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Stories by Chad Deal

La guerra de la cerveza empezó

Council in Mexicali suggests moratorium on craft-beer permits

The Mexicali craft-beer industry is in hot water after a Tuesday, June 30, meeting of the Consejo de Alcoholes de Mexicali: the regional alcohol council's members expressed opposition to issuing new permits to artisanal brewers. ...

Acid means freedom

“Anytime a genre of music is basically outlawed and pushed out like that, it makes my blood boil.”

The fresh, the fried, and the funky at La Palapa Nayarit

A treatise on 99-cent fish tacos and mariscos cocktails

With the first hills of Baja California rising on the horizon, South Bay is home to a number of mariscos joints that follow in the seaside tradition of Baja and beyond. La Palapa Nayarit is ...

Between punk and the park

The Balboa trades aluminum for glass in Bankers Hill

The Tin Can Ale House, a Bankers Hill live music go-to and canned-beer wonderland, has traded in their aluminum for glass. The Balboa debuted in March with a cocktail menu designed by Jackson Milgaten (who ...

Poker refugees in Mexico

I could lose $5000 right now and I wouldn’t feel anything.

“Now, I have a much better understanding of money. I understand that it goes in and it goes out.”

Punk rock ain’t no bitch, Mom!

Half-empty cans, cigarette butts, rubbers, and blood stains mark the end of a good time.

Chad, 11:45 a.m.: “Aye dawgy, what time are you all headed south?” Derek, 11:46 a.m.: “It might be later than we originally planned cuz I have to go to the hospital. But I will be ...

Customers flock here constantly

Tacos El Paisa There’s a lot to be said about a San Diego taco shop that is mindful enough to press fresh masa tortillas with every order. It speaks to a certain authenticity, one that ...

South of the border comfort food

Voodoo Stu brings Southern home cooking to Tijuana

Voodoo Stu probably could have gotten away with calling his cooking “Rural-Creole-Baja Cuisine” or some drummed up stuff like that, but he didn’t. Instead, the Atlanta-raised chef simply calls it “Southern comfort food,” and it ...

Ambiance reminiscent of a reclusive lord’s library

T Lounge Located beneath the billowing rainbow flag of Hillcrest east, the Bamboo Lounge recently rebranded to the T Lounge and, with their renovations, included a happy hour of polychromatic proportions. More than just a ...

Passport for global beer travel

El Cajon's Main Tap, indeed

An international craft oasis in El Cajon's American macrobrew desert.

Borderlanding

Tijuana’s nightlife is becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Baja and San Diego have a long history of partying together. These days, the atmosphere is less belligerence and more participants. Promoters from both sides work together to throw underground shows at new and inventive ...

Birria in the Bear's Corner

Goat stew amid the bustle of Mercado Hidalo

El Rincon del Oso Mercado Miguel Hidalgo local-47 Phone: 6646842491 Tijuana has gotten a bad rap over the years, thanks largely to a U.S.-fueled drug war and the ensuing onslaught of sensationalist journalism that often ...

Veggiejuana: Baja brunch on a budget

Clever veggie breakfast in the North Park of TJ

Brunch in Tijuana may not be the middle class ritual de lo habitual (to borrow a phrase from Jane’s Addiction) that it is in urban America, but the Sunday fare is certainly worth waking up ...

The blood of a lamb

Walter Sutin baits people with what they don't understand.

Walter Sutin grew up in Pennsylvania and studied at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore before moving to San Diego in 2008 and, three years later, enrolling in the master’s program at UCSD. He ...

Photography unique to the Casbah

Sean McMullen never intended to become a photographer. After testing out of high school in the mid-’80s to pursue a future in filmmaking, the Chula Vista native took a course in photography under the technical ...

Movement, memory, and sound

It’s only been about five months since Mexico City multimedia artist and musician Francisco Eme moved to San Diego, but he’s already integrated his work into multiple shows in California and Baja. Many of the ...

Tijuana to China and back

“No one is going to shut me up here.” That’s what artist Daniel Ruanova told Newsweek in a 2002 article that arrived at the zenith of media captivation with Tijuana art and music. The publication ...

Veggiejuana: Bowling for 'ritos

Juárez-style burritos made big at time-honored eatery

Bol Corona Avenida Ocampo between Tercera and Cuarta, Centro, Tijuana San Diegans are often surprised to discover that our beloved, bulky, bountiful burritos are nowhere to be found in Tijuana. In fact, the Northern Mexico ...

