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TWO EAST COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS WIN "FARM TO SCHOOL" GRANTS

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.  

37TH ANNUAL EAST COUNTY TOY AND FOOD DRIVE DEC. 5

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.

HOT TIPS FOR A SAFE THANKSGIVING DAY FEAST

By Bill Weaver

November 21, 2012 (San Diego) – Thanksgiving is almost upon us and family and friends will come together to celebrate. Food safety is very important because large amounts of food are often prepared and served. Here are a few safety tips to prevent microscopic unwanted guests from joining your party:

SLOW SMOKED TURKEY TIME AT CALI COMFORT THANKSGIVING DAY, NOV. 22

November 16, 2012 (Spring Valley) – Cali Comfort BBQ Restaurant will be open to celebrate Thanksgiving the Cali Comfort Way from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  A catering package is available for dine in or take-out.  The package feeds up to 6 people and includes slow smoked whole turkey, country stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, wedding beans, mac-n-cheese and rolls with honey butter.  The cost is $89.99 and it must be ordered by November 19.

Call 619-337-0670 to reserve a table or place an order.  Visit www.calicomfortsd.com for more information.

THANKSGIVING DINNER AT BLEU BOHEME NOVEMBER 22

November 15, 2012 (San Diego) – Bleu Boheme, 4090 Adams Avenue, San Diego, will be serving dinner on Thanksgiving from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.  The special prix fixe menu is $48.95 per person and $16.95 for the children’s menu.

PHIL’S BBQ, SANTEE’S NEWEST RESTAURANT, COOKS UP FEASTS FOR A CROWD

By Rebecca J. Williamson

November 3, 2012 (Santee)--Ashley and Jaycee, employees at the newly opened Phil’s BBQ in Santee, get into the mood to serve before the onslaught from “Friends & Family” night to benefit the East County Boys & Girls Club.  The benefit was held before the grand opening and was very well attended.  The restaurant opened up officially on Tuesday, October 30th. 

LOCAL CHEF OFFERS “PRESIDENTIAL PAIRINGS” FOR ELECTION WEEK—PLUS FREE DESSERTS TO VOTERS

October 30, 2012 (San Diego) -- As Americans head to the polls on November 6, a local chef is capturing the flavor of the elections — literally. In honor of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s races for the White House, Terra American Bistro chef/owner Jeff Rossman has created a Presidential Pairings Menu featuring recipes that capture the qualities of both candidates. The menu will be offered November 4-10.

“In our 14 years, Terra American Bistro has delighted in serving the best of New American cuisine to San Diegans,” Rossman said. “And, really, what is more American than the presidential elections?”

CHILI COOK-OFF HEATS UP: JUDGES IN THE HOT SEAT NOV. 3

October 27, 2012 (Lemon Grove)--Get ready to rumble.  Not content with just putting on the much-anticipated eighth annual Chili Cook-Off & Western Round-Up on November 3, Soroptimist of Lemon Grove has added -- gasp! -- judges!

That's right, pals, though you, your family and friends, will still deliver The People's Choice Award -- a coup de grace bestowed only on a gifted few -- the Big Jalapeño will be announced after a trio of judges has eaten themselves into a chili-induced torpor, then retired to consider the verdict.  (Actually, they'll be in a back room with ice packs on their heads, pencils in hand, pleading for a bodyguard.)

PHIL’S BBQ OPENS IN SANTEE OCTOBER 30

October 26, 2012 (Santee) – Phil’s BBQ will open its third restaurant, located in Santee at the Old Trolley Square, 9816 Mission Gorge Rd., on October 30.  The ribbon cutting ceremony will be at 10:30 a.m. to commemorate the grand opening.  The doors will open for business at 11:00 a.m.

The Phil’s BBQ Santee menu will include all of Phil’s signature mesquite-grilled dishes and sides.  The Santee location will also feature several unique and exclusive elements, including an outdoor walk-up bar for people waiting in line, a custom BBQ holding 20 beer tap handles and five signature cocktails.

STONE BREWING COMPANY AND JEREMY’S ON THE HILL BREW UP A BEER PAIRING EVENT FRIDAY OCT 26

October 20, 2012 (Julian) -- Cheers! On Friday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m., Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro teams up with Stone Brewing Company for a five course beer pairing event. 

Five farm to table inspired courses will be expertly paired by Chef Jeremy Manley with Stone Ruination IPA, Stone Cali – Belgique IPA, Stone Smoked Porter, Oaked Arrogant Bastard and Stone Imperial Russian Stout.  Costumes are recommended and local musicians will be playing.

