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Stories by Ed Bedford

Banana burgers?

Caribbean Escape replaces buns with plantains

A burger with buns made of bananas? Welcome to the Caribbean, East Village-style! It takes the form of a big blue truck with “Caribbean Escape” pasted over its sides. It’s parked in the Quartyard space ...

The history of the world is written in food

Garlicky delish

So good to be back. I first came here two years ago. Then popped in earlier this winter when I discovered their happy hour. Devoured a totally delicious $3 eggplant roll. Promised more in this ...

Happy hour all day at La Mentirosa by Karina's

Seduced by scallops and sliders amidst a colorful lesson in Mexican history.

It’s not every day you get greeted by a president’s grandson. I’m in this oasis I’ve come across at the empty end of B Street, near City College. It’s called, uh, “The Liar.” Or, because ...

They treat you like a full-paying customer

Lou & Mickey’s If you can handle conventioneer types, this place has the best terrazza in town. It feels like a cross between a Chicago fish ’n’ steak joint and a Paris brasserie. Best of ...

Quartyard’s other eatery

The Quartyard Bar has scads of nosh and quarts of beer

The Quartyard is going great guns. It’s the empty lot that students from NewSchool of Architecture & Design have turned into a social gathering place for East Villagers. See Tin Fork for review of S&M, ...

Sausage party at the Quartyard

Sustainable pigs!

Shipping containers, Porka-cola, 'roo sausage, and downtown denizens brought to the 'yard.

Legit salad

"This is our tradition from Israel. Make everything."

“People around Nazareth only harvest the olives every second year, so the trees have time to recover.”

Grandmother's tongue at sunset

Happy hour, Georgian-style: eggplant, Russian beer, and Marko

Broadway? This must be the narrowest patio west of 25th. I mean, two people can sit at each of the half dozen tables, but nobody can get past you. You have to scrinch in from ...

Place for schminkas

Mouth-bulging umami at Jrdn

Joining the in-crowd between wavy walls and infinite oceans.

Pop-up BBQ pops up downtown

Don Ellis brings his BBQ roadshow to Mission Brewery

I smelled it first: BBQ. Then, as I crossed 14th Street, a block from the ballpark, I saw the flare of flames bursting up from a gas cooker on the night sidewalk. It was right ...

Double dose of taste

North Park's Awash puts Ethiopian favorites on an edible plate

"Yes,” says Habtamu. “This bread is two days old.” Okay, sounds like a confession. But, no, it’s a statement of pride. “Our bread,” he says, “needs time.” We’re talking injera, the famous Ethiopian bread that ...

Satisfactory clank!

Total taste heaven in the shape of an artichoke, a burger, mussels

Getting escorted out of Lou & Mickey’s...to the redesigned patio.

Downtown baa-becue

Saltbox's lamb sliders ain't sheepish

If you can get in through the two-ton door, this place has some surprising bargains. It's Friday afternoon around fiveish. I have just resisted the temptations of the House of Blues and its $2 Happy ...

Chefs’ secret

Flavor, taste, and pleasure materialize in a most unexpected location.

“Oh, no. This is free. You get this when you order a main dish.”

Nachos: Respect at last?

Ed makes a meal of a big messy plate at Costa Azul

Is this the most beautiful mess of food you ever saw or wot? And maybe the best belly-filling deal too. I've just had a kinda revelatory reminder here at Costa Azul that nachos are suddenly ...

East Village: Contain yourself! Your temporary town square's almost ready

Meshuggah Shack first to open in Quartyard

“Ring for kisses,” says the red bell at the counter. “See how it feels.” Oh, I see: The "See how it feels" bit is talking about the tip jar. Still, the bell sets the atmosphere. ...

Like rich people

Scarfing remnants of beer-fed cow and lobster bits

"This is crazy,” says Carla. We’re climbing up the stairs toward the most expensive watering hole in downtown Coronado, if you’re after steaks. A $120 steak, anyone? News of this ran like an electric shock ...

Cavemen ate these

Get stuffed on Meze-Greek’s fusion foods

Two ancient tastes and methods, one downtown fusion joint.

Fire + Fly: brand-new artisan pizza joint already hot

The pizza of personal responsibility has arrived

Father and six-year-old son leave Fire + Fly Artisan Pizza, the just-opened joint on Coronado's Orange Avenue. Dad's carrying four boxes of pizzas. "Dad, I'll take them." "Nope." "Can I hold in them in the ...

I.B.'s menudo institution

Back from the dead with the whole hog

The hoof stares me in the face. “Eat me!” it says. Oh, Lordy. But this is what I came for. It’s Sunday. Feeling a little hung over, truth to tell. “You sure this works?” I ...

Upscale harem

Ed skips the hookah and inhales a panini

“Hookahs are definitely cheaper there,” she says. “But you get less of a head-rush from them.”

Under the eating tent

Finding religion and comida in Barrio Logan

It’s dark in the Barrio. Seven o’clock, Sunday night. I’m hoofing it along Logan Avenue. Muttering to myself. “Late again...” Because everything is closed. Carla will have eaten. Gotta have something. I hurry past Cuatro ...

City's Secret: Happy hour even students can afford

The Hive's stellar cellar atmosphere rocks on Friday nights

This is where professors come to start affairs with their students. Okay, kidding. But it's easy to imagine. This dive called The Hive sits right across the street from City College. It has a kind ...

Gold Rush–era gluttony in Little Italy

Plain Nirvana

“This used to be a brothel upstairs and liquor place down here.”

