Food & Wine
April 23, 2014 (Santee) – Just in time for this weekend’s fishing derby , Santee Lakes has provided this recipe for “Pat’s Smoked Catfish” from Patrick and Gina Neely.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
By Miriam Raftery
March 5, 2014 (Santee) – With its mesquite-grilled steaks and walls lined with neckties snipped from good-spirited patrons, Pinnacle Peak has long been a favorite dining spot in East County. Many of our readers savored prime rib from Pinnacle Peak at our holiday party and next up, will be enjoying a special New Orleans-style feast at our Mardi Gras party March 12. (View your invitation here.)
Owner Toni Toni Petroro wants customers to know, "We're still here!" A story in a Santee online news site indicated the city wants to lease the land where the restuarant now sits for condominum development. But the restaurant isn't closing after 30 years of serving the community. Instead, they'll be relocating to the heart of cowboy country in East County's Lakeside. Soon, Pinnacle Peak will be moving into the former Lakeside Steakhouse location on Maine Street in downtown Lakeside. But there’s still time to stop by the original location for old times sakes!
By Ariele Johannson
March 6, 2014 (Crest)--Mimi Kirk has written her second book on raw food cuisine entitled Live Raw Around the World, and it abounds with multicultural recipes from France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Greece, India and Thailand. Mimi Kirk, a local author from Ramona, presents techniques and information on how to create surprisingly delicious raw food recipes at home. Her presentation included a live demonstration, creating almond milk in her food processor and using a spiral slicer to make “pasta” out of vegetables. After her demonstration, Mimi served the small gathering a sampling of stuffed mushrooms; vegetable pasta with tomatoes, olives, and cashews that resemble parmesan cheese for the topping; and small delectable cookies adorned with small carob chocolate chips.
February 22, 2014 (Santee)—Gearing up to launch its brand nationally, the former Manzanita Brewing Company and Manzanita Distilling Company has announced a name change to reflect the twisted Manzanita tree that grows wild throughout California.
Jeff Trevaskis owner and founder stated, “We wanted to unify our logos and focus on our tree. People always ask us what Manzanita stands for or if we make cider, due to the alternate meaning of Manzanita in Spanish, “little apple”. By clearly focusing on the uniquely beautiful and twisted Manzanita tree we are making it clear what our logo represents. Manzanita will always focus on making great balanced beer, but adding the Twisted just helps to define our image.”
February 10, 2014 (Ramona) – Ramona vintners invite you to visit Ramona's Wine Country for Valentine's Day Weekend (Friday - Sunday), and enjoy Ramona's East End Winery Loop, a scenic drive connecting three local wineries, Ramona Ranch, Vineyard Grant James, and Turtle Rock Ridge. Each winery will be providing a special pairing in honor of Valentine's Day all weekend.
February 10, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--The worst drought in California history is hitting farmers hard—and soon, consumers may be paying higher prices as a result.
February 7, 2014 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove Historical Society invites you to the organization’s annual Valentine Tea on Sunday, February 9 at 2 p.m. This classic, four-course English high tea will be held in the historic H. Lee House at 3205 Olive in Lemon Grove.
Review by Mark Gavit
Village House Kalina
38302 Parkway Drive . La Mesa . CA . 91942 , (619)461-1100
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.
Review by Julian Rudd-Falls
La Mesa Bistro and Bakery, 8697 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa http://www.lamesabistro.com/
January 25, 2014 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa Bistro and Bakery has a diverse menu of tasty foods. Serving breakfast and lunch, this Bistro and Bakery is perfect for anyone look for a good dine-in.
Upon entering La Mesa Bistro and Bakery, I noticed it has an extremely long list of specials near the entrance. I grabbed a menu from next to the register, and stepped into line. Although I had two or three people ahead of me, I wasn’t truly sure I would be able to browse their very large menu in time to choose a food I’d like to eat! Depending on what mood you’re in, their menu offers dishes from burgers and waffles to healthful fruit smoothies.
By Sharon Penny
County Contends Amendments Will Clarify Existing Ordinance; Wineries See Restrictions with Major Impacts
January 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--The County of San Diego held a Tiered Winery Ordinance Workshop on January 17 in an effort to discuss and solicit feedback from the public on its draft zoning ordinance amendments that will affect local wineries.
