Tin Fork

How to drink tea in Tehran

Taste thrill downtown at Darband

“Well, look around you,” she says. “It’s real. Close your eyes and we could be in Tehran.”

Snack, song, and friendly people at Chiquibaby’s

Splot on

"Siempre doy gracias al cielo de ser/ Tan afortunado! The Queen of Chiquibaby belts it out with Joan Sebastian. (“I always give thanks to heaven to be/ So fortunate!”) Everybody belts it out with her, ...

Sweet, cushiony cakes in National City

“The aunt of the first owner. It’s her secret recipe we use for our pancakes, still.”

"Attack of the Killer Pancake. Now Showing.” It’s this movie-house marquee in a painting that hangs above the welcome desk. I’m in this very ’60s coffee house. All stone, glass, and wood. Just got in ...

Beereakfast at Craft Kitchen leaves me wanting a morning nap

A steamy, spicy mess

Hmm. Chilaquiles. Coffee. Beer. Beer. My Sunday brunch. Not just me. Guy on my right is downing a pint of “Dank & Sticky IPA,” think he says. Couple on my left is full-chomp into steaks, ...

Pulled-pork sandwich hunted down in Hillcrest

“Yes, it’s our smoker. We have it going pretty much all the time.”

Huh. A smoker. And smoking away right now. Not some guy — a wood-burning meat smoker. I’m loping up Indiana Street. Where it forks into Park and Robinson, and right beside a li’l ol’ bungalow, ...

Take your tongue on a side-trip to East Africa

By way of Burundi

"Whooo! Whooo!” This is Mary Beth and her friend Jef. Waving their arms, pointing their fingers, whooping like werewolves, doing a dance in place here in row 32 at SDSU’s Viejas Arena. Confession: This is ...

La Jolla grub-hunt started out innocently enough

“Hey, we’re helping the earth. You’re not against that...are you, Ed?”

Lord. Trying to concentrate. Ten percent, double it, aargh! Sixteen bucks. And that’s just the tip. Total for this lunch, $105.97. I try not to let it show as I usher the two ladies out. ...

Go Biga downtown, mop the plate

“He keeps that batch of ‘live’ dough from one day to the next. It’s the life of the bread.”

I look at my chunk of bread. Just think, Napoleon ate this. Could have. Really. This bread. That’s how long it’s been going. Back in 1815, Battle of Waterloo and all that, this exact same ...

Fill your piehole Japanese style

Grilled squid, sautéed pork ginger, lemon chicken, sautéed pork kimchi, on and on, $3.95 each.

"Hi! Welcome! Yókoso!” It’s this lady at the cashier desk. Love that about Japanese eateries. I know it’s just business, but welcomes like this kinda make you feel good. I had just hopped off the ...

Engulf the Garlic Shack

The powers of garlic

"Soju!” says my buddy Ernesto. “Au jus?” “No, soju. What’ve you been talking about, on and on? Soju? Korean sake? Then it clicks. ’Cause I have been going on about soju and how it’s gonna ...

New Zealand in Little Italy, Spain in the Gaslamp

Overseas outposts

Water. Adam’s Ale. Hobo cocktail. Sky juice. Call it whatever, it’s one of the few things around that’s still actually free. And — hey hey! — today, water made it possible for me to finagle ...

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