Food & Wine

FINE FOODS IN A COZY NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT: BISTRO 60 AND SAN DIEGO DESSERTS

                                                                                       

 

By Ariele Johannson

July 15, 2014 (San Diego)--Ahi tatare, bbq pork cheeks, grilled scallops, chipotle linguine, and a homemade chocolate caramel bombe:  what do they all have in common?  All are foods selected, cooked, and presented by gourmet standards; offered up by Bistro 60, and thoroughly enjoyed by me and my dining companion.

SUMMER WINES: TASTING CLASS OFFERED AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE JULY 16 AND 23

July 11, 2014 (El Cajon) – East County Magazine’s new wine columnist and viticulture expert Don Rutkoff will conduct a two-week summer wine tasting class in the conservancy garden at Cuyamaca College from 6-8 p.m. on July 16 and 23.

“White and rose wines are very popular during the summer and come from all over the world. Local wineries are making excellent wines in these categories,” the course description states. Over two evenings, this class explores a short introduction of the grapes and winemaking methods, followed by several flights of 3-5 wines per flight, and discussion of food pairing.

SAN DIEGO WINE COUNTRY FESTIVAL JULY 12 AT BERNARDO WINERY

 

July 11, 2014 (Rancho Bernardo)—Wine aficionados can sip and savor vintages from over 20 local wineries at the San Diego County Vintners Association Wine Festival, including many East County vintners. The event takes place Saturday, July 12 from 1-6 p.m. at the Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo.

CHEERS! BROWN SIGNS BILL TO ALLOW WINE TASTING AT FARMER'S MARKETS

 

 

July 8, 2014 (Sacramento)—Now you can sip a chardonnay or sample a sangiovese while perusing produce and other food items at your local farmer’s market.  Starting immediately, a new bill signed into law today by Governor Jerry Brown legalizes wine tasting at farmer’s markets for winemakers.

BREW BEAT: WORLD CLASS BEER ON TAP IN EL CAJON

 

By Ed Barrenas

July 2, 2014 (El Cajon)--Micro-brewing is catching on around the nation, but if you don't have the means to visit microbreweries in other states, or even if fine local breweries just seem too far out of the way, head to The Downtown Cafe in the heart of downtown El Cajon.

Already boasting what I consider to be one of the best happy hours in East County, The Downtown Cafe also delivers a rotation of microbrews from around the country, that only a few establishments could hope to rival. There is also a full restaurant, and certain foods are offered at happy hour discounts.

BACK COUNTRY WINE PAIRING AT JEREMY'S ON THE HILL JULY 4 IN JULIAN

 

June 29, 2014 (Julian) – In the historic gold rush town of Julian, the 4th of July starts with a parade and American Legion barbecue.  Guests are invited to finish up a day in the mountains at Jeremy’s on the Hill, where a Backcountry wine pairing dinner will be held featuring organic, local produce from Sage Mountain Farms and wines from Shadow Mountain Vineyards and Sierra Roble Winery and Vineyard, both in Warner Springs. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $44 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

A LAVENDER AND WINE EXPERIENCE: JULY 23 AT RAMONA RANCH WINERY

 

 

 

July 1, 2014 (Ramona) – What could be finer than to savor a “Lavender and Wine Experience” plus catered delicacies?   Ramona Ranch Winery, Trezette’s Catering and Volcan Vista Farm invites you to “evoke your sensations” and meet the farmer, wine maker and chef on Wednesday evening, July 23 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. 

Learn about growing Lavender and Ramona’s exploding wine-region while creating your own custom sachet over a Lavender-themed buffet style dinner paired with a glass of Ramona Ranch Wine as the sun sets on the outdoor tasting terrace at Ramona Ranch Winery in Ramona.

GMO LABELING BILL DIES BY 2 VOTES AS LOCAL SENATORS SPLIT ON MEASURE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 18, 2014 (Sacramento)--While other states are taking steps to protect consumers from genetically modified foods or give consumers information to make informed choices, California’s Legislature this week voted down a bill that would have required labeling of foods sold in California that are made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.  Exceptions were granted for alcoholic beverages and foods sold at farmer’s markets.

TRAILBLAZER AWARDS PRESENTED TO LEADERS IN LOCAL WINE INDUSTRY AT EVENT BENEFITTING ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE’S CENTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Sue Brenner and Miriam Raftery

June 19, 2014 (El Cajon) – They pioneered East County’s  now-flourishing wine industry.  So on May 31st, Maness Vineyards presented the 2014 Trail Blazer Awards during a celebration held at St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center in El Cajon—which also is home to a new vineyard of its own.  More than 200 wine enthusiasts flocked to the event, savoring local vintages amid beautiful gardens.

Herman and Rose Salerno, founders of the Salerno Winery in Ramona, received the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. Other award winners were the William Clark family, founders of the Campo Creek Winery, along with Mike and Linda McWilliams, owners of the San Pasqual Winery in La Mesa.

