Taste of Downtown October 2nd

taste of downtownTaste of Downtown

Come one, come all, and come with an appetite as we celebrate the Taste of Downtown on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014! It is the BIGGEST neighborhood tasting event in San Diego as this beloved culinary journey spans across the neighborhoods of East Village, Gaslamp, the Financial District and Horton’s Plaza. The always exciting Taste of Downtown is the perfect way to spend an evening out in Downtown San Diego while exploring and enjoying the diverse culinary culture of 50 participating neighboring restaurants.

Tickets are only $30 in advance and $35 the day of the event. Your ticket not only includes a plethora of tasty samples, but a complimentary shuttle service that will be available for you to take to and from each neighborhood which will also make several stops along the way for you to sample at participating restaurants!

Taste of Downtown

Spike Africa’s Seafood Month

Spike Africa'sSpike Africa’s Seafood Month

October is National Seafood Month, so Spike Africa is celebrating by encouraging guests to get their hands dirty with a dish servers will dump right on the table. The East Coast-style Clam Bake Special includes a medley of shrimp, crab and mussels, vegetables and potatoes cooked in a seasoned broth and poured on each table in front of seated guests. Brave, hungry diners will be armed with bibs, Old Bay seasoning and hot sauce for the feast. The Clam Bake Special will run for dinner throughout the month for $35 per person, with a minimum of two people.

National Seafood Month “Shellabration” at Spike Africa’s
Starts Wednesday, Oct. 1st, and runs all month long
East Coast-Style Clam Bake special for $35 pp, with a minimum of two people
Includes a medley of mussels, shrimp and crab with vegetables and potatoes
Poured on the table in front of guests

About Spike Africa’s Fresh Fish Grill & Bar

Spike Africa’s is a unique combination of chic and casual elements that set a new standard in the San Diego restaurant scene. Located at the 4th & Broadway in downtown San Diego, Spike Africa’s incorporates the modern elements of a bustling city with classic details to create an environment that is both uplifting and familiar. Quality food and exemplary service coupled with a comfortable, sociable setting make Spike Africa’s a place to gather for business lunches with colleagues or unwind with friends and family. Open at 11 a.m. daily, Spike Africa’s features daily Fresh Fish catches, in addition to the menu items that diners can rely on for the very best food experience.

Spike Africa’s is named after legendary schooner boat captain, Spike Africa. The restaurant Spike Africa’s pays homage to the memory of a true sailor, the mystique surrounding his adventurous life and the love he had for the ocean. An inviting place that mirrors the attributes of Spike himself, Spike Africa’s is a place for friends, good food and great times. For more information, visit Spike Africa’s online at www.SpikeAfricas.com.

*the nth element

Mushroom Madness in Mendocino

Mendocino CountyNovember 7-16, 2014 Countywide Event

15TH Annual Mushroom, Wine and Beer Fest

As the flavors of fall arrive in Northern California’s Mendocino County so does the annual crop of coveted candy cap, chanterelle, porcini and morel mushrooms. Straddling historic Highways 1 and 101 with nearly 2,500 sq. miles of live oak, pygmy forests and stately redwood groves, the region is a natural hotspot for some 3,000 mushroom varieties. The annual haul is nothing short of historic, nurturing nirvana for local mycologists, chefs and fungi foragers. Add to the mix a cache of artisanal chefs, 95+ wineries, a formidable craft beer and hard cider scene and the annual salute to Mr. Fungi sprouts into action November 7th-16th, 2014/www.visitmendocino.com/mushroom-wine-and-beer-festival; 866.466.363

Visitors can tap into a variety of adventures from mushroom hunts by horseback, foraging excursions, Pinot and porcini menus, educational seminars, art exhibits and the annual Skunk Train trek and cook-off deep in the depths of the Noyo River forest. To cap the event, regional hotel properties and restaurants are offering special menus and packages throughout November.

Forest Mushroom

Pack a pair of boots and a sense of adventure as mushroom foraging season hits full stride this fall. During the festival, guests can track and taste Mr. Fungi in a variety of formats.

Top excursions include:
Ride with the Hunt – Mushroom Hunt at Richochet Ridge Ranch/”Mushroom Hunt” horseback rides every day during the festival. Equine, wine & hotel packages also available. Ricochet Ridge Ranch, Fort Bragg; 707.964.9669; www.horse-vacation.com.

