Food & Wine

ALPINE BEER COMPANY: AN EXCELLENT BREWERY JUST A HOP AWAY FROM HOME

 

By Ryan Lescure

August 3, 2009 (Alpine) -- I found Pure Hoppiness a month ago, largely by accident. I strolled into the local watering hole and attempted to order my usual beer. I was informed by the bartender that they had just run out. After regaining my composure, and wiping the tears from my eyes, I settled on Pure Hoppiness, a double India Pale Ale brewed by the Alpine Beer Company.

I was so taken with the hoppy, yet smooth taste of Pure Hoppiness that I made sure to look up Alpine Beer Company after my walk home. Upon visiting their website, I was astonished to discover that were based in Alpine, California.

TASTE OF LA MESA PROVES A SAVORY SUCCESS

By the East County Eater

 

July 23, 2009 (La Mesa) – “When we started out a year ago, they said this couldn’t be done,” La Mesa Chamber of Commerce President Mary England told a hungry crowd at the La Mesa Community Center. The Chamber’s first annual “Taste of La Mesa” event drew more than 350 visitors, 25 restaurants and over two dozen additional vendors.

 

 

YOU'RE INVITED! HAVE A HOT TIME A HOOLEYS WITH EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

 

July 16, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--East County Magazine invites you to meet the press and join ius for an evening of food, fun and festivities.  "Have a Hot Time at Hooleys with East County Magazine"  will be held on Wednesday, August 12th from 6-9 p.m. at Hooleys Irish Pub and Grill in Grossmont Center, La Mesa. Reserve space now for the happening event of the summer.

EAST COUNTY EATER: SIAMESE WINS--BASIL THAI BISTRO AND BASIL THAI DINER

 

basil thai

By the East County Eater

June 30, 2009 (East County)--Watching “Anna and the King of Siam” is the closest I’ve come to visiting Thailand. But if dining at Basil Thai Bistro is a reflection of what Thailand is like – I wanna go. From exquisite food to exotic décor, Basil Thai is a true dining out adventure.

The interior has whimsical Asian elements, from Thai temple statues to origami swan napkins. Everything is neat and tidy and very inviting. The lighting (so important) is perfect and the overall feeling is like being invited by Thai royalty to dine--then being treated like the King himself.

BON APPÉTIT! OVER 20 RESTAURANTS ADD FLAVOR TO 1ST TASTE OF LA MESA AND BUSINESS EXPO, LA MESA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES

BON APPÉTIT! OVER 20 RESTAURANTS ADD FLAVOR TO 1ST TASTE OF LA MESA AND BUSINESS EXPO, LA MESA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES June 22, 2009 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce announced that more than 20 restaurants and food providers have signed up to participate in the first annual “Taste of La Mesa” slated for Monday, July 20, 2009 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa. The Title Sponsor of this event is Gio Bistro Wine Bar, owned by Gabriel and Tracy Giordano.

HOT STUFF: CHILI COOK-OFF JUNE 27 IN LA MESA

June 21, 2009 (La Mesa) The First Annual Keller Williams Realty La Mesa/East County Chili Cook-off will be held on Saturday, June 27 from 12-4 p.m. at the La Mesa Trolley Courtyard, corner of La Mesa Blvd. and Spring Street. The event will feature music by the Off Beats Band, a pepper-eating contest, fresh salsa competition, drink far, face painting/clowns, and a performance by Rubio’s Dance Studio. A $20 tasting fee will benefit Rubio’s Dance Studio and Sonshine Haven. For more information, callLaura Kelley @ 619.985.3362.

“TASTE OF LA MESA” JULY 20: RESTAURANTS SERVE UP FARE TO COMMUNITY

June 16, 2009 (La Mesa) -- Gio Bistro Wine Bar and the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invite area residents to savor the first annual "Taste of La Mesa" event. Sample fare from many of the La Mesa area’s finest restaurants and food while savoring an East County evening complete with music, food and drinks. The event will to be held at the La Mesa Community Center 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

VIEJAS OUTLET CENTER ANNOUNCES "TUESDAYS IN THE PARK" FREE MOVIES N THE PARK--ALPINE'S FIRST FARMERS' MARKET

June 10, 2009 (Alpine) — Viejas Outlet Center will host “Tuesdays in the Park” featuring the 2009 Movies in the Park Season with free, family-friendly movies starting June 16. In addition, the center will host "Market in the Park", Alpine’s first farmers' market, beginning June 23. Both events are free to the public.

