East County Eater

Restaurant Information

TRÉS BIEN! FABRISON’S COUNTRY FRENCH RESTAURANT IN JAMUL

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 18, 2017 (Jamul) – East County has a fabulous new destination for lovers of French foods. Fabrice and Allison Borel, owners of Fabrison’s French Creperie San Diego’s Little Italy and Coronado, have opened up Fabrison’s  in  Jamul .

This location has not only their signature “crepes for lovers,” but also a full menu of country French cuisine for breakfast, lunch and now, dinner.  So far, the Jamul location has earned a five-star review on Yelp, and it’s not hard to see—and taste—why.

HOT, HOT, HOT! MARDI GRAS CAFE AND MARKET IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jordan Damond

 

May 25, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- Mardi Gras,  a small cafe and market located in Spring Valley, is named for the famed carnival held in New Orleans. Following this theme, the cafe sells ample New Orleans specialties for lunch, dinner or to outfit an entire party. As someone ofNew Orleans heritage who has grown up with these foods, I was  pleased to discover that the Mardi Gras Cafe lives up to the quality of  Cajun and Creole cooking served up in New Orleans.

A SALUTE TO ADMIRAL’S EXPERIENCE: FLAVORS OF THE WORLD SERVED UP AT SAN CARLOS RESTAURANT

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2017 (San Carlos) – As a Navy chef,  Geoff Cole traveled the world preparing feasts for admirals and other VIPs.  Now he’s opened a  salute-worthy restaurant in San Diego's San Carlos neighborood. At Admiral's Experience, he serves up  what he calls “world class cuisine” from around the globe—as well as a catering service.   

“I cooked for all the admirals, senators and dignitaries on their private jet,”  Chef Cole told East County Magazine.  Of Jamaican descent, he’s  lived in exotic locales such as Hawaii and collected favorite dishes in his travels to Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean and other places.

HIGH “STEAKS” WIN: FINAL CUT AT HOLLYWOOD CASINO JAMUL-SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

March 21, 2017 (Jamul) – Final Cut Steakhouse offers a premier menu of artfully prepared dishes served up amid the glamour of vintage Hollywood. You can also savor spectacular scenic views through a wall of windows high atop the new Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego.

You don’t have to be a gambler to be a winner at Final Cut Steakhouse!

 

EAST COUNTY EATER: FARMER’S TABLE SERVES UP WHOLESOME, FLAVORFUL FARE IN LA MESA

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 4, 2017 (La Mesa) – I come from a farming family, so I’ve looked forward to sampling the farm-to-table fresh cuisine at Farmer’s Table in La Mesa. The restaurant lives up to its pledge of “honest food done right” with locally grown, organic vegetables and an array of tasty dishes to savor.

REVIEW: SHELDON’S SERVICE STATION - A DELIGHTFUL ADDITION TO LA MESA’S DOWNTOWN VILLAGE

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 2, 2017 (La Mesa) – I visited Sheldon’s Service Station, La Mesa’s newest coffee shop, looking forward to a tasty and piping hot cup of java.  The Espresso Mocha lived up to expectations, but the most delightful surprise was the array of creative and healthy breakfast and lunch menu options.

PUBLIC SQUARE COFFEE HOUSE IN LA MESA: UNIQUE SCONES AND VEGAN FARE

 

By Robin Norris Kendall

December 13, 2016 (La Mesa) -- The Coffee House Revolution has come to East County. Move over Starbucks—we can now choose to drink global, but sip local. Take, for example, Public Square Coffee House in the Village of La Mesa.

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY: BLACK ANGUS STEAKHOUSE ADDS FRUITY NEW HAND-CRAFTED COCKTAILS

 

By the East County Eaters

September 4, 2016 (El Cajon) – Long known for its flame-grilled steaks, cattle rancher roots and Western-themed décor,  Black Angus restaurants have now added a new hand-crafted, fresh juice cocktail menu to their Bulls Eye Bar.   From a Brazilian margarita that may make you want to dance the Samba to a Citrus Pomegranate Mule, you’ll find plenty to whet your whistle during all-day Happy Hours each Sunday , or from 3-7 p.m. all other days except Saturday.

We stopped by the Black Angus in El Cajon, where we savored some refreshing libations as well as tasty appetizers that roped us in to stay for a full dinner feast. 

SAMMY’S WOOD-FIRED PIZZA HAS TASTY VEGETARIAN OPTIONS

 

By Chisato Iversen

August 17, 2016 (La Mesa) - East County Magazine stopped by Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza (
8555 Fletcher Pkwy, La Mesa) to have some lunch.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that unlike most pizza places this restaurant has wide variety of foods and was really international--from soups, to tacos, all the way to, of course pizzas. I am pescatarian, so was definitely really happy to see that they have a lot of food options that are for vegetarians or vegans. 