Hunt for the Wild Mushroom Mountain Bike Ride
Put the fun in “fungi” with daily bike tours through the local forests in search the magical mushroom. All levels, rentals available. Nov 8/9 and 15/16. Mendo Bike Sprite, Fort Bragg; 707.962.4602; www.mendobikesprite.com.

Mushrooms at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Join staff mycologist Mario Abreu for a series of mushroom workshops and walks at the Botanical Gardens. Daily. Fort Bragg; 707.964.4352×16; www.gardenbythesea.org.

Pygmy Forest Ecological Staircase Hike & Educational Hunt
Daily tours from beach to bluffs traversing 100,000 years in geology on each of the five terraces. Forage for fungi enroute. Jug Handle State Reserve, Caspar; 707.937.5804; www.jughandlecreekfarm.com/staircase-trail.

Mushroom Exploration Tours
Join local mycologist Adrienne Long for all things mushroom at the Stanford Inn before heading out to the forests and meadows for a full immersion. Daily. Stanford Inn, Mendocino; 707.937.5615; www.stanfordinn.com.

For the ultimate outback experience only accessible via train, hop aboard the iconic Skunk Train. Departing from both Fort Bragg and Willits, the adventure includes foraging hikes, wine tasting of the county’s top wines, beers, and ciders – a perfect prelude to the mushroom cook-off. A finale culinary judging and presentation by local mushroom expert Eric Schramm wrap up the day. The events benefits the Mendocino County Museum (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., $105.00/inclusive; 707.964.6371; www.skunktrain.com.

The ultimate walk on the wild side begins with a mushroom hunt on 39 acres of native gardens, forest and meadows with mushroom expert Eric Schramm culminating with canapés and the crown for the largest mushroom at Jug Handle Creek Farm along scenic Highway 1 in Caspar. 2:00 p.m., $18; 707.937.3498; www.jughandlecreekfarm.com.

From the bounty of Boonville to the lure of Little River, restaurants and wineries throughout the region salute the season with a myriad of special repasts.

Key events include:

  • The Incredible Edible Mushroom/Winemaker Dinner at the Buckhorn Boonville with Maple Creek Winery (Nov. 7)
  • MacCallum House Inn & Restaurant and Graziano Wild Mushroom and Winemaker Dinner (Nov. 7)
  • Celebrate Wine & Wild Mushroom Days at McNab Ridge Tasting Room (Nov. 8), Wild Mushroom and Wine at BARRA of Mendocino (Nov. 8)
  • RIVINO Winemaker Dinner (Nov 12), Cucina Verona Winemaker Dinner with Navarro Winery (Nov. 13)
  • From Vineyard and Forest to Table Dinner with Foursight Winery and Ravens’ Restaurant (Nov. 13)
  • Stone & Embers Restaurant and Baxter Winery repast (Nov. 14)
  • Little River Inn’s Annual Mushroom and Belgian Beer Dinner with Russian River Brewing Company (Nov. 14)
  • Mushrooms & Moulin Rouge at BARRA of Mendocino (Nov. 15)
  • Heritage House & Goldeneye Winery Tasting Dinner (Nov. 15)
  • Bridget Dolan’s Restaurant and Husch Vineyards event (Nov. 15) and Maple Creek Winery and Artevino Mushroom Hike & Forage (Nov. 16).

Throughout the county, 32 restaurants are offering special menus during the festival.

In addition, visitors can get their Highway 101 & Highway 128 Wine & Beer Trail Passports stamped at 33 participating wineries and breweries showcasing special mushroom pairings, events and entertainment.

A bounty of local hotel deals round out the seasonal celebration including Little River Inn’s “Mushroom Mania” ocean-view guestroom package ($159.00/dbl.), Headlands Inn Bed and Breakfast “Mushroom, Wine & Chocolate Divine” getaway (two night minimum) or Elk Cove Inn and Spa’s savings of up to 50 percent on accommodations backed with a delectable champagne and mushroom weekend brunch. Mendocino’s AAA-Four Diamond Brewery Gulch Inncelebrates the season with a 15 percent savings (two night minimum) and infusion of locally-sourced mushrooms showcased in the daily made-to-order gourmet breakfast. Other deals include a stay at the new Heritage House Resort in Little River ($175.00/dbl.), MacCallum House or Grey Whale Inn. Blackout periods and restrictions apply. For a complete listing of local deals, visit: www.visitmendocino.com/mushroom-wine-and-beer-festival.

