The Taco Stand Downtown

The Taco StandA True Tijuana Taqueria coming to downtown!

With solid family recipes and a fridge stocked with Mexican Coca-Cola, The Taco Stand is ringing in the New Year with an announcement that deserves a fiesta! Inspired by the food stands of Tijuana, La Jolla’s favorite taquería is about to open a second location that’s guaranteed to spice up downtown’s culinary scene.

Located on 645 B Street in the heart of downtown, The Taco Stand is expected to open its doors during the first week of January. This 1,500 square foot Mexican eatery is not your regular one-stop-taco-shop. The fresh location aims to create a bright spot that will allow patrons to escape the chaotic downtown atmosphere and be transported to a uniquely-festive, south-of-the-border world.

The zesty menu, motivated by traditional Latin American family recipes, will remain the same. The eatery offers Burritos, such as the Chorizo & Egg, Al Pastor and Camaron with grilled shrimp, any time of day. Deliciously fresh items made from scratch daily also give foodies something to taco ‘bout. For example, the Nopal Taco with grilled cactus, Latin Corn on the Cob and Sonora Taco with 100% certified Angus beef.  Not to mention, The Taco Stand’s counter service makes grabbing lunch convenient for downtown’s fast-paced residents and workers. 

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Sirena Latin Gourmet Seafood

Sirena Latin Gourmet Seafood
Sirena Rockfish Tiradito

Nestled in the streets of Little Italy in San Diego, Sirena Latin Gourmet Seafood Restaurant fuses the culinary diversity of Latin American cultures for an unmatched seafood experience. With fresh, simple ingredients that create complex and exotic flavors, Sirena is recognized for its vibrant dishes in San Diego. Standout items from the chic, upscale eatery come from the Nikkei and Raw Bar. The Rockfish Tiradito, with red onion, tangerines, Serrano chile, sorrel, lime, leche de tigre and hazelnut oil, fully infuses local ingredients with an array of Latin American flavors. AltStrat

Sirena Gourmet Latin Seafood Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mad For Meatballs

Check out these San Diego restaurants who incorporate the meaty sidekicks in out-of-the-box recipes that will make you mad for meatballs!

Mad For Meatballs

Breakfast Republic is San Diego’s one-stop-breakfast-shop, known for its twist on American classics. Their Turkey Meatball Hash is no exception. Made with three eggs any style, spinach, smashed turkey meatballs, pesto and house potatoes, this morning pick-me-up incorporates turkey into the meatballs for leaner, energy-packed protein. Want another variation of the a.m. dish? Mission Hill’s favorite farm-to-table eatery, Farmer’s Bottega, serves a Sausage Meatball Hash with spinach, potatoes, pesto and three eggs any style.

Hillcrest’s Uptown Tavern celebrates small plates that can be shared among family and friends. Including their Pork Meatballs, or three pork meatballs, arugula citrus ancho crema and kimo sabe mezcal reposado tomatillo purée. A plate prepared so meticulously, it could stand alone as its own meal. Or, you can add a dose of veggies with their Spaghetti Squash & Pork Meatballs with Ketel one vodka, tomato sauce, pork meatballs, asiago cheese and fresh herbs.

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A Biscotti Recipe for the Holidays

Maria’s Cranberry Walnut Biscotti (Recipe and photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Maria’s Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Makes 2 dozen cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • zest from one medium orange (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped anise seeds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup whole, dried cranberries
  • red and green decorative sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In a separate mixing bowl combine sugar, butter, orange zest and anise seeds using an electric mixer. Mix until creamy (approximately one minute). Add eggs one at a time, mixing well until the batter is smooth.

Add the flour mixture and stir until well blended. Stir in the walnuts and cranberries.

Split the dough evenly and form two logs on the baking sheet, approximately 12 inches long by 2 inches wide. Sprinkle colored sugar over the top of each log and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool for approximately 30 minutes.

On a cutting board, use a sharp knife to cut each log into ½-inch-thick diagonal slices. Arrange the slices, cut side down, on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Place the slices on a rack and cool completely.

Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week or frozen in resealable freezer-safe plastic bags for up to two months.

*This story by Maria Desiderata Montana first appeared in the U-T San Diego.

Java Tea Company

(Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)

Handcrafted tea blends emulate a premium coffee taste with the health benefits of tea!

Java Tea Co. offers the first ever coffee-inspired tea. Java Tea blends are made with organic green tea and rooibos, mixed with other perfectly selected organic and natural ingredients to create an incredibly healthy, bold yet balanced brew with twice the amount of antioxidants. “Our teas were created with both coffee and tea lovers in mind. I had the need for a healthy yet flavorful beverage, and found out through this process that I wasn’t alone,” said founder and CEO of Java Tea Co., Preston Caffrey.

(Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)

For seven years, Preston was mentored by one of the most sought after tea guru’s in the world, spending years together dreaming up and perfecting the incredible brew that would later become Java Tea. In 2010, Preston sold everything and moved his family of four to Italy. Breaking away from the daily grind, it was there that the “Slow. Down.” culture of Java Tea was born. It was no longer about the fast-paced coffee-to-go lifestyle, but an art of life appreciation, taking in the moment and experiencing the now. “In Italy, people come together to enjoy an afternoon espresso. It’s a big part of their culture that tea lovers crave too,” said Preston. “Java Tea is the perfect vehicle to help people slow down, just for a moment, and experience life with one another. I truly do believe that when people are present, together and connecting, they can change the world.”

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Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe From The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Yields 12 cupcakes

  • 1-4 ounce stick of butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon clove
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.

Paddle together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix together milk and puree. Add dry and milk mixture to butter alternating, ending with the dry ingredients. Bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 ounces white chocolate

In a large mixing bowl, paddle together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon. (Taste and add more if you have more of a sweet tooth.) Melt white chocolate and slowly add to cream cheese. Once it comes together, stop mixing and frost the pumpkin cupcakes.