Food & Wine

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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