Food & Wine
By Miriam Raftery
June 16, 2013 (La Mesa) – The public is invited to sample award-winning wines, savor food and live music at the grand opening of the San Pasqual Winery at 8140 Center Street in La Mesa. The festivities will take place Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23 from 12-5 p.m. Cost is $20 in advance or $25 at the door.
The decision to move its wine-making business from Pacific Beach to La Mesa was motivated by a need for more space and a desire to be close to San Pasqual Winery’s existing tasting room in downtown La Mesa. The new facility will be triple the size of their existing winery, supplementing the existing tasting room with a second La Mesa location.
You can savor the fruits of the Clark family’s labors at East County Magazine’s Celebrate Our Roots festival on May 19.
By Sholeh Sisson and Miriam Raftery
June 14, 2013 (Campo)-- After passing winding roads and cow pastures in the most southern part of our County's backcountry, you will find Campo Creek Vineyards. Their winery won three bronze medals at last year’s San Diego County Fair in the amateur category. Now the winery is bonded – and the Clark family hopes to next reap rewards in the professional category.
“This is a good climate up here for certain types of grapes – cabernet, merlot, and syrah …It takes a lot of work to do the nurturing,” said Mary Clark. Her family started planting vines here in 2003 and their winery now has more than 8,000 vines.
Campo Creek Ranch offers local delivery of all-natural grass-fed beef
By Miram Raftery
June 13, 2013(Campo)—Cattle come running when rancher John Clark arrives. It looks like a scene out of a California “happy cows” commercial. View video.
These beef cattle are raised in open pastures, not crowded feed lots. They graze in green pastures at Campo Creek Ranch in San Diego’s East County. They receive no hormones and their diet is all natural – native grass or in some cases, barley.
“They’re all much healthier to eat,” says Clark, adding that grass-fed cattle re higher in omega-3 fatty acids. The ranch also offers all-natural chickens, pigs and rabbits – with meat delivered straight to consumers.
June 13, 2013 (Julian) – Julian Brewing Company, Baileys BBQ Pit and Jeremy's on the Hill will present "As local as it gets" – a farm-to-table dinner Friday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m.
May 27, 2013 (San Diego) – Fields Family Wines will be holding a Wine Dinner at Bistro Sixty, 5987 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego on June 7 at 6 p.m. The dinner includes 5 courses with pairings and costs $70 per person.
Want fresh vegetables? Now you can pick up garden-fresh produce in El Cajon or City Heights—or have it delivered directly to your home, all while helping local refugees from war-torn nations.
To get started, just join the International Rescue Committee’s community supported agriculture (CSA) program for this summer season. Participants will receive a colorful share of farm-fresh and local vegetables grown by refugee farmers participating in IRC’s sustainable agriculture program.
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. [I need to recheck names of restaurants.]
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.”
An East County Eater Review
By Ariele Johannson
Honors to be presented to “pioneering women” in local wine industry at Maness Vineyards’ event
May 27, 2013 (Mt. Helix) – East County Magazine Editor Miriam Raftery is among three honorees slated to receive an “Award of Merit” on June 15 from 12 to 4 p.m. at the 5th annual Maness Vineyards; Food & Wine Mixer. This year’s event will be held at Stephanie Young’s Manor Vineyard on Mt. Helix. Other honorees are Supervisor Dianne Jacob and Teri Kerns, Executive Editor of the Ramona Valley Wine Region Magazine.
Guests are invited to bring two bottles of wine to share and enjoy a barbecue luncheon and wine-tasting. An opportunity drawing will also be held, with proceeds benefitting St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center for developmentally disabled adults.
May 4, 2013 (Valley Center) – Keys Creek Lavender Farm is celebrating opening season with English High Tea on May 17 at 2:00 p.m. The catered tea is served by courses and plated at table. The menu includes Lemon Lavender Scones, Chicken Watercress sandwiches and Raspberry Cream Pavlovas, to name just a few.
First in our series on the best roadside diners along East County's highways
An East County Eater review by Ariele Johannson
April 24, 2013 (Lakeside)--Cafe 67 in Lakeside is a delight, featuring great home-made food and an entertaining vintage ‘50s “movie” decor. The restaurant atmosphere is “old-fashioned diner,” but even better. Patrons take a step back in time when they enter this eatery decorated with old movie posters, antiques, ceramic icons like Betty Boop, and movie star portraits.
