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Stories by Chad Deal

Adventures in Adobada: An introduction

If you like bacon, you'll love its sophisticated, eccentric uncle, adobada.

While glistening towers of adobada are ubiquitous in the streets of Tijuana, San Diego’s bouquet of badass ‘bada is limited. Adobada (“marinated”) is better known beyond borderland as al pastor (“shepherd style”), a nod to ...

Swim a little deeper at the Merrow

Hillcrest’s Ruby Room transforms into the Merrow -- a Gaelic-influenced bar with a nautical theme. You’ll figure it out. Start at the bar.

That speakeasy type of vibe

Mexican New York speakeasy in former strip mall

You hear it all the time: “We are not Mexico. We are not the U.S. We are Tijuana.” Just as this mentality has bred a number of cultural hallmarks that are distinctly tijuas (the Caesar ...

Cholo goth

Rafael Reyes, a self-described “cholo goth” musician who says, “Killwave, occultwave, shadowave are all outlets that I use to expose and celebrate fragments of who I am, may it be my vulnerability or, at times, my ego.” Jeepers.

The dark and heavy of ILYA

Their acidic-sweet separation is over.

Returning from a four-year hiatus (minus a local Halloween appearance in 2011), ILYA is back in the studio wrapping up their third full-length album with two new members: guitarist Demetrius Antuña (ANA, KATA, the Dropscience) ...

La Mesa steakhouse moves charcoal to outdoor hookah lounge

Charcoal House puts the kibosh on karaoke night.

Sequestered on the eastern end of La Mesa on a recent Wednesday evening, I headed over to the Charcoal House (9566 Murray Drive) with my girlfriend and a buddy visiting from Colombia to dive into ...

MC Lars: Halloween post-punk laptop rap

The Merrow hosts a cosplay and Nerdcore extravaganza for All Hallows' Eve

Fresh off a UK tour with Wheatus and summer’s Warped Tour, MC Lars is bringing his tongue-in-cheek white-boy rhymes (he calls it “post-punk laptop rap”) to The Merrow (1271 University Avenue, Hillcrest) on Thursday, October ...

Savor every sip at 1994 Bar

“All four shareholders have a thing for 1994” at the 1994 Bar in Tijuana. There, you can “go anachronistalgic to “All Apologies” while choosing from over 35 beers.

Know your meat

No mechanical slaughter here, folks

I didn’t know sheep had rectangular pupils. I guess I’d never gotten close enough to notice. But there they were, pleading up at me as I held the animal’s head and torso in place over ...

RELÁMPAGO: imperfect family photos

Omar Lopex's pretend family portraits on tintype wet plates

At first glance, the colorless photos don’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary. Weathered and faded around the edges, the collection looks like something you might find in an unmarked shoebox at the ...

Staricide saga

A collection of local experimental musicians and physics enthusiasts will be transforming the captivating saga of “staricide” — the tale of the sun’s impending death in six billion years — into death-metal performance Our Star Will Die Alone.

Five minutes to Baja's finest

La Faraona, in Tijuana’s Zona Rio, offers a taste of Baja’s finest cuisine

One of the most visible symptoms of the cultural shift that has been taking place in Tijuana over the past several years is the reclamation of former tourist dumps by businesses that now highlight Baja’s ...

Feast! Leftovers

An overabundance of contributions to our September 5 Feast issue allowed us to offer these leftovers. Find Chad Deal's Baja leftovers below. Not in the mood for Mexi? Try Eve Kelly's Cheapskate's Corner or munch ...

Celebrating Mexican independence in Sherman Heights

The food way is the good way at Ma Eugenia's.

Ma Eugenia would hear the cry every year. It was the cry of Don Miguel Gregorio Antonio Ignacio Hidalgo-Costilla y Gallaga Mandarte Villaseñor. Okay, Father Hidalgo to you and me. He gave that famous cry ...

I Eat People: Children's Monster Art

A collection of multimedia monsters as imagined by kids.

“My nephew and I used to hang out and draw monsters,” says Sam Lopez, curator of the upcoming I EAT PEOPLE: Children's Monster Art exposition. “He was probably 5 years old. He is a great ...

Baja Makes Me Hungry

Tijuana and nearby cities to the south have become famous in the past few years for their locally sourced Baja Med cuisine. The fusion fare of traditional Mexican dishes with Asian and Mediterranean influences highlights ...

Tom Ham's Lighthouse remodels and debuts new menu

Historic Harbor Island restaurant gets an overhaul.

Harbor Island landmark Tom Ham’s Lighthouse recently underwent a $3.5 million renovation by late architect Graham Downes, who reimagined the interior design and bayfront bar. Boasting views of the San Diego Bay, the downtown skyline, ...

Hops over the border

Baja wages beer war

If the idea of craft beer in Baja is new to you, you aren’t alone. But now, more than ever, it’s time to catch up. As any southbound San Diegan knows, the selection of suds ...

Amorous Abyss: Brian Meanswell's flowers and women

National City artist examines the emotions behind body language in an exhibit at EQ Culture Studios.

Spring Valley is the new North Park

The Bancroft opened at the site of the defunct dive Fannie’s, and the Spring Valley spot is now a punk and hardcore haven.

Apt for an epitaph

Upcoming gigs for Late Nite Howl, featuring Tijuana guitarist Pablo Dodero.

The Malcolm X Experimental Music Festival

Stay Strange teams up with fellow sonic deviants to host Valencia Park noise fest.

