Food & Wine

COUNTY PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS TO CONTINUE; RENEWALS, STATUS REPORTS DEFERRED

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo courtesy: County of San Diego
 
Medi-Cal, CalWORKs, CalFresh and General Relief benefit payments for current customers will continue uninterrupted through April, May and June and certain paperwork is deferred until further notice.
 
The County began sending texts and calls Wednesday to San Diegans who receive the benefits to let them know about the change and confirm that benefits will continue through June.

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES PROVIDES FOOD, MEALS AND RIDES TO ANY SAN DIEGANS IN NEED DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

East County News Service

March 26, 2020 (San Diego) -- Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) has expanded its most vital programs to serve families and individuals of all faiths, background and ages, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and wants San Diegans to knowFood, meals and transportation are available for those in critical need.

THESE RESTAURANTS IN EAST COUNTY ARE OFFERING TAKE-OUT AND/OR DELIVERY

Note: This story is being updated as we learn of more restaurants with takeout or delivery options.  If you own a restaurant in East County, email your info to editor@eastcountymagazine.org. All readers and restaurants are also welcome to post comments in our comments section below. 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Hacienda Casa Blanca in El Cajon posted  these images of some take-out and delivery options

March 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Since yesterday’s county order for restaurants to stop dine-in service through March 31 due to the COVID-19 emergency, many owners are adapting by switching to curbside take-out (curbside) service and a few are also offering home delivery through services such as GrubHub, UberEats, or through their own delivery service.

While this is by no means a complete list, here are many restaurants confirmed as offering take-out and/or delivery services.

Call or check the restaurant's website for details on hours and how to place orders, which vary at each location and may change.

If you know of any we missed, please post in the comments section below!

SUPERVISORS GASPAR AND DESMOND SEEK RELIEF FOR RESTAURANT INDUSTRY

East County News Service

Photo: Jeff Rossman, president, California Restaurant Association, estimates 60% of local restaurants have shut down.

March 23, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Supervisor Kristin Gaspar and Supervisor Jim Desmond announced Monday they will ask County staff to defer all environmental health fees for restaurants for the next six months at their Board meeting Tuesday. This includes permit fees, late fees and plan check correction fees associated with plans submitted prior to March 1, 2020. Since the Governor implemented a ban on all indoor dining, the President of the California Restaurant Association Jeff Rossman, estimates that 60% of local restaurants have shut down.

HUNGRY OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS? EMERGENCY FOOD DISTRIBUTIONS ANNOUNCED COUNTYWIDE

March 22, 2020 (San Diego) -- In addition to emergency food distributions, Feeding San Diego offers food assistance at many sites throughout San Diego County including rural, mountain, desert and urban communities. Click here to find a location near you.

 Feeding San Diego is working on adding additional distributions based on community input and the needs of specific populations. Listings of available emergency distributions will be updated daily and published at feedingsandiego.org/coronavirus.

NOTE: There are NO REQUIREMENTS to accessing any of Feeding San Diego’s food distributions.

CHEERS: STATE RELAXES ALCOHOL LAWS TO ALLOW RESTAURANTS TO SELL DRINKS TO GO

Craft distilleries, wineries and breweries also offering take-out bottle sales

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2020 (Sacramento) – If you’re craving a margarita or martini to ease your household’s isolation during the coronavirus stay-home order, here’s some cheery news.  You can now order alcoholic drinks to go at certain California establishments – provided you transport them in your trunk or other unoccupied area of your vehicle, if a trunk is not available.

The state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control department has temporarily eased restrictions to now allow restaurants to offer pick-up or delivery of beer, wine, and pre-mixed cocktails with secure lids or caps (no straws or sipping holes)—as long as you buy some food, too.

ROLANDO GARDEN FRESH RESTAURANT OFFERS FRESH MADE ST. PATRICK’S DAY TAKE-OUT DINNERS TONIGHT, MORE TAKE-OUT OPTIONS COMING UP

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2020 (San Diego) – Rolando Garden Kitchen, a farm-to-table-fresh restaurant just west of La Mesa in the Rolando area, has been prepping its St. Patrick’s Day dinners for days—but like all restaurants countywide, has been forced to stop dine-in service due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  However, the restaurant is offering its St. Patrick’s dinners for pickup by calling 619-431-5755.

