Food & Wine

SANTEE LAKES FISH REPORT AND TROUT-IN-A-POUCH RECIPE

 

November 10, 2014 (Santee) –Santee Lakes reports that a week after its Trout Opener event, the lakes continue to provide some excellent trout fishing – and more trout stock will be added this Friday around mid-day.  Participants took home not only fish, but prizes including a BMX bike, fishing gear and gift certificates.

EAST COUNTY LOW-N-SLOW BBQ & BEER TASTING NOV. 14

 

November 8, 2014 (Spring Valley) – Cali Comfort Restaurant will host the East County BBQ and Beer Tasting on November 14 from 6 to 9 p.m.  Cali is located at 8910 Troy Street in Spring Valley.  Guests will meet and greet brewers/owners of Jamul Brewing, Valley Farm Market and Cali Comfort BBQ.

LA MESA VILLAGE FARMER'S MARKET WINTER HOURS

 

November 1, 2014 (La Mesa)--On the first Friday of November, the La Mesa Village Farmers’ Market will start operating on a “winter hours” schedule, running from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The venerable and quaint year-round farmers market, which has been sponsored by the City of La Mesa for over 20 years, typically operates from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. In winter these hours have the market starting in sunshine, transitioning through dusk, and ending in darkness, which must be illuminated by cumbersome portable lighting fixtures.

CHEERS! RAMONA ART AND WINE FESTIVAL IS NOV. 1 AT THE AMY STRONG CASTLE

 

 

October 31, 2014 (Ramona)-- The second annual Ramona Art and Wine Festivals iwll be held at the historic Amy Strong Castle on November 1st.

Guests will enjoy tasting handcrafted wine from area wineries and food prepared by area chefs. Artists will display and sell their work. Highlighting the event is a live auction of wine barrels painted by local artists.

CLOGGING FIDDLER CELIA LAWLEY PERFORMS AT RAMONA RANCH WINERY OCT. 25

 

October 22, 2014 (Ramona) – Ramona Ranch Winery invites guests to celebrate Oktoberfest complete with a live performance by Celia Lawley, a singing and clogging fiddler player/songwriter who has performed extensively across the U.S. and Canada. Trezette’s Catering will offer bratwurst sandwiches topped with onion/pepper or sauerkraut, along with bacon-horseradish potato salad.

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

Part IV in a series

By the East County Eaters

Week 4:  Downtown Café (El Cajon) and Anthony’s Seafood Grotto (La Mesa)

October 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –In our fourth week of savoring great happy hours across our region, we stopped in at two establishments with deep roots in the community: Downtown Café, located in a historic brick that dates back to El  Cajon’s pioneer past, and Anthony’s Fish Grotto, a landmark restaurant serving up fresh seafood in La Mesa since 1946.

CRACKDOWN ON WINERIES USE OF VOLUNTEERS COULD CHILL LOCAL WINE INDUSTRY

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 12, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Small wineries have been flourishing since our County passed its boutique winery ordinance.  Unlike most small businesses, wineries that grow their own grapes can’t generate profits for several years, since it takes that long after planting vines before a quality wine can be produced.  Many local wineries have relied on friends and other volunteers to pick grapes, help with events and other tasks.

VINES AND WINES: MT. HELIX WINE GROWERS "MEET AND GREET" REPORT

 

 

By Donn Rutkoff

October 12, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - On a lovely Sunday afternoon in Sept., the Mt. Helix Wine Growers Association held their 3rd annual "Meet and Greet", otherwise known as a potluck and wine sharing.  About 30 growers came together to share news and ideas.  A few really good locally made wines were brought, one in particular was from Kristi (Anderson) and Suzie, a newly bottled Syrah.  Based on what your reporter tasted, the future continues to look very tasty for locally grown wines.

2014 TASTE OF THE SUMMIT TICKETS NOW ON SALE

 

October 4, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - The North Mountain Wine Trail’s four wineries will be serving up wine pairings with gourmet dishes and live music during the “Taste of the Summit” event on Saturday, November 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The four wineries are located within two miles of each other in the Warner Springs area.

