By Frank Sabatini Jr.
To those heading up to Del Mar later this month for the annual San Diego County Fair (May 31 through July 4), prepare for a barrage of sinful foods that are new to the vast lineup.
Themed this year after L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” fair-goers will encounter everything from “yellow brick” smoothies and “ruby red” lemonade to “flying monkey” caramel corn and “scarecrow” hot dogs.
Among the more outrageous items are Hot Cheetos baked potatoes; fried bacon-wrapped plantains; “blizzard of Oz” frozen hot chocolate; and “OzSome crunch” cinnamon rolls studded with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. In all, more than 120 food and beverage vendors will blanket the grounds, including some offering healthy choices such as fruit bowls, salads, wraps and gluten-free items. 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., 858-755-1161, sdfair.com.
A bevy of cheese makers from the U.S. and Europe will take part in Liquid City’s inaugural Cheese Expo 2019, to be held from 1:30 to 6 p.m., May 19, at BRICK in Liberty Station.
Organized by Rob Graff of Venissimo and Edwin Real of the Facebook group, Eating and Drinking in San Diego, the event also brings in local breweries, distillers, coffee roasters and kombucha and hard cider makers, all of which will join forces with about 20 cheese purveyors.
The “liquid” vendors include Modern Times, Eppig Brewing, Boochcraft, Bivouac Ciderworks, and more. Cheeses will be supplied by Venissimo Raclette Bar and Cheesesmith, both from San Diego, plus Point Reyes Farmstead from northern California, Columbia Cheese from New York, Gruyere 1655 from Switzerland, and others.
Admission ranges from $25 to $350. Proceeds will benefit Kitchens for Good, a nonprofit that helps break the cycles of food waste, poverty and hunger through innovation programs. 2863 Historic Decatur Road, 858-365-0882, eventbrite.com/e/liquid-city-cheese-expo-2019.
Los Angeles-based Elite Restaurant Group recently purchased the three remaining locations of Project Pie in San Diego County, which includes the outlet at 3884 Fourth Ave. in Hillcrest. The others are in Chula Vista and Eastlake.
A source connected with the sale tells us the restaurant group will likely convert the Project Pie eateries into Patxis Pizza shops, a brand-name concept it has established in cities throughout California and Colorado. The company also owns Slater’s 50/50 and Daphne’s restaurants. patxispizza.com.
Service call buttons are all the rage at Cohn Restaurant Group’s newest bar and restaurant, Del’s Hideout. Located in the Allied Gardens/Del Cerro community, the 5,400-square-foot venture replaces The Junk House sports bar.
The address marks the spot where David and Leslie Cohn opened their first restaurant, a small diner in 1981 called Rory’s.
The family-friendly establishment offers retro arcade games, a children’s play zone and a dozen TV screens for airing sporting matches. There’s also a full cocktail bar, an expansive patio, and a GPS-supported “butler bell” system that allows customers to reorder drinks and other items from their tables after placing initial orders at the counter.
Executive chef Tim Eylens, an expert in Southern cooking, brings to the table dishes such as barbecue pork belly, blackened local fish, specialty burgers and more. 5351 Adobe Falls Road, 619-236-1299, dinecrg.com.
Not all croissants are created equal. Just ask Alice Oliveti, who owns therecently openedCaffe San Lucain Hillcrest with her husband,StefanoRavaglia.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.