Going forward, the restaurant will continue to post its made-from-scratch menus daily by noon for pick-up orders only through at least March 31stAll food at Garden Kitchen is handcrafted from scratch using the freshest ingredients, opting for local & organic when possible. We also strive to use hormone & antibiotic free meats.

The owners will also honor happy hour discounts on orders placed from 3 to 5 p.m.  Wine and canned beers are available to go at 20% off short-term.  Gift certificates are also available.

View menus at http://gardenkitchensd.com/.  The restaurant is located at 4204 Rolando Blvd., San Diego, CA 92115.

Below is today’s menu:

COUNTY SHUTS DOWN BARS, LIMITS RESTAURANTS TO TAKE-OUT FOOD, BANS EVENTS OF 50+, AND MORE RESTRICTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Gy Kirk, new co-owner of Sheldon's Station in La Mesa, says his restaurant is offering curbside take-out immediately and willl soon offer a home delivery service.

Read official health order here.

March 16, 2020 (San Diego) – Alarmed by news of 55 COVID-19 cases countywide—a nearly seven-fold increase in the past four days – San Diego County officials today announced tough new restrictions that will impact daily lives of virtually all residents and businesses. A new fund aims to help those adversely impacted.

Effective midnight Tuesday through March 31, the following rules are imposed countywide:

  • All gatherings of 50 or more are prohibited, including public and private events.
  • All non-essential gatherings, regardless of size, are discouraged.
  • All bars and other businesses serving alcohol without food must shut down.
  • Restaurants may offer only delivery, pick-up or drive-through service. On-site pickups must include social distancing of at least six feet.
  • Schools of all levels, public and private, must cancel any on-campus classes.
  • Businesses must not require doctor’s notes for sick time or other leave.
  • Businesses must allow telecommuting if possible and adopt social distancing for on-site workers, along with increased cleaning.
  • Hospitals and health care facilities should preserve resources including cancelling elective and non-emergency procedures when feasible.
  • Only essential personnel may enter hospitals and long-term care facilities—and any essential personnel with symptoms of COVID-19 are prohibited from entering.
  • Hospitals, commercial testing labs and all healthcare providers must report COVID-19 test results to the county’s public health officer immediately after receiving results.
  • Travelers arriving in San Diego County should self-quarantine at home for 14 day if they traveled from or through nations on the Centers for Disease Control Level 3 list. The list currently includes China, Iran, South Korea, and most European nations.
  • Self-quarantine at home is strongly recommended for people over age 65, as well as those with chronic underlying conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Everyone with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate at home before seeking medical treatment.

GOVERNOR ASKS SENIORS OVER 65 TO STAY HOME, CALLS FOR CLOSURE OF BARS, CUTBACKS AT RESTAURANTS

By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2020 (Sacramento)—With 330 Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) cases in California, double the number just four days ago,six deaths in our state and thousands of deaths worldwide, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced extreme steps to slow the rate of infection and reduce deaths. The actions aim to save lives and prevent hospitals and medical workers from becoming overwhelmed.

The Governor’s new emergency proclamation calls for:

  • Home isolation of everyone over age 65
  • A ban on visitors to nursing homes, except for end-of-life visits
  • Closure of bars, wine bars, breweries and pubs
  • Restaurants to reduce occupancy by half; restaurants can also provide curbside service and at-home deliveries
  • Moving homeless people into motels, trailers or other facilities
  • Allow urgency for procuring medical supplies, sharing data, and bringing in out of state licensed medical professionals to help with treatment

Though the Governor stopped short of mandating closures of bars, restaurants and wineries, and left home isolation of seniors voluntary for now, his actions are similar to what some foreign nations and Governors in other states have done. 

The entire nations of Spain and Denmark are on lockdown. France has ordered closure of cafes, restaurants and bars.  The Governors of Ohio and Illinois have ordered restaurants and bars to close.  New York state’s Governor has ordered restaurants to cut occupancy in half and called for voluntary closure of many private businesses.

EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB INVITES YOU TO JOIN US MARCH 12 AT GIARDINO'S

March 3, 2020 (Lemon Grove) - You're invited to our next East County DIning Club Event, which benefits East County Magazine and our East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts.  RSVP now to reserve space and enjoy authentic Italian cuisine on Thursday, March 12 at 6 p.m at Giardino’s Neighborhood Cucina in Lemon Grove!  (8131 Broadway, Lemon Grove)

Their chef is from Parma, Italy, the ambience is friendly and the Italian food is delicious!Plus they now have a full liquor license – so you can enjoy drinks such as Mimosas, Lavendar Lemonade with vodka, martinis, whiskey and tequila drinks, full wine list, craft beers, port and other after dinner liqueurs and coffee drinks. 

Win prizes! Our prize drawings will include restaurant gift certificates, wine lover's gifts, whale-watching with Hornblower in San Diego, gift certificates to local stores, gardening gift baskets, a cutlery set, bakeware, cookbooks, and more.  

Giardino’s has prepared a special menu for us at a set price of $35 (tax and tip not included). The feast includes:

LEMON GROVE LIONS CLUB HOSTS 5TH ANNUAL SALSA Y SALSA FUNDRAISER APRIL 18 FOR SERVICE PROJECTS AND LITTLE LEAGUE

UPDATE: THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF A VENUE BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS.
 
East County News Service
 
March 8, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – Arriba! Lemon Grove Lions Club, the nonprofit organization devoted to service and volunteering, is hosting its Salsa y Salsa Fundraiser on April 18 from 6-9 p.m. The event will feature a salsa tasting and salsa contest, salsa dancing, plus delicious Mexican food, music, silent auction & raffle. 
 
Salsa & Sala will be held at Monte Vista Village auditorium, 2211 Massachusetts Ave, Lemon Grove, 91945.
 
The cost of admission is $20 in advance/$25 at the door. All proceeds will go toward Lions Club Service Projects and support our Lemon Grove Little League.
 

OYSTERS, CHEESES, PAINTING AND MORE AT RAMONA RANCH WINERY IN APRIL

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 7, 2020 (Ramona) – Ramona Ranch Winery is offering an array of April events to tempt your taste buds, including:
 
  • Wednesday, April 1st - Made to Order Pasta with award winning wines at the Ramona Par Lounge from 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 4th - White Wine & Oysters with John Little Catering; reservations available now, wear white to delight in this pairing at the annual "White Party!"
  • Saturday, April 11th - Cheeses from the Cave offers up an array of samples, showcasing locally made cheese and how it pairs with the winery’s wines.
  • Saturday, April 18th - Sommelier Meghan Vergara rounds out the Trifecta, with an afternoon of wine tasting with a sommelier, winery owner and winemaker on how take your wine drinking knowledge and enjoyment to a whole new level as you taste thru Ramona Ranch wines, including some unreleased ones and discuss sustainability.

COOKING CLASSES, TRUFFLES & WINE DINNER, & A TOAST TO WOMEN'S DAY: ALL AT GIARDINO IN LEMON GROVE



East County News Service

February 19, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- Giardino Neighborhood Cucina, a cozy Lemon Grove eatery, is bringing some fun and unexpected culinary events to East County. Over the next two months, guests can head in for cooking classes, a truffle and wine dinner, Festa Della Donna, or International Women's Day, and more. See below for full calendar and delicious details.

WINERIES OFFER ROMANTIC VALENTINE’S DAY OUTINGS

By Miriam Raftery
 
February 6, 2020 (San Diego’s East County)—What could be more romantic than sipping wine at a beautiful backcountry winery or vineyard?  Several local wineries are sweetening the occasion with these special events:
 
CHEESE AND WINE PAIRING AT HATFIELD CREEK WINERY IN RAMONA
Hatfield Creek in Ramona is offer a Valentine’s Day cheese and wine pairing Feb. 14 from 6-7:30 p.m.  Tastes also include other goodies including sweets, fruits and nuts along with rich zinfandel and petite syrah wines. Cost is $25 per person and includes a red rose and photo. 
  
WINE PAIRING AT HAWK WATCH WINERY IN WARNER SPRINGS

ENJOY A FLAMENCO SHOW, TAPAS AND PAELLA WITH OUR EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB JANUARY 30TH

January 21, 2020 (La Mesa) -- You're invited to support East County Magazine at our most exciting East County Dining Club event yet!  At the Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro in La Mesa on  Thursday, January 30th, take a virtual trip to Spain.