Boasting a newly-minted national monument, Point Arena-Stornetta Lands, the New York Times ranked Mendocino County’s South Coast #3 on its list of “places to go in 2014.” Mendocino County welcomes nearly 1.8 million visitors annually who explore its 120 miles of prime Pacific coastline, 80+ wineries and 10 diverse AVAs (earning the highest percentage of organic and biodynamic vineyards in the United States), 23 state/national parklands and 450+ unique accommodations. Straddling scenic Highways 1 and 101, “The Redwood Corridor,” the County delivers an ideal vortex of waves, wines and redwoods laced with historic villages and outback adventures. Located 114 mi./184 km. north of San Francisco, the region’s gateway airports are San Francisco International (SFO), Oakland International (OAK), Sacramento International Airport (SMF), and Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS). Visit Mendocino County is a non-profit destination marketing organization designed to enhance the economic vitality of the community by increasing tourism revenue. For more information visit www.visitmendocino.com.

*Courtesy information

La Jolla Art and Wine Festival


La Jolla Art and Wine Festival

Courtesy photo

Southern California Charity-Driven Event Continues Annual Momentum With Over 40,000 Expected

The 2014 La Jolla Art and Wine Festival (LJAWF), highly regarded as one of the most prestigious events of its kind on the west coast, ramps up for its sixth and largest season yet on October 11th & 12th with the announcement of exciting new additions—including a nightlife brew fest element and larger festival grounds! Located in the heart of La Jolla’s iconic coastal village along Girard Ave, this nationally renowned, juried art show and fundraiser has raised $340,000 to date for local area public schools, is FREE and open to the public, and expects to draw in crowds of over 40,000 individuals—promising to be the largest and most exciting year yet!

******************** NEW TO THE LJAWF THIS YEAR ********************


2014’s LJAWF is teaming up with the BraveCort Foundation (San Diego-based 501c3 raising funding for research in the fight against childhood cancer) to bring a new nightlife element to the festival. This age 21+ event will come alive on Saturday night and will take place within LJAWF festival grounds providing imbibers with entertainment, live music, and world-class beer from over a dozen of San Diego’s award-winning local breweries. The highlight of the brew fest, BraveCort’s “Masskrugstemmen” (a traditional Bavarian Beer Stein holding contest) will pit teams of four against each other, testing their strength and endurance while holding a 1-liter stein of beer in one hand. One of San Diego’s highly anticipated new breweries, URBN St. Brewing Co., will create a special collaboration beer, dubbed “BraveCort Brew,” and all proceeds from the event will directly benefit BraveCort’s fight against childhood cancer.

The Brew: Head Brewer Callaway Ryan of URBN St. Brewing Co., partnered with BraveCort Foundation founders, Brian Kelley and Andrea Dahlberg, to produce BraveCort Dry Irish Stout. Honoring Brian and Andrea’s son Cort who passed from a rare form of brain cancer, the stout is brewed in traditional Irish fashion celebrating the family’s heritage.

BraveCort Brew Fest
Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014
8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Girard Ave. | La Jolla, CA
More info: www.bravecort.com

Success of years past and overwhelming community support will add an additional city block to this year’s non-profit event – in total spanning over half a mile long throughout downtown La Jolla from Prospect Street to Torrey Pines Road. The LJAWF will feature something for everyone including art, a silent auction, roving entertainment, a gourmet marketplace, a family art center, as well as an extensive wine and beer garden to include premier wineries from around the world in addition to many of San Diego’s nationally recognized breweries.



150 WORLD-CLASS ARTISTS |The bustling area of Girard Avenue will transform itself into an art lovers paradise highlighting 150 established artists from the West Coast, Baja and beyond. Sue Britt, San Diego resident and winner of 2013’s prestigious “Best In Show” title, will return to showcase her brilliant Paper Tapestry, created through a technique of weaving and layering brightly colored papers to create gorgeous landscapes inspired by hiking throughout California. Additional LJAWF artists’ works celebrate a number of mediums such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, fine glass, woodwork, mixed media and photography. All of the artists showing at the LJAWF have been handpicked by a highly qualified jury of artists, authors, critics and collectors.

40+ WORLD-CLASS WINERIES & RENOWNED BREWERIES COMBINED | Known for producing some of the world’s finest wines, California has a long-standing history of commercial viticulture. In celebration of locally grown grapes the LJAWF is thrilled to have Gen 7 out of Rancho Santa Fe and Bird Rock Fine Wines pouring at this year’s event. Also present: a handful of premier wineries from around the world including Francis Ford Coppola, Schlossadler International Wines, La Serenissima, Benziger Family Winery in addition to a number of fine varietals from Baja’s flourishing Valle de Guadalupe region.

