Spotlight: Flavors of East Africa

If you frequent Ocean Beach, Hillcrest, or even San Diego State University Farmer’s markets, then you may have caught a taste of Flavors of East Africa, a kenyan infused cuisine now located off El Cajon Blvd.

Treat your taste buds to flavors they have never experienced with East African inspired appetizers,entrees, and desserts!

Patrons can enjoy an eclectic menu of treats that include curried Tilapia with Ugali and their signature Jungle fries . They also cater to vegans, as well as those self proclaimed flexitarians.

What are you waiting for? Embark on a journey through East Africa with a true taste of kenyan cuisine right in your own backyard,

And check out Flavors of East Africa, one of the many great stops on the Bite San Diego’s El Cajon Blvd food tour!

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Spotlight: Spike’s Africa

Spike Africa is the newest addition to the Downtown/Little Italy tour and highlights the fresh seafood culture that exemplifies San Diego. The name “Spike Africa” has become popular in sea folklore tales and can better be attributed to the “President of the Pacific Ocean.” It originated from a devout seaman and expert sailor of the West Coast and Pacific Ocean, Philip Marion Africa. He later got his name Spike, from a rigging tool used in sailing, and it stuck with him ever since. Spike Africa takes you on a culinary adventure of fresh seafood shaped by Master Chef Paul Rinaudo.

Of course they are well known for their seafood which is sourced fresh from local fish markets and fisherman. The Poke Bowl with Mango (pictured here) is sure to release a burst of seafood deliciousness to satisfy the sweet taste of island flavor.

If you’re looking for a great place to hang out and save a little cash then check out their Happy Hour, Spike’s favorite time of the day! One of best Happy Hours in all of downtown, you can order oysters for only a $1! That’s right, “a buck a shuck”

If you’re looking for something lighter and more health conscious you can opt for one of their gluten-free entrees. Their grilled shrimp lettuce cups are a huge favorite on the 600 Club Menu as well as the Ginger Chicken Skewers.

Check out Spike Africa, along with the rest of our favorite hot spots on Bite San Diego’s Downtown tour!

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Spotlight: Chicken Pie Shop

Remember those horrid microwave pot pies, well it’s time to forget about them because you have check out the latest addition to the Bite San Diego El Cajon Blvd tour, Chicken Pie Shop. Get ready to dive into an ensemble of gravy, chicken, slaw, and of course PIE!

One of the popular menu items include…you guessed it, CHICKEN POT PIE!

Other favorites include homemade french toast, split pea soup, and the fried chicken dinner shown below.

Down home cookin’ has finally made its way to the Blvd! Be sure to check out Chicken Pie Shop and the many other delicious stops on the El Cajon Blvd food tour.

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Spotlight: Tiger! Tiger!

If you’ve ever made your way to Blind Lady Ale House and Automatic Brewing Co. then you will be in heaven at Tiger! Tiger! in North Park. Stemming from the creators of the aforementioned locations, Tiger! Tiger! incorporates locally sourced food and craft beer, each a North Park staple. By looking at the menu, choosing an option is far from easy but they always recommend the wood-fired bahn mi sandwich with pork belly (a local favorite and must-try for first timers).

If pork isn’t your first choice then have a go at one of their vegetarian dishes like the mushroom lentil sandwich (shown below) or a tofu bahn mi sandwich with Shiitake marinade.

Of course you want to wash any delicious fare down with a pint (or two) of delicious local craft beer so be sure and scour their extensive list of artisan brews. If you’re strictly there for the beer head out back to the IPA bar and sample a few from one of San Diego’s many local breweries.

Tiger! Tiger! along with many other renowned restaurants are all available on the Bite San Diego North Park food tour!

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Spotlight: Ohana Cafe

Hawaii: beaches, hula dancing, and … amazing BBQ. You don’t have to go to Hawaii for that Hawaiian barbecue experience, however. (And, while we can’t say San Diego is the capital of hula, we would argue that our beaches give HI a run for its money.)

Head to the Ohana Cafe for authetic, Hawaiian barbecue.

Chicken teriyaki plate.

Chicken teriyaki plate

Seared Ahi Tuna Plate

Seared Ahi Tuna Plate

Spam musabi

Spam Musabi

Yes, that last picture was a Spam dish. Guam consumes the most spam in the world with Hawaiians as a close second. American servicemen originally brought Spam in their rations to the island and it became a crucial protein source for the local population when fishing was outlawed during WWII. And it’s still a popular menu item and ingredient. In 2005 alone, Hawaiins ate 5 million cans of Spam! 

The last dish pictured, Spam musabi, features a slice of fried Spamin rice enveloped in a strip of nori. This snack found its way onto Hawaiian menus in the 1980’s and can still be found today!

Check out this restaurant and more on the La Jolla version of Bite San Diego’s food tour!

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Spotlight: Girard Gourmet in La Jolla

Welcome to Girard Gourmet, the newest stop on our La Jolla food tour! Family-owned and serving up tradition for 25 years, Girard is a deli, bakery and caterer all rolled into one.

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There is something on the menu for everyone, ranging from healthier options to dangerously delicious treats for indulgence. And no matter what time of the day you pop in, there is something that will catch your eye, and more importantly, your taste buds.

Breakfast- Try one of a wide variety of fresh-baked muffins and croissants, pancakes, or  even a continental breakfast

Lunch- Try the sandwich of your choice on one of their freshly-baked breads. There are a lot of options to choose from in dressing your ‘wich, including the basics, but ranging all the way to smoked salmon and chicken curry! (And for you avocado lovers, yes they have avocado!!)

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Mmmm…Lunch is served.