Tapas, dinner and Flamenco music show: This special event begins with happy hour and Spanish-style tapas (appetizers) at 6 p.m., followed by delicious dinner options incuding Paella Valencia and a live Flamenco show at 7 p.m. We will have prize drawings galore, too!

Feast your eyes on our very special menu here, with a range of options in every price range including Paellla Valencia (seafood or meat versions), the national dish of Spain.

RSVP by Monday: The restaurant asks that you pre-order your main dish (entree) when you RSVP to us by Monday Jan. 27 at (619)698-7617 or email editor@eastcountymagazine.org.  You can pay at the event, and you can order everything else there including appetizers, deserts, salads, wine, beer, or other beverages.

Prizes:  Our raffle includes whalewatching tickets from Hornblower Cruises, Spacebar Cafe and Wine Bar gift certificate, gift certificate to Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures, wine lovers gifts, cuisine of Spain cookbook, leather purse, jewelry, gift certificates to local stores and restaurants, and more!

Benefits: Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro will donate 20% of proceeds to East County Media to benefit East County Magazine and East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts. In addition, 100% of raffle ticket sales will benefit these nonprofit causes.

READER’S EDITORIAL: AL FRESCO DINING AND HEALTHY CHOICES DURING SAN DIEGO 2020 RESTAURANT WEEK

By Dana Stevens, Executive Director, Community Action Service & Advocacy
 
January 21, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - Let’s embrace healthy living in 2020, as we head into San Diego’s 2020 Restaurant Week (January 19-26). Let’s dine at restaurants that offer smoke-free outdoor dining patios as well as healthy, fresh, delicious food.

LA MESA CHAMBER TO HOST BEER GARDEN AT GROSSMONT CENTER’S FIRST FRIDAY MARKETS

Celebrate vegan lifestyle with all-vegan eats, drinks, music and more

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce has inked a deal with Grossmont Center to host a beer garden at all of the center’s First Friday markets starting February 7th through the end of this year. The beer garden will feature featuring Mike Hess Brewing Company and Local Roots kombucha.

The markets are held on the first Friday of each month from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.in the shopping mall’s parking lot between Chuze Fitness and Fuddruckers. The  market celebrates the vegan lifestyle with all-vegan foods, sweets, drinks, goods for sale and live music. Grossmont Center is located at 5500 Grossmont Center Blvd., La Mesa. 

The beer garden will have a seating area beneath lighted tents for dining and drinking under the stars. 

BULL AND BOURBON STEAKHOUSE AT SYCUAN WINS AAA FOUR-DIAMOND RATING

East County News Service

January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – In its first year of operation, the Bull and Bourbon restaurant at the Sycuan Casino Resort has earned the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Rating, one of three casino steakhouses in the San Diego region with the designation.

The Bull and Bourbon steakhouse features steaks cooked on a wood-fired Santa Maria grill. The restaurant has its ownbeef dry-aging room, complimented by single-barrel and other high-end bourbons.

JANUARY IS A GREAT MONTH FOR DINING OUT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons image via ND

January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – This month, restaurants across our region are offering specials for San Diego Restaurant Week January 19-26, including at least eight eateries in East County. In addition, Julian restaurants have a month-long celebration of California restaurant month with specials of their own.

Feast your eyes on the options below:

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR FEASTING & MERRYMAKING HOLIDAY PARTY DEC. 15!

You’re invited to feast and make merry at our annual VIP holiday party!  RSVP today to reserve space for this popular event.

When: Sunday, Dec. 15 from 3p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Our editor’s Mt. Helix home at 4438 Hideaway Place, La Mesa, CA 91941

Live music by Paul Nichols and Cindy Burnham at 4 pm; caroling sing-along after dinner

Holiday feast: We have a delicious menu including honey glazed ham, baked yams, cranberry-orange relish, red cabbage and greens slaw, macaroni and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, veggies with spinach and crab dip, gourmet cheese platter, winter salad with pecans and pomegranates, Wassail bowl/spiced cider, wine from the award-winning Vineyard Grant James, molasses gingerbread, lemon squares, holiday cookies and more. If you wish, bring a dish to share.

Special thanks to Smart & Final for donating delicious foods for our holiday feast!

