Food & Wine

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR CALFRESH BENEFITS?

By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 13, 2022 (San Diego) - The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency and its partners are working together to get the word out about CalFresh benefits during the month of May, which is designated as CalFresh Awareness Month.


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TROUBLE FOR MAJORS: GOFUNDME SITE SEEKS TO SAVE PINE VALLEY DINER

By Matthew Manosh

April 15, 2022 (Pine Valley) -- Major's Diner (also known as Major’s Coffee Shop) has been a staple in the Pine Valley community for over 60 years since its doors first opened in 1961.


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SOCAL GROCERY STORE WORKERS OVERWHELMINGLY RATIFY NEW CONTRACT WITH RALPHS & ALBERTSONS/VONS/PAVILIONS

Over 47,000 supermarket employees impacted; deal includes significant wage increases, more hours, improved healthcare benefits and safety

East County News Service

April 14, 2022 (San Diego) -- Grocery store employees represented by seven UFCW Locals in Southern and Central California overwhelmingly voted to ratify a new three-year contract with Ralphs and Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions, averting a strike.


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PRODUCE PICKS: EASTER DINNER

By Greg Dunne                                         

April 12th, 2022 (Alpine) -- What are the best veggies For Easter dinner? Well, that of course is a personal preference, but here are some of the more traditional vegetables for the Easter menu. Asparagus tops the list and a few more are green beans, yams, potatoes, carrots, and Brussel sprouts. Here are some great vegetable recipes for your Easter dinner, see below.


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CHEERS! HESS BREWING NOW OPEN IN ALPINE, ITS SIXTH LOCAL LOCATION

By Henri Migala

April 12, 2022 (Alpine) -- One of the greatest benefits of living in East County is to be able to enjoy our wide open and natural spaces. The best thing to come out of the pandemic is the move of restaurants to open outdoor eating and drinking areas.


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FDA ADVISES RESTAURANTS AND RETAILERS NOT TO SERVE OR SELL POTENTIALLY CONTAMINATED RAW OYSTERS FROM CANADA

Source:  FDA                                      

April 10, 2022 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Canadian authorities, state and local partners, are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Norovirus illnesses linked to raw oysters that were widely distributed, including in California.


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TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED BETWEEN UFCW AND ALBERTSONS/VONS/PAVILIONS AND RALPHS

East County News Service

April 5, 2022 (San Diego) - A tentative agreement was reached by the bargaining committee representing seven UFCW Locals across southern California and Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, and Ralphs. 


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CONTINENTAL MILLS RECALLS WALMART GREAT VALUE BUTTERMILK PANCAKE & WAFFLE MIX DUE TO POSSIBLE CONTAMINATION

By Miriam Raftery

March 28, 2022 (San Diego) – Continental Mills has recalled Great Value Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix sold at Walmart stores nationwide, due to possible foreign material contamination. Fragments from a cable used to clear the processing line were found in a limited number of products.

The recalled lot has the UPC 078742370828, lot code KX2063, and best by date of 09/01/2023.

No injuries have been reported to date.


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GROCERY WORKERS VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY TO AUTHORIZE STRIKES AT RALPHS, ALBERTSONS, VONS AND PAVILIONS

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2022 (San Diego) -- United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Locals throughout California, together representing over 47,000 frontline food workers at Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions, have announced an overwhelming membership vote to authorize union leadership to call for Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strikes should that become necessary. But it’s not yet inevitable that a strike will occur.


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CASA DE PICO NAMED BEST RESTAURANT IN EAST COUNTY

Iconic Diane Powers restaurant honored by San Diego Regional East County Chamber of Commerce 

East County News Service

March 21, 2022 (La Mesa) - Diane Powers’ Mexican restaurant Casa de Pico has been named the “Best Restaurant in East County” by the members of the San Diego Regional East County Chamber of Commerce, awarded during the chamber’s 110th annual East County Honors ceremony on February 27.  


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DRIVE-THROUGH FOOD DISTRIBUTION FOR LEMON GROVE RESIDENTS MARCH 19

East County News Service

March 15, 2022 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove residents with proof of residency are invited to a drive-through food distribution this Saturday, March 19 at the Lemon Grove Recreation Center at 3131 School Lane.  The distribution starts at 9 a.m. and will continue while supplies last.

 

Please stay in your car and make sure your truck is clear so food and be loaded.  No walk-ups are allowed.


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VINTAGE ALPINE OFFERS TASTES FROM 40 LOCAL WINERIES, BREWERIES AND RESTAURANTS ON MAY 1

By Miriam Raftery

March 10, 2022 (Flinn Springs) – What could be more delightful than strolling through the beautiful gardens at Summers Past Farms, then sipping and savoring tastes from over 40 local restaurants, wineries and breweries?  It’s all for a good cause, too, benefitting the Kiwanis Club of Alpine Foundation, which supports services and programs for children in San Diego County.