SAVOR THE FLAVORS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN AT SAJJ HOUSE

 

Review by Maridian Broadus

June 20, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Are you out of ideas of what to cook for dinner? Does your palate crave something other than the ordinary salt and pepper fare that comes out of your kitchen? If you answered “yes” to at least one of the questions posed, then pack your appetite, flee your house, and head over to Sajj House (1255 Avocado Ave., El Cajon), a marvelous new Mediterranean style restaurant where you can savor the flavors of exotic spices.

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

Part III in a series

By the East County Eaters

Week 3:  Bleu Boheme (Kensington) and Cali Comfort (Spring Valley)

September 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)— For week three in our quest to bring you the most delightful and different happy hours across our inland region, we indulged in French cuisine and burgundy at Bleu Boheme, owned by a prominent San Diego retauranteur in Kensington. We also found fabulous half-price barbecue tri-tip and wings so hot they’re named for a local firefighters’ crew at Cali Comfort in Spring Valley, a sports bar and restaurant that has found the winning combination for hospitality.

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

 

Part II in a series

By the East County Eaters

 

Week 2:  Alpine Beer Company Pub (Alpine) and Vine Cottage (La Mesa)

September 11, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--Last week, we opened our Best Happy Hours in East County series by focusing on some premier locations for cocktails. This week, our eager team of eaters and drinkers hit the road once again, this time bringing you reviews of a local brewery’s pub that’s one of the most popular watering holes in the backcountry, along with a European-style bistro with a wonderful wine bar and some of the best happy hour food deals in town.

 

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY!

 

 

 

 

Part 1 in a series

By the very happy East County Eaters at East County Magazine

Week 1: Terra American Bistro (San Diego/La Mesa area) and Viejas Resort & Casino (Alpine)

September 4, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Our intrepid team of East County Eaters have been on the road in search of the best Happy Hours across our inland region. (It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!) Each week, we’ll be featuring two locales offering diverse experiences. Whether your tastes run to sushi bars or cowboy bars, wine bistros or craft brew pubs, urban eateries or mountain taverns, you’ll find plenty to whet your appetite!

To kick off our series, we start by featuring two of our favorites:  Terra American Bistro, a bistro and bar that prides itself on farm-to-table fresh cuisine--right down to the fresh-squeeze passionfruits in our cocktails and the refreshingly tasty and affordable appetizers, plus we tried our luck at Viejas Casino and Resort -- a four-star vacation destination hotel with some great specials sure to make you happy. Cheers!

EAST COUNTY EATER: FANTASTICO! NEW OWNERS ADD TO CULINARY APPEAL AT MEDITERRANEO ITALIANO BISTRO & BAR IN ALPINE

 

By the East County Eater

Mediterraneo Italiano Bistro & Bar, 1347 Tavern Road, Alpine 91901 (619)445-9902 http://mediterraneobistro.com/

March 24, 2014 (Alpine) –It’s been five years since the East County Eater first reviewed the Mediterraneo in Alpine, in a story titled “A Delightful Find in Alpine.”  Now there are new owners and a new head chef  with a menu focused on authentic Italian cuisine, raising the bar from “delightful” to “magnifico.”

DA! VILLAGE HOUSE KALINA SERVES UP AFFORDABLE RUSSIAN/UKRANIAN FEAST

 

Review by Mark Gavit

Village House Kalina

38302 Parkway Drive . La Mesa . CA . 91942 , (619)461-1100

http://www.kalinavillagehouse.com/#!

February 1, 2014 (La Mesa)--With a focus on Russian and Ukrainian dishes, The Village House Kalina does an excellent job of capturing the tastes and culture of these countries.

A HEARTFELT MESSAGE

 

Update January 3, 2014:  Five days after his heart surgery, which wound up being a quintuple bypass, we interviewed Leon in his hospital room.  Hear for yourself how energetic he's feeling - and how he's already setting the pace for walking a mile a day around the recovery ward. This interview aired on our East County Magazine Show on KNSJ Radio:  http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/1x5gj5h5h7/Leon-HospitalInterviewPost-Surgery.mp3

Editor’s Note:  We send warm wishes for a speedy recovery to Leon Thompson, our “East County Eater.”  If you were at our holiday party, you'll recall Leon gleefully carving up the prime rib.  Tomorrow, Leon is undergoing triple bypass surgery, or as he calls it, “the trifecta.”   Undaunted, he asked us to post this message for our readers—including his witty review of hospital food, along with his New Year’s resolution for healthy dining—and a special request for our readers.