This year’s LJAWF’s brewery presence proudly boasts award-winning local suds from beer legends including Stone Brewing Co. and AleSmith in addition to URBN St. Brewing Co., Coronado Brewing Co., Helms Brewing, Green Flash, La Jolla Brewing Co., Golden Coast Mead, New English Brewing Co. and many more. These breweries will be present in the daytime wine & beer garden at the LJAWF as well as the Saturday night BraveCort Brew Fest.

FOR THE KIDDOS! | Offering adventures for kids of all ages, LJAWF’s Geppetto’s Family Art Center will be located on Wall Street–where children will have the opportunity to paint a car donated by Witt Lincoln, be entertained by special performances on the Children’s Stage, and participate in games, crafts, and even a family scavenger hunt.

LIVE MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT | Other highlights of this year’s two-day event include an exciting lineup of live music from award-winning local artists stationed throughout the festival grounds as well as roving entertainment by the San Diego Circus Center, which teaches Cirque du Soleil inspired performances to children and young adults.

SILENT AUCTION | The LJAWF will give attendees the opportunity to partake in a silent action offering an assortment of hot ticket items like 2-night hotel stays, gift cards to fine dining restaurants all over San Diego, staycation activities for children, theatre tickets, winery and brewery packages, as well as LJAWF participating artist artwork to name a few. All proceeds from the silent auction directly benefit local public elementary and middle schools

WHY: Founded by Sherry Ahern, a driving force in San Diego’s philanthropic landscape, the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival’s established partnership with the La Jolla Village Merchants Association continues to thrive and grow each year. All profits raised benefit underfunded programs such as art, music, science, physical education, technology, and on-site medical care at local public elementary and middle schools. Since launching in 2009, the 501c3 La Jolla Art & Wine Festival has raised $340,000.

*** This two-day event is FREE and open to the public***

10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

SATURDAY, OCT 11 | 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

[ SUNDAY, OCT 12 ]
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Girard Ave. (between Prospect Ave. and Torrey Pines Rd.) La Jolla, CA 92037
*** Valet Parking will be available at La Jolla High School with a shuttle service directly to the festival.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please visit: www.ljawf.org

 Founded by Sherry Ahern, a driving force in San Diego’s philanthropic landscape, the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival’s established partnership with the La Jolla Village Merchants Association continues to thrive and grow each year bringing more business to its La Jolla community. All profits raised benefit underfunded programs such as art, music, science, physical education, technology, and on-site medical care at four local public elementary and middle schools, which are all part of the San Diego Unified School District. Since launching in 2009, the 501c3 La Jolla Art & Wine Festival has raised $340,000 for local, underfunded elementary and middle schools. For more information about the festival, its artists, public and valet parking, transportation, and much more, please visit the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival website at: www.ljawf.org — or join the LJAWF on Facebook and Twitter

The BraveCort Foundation was formed in 2013 for the purpose of raising funds to support research efforts in the fight against childhood cancer. We know first hand about the lack of focus and limited access to financial resources targeting childhood cancer research. As of today, only one drug targeting cancer treatment in children was EVER approved by the FDA. The typical protocol for children utilizes cancer treatments developed for adults in which the dosage levels are essentially diluted for children. While the landscape in treatment is slowly beginning to change towards individualized protocols, the funding simply is not available to effectively support the research for children. Childhood cancer is considered a “rare” disease (a condition affecting less than 200,000). As such, there is very little economic incentive for investment in research and development. Unfortunately, investment capital, including funding sourced from the government, is channeled towards larger markets (adult cancer). We at BraveCort join the fight with other pediatric cancer groups in hopes of providing our children with a bright future. Visit BraveCort online at www.bravecort.com, or follow us on Twitter & Facebook.’

Restaurant Week San Diego

Restaurant WeekRestaurant Week San Diego

September 21st-26th

Don’t miss it!

Experience cuisine that delights your palate and defines the art of dining in San Diego. Held twice annually, this beloved culinary tradition features discounted prix fixe menus from more than 180 of San Diego’s best restaurants in 12 unique regions throughout San Diego County.

No tickets or passes are required. Food lovers may simply dine out at as many participating restaurants as they like during San Diego Restaurant Week.