TWISTED MANZANITA HOSTS SPIRITED ANNIVERSARY PARTY JUNE 28 IN SANTEE

 

 

Twisted Manzanita Ales in Santee is celebrating its 4th Anniversary on Saturday, June 28 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Santee Town Center Community Park East.

This year the brewery’s Anniversary Party will be all-inclusive, with an admission price that covers everything, including access to their Craft Spirits Lounge featuring Twisted Manzanita spirits. Guests will receive 6 samples of various craft spirits. The Anniversary Party will have a culinary spread provided by local San Diego restaurants.

FUNNEL CAKE EXPRESS

 

By Trevor Hill

June 16, 2014 (San Diego)--When attending the San Diego County Fair at Del Mar, any local will tell you that there are some certain “must-do” features that are required to get the full fair experience. These include attending the pig races, riding the ferris wheel, watching the amazing Bandolini, trying some bizarre fried foods, and, of course, eating a delicious funnel cake.

WINE PAIRING DINNER - FRIDAY, JUNE 13TH AT JEREMY'S ON THE HILL

 

June 12, 2014 (Ramona)--Ramona Ranch & Turtle Rock Ridge wineries are joining with Chef Jeremy at Jeremy's on the Hill to present a 5-Course Italian Wine Dinner on Friday, Friday June 13th at 7 p.m.  The menu and details are below.

BEAT THE HEAT WITH THESE FOODS TO HELP YOU STAY HYDRATED

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 6, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - As the weather heats up, it’s important to stay hydrated.  Experts advise drinking at least eight glasses of water a day--and if you’re hitting the hiking trail, it’s critical to carry plenty of water.

FIREFIGHTERS’ CHILI COOK-OFF: JUNE 26 IN ALPINE

 

June 7, 2014 (Alpine) – Firefighters from the Alpine, Viejas and Sycuan Fire Departments will be cooking up their hottest dishes for a chili-tasting challenge during the fourth annual Firehouse Cook-Off. 

Who’s got the tastiest chili in town? You be the judge on Thursday, June 26 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Alpine Library, 2130 Arnold Way in Alpine.

MYSTIC GRILL: A MEDITERRANEAN MEDLEY OF FLAVORS AT AFFORDABLE RATES

 

Mystic Grill and Bakery

8191 Fletcher Parkway, La Mesa, CA 91942

www.mysticgrillsd.com

Review by Stevon Marshall

June 5, 2014 (La Mesa)--When people hear or think of California, most think of the great weather, the celebrities living in Hollywood, amusement parks, and so on. But when it comes to food, most consider California’s trademark food to be burgers or Mexican fare. But with an influx of immigrants from around the world, San Diego’s East County is now home to an array of international restaurants – including quite a few serving up Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes.   

I've been living in California my whole life and I've dabbled in a variety of cuisines: Asian, Italian, Southern, some Mediterranean and of course, Mexican. So while interning at East County Magazine, we decided to take a team of tasters to try out Mystic Café, specializing in Mediterranean foods:  our editor, Miriam, our “East County Eater,” Leon, and myself, along with two of my internship peers, Jaden and Kayla.

CHEERS! SANTEE STREET FAIR AND CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND

 

May 29, 2014 (Santee)--The Santee chamber of Commerce invites you to join more than 60,000 visitors at the Santee Street Fair and Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for two-action packed days great for the whole family to enjoy. This free event will be held at Riverview Parkway and Town Center Parkway in Santee.

Celebrating its sixth year, the Street Fair will host its first annual beer festival featuring five local breweries; Twisted Manzanita Ales & Spirits, BNS Brewing & Distilling Co, Butcher’s Brewing, Pacific Islander Brewing Company and Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company. There will also be more than 300 various food and vendor booths, live entertainment, a family-friendly fun zone with games and attractions and more than a dozen carnival rides. Admission to the event is free and parking will be available adjacent to the event.

VERMONT TO REQUIRE GMO LABELING

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 4, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)-Vermont is poised to become the first state in the nation to enact legislation requiring labeling of products that contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.  Governor Pete Shumlin is expected to sign the bill on May 8.

BREW BEAT: OLD WEST APPEAL AT BNS BREWING & DISTILLING IN SANTEE

New column!  East County craft beers in your neighborhood

By Ed Barrena

May 4, 2014 (Santee)--BNS Brewing and Distilling Co. in Santee (www.bnsbrewinganddistilling.com) is a great brewery with an Old West appeal. I'd wager Wyatt Earp would probably want to tie his horse off next to the trophy trucks and motorcycles if he made a stop in East County. (Mr. Earp was known to play many a game of poker in what is now the Gaslamp).

The tasting room at BNS is a throwback to the days of the old saloons--and there is not a pint glass in the building, as most beers are served in mason jars. Above the bar hangs a vintage rifle and the tap heads are a mix of replica .50 caliber bullets and the stylish BNS logo.

DEADLY PIG DISEASE REACHES CALIFORNIA, PUSHING UP PORK PRICES

 

Precautions urged for farmers and people entering pigs in livestock competitons at fairs

By Miriam Raftery

May 3, 2014 (Sacramento) – A virus that is deadly to baby pigs has wiped out 10 percent of all pigs in America in the last year, the National Journal reports. 

