Food & Wine

FREE FOOD! SPRING VALLEY LIBRARY TO HOST VEGETARIAN DAY

April 1, 2009 (Spring Valley)--The Spring Valley Library, 836 Kempton Street, will host “Vegetarian Day @ Your Library” on Saturday, April 25 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. This one-day free event will offer a wide variety of presentations on the ethical, environmental, health and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. The public is invited to sample a variety of vegetarian foods, fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day.

TAKING ROOT: VICTORY GARDENS SPROUT IN SAN DIEGO

April 2, 2009 (San Diego)--San Diego Roots, in coordination with several grassroots food and gardening groups, announces the formation of Victory Gardens San Diego. The group’s mission is to encourage and assist in the development of sustainable, healthy, Earth-friendly home, community and school food gardens throughout the San Diego area. The movement aims to foster appreciation for the taste of fresh healthy food grown locally. Participants are invited to share with family, friends, and community while teaching children about healthy food and where it comes from.

EAST COUNTY EATER - THE VINE WINE BAR & BISTRO: VINTAGE CHARM IN ALPINE

 

2502 Alpine Blvd., Alpine CA 91901
(619)722-7046
www.visitthevine.net

April 1, 2009 (Alpine) — Let me recommend a sure-fire place to unwind. The Vine Wine Bar & Bistro in Alpine is situated in a cozy wooden building with hand-hewn beams and split-rail trim, reminiscent of places sure to be found in the back-closets of our memories. Places surrounded by trees and cool running creek water. How could you not feel comfortable in a restaurant that has a tree growing up through the middle of the bar and a huge river-rock fireplace warming the place?

CULINARY STUDENTS AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE SERVE UP FIVE--COURSE MEALS: PUBLIC WELCOME!

March 8, 2009 (El Cajon)--You don't have to be a starving student to enjoy feasts prepared by Grossmont College's Culinary Arts Department, which is hosting five-course dinners prepared by culinary students on Thursday evenings from now through mid-May. The public is invited on the campus for the dinners. Cost is $15 per person. Funds will help raise money for travel expenses for students to compete in state and national culinary competitions, as well as maintain kitchen equipment and purchase supplies.

ST. PATRICK'S DAY FESTIVITIES AT HOOLEYS: LIVE BANDS, IRISH FARE & A BRITISH-STYLE DOUBLE-DECKER BUS

By Miriam Raftery

Shepherd's Pie

March 7, 2009 — Sure 'n there's no finer place to hoist a pint of ale and toast St. Patrick's Day than at Hooleys Irish Pub and Grill, the most authentic Irish setting you'll find this side of the Emerald Isle! Charmed by the warmth of an Irish Pub in Ireland, Craig MacDonald and two friends created the original Hooleys in Rancho San Diego in 1999--importing all interior elements from Ireland, right down to the polished brass whiskey still and the old church pews supporting the bar. Now ten years later, Hooleys has opened a second location in Grossmont Center, La Mesa, featuring many elements from the Auld Sod. Fortunately, you don't have to choose which Hooleys in which to celebrate--since the proprietor has lined up double-decker bus to ferry party-goers from one Hooleys location to the other.

EAST COUNTY EATER: OY VEY! BEST DELI IN TOWN: DZ AKINS

Photos of celebrities who have dined at DZ Akins

Editor's Note: Due to a family member's illness, the East County Eater has been eating mostly hospital food for the past month. So guest columnist Denise Di Mascio fills the Eater's shoes this month with a review of a local favorite.

DZ Akins
6930 Alvarado Rd
San Diego, CA 92120
(619) 265-0218
www.DZakinsdeli.com

OUR GUIDE TO THE MOST ROMANTIC RESTAURANTS TO TAKE YOUR SWEETHEART ON VALENTINE'S DAY

By Miriam Raftery

February 7, 2009 — Where are the sweetest spots to savor a romantic Valentine's dinner for two in San Diego's eastern region?

East County Magazine's restaurant reviewers, staff and editors have teamed up to offer these recommendations for places that offer not only fabulous food, but a cozy ambience ideal for wining and dining your sweetheart this Valentine's Day.

RANCHO SAN DIEGO RESTAURANT INFURIATES CHAINS BY GIVING AWAY HUNDREDS OF FREE MEALS

By Miriam Raftery

February
1, 2009 (Rancho San Diego) —
We have seen many types of restaurant promotions
to grab our attention. However, Brenda Nason, owner of Bistro D'Vine in Rancho
San Diego, simply takes the cake. Her goal is to give one free meal to
every household in the Rancho San Diego area that has not already been to her
restaurant.

FLAVORS OF THE GARDEN: VALENTINE'S DAY TOUR AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE'S WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN

February 1, 2009 (El Cajon) -- Savor a flavorful tour of the Water Conservation Garden on Saturday, February 15th at 11:30 a.m. Tour includes samples of sweet and savory flavors from the botanical world including fruits, vegetables, and herbs--and then there is chocolate!

BLEU BOHÈME, A PLACE TO SHARE WITH A FAVORITE FRIEND –TRES BIÉN!

(Leon Thompson)

4090 Adams Avenue
Kensington, CA 92116
619-255-4167
www.blueboheme.com

January 10, 2009 (Kensington) — Is there life east of I-15? Oui, and great food too. I've shown you world-class Mexican food, neighborhood sushi, continental cuisine in Alpine. Now the crème-de-la-creme: fabulous French food in an unpretentious casual restaurant called Bleu Bohème!

