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Feast on This. . .

Tom Blair's i On San Diego


THE CRITICAL MASSES: August is San Diego Magazine’s “Best Restaurants” month. We own the franchise. And this August, we’re offering our most-comprehensive assemblage ever of dining and wining stories. August also belongs to our readers, who are asked to vote for their favorite restaurants in more than 40 categories. Food brings out the critics in you, so we’ve asked you to offer your gripes and comments, too.

In years past, quality of service——or lack thereof——has come in for most of your brickbats. It still does. But this year, we appear to have turned a tiny corner. Ask Cheryl Gilbert.

“Since we moved to San Diego in 1986,” she says, “the food and service have improved so much. I always enjoyed the food, but service was so laidback I felt the need to warn visitors in advance. Thanks for improving the service with your comments!”

You’re welcome. On the other hand, some servers still show room for improvement.

Lauren Tanny has had it up to here with “pushy attempts by waiters to upgrade diners to mineral water.” And Linda Wells wishes hostesses would stop giving “the worst tables to women, especially if you are older.” Says she always asks for a better table. I’m betting she gets it.

Denise Bauer wonders, “If we can prohibit cell phone use in planes and theaters, why not in restaurants?” Nancy Gwen wants to know why La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club doesn’t allow cell phones. Nancy should ask Denise.

Karen Silke is upset because there’s “no Macaroni Grill in east San Diego County.” But then she says, “We need really good restaurants in El Cajon.” Can’t have it both ways, Karen.

And Justin Palicki is positively religious on this subject: “For the love of God, will someone please acknowledge Hoboken Pizza in Pacific Beach? They have better New York–style pizza than Bronx—— and they serve beer!” Done. Now, have a brew, Justin, and chill.

MONEY TALKS: Yes, the rich do get richer. And lots of them call San Diego home. According to the annual World Wealth Report, the total number of millionaire households in San Diego was up 3 percent to 37,704 . . . And while we’re on the subject: Publisher David Copley, whose newspaper empire has been forced to do some major downsizing, was in Monte Carlo this summer to accept an award for his new yacht, Happy Days, as the world’s “Best Full-Displacement Motor Yacht (45-56 meters).” A coterie of San Diego friends joined Copley to celebrate his “largest composite- materials yacht ever built in the U.S.” at the Showboats International Rendezvous in Monaco . . . Meanwhile, Copley executives, in a memo to San Diego Union-Tribune employees, have announced the hiring of a new “vice president, strategy.” Mark Davis——who comes from a publishing background and, more recently, a Philadelphia manufacturer of “seasonal products”——will, they say, “lead the process to formulate a strategic plan that will allow us to develop into a model 21st-century media company.”

OUT OUR WAY: Star 94.1 radio clowns Jeff & Jer have expanded on our San Diego Magazine list (March 2006) of ways to judge “How San Diegan Are You?” A sampling:

You can correctly pronounce Tierrasanta, La Jolla, Rancho Peñasquitos, San Ysidro, Jamul and El Cajon.

Your high school had a surf team.

You know what it means when a girl in a short skirt is walking on El Cajon Boulevard.

You know what “The Merge” is, and you’ll plan your entire day around avoiding it during rush hour.

You’ve been delayed at border checkpoints on I-5, I-8 and I-15.

You remember when Mission Valley was cow pasture.

Your house is now worth more than some small countries.

BACK HER WAY: Wendy Blair, a lifelong Southern Californian who’s celebrating the second anniversary of her transplantation from San Diego to Virginia, has been keeping her own tally. After two years, she’s completed her list of “The top 10 ways I know I am officially a Virginian:

“I spent one whole morning at the DMV getting my new driver’s license, car registration and registering to vote.

“I can walk outside in 50-degree weather and wonder where I packed my shorts.

“I know all the words to, and have been caught crooning, ‘Song of the South,’ ‘Sweet Potato Pie’ and ‘Shut My Mouth.’

“It’s taken great restraint not to let ‘y’all’ slip into my conversation.

“I understand that when someone says ‘dubbawahd’ they’re referring to a spacious trailer home.

“Gun rack, standard equipment.

“I actually watch the Weather Channel.

“I’m a card-carrying member of the Farm Bureau Association. (Okay, I had to join to get my homeowner’s insurance.)

“I’ve learned how to prepare all the foods in the sixth food group, including grits, biscuits, red-eye gravy and hush puppies.

“Settin’ a spell on the porch is no longer a novelty. It’s a way of life.”

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