Restaurant Week San Diego

Wild Salmon at NINE-TEN in La Jolla (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

The Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego and all of Montana’s books are available on her author page at AMAZON and GLOBE PEQUOT PRESS. Her books are also available at local San Diego bookstores.

The Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego was reprinted in 2014 and highlights the best restaurants, markets & local culinary offerings.

Food Lovers' Guide To San DiegoThe ultimate guides to the food scene in their respective states or regions, these books provide the inside scoop on the best places to find, enjoy, and celebrate local culinary offerings. Engagingly written by local authorities, they are a one stop for residents and visitors alike to find producers and purveyors of tasty local specialties, as well as a rich array of other, indispensable food-related information including:

  • Favorite restaurants and landmark eateries
  • Farmers markets and farm stands
  • Specialty food shops, markets and products
  • Food festivals and culinary events
  • Places to pick your own produce
  • Recipes from top local chefs
  • The best cafes, taverns, wineries, and brewpubs

Enjoy the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego!

San Diego Film Festival

san diego film festivalSan Diego Film Festival

Founded in 2001, The San Diego Film Festival is produced by the not-for-profit San Diego Film Foundation. Their mission is to support the best in independent filmmaking while enhancing the diverse cultural landscape and economic vitality of San Diego. The San Diego Film Festival’s 5-day independent film festival is held blocks from the San Diego Bay in the historic Gaslamp Quarter — San Diego’s premier downtown entertainment district and in the affluent seaside community of La Jolla. The Festival premieres more than 100 American and international features, short films and thought-provoking documentaries, while also providing intimate filmmaker and celebrity gatherings, along with top Hollywood industry panels. The Festival has earned more than 12 awards for Best Film Festival, including Top 25 Fests Worth Your Entry Fee by MovieMaker Magazine and was named one of the Top Ten Best Regional Film Festival’s in the country by Chris Gore’s The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, as well as one of the Top Ten Best Vacation Film Festivals. In 2012 and 2013 we had our biggest National Coverage in respected film industry publications such as Variety, Hollywood Reporter, The LA Times, The Wrap and IndieWire. The Festival celebrate its 13th year September 24-28th.


Borrego Days Desert Festival

BorregoDaysAnnual Borrego Days Desert Festival

PO Box 420
Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Region: East County

Date: October 24th – 26th, 2014

Time: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Sunday hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Price: Free

Venue: Christmas Circle Park

California Surf Museum Gala

california surf museum gala

courtesy photo

Slice of Heaven Catering, a San Diego-based catering company, will be serving this year’s 7th annual California Surf Museum Gala at the Springhill Suites Marriott on October 4th.

Feeding the Soul Foundation has partnered with the California Surf Museum to present live performances from local musician, Cody Lovass, San Diego Music Award nominee. Guests will enjoy food by Slice of Heaven Catering, cocktails and a silent auction to help preserve and support the history of surfing. Dedicated to freshness and bold flavors, Slice of Heaven Catering specializes in creating custom dishes in collaboration with clients, in order to make their events stand out in the memory of guests.

Pacific Beach Restaurant Walk

heart of pacific beach restaurant walkHeart of Pacific Beach Restaurant Walk

Come join us at the Heart of Pacific Beach Restaurant walk September 24th from 5-9pm.  This year’s event will have a great variety of food choices from 19 local restaurants and beer samplings for only $20!

Bored of the same old restaurants? Come explore new restaurants, take a leisurely stroll while watching the sunset and let your taste buds discover new treasures in the heart of Pacific Beach. Cuisines include, but aren’t limited to, Italian, Mexican, Greek and American.  Dessert and beer included!

Pacicif Beach

ALL the food is included in the price, so come hungry! Even better, the event proceeds will help keep our great neighborhood clean.

Participating Restaurants: Café Athena, Caffe Bella Italia, Costa Brava, Fred’s Mexican Cafe, Great News! Cookware and Cooking School, Jamba Juice, Mr. Frostie, Papa Luna’s Empanadas, PB Cantina, Rocket Fizz, Sugar and Scribe Bakery, Tap Room, Tavern, The Fish Shop, The Patio on Lamont Street, Trader Joe’s, Typhoon Saloon, Woodstock’s Pizza, and Yogurt on the Rocks.