ANNUAL CHILI COOK-OFF TO HEAT UP LEMON GROVE NOV. 1

 

September 26, 2014 (Lemon Grove)--“Let the insanity begin,” says Helen Ofield.”  Soroptimist International of Lemon Grove will hold its 10th Annual Western Roundup and Chili Cook-off on Nov. 1 from 6 - 9 p.m. in the parish hall of St. John of the Cross Church, 8086 Broadway, Lemon Grove. Tickets are $20 in advance or at the door.

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.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY BAKERS PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR WEST COAST'S LARGEST BAKE SALE TO BENEFIT MAMA'S KITCHEN

 

Sycuan returns for tenth year, joins new bakers such as Stone Brewing and Sea & Smoke; Sales begin October 6, 2014

September 15, 2014 (San Diego)--Sycuan Casino, Urban Solace, and the San Diego Culinary Institute in La Mesa are among the local restaurants, hotels and catering companies that have pledged their talent to create and donate delicious pies for the upcoming Mama’s Pie in the Sky Thanksgiving Bake Sale.

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!

VINES AND WINES: SO WHAT ARE THOSE "FRENCH" AND "ITALIAN" VARIETALS?

 

By Donn Rutkoff

September 1, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - You hear the term, but you don't know what it really means.  Why are some grapes called Bordeaux grapes, if what I drink is from California?  And why are they sometimes called vinifera or Vitis vinifera and why are they connected to each other?  What is a cultivar, or a Bordeaux grape?

OUR LADY OF LIGHT CHURCH DEEP-PIT BARBECUE AUG. 31

 

 

August  29, 2014 (Descanso)--Our Lady of Light Catholic Church in Descanso will hold its 77th Annual Deep Pit Barbecue on Sunday August 31st of the Labor Day weekend. The Festivities will start at 11 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m.

The barbecue has been a major event of the mountain empire area since before World War II. It will be held on the Church grounds on Riverside drive in Descanso.

BLUES RUSE AT ANDIAMO RISTORANTE AUG. 30

 

August 28, 2014 (Tierrasanta) – Andiamo Ristorante Italiano and Bar is serving up a brand new menu—along with live music by Blues Rise starting at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 30th.  The musicians will perform vintage blues including Mississippi Delta Blues from the first half of the 1900s as well as more recent blues tunes.

VINES AND WINES: LOCAL VINTNERS WIN BIG AT COUNTY FAIR

 

 

 

By Donn Rutkoff

Man About Wine

July 28, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--At the just-concluded San Diego County Fair, the homemade wine competition as usual was crowded with entries.  East County and North County entrants scored 44 gold medal wines, while those from zip codes inside the city scored about 15 more.  From the East and North County, here are the golds, with some familiar names to those of you who have been in the wine world or are now licensed wineries  Stay tuned for an interview soon with quadruple-gold winner Luis Mayor, he placed 11 medal winners.

JERSEY MIKE'S SUBS TO OPEN SECOND EL CAJON LOCATION

 

Owners Celebrate With Free Sub Fundraiser

July 30, 2014 (El Cajon)--– Jersey Mike’s Subs, known for its fresh sliced/fresh grilled subs,  opens in El Cajon on July 30.  Franchise owners Ray Ibrahim and Nabil Somo will hold a grand opening and free sub fundraiser from Wednesday, July 30 to Sunday, August 3 to support the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation.

VINES AND WINES: RAMBLIN' ROUND RAMONA

 

By Don Rutkoff

Photo: Elaine Lyttleton, Hatfield Creek Winery

July 30, 2014 (Ramona)--I went tooling around Ramona Sunday, visiting and tasting some newer wineries, and I will tell you, if you haven't started tasting the locals, you need to get off your couch and hit the road.  There are a lot of very good wines in Ramona, mostly red, mostly familiar grapes, and a few lesser known grapes too.

VINES AND WINES: INTRODUCING A NEW COLUMN FOR WINE LOVERS

 

 

 

 

 

By Donn Rutkoff

"Man About Wine"

 

July 19, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- Hello to all wine lovers in the East County and all wine lovers anywhere who are reading East County Magazine.  This is my first column and we hope there will be many more.  I will be bringing you news of what is happening here in the county, news of interest to the local growers and fermenters, and some educational "fluff" to help you enjoy wines.