Veggiejuana: innovative urban Baja on wheels

Telefónica Gastro Park doesn't phone in the veggies

Telefónica Gastro Park Avenida Ocampo between Boulevard Agua Caliente and Calle 11, Tijuana, Baja California. Telefónica Gastro Park, one of the city’s more recent groovy grub hubs, puts innovative urban chow on wheels. The downtown ...

Yeti again

It’s been eight years since Doña Pancha Fest held their first fringe showcase at a brothel in Tecate, featuring the zebra-costumed Anal Core and Los Nuevos Maevans, whose air-guitar old-school punk jams have become a ...

Doombia

“I think everybody kind of left cumbia, but we’re still doing it in this weird way,” says Marco Polo Gutierrez aka Siete Catorce, a Mexicali producer who fell in with Tijuana’s ruidosón crew after performing ...

Feels like home

Moustache brings a shot of North Park to Tijuana.

Moustache has always struck me as a Tijuana twist on North Park’s Bar Pink. Both are surefire spots to run into familiar faces most nights of the week and catch (often) free live music from ...

Crossborder holiday guide

Let nature provide Hills, valleys, and seaside Let the seasonal bouquet of East County and coastal chaparral inspire homespun holiday treats. A pungent whiff of Cleveland sage on Sycuan Peak or Sycamore Canyon might inspire ...

Illuminated, evolving medium

Visual projection artists respond to open call and BYOB Tijuana takes on the local vibe.

Bring Your Own Beamer is a project launched by Berlin artist Rafaël Rozendaal in 2010 that gives an open-call to visual projection artists of every inclination. In a DIY showcase of the developing frontier of ...

World-class throwback

Albie's is the ideal spot to canoodle with those who have improved with age.

It doesn’t look like much, the windowless portico brooding in the glow of a Hotel Circle Travelodge. However, behind a red door next to the lobby lies a world-class throwback that shows little indication of ...

Veggiejuana: healthy trumps hip

Zona Rio health food store and bakery serves meatless lunch meals.

On the far end of the spectrum from modern grub-hubs such as Food Garden and Colective 9 lies Flor de la Vida — a classic Tijuana veggie kitchen, bakery, and health food store that stocks ...

Massive brain crowbar

Octagrape, Trumans Water, and Permanent Makeup tour up the coast on no wave compilation cassette

No-wave garage-rock quartet Octagrape are embarking on an eight-stop West Coast tour with Portland-via-SD experimental band Trumans Water and Florida like-mindeds Permanent Makeup. The trio of acts will be travelling on a 17-track compilation cassette, ...

María y José on violence and love

Tijuana ruidosón prophet María y José shakes up San Diego

More of an attitude than a proper genre, a close-knit collective of Tijuana musicians put a significant blip on the international music radar starting in 2009 under the umbrella tag ruidosón. The sound takes hints ...

Veggiejuana: Chalita's new twist on an old dish

Classic Mexican cuisine for a modern generation

Fixed gastrocourts and quasi-permanent food truck circles have been redefining the culinary streetscape of Tijuana neighborhoods such as Centro, Cacho, Gabilondo, and Distrito Gastronómico for the past couple of years. Newest on the scene is ...

BLVD Market reinvents ECB with fresh eats

San Diego's first prepared-foods-only popup market comes to the Boulevard

Once infamous for its streetwalkers and illegal street car races, El Cajon Boulevard is further reinventing itself by debuting San Diego’s first popup outdoor prepared foods market. The BLVD Market will be held every third ...

Pull that tap wide open

Draw-it-yourself at Pacific Beach's Barrel Republic, a unique suds arcade.

Suds lovers, rejoice! It’s your turn to draw that draft, thanks to Barrel Republic’s pour-it-yourself tap room, which opened last November. “A lot of people compare it to Yogurtland,” says barmaid Nikki, one of the ...

We don’t want to work for the maquiladoras

Tapping the power to change things in Tijuana.

Miguel Buenrostro sits on the second floor of the old Mexicoach station, half a block from the nocturnal nexus of Sexta and Revolución. We are in a vacant, black-walled room that will soon be converted ...

Veggiejuana: Raíces bicycle burrito service

Vegan collective brings fresh vegan 'ritos to your doorstep.

