Food & Wine

DISTILLERY PARTNERS TO PROTECT CALIFORNIA’S SHORELINES, SHARES “TOAST TO THE COAST” RECIPE

East County News Service

May 13, 2020 (San Diego) - Humboldt Distillery has partnered with the California Coastkeeper Alliance as a part of their new program 'Toast to the Coast'. With coastlines and waterways experiencing a natural resurgence during the pandemic's stay-at-home orders, Humboldt Distillery is thrilled to be helping preserve and protect the nature that has sprung back to life and to aid in CCKA's fight for swimmable, fishable and drinkable water for all Californians. 


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LA MESA RETAILERS BEGIN TO REOPEN

 

 

By Miriam  Raftery

 

May 9, 2020 (La Mesa) – Just in time for Mother’s Day, some La Mesa retailers have reopened for curbside sales. Tiramisu Trattoria, a popular eatery closed for eight weeks, has reopened its doors for takeout orders. San Pasqual Winery is offering a health care worker, local restaurant and wine-to-go promo. Other businesses, not yet open, offered messages of encouragement for the community in storefront windows. 


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HIGH ROAD KITCHENS PROGRAM HELPS LOCAL RESTAURANTS PROVIDE FREE MEALS AND REHIRE LAID-OFF WORKERS

Region’s workforce experts equip local restaurants to feed essential workers and community members in need. Restaurant owners commit to increase wages and equity for employees over time, led by Ponce’s and Super Cocina.

 

Photo courtesy of High Road Kitchens

 

East County News Service

May 11, 2020 (San Diego) -- Governor Newsom’s administration on May 1st announced a program called High Road Kitchens, a statewide network of independent restaurants that provide food on a sliding scale to low-wage workers, health care workers, first responders and others in need.

Launched during the COVID-19 crisis, High Road Kitchens provides jobs for restaurant workers and a subsidy for responsible restaurant owners who commit to paying a living wage and following equitable employment practices across the state.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership and The San Diego Foundation are coordinating with local restaurants in the region – including Ponce's Mexican Restaurant and Super Cocina in conjunction with the One Fair Wage campaign – to fund the training, start-up costs and initial wages for workers rehired as part of this initiative.


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PANDEMIC FOOD BENEFITS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: cc via SA-Bing

May 10, 2020 (San Diego) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) has provided the following information on new food benefits approved by Congress and the state of California to assist recipients of EBT, WIC and CalFresh programs during the pandemic. She also provides details on a new state program to enable restaurants to deliver meals to seniors, aid to food banks and more, with links to helpful resources.

Below is the information provided by her office:

As COVID-19 began to disrupt life in America, Congress moved swiftly and passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to help families impacted by the pandemic.


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BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM AND REDUCE INFLAMMATION WITH ORZO CHICKPEA SOUP IN TURMERIC-GINGER BROTH: RECIPE FROM SHARP REES-STEALY MEDICAL GROUP

East County News Service
 
May 6, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Stuck in a dinner rut? Warm your belly without busting your budget with this easy, healthy soup recipe provided by Sharp Rees-Stealy medical group.
 
Chicken soup is good for the soul, but chickpea soup can be made straight from the pantry. This hearty recipe, a favorite of Dr. Angie Neison, a family medicine and culinary medicine doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy, features turmeric-ginger tea — which helps reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system. New research findings show inflammation is a key factor in severe cases of COVID-19 and other illnesses.
 
Orzo and Chickpea Soup With Turmeric-Ginger Broth
Yields 2 servings

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STATE SUPERINTENDENT ANNOUNCES NEW BENEFIT PROGRAM TO HELP STUDENTS WITH FOOD INSECURITY DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Source:  State Superintendent’s office
 
May 2, 2020 (Sacramento) -- California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a new food assistance program for children throughout the state who are living in households struggling with food insecurity. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program provides electronic food benefits to families equal to the value of meals children eligible for free or reduced-priced meals would have received at school.