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SAVOR A TASTE OF JULIAN, A RURAL DINING ADVENTURE APRIL 30

East County News Service

March 9, 2022 (Julian) – Julian’s annual “Taste of Julian” celebrates the town’s diverse culinary delights – proving there’s much more here than the community’s famed apples.  The self-guided tour includes a variety of participating restaurants, bakeries, and tasting rooms for wine, beer and cider on April 30 from 12:30 to 5 p.m.


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EAST COUNTY EATER: THE ALL NEW PUB AT LAKE CUYAMACA

By Henri Migala

March 6, 2022 (Julian) -- If you live in San Diego, then you have probably enjoyed a country drive to the charming mountain town of Julian and perhaps stopped to have lunch at what used to be the Lake Cuyamaca Restaurant overlooking the lake. It’s now under new ownership and has been fully renovated, reopened as the Pub at Lake Cuyamaca.


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ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION AT HOOLEY’S

East County News Service

March 2, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) - Hooley’s Public House, once voted most authentic Irish pub outside of Ireland, invites you to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday, March 17.  Both the Rancho San Diego and La Mesa locations will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with no cover charge.


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ST. PATRICK’S DAY TEAS MARCH 17-21 IN JULIAN

East County News Service

March 2, 2022 (Julian) – Julian Tea and Cottage Arts will be serving up St. Patrick’s Day Teas March 17-21, both indoors and outdoors, weather permitting.  They are also available to go.


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PRODUCE PICKS: POTATO TIME

By Greg Dunne                                            

March 1, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) --  It’s potato time! Yummy potatoes go with just about any meal. No, potatoes are not boring, they’re easy to cook with and delicious. With all the great varieties, Red Potatoes (also called new potatoes) White Potatoes, Yukon Gold, Purple, Russet, Baby Potatoes, they are fun to cook with.  And my favorites are potato pancakes-- see recipe at the end of article.


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EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB INVITES YOU TO ZEST WINE BISTRO FEB. 24 IN LEMON GROVE

 
You're invited! Our East County Dining Club is going to the wonderfull new Zest Wine Bistro at 8129 Broadway in Lemon Grove on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m.! 
 
Order anything you’d like off their amazing menu of international wines, tapas (appetizers), charcuterie boards with gourmet cheese/deli meats/nuts/fruits/jams and more, wraps, ahi, salads, seafood toastada, wrapped dates, shrimp cocktails, hummus and more. Full menu at https://www.zestwinebistro.com/. Outdoor seating includes heaters and a firepit. 
 
Proceeds benefit East County Magazine and East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts. We also have an amazing raffle with prizes including gift certificates from Zest Wine Bistro, Lamplighters Theatre Jasmine Creek Florist, Mike Hess Brewing, Maxwell's House of Books, Desert View Tower, San Diego: California’s Cornerstone books from Sunbelt Publications, items from other local businesses as well as wine lovers gifts and more.
 
Space is limted, so RSVP soon to editor@eastcountymagazine.org or call 619 698 7617. 

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HOLY GUACAMOLE! U.S. HALTS IMPORTATION OF MEXICAN AVOCADOS AFTER INSPECTOR THREATENED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC via Bing

February 14, 2022 (San Diego) – Your next batch of guacamole may cost a whole lot more.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has banned imports of Mexican avocados, in response to a threat made to an agriculture inspector.


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TWO RESTAURANTS IN ONE IN SANTEE: AL PASTOR TOWN AND THE OMELETTE FACTORY

Story and photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Feb. 9, 2022 (Santee) One location now has two restaurants. Since early January, Al Pastor Town has shared the commercial space with The Omelette Factory Santee on Magnolia Avenue.

The Omelette Factory Santee runs the breakfast, brunch, and lunch time period. Al Pastor Town operates the restaurant space from the afternoon until evening, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., Monday-Saturday.


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ROMANTIC IDEAS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

 

February 3, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Looking for some passionate places to treat your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day?  Here are several sweet spots in East County serving up specials to delight you and your darling.


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MIKE HESS BREWING ACQUIRES ALPINE BEER COMPANY’S OUTPOST, SAVES JOBS

By Miriam Raftery

February 1, 2022 (Alpine) – Beer lovers in East County will soon have more to cheer about.  Mike Hess Brewing of San Diego (www.mikehessbrewing.com) is expanding through their acquisition of Alpine Beer Company’s Outpost. The announcement comes after Alpine Beer Co. sold its Green Flash and Alpine brands in late December to Canada’s Tilray.


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THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF STARTING A HOME KITCHEN (MEHKO)

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Jan. 30, 2022 (East County) The County of San Diego’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Jan. 26 to adopt a local ordinance to allow, on a temporary two-year basis, Micro-Enterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKO) in the County. 