Outsider art and music outpost Stay Strange is taking part in a experimental music festival at the Malcolm X Library (Valencia Park) on Saturday, September 21. “It's been a dream of mine to host a ...

Capitol of cool

Local filmmaker Bill Perrine of Billingsgate Media is collaborating with musicians, promoters, and club owners to produce It’s Gonna Blow!!! — San Diego’s Music Underground 1986–1996.

Getting wooly at Mamut

Pasaje Rodríguez totally changed my preconceptions of Tijuana about a year and a half ago, when I accidentally discovered the bustling arts-and-culture alleyway while searching for tacos one Friday night with Reader foodie Ian Pike. ...

Groovy nightlife in Tijuana

We’ve all heard the story by now: 9/11-mania brought the border to a halt. Tourism died. Tijuana got bad. Locals stopped going out. Locals got tired of not going out. La Mezcalera opened. Locals went ...

Grace Ann Piano brings visual story of indigenous cultures to Queen Bee's

Detroit native takes her solo exhibition to Queen Bee's Art & Cultural Center in North Park.

Radvocate Video Magazine: episode 2

Local print zine finds its footing in open-submission multimedia art.

Cocktail casual at the Turf

If you can stomach some ’tude with your food, hit the Turf Supper Club in Golden Hill.

San Diego Spirits Festival salutes five years of fine hooch

Saluting five years of easy love for the hard stuff, the San Diego Spirits Festival kicks off on Saturday, August 24 at the Broadway Pier Port Pavilion. The two-day jubilee promises cocktails, culinary confections, and ...

Art Baja Tijuana: modern minimal house debuts as gallery

LA-based gallery Steve Turner Contemporary curates eight international artists at Casa GS.

Beach-bum zen in TJ

Tijuana’s seasonal Arts & Trees craft bazaar, an indication of the city’s movement away from disposable, lowest-common-denominator culture.

Pictures of the Year International at MOPA

The Museum of Photographic Arts showcases a year in photojournalism.

Former Ruby Room reopens as The Merrow

Hillcrest art and music institution The Ruby Room recently reopened doors as nautical-themed lounge.

Fathom Bistro, the whole aquatic thing

Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle on Shelter Island doesn’t specialize in fish — oh, no — it’s sausage and beer and nautical fact and science fiction.

Friday Night Liberty: a free art walk in Point Loma

Liberty Station is the second largest enclave of arts and culture organizations in San Diego after Balboa Park.

Paseo de Todos 3-year anniversary bike ride in Tijuana

The weekly group ride celebrates its birthday with, you guessed it, a spin around town.

Interview with Manuel Cabrera of Polen

Polen cultivates art, music, food, drink, and fashion in Tijuana with periodic street fairs.

Bringing out Lakeside's best at Eastbound

Lakeside. Unless you live there, you probably only know it as that rodeo alcove of tweekers, rednecks, and Klansmen out past Santee. Often the butt of the joke, Lakeside touts a handful of merits that ...

Zero competition

Sensori Collective cofounder Phil Sergi (aka Five05) aims to start a beats academy in Barrio Logan, Golden Hill, North Park, or University Heights.

Go time: Rosarito to Ensenada

Minnie mice and proud inebriates on the road to Ensenada.

Booming bivalves at the Brig

Depending on who you believe, the origins of the Baja-style fish taco will take you two places. Fans of entrepreneurial success stories will favor the narrative popularized by San Diego restaurant mogul Ralph Rubio, who ...

Will Barton thought he was dead

Will Barton was walking home late one night in October 2012 when Philip Martin Hernandez, on a crime rampage with his young wife (Cindy Altamirano Garcia), shot him a few times and left him for dead. As he struggles to heal, health insurance companies create barriers.

Talk low and slow at Longhorn Cafe and Saloon

Drinks in the John Wayne room at the Longhorn Café in Grantville.

Come out and play

Chad Deal parties with an insane lumbering monster.

Were it not for the photographic evidence, Figment could have been a hallucination. The annual Chicano Park festival is how American families everywhere would be spending their Sunday afternoons if Jello Biafra had been elected ...

The Green Gathering: an Earth Day event in Bonsall

4/20 festival pays tribute to Jah herb with music, yoga, tattoos, and sweet, sweet medication

While Colorado figures out how to cash in on legal weed with 420-friendly tours and potentially hefty taxation, lawmakers are writing legislation aimed at protecting pro-marijuana states from federal prosecution. In the meantime, Oregon has ...

Taking up the challenge at Cali Comfort BBQ

Looking at it now, you may have to squint a little to envision the Spring Valley home that Bulgarian-farm-boy-cum-doctor Luben Walchef bought in 1972 and converted into a family restaurant about ten years later. The ...

Happy Hour: that transcendental space between drinking too early and drinking too much

Happy Hour: that transcendental space between drinking too early and drinking too much. We all know what it’s like rushing out of work early to catch discount suds at the local dive. Some of us ...

Hoffer's Cigar Bar

Hoffer’s Cigar Bar in La Mesa is easy to miss, but that’s what locals like about it.

Unique animals

Signposts along the way to Tijuana’s realization of itself

Indian mystic Meher Baba defined involution as “the inner path of the human soul to the Self,” in which the ecstatic rapture of realization is the highest and ultimate purpose of the illusory material world. ...

Octa#grape gives the garage an long-overdue cleaning

Can we all agree that garage rock has reached an impasse? Don’t get me wrong. I love fuzzed-out guitars, lo-fi drum tracks, and retro vocals as much as the next guy — and San Diego ...

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