wide range of cuisine is in the offing during the return of Food Truck Fridays at the El Prado walkway in Balboa Park. The event, now in its fourth year, runs from 4 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 27. It features about a dozen different food trucks each week as well as live entertainment.
Trucks scheduled for June 14 include Devilicious, Super Q, Sushi Uno, Frida’s Cocina, Mangia Mangia, and more.
The series is presented by the Balboa Park Conservancy and the city of San Diego’s Parks and Recreation Department. Free roundtrip shuttle service is provided until 8 p.m. from the Inspiration Point parking lot, located at the corner of Park Bouvelard and President’s Way. Plaza de Panama/El Prado, 619-331-1920,
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.