Apartments, leased spaces, and houses will all be considered private homes. The County cautions future home cooks to check their lease and see if a MEHKO is allowed. Multiple people are not allowed to each operate a MEHKO, or cottage food operation (CFO), in one residence.


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MAYO CLINIC STUDY FINDS CHOLESTEROL CAN BE LOWERED SUBSTANTIALLY WITH FOODS INSTEAD OF MEDICINE

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) -- I recently lowered  my “bad” cholesterol level by 33 points, simply by changing diet to largely eliminate saturated fats and adding cholesterol-lowering items such as oatmeal, blueberries, acai berries, salmon, and walnuts. My cholesterol dropped from the very high range to borderline normal, without any medications.

While I did not use any specifically formulated products, a study just published in the Journal of Nutrition has found that a “food as medicine” approach using Step One Foods can be as effective as medications at reducing cholesterol, without the need for drastic lifestyle changes.  


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ZEST WINE BISTRO OPENS JANUARY 20 WITH COZY INDOOR-OUTDOOR SEATING, TAPAS AND INTERNATIONAL WINES

Giardino owner Karina Kravalis welcomes second eatery in Lemon Grove

East County News Service

January 13, 2022 (Lemon Grove) -- Lemon Grove resident and restauranter Karina Kravalis is opening the doors to her latest anticipated project, Zest Wine Bistro which features a variety of delightful vintages from around the world as well as artfully arrayed tapas to savor. The wine bar features cozy indoor and outdoor seating, soon to include an outdoor firepit and heaters for year-round comfort.

The intimate and slick bistro has been a dream for Kravalis, who saw an opportunity to provide something she felt her neighborhood was missing but wanting.

 “After all these years of owning Giardino, I’ve learned that Lemon Grove and East County love their wine,” said Kravalis. “There are so many of us who share a passion for good wine, and wanted a place to sip and toast. Zest is just that - a social gathering space to come try and learn about wine, and nosh on good food."


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FUNDRAISER LAUNCHED TO HELP HAMLETT COFFEE HOUSE IN LEMON GROVE

East County News Service

January 13, 2022 (Lemon Grove) – A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Hamlett, Lemon Grove’s happening new gathering spot and coffeehouse. Opened six months ago, the start-up venture has weathered a pandemic, vandalisms, equipment failures and other financial set-backs. So now owner Shacole Hamlett is asking the public for help – and he has a detailed plan for long-term sustainability--with a little help from the community.

“Despite it all we have continued to serve our community, making amazing new connections and trying to bring joy, laughter, and love to each person who walks through our doors,” he says. “Our mission has never been about us, it's been about the community, creating space, and supporting local entrepreneurs!”

The Hamlett isn’t just a coffee shop serving up delicious fresh-brewed beverages.  It’s a showplace for community events such as open mic and comedy nights, workshops and more. It’s also an outlet for local businesses to sell wares ranging from teapots to soaps and launch their own new enterprises.


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DON’T EAT THESE RECALLED SALAD PRODUCTS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC via Bing

January 12, 2022 (San Diego) – Recalls have been issued for pre-packaged salads produced by Dole due to contamination with listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause serious or potentially fatal infections.  Brands recalled include Kroger, Marketside, HEB, President’s Choice, and Little Salad Bar 

Consumers should throw away any of these bagged salads, or return to the retailer.


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LEMON GROVE FOOD DISTRIBUTION JANUARY 15

East County News Service

January 12, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove residents can get free food during a drive-through food distribution Saturday, January 15 from 9 a.m. as long as supplies last at the Lemon Grove Recreation Center, 3131 School Lane in Lemon Grove.

Be sure your trunk is clear so food can be loaded; no walk-ups are allowed. 


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EAST COUNTY EATER: BUSY B THAI CAFÉ-- A TASTE OF THE FAR EAST IN EAST COUNTY

Story and photos by Henri Migala

January 10, 2022 (El Cajon) -- It seems that everywhere you look in East County, there is another culinary delight to discover. If you favor the flavors of the Far East, you must visit Busy B Thai Café, 330 Magnolia Ave, in El Cajon.

I spent my childhood growing up in Bangkok, Thailand, when my family was stationed there in the ‘60s, so I have a long-standing appreciation for Thai food and culture.

Visiting Busy B Thai Café is like slipping into a small piece of Bangkok, right in the middle of El Cajon. This charming and cozy restaurant is decorated with images and artifacts reflecting both the rich culture and religion of Thailand.


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HEALTHIEST DINING OPTIONS IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) -- If your New Year’s resolution includes eating healthier, you may want to visit some of the many healthy dining restaurants, cafes and take-out places right here in East County. 

There are many definitions of healthy dining, so we’ve included a variety of choices including vegan, vegetarian, heart-healthy, organic, natural, superfoods, salad and smoothie bars, farm-to-table and more.


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