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A culinary history

San Diego taco survey, pho survey, Bread and Cie history, San Diego's strange fruit, what Baja Med means

Charles Kaufman, owner of Bread & Cie, worked at Buckeye Bakery in Atlanta; the Firehouse Bakery in Alexandria, Virginia; Grace Baking in Berkeley; La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles.
Charles Kaufman, owner of Bread & Cie, worked at Buckeye Bakery in Atlanta; the Firehouse Bakery in Alexandria, Virginia; Grace Baking in Berkeley; La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles.

Tacos Are a Tiny Taste of Temptation

Eat up, little burros.

Fancy wimmen are okay, but there's nuttin' like the real thing: a nice warm adobada taco on a nice cold night beside a nice hot grill outside a friendly taco catering truck, with that marinated pork swimming with cilantro and spices and slimy sautéed onions. And a dollar bottle of Sangria Señorial, of course.

Sigh. Is it just me, this wacko taco love affair?

By Ed Bedford, Jan. 23, 2008 | Read full article


Pho Hiep and Grill opens at 7:30 a.m., so you can have a bowl for breakfast, just as in Vietnam.

Pho Forager

It came to me four or five years ago as — surfacing to catch my breath — I looked up from a steaming bowl of pho: there were more non-Vietnamese patrons having lunch in this Linda Vista pho shop than Vietnamese. That’s when I knew that pho (usually pronounced “fuh,” though regional accents differ) — Vietnamese noodle soup — had made it. When we moved to San Diego ten years ago, you rarely saw this demographic in Vietnamese restaurants, but that day I saw Hispanic workers looking for a cheap and hearty lunch, several tables of students, and even three men in suits, ties slung over their shoulders, cautiously sipping away.

Since then, there has been an explosion of pho shops across the greater San Diego area, from Santee to PB, Oceanside to Ocean Beach, Mission Gorge to Mission Valley.

By Kirk K., Jan. 12, 2011 | Read full article


Of B Movies and Bread

A slice of life

Behind the glass that separates the kitchen from the customers at Bread & Cie Bakery and Café in Hillcrest, steam heat pours from the oven. Bakers in long aprons and French bonnets lift loaves of artisan bread from the oven and place them into baskets.

Patrons gather at the wraparound counter, pointing to this loaf or that quiche as the line to order swells. Order-takers with earrings and tattoos help the customers.

By Maryann Castronovo, July 4, 2012 | Read full article


Plate of sweet cakes Bill and Jeri ordered

Between Slurps

Hmm…menu has things like “amuse-bouches,” “tartines,” and “baguettes.” Where do I start? The tartines (“open-face toasted sandwiches with melted cheese”)? For eight bucks you get “two of your choice, served on arugula salad.” The choices are prosciutto, Black Forest ham, turkey, a “cheesy” combo of mozzarella, brie, and blue, with walnuts and cranberries — that sounds good — and roasted veggie (with eggplant, zucchini, and goat cheese).

By Ed Bedford, Aug. 22, 2012 | Read full article


As the morning rolls on, the strange fruits get stranger.

Made in San Diego

Yard to table.

The first stop: Aaron St. John’s place in Rancho Peñasquitos, where my hosts point to a brace of coffee bushes in the front yard. “You can eat the red coffee berry; there’s more caffeine in the berry than in the bean,” I am told. Roughly the size of a good-size pearl, it’s mildly sweet when I bite into it. Inside is an off-white seed that will be the coffee bean, now embryonic, I guess. It looks like a tooth that fell out of my daughter’s mouth when she was small.

By Moss Gropen, Aug. 22, 2012 | Read full article


9/11 is the best thing that ever happened to Baja cuisine

Is this Baja med?

What’s interesting is what the Blue Quetzal’s selling; tacos, yes, but not just same-old carne asada tacos like at your nearest Aliberto’s, but with original takes on the street food of all street foods. The “arrachera asada” flank steak taco has meat that’s marinated in orange juice, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. The shrimp in the ceviche tostada has been butterflied, split and spread out, then doused in aguachile, mainly lemon juice. The citric acids cook the shrimp till it turns white. Beetroot and avocado are involved. They also do shrimp with hibiscus flower, and octopus a la plancha.

