Food & Wine
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.
March 1, 2013 (San Diego) – Terra American Bistro will host San Pasqual Winemaker Linda McWilliams on March 11 for a feast prepared by Chef Jeff Rossman to pair with San Pasqual Winery wines. The cost is $50 per person plus tax and gratuity.
March 1, 2013 (Santa Ysabel) – You can savor local vintages and meet winemakers from our region at Santa Ysabel Casino’s “Meet the Winemakers” event on March 16 from 3-6 p.m. Participating vintners include J.Jenkins, Woof ‘N Rose, and Witch Creek wineries.
The event costs $30 and includes gourmet appetizers, wine tasting from local vintners, $5 in slot machine play, and $5 toward tasting on a new state-of-the-art wine system.
San Pasqual Winery is now offer a series of live music on Saturday nights in the back room of its tasting room on La Mesa Boulevard in La Mesa. On Saturday, February 23 from 7-10 p.m., The Sock Monkeys will perform.
By Caprice Harrison
February 19, 2013 (Wynola/Julian) -- Hart Winery and Jeremy’s on the Hill present their second annual Temecula and Julian Wine Pairing Extravaganza this Friday, February 22 at 7 p.m.
Call: (760)765-1587 to make your reservation. The cost is $49 for one person or $95 for two plus tax and gratuity. (Please view the special menu for the event below.)
Jeremy’s on the Hill specializes in farm-to-table cuisine and features many local breweries and wineries at the restaurant. Chef Jeremy Manley, 25, a Cordon Bleu graduate, has been working with food and cooking since the age of ten.
Lutefisk - will it produce an Edvard Munch’s Norwegian scream out of you?
By Rebecca J. Williamson
February 16, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- “Strange, one of a kind, unique; a very different kind of food,” said a native Norwegian and former President of the House of Norway in Balboa Park—Eugenie King.
King, a Spring Valley resident, laid out the fundamentals of this Nordic delicacy. “It’s a fish, cod, which is soaked in lye.”
By Miriam Raftery
February 10, 2013 (Ramona) – Milagro Farms Vineyards and Winery owners Kit and Karen Sickels have plenty to celebrate. At a Mardi Gras party for wine club members yesterday, Kit Sickels (right) and winemaker Jim Hart shared news that their boutique winery took home top honors in the 2013 Winemakers Challenge International Wine Competition in late January, beating out big-name winemakers.
February 12, 2013 (San Diego) – Andiamo Ristorante Italiano is featuring a special 4 course prix fixe menu for Valentine’s Day. The cost is $40 per person. The menu includes items such as: stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto with artichoke crostini, seafood bisque with sherry float, fillet mignon & lobster ravioli, charbroiled ahi tuna, veal marsala and a chocolate bomb.
February 12, 2013 (Warner Springs) – County Line BBQ is offering a Valentine’s Week dinner special February 14 through 17.
The special includes a champagne flute, spring greens salad with pomegranate vinaigrette, a choice of petite rack of lamb or beef tournedos, both served with lobster terrine en croute, basmati rice pilaf, vegetables and bread. The meal is completed with a special Valentine dessert. The cost is $35 per person.
February 4, 2013 (La Mesa) – San Pasqual Winery will be hosting a Dessert & Wine Pairing at the Tasting Room & Gallery, 8364 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa Feb. 12 – 14 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. The Winery will pair five mini desserts with 5 specifically chosen San Pasqual Wines.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door ($20/$25 for wine club members). For more information visit www.sanpasqualwinery.com. For tickets call 619-462-1797.
Our Guide to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in East County
Updated January 27, 2013
By Ariele Johannson
Note: Please help us update this directory. If you know of any CSA programs we missed, please contact Ariele at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Farmers: Please send in any changes and visit our blog to connect with other farmers to help create a self-sufficient East County.
January 26, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Eating healthy means including plenty of fresh foods-- and the freshest of all are those grown here in East County. Have you thought about allotting part of your food budget to locally-grown organic fruits, vegetables, milk, meats, and more?
January 27, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--Celebrity chef George Duran (of Food Network and TLC Ultimate Cake Off fame) has shared this tasty tip for our readers. Of course everyone has their own opinion on what makes the “best guacamole,” but Duran’s recipe for Crunchy Herbed Guacamole stands out amongst the crowd for two very delicious reasons. What George’s version has is the magic crunch factor, stemming from a fresh medley of diced radishes and chives, taking texture to another level. Also, his recipe is prepared authentically, as it would be in a traditional Latin household by means of a Granite Molcajete (he uses one from IMUSA), to mince and mix ingredients. Not only does this method make a mean Guac, but it makes for a rich, festive presentation for parties, small get-together’s, or family dinner night.
January 13, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego Restaurant Week runs January 13 – 18 and has a strong showing of East County Restaurants. Offerings vary from two-course lunches offered at $10, $15 & $20 to three-course dinners priced at $20, $30 & $40. No tickets or passes are required and you may dine at as many participating restaurants as you like.
January 6, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Love to cook and want to earn some extra money?
The California Homemade Food Act, AB 1616, took effect January 1. It allows people to sell certain items cooked in their home kitchen, such as cookies, churros, dried fruits and pasta. Those who wish to sell homemade foods must take a class and obtain a permit from the Health Department, though no inspection of kitchens is required.
There are restrictions on the types of foods allowed and where you can sell them.Sale of baked goods with cream, custard or meat fillings are not allowed due to higher spoilage rates. You also can’t sell outside of your county, with certain exceptions. Sale at farmers markets is allowed, provided rules for individual farmers markets are met. You can also sell over the Internet, but only to buyers who live in California.
Get kids to love their veggies for the new year
January 1, 2013 (San Diego)--Children eat with their eyes. Young eaters are drawn to items that are fun and colorful. When introducing kids to new veggies, select different vegetables with vibrant colors and cut them into fun, kid-friendly shapes.Dips are fun.
To get kids interested in trying new veggies, give them a healthy, low-calorie dip for their veggies. Use dips like low-fat ranch dressing, yogurt-based dips and tomato sauces.
December 21, 2012 (Warner Springs) --Hawk Watch Winery, which has won international honors for its vintages, is hosting a free party open to all on Saturday, December 22 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy solo saxophonist Jason Weber while sampling homemade holiday desserts among the twinkling Christmas lights in the barrel room, where you can also sign up to savor some locally made wines.
November 30, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Julian Union School District and Lemon Grove School District are among six California school districts and a community organization that have collectively won nearly $336,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School Grants.
The funding is designed to help students understand the food they eat in school cafeterias often comes from local farms.
November 27, 2012 (Alpine) – The 37th Annual East County Toy and Food Drive is December 5 from 6 – 9 p.m. at Viejas DreamCatcher Lounge, Viejas Casino, 5000 Willows Road, Alpine. Drop by anytime during the event and sample heavy hors d’oeuvres, participate in opportunity drawings and silent & live auctions.
The suggested donation is $20 per person. All proceeds benefit the East County Toy and Food Drive serving needy East County children and their families this holiday season.