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I'm hauling through South Park. Lotta people.

Oh yeah. Their Walkabout's happening. Jump off the #2 at Fern and Beech. Have to see what my latest favorite patio's doing.

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This is Buona Forchetta (3001 Beech Street, 619-381-4844), the Italian pizza place that has finally filled a defunct li'l ol' coffee shop that had the nicest, roomiest patio in town.

Buona Forchetta have upped the ante, made this sidewalk cafe thing really sing. So it's crowded as usual. People all ages filling every space in the dappled light under the trees - see it's getting me waxing poetic already - and they're not just sitting like rows of crows. They're yakkin', eating, drinking with gusto. Some places do that to you. Wish I knew the secret.

Of course I go first to the antipasti, because that's where the single-figure items live. Of course I end up paying more than if I'd just had a pizza. Pizzas go from nine to fifteen. Instead I go for pea soup, which is $5, and a"polpettine," your basic "house-made beef and pork meatball" with tomato sauce. It's $7 but I'm thinking bulk here.

What I like is you get that big frosty bottle of water with the flip ceramic stopper to pour...

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and really no need to order beer or wine. Still, can't resist forking out another $5 for an Alesmith Nautical Nut Brown Ale.

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Order it over a Stone IPA. Figure it might be sweeter.

Star of the evening? That pea soup.

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They say the peas are crushed on the spot. Taste's so fresh, and they've topped it with little splots of cinnamon that kick it up a little. Needs bread. When I ask, I get a little untopped pizza they've cut up. Works fine.

And it turns out the meatball is three meatballs. Big two-inch ones.

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They're not just filling. They've got a great herby zing to them. Honestly, I'm full by the time I'm done.

The Nut Brown? I like the sweetness, but what I really miss is the hoppy kick of the IPA. Guess I've been spoiled.

I ask the guys - all Italian - if they're doing anything special for the Walkabout. They shake their heads. And, uh, even though this is a bit after the horse has bolted, happy hour?

No happy hour.

But with a business firing on all cylinders like this, guess they don't have to.

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Comments

Yankeedoodle Oct. 5, 2013 @ 11:22 p.m.

On the last walkabout, they had recently opened, so they had some $5 dishes served outside. So good we went back another time for a meal. Agree that saving money on the sides doesn't work.

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Ed Bedford Oct. 6, 2013 @ 1:56 a.m.

Not unless you've got iron discipline. Those meatballs would have been enough. Specially with the pizza bread as a free side. But next time I'll definitely try one pizza to see if it's worth two antipasti.

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Yankeedoodle Oct. 6, 2013 @ 7:06 a.m.

We had a pasta dish with a funny name that was fantastic. Next time we'll try the pizza too. Hard to choose that with so many pizza places around. Afterwards, did you try other places in South Park for coffee or dessert?

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Ed Bedford Oct. 7, 2013 @ 3:42 a.m.

No. Even though I love the whole drifty, "drop in" flavor of the Walkabout evenings. But I guess it would have to be Rebecca's (3015 Juniper Street, South Park, 619-284-3663), mainly for the fantastic crunchy scones she bakes, and pretty good coffee.

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Yankeedoodle Oct. 7, 2013 @ 8:27 p.m.

Eclipse chocolate moved from El Cajon Blvd to South Park. We went in during the prior walkabout, because it was en route back to our car. Twice as big as the old place. New Italian coffeehouse too.

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