East County Eater

Restaurant Information

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

Part III in a series

By the East County Eaters

Week 3:  Bleu Boheme (Kensington) and Cali Comfort (Spring Valley)

September 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)— For week three in our quest to bring you the most delightful and different happy hours across our inland region, we indulged in French cuisine and burgundy at Bleu Boheme, owned by a prominent San Diego retauranteur in Kensington. We also found fabulous half-price barbecue tri-tip and wings so hot they’re named for a local firefighters’ crew at Cali Comfort in Spring Valley, a sports bar and restaurant that has found the winning combination for hospitality.

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

 

Part II in a series

By the East County Eaters

 

Week 2:  Alpine Beer Company Pub (Alpine) and Vine Cottage (La Mesa)

September 11, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--Last week, we opened our Best Happy Hours in East County series by focusing on some premier locations for cocktails. This week, our eager team of eaters and drinkers hit the road once again, this time bringing you reviews of a local brewery’s pub that’s one of the most popular watering holes in the backcountry, along with a European-style bistro with a wonderful wine bar and some of the best happy hour food deals in town.

 

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY!

 

 

 

 

Part 1 in a series

By the very happy East County Eaters at East County Magazine

Week 1: Terra American Bistro (San Diego/La Mesa area) and Viejas Resort & Casino (Alpine)

September 4, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Our intrepid team of East County Eaters have been on the road in search of the best Happy Hours across our inland region. (It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!) Each week, we’ll be featuring two locales offering diverse experiences. Whether your tastes run to sushi bars or cowboy bars, wine bistros or craft brew pubs, urban eateries or mountain taverns, you’ll find plenty to whet your appetite!

To kick off our series, we start by featuring two of our favorites:  Terra American Bistro, a bistro and bar that prides itself on farm-to-table fresh cuisine--right down to the fresh-squeeze passionfruits in our cocktails and the refreshingly tasty and affordable appetizers, plus we tried our luck at Viejas Casino and Resort -- a four-star vacation destination hotel with some great specials sure to make you happy. Cheers!

EAST COUNTY EATER: FANTASTICO! NEW OWNERS ADD TO CULINARY APPEAL AT MEDITERRANEO ITALIANO BISTRO & BAR IN ALPINE

 

By the East County Eater

Mediterraneo Italiano Bistro & Bar, 1347 Tavern Road, Alpine 91901 (619)445-9902 http://mediterraneobistro.com/

March 24, 2014 (Alpine) –It’s been five years since the East County Eater first reviewed the Mediterraneo in Alpine, in a story titled “A Delightful Find in Alpine.”  Now there are new owners and a new head chef  with a menu focused on authentic Italian cuisine, raising the bar from “delightful” to “magnifico.”

DA! VILLAGE HOUSE KALINA SERVES UP AFFORDABLE RUSSIAN/UKRANIAN FEAST

 

Review by Mark Gavit

Village House Kalina

38302 Parkway Drive . La Mesa . CA . 91942 , (619)461-1100

http://www.kalinavillagehouse.com/#!

February 1, 2014 (La Mesa)--With a focus on Russian and Ukrainian dishes, The Village House Kalina does an excellent job of capturing the tastes and culture of these countries.

A HEARTFELT MESSAGE

 

Update January 3, 2014:  Five days after his heart surgery, which wound up being a quintuple bypass, we interviewed Leon in his hospital room.  Hear for yourself how energetic he's feeling - and how he's already setting the pace for walking a mile a day around the recovery ward. This interview aired on our East County Magazine Show on KNSJ Radio:  http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/1x5gj5h5h7/Leon-HospitalInterviewPost-Surgery.mp3

Editor’s Note:  We send warm wishes for a speedy recovery to Leon Thompson, our “East County Eater.”  If you were at our holiday party, you'll recall Leon gleefully carving up the prime rib.  Tomorrow, Leon is undergoing triple bypass surgery, or as he calls it, “the trifecta.”   Undaunted, he asked us to post this message for our readers—including his witty review of hospital food, along with his New Year’s resolution for healthy dining—and a special request for our readers.