More than 100 people were in attendance, many representing a variety of boutique wineries in San Diego County.
There was a unanimous sentiment from local vintners that the proposed amendments would place burdensome restrictions on local wineries, leading to the destruction of the county’s burgeoning small business operations.
January 9, 2014 (Crest) --Local author & Chef Mimi Kirk, will show you how to make several easy, delicious and healthy raw food recipes at a special event at the Crest Library, 104 Juanita Lane in El Cajon, on Tuesday January 14 from 6-7 p.m..
Kirk has been voted sexiest vegetarian over 50 in a national contest. She's now 75 and attributes a raw foods diet to her high energy level and health. Samples will be offered and books will be available for purchase and signing.
By Lydia Wisz
A group of forward thinking “movers and shakers” in the clinical world together on November 9 to discuss how food profoundly matters. The Nutrition in Healthcare Leadership Team (NHLT) is a subcommittee of the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, a program facilitated by Community Health Improvement Partners. This public health program is supported through partnerships with, Health Care Without Harm and San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility.
All of these groups have coalesced to strengthen San Diego’s healthcare systems to promote healthful and sustainable food practices. This training inspires us to take a serious look at how our western diet is linked to our western disease epidemic.
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.
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.
December 19, 2013 (San Diego)--This Thursday December 19th, from 2 to 4
p.m., the Neighborhood Market Association will be donating 200 turkeys to
families in need this holiday season.
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.
By the East County Eater
December 10, 2013 (Santee) -- The Santee Chamber of Commerce hosted its 26th annual Taste of Santee at Union Bank on December 5. The place was packed for this popular event, which was free for guests who brought a new toy or food item for Santee Santas.
Fifteen restaurants, breweries and wineries brought their best stuff. The food was delicious. Olive Garden brought its signature lasagna and salad with creamy Italian dressing. Pinnacle Peak came to let everyone know they are still around and intend to relocate in a year or so (following an impending land sale); they just may be the last genuine, mesquite grilled steak-house in town. The Manzanita Brewery unveiled its coffee brewed Ale. he brew had a hint of rich coffee bean flavor that made me think how natural it was to roast hops, barley and coffee beans together to make beer.
November 28, 2013 (La Mesa)--EDCO would like to remind residents that kitchen fat, oil and grease (FOG) that’s left over from daily cooking, or after deep frying a Thanksgiving turkey, can be recycled. For interested residents, EDCO has a free, safe and more environmentally friendly option for disposing of household FOG.
Residents are asked to simply collect used discarded FOG in a leak-proof container and drop it off free of charge at one of EDCO’s conveniently located Buyback Centers. The FOG will then ultimately be processed, filtered and converted into bio-diesel by a third party processor to power vehicles.
By Miriam Raftery
Don’t want to cook? Bon appétit! Several restaurants in East County and San Diego’s inland region are offering Thanksgiving feasts for dining in or take-out. Feast your eyes on this year’s offerings from Andiamo, Bleu Boheme, Cali Comfort, and Pine Hills Lodge. Know of a feast we missed? Please post in the comments section below.
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Public Interest News Service
November 18, 2013 (Los Angeles) – Country-of-Origin-Labeling, or COOL, requires labels on meat sold in the U.S. to clearly state where that meat comes from.
And it isn’t sitting well with some foreign countries, along with groups in the U.S. that are working to get the rule quashed.
Joe Maxwell is a livestock farmer and the vice president of outreach and engagement for the Humane Society of the United States. His organization has helped form a coalition to try to keep the law in place.
As a livestock farmer, Maxwell says this should be a major concern for consumers and farmers alike, as some countries do not have health and safety rules for raising animals, and meat processing standards are lower.
November 14, 2013 (San Diego) – “We’ll take all of the stress out of your Thanksgiving Dinner this year,” Bistro 60/San Diego Dessert’s website promises. The restaurant, located at 5987 El Cajon Boulevard in the SDSU College area is taking orders for Thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings for $165 – or less than $15 per person. Orders must be placed and payment received by November 19.
The menu includes oven roasted turkey (serves 10-12, additional turkeys available for $50), all of the following side dishes: cranberry relish, homemade stuffing, corn bread, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and glazed carrots. Dessert includes choice of pumpkin, pecan or apple pie. Extra pies available for $15.