Johnny Caito 7:07 p.m., July 28
Patty's Fruitland: So Good, So Good For You
I’ve always remembered the story José Montez told me first time I popped in here, how he had come up from Durango in Mexico and worked for a catering company, cooking like 20,000 pieces of chicken and 1,000 pounds of spuds every week, here in San Diego.
Then he met Patty, who had arrived from Guanajuato. Down there, she made a living selling drinks from fruit she squished outside the church in the main plaza.
They fell in love, got married, and Patty suggested “Why not try the same thing here, set up our own business?”
Patty’s Fruitland (1789 National Avenue, at Beardsley, Barrio Logan 619-239-3085) is the result.
And whenever it’s hot and I’m really in need of refreshment, I come in here not for the drinks they have, but for their fruit bowl.
Fruit bowl's loaded with strawbs, banana, apple, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, pineapple, mango, papaya – 9 fruit in all, plus cottage cheese on top (or yogurt or ice cream or whipped cream), plus granola, raisins and a long drip of honey.
Or pico de gallo - the same basic assortment but with the bite of mixed chilis on top. Costs $6 for the medium, or $8.99 for the mega huge one.
Ooh man. Starting to drool. Haven’t had one for months.
But today, just happen to be checking out what happened to El Porvenir (at 1786 National Avenue) right opposite Patty’s.
It’s been closed a couple of years, but I’d been told they were going to re-open for those wicked lard-laden burritos they’d been serving since 1918.
But closed. No action yet.
I cross over to Patty’s Fruitland. See if they know anything.
Inside, these guys Kip and Gareth are sitting in the red chairs hunched over plastic bowls bulging with fruit. “I’m here about once a week,” says Kip. “It’s like a health break, and tasty?”
He doesn’t have to go on. I’m at the counter and already José’s chop-chopping at the fruit. Everything fresh. Then, after the granola and cottage cheese and the long honey-pour, we’re good to go.
Perfect storm. So good, so good for you.
Only thing is now I’m feeling a bit sorry for the folks in the plaza in Guanajuato. Our gain has been their loss.
“So what’s happening across the road?” I ask José, finally.
“From what I hear, a local fisherman has bought it,” says Jose. “Going to turn it into a seafood place.”
Wow. You heard it here first...