Breakfast Call at Snooze Del Mar

snooze del mar

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Snooze serves breakfast in the Del Mar Highlands Town Plaza. The Denver-based, family-owned company boasts a unique comfort food breakfast experience with made-from-scratch recipes. Produce is hand selected and meats are natural, farm raised, free ranging, and local (whenever possible). In addition, Snooze’s exclusive organic coffee is picked, roasted, and flown in directly from Guatemala every week.

snooze del mar

Pot Pie (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pancake of the Day (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pancake of the Day (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Trio of Pancakes (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Trio of Pancakes (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

The seventh Snooze location, Del Mar Snooze’s 4,000-square-foot space has seating for 110, and a large outdoor patio.

Open from 6:30am-2:30pm Monday through Friday and 7:00am-2:30pm Saturday and Sunday.

 See the menu here.

Snooze Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Westgate Whiskey Pairing Dinner

Westgate The Westgate Hotel

The Westgate Hotel invites you to an exclusive evening with renowned Master of Whiskey, Ed Adams. He will introduce you to the captivating flavors and aromas, history and folklore of the best whiskeys of the world in harmony with a five-course dinner specially created by Fabrice Hardel.

Friday, September 19, 2014
Le Fontainebleau Room
Whiskey cocktail Reception at 6:30 p.m.
Five-course pairing dinner at 7:00 p.m.
$99 (tax and gratuity additional)

Whiskeys featured are: Crown Royal XO, Oban 18 Single Malt, Talisker Storm Single Malt, Lagavulin 16 Single Malt and Baterhouse 20 years.

Click and buy your ticket today online

Click and discover our five-course menu

Give me more BUNZ!

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

About BUNZ
Executive chef/owner Jeff Rossman specializes in burgers made with Certified Humane Meyer’s Natural Angus beef, buns from Bread & Cie and Sadie Rose (choose your own bun: sesame, brioche, whole wheat, ciabatta or protein-style), housemade condiments and locally grown produce from Suzie’s Organic Farm and other area growers whenever possible. Rossman is also executive chef/owner of Terra American Bistro and Terra Catering and Shalom Kosher Catering.

“Terra American Bistro is the restaurant of my dreams and Bunz is following suit,” said Rossman, who recently received the inaugural San Diego Grown 365 Award from the San Diego County Farm Bureau for his perseverance in supporting local growers and making locally grown food more accessible to the average person. “We’re bringing the beautiful, locally grown produce from farms likes of Suzie’s Organic – and humanely raised meats – to communities where those ingredients are sparse or non-existent. We’re making food we’re proud to serve our own children.”

Menu items include flat-top hot dogs, local craft beer, breakfast items, breakfast cocktails, shakes and a beer float made with caramel and Stone Smoked Porter. Bunz will also be the first restaurant in town to serve concretes, dense and delicious frozen shakes. In the ’50s, these shakes were handed to customers upside-down as a way to demonstrate their thickness.

Bunz replaced the Rossman family’s 31 year-old Pam Pam Cafe & Grill, attached to Hotel Circle’s Days Hotel. Jeff, who was not involved with Pam Pam, had long waited to convert the spot to a casual eatery where he could serve the same high-quality, locally and humanely sourced ingredients guests get at Terra.

All menu items are under $10.00.

Housemade Vegan Burger (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

South A D’ Border (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Strawberry Malt made from locally grown berries (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Brownie Sundae (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

*Courtesy information

Bunz Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

San Diego Festival of Beer

San Diego Festival of BeerThis year’s Festival will be held at a brand new location on the Broadway Pier. The indoor/outdoor event will feature live music and nearly 60 different breweries serving up 120 varieties of tasty brews.

Inside the San Diego Festival of Beer, will be food items and munchies for sale in addition to a selection of fine wines for purchase by the glass. Each ticket includes admission into the event, 10 (4 oz) beer tastes and the first 1,500 guests receive a free souvenir event logo tasting mug that is theirs to use throughout the evening and to keep when they go home. Additional tastes may be purchased inside the event.

Did you know the Festival is a cancer-fighting fundraiser?  Yep, it is! And it’s raised over $555,000 to date!!

The San Diego Festival of Beer is a fundraiser staffed by volunteers with all proceeds benefiting local cancer charities. The San Diego Festival of Beer is the largest fundraiser of San Diego Professionals Against Cancer, a group of local business professionals, who in 1993, decided to throw a new kind of fundraiser.  At the time, San Diego’s local beer scene was only just beginning and there were no other beer festivals in town. The newly reformed group asked some of their friends at local breweries to donate some beer and around 700 people showed up downtown at the Embarcadero to drink delicious craft beers for a great cause. Needless to say, the idea was a good one.

