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Stories by Ian Anderson

Marrow on the side in Ysidro

A birria to stop you short of the border

Usually San Ysidro means a trip through the world’s busiest border crossing and, ipso facto, tacos for lunch. But this time I’m taking the second to LAST USA EXIT in search of bone marrow. And ...

Mexico's capital of craft

Baja brewers cleaned up in national competition

Back in September, in what has become an autumn tradition, the Great American Beer Festival heaped loads of recognition upon the general greatness of San Diego beer. Area breweries claimed five golds en route to ...

How much dough is put into these donuts?

Superior ingredients are just part of the story in Carlsbad

“There are two sides to every story.” This phrase has been following me around for several weeks. Maybe it’s the alternative facts-age replacement for that cliché of acceptance, “It is what it is.” Whatever the ...

Not the usual carne asada

Kennedy's Meat Co. updated with hybrid tortillas and choice beef

I don’t suppose many readers have occasion to go out in Escondido’s eastern sprawl for carne asada. I doubt most of us need to travel a mile to find a choice of spots serving it. ...

Winter fun in San Diego

Hot springs, Sleeping Giant at La Jolla Cove, pickleball, puppets, special trails, minus tides, snow, poinsettias, wind tunnels, San Diego Gulls

Drums, giants, and Mother Goose Stargazing in Anza-Borrego 652 Palm Canyon Drive Borrego Springs This year, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was officially designated an International Dark Sky Community, thanks to years of concerted effort to ...

Close, but no thanks

It's tough to quit your favorite taco truck

When I heard about a new mariscos food truck parking in Golden Hill, I started fluttering around it like a moth on a porchlight. Mariscos El Chingon has started parking daily in front of Anakin’s ...

Collaborations are more fun in pairs

Brewers team up for beers that play well together

Pouring nearly 50 distinct brewery collaboration beers this year, the Karl Strauss Brewing beer week party dubbed Collabapalooza (November 10) showcases a San Diego brewing community that remains for the most part interconnected and mutually ...

A cure for breakfast boredom

Mexipino is here to remind us how delicious combining cultures can be

Most breakfast menus tend to be long reads, just not very interesting ones. You’ll find an entire section dedicated to all the predictable variations of eggs, meat, potatoes and toast. Another to pancakes and waffles. ...

The golden age of small batch scoops

Stella Jean's is giving ice cream a new look

Let’s just call this what it is: a golden era for ice cream in San Diego. Made from scratch ice cream parlors have been opening up left and right this year, and the latest neighborhood ...

Behind the $15 lunch

North Park's Encontro serves steak from Cardiff

I’ve gotten used to paying 15 dollars for lunch. I remember days that would seem outlandish, but these days I’m unfazed by $15, when that charge includes tax and tip. That’s usually for a sandwich ...

Muffuletta in the hood

An early look at South Park's new neighborhood eatery

I’ll go ahead and say it. I never much cared for South Park Abbey. It had a solid beer list, and I would catch the occasional NFL game there, but between food and booze, and ...

Where will you toast San Diego beer?

Top events and best bets for San Diego Beer Week 2018

It’s that time of year again: San Diego Beer Week. From November 2-11 the local beer business goes all out to celebrate, with special events, special beer releases, and plenty of toasts. The San Diego ...

Happy hour with sunset and dessert

Order before 6 pm for prix fixe or sushi specials

I kept calling it the happy hour menu, and my server kept correcting me: “Sunset menu.” Sounded like semantics to me. It’s available from 4:30 until 6 pm nightly, conventional happy hour timing. Then the ...

Brews that built San Diego Beer

Like spicy food, once someone has developed a taste for hops, they want more.

Earlier this month, the San Diego Brewers Guild announced a new study showing that San Diego craft beer made a more than one billion-dollar economic impact in 2017. The news arrives just as Karl Strauss ...

Do not order from this web site!

The story of a scooter delivery that wasn’t

I found a flyer for it in a brewery tasting room, misspelling the word "Scooter." But that’s nothing new with internet domains. This site was called Scoootr.com, with three Os, and it offered food delivery ...

That time the affordable sushi didn't sell out

Prices already too good to be true

The man had a problem that I could help solve. And all I had to do was eat good, well-made sushi at a bargain price. I’d shown up to Yoshino Japanese Deli, late, like I ...

Off to a caliente start

Papa Marce's feels like Baja, drinks like San Diego

The pair of Brewery Igniter turnkey brewhouses along the Carlsbad stretch of El Camino Real got off to a rocky start. The dudes behind Rouleur Brewing and Wiseguy Brewing were relative newcomers to San Diego, ...

A difference in breakfast sandwich philosophy

Crackheads a place to hang, not grab and go

There’s this undeveloped lot at the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and State Street, the main crossroads of Carlsbad Village. Well, mostly undeveloped. For some time there’s been a little juice bar doing business out ...

Mutual Friend – a neighborhood ice cream shop

How homemade ice cream relates to coffee

Golden Hill has an ice cream shop, and it’s making me realize the sort of family neighborhood it’s become. Mutual Friend Ice Cream opened next door to Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, and I’d call it ...

Photogenic mole enchiladas

Colorful Mexico City style, Coronado address

Call it the food writer’s dilemma. Sometimes you eat something that tastes wonderful, even though it doesn’t always look that great. Because food-loving readers tend to share food stories mostly based on pretty photos of ...

It's new brewery season in San Diego

Five new reasons to explore local beer

After several years of a new San Diego brewery opening every two or three weeks, 2018 has progressed at a slower pace. Until the past two months, which has seen a flurry of new businesses ...

Beauty as well as bread

Artful pastries, chewable loaves, and a killer breakfast sandwich

The name Tartine lends about as much excitement as you’ll ever see attached to the word Bakery. San Francisco’s premier artisanal bread and pastry shop, Tartine Bakery has captured the food world’s imagination with a ...

The dirty martini of craft beer

Bitter Bros conjure Javier Plascencia's briny brew idea

I’ve heard brewers compare what they do to making soup, chili, or other kinds of cooking, but it’s not often you’ll hear a chef concur. “Brewers, they’re like cooks,” Javier Plascencia tells me, “they have ...

Pay attention, Pacific Beach!

Some of the country's best sandwiches are in your neighborhood

A marker board out front points out that Zagat has proclaimed Supernatural Sandwiches one of “15 must try sandwiches in America.” And I agree. For those of a younger generation, Zagat is like Yelp, but ...

Soul in a surf town

Fried pork chops bring out the pearly whites

If you’d told me two months ago I’d be sitting in a church banquet hall eating soul food, I’d have bet I was taking a trip to the South. Instead it was a short drive ...

Sushi hot spot, sushi night spot

Everything and everyone looks terrific

India Street is typically thronged on a Saturday night, its city best restaurant scene luring every manner of date night, birthday celebration, and — is that a bachelorette party? I’m forced to wonder, what is ...

The most flavor for your buck

All-you-can-eat East African food

Flavors of East Africa was already known to sambusa-loving farmers market regulars when it opened a permanent restaurant on El Cajon Boulevard about eight years back. Since that time, it’s moved a couple doors down ...

It's a deep fried world

Everything is crispy at this Lemon Grove fish and chips spot

They say the sun doesn’t set on the British empire, but what I think they really mean is there’s never a time of day that a British-styled pub isn’t open somewhere on the planet, serving ...

“Things that are good don’t come easy.”

The powerful history behind peanut butter whiskey

A new spirit concept debuted in San Diego this July, and it’s just oddball enough to have originated in Ocean Beach. Called Skrewball peanut butter whiskey, it’