Food & Wine

VINEYARD GRANT JAMES HOSTS “DOG DAYS OF SUMMER” PAW-TY JULY 31-AUG. 1

East County News Service

July 29, 2021 (Ramona) – Vineyard Grant James in Ramona invites you and your dog to celebrate “Dog Days of Summer” with a “paw-ty” on July 31 and August 1.

LA MESA CHAMBER HOSTS “TASTE OF SAN DIEGO – EAST” AUGUST 30

East County News Service

July 28, 2021 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber’s 12th annual popular “foodie” event is happening on Monday, August 30. This special evening where guests can “eat their hearts out” will be between 5-8 p.m. at the newly renovated Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley.

GRAND OPENING FOR HANDEL’S HOMEMADE ICE CREAM IN SANTEE POSTPONED TO JULY 29

 

Update July 18 from Handel's: "We have made the difficult decision to postpone the opening. We have extended training for our staff to provide the best customer service. The grand opening has been changed to July 29 at 11 a.m."

 
By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

(Photo, left, by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson) 

July 9, 2021 (Santee) -- The grand opening for the eagerly awaited ice cream parlor in Santee, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, is slated for July 22.

Handel’s  will  offer many flavors which are homemade at the store, with seasonal and other flavors available all year round.

Cinnamon pecan, pizzelle, dulce de leche, spouse like a house, and green tea are  just a few of the flavors. Sherberts, yogurt, fat-free/-no sugar added ice cream, plus vegan options are just a sampling of their products.

BON APPETIT! LA MESA EXTENDS OUTDOOR DINING UNTIL JULY 2022

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Outdoor dining at Antica Trattoria in La Mesa

July 15, 2021 (La Mesa) – Expanding onto sidewalks and parking lots provided salvation to many local restaurants and shops during the pandemic, when indoor dining was banned or capacity limited.

To help local businesses recover financially over the next year, La Mesa’s City Council recently voted to extend temporary outdoor permits in public spaces for restaurants and stores through July 16, 2022.

SIP OF JULIAN ON JULY 31: TASTING ROOMS OFFER SAMPLES OF WINE, BEER, HARD CIDER AND CRAFT COCKTAILS

East County News Service

July 8, 2021 (Julian) -- On Saturday, July 31, the Julian Chamber of Commerce will co-host the 6th Annual Sip of Julian featuring alcoholic beverages and local cuisine.

TYSON FOODS RECALLS READY-TO-EAT CHICKEN PRODUCTS SOLD NATIONWIDE DUE TO POSSIBLE LISTERIA CONTAMINATION

By Miriam Raftery

July 4, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – Before you serve up any chicken dishes for your Fourth of July feast, make sure you didn’t purchase any frozen, fully cooked chicken products recalled by Tyson Foods, Inc. The tainted products were shipped nationwide to major retailers and institutions including hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, schools and military sites.

Today, the U.S. Department of Agricultural’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that Tyson Foods, Inc. is recalling nearly 8.5 million pounds of ready-to-eat chicken products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The products are linked to at least one death and several illnesses to date. Federal investigators at the FSIS are working to determine if there are additional illnesses linked to these products.

The frozen, fully cooked chicken products were produced between December 26, 2020 and April 13. The products that are subject to recall are listed here. View the labels here. The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. P-7089” on the product bag or inside the USDA mark of inspection.

CELEBRATE RAMONA’S HISTORIC KENILWORTH INN MURAL WITH A TRADITIONAL CHICKEN DINNER

By Miriam Raftery

July 4, 2021 (Ramona) – The Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Murals Project invites you to an old-fashioned chicken dinner at Begent Ranch (18528 Highland Valley Road, Ramona) on Sunday, July 25 from 4 to 8 p.m. to celebrate the historic Kenilworth Inn Mural.

Catered by Marinade on Main, the event will offer music by Dirty Confetti band, a silent auction that includes sketches of the mural by the artist Beata Wojcik, a sneak peek at the upcoming Kumeyaay mural by the artist, historical overview of the Kenilworth Inn, and a full course chicken dinner in the tradition of the Kenilworth Inn and more.