The festival has grown every year since, and now draws around 4,000 beer loving San Diegans. It takes an army of 300 amazing volunteers to run the event. To date, over half a million dollars has been raised and donated to local charities like Rady Children’s Hospital and Cancer Angels.


 *Courtesy information

Fried Chicken Done Right

fried chicken

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

While there are numerous “gastropub” concepts open in the San Diego area, Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern’s unique focus is on regional “American” comfort foods versus  the “Euro” food often found in gastropubs. fried chicken

With a unique location right on the water in the striking Point Loma Marina, guests can take in a beautiful view of the large yacht ships nestled in the harbor. Boasting acomfortable rustic-urban-industrial ambiance, there are three distinct and separate areas inside to enjoy, including an intimate mid-century modern lounge in the front of therestaurant that has sofa and coffee table seating, a main bar room with booths, high tops and flat screen TVs for those want to be in the center of the action, and a large fire pit
patio. fried chicken

Certified as a “green restaurant” by the national Green Restaurant Association, Jimmy’s is the only area gastropub with this accreditation, which comes through an extensive applied use of recycled building and decor materials, food composting, drought-resistant landscaping, low-flow water fixtures, recycled menus and paper, and other low-carbon footprint initiatives.

Read more about Jimmy’s and get their recipe for Spicy Peel & Eat Shrimp in Beer Broth in my new book San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City.

*Written by  Maria Desiderata Montana

September is No Kid Hungry Month

September is No Kid Hungry MonthSeptember is Dine Out for No Kid Hungry month where thousands of restaurants across the country and all over San Diego pledge to help Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, whose mission is to end childhood hunger in America one meal at a time.

All you need to do is eat out at a participating restaurant, including R-Gang Eatery on 5th, Better Buzz Coffee outlets, Il Fornaio in Coronado, and major chains such as Togo’s, Corner Bakery, Denny’s, Arby’s and more.

To find a participating restaurant, go to http://dineout.nokidhungry.org/maps and input a zip for a complete listing. Some restaurants are taking a percentage of the bill as a donation to No Kid Hungry, others are offering deals on desserts with additional funds going to No Kid Hungry. Readers can keep coming back all month to increase donations.

Further, the Taste of the Nation San Diego event on Sept. 14th also benefits No Kid Hungry.

Since 2008, Dine Out for No Kid Hungry has raised approximately $19 million which has directly resulted in 107 million meals being funded. The non-profit supports a variety of campaigns such as a drive to make sure needy kids are receiving school breakfasts and this summer’s innovative campaign to send food trucks distributing meals in impoverished areas.

Pig Roast at SummerSalt

pig roast


Pig Roast at SummerSalt

Saltbox Chef de Cuisine Jeremiah Bryant and Henebery Whiskey are bringing the best parts of a traditional roast to SummerSalt, the Rooftop Pool & Lounge on Hotel Palomar’s 4th floor pool deck.


Whole roasted pig served with Saltbox’s signature barbecue sauce.

Hearty sides like giardinera with local grown vegetables, braised greens with house made bacon, local grown heirloom beans, corn bread with honey butter, and yams braised in orange and ginger.

Henebery Whiskey cocktails.

Live entertainment by Lady Dottie and the Diamonds.

A backyard-style celebration.


Twenty/20 Wine Wednesdays

Diners Enjoy Ocean Views from the Terrace, a 50 Percent Discount on Select Bottles of Wine on Wednesdays and Live Music on Saturdays

(Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

TWENTY/20, the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa’s signature restaurant, has announced new events for Fall. Featuring farm-to-coast dining, infused with the style and flavors of San Sebastian, TWENTY/20 offers a fun and vibrant dining option for both North County locals and hotel guests.

“We chose to model our menu after the city of San Sebastian because of its flavorful dishes, beautiful scenery and vibrant people and we want that same atmosphere here at TWENTY/20. We are creating a sense of community by offering dining specials and a fun, go-to place for locals,” says Chris Draper, general manager for the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa.

(Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

Starting September 5th, TWENTY/20 will unveil their first Friday Lunch Feature. Showcasing a special Spanish inspired lunch, the restaurant wants guests to linger, and enjoy lunch the Spanish way. Featuring a set menu which rotates every week, guests can choose such dishes as paella, items from “la plancha” and of course, the traditional assorted cheeses and charcuterie. All for $15.00, with $5.00 glasses of TWENTY/20’s signature sangria, and free valet, it’s a lunch that can’t be beat.