The menu at Cafe 67 is also reminiscent of old movies, TV shows, and cartoons. The Kids’ Menu has several choices with names such as The Fonz, Lassie, Snoopy, and Spanky. Best of all, the food is hearty and home-made, with breakfast and lunch served all day at the Café.
April 23, 2013 (Alpine) – The public is invited to sample wines from California and the world, as well as enjoy tastings from restaurants throughout the County at Vintage Alpine on Sunday, May 5 from 1-4 p.m. The event will be held at Summers Past Farms, 15602 Olde Highway 80 in Flinn Springs. Guests can also stroll through the gardens, listen to music and bid on silent auction items.
The event is sponsored by the Alpine Kiwanis Club. Proceeds benefit Kiwanis projects including Bike Rewards for perfect attendance in elementary schools, equipment for youth sports, local scout troops, plus East County Special Olympics Track and Field.
April 13, 2013 (Campo) – On April 20 from 12-5 p.m., Chefs de Cuisine and The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum will team up with the Southern California Vintner’s Alliance for a gala gala gourmet food and wine tasting event at the Museum's Campo facility.
The event will be staged in the Museum's Display Building , where you will feast amid the Museum's historic railroad trains and artifacts. You can also purchase rides on a vintage train. Reservations | Event Flyer
For additional details, scroll down.
April 16, 2013 (La Mesa) – Tickets are now on sale for the 5th Annual Taste of La Mesa to be held on June 10 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa. The event features great food and desserts from local restaurants, as well as entertainment.
April 10, 2013 (Julian) – Restaurants, wineries and breweries in the historic gold mining town of Julian will be offering up tastes to savor at the Taste of Julian this Saturday, April 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. This is a self-guided culinary tour that this year will also include an art tour.
April 1, 2013 (Campo) – The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum will be hosting a gala gourmet food and wine tasting event April 20 from noon until 5 p.m. to celebrate its 52 years of service and education, along with the Chefs de Cuisine. The event will be held in the Museum’s Display Building, amidst the historic railroad trains and artifacts. The Museum is located off Highway 94 in Campo.
Savor the flavors from more than 20 restaurants to suit your fancy at the College Area Taste on Sunday, April 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.
To purchase tickets, visit https://tix.extremetix.com/Online/?siteID=1526&cartID=edf319ce-ae52-424b-b4cb-0413e46ffdbd.
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.
March 26, 2013 (Jamul) --The next East County Produce Exchange will be held on Saturday, March 30th in in the Jamul Hardware parking lot, 13881 State Route 94 from 3:30-5:00. The Exchange is a monthly event in Jamul, where people come from all over the county to exchange freshly grown fruits and vegetables.
The produce exchange is like a farmer’s market, but it is a free event. There is no money involved.
By Miriam Raftery
March 24, 2013 (Ramona) –“It all started with my horses,” Tammy Rimes told ECM at the grand opening of Hacienda de las Rosas Winery’s new Mission-style tasting room in Ramona.
In addition to Spanish-style wines, the opening featured dazzling displays of horsemanship, including riders in Peruvian-style attire demonstrating the Peruvian Paso breed’s unique gait, steady ride ( riders carried glasses of champagne as they rode) and a “Marinera” dance that includes a stallion, rider, and dancer with swirling skirts. (View video of the Marinera dance.)
By Janis Mork
March 22, 2013 (El Cajon)- East County’s newest farmers’ market had its grand opening yesterday on the Prescott Promenade in downtown El Cajon. Many people came, young and old, single and families, all flocking to check out what this market had to offer. Shoppers found a unique blend of fresh produce, unique ethnic and multicultural foods, fresh flowers, baked goods, hot entrees and specialty foods.
An International Rescue Committee (IRC) spokesman thanked the public for coming out and supporting the new market, which benefits not only the community, but also local refugees who are growing some of the fresh produce sold here.
March 21, 2013 (Julian/Wynola) – A three-course wine pairing dinner will be served up Friday, March 29 at Jeremy’s on the Hill, featuring exquisite bottles from J. Jenkins Winery. Jeremy’s is located at 4354 Highway 78, Wynola; five minutes west from downtown Julian. Dinner begins at 7:00 p.m.