SWEET SUCCESS: GROVE PASTRY SHOP

June 7, 2009 (Lemon Grove)—“What is special about this place is that we make the most challenging cakes—cakes that nobody else around town will take,” said Luis Francisco Montero, baker at the Grove Pastry Shop in Lemon Grove. Montero spoke with East County Magazine during an East County Chamber of Commerce reception earlier this week at the bakery, which celebrates its 54th year in business.

GIO RESTAURANT HONORED AS CALIFORNIA SMALL BUSINESS OF YEAR FOR OUR REGION

Honored at Formal State Recognition Celebration - Selected from among 3.7 million small companies in California Editor's note: Can we pick 'em or what? Gio was one of the very first restaurants we covered when we launched, with a rave review by our "Vines & Steins" connoisseur columnist: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/?q=0809vinesteins

ARRIBA! CINCO DE MAYO FIESTA AT SAVANNA GRILL

April 29, 2009 (El Cajon)—No need to venture south of the border to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! The Rancho San Diego-Jamul Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Cinco de Mayo grand opening party at Savanna Grill complete with music, mariachis, mariachis and Mexican-style food--and the public is welcome to join the fiesta. Savanna Grill is located at 3773 Willow Glen Road in El Cajon, complete with an outdoor patio overlooking a golf course.

CHALDEAN FOOD TASTING FESTIVAL & BUSINESS FAIR FRIDAY NIGHT

April 29, 2009 (El Cajon)—East County is home to one of the largest populations of Iraqi Chaldean Christians in the United States. On Friday night from 5 to 9 p.m., the public is invited to savor the authentic flavors of Chaldean cuisine including such favorites as falafels, kebabs, shawamma, hummus, tabbouleh, and more.

The event, hosted by Knights of Columbus, will take place at the St. Peter Chaldean Church Hall, 1627 Jamacha Way in El Cajon. A fair showcasing local restaurants, business products and services is also included in the $10 admission charge.

“EATER” EVENT A VORACIOUS SUCCESS—AND FUN FOR ALL

By Miriam Raftery

Ballroom dancers Peggy Diamond and Peter Tworoger

April 21, 2009 (Alpine)—East County Magazine’s guests were all winners at
our “On the Road With the East County Eater” party Monday night at the Vine
Wines Bar & Bistro in Alpine. Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful
sponsors, every guest walked (or danced) away with a prize!

YOU’RE INVITED! JOIN US AT “ON THE ROAD WITH THE EAST COUNTY EATER” APRIL 20 AT THE VINE WINE BAR & BISTRO IN ALPINE

April 7, 2009 (Alpine)—East County Magazine invites our readers to join us in a festive culinary experience—and the unmasking of our very own East County Eater restaurant reviewer. For the occasion, we’ve chosen one of our favorite spots: the Vine Wine Bar & Bistro in Alpine. The place is a cozy mountain retreat complete with lodge-like stone fireplace and a tree growing straight through the roof! Blues guitarist Paul Nichols has generously donated his services to entertain us—so we can offer you live music, wine tasting, a delicious array of food and a chance to win some great prizes—all for just $25! Help us make our first fundraiser a success-and support independent community journalism. Please reserve early—the more early-bird RSVPs, the more fun and surprises we can plan!

Read the “Eater” review of Vine Wine Bar & Bistro: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/?q=node/819 Listen to Paul Nichols’ music, visit: http://www.myspace.com/paulnicholsmusic. Download the flyer here. Then make your reservation to join in the fun—all for a good cause!

FREE FOOD! SPRING VALLEY LIBRARY TO HOST VEGETARIAN DAY

April 1, 2009 (Spring Valley)--The Spring Valley Library, 836 Kempton Street, will host “Vegetarian Day @ Your Library” on Saturday, April 25 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. This one-day free event will offer a wide variety of presentations on the ethical, environmental, health and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. The public is invited to sample a variety of vegetarian foods, fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day.