On Wine Wednesdays, guests will receive a 50 percent discount on select bottles of wine—all day and evening. Saturdays feature free live music on the terrace, with various local bands playing light, easy-listening rock and roll. And let’s not forget about the gorgeous views, for which the restaurant was named for. The TWENTY/20 terrace is one of North County’s best places to unwind from work and take in the sunset.

For more information or to make dining reservations, please call 760.827.2500 or visit http://twenty20grill.com. TWENTY/20 is located at 5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008.

About the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa

Located in the charming coastal community of Carlsbad, the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa is a refreshing resort located in North San Diego County. With beautiful California Coastal architecture, rolling lawns, flowering landscape and nearby pristine beaches, this Carlsbad resort offers a beautiful setting sure to inspire guests of every kind. The resort sits alongside The Crossings at Carlsbad Golf Course and LEGOLAND® California Resort, and miles of local beaches providing access to a wide variety of attractions and recreational activities. Enjoy our private entrance to LEGOLAND® California with advance LEGOLAND hotel packages or discount tickets available at our concierge desk.

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Corks and Canvas

corks and canvas

(Courtesy photo)

Corks and Canvas

The final installment of The Centre’s “Meet the Masters” Summer Series, Vintana Wine + Dine (by Chef Deborah Scott) will host Corks and Canvas: an experience in Art & Wine pairing at The Centre in Escondido on Saturday, Sept. 13, from noon-3 p.m.

Corks and Canvas will feature ten artists within Vintana’s very own Cohn Restaurant Group who will be paired with a specific wine, expertly chosen by iconic sommelier, Maurice DiMarino, to be enjoyed while viewing their works. This multi-sensory experience will take wine-tasting up a notch, as guests will not only learn how to expertly taste and evaluate wine, but also be given lessons on how to be mindful of all of the senses that the wine-tasting experience encompasses, allowing the tasting to also meld into art viewing and art enjoying. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served as well.For the public, this event is priced at $35 per person. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Centre’s Meet the Masters series is a three-month ongoing event this summer, which has been highlighting one of The Centre’s fabulous retail residents each month. July featured Stephen Fishwick Fine Art with an art class, August showcased Lux Ave with a fashion show and style consultation and September will demonstrate Vintana Wine + Dine’s best foot forward.

The Centre is the premiere events and retail destination in Escondido. The Centre’s unique collection of shops, services and amenities has been carefully created to transform everyday events into extraordinary experiences. Within the 326,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility a glass elevator lifts guests to three stories of comfort and convenience that include: a golf simulator, a learning center, a private library, a children’s area, retail shops, plush conference rooms and over 25,000 square feet of event space – complete with outdoor fire pits that can be used for concerts, weddings, banquets and more.

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Taste of Old Town

Taste of Old TownTaste of Old Town

 Join us for The Taste of Old Town as we present another fabulous round of tasting in San Diego. This September, the Taste of Old Town™ proudly presents tastings of the best Mexican food paired with just the right spirits. Tickets go on sale August 1, 2014 for our First Annual Taste of Old Town – formerly the Old Town Tequila Trail™. Taste of Old Town

Its Party Time

Yea! Its Party Time. Enjoy tasting great samples of cuisine with spirits in some of San Diego’s favorite restaurants in the heart of Old Town. You will have a great time going to each location with lively music and entertainment to greet you. A Trolley will also be available at several stops throughout Old Town adding to the evening festivities. Be a local, experience Old Town, it’s like no other place. Taste of Old Town

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Chef Showdown 2014

Chef Showdown 2014Chef Showdown 2014

Maria Desiderata Montana will be a featured judge at this event. See all the featured chefs and judges here. Chef Showdown 2014

The 10th anniversary of the fantastic annual Chef Showdown will be on Thursday, September 18th at the San Diego Harley-Davidson Showroom.

A highly anticipated & incredibly fun food tasting and mixology event, San Diego’s own version of “Iron Chef” features two teams of the area’s top chefs in a lively and highly entertaining culinary competition. This event brings together members from the restaurant industry, business leaders and philanthropists to raise awareness and funds to end domestic violence. Chef Showdown 2014

When: September 18th, 2014, 6pm – 9pm.

Where: San Diego Harley-Davidson Showroom, 4645 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117.

Why: To support prevention and intervention programs focused on ending domestic violence, sexual assault & elder abuse.

Highlights: Culinary Competition with San Diego’s Top Chefs