Raffle: prizes include Hooley's gift certificate, Smart and final gift certificate $100 activity gift certificates to Fort Cross Ole Timey adventures,  Oasis Camel Dairy special event passes, jewelry, holiday accessories, gift basket for wine lovers, locally roasted coffee, chocolates, and more. 

Cost:  $15 with RSVP in advance, $20 at the door

Prepay online at www.EastCountyMedia.org/donate

POWAY BOIL-WATER ORDER LIFTED: PUBLIC URGED TO DINE AT POWAY RESTAURANTS TO HELP WORKERS HURT BY SHUTDOWN

By Miriam Raftery

December 6, 2019 (Poway) – A boil-water order has been lifted in Poway, where residents can now drink tap water after first flushing out plumbing lines, replacing filters and throwing away ice. State testing found the water safe to drink, nearly a week after stormwater runoff contaminated a clearwell reservoir.

Hardest hit are restaurants forced to shut down, and their employees. The North San Diego Business Chamber is asking the community to dine in Poway Dec. 9-15, adding, “As the holidays approach, we ask that you dine at these businesses and support their employees, so they too can have a holiday season without any added stress.” Find a list of Poway restaurants at the bottom of this article.

SEN. ATKINS SAYS NEW TRUMP RULE COULD CUT FOOD STAMPS FOR 700,000 CALIFORNIANS

By Chris Jennewein

Reprinted with permission by Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  An applicant signs up for food stamps, known as CalFresh in California, at a low-income health clinic in Contra Costa County. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

December 5, 2019 (San Diego) - Senate President Toni G. Atkins warned Wednesday that a tightening of work rules by the Trump administration could end food assistance for 700,000 people in California.

RAMONA HOLIDAY WINE TRAIL EACH WEEKEND BEFORE CHRISTMAS INCLUDES HOLIDAY SHOPPING, MUSIC, AND WINE TASTING

East County News Service

December 4, 2019 (Ramona) -- This year’s Ramona Holiday Wine Trail runs four weekends to make sure you have time to cover all 18 participating wine-tasting venues and take advantage of all that the Holiday Wine Trail has to offer. The event includes holiday shopping at wineries as well as live music, special events and promotions plus of course, wine tasting.  This year, the wine trail runs each Saturday and Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas:

E-COLI OUTBREAK LINKED TO ROMAINE LETTUCE HARVESTED IN CALIFORNIA

East County News Service

November 24, 2019 (San Diego) - CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationexternal icon (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California growing region. 

RECYCLE THANKSGIVING TURKEY FAT, OIL AND GREASE (FOG) AT EDCO’S BUYBACK CENTERS

Source: EDCO
 
November 22, 2019 (San Diego) -- Kitchen fat, oil and grease (FOG) that’s left over from daily cooking, or after deep frying a Thanksgiving turkey, can be recycled!  EDCO has a free, safe and environmentally friendly option for disposing of household FOG.
 
Residents are asked to simply collect used discarded FOG in a leak-proof container and drop it off free of charge at EDCO’s conveniently located Buyback Center. The FOG will then ultimately be processed, filtered and converted into biofuel by a third-party processor.
 
It is important that participants do not mix FOG with any other oils, such as motor oil or gear oil, that inhibit the process of converting the FOG into biofuel.
 
Facilities are located at:

CHIEF’S CORNER: LET’S TALK TURKEY – THE SAFE WAY

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

November 18, 2019 (San Diego) -- Thanksgiving signifies the beginning of the holiday season and many of us will be spending more time in the kitchen preparing for the holidays. Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.  

TALKING TURKEY: BEST BETS FOR THANKSGIVING DINNERS OUT

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – If you want to take a break from holiday cooking, Thanksgiving feasts are being served up at several local restaurants and other unique locations on Thursday, November 28.  Here are some delicious options ranging from traditional fare with all the trimmings to French and Italian interpretations, a vegan option, a lavish buffet, and even a feast in a historic log inn nestled in a pine forest, with a range of prices to suit your budget, too.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: GIARDINO AND COMMUNITY CELEBRATE SECOND ANNIVERSARY

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Giardino Neighborhood Cucina celebrated its second anniversary last night, treating all guests to a delicious array of complimentary appetizers as well as toasts with champagne and lavender-vodka lemonade.

The appetizers include savory meatballs, cheese platter, olives, strawberries and more.  Guests also enjoyed live music and a festive ambience with red and gold balloons.

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