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Stories by Ed Bedford

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 ...

Rhinoceros Café to close: Big free party!

Coronado is reeling in shock. One of their most beloved eateries, Rhinoceros Cafe & Grille, is closing down, kaput, about to go extinct. The place has always served middle-priced, middle-of-the-road American bistro food, which suits ...

Lotsa pork and onions

Ed slurps pork — tender like it’s been through a blender.

Wow. Pointed prow of a big ol’ Navy cruiser knifes right past. In the waters between us and the island of Coronado. It kinda fills the sky. Heading under the bridge and home port. The ...

Arabs and Jews alike

Vegetarian and vegan heaven on Midway Drive.

Whew. Hot day out here on the La Playa Trail. La Playa Trail? Just the oldest commercial trail in the Western United States. ’Course we know it as Rosecrans Street. I notice this li’l historical ...

Bar la carte at Fleming's

Ed discovers half-pound, six-buck burgers for Happy Hour

Usually I'd walk straight past. I mean Fleming's? Steaks muy caro. Thirty bucks? At least, probably. This is expense-account land. Plus when you do walk in, into the dark, where you can just make out ...

We like cows

Ed’s twitching nostrils give him away at the Fish Co.

“Want some? It’s not on the menu yet. We’re just experimenting for winter.”

The jam they give you

Ed fattens up in the front row at Rebecca’s Coffee House.

“When I first met her, I weighed 190 pounds. Now I’m 240,” he says.

Pleasure additive

An Ed-ucation in cheap, local Thai in IB, nothing tamada allowed.

‘Whu-where are we?” Yes, I’m kinda nervous. Driving with Ria, Carla’s best buddy. I mean, she’s a good driver and all, but this wagon: Volvo, 200,000 miles before the odometer stopped working, heater won’t turn ...

First nibbles at Común

Chad White's new flagship is bringing the new Baja north

The octopus tentacle sticks up purple and angry out of the roiling mass of pink and white quinoa, and the green and yellow and red wall of heirloom tomatoes. In the enamel mug beside it, ...

The Alabaman way

“People would come home from work, shower, then go out…to places like this.”

Tuesday, 8 p.m. What’s this buzz outside Felix’s? People, mostly African-American, are milling around the entrance, some dressed to the nines. Inside you can hear music and see what looks like a party going on. ...

Late latte with Lulu

Ed finds the perfect people-watching spot in the Gaslamp.

Café Lulu is the nearest thing to a Bohemian hangout in downtown's Gaslamp. Great for late-nite lattes, hubble-bubble pipes, and street-life people-watching.

Dog fight in Golden Hill

Street King's taco truck makes you choose between SD & TJ

Street King Tacos is a food truck with very good tacos, plus tortas, and TJ-style hot dogs that are as good as any on Revolución. Excellent fish tacos, too. Open late. Stays at this location.

Just the right amount of wrong

Ed susses out and scarfs Desi’s crunchalicious bargain half-pounder.

Oh, man. This is one desolate little stretch of street. Lytton. Loma Portal. Quarter mile of traffic-crammed blight. Maybe it’s the half light. Whatever, I come to a closed-up, windowless, brick-red-painted concrete building with no ...

Hoary gents & brandy

Ed’s eyes lock on a knockwurst-on-waffle sandwich.

"Come in, sir,” says this voice. It’s a guy looking through a partition. We’re inside an ancient, 100-year-old building right by the ballpark. I just wandered in here looking for food. We’re in this passage ...

Corporate quinoa

Ed gets the lowdown on inside-out superfoods

‘Look, I’m telling you,” says my buddy Daley, “this place is the real deal. Ya gotta have the quinoa burger.” He’s talking about this health chain. I mean, Daley was in the Army. Likes no-nonsense ...

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