The atmosphere transports you to a long-ago French countryside. The feeling is like being in an ancient limestone and wood-beamed roadhouse filled with great food and grog for the long distance traveler. The banquet room conjures images of wine and revelry. At least that's my take on the place. I kept expecting a huge roasted pig with an apple in its mouth served on a platter. But then I have a vivid imagination.

U.S. CRANBERRY MARKETING COMMITTEE PARTNERS WITH SAN DIEGO-BASED SOUPLANTATION

Partnership promotes benefits of cranberries During
the Month of December

December 3, 2008 (SAN DIEGO) — San
Diego-based Souplantation, voted one of "America's Healthiest
Restaurants" by Health magazine, has formed a partnership with the Cranberry
Marketing Committee (CMC), a committee established by the federal government
that works to promote and inform the public about the benefits of U.S. cranberries.
Souplantation restaurants will also feature several cranberry-filled recipes
on their December menu to celebrate the partnership.

TALKING TURKEY: BEST THANKSGIVING OPTIONS FOR EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS

By Miriam Raftery

Credit: Leon Thompson

Whether your holiday spirit hearkens for a traditional feast or offbeat alternative
activities, you’ll find plenty of tempting choices in and around East
County this Thanksgiving weekend.  Here are a few of my favorite discoveries
for ECM readers to savor:

VINES AND STEINS - ORFILA VINEYARD & WINERY

By Richard Noel

Orfila employee Dolores Castaneda pours a generous taste
for Shari Zollo (right) of Vista, who enjoyed the festivities with Barbara
Deuel and Drea Zollo Bush (both of Oceanside).

“Oh yes, it’s Eighties night!”

For all those who still wear their sunglasses at night, you could have worn
them to Orfila Vineyards’ tasting room as the crew kept the doors open
late on October 23rd for a special evening of uncorked fun.  With a 1980s
music theme, wine club members and other visitors enjoyed listening to blasts
from the past while sipping the Escondido winery’s latest hits.  Tasting
room manager Benjamin Wier put together what may be the first of many more
late-night events to come, and pulled it off with the flair of a high school
reunion. 

HUNGRY IN EAST COUNTY

Story and photos by Gayle Early

November 1, 2008 (La Mesa/Spring Valley) - It’s 7:00 a.m., third Saturday of the month. The line behind Crosspointe Life Church in La Mesa snakes through the parking lot and all the way down the alley. Feeding America, a nonprofit agency formerly known as Second Harvest, has dropped off its monthly food distribution here in La Mesa, where demand from hungry people seeking food has leaped 103% this quarter. Volunteers also picked up fresh produce and staples from Albertson’s and are setting up tables. Distribution starts at 9:00 a.m. It’s chilly. Many are camped out in chairs, huddled with blankets, surrounded by retractable shopping carts, canvas and plastic bags, bins, cardboard boxes, even laundry baskets with which to carry food home. If they have a home. It’s a long wait.

EAST COUNTY EATER - MEDITERRANEO BISTRO BAR & GRILL: A DELIGHTFUL FIND IN ALPINE

Mediterraneo Bistro Bar & Grill
1347 Tavern Road, Alpine 91901
(619)445-9902.

October 1, 2008 (ALPINE) - Dining at the Mediterraneo
Bistro Bar & Grill,
one can almost imagine oneself savoring a meal near the Mediterranean Sea.  Perched
on a hilltop with distant ocean views visible through a screen of trees in  rural
Alpine, this eatery has the feel of a sophisticated, upscale European restaurant.
Contemporary and modern décor, colorful artwork, cozy seating and a
well-stocked bar add flair to this backwater watering hole, which also features
cozy seating and large, heated outdoor dining area.

TAP INTO THE MAIN TAP TAVERN

Story and photos by Jolene Crowley

 

Courtesy of Main Tap Tavern.
Main Tap Tavern in El Cajon boasts 24 hand-blown glass tap handles created
by local artist Dan McStocker.

The
rehabilitation and beautification of Main Street in El Cajon continues with
the July opening of Main Tap Tavern.  Currently owned and operated by
the East County father and son team, T. L. and Zack Summers, this prime location
had been a dive bar since the ‘60s.

Vines and Steins - Gio Wine Bar

Editor's note:  Gio's has gone out of business, however a new restaurant has opened in its place. 

By Richard Noel

If you’re out and about in East County and in the mood for a great glass of wine in an elegant atmosphere, relax with the knowledge that this urge will not require you to drive into the urban core of San Diego and spend an exorbitant amount of time or money just to park your car.  That’s because GIO Restaurant in downtown La Mesa has opened the doors to its much-awaited wine bar. 

East County Eater - Superb Sushi in Santee

OISHII JAPANESE & THAI CUISINE  10251 Mast Blvd., Santee

619-596-4852

www.oishiisantee.com



September 1, 2008 (Santee) -- Santee Sushi?

 If you thought East County only has cowboy and biker bars, you must not have ventured east of I-15 lately, where you will find a rich assortment of sushi bars sprouting up at prices far less than you’d pay at chi-chi sushi shops (down by the sea shore) in La Jolla or Del Mar.

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