TAKING ROOT: VICTORY GARDENS SPROUT IN SAN DIEGO

April 2, 2009 (San Diego)--San Diego Roots, in coordination with several grassroots food and gardening groups, announces the formation of Victory Gardens San Diego. The group’s mission is to encourage and assist in the development of sustainable, healthy, Earth-friendly home, community and school food gardens throughout the San Diego area. The movement aims to foster appreciation for the taste of fresh healthy food grown locally. Participants are invited to share with family, friends, and community while teaching children about healthy food and where it comes from.

EAST COUNTY EATER - THE VINE WINE BAR & BISTRO: VINTAGE CHARM IN ALPINE

 

2502 Alpine Blvd., Alpine CA 91901
(619)722-7046
www.visitthevine.net

April 1, 2009 (Alpine) — Let me recommend a sure-fire place to unwind. The Vine Wine Bar & Bistro in Alpine is situated in a cozy wooden building with hand-hewn beams and split-rail trim, reminiscent of places sure to be found in the back-closets of our memories. Places surrounded by trees and cool running creek water. How could you not feel comfortable in a restaurant that has a tree growing up through the middle of the bar and a huge river-rock fireplace warming the place?

CULINARY STUDENTS AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE SERVE UP FIVE--COURSE MEALS: PUBLIC WELCOME!

March 8, 2009 (El Cajon)--You don't have to be a starving student to enjoy feasts prepared by Grossmont College's Culinary Arts Department, which is hosting five-course dinners prepared by culinary students on Thursday evenings from now through mid-May. The public is invited on the campus for the dinners. Cost is $15 per person. Funds will help raise money for travel expenses for students to compete in state and national culinary competitions, as well as maintain kitchen equipment and purchase supplies.

ST. PATRICK'S DAY FESTIVITIES AT HOOLEYS: LIVE BANDS, IRISH FARE & A BRITISH-STYLE DOUBLE-DECKER BUS

By Miriam Raftery

Shepherd's Pie

March 7, 2009 — Sure 'n there's no finer place to hoist a pint of ale and toast St. Patrick's Day than at Hooleys Irish Pub and Grill, the most authentic Irish setting you'll find this side of the Emerald Isle! Charmed by the warmth of an Irish Pub in Ireland, Craig MacDonald and two friends created the original Hooleys in Rancho San Diego in 1999--importing all interior elements from Ireland, right down to the polished brass whiskey still and the old church pews supporting the bar. Now ten years later, Hooleys has opened a second location in Grossmont Center, La Mesa, featuring many elements from the Auld Sod. Fortunately, you don't have to choose which Hooleys in which to celebrate--since the proprietor has lined up double-decker bus to ferry party-goers from one Hooleys location to the other.

EAST COUNTY EATER: OY VEY! BEST DELI IN TOWN: DZ AKINS

Photos of celebrities who have dined at DZ Akins

Editor's Note: Due to a family member's illness, the East County Eater has been eating mostly hospital food for the past month. So guest columnist Denise Di Mascio fills the Eater's shoes this month with a review of a local favorite.

DZ Akins
6930 Alvarado Rd
San Diego, CA 92120
(619) 265-0218
www.DZakinsdeli.com

OUR GUIDE TO THE MOST ROMANTIC RESTAURANTS TO TAKE YOUR SWEETHEART ON VALENTINE'S DAY

By Miriam Raftery

February 7, 2009 — Where are the sweetest spots to savor a romantic Valentine's dinner for two in San Diego's eastern region?

East County Magazine's restaurant reviewers, staff and editors have teamed up to offer these recommendations for places that offer not only fabulous food, but a cozy ambience ideal for wining and dining your sweetheart this Valentine's Day.