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Chief economist, Dr. Joseph Glauber, the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus , or PED, has spread to 30 states.

That includes California, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The state's website does not list where in California the potent virus has been found.

KUMQUAT SALAD ADDS ZESTY COLOR AND CRUNCH TO SPRINGTIME DINNER TABLE

 

April 18, 2014 (La Mesa) – Kristin Kjaero sent in this appetizing photo of  Kumquat Salad, crowned by home-grown kumquats. The tart citrus fruits, thinly sliced, are served atop Napa cabbage along with red, yellow and green bell peppers all sliced cole-slaw style.  This creative salad served up at a Passover feast was topped by a honey-mustard vinaigrette dressing.

ALL ABOARD: WINE AND RAIL EVENT EMBARKS ON APRIL 26

 

April 16, 2014 (Campo) – The Mountain Empire Campo Kiwanis invites you to savor an afternoon of leisure in the beautiful backcountry, riding the historic Pacific Southwest rails.  The journey departs from the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo, where a $45 ticket includes wine tasting by the East County Vintners Association, live presentations by local wineries, heavy hors d’oeuvres, presentations by historians and wineries, as well as a scenic train ride.

HOT TEA IN THE LAVENDER FIELDS: APRIL 25-26

 

April 4, 2014 (Valley Center)—What could be more delightful than a springtime English-style high tea amidst blooming fields of lavender?  Keys Creek Lavender Farm in Valley Center is serving up a delectable menu including lemon lavender scones with jam and Devonshire cream, appetizers, sandwhiches, smoked turkey, truffled egg salad, chicken tarragon, fresh fruit,  raspberry crème roulade, Viennese chocolate vanilla crescents, lavender lady kisses and an assortment of hot teas.

COLLEGE AREA TASTE OFFERS A SAMPLING SOIREE APRIL 13

 

April 1, 2014 (San Diego) – Organizers of the College Area Taste invite you to treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure on Sunday, April 13, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event will showcase over 22 diverse dining destinations in the College Area. Scout out new favorite eateries and visit your regular go-to spots as you satisfy your stomach with scrumptious samples from quaint cafés to budding bistros around the ever-evolving College Area.

ARRIBA! HOT ROD SHOW AND HOT CHILI COOKOFF APRIL 12 IN JAMUL

 

April 10, 2014 (Jamul) – The 6th Annual Kiwanis Hot Rod Show and Chili Cookoff will be firing up on Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the: Pio Pico/ Thousand Trails Park in Jamul. The event includes an all=-class car show and chili cookoff plus raffle prizes, food, beer garden live band and DJ, and children’s play area.

RESTAURANT RECIPES: CASA DE PICO’S CHEESE CRISP SPECIAL IS PERFECT FOR YOUR NEXT FIESTA

 

 

March 30, 2014 (La Mesa)--The Cheese Crisp Special was popular among Casa de Pico customers from the first day it was served in 1971. Diane Powers, owner and operator of Bazaar del Mundo Shops and the Bazaar del Mundo Restaurant Group, wanted to create a unique signature dish. The 40-year-old recipe consists of a crisp flour tortilla, topped with refried beans, two kinds of beef or shredded chicken, melted cheese, fresh avocado slices, tomato wedges, guacamole and sour cream.

“It’s popular because you taste lots of our Mexican flavors,” said Manager Lino Rodarte. The Cheese Crisp Special originated at Casa de Pico, which has since relocated to La Mesa’s Grossmont Center. It can also be found at all Powers’ restaurants – Casa Guadalajara in Old Town, Casa de Bandini in Carlsbad, and Casa Sol y Mar in Del Mar Highlands. 

Exclusive to East County Magazine, Casa de Pico has shared its signature Cheese Crisp Special recipe below.

MICOLE MOORE ELECTED PRESIDENT OF RAMONA VALLEY VINEYARD ASSOCIATION

 

March 29, 2014(Ramona) The Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) elected Vintner Micole Moore, of Ramona Ranch Winery to serve as President of the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association for 2014.   The RVVA represents nearly100 vineyards and wineries, with the Ramona Valley AVA recently named the fastest emerging wine-region in California.  Located approximately 35 miles NE of San Diego, the Ramona Valley is nestled in the front range of the Pacific coastal mountains of Southern California and has a rich history of vineyards and wine making, dating back to the early missions.  Hot days and cool nights, influenced by the coastal marine layer and fog, contribute to conditions that produce quality wine grapes in the Ramona Valley.

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.”

LUCK O’ THE IRISH: HOOLEYS NAMED BEST INTERNATIONAL IRISH PUB

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2014 (Rancho San Diego) – “To think that a little pub in Rancho Santa Fe could win this—it’s fabulous!” exclaims Craig MacDonald, owner of Hooleys Irish Pub & Grill in Rancho San Diego, hoisting a pint to celebrate his establishing being  named best international Irish pub in the world.

We caught up with MacDonald during a 15th anniversary party at Hooleys, where  he proudly showed his award--then told us how he learned of this fine honor.

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