You can opt for just the dinner with free parking, or purchase a package that includes the Ramona Art and Wine Festival on November 5, 6 or 7.

CELEBRATING ITS 60TH ANNIVERSARY, SANTEE LAKES GETS EVEN NICER WITH NEW LAKEVIEW DECK AT TIN FISH RESTAURANT

By Mike Allen
 
Photos by Mike Allen and Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
 
June 19, 2021 (Santee) - Santee’s best known tourist attraction, Santee Lakes, just got a whole lot more attractive with the opening of a new observation deck at Lake 4.

I-QUE BBQ: A SMART NEW EATERY IN LA MESA

By Henri Migala
 
Photo, left:  owners and employees at I-Que BBQ, by Miriam Raftery
 
June 18, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Very few things are better than really, I mean REALLY, good barbecue. And one of those things is really good barbecue served by delightful, engaging and endearing people. That’s exactly what you get at La Mesa’s newest barbecue restaurant, I-Que BBQ.
 
Located at 8733 Broadway in the small strip of shops near I-HOP, at the juncture of Spring Street and Broadway close to the SR-125 and SR- 94 interchange, I-Que BBQ enjoys a prime, convenient spot for both motorists and residents.

USDA TO REINSTATE VITAL ORGANIC ANIMAL WELFARE PROTECTION GUTTED BY TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

Source:  Center for Food Safety

June 17, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) - In a victory for organic farmers, advocates and animal welfare, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it will be reinstating animal welfare standards on farms producing organic meat that were withdrawn during the Trump Administration. Secretary Vilsack announced that the USDA will “reconsider the prior Administration’s interpretation that the Organic Foods Production Act does not authorize USDA to regulate the practices that were the subject of the 2017 Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule,” including meaningful outdoor access for organic chickens and other animal welfare improvements. The Secretary “directed the National Organic Program to begin a rulemaking to address this statutory interpretation and to include a proposal to disallow the use of porches as outdoor space in organic production,” and make other improvements to the original rule.

DRIVE-THRU FOOD DISTRIBUTION FOR LEMON GROVE RESIDENTS

East County News Service

June 14, 2021 (Lemon Grove) -- The Lemon Grove Lions Club, THRIVE Lemon Grove and the City of Lemon Grove are sponsoring a drive-thru food distribution this Saturday, June 19, beginning at 9 a.m. and while supplies last. A cleared trunk, for contactless loading, and proof of Lemon Grove residency are required. Please stay in your car. No walk-ups are permitted.

SUMMER OF WINE TRAIL EACH WEEKEND IN JUNE

By Miriam Raftery

June 8, 2021 (Ramona) – The Ramona Valley Vineyards Association invites you to experience the beautiful Ramona wine country and visit up to 16 wineries on Saturdays and Sundays in June during the “Summer of Wine Trail.”  

LIVE COMEDY RETURNS TO EAST COUNTY AT SPACEBAR CAFÉ

By Miriam Raftery

June 5, 2021 (La Mesa) – Looking for laughs after a year of quarantining? At the Spacebar Café and Wine Bistro in La Mesa announces Friday night comedy as well as live on June 25th featuring top local talent.

GOVERNOR SAYS CALIFORNIA RESTAURANTS CAN CONTINUE ALCOHOL TO GO AFTER PANDEMIC

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association 

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom outside Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco on Thursday. Courtesy of the Governor’s office

June 4, 2021 (San Diego) - Restaurants across California will be able to continue offering a profitable service that evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic — selling alcoholic beverages to-go — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday.

ECM CHANDELIER LOUNGE CUISINE EVENT IS SELL-OUT SUCCESS

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Henri Migala and Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2021 (Jamul) – Thanks to all of you who turned out to celebrate our first East County Dining Club event since before the pandemic lockdowns.  The event sold out, the setting was magical amid the elegance at Chandelier Lounge Cuisine, the wines from Deerhorn Valley Vineyard were divine, and the music was sublime!

In addition to pianist Andy Salmonsen, NRG Music & Productions surprised us by also bringing talented singer Kymm Civetta, her adorable daughter, Lyric, and saxophonist extraordinaire Chris Klich, who all entertained the crowd.  View video from NRG of music at our event.