Voilà, instant burger

Smoked pineapples and nuked burgers not so bad.

“This place is old-fashioned, like a Cairo café. We don’t do loud music and DJs.”

The restaurant at the end of the universe

Endless Joes

His dream was always to make this the #1 jazz spot in the country. Or at least the county.

Squeaky cheese?

Poutine means "mess"

She looks like Renée Zellweger. Wait. Maybe she is René Zellwegger. Maybe the real Renée got sick of the movie life and paid another chica to come out to the cameras after the “facelift,” pretending ...

Quartyard courts the Village

Disruptive architecture grads setting up "experiment in flexible temporary urbanism" on vacant lot

Pork sandwiches and beer in a garden in an empty downtown lot? And next to them, a folk concert tent next to a farmer's market next to a play park for your dog next to ...

Poetry on a plate

Drawn in by the sign, “Japanese Tapas and Noodles.” Huh. Japanese tapas?

Under the stainless grill is a fire with a pleasant resinous flavor wafting up from it.

Breakfast or bust

"Best Breakfast in Town Coming Soon.” I’ve been watching this sign for months. We’re up on Hancock in the courtyard of 57 Degrees, the wine barn that hosts a monthly food-truck get-together. Not to mention ...

Michelle and the Great Boffee Experiment

Coffee shop barista makes crafty beers even more interesting.

Michelle Shirley shakes some Ghirardelli cocoa powder on top of my beer. Am I surprised? No way. This gal is into experimentation big-time, specially when it comes to Cafe 1134's coffees and San Diego's craft ...

Transmogrified

That North Park feeling in National City.

At night, that long walk up from the 8th Street trolley stop to National City Boulevard can get a little spooky. Especially when you’re walking the echoey stretch under the I-5. But then you cross ...

Manic about organic

Gastro missionaries almost convert with a sweet potato longboat and cashew cream.

"Become totally manic about organic. Get your healthy on. Super foods for super humans!” Uh-oh. Back in the land of the super-healthy again. It’s incredible. Healthy is busting out all over. This cute place with ...

Danged sweet fish

Lunging into a couple tacos in Popotla.

No power and a dirt road mean fish doesn't get any fresher.

Juices get running at Al Azayem

“That is lamb-shank tshreeb, like stew. It is very Iraqi. Comfort food.”

Sunday night. East Main. El Cajon. Warm, balmy, a relief from another El Cajon day. Families, older men (Chaldean, mostly) sit around in clumps on the boulevard’s benches and in Prescott Promenade Park, talking, playing ...

No pho king here

OB — packed, noisy, cheap, cool.

I don’t know how O.B. does it. Places like the Joint — packed, noisy, cheap, cool. And now this joint, packed, noisy, cheap, cool. I guess we can only blame O.B. Tonight, Saturday, 9:30, I’m ...

Stake ready to grill

New, really expensive steak joint "rare" treat coming to Coronadans

In a blizzard of new openings in Coronado, the latest, Stake Chophouse is — finally — all but ready to start serving steaks. But be warned: this might turn out to be the island’s single ...

O Truck, where art thou?

Brussels with benefits.

Not your grandma’s sprouts. Get 'em while they're hot.

First Nations-Asian

Surprise, surprise — Ed opts for the poor-man’s lobster

I’ve never been Number One at anything. Not till now. But so happened I was loping down Orange Avenue, past where another eatery, Rhinoceros, had always been, — just at the moment the new “Islander” ...

Coffee break? Take your time!

Slo-ow coffee inching into East Village

What is up with East Village? Every time I look, a new place has "Now Hiring" signs in its window. We've seen Común and Bottega Americano opening to mucho fanfare (and success, looks like. Last ...

We like sweet things

Ed finds many forms of sustenance among Somali vendors.

Oh, man. What’s up? When a place you’ve been going to every now and then for years turns up in world headlines, you sit up with a jerk. When the news hit that a San ...

Fit for a sultan

Blown away by spunk and gusto.

"I built our own oven. Just like they have had in Beirut since forever."

Customer #1

Ed is the first to chow down on chowder at "Islander."

"Can I be your first customer?" This is me, at "Islander," Coronado's newest eatery, on the actual evening it opens. Well, soft, soft opening. Only thing that's open is the doors, really. So far no ...

Progress in pizza

Ed picks up something round, brown, and with a pepperoni crown.

She looks up. “Anything else? Honestly, whatever you want.”

Basted, Azeri-style

Lamb for $5? Think Gaslamp. think Azerbaijan

Sunset. Goin' with the flow like a pooh stick in a slow crick, sauntering with the crowd down Fifth Avenue. It's the height of happy hour. Conventioneers have been let out and are looking for ...

Real or gringo way?

Ed floats in to Johnny’s Deli; his torta isn’t so lucky.

Just as well you get a plastic knife and fork. It is a mess — a hot mess at that.

Your town

Good enough, but Ed may not remember the Alamo.

Scoping the new-old and admiring Wisconsinite appetites at Taco Tuesday.

Bursting to go in East Village

Ed visited Bottega Americano just before its soft open

Huh. Door's open, a bit. Squeeze through. Oh man. This is spacious, but busy. Bars everywhere, huge white pizza oven dome, communal tables kinda winging out from it, sit-up seafood bar beyond, schools of cute ...

The last word in cheap eats

First up, I’m not an early-morning guy. But on this perfect food day, you’ve got to start at the crack of dawn. Because that’s when the dja kwai are at their freshest at Trieu Chau ...

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