By Leon Thompson, a.k.a. the East County Eater

December 26, 2013 (La Mesa)--This is Leon Thompson, otherwise known as the East County Eater to readers of East County Magazine. Today I’m reporting from Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.  My lifetime of savoring great foods, along with a family history of coronary artery disease, has finally caught up with me.  So I’ll be undergoing triple bypass surgery Friday morning—split down the middle like an oyster, with some fancy rerouting of my plumbing by the cardiac surgeon, and then I’ll be trussed up like a holiday turkey, with a few weeks to marinate before I’m back on the beat.

So by the time you hear this broadcast, hopefully I’ll have a healthy heart just in time for the New Year.

FROM BAY AREA TO COLLEGE AREA: BRIDGES BAR/GRILL/BAY SPANS THE GAP WITH CULINARY CHAMPIONS

 

 

 

 

 

Review by The East County Eater

 

December 10, 2013 (San Diego) -- The Bridges Bar/Grill/Bay at 4800 Art Way (off El Cajon Boulevard near 63rd Street) in the SDSU College area has it all.  A spacious sports bar with upscale and delicious food, specialty drinks, great local brews and excellent wines, Bridges is the perfect place for the East County Eater, who expects something special when dining out. 

Open for just over a year, Bridges is named for the seven bridges across the San Francisco Bay and delivers on the promise of Bay Area quality dining.  The restaurant is so-named because owner/CEO Salvatore hails from San Francisco and most of the seafood recipes come from that region.  Palma has a vision of an upscale and friendly sports bar with a menu reminiscent of the Bay Area. Bridges is just a few blocks from SDSU, but the atmosphere is 500 miles away to the north where great dining, seafood and sports combine for an upscale metropolitan experience.

EAST COUNTY EATER SAVORS “LA DOLCI VIDA” AT DOLCI CAFÉ ITALIANO

 

 

Review by the East County Eater

 Dolci Café Italiano,   2650 Jamacha Road,  Rancho San Diego (El Cajon) www.DolciCafeItaliano.com

 

 

 May 13, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)--Another culinary prize has turned up in East County.  Dolci Café Italiano is located next to Ralph’s in the Rancho San Diego Town and Country Shopping Center.  At once, the place felt entirely familiar and also seemed rooted in family and history.  It has the ambience of the Gaslamp District in Downtown San Diego—and for good reason.  George Georges, the owner - also owns three restaurants in The Gaslamp.  Chianti, La Fiesta and the Urban Bar & Grill.

George has been a restaurateur for 18 years.  He describes Dolci Café Italiano as “Italian-Mediterranean food served bistro café-style...Everything is cooked-to-order, everything is custom, everything is fresh, everything is gourmet…Even the lasagna.”

MASGOOF AT NAHRAIN: THE AFFORDABLE FEAST

 

 

East County Eater's Restaurant Review

Nahrain Fish & Chicken Grill (Facebook: NahrainFish&ChickenGrill)

1183 E. Main Street, #A, El Cajon, CA 92021 (619)334-3222

March 29, 2013 (El Cajon )—Masgoof—fish smoked whole in a clay oven with wood fire, Iraqi-style--at Nahrain Fish & Chicken Grill in El Cajon  is the freshest you’ll find in East County.  Choose from fish caught daily displayed in a glass case, or at times, take the opportunity to catch your own with a fishing net in a tiled pool inside this eatery, which is popular with  both Middle Eastern and Western customers.

My dining companion and I savor a whole red snapper that is tender and juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside with a paper thin skin and a delightful smoked wood flavor.  It is served with a mango sauce (amba) that is balanced, sweet and spicy, along with onions, tomatoes, lemon parsley and freshly baked tanoor bread.

EAST COUNTY EATER: O’S AMERICAN KITCHEN BLENDS BEST OF OLD AND NEW

Reinvigorated restaurant from founders of Pat & Oscars opens in Parkway Plaza

 

375 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon
http://www.osamericankitchen.com/

By Ellinoa Blake

Photos by Miriam Raftery and Ellinoa Blake

 

July 24, 2012 (El Cajon)--An abundance of my childhood memories are focused around food. One memory that stands out is sitting at a black and yellow booth, hot breadsticks in hand, at Pat and Oscars. This restaurant held memories of family dinners, or friendly lunches, so I was devastated when these restaurants closed. Now, with great joy I bring good news: the chain has been transformed into a delectable combination of new and old, a twist of familiarity and contemporary design, reopening as O’s American Kitchen.

EAST COUNTY EATERS: HISTORIC CHARM AND FRESH, FILLING FOOD AT EL CAJON’S DOWNTOWN CAFE

Downtown Café

182 East Main Street, El Cajon, CA 92020

www.downtowncafe-ec.com

By Ellinoa Blake

Last week, after a morning of all work and no play, my editor and I craved escape from the heat wave --and more importantly a bite to eat.