Far removed from high-end buffets and trendy concept eateries lays Raíces Cocina Vegana, one of at least three veggie-centric bicycle delivery services in Tijuana. Active for about 4 months, Raíces prepares vegan burritos at the ...

Be smart, take risks

Moon Block Party returns to Pomona with international bill

It’s been three years since the Moon Block Party collective threw their first free event at the Downtown Pomona Arts Colony with over 50 acts including notables such as Strangers Family Band, Allah-Las, Halloween Swim ...

Veggiejuana: Veggie Smalls at Food Garden

Well-dubbed veg hub dishes out fusion grub.

Veggie Smalls gets a sterling rating right off the bat based on their name alone, but the instinctive kudos is backed up in full by their menu of veg-friendly burgers, dogs, and tacos. For the ...

The curious walking reeds of the Tijuana River

Have we got a green card for you.

Art on the hoof, in the river, but not quite across the border.

Cozy café with a dark side

Human skulls dangled from the ceiling in birdcages.

La Cupula is everything I’d hoped a vampire bar in Tijuana would be. At first I’d pictured an all-out monster mash: freaks sipping gore-toned cocktails and stomping around to industrial remixes of 45 Grave. It ...

Veggiejuana: an introduction to vegetarian TJ

It's no longer just elotes and frijoles for Tijuana vegetarians.

The thought of eating vegetarian in Tijuana may seem strange. After all, when considering the cuisine of our neighbor to the south, one generally pictures the carne asada, chorizo, adobada, and braided tripa tacos that ...

Pork rinds now, shawarma later at Bakbuk

When it comes to nightlife, Tijuana’s Sexta has something for everyone — time-honored cantinas, craft-beer cinema bars, kitschy mezcalerías, jazz joints, after-hour dance clubs, ’til-dawn punk dives, and old-timey cumbia halls. Now, Bakbuk is bringing ...

La Esquina has a Parasite

Barrio Logan architects explore parasitic structures and permit evasion

You may have seen it on a Barrio Logan hilltop just west of I-5: an electric-green trapezoid in an otherwise vacant lot, a triangular opening on one end and a larger square portal on the ...

Fine international fusion at beach bum cost

Turquoise Cellars is home to masters and obsessives.

You wouldn’t guess it from their island-style coffee-shop façade, but beyond the organic drip java and veggie wraps lies a top-notch wine and beer bar with selections meant to be paired with their eclectic, globally ...

Moments of Clarity with Whales Whailing

San Diego soul quester returns to hometown with spiritual folk outfit

Peter Ryan has played percussion in a number of projects from his hometown of San Diego, on to Seattle with Kusikia (whose record was put out by fellow San Diegan-gone-Northwesterner Alex Miranda on his vinyl ...

Nunu's sees the light

Hillcrest mainstay tweaks the vibe but not the essentials.

Anyone who’s had the pleasure of tossing back a few cocktails at this 50-some-year-old Fifth Avenue landmark knows that a large part of the appeal comes from its shadowy interior lined with red Naugahyde booths. ...

Because cyborgs

Chad's account of his time as a soldier in the battle against chair loss.

Cyborg party at the Xoo brings in a few lawn chairs.

Left speechless

Divine intervention may be at play when Chad visits Little Bonanza.

In an era when any jerk with a Wi-Fi connection can condemn every small business on Earth for no good reason, it speaks volumes to find a bar with zero Yelp reviews. No off-topic whiners. ...

Con gusto

Be it a liter of gut-wrenching booze-cophony from a TJ punk cave or a martini glass of tamarind/mezcal slush, borderland cocktails unite us, con gusto. Chiquita’s Mexican Food This Fairmount Park villa is the epitome ...

El Dorado rebrand

“There are a lot of really crazy rumors going around town about El Dorado,” says Ryan Kuntz, manager of the East Village cocktail lounge. “‘I heard it was going out of business.’ ‘I heard it ...

Cross-cultural interactive art in the park with Figment

2nd annual, free, all-ages day festival returns to Chicano Park.

Aiming to bridge the gap between art creators and art appreciators by removing expression from the confines of a gallery, FIGMENT made its San Diego debut last year, drawing over 1000 participants for the day-long ...

Things to do

What do you mean you’re bored?! An anti-ho-hum compendium.

Jetpack America Want to feel like Superman? After a training video and in-office instruction, strap on a jetpack and take to the air. During the 15- to 60-minute ride, the water-jetting pack can go as ...

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