San Diego Food News, Feb. 7 2014

Farmhouse Cafe to close; "Ben & Jerrys of cookies" opens; farm-to-Filipino food


Published:

Farm House Cafe to close on Feb. 28. But it's a good thing.

The UT broke the news that Farmhouse Café has sold, and its last day will be Feb. 28. This is a good thing. People loved that bistro, but the space was like being locked in the glove box of a Smart Car with a chicken liver pate. Would-be diners were forced to loiter on the street, waiting for their turn to be shoe-horned. So chef-owner Olivier Bioteau and wife Rochelle are shutting down, hightailing it to Europe for a while to decompress, then plan to find a bigger location in San Diego when they return. Or they'll join the French circus and never return. Local chef Mike Almos bought the shoebox and plans to open a new joint called Circa in April….

The Cravory—a few San Diego guys trying to do for cookies what Ben & Jerry did to ice cream—will open their new brick-and-mortar (3960 W. Point Loma Blvd.) on Valentine’s Day. Their significant others must be pleased. Free cookie with each purchase that day.  Check out their story in this nifty video from talented local production outfit, FortyOneTwenty… 

Is a maître d’ news? Where's my man parasol? Actually, the fact that Addison at the Grand Del Mar still sends out a press release about a maître d’ is very much news. They remain one of the only places in the country, let alone San Diego, still pursuing top-notch grande cuisine. Rachel Saunders is the new maître d’, most recently of Meadowood and Per Se. She’s seen some important food, knows how to orchestrate an important room…

Keeping at the same level of cuisine—Filippi’s pizza just signed another location. The triple-cheese pizza behemoths are taking over the old Nicolosi’s off the I-8 freeway near Waring Road. How their salad still seems appetizing after 20 years—despite near-white lettuce and maybe one tomato—must be chalked up to magic or mafia at this point…. 

If you were one of the too-many people who knew about Carnitas Snack Shack’s next location—well, that fell through. It’s OK. The poobahs of pork are already hatching other plans, which they promise not to tell any of us nosy bastards because you can see where that got them…

In similar news, beloved Oceanside bistro The Flying Pig  also pulled the cord on their new Vista location, and are still on the search…

Solana Beach's Pizza Port is a legend—where off-duty surfers make good use of their neck beards by brewing some of the best craft beer in the city.  And, like the rest of the craft beer industry, they’ve begun to embrace some of the Budweiser-esque concepts. Like cans. In January, they started distributing six-packs of Swamis IPA, Ponto Sessionable and Chronic Amber Ale in 16 oz cans all through SoCal. Fairly soon, Germany will bow to San Diego as the womb from where beer gods spring...

For all the love Tender Greens gets for finally bringing healthy, gourmet quick-food to San Diego—Waters Fine Foods has been doing it a lot longer locally. Throughout February they’re doing “Waters Wednesdays”—10% off all dishes. So, hump day's is a good time to buy lunch for yoga pals...

Shout out to Carinderia—a new Filipino fast-casual neighborhood joint in Escondido. I have zero idea if they’re any good, but sounds like they’re taking a fresh, veggie-friendly, farm-to-Filipino approach to traditional braised meats and street food. Plus, they've got craft beers. You don’t often see green stuff next to your lumpia.…

I trekked up through Sonoma this month and ate my way through Healdsburg. Can I politely implore a San Diegan with more liquid investment capital than myself to open a concept like Shed? … 

Ocean Beach Brewing Company—the new brew operation from the Newport Pizza & Ale House guys—had hit some major construction delays. But now it’s up and steaming again. The plan for the three-level space is to have an open-air rooftop deck similar to Sunshine Co. across the street, and Middle Eastern fare. Hoping to open mid- to late-summer… 

Gourmet street tacoists Puesto turn two years old on Feb. 10. Tacos at both locations—Old Police Headquarters and La Jolla—are two bucks all day….

GO. DO. EAT. SEE.

Karl Strauss celebrates its 25th anniversary on Feb. 8 with their “Changing of the Barrels”—which includes the uncorkage of the 25th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Doppelbock, and gives fans a chance to taste the 26th Anniversary brew before it goes in keg hybernation for a year. Also, the music should not suck the life out of you with Brothers Grim—two members of ultra-fantastic supergreat San Diego band The Silent Comedy…

Chef Katie Grebow at Café Chloe can really cook. Patrons have been asking her to do a cookbook for years. How’s this for a compromise: She'll kick off cooking classes at Chloe's sister event space Oliver & Rose (a beautiful, almost secret tuck-away in the middle of Downtown). Starts March 1 with “An Introduction to French Cooking,” where 10-20 people will learn to Frenchify a roasted fennel bisque and wild salmon with sauce gribiche (classic cold egg sauce) with roasted beets and lentils du Puy… 

You know Baja cuisine is officially a hashtag when the theme for this year’s “Masters of Food & Wine” at the Park Hyatt is “Celebrate Baja!” They’ve invited Javier Plascencia (Mision 19, Romesco, etc.) to show off his Baja cooking chops, and Guadalupe Valley wines will be served. March 7, $125…  

Blind Lady Ale House turns five years old this week and they’ve got a few wild and flamboyant beer events planned. On Saturday, they’re getting a keg of Hair of the Dog Adam (a dark, chocolaty 10%’er) and then attempting to run a 5K while wearing capes (seriously). Sunday, it’s “Mystery Beer & Mystery Ride,” with a TBD barrel-aged beer tapped at 11:30AM, then a beers-and-bikes mystery ride.

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