If you are feeling like salad, you are in luck as well! Available in many quantities and even by the pound, try a salad like the “Chef” – Strips of Turkey, Ham, Swiss, Cheddar, and Egg on a Bed of Lettuce with Tomatoes & Dressing.

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In a rush? Grab your salad to-go!

Dinner-When it comes to dinner time try a hot-specialty like Lasagna or Roasted Chicken with potatoes and carrots! Feeling fancy? Order a whole quiche!

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Catering- Not only does Girard Gourmet cater, but they have compiled two distinct menus for business and social catering, all for your convenience! Now that’s a heck of a deal.

Don’t leave without a treat! Girard Gourmet has quite the selection of infamous cookies, including: Almond Square, Double Fudge, Honey Oat Raisin, and Peanut Butter. And we haven’t even mentioned the cake…

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The delectable Raspberry Heart Cookie

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How cute is that?

Check out this restaurant (located at 7837 Girard Ave.) and others on Bite San Diego’s La Jolla food tour here!

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Spotlight: Magnolia Tap & Kitchen in Downtown San Diego

Welcome to the newest stop on our Downtown food tour, Magnolia Tap & Kitchen!

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If you like fresh ingredients and homestyle cooking, you’ll love this spot! With a simple menu and a classy yet comfortable environment, dining here becomes quite the enjoyable experience. Furthermore, they have LIVE entertainment on Friday’s and Saturday’s from 8pm-12am!

First, take a look at the location itself:

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Absolutely beautiful decor

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Spatious outdoor patio

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Now, let’s check out the food shall we? There is something on the menu for everyone, but here are some of our favorites…

1. The Braised Short Rib.

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Yum!

2. Coconut Beer Battered Shrimp

shrimp_13. Spinach Salad

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4. Pecan Pie

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Voted #1 in all of San Diego

They are also known for their wide variety of signature cocktails and spirits.

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And don’t forget about the music and entertainment!

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Check out this spot and others on Bite San Diego’s Downtown food tour here!

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Restaurant Spotlight: Beachside Bar And Grill

You can’t get much more Californian than the Beachside Bar & Grill in Encinitas, the newest stop on Bite San Diego’s Encinitas food tour!

806 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA

You can expect specialty burgers like the Woody (featuring bacon, avocado, ranch dressing, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheddar) and salads like the Classic California Cobb that boasts romaine and iceberg lettuce, grilled chicken breast, bacon, avocado, crumbled blue cheese, crumbled egg, and blue cheese dressing.

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Or, go for the Big Catch, pictured above, with grilled fish fillet, lettuce, red onion, and tartar sauce.

This casual dining location has great outdoor seating, 12 beers on tap, and a fun atmosphere. Check it out on the Encinitas Bite Tour!

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Spotlight: Crazee Burger in North Park, San Diego

Everyone loves a good burger and beer, but Crazee Burger takes this concept to a whole new level.

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Infamous for their crazy combinations of various ingredients, Crazee burger has mastered the explosion of flavor. Here are some examples:

  • “Nacho”: Burger with a potato patty, sautéed jalapenos, and nacho cheese
  • “Chinook”: Salmon patty with sun-dried tomato aioli
  • “Kangaroo”: A vibrant meat with creamed horseradish sauce
  • “Wild Boar”: Poached red wine pear, mushrooms, bacon, cream and plum jelly
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The Wild Boar

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But don’t worry, they still have the classics!

  • “The Angus”: All natural burger, with premium fresh Angus meat
  • “Francaise”: Burger a la Brie
  • “Texas”: Bacon and hickory smoked BBQ

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Vegetarian? No problem! There are options for you too!

  • “Grilled Portabella”: Avocado and sun-dried tomato aioli
  • “Veggie”: A patty of fresh veggies, mushrooms, onions, rice, and parsley with a chipotle sauce

They also have a variety of delicious sides, including: salads, sweet potato fries, and chili.

And don’t forget about all of the beers on tap! While they have a regular happy hour daily, Monday’s provide a whole day of happy hour deals!

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Sold yet? The best part is, even though most of the ingredients are organic, Crazee Burger goes easy on your wallet! The burgers run at about $10 and are SO TASTY.

Check out this spot and others on Bite San Diego’s North Park food tour here!

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The Headquarters

Police-Officer-Motorcycles_Fotor_FotorThe Headquarters is the recently restored old San Diego Police Station which was shut down over thirty years ago. Reopened this week, occupied by tons of new restaurants and shops The Headquarters is a great new addition to downtown San Diego and Seaport Village. Built in 1939, the building’s architecture mirrors a Spanish mission with an open floor plan encouraging circulation, traffic flow, and social engagement. The unexpected mix of styles, including Classical Revival, Churriqueresque, Spanish Colonial, Mediterranean Revival, and Pueblo Deco conjures the magic of a romantic Mediterranean get-a-way. This inspired architectural and functional design has earned it a listing on the National Register of Historic Places, and establishes The Headquarters as a one of a kind project that can never be duplicated. True to its legacy as part of San Diego culture, this reinvented landmark is poised to become the premiere destination for dining, shopping and entertainment on the waterfront.

The original building opened with, five courtrooms, an emergency hospital, an indoor shooting range, jail, law library and huge maintenance garage. The character of this original structure can be seen today in the exquisite detail and felt in the authentic spirit of the surrounding environment.

The-Headquarters-San-Diego-Opening it’s doors again for the first time in decades last week The Headquarters will house several restaurants and shops new to downtown San Diego. This link will show you the layout of the new Headquarters. Now that The Headquarters is open it is sure to be a BIG hit with locals as well as visitors of San Diego.

 

 

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