By Leon Thompson, a.k.a. the East County Eater

December 26, 2013 (La Mesa)--This is Leon Thompson, otherwise known as the East County Eater to readers of East County Magazine. Today I’m reporting from Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.  My lifetime of savoring great foods, along with a family history of coronary artery disease, has finally caught up with me.  So I’ll be undergoing triple bypass surgery Friday morning—split down the middle like an oyster, with some fancy rerouting of my plumbing by the cardiac surgeon, and then I’ll be trussed up like a holiday turkey, with a few weeks to marinate before I’m back on the beat.

So by the time you hear this broadcast, hopefully I’ll have a healthy heart just in time for the New Year.

FROM BAY AREA TO COLLEGE AREA: BRIDGES BAR/GRILL/BAY SPANS THE GAP WITH CULINARY CHAMPIONS

 

 

 

 

 

Review by The East County Eater

 

December 10, 2013 (San Diego) -- The Bridges Bar/Grill/Bay at 4800 Art Way (off El Cajon Boulevard near 63rd Street) in the SDSU College area has it all.  A spacious sports bar with upscale and delicious food, specialty drinks, great local brews and excellent wines, Bridges is the perfect place for the East County Eater, who expects something special when dining out. 

Open for just over a year, Bridges is named for the seven bridges across the San Francisco Bay and delivers on the promise of Bay Area quality dining.  The restaurant is so-named because owner/CEO Salvatore hails from San Francisco and most of the seafood recipes come from that region.  Palma has a vision of an upscale and friendly sports bar with a menu reminiscent of the Bay Area. Bridges is just a few blocks from SDSU, but the atmosphere is 500 miles away to the north where great dining, seafood and sports combine for an upscale metropolitan experience.

EAST COUNTY EATER SAVORS “LA DOLCI VIDA” AT DOLCI CAFÉ ITALIANO

 

 

Review by the East County Eater

 Dolci Café Italiano,   2650 Jamacha Road,  Rancho San Diego (El Cajon) www.DolciCafeItaliano.com

 

 

 May 13, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)--Another culinary prize has turned up in East County.  Dolci Café Italiano is located next to Ralph’s in the Rancho San Diego Town and Country Shopping Center.  At once, the place felt entirely familiar and also seemed rooted in family and history.  It has the ambience of the Gaslamp District in Downtown San Diego—and for good reason.  George Georges, the owner - also owns three restaurants in The Gaslamp.  Chianti, La Fiesta and the Urban Bar & Grill.

George has been a restaurateur for 18 years.  He describes Dolci Café Italiano as “Italian-Mediterranean food served bistro café-style...Everything is cooked-to-order, everything is custom, everything is fresh, everything is gourmet…Even the lasagna.”

MASGOOF AT NAHRAIN: THE AFFORDABLE FEAST

 

 

East County Eater's Restaurant Review

Nahrain Fish & Chicken Grill (Facebook: NahrainFish&ChickenGrill)

1183 E. Main Street, #A, El Cajon, CA 92021 (619)334-3222

March 29, 2013 (El Cajon )—Masgoof—fish smoked whole in a clay oven with wood fire, Iraqi-style--at Nahrain Fish & Chicken Grill in El Cajon  is the freshest you’ll find in East County.  Choose from fish caught daily displayed in a glass case, or at times, take the opportunity to catch your own with a fishing net in a tiled pool inside this eatery, which is popular with  both Middle Eastern and Western customers.

My dining companion and I savor a whole red snapper that is tender and juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside with a paper thin skin and a delightful smoked wood flavor.  It is served with a mango sauce (amba) that is balanced, sweet and spicy, along with onions, tomatoes, lemon parsley and freshly baked tanoor bread.