We headed into the heart of El Cajon to the aptly titled Downtown Café.  We found welcome relief from the sweltering heat as we swung open doors and stepped into the Downtown Café, a bold corner centerpiece of Main Street rich with vintage flair and historic ambience.

JANET'S MONTANA CAFE GIVES CUSTOMERS A TASTE OF THE WEST

By Sierra Great Food and Good TimesRobinson

2506 Alpine Blvd, Alpine, CA 91901

http://janetscafealpine.com/
 

June 12, 2012 (Alpine)- Janet’s Montana Cafe, a cozy little hideaway in Alpine, definitely shows the true meaning of western-style. The Old West theme was apparent the moment we walked in, greeted by large bull moose head on the wall.

BURGERS FROM DOWN UNDER: STEERS OPENS DOORS IN LAKESIDE

 9927 Maine Avenue
Lakeside, CA 92040

www.steersburgersfries.com

(619)390-9063

 By Sierra Robinson

June 12, 2012 (Lakeside)—Savoring flame-broiled, 100% Angus beef burgers at Steers, an Australian-based eatery that opened its first American restaurant in Lakeside last weekend, I predict that Steers will soon be rounding up a herd of loyal new customers.

After opening outlets in Australia and South Africa, the owners moved to La Jolla and scouted out an ideal location for their first U.S. venture. The site of the former Lakeside Steak House has been fully remodeled, serving up juicy burgers, espetadas (a shish-kabob like creation) and coming soon, steaks sizzling on the barbie. 

VIEJAS CASINO OPENS STUNNING NEW BUFFET

 

“As one of the first called to the table at Buffet at Viejas, I wish to say, ‘Thank you for a memorable feast. It was delightful.’”—Ariele Johannson
 
by Ariele Johannson
 
May 23, 2012 (Alpine)--The new Buffet at Viejas had its grand opening on Tuesday morning.  The fanfare included a tribal blessing from Kumeyaay elder Virginia Christman and traditional bird songs led by tribal member John Christman. Viejas Tribal Vice Chairman, Robert “Cita” Welch, addressed a crowd of tribal elders, leaders, local dignitaries, Chamber of Commerce representatives, public and the press during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. With the smell of sage in the air being prepared for the smudging, he called the new buffet at Viejas among the best in the San Diego area.  

EAST COUNTY EATER REVIEW: GINGHAM’S SERVES UP WHAT CARNIVORES CRAVE

 

By Miriam Raftery 
 
February 26, 2012 (La Mesa) –Judging from the crowd on a recent Wednesday night  at Gingham’s,  the restaurant has emerged as a new hot spot in La Mesa Village. Occupying the space formerly home to Gio’s, the new establishment features a remodeled interior and a dramatically different menu cooked up by celebrity chef Brian Malarkey, a finalist in Bravo TV network’s “Top Chef” competition. 

CHEERS! EL CAJON BREWING COMPANY SERVES UP MICROBREWS AND A FRESH MENU

 

By Mia Myklebust

February 12, 2012 (El Cajon)--When El Cajon Brewing Company opened in October, it joined the ranks of San Diego’s beer elite. The growing brewery culture in San Diego had a gap in East County that this local brewery and restaurant has filled with gusto.


From filling food to an array of craft beers brewed on site this El Cajon newcomer is well worth savoring.

GREAT GOURMET VALENTINE DINNERS TO SAVOR WITH YOUR SWEETHEART


February 4, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Satisfy your craving for a romantic night on the town this Valentine’s Day with a delicious dinner for two. Whether your passion is a gourmet repast at a French, Italian or American bistro or a meaty feast slow-smoked at a café on the County line, you’ll find plenty to tempt your taste buds and please your palate in East County. Scroll down for our East County Eater’s recommendations for this year’s best aphrodisiac dinners in our torrid inland region.

EAST COUNTY EATER: ZEYTOON SERVES UP ZESTY PERSIAN AND MEDITERRANEAN DELIGHTS

Zeytoon Restaurant at VineRipe Market

Persian and Mediterranean cuisine

8191 Fletcher Parlway
La Mesa, CA 91942    (next to CostCo)
(619) 462-7809        

By Megan McGlamery

Nestled in La Mesa next to the VineRipe Market is Zeytoon, a delicious Persian and Mediterranean restaurant now under new ownership. Zeytoon, which translates to olive, serves a wide variety of flavorful appetizers, salads, entrees and sandwiches, all of which are reasonably priced and generously sized. The market is also a treasure-trove of specialty foods from around the world.

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