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SD FOOD NEWS: April 25

New arrivals and takeovers in San Diego


Cupcake mania continueth. Cupcakes in a jar from Yummy, coming to Encinitas.

That majestic, oddly built perch in Del Mar recently vacated by Flavor? The owners of El Agave will take it over and expand the El Agave concept north with an opening slated for August. This is a flurry of expansion for the owners of the Old Town Tequileria and restaurant, who are also opening Iberico Bistro in La Jolla next month (at the former spot of Vigilucci’s on Prospect).

The third location of Bite of Boston will be going into Pacific Beach on the corner of Emerald Street and Mission Blvd. (caddy-corner from Bare Back Grill, next to Taco Surf). Their business model is kind of a middle finger to the “buy local” movement, since they fly their submarine rolls and breads in from Plantedosi Bakery in Massachusetts, their cold cuts from Philadelphia’s Dietz & Watson and their lobster from Maine. But their lobster rolls will reportedly make your eyes spelunk into the back of your skull from pleasure.

Just when it looked like donuts were edging out the cupcake in the battle for cute-food supremacy… Yummy Cupcakes is coming to Encinitas (1514 Encinitas Blvd.). Yummy isn’t a tagalong in the cupcake herd, though. The L.A.-based chain started in Burbank in 2004 and have been featured in every major media outlet that hasn’t yet gone bankrupt (Bon Apetit, O Magazine, Food Network, etc. ). They do cupcakes in a jar, cupcake truffles, cupcakes on a stick, cupcake pies, cupcake biscotti, cupcake push pops, you name it. Lots of pretty celebrities eat there.

The guys from Bare Back Grill were forced to shutter their Downtown location, pouring more resources into the recently opened Queenstown Public. Into that space at 6th and E Streets will go Magnolia Tap + Kitchen. The first murmurs I’m getting are throwback speakeasy/cocktail vibe, reportedly from a former GM at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. More soon...

The Bierr Garden has opened in the former Barracuda Grill in Encinitas. According to some, this place looks real sexy.

Wine Vault & Bistro just hired a new chef. They pulled Gregory Chavez from Leroy’s in Coronado. Meanwhile, chef Chris Walsh has reportedly left his post at Heat Kitchen. The spot, which looks great, has struggled to keep someone on the burners.

Lastly, a thought: If you open a small restaurant based on one gourmet food item, shouldn’t you be making at least a small portion of that item in-house? Or “forget you pal I’m just a conduit for the great stuff I can buy”? A newly opened spot might want to look in the mirror and ask that question soon.

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Restaurant reviews, food trends, top cocktails, wine, beer and generally the best eats and drinks in San Diego, by Food Editor and general good guy Troy Johnson.

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