THE DIGEST: Oct. 9, 2014

 

Stone Brewing just announced it’s signed a letter of intent for a new brewery in Richmond, Virginia. That’ll give them a much-needed distribution hub to rain Ruination down on the right coast. Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe even gave a quote for the press release. That’s when you know you are not only making some bad-ass beer, but also doing so on a governor-cares economic scale.

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Lucha Libre Taco Shop—the one at the bottom of the hill where Washington Street meets the 5 Freeway, with the line around the block, in the part of town that no one really knows what to call (it’s Middletown)—is doubling down in North Park. Took ‘em long enough. They’re taking over Marie’s Café spot at 3016 University Ave., hoping for a late March, early April grand opening.

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Email from a restaurant industry friend (names withheld to protect the accused): "Two big misconceptions I want to clear up: ‘The taco at ***** ***** *** * ***** is delicious.’ It's not. It's putrid. El Pueblo in National City is the best fish taco in San Diego—and it’s only 99 cents! Secondly, ‘The ****** ****" rocks!’ It doesn't. It's passable if there's no line and someone's volunteered to chauffeur me there. And all of the good restaurants that serve breakfast are closed. And there's a toilet nearby in case one of the better restaurants magically opens and I want a do-over and need to make room."

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Few years back, Obama passed a law requiring chain restaurants with over 20-plus locations to post the nutritional info of their menu items. Maybe that was shame enough—the restaurant equivalent of a scarlet letter. Or maybe drive-thru execs are tired of looking at the swollen, spud-like sight of us after eating their food. A new John Hopkins study found fast food chains are cutting about 60 calories from each new menu item.

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Sir chef Brian Malarkey, he of tender blue eyes and Searsucker/Herringbone repute, is competing on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen. He’s hosting a viewing party at the newly renovated Searsucker Del Mar on Oct. 15 (8-10PM).

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I recently spent a couple weekends in Baja for our upcoming November cover story on the region’s food and wine scene. There are phenomenal Mexican chefs cooking world-class cuisine down there (seafood, smoke, chiles). There’s also a Michelin-starred gringo, Drew Deckman, who cooks under a few oak trees on one of the oldest wineries in Baja’s wine region, Valle de Guadalupe. His "restaurant" (Deckman’s en el Mogor) is literally tables scattered under trees; his kitchen is seven feet away, consisting of reclaimed materials MacGuyvered together (his huge cutting board is an old door from a science building at University of San Diego). He cooks entirely with firewood. Zero gas. And his food is absolutely phenomenal. Well, he’s just announced he’ll be in San Diego for one night on Oct. 16 to cook dinner at Común Kitchen in Downtown. You should go.

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Hamilton’s is pretty legendary in San Diego. There was a dark time that Heineken considered the most innovative beer-water in the realm. Hamilton’s was among the first to shed the craft beer light down upon The Bloated and The Unfulfilled (O’Brien’s was the city's first craft beer bar). This Saturday, as part of their 8th Annual Celebration, they’ll do their Oktoberfest Pub Crawl from 1-4PM—shuttling drinkers to all three of their beer holes (Hami’s, Monkey Paw and Small Bar). All told, over 65 German and German-ic-ish beers. German food, too. Go sausage. Wear your lederhosen. Seriously. There’s a competition.

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Tommy Gomes, highly respected, highly salty fishmonger from Catalina Offshore Products, shares this thought on chefs and fish: "There is no such thing as cheap seafood. Remember why you became a chef? I'm sure it wasn't to meet the 53-foot ****ing trailer truck of vacuum-packed processed food. Get in the game, support your local fishing fleet and the American fisherman." You can see more of Tommy's perspective on seafood here.

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Fleming’s just launched a late-night happy hour menu. Eight items, $9 each. Filet mignon flatbread (w/ Danish bleu and jack cheese). Short rib empanadas. North Atlantic lobster lettuce wraps.

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Terryl Gavre—chef-owner of Café 222 and co-owner of Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant—knows good food. (She is also the rad, strange person who had the guts to do the "Waffle Head" billboard as you come into Hillcrest). She’s got a new bakery in Downtown, called Bake Sale. She and head baker Kathleen Shen are doing a new "Bake!" series, teaching us how not to **** up our holiday leavening. Classes include Pumpkin (Oct. 15), Pie (Nov. 4), Jam (Nov. 18) and Cookies (Dec. 2).

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Steak sandwich guys Gaglione Bros are opening a new spot in Encinitas at this location. Their sandwich pleases.

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Voice of San Diego has a great piece on a proposed yellowtail farm proposed for three miles off the San Diego coast. The project, dubbed the Rose Canyon Fisheries Sustainable Aquaculture Project, would be the size of six football fields and have capacity for 10 million fish a year. The idea is the brainchild of Don Kent, president and CEO of Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute.

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SIX TONS. That's how much coffee grounds the San Diego International Airport discards—a month. Now NBC reports the airport has become the first in the U.S. to have a formal sustainability policy. It'll start with those coffee grounds, distributing them to Miramar Greenery to be used as compost.

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