The music even inspired some impromptu dancing in the aisles as everyone delighted in feeling free at last at our event, where everyone was fully vaccinated or showed proof of a recent COVID test.

Georgina, owner of Chandelier Lounge Cuisine, and her crew cooked up a feast including steak, mahi-mahi, chicken, creamy pasta, vegies and desserts that were both delicious and beautiful.

All proceeds benefit East County Media to support the East County Magazine, East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts, and East County Dining Club’s future events.

LA MESA CHAMBER WELCOMES WINE WORKS AFTER REOPENING

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Sandra Small

May 22, 2021 (La Mesa) - La Mesa Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting to welcome its newest member, Wine Works. The La Mesa winery and tasting room recently reopened to the public after the pandemic shutdown.

DEERHORN VALLEY VINEYARDS OFFERS SPRING BARREL TASTINGS OVER MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Henri Migala

May 22, 2021 (Deerhorn Valley) – Visitors to Deerhorn Valley Vineyards’ tasting room in Jamul over Memorial Day weekend will have the opportunity to sample a wine directly from the barrel,  complimentary with any winetasting purchased.

 

If you visit, please tell them you learned of their event on East County Magazine. Many of our readers had the delightful opportunity to taste their wines at our recent event. For those who missed our festivities, stop by and enjoy a real treat!



The wines are hand-crafted in small batches, with red wines aged in oak.  The winery offers a full range of whites, reds, rosés and blends. In addition, you can sample a wide variety of flavored balsamic vinegars and olive oils.

RECIPE FOR UNPLUGGED FUN: A TRAIL OF CLUES, A SPRINKLE OF GNOMES, A DASH OF COUNTRY AND A SPLASH OF WINE

By Claudia Erickson

May 14, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- We have been living and breathing by our technology during the pandemic.  Zoom meetings are essential and watching reruns of “The Office” has admittedly helped many a soul get through some tough months. Using our tech devices has been a lifeline, but has also brought about increased anxiety, Facebook fights and Twitter wars. 

LA MESA WELCOMES NEW COFFEE SHOP: PINK ROSE CAFE

By Angela Kurysh

May 11, 2021 (La Mesa) – “You can never have too much pink,” said Nadia Zamora, who finally opens up her coffee shop, Pink Rose Cafe on La Mesa Boulevard this week.

After working on this project for over 14 months amid pandemic lockdowns and a riot, Zamora and her husband were ready to peacefully give up, but with the constant support of the community and the mission behind their business, Pink Rose Cafe will be launching its new spot with a ribbon cutting ceremony this Wednesday, May 12, at 10:30am; the official grand opening will be Saturday, May 15, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

RESTAURANTS AND OTHER FOOD AND ALCOHOL VENUES CAN NOW APPLY FOR RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUNDS UNDER AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

East County News Service

 

May 4, 2021 (San Diego) – Applications can now be submitted for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to offset losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To apply, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s application portal.  The fund is part of the American Rescue Plan and is open not only to restaurants, but also caters, bars, bakeries, wineries, breweries, food carts, inns and certain other businesses where food sales provided a major source of revenues.

MOTHER’S DAY DELIGHTS AT HATFIELD CREEK WINERY IN RAMONA

By Miriam Raftery

 

April 27, 2021 (Ramona) – Hatfield Creek Winery in Ramona is offering several delightful Mother’s Day options including a May 9 Mother’s Day outdoor dinner, catered courtyard lunches all weekend, and treats with Mother’s Day weekend wine tastings.

DISTILLERIES HOST COMMUNITY PARTY SATURDAY APRIL 17 IN SPRING VALLEY

Celebration caps Mike Curphy’s journey from moonshining to making award-winning spirits

By Henri Migala

April 16, 2021 (Spring Valley) -- East County is known for many things: beautiful wide-open spaces, nature, horseback riding and hiking, makers of some of the best banjos and guitars in the world, numerous wineries, and more. But many people don’t realize that East County is also home to internationally-recognized, award-winning distilleries.