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FARMERS UNION CITES CONCERNS OVER EXECUTIVE ORDER ON MEAT PLANTS

By Mike Moen, Public News Service

Photo:  Unions across the country say the meat processing industry should have enacted adequate worker safeguards long before the pandemic. (Adobe Stock)

May 1, 2020 (Madison, Wis.) - At least 20 meat processing plants have closed temporarily across the country, including one in Wisconsin, following the spread of COVID-19 cases at these facilities.

And some say President Donald Trump was too quick to sign an order to keep all plants open during the crisis.


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EASY CANNED TUNA MEALS YOU’VE NEVER THOUGHT OF BEFORE

Recipes and photos courtesy of Safe Catch Tuna
 
Photo, left: Tandouri tuna kebabs
 
May 1, 2020 (San Diego) -- People are eating at home more amid the pandemic. With everything going on it can be hard to get creative with what you have on hand, while you are trying to avoid running to the store to pick up that missing ingredient or spice, at a time when many are also on reduced income. As people stocked up on non-perishable pantry goods, one thing that many people loaded their shelves with was canned tuna. 
 
A tin of tuna is not just good for sandwiches and cheesy noodle casseroles. Tuna is a versatile protein that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are a few recipes to spark creativity with this pantry staple. 

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COVID-19 EMERGENCY ALLOTMENTS FOR CALFRESH RECIPIENTS

East County News Service

April 21, 2020 (San Diego) - In April, CalFresh recipients will receive an Emergency Allotment (EA) on their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card. This benefit was authorized by House Resolution 6201 – The Families First Act signed into law on March 18, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. 


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RESTAURANTS LOOK TO INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR AID TO SURVIVE CRISIS

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

Photo:  Creative Commons via Bing

April 17, 2020 (Sacramento) - Consumer groups want insurance companies to help prop up the restaurant industry, which has taken a massive hit in the COVID-19 crisis. Tens of thousands of restaurants have been forced to close their dining rooms, and many have closed entirely, resulting in massive layoffs.


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COVID PROMPTS SCHAWARMA SHOP IN ALPINE TO CLOSE: OWNER SEEKS BUYER

By Miriam Raftery
 
April 17, 2020 (Alpine) – Many restaurants are struggling due to the COVID-19 emergency that has forced restaurants to stop offering dine-in services.  While some have been offering take-out or delivery in an effort to stay afloat, the owners of the Schawarma Shop (formerly Greek Village Grill) in Alpine have announced plans to sell their newly remodeled restaurant due to the pandemic’s impacts.
 
Below is their announcement with details:
 
An Urgent Message to All Alpine Entrepreneurs

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LOCAL FARMS OFFER FRESH MEATS, EGGS, FRUITS, VEGGIES AND MORE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR – OR PICKUP CURBSIDE

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Creative commons via Bing

April 5, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - If you’re looking to avoid grocery store lines and support local farmers while enjoying fresh, locally grown foods, there are now dozens of local farms and ranches eager to meet your needs.

The San Diego Sustainable Living Institute has a website listing dozens of local farms, including locations, that provide curbside service,shipping, and/or delivery during the COVID-19 shutdown.  View their site here: https://www.sdsustainable.org/san-diego-farms 


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LA MESA FARMER’S MARKET IS BACK – WITH “ON THE GO” SERVICE

By Miriam Raftery

April 4, 2020 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s Certified Farmer’s Market has returned with an “On the Go” model to comply with county rules barring crowds. Now you can place your order online by 3 p.m. Thursday and choose a drive-through pick up time for Friday between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Allison Avenue parking lot (between Palm and 4th).

Visit the On the Go Farmers' Market website for complete details!


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LOCAL WINERIES JUICE UP MARKETING EFFORTS AMID COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

April 3, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The statewide COVID-19 order shutting down non-essential businesses has forced wineries to close their tasting rooms.  But customers can still order wine to pick up at their favorite local winery, or have wine shipped to them. Many are offering specials, making this a good time to stock up your wine cellar, indulge in a few bottles of locally produced vintages, or mix up your own wine cocktail version of a “quarantini.”


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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.

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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STORES OFFER SPECIAL SHOPPING HOURS FOR SENIORS


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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:


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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.

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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.


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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:


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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.
 

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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.

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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.


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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

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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.


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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.

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