RANCHO SAN DIEGO RESTAURANT INFURIATES CHAINS BY GIVING AWAY HUNDREDS OF FREE MEALS

By Miriam Raftery

February
1, 2009 (Rancho San Diego) —
We have seen many types of restaurant promotions
to grab our attention. However, Brenda Nason, owner of Bistro D'Vine in Rancho
San Diego, simply takes the cake. Her goal is to give one free meal to
every household in the Rancho San Diego area that has not already been to her
restaurant.

FLAVORS OF THE GARDEN: VALENTINE'S DAY TOUR AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE'S WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN

February 1, 2009 (El Cajon) -- Savor a flavorful tour of the Water Conservation Garden on Saturday, February 15th at 11:30 a.m. Tour includes samples of sweet and savory flavors from the botanical world including fruits, vegetables, and herbs--and then there is chocolate!

BLEU BOHÈME, A PLACE TO SHARE WITH A FAVORITE FRIEND –TRES BIÉN!

(Leon Thompson)

4090 Adams Avenue
Kensington, CA 92116
619-255-4167
www.blueboheme.com

January 10, 2009 (Kensington) — Is there life east of I-15? Oui, and great food too. I've shown you world-class Mexican food, neighborhood sushi, continental cuisine in Alpine. Now the crème-de-la-creme: fabulous French food in an unpretentious casual restaurant called Bleu Bohème!

The atmosphere transports you to a long-ago French countryside. The feeling is like being in an ancient limestone and wood-beamed roadhouse filled with great food and grog for the long distance traveler. The banquet room conjures images of wine and revelry. At least that's my take on the place. I kept expecting a huge roasted pig with an apple in its mouth served on a platter. But then I have a vivid imagination.

U.S. CRANBERRY MARKETING COMMITTEE PARTNERS WITH SAN DIEGO-BASED SOUPLANTATION

Partnership promotes benefits of cranberries During
the Month of December

December 3, 2008 (SAN DIEGO) — San
Diego-based Souplantation, voted one of "America's Healthiest
Restaurants" by Health magazine, has formed a partnership with the Cranberry
Marketing Committee (CMC), a committee established by the federal government
that works to promote and inform the public about the benefits of U.S. cranberries.
Souplantation restaurants will also feature several cranberry-filled recipes
on their December menu to celebrate the partnership.

TALKING TURKEY: BEST THANKSGIVING OPTIONS FOR EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS

By Miriam Raftery

Credit: Leon Thompson

Whether your holiday spirit hearkens for a traditional feast or offbeat alternative
activities, you’ll find plenty of tempting choices in and around East
County this Thanksgiving weekend.  Here are a few of my favorite discoveries
for ECM readers to savor:

VINES AND STEINS - ORFILA VINEYARD & WINERY

By Richard Noel

Orfila employee Dolores Castaneda pours a generous taste
for Shari Zollo (right) of Vista, who enjoyed the festivities with Barbara
Deuel and Drea Zollo Bush (both of Oceanside).

“Oh yes, it’s Eighties night!”

For all those who still wear their sunglasses at night, you could have worn
them to Orfila Vineyards’ tasting room as the crew kept the doors open
late on October 23rd for a special evening of uncorked fun.  With a 1980s
music theme, wine club members and other visitors enjoyed listening to blasts
from the past while sipping the Escondido winery’s latest hits.  Tasting
room manager Benjamin Wier put together what may be the first of many more
late-night events to come, and pulled it off with the flair of a high school
reunion. 

HUNGRY IN EAST COUNTY

Story and photos by Gayle Early

November 1, 2008 (La Mesa/Spring Valley) - It’s 7:00 a.m., third Saturday of the month. The line behind Crosspointe Life Church in La Mesa snakes through the parking lot and all the way down the alley. Feeding America, a nonprofit agency formerly known as Second Harvest, has dropped off its monthly food distribution here in La Mesa, where demand from hungry people seeking food has leaped 103% this quarter. Volunteers also picked up fresh produce and staples from Albertson’s and are setting up tables. Distribution starts at 9:00 a.m. It’s chilly. Many are camped out in chairs, huddled with blankets, surrounded by retractable shopping carts, canvas and plastic bags, bins, cardboard boxes, even laundry baskets with which to carry food home. If they have a home. It’s a long wait.

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