One such distinguished distillery is Mike Curphy Distillery, located with two other distilleries in the business park off Via Orange Way, near the San Miguel Fire Station, in Spring Valley.

COMMUNITY PARTY SATURDAY, APRIL 17

Mike Curphy and two other East County distilleries (Liberty Call and San Diego Distillery), along with four local eateries and three live bands, will be hosting a community party on Saturday, April 17, from 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m. at the business park off 2731 Via Orange Way in Spring Valley.

There is no cost to attend the event; tastings, drinks and food will be available for purchase. Bring a chair to relax outdoors and savor tastes from the distillieries and local restaurants. (Also bring a mask, to comply with county health rules when not eating or drinking.)

In an exclusive interview with ECM,Mike Curphy shared secrets of his success and his extraordinary journey from moonshining to making award-winning spirits.

HUNGRY IN LEMON GROVE? FOOD DISTRIBUTION APRIL 17

East County News Service

April 11, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – A drive-through food distribution for Lemon Grove residents will be held April 17 from 9 a.m. until supplies run out. The event is at the Lemon Grove Recreation Center, 3131 School Lane in Lemon Grove.

PASSAGES: GROCERY INDUSTRY LEADER SHON BONEY DIES OF CANCER

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Shon Boney, a leader in the natural grocery store industry with long roots in East County, died March 8, 2021 at age 52 of brain cancer. 

Grandson of Henry Boney, the founder of Boney’s Marketplace, later known as Henry’s Marketplace, Shon worked in all aspects of the San Diego based business until it was sold to Wild Oats. He then moved to Arizona, where he co-founded and served as CEO of Sprouts Farmers Market, which grew into one of the nation’s preeminent healthy grocery store chains.

CHEERS! BREWERIES, WINERIES AND DISTILLERIES CAN OPEN OUTDOORS, EVEN WITHOUT FOOD SERVICE

East County News Service
 
March 17, 2021 (San Diego) – Breweries, wineries and distilleries have been hard-hit by state COVID-19 restrictions. But effective March 13, they can now reopen for outdoor service in counties in the state’s most restrictive purple and red tiers – even if they don’t serve food.  

SERVING SENIORS PROVIDES PROVIDES 1.7 MILLION MEALS TO FIGHT FOOD INSECURITY ONE YEAR SINCE COVID-19 SHUTDOWN ORDER

Source: Serving Seniors

March 11, 2021 (San Diego) -- One year ago, on March 12, 2020, Serving Seniors was ordered to shut down one of its core services to impoverished San Diego county seniors. As the largest provider of meals to San Diego County’s older adults, it could no longer keep its 11 congregate meal sites open due to the public health crisis.

PASSOVER SEDER MEALS TO GO AT TERRA AMERICAN BISTRO

East County News Service

 

March 10, 2021 (San Diego) – Terra American Bistro is offering Passover Seder meals for two or four people to go. Order by March 24 to pick up March 27 from 12-4 p.m.

 

The Passover feast includes a choice of entrees including grilled salmon, citrus roasted chicken with onions and apricots, brisket, or vegetarian stuffed peppers . All seder plates include charoset (apples, walnuts and spices), matzo, gefilte fish with horseradish, matzo ball soup (vegetarian option available), mixed greens, choice of two side dishes, and flourless chocolate cake/macaroons.

LA MESA JOINS CITIES NATIONWIDE TO CAP FEES ON FOOD DELIVERY APPS; LORENA GONZALES PROPOSES SIMILAR BILL IN CALIF. STATE LEGISLATURE

By Alexa Oslowski

March 9, 2021 (La Mesa) – On January 26, the La Mesa City Council voted unanimously to pass a temporary emergency ordinance placing a cap on commissions that can be charged by delivery apps (Postmates, Uber Eats, etc.) to restaurants.

“People have been using delivery services during the pandemic at higher rates than they have in the past, myself included,” Councilmember Colin Parent said during the City Council meeting. “One of the things I’ve come to understand is some of those apps can charge really exorbitant fees.”

The ordinance, which was proposed by Parent, received overall support in comments by members of the public, which were read in the meeting by City Clerk Megan Wiegelman.

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