AFRICAN RESTAURANT WEEK OCT. 18-28 CELEBRATES CUISINE, MUSIC AND CULTURE

October 15, 2012 (San Diego)--African Restaurant Week, which starts on Friday, October 19th and ends on Sunday, October 28th is an event being hosted by a variety of African restaurants to showcase and promote African businesses and culture in San Diego.  Just like San Diego Restaurant Week, participating businesses from throughout the City of San Diego will create a special prix fixe menu featuring special appetizers, main courses and desserts.

PROP 37: SHOULD GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD BE LABELED?

By Thea Skinner

Miriam Raftery contributed to this report

October 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Proposition 37 would require mandatory labeling of most foods made from plants or animals with genetically engineered organisms (GMOs). Such foods would also be prohibited from being advertised as “natural.”

AMATEUR BBQ COMPETITON: WIN CASH SHOWING OFF YOUR BBQ AND TAILGATING SKILLS OCT. 14 IN SPRING VALLEY

September 23, 2012 (Spring Valley)--Do you know someone close to you that hosts an amazing Charger Tailgate Party or do you have a Grill Master in the family that cooks awesome carne asada at all the family functions? Is that Grill Master you?  
 
Back up your game, prove your skills, bring your personal barbecue and sign up to be an amateur contestant at the Spring Valley Tailgate and BBQ Festival on Sunday, October 14, 2012.  The event is organized by Cali Comfort BBQ Restaurant and Sports Bar. Meat will be provided for you to compete and submit to the judges courtesy of Valley Farm Markets. 

THE HOTTEST PARTY IN TOWN IS TONIGHT! JOIN OUR BEER BASH FUNDRAISER -- CHEERS!

Please join us this evening to enjoy some cheer and help fund live reporting of wildfires and other hot news in East County! We now have THOUSANDS of dollars in great prizes!

Join us Wed. Sept. 26 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at El Cajon Brewing Co. for beer-tasting, great food, live music by Charlie Rae (she's opened for Sheryl Crow and other stars), tons of prizes, hot cars from Carrera Coachwerks and more during El Cajon's Classic Cruises' season finale.   

First 100 guests get a $10 voucher for FREE FOOD OR BEER!

KAFFEE MEISTER OPENS IN SANTEE: ALMOND MILK, SOY MILK, AND OF COURSE...COFFEE

By Rebecca J. Williamson

September 20, 2012 (Santee)Almond milk - check.  Soy milk - check.  Coffee?  Checkmate.  Where? At  Kaffee Meister---which opened September 17 in the Carlton Oaks Plaza in Santee.   The original Kaffee Meister is a coffee bar and drive-thru located next to the Big Red Barn in Lakeside.

“It will be a quality, community coffee shop,” according to Chester McLaughlin, son-in-law to owners Mike and Lesley Emmons. 

LOCAL VINTNERS TO PARTICIPATE IN SAN DIEGO WINE SHOW AT DEL MAR SEPT. 29-30: WHERE SURF MEETS SIP



September 20, 2012 (San Diego)—Wine is one of life’s little luxuries. While the majority of us love it, most of us would be hard-pressed to pick the perfect meal pairing, spot those subtle flavors and notes or even decipher the difference between a Malbec and Merlot.

This year’s San Diego Wine Show has something for amateur imbibers and carafe connoisseurs alike. Venture to the Del Mar Fairgrounds on September 29 and 30 to sample hundreds of selections from some of the Pacific Coast’s finest wineries, including Freemark Abbey, Orfila Vineyards, South Coast and many more. Savor wonderful whites and refreshing reds while schmoozing with sommeliers about all things wining and dining.

STANFORD RESEARCH CONFIRMS HEALTH BENEFITS DRIVING CONSUMERS TO ORGANIC

Organic foods have lower pesticide residues, lower chance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria

September 8, 2012 (Washington, D.C.)—A review article published September in the Annals of Internal Medicine confirms that consuming organic foods reduces consumers’ exposure to pesticide residues and to bacteria resistant to antibiotics, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) notes. These are among the top reasons consumers cite for choosing to buy organic products.

HEALTHY EATING ON A TIGHT BUDGET

September 8, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) -- Food is expensive, but preparing your own meals can be healthier and less expensive than eating out. Get ideas on how to eat healthy meals on a budget, including:

SAVOR SOME HISTORY WITH YOUR COFFEE AT BUGSY’S BREW IN LA MESA

 
By Miriam Raftery
September 1, 2012 (La Mesa)—At Bugsy’s Brew Coffee, La Mesa’s newest java joint, owner Dan Moran serves up some colorful history along with coffee drinks named after famous gangsters such as Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and Ma Barker. The shop's slogan, “So good it should be illegal,” also hints at a delicious whiff of controversy.
“I named the place after my grandfather,” says Moran, a San Diego native with an infamous family tree. 
His grandfather, George “Bugs” Moran, ran Chicago bootlegging operation during Prohibition. Moran's gang was gunned down in the notorious St. Valentine’s Day massacre in 1929, reportedly on the orders of Al Capone. Ironically, Moran’s life was spared--thanks to a coffee shop.