By Ed Bedford, Dec. 25, 2013 | Read full article

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Charles Kaufman, owner of Bread & Cie, worked at Buckeye Bakery in Atlanta; the Firehouse Bakery in Alexandria, Virginia; Grace Baking in Berkeley; La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles.
Charles Kaufman, owner of Bread & Cie, worked at Buckeye Bakery in Atlanta; the Firehouse Bakery in Alexandria, Virginia; Grace Baking in Berkeley; La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles.

Tacos Are a Tiny Taste of Temptation

Eat up, little burros.

Fancy wimmen are okay, but there's nuttin' like the real thing: a nice warm adobada taco on a nice cold night beside a nice hot grill outside a friendly taco catering truck, with that marinated pork swimming with cilantro and spices and slimy sautéed onions. And a dollar bottle of Sangria Señorial, of course.

Sigh. Is it just me, this wacko taco love affair?

By Ed Bedford, Jan. 23, 2008 | Read full article


Pho Hiep and Grill opens at 7:30 a.m., so you can have a bowl for breakfast, just as in Vietnam.

Pho Forager

It came to me four or five years ago as — surfacing to catch my breath — I looked up from a steaming bowl of pho: there were more non-Vietnamese patrons having lunch in this Linda Vista pho shop than Vietnamese. That’s when I knew that pho (usually pronounced “fuh,” though regional accents differ) — Vietnamese noodle soup — had made it. When we moved to San Diego ten years ago, you rarely saw this demographic in Vietnamese restaurants, but that day I saw Hispanic workers looking for a cheap and hearty lunch, several tables of students, and even three men in suits, ties slung over their shoulders, cautiously sipping away.

Since then, there has been an explosion of pho shops across the greater San Diego area, from Santee to PB, Oceanside to Ocean Beach, Mission Gorge to Mission Valley.

By Kirk K., Jan. 12, 2011 | Read full article


Of B Movies and Bread

A slice of life

Behind the glass that separates the kitchen from the customers at Bread & Cie Bakery and Café in Hillcrest, steam heat pours from the oven. Bakers in long aprons and French bonnets lift loaves of artisan bread from the oven and place them into baskets.

Patrons gather at the wraparound counter, pointing to this loaf or that quiche as the line to order swells. Order-takers with earrings and tattoos help the customers.

By Maryann Castronovo, July 4, 2012 | Read full article


Plate of sweet cakes Bill and Jeri ordered

Between Slurps

Hmm…menu has things like “amuse-bouches,” “tartines,” and “baguettes.” Where do I start? The tartines (“open-face toasted sandwiches with melted cheese”)? For eight bucks you get “two of your choice, served on arugula salad.” The choices are prosciutto, Black Forest ham, turkey, a “cheesy” combo of mozzarella, brie, and blue, with walnuts and cranberries — that sounds good — and roasted veggie (with eggplant, zucchini, and goat cheese).

By Ed Bedford, Aug. 22, 2012 | Read full article


As the morning rolls on, the strange fruits get stranger.

Made in San Diego

Yard to table.

The first stop: Aaron St. John’s place in Rancho Peñasquitos, where my hosts point to a brace of coffee bushes in the front yard. “You can eat the red coffee berry; there’s more caffeine in the berry than in the bean,” I am told. Roughly the size of a good-size pearl, it’s mildly sweet when I bite into it. Inside is an off-white seed that will be the coffee bean, now embryonic, I guess. It looks like a tooth that fell out of my daughter’s mouth when she was small.

By Moss Gropen, Aug. 22, 2012 | Read full article


9/11 is the best thing that ever happened to Baja cuisine

Is this Baja med?

What’s interesting is what the Blue Quetzal’s selling; tacos, yes, but not just same-old carne asada tacos like at your nearest Aliberto’s, but with original takes on the street food of all street foods. The “arrachera asada” flank steak taco has meat that’s marinated in orange juice, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. The shrimp in the ceviche tostada has been butterflied, split and spread out, then doused in aguachile, mainly lemon juice. The citric acids cook the shrimp till it turns white. Beetroot and avocado are involved. They also do shrimp with hibiscus flower, and octopus a la plancha.

By Ed Bedford, Dec. 25, 2013 | Read full article

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