“We have several great wineries here in the back country and pairing these great wines with seasonal food is one of my favorite things to do,” said Chef Jeremy. Jeremy’s on the Hill specializes in farm-to-table cuisine and features many local breweries and wineries at the restaurant. Chef Jeremy Manley, 26, and a Cordon Bleu graduate, has been working with food and cooking since the age of ten.
Champion Peruvian Paso horses also on display
March 17, 2013 (Ramona) --Winemakers at Hacienda de Las Rosas Winery are pulling out all the stops for the grand opening of their new wine tasting room at 18011 Bluegrass Road in Ramona. The event will be held March 23 and 24 from 12-5 p.m.
In addition to savoring wines, you can also tour this family- run winery and horse ranch – plus see special demonstrations by nationally acclaimed horse trainer Jorge Valenzuela and his champion Peruvian Paso horses.
There will also be a blessing of the mission-style winery by Father Fucci of San Diego Mission de Alcala on Saturday at noon. Plus guests can view creations by international artist Robert Kidd, enjoy barrel tasting of Swiss Chocolate Almond brandy and port, and more.
Certain CalFresh Recipients Eligible to Participate
March 14, 2013 (San Diego)--The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency has launched a new program to help seniors, disabled individuals and homeless gain more opportunities to buy hot, prepared meals with their CalFresh benefits.
The Restaurant Meals Program allows certain CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps) recipients who have difficulty preparing meals for themselves or do not have a place to store and cook food, to use their benefits at participating restaurants.
March 9, 2013 (Valley Center) -- What could be more relaxing than a Holiday English High Tea served up amid fields of lavender?
On March 16, enjoy an early St. Patrick’s Day tea featuring lavender scones served with jam and Devonshire cream, Irish artisan cheese, apples and candied nut crumbles sandwiches, and decadent Irish butter shortbread dreams. This festive fare will be served up at Keys Creek Lavender Farm in Valley Center.
Cost is $35 per person. For details and reservations, see http://www.kclfarm.com/
Championship Peruvian Paso horses also on display
March 9, 2013 (Ramona) – Winemakers at Hacienda de Las Rosas Winery are pulling out all the stops for the grand opening of their new wine tasting room at 18011 Bluegrass Road in Ramona. The event will be held March 23 and 24 from 12-5 p.m.
In addition to savoring wines, you can tour this family run winery and horse ranch – plus see special demonstrations by nationally acclaimed horse trainer Jorge Valenzuela and his champion Peruvian Paso horses. There will also be a blessing of the mission-style winery by Father Fucci of San Diego Mission de Alcala on Saturday at noon. Guests can also view creations by international artist Robert Kidd, enjoy barrel tasting of Swiss Chocolate Almond brandy and port, and more.
March 8, 2013 (City Heights) – Refugee farmers from Myanmar who participate in the International Refugee Committee’s agriculture training program will host a grand opening of their independent farm business , Hornbill Produce, at their new produce stand at City Farmer’s Nursery, 4832 Home Avenue in City Heights.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy live music with local Bluegrass/American Folk heroes Songs for People and traditional cultural dance from Myanmar. Tour the nursery and visit with the pony, chickens and goats. Stay for lunch at Nate’s Garden Grill.
March 4, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Talented farm-to-table chef Jeff Rossman of Terra American Bistro (7091 El Cajon Blvd.) will host a sumptuous San Pasqual Winemaker Dinner Monday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the restaurant. The five-course feast will be skillfully paired with sips by winemaker Linda McWilliams of San Pasqual Winery. The event costs $50 person and includes the following menu:
American caviar, micro arugula
Tiradito de Sea Bass
Taste of the Town Brut Sparkling Wine
March 9, 2013 (Poway)--In today’s 24-7 world, it’s easier than ever to take your dog for granted. Chances are quality bonding time is now a simple bowl of food in the morning, a short walk around the block, and maybe, if they’re lucky, a quick scratch of the belly.
“Where’s the love? Where’s the togetherness? It’s time to recreate the magic and make a dinner date with your dog!” says Samantha Colla with Chef Michael's, who will be serving up food for you and your dog on Thursday, March 14 from 5-8 p.m. at Innovations Academy, 10380 Spring Canyon Road in San Diego.