EAST COUNTY EATER: O’S AMERICAN KITCHEN BLENDS BEST OF OLD AND NEW

Reinvigorated restaurant from founders of Pat & Oscars opens in Parkway Plaza

 

375 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon
http://www.osamericankitchen.com/

By Ellinoa Blake

Photos by Miriam Raftery and Ellinoa Blake

 

July 24, 2012 (El Cajon)--An abundance of my childhood memories are focused around food. One memory that stands out is sitting at a black and yellow booth, hot breadsticks in hand, at Pat and Oscars. This restaurant held memories of family dinners, or friendly lunches, so I was devastated when these restaurants closed. Now, with great joy I bring good news: the chain has been transformed into a delectable combination of new and old, a twist of familiarity and contemporary design, reopening as O’s American Kitchen.

EAST COUNTY EATERS: HISTORIC CHARM AND FRESH, FILLING FOOD AT EL CAJON’S DOWNTOWN CAFE

Downtown Café

182 East Main Street, El Cajon, CA 92020

www.downtowncafe-ec.com

By Ellinoa Blake

Last week, after a morning of all work and no play, my editor and I craved escape from the heat wave --and more importantly a bite to eat.

We headed into the heart of El Cajon to the aptly titled Downtown Café.  We found welcome relief from the sweltering heat as we swung open doors and stepped into the Downtown Café, a bold corner centerpiece of Main Street rich with vintage flair and historic ambience.

JANET'S MONTANA CAFE GIVES CUSTOMERS A TASTE OF THE WEST

By Sierra Great Food and Good TimesRobinson

2506 Alpine Blvd, Alpine, CA 91901

http://janetscafealpine.com/
 

June 12, 2012 (Alpine)- Janet’s Montana Cafe, a cozy little hideaway in Alpine, definitely shows the true meaning of western-style. The Old West theme was apparent the moment we walked in, greeted by large bull moose head on the wall.

BURGERS FROM DOWN UNDER: STEERS OPENS DOORS IN LAKESIDE

 9927 Maine Avenue
Lakeside, CA 92040

www.steersburgersfries.com

(619)390-9063

 By Sierra Robinson

June 12, 2012 (Lakeside)—Savoring flame-broiled, 100% Angus beef burgers at Steers, an Australian-based eatery that opened its first American restaurant in Lakeside last weekend, I predict that Steers will soon be rounding up a herd of loyal new customers.

After opening outlets in Australia and South Africa, the owners moved to La Jolla and scouted out an ideal location for their first U.S. venture. The site of the former Lakeside Steak House has been fully remodeled, serving up juicy burgers, espetadas (a shish-kabob like creation) and coming soon, steaks sizzling on the barbie. 

VIEJAS CASINO OPENS STUNNING NEW BUFFET

 

“As one of the first called to the table at Buffet at Viejas, I wish to say, ‘Thank you for a memorable feast. It was delightful.’”—Ariele Johannson
 
by Ariele Johannson
 
May 23, 2012 (Alpine)--The new Buffet at Viejas had its grand opening on Tuesday morning.  The fanfare included a tribal blessing from Kumeyaay elder Virginia Christman and traditional bird songs led by tribal member John Christman. Viejas Tribal Vice Chairman, Robert “Cita” Welch, addressed a crowd of tribal elders, leaders, local dignitaries, Chamber of Commerce representatives, public and the press during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. With the smell of sage in the air being prepared for the smudging, he called the new buffet at Viejas among the best in the San Diego area.  

EAST COUNTY EATER REVIEW: GINGHAM’S SERVES UP WHAT CARNIVORES CRAVE

 

By Miriam Raftery 
 
February 26, 2012 (La Mesa) –Judging from the crowd on a recent Wednesday night  at Gingham’s,  the restaurant has emerged as a new hot spot in La Mesa Village. Occupying the space formerly home to Gio’s, the new establishment features a remodeled interior and a dramatically different menu cooked up by celebrity chef Brian Malarkey, a finalist in Bravo TV network’s “Top Chef” competition. 

CHEERS! EL CAJON BREWING COMPANY SERVES UP MICROBREWS AND A FRESH MENU

 

By Mia Myklebust

February 12, 2012 (El Cajon)--When El Cajon Brewing Company opened in October, it joined the ranks of San Diego’s beer elite. The growing brewery culture in San Diego had a gap in East County that this local brewery and restaurant has filled with gusto.


From filling food to an array of craft beers brewed on site this El Cajon newcomer is well worth savoring.