Here is a preview of this week's wine-worthy topics.  (Hit "read more" and scroll down for the full stories.) 

  • Sparkling wines in an hour?
  • Warm-weather red grapes
  • New tasting rooms - thanks to rezoning underway
  • Wine columnist shares his roots

FINE FOODS IN A COZY NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT: BISTRO 60 AND SAN DIEGO DESSERTS

                                                                                       

 

By Ariele Johannson

July 15, 2014 (San Diego)--Ahi tatare, bbq pork cheeks, grilled scallops, chipotle linguine, and a homemade chocolate caramel bombe:  what do they all have in common?  All are foods selected, cooked, and presented by gourmet standards; offered up by Bistro 60, and thoroughly enjoyed by me and my dining companion.

SUMMER WINES: TASTING CLASS OFFERED AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE JULY 16 AND 23

July 11, 2014 (El Cajon) – East County Magazine’s new wine columnist and viticulture expert Don Rutkoff will conduct a two-week summer wine tasting class in the conservancy garden at Cuyamaca College from 6-8 p.m. on July 16 and 23.

“White and rose wines are very popular during the summer and come from all over the world. Local wineries are making excellent wines in these categories,” the course description states. Over two evenings, this class explores a short introduction of the grapes and winemaking methods, followed by several flights of 3-5 wines per flight, and discussion of food pairing.

SAN DIEGO WINE COUNTRY FESTIVAL JULY 12 AT BERNARDO WINERY

 

July 11, 2014 (Rancho Bernardo)—Wine aficionados can sip and savor vintages from over 20 local wineries at the San Diego County Vintners Association Wine Festival, including many East County vintners. The event takes place Saturday, July 12 from 1-6 p.m. at the Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo.

CHEERS! BROWN SIGNS BILL TO ALLOW WINE TASTING AT FARMER'S MARKETS

 

 

July 8, 2014 (Sacramento)—Now you can sip a chardonnay or sample a sangiovese while perusing produce and other food items at your local farmer’s market.  Starting immediately, a new bill signed into law today by Governor Jerry Brown legalizes wine tasting at farmer’s markets for winemakers.

BREW BEAT: WORLD CLASS BEER ON TAP IN EL CAJON

 

By Ed Barrenas

July 2, 2014 (El Cajon)--Micro-brewing is catching on around the nation, but if you don't have the means to visit microbreweries in other states, or even if fine local breweries just seem too far out of the way, head to The Downtown Cafe in the heart of downtown El Cajon.

Already boasting what I consider to be one of the best happy hours in East County, The Downtown Cafe also delivers a rotation of microbrews from around the country, that only a few establishments could hope to rival. There is also a full restaurant, and certain foods are offered at happy hour discounts.

BACK COUNTRY WINE PAIRING AT JEREMY'S ON THE HILL JULY 4 IN JULIAN

 

June 29, 2014 (Julian) – In the historic gold rush town of Julian, the 4th of July starts with a parade and American Legion barbecue.  Guests are invited to finish up a day in the mountains at Jeremy’s on the Hill, where a Backcountry wine pairing dinner will be held featuring organic, local produce from Sage Mountain Farms and wines from Shadow Mountain Vineyards and Sierra Roble Winery and Vineyard, both in Warner Springs. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $44 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

A LAVENDER AND WINE EXPERIENCE: JULY 23 AT RAMONA RANCH WINERY

 

 

 

July 1, 2014 (Ramona) – What could be finer than to savor a “Lavender and Wine Experience” plus catered delicacies?   Ramona Ranch Winery, Trezette’s Catering and Volcan Vista Farm invites you to “evoke your sensations” and meet the farmer, wine maker and chef on Wednesday evening, July 23 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. 

Learn about growing Lavender and Ramona’s exploding wine-region while creating your own custom sachet over a Lavender-themed buffet style dinner paired with a glass of Ramona Ranch Wine as the sun sets on the outdoor tasting terrace at Ramona Ranch Winery in Ramona.

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