A TOUCH OF JAZZ FROM HARRY JOE REYNOLDS AT JEREMY’S ON THE HILL AUGUST 31

 

August 26, 2012 (Julian) – Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro presents Live Music with Harry Joe Reynolds on August 31 beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Reynolds, a local favorite since 1979, has been making music in Julian for 3 decades.  He will bring a touch of jazz to Jeremy’s on the Hill with easy listening songs on the jazzier side of blues with classic ballads and blue standards.

LA MESA IS HOME TO NEW COFFEE SHOP: BUGSY’S BREW

 
August 6, 2012 (La Mesa)--Bugsy’s Brew Coffee opens in La Mesa. Family owned and operated, Bugsy’s Brew offers customers a comfortable place to relax and enjoy fantastic coffee and desserts. Bugsy’s Brew Coffee is located at 8759 La Mesa Blvd at the corner of Jackson, so it is a perfect spot to hit before heading to work in the morning or for a pick-me-up in the afternoon.

VINTAGES TO SAVOR AT THE BACK COUNTRY WINEMAKING TOUR


By Miriam Raftery

July 29, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – It’s one of our region’s best-kept secrets.  The Back Country Winemaking Tour, which swiftly sells out each year, is a great way to meet local vintners and savor the fruits of their labors—all with a designated driver aboard an air-conditioned bus.

This year’s tour rolled into four diverse wineries in Ramona and Warner Springs, where participants sipped, savored, and partied their way across the sun-drenched countryside in East County.

PERUVIAN DELIGHTS AT ANDIAMO! ON AUGUST 11

 

July 31, 2012 (San Diego) --  Andiamo! Ristorante Italiano is offering a night of Peruvian cuisine on August 11, beginning at 5 p.m. at 5950 Santo Road in Tierrasanta.  The evening will include live music from the coast of Peru as interpreted by singer Miguel Angel and accompanied by Angelo Salazar on acoustic guitar and Richard Gomez on cajon (Peuovian box).

2ND ANNUAL SUMMER IN JAMUL PARTY AUGUST 18

July 31, 2012 (Jamul) -- Reno’s Pub & Grub is hosting its 2nd Annual “Summer in Jamul” Party August 18, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 14019 Campo Rd., Jamul.  The afternoon will include music and craft booths on the patio.  Featured food will be Ivan’s “Smoking Hole” BBQ, burgers and more.  Beer and wine will be available.

For more information call 619-303-0127 or visit www.renospubandgrub.com.  

 

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.

SAN DIEGO’S PHIL’S BBQ WINS TRAVEL CHANNEL’S BEST WEST COAST SANDWICH

 
Phil’s BBQ El Toro tri-tip sandwich takes one of ten regional titles to advance to the final round
 
July 19, 2012 (San Diego) -- On Wednesday, July 18, 2012, Phil’s BBQ was named the West Coast Regional Winner of the Travel Channel show “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America.” Phil’s El Toro tri-tip sandwich is one of ten regional winners that will move on to the final round of judging, where one sandwich will be named Best Sandwich in America.  There’s good news for East County foodies:  Phil’s BBQ will be coming to Santee this fall. (Here’s a clip of the Phil’s BBQ segment.)

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.

K-9’S AND COCKTAILS AT ANDIAMO! JULY 18

July 15, 2012 (San Diego) – Andiamo Ristorante Italiano is kicking off summer with K-9’s and Cocktails on July 18 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 5950 Santo Road, San Diego.  Enjoy superb food and cocktails with your dog in an outdoor atmosphere on the patio. 

Visit www.Andiamo-Ristorante.com to view the menu and/or make a reservation for this event.

GLUTEN-FREE FOODS DELIVERY SERVICE ANNOUNCED THROUGHOUT SAN DIEGO COUNTY

 
July 11, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Looking for gluten-free foods?   Now  2GOOD2B  co-owners Mike Barbanti and Diana Benedek are bringing their entrees, delectable desserts and baked breads to you.  The Encinitas-based business announces new 2GOOD2B delivery; a brand new service that combines the convenience of takeout with the quality of a healthy, home-cooked meal. Delivery is available countywide—including East County.

ARRIBA! ANDIAMO’S PRESENTS FLAMENCO NIGHT JULY 14

July 10, 2012 (San Diego) -- Flamenco Night at Andiamo Ristorante is July 14 beginning at 5:30 p.m.  with a prix fixe menu. The event features Malamana’s Spanish guitars and vocals in a fusion of flamenco and romantic Latin music.

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