GREAT GOURMET VALENTINE DINNERS TO SAVOR WITH YOUR SWEETHEART


February 4, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Satisfy your craving for a romantic night on the town this Valentine’s Day with a delicious dinner for two. Whether your passion is a gourmet repast at a French, Italian or American bistro or a meaty feast slow-smoked at a café on the County line, you’ll find plenty to tempt your taste buds and please your palate in East County. Scroll down for our East County Eater’s recommendations for this year’s best aphrodisiac dinners in our torrid inland region.

EAST COUNTY EATER: ZEYTOON SERVES UP ZESTY PERSIAN AND MEDITERRANEAN DELIGHTS

Zeytoon Restaurant at VineRipe Market

Persian and Mediterranean cuisine

8191 Fletcher Parlway
La Mesa, CA 91942    (next to CostCo)
(619) 462-7809        

By Megan McGlamery

Nestled in La Mesa next to the VineRipe Market is Zeytoon, a delicious Persian and Mediterranean restaurant now under new ownership. Zeytoon, which translates to olive, serves a wide variety of flavorful appetizers, salads, entrees and sandwiches, all of which are reasonably priced and generously sized. The market is also a treasure-trove of specialty foods from around the world.

Scroll down for coupons and details.

EAST COUNTY EATER: A TASTE OF JAMAICA

 

Laylah’s Patties & Jerk

5712 El Cajon Boulevard. San Diego, CA 92115
(619) 241-2948
www.LaylahsJamaicanRestaurant.com
laylahsreggae@gmail.com

 

By Megan McGlamery (guest host for the East County Eater)

EAST COUNTY EATERS: SWARMING TO SWAMI'S IN LA MESA

Swami’s Café
8248 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa CA 91941
(619)668-9030

 

Reviewed by a team of East County Eaters
 

July 2, 2011 (La Mesa) –When it came time to review Swami’s Café, East County Magazine found a team of eager volunteers. The menu is too vast and diverse for any single “eater” to assess, so we sent in our ravenous reviewers to sample the fare. Each enjoyed it so much that they went back again—and again!

VINE COTTAGE FULL OF PROMISE

Vine Cottage

6062 Lake Murray Blvd. La Mesa, tel. 465-0138

By Kristin Hobbs Kjaero, Guest writer for the "East County Eater"

 

March 3, 2011 (La Mesa) – While we have many fine family restaurants in East County, it’s an event of great anticipation when a new restaurant opens of a little fancier variety, and so it was when a friend and I went to try the new Vine Cottage in La Mesa for lunch. We came away with a mixed feeling of, if not complete delight, at least strong promise.

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CHEZ NOUS—HOME TO THE SPICY CHICKEN MELT THAT LOCALS CRAVE


Chez Nous Gourmet Deli and Café
9821 Carroll Canyon Road, Suite E, San Diego

858-566-4766
 

Review By Tanya Huang

 

December 15, 2010 (Scripps Ranch)--As I pull into the familiar small parking lot, the first places I’m forced to notice are Carl’s Jr. on my right and the local salon on my left. Then, slowly but surely, my eyes are drawn to the sky blue sign, “Chez Nous.” I feel as though I’ve spotted a long lost friend in a crowd of strangers. It’s been months since I’ve been home, in Scripps Ranch, and even longer since I’ve indulged in the best sandwich in town.

JEREMY’S ON THE HILL SERVES UP FARM-FRESH FINE DINING IN JULIAN


Jeremy’s on the Hill California-style Bistro

4354 Highway 78 (between Santa Ysabel and Julian)

(760)765-1587 

www.jeremysonthehill.com

 

By the East County Eater

 

BEST OF MIDDLE EAST COUNTY: GARDEN FRESH GRILL & SMOOTHIE

 

 

GARDEN FRESH GRILL & SMOOTHIE


6165 El Cajon Blvd., Suite F, San Diego 92115
(corner of College Ave. and El Cajon Blvd.)
(619)287-2373
www.gardenfreshsd.com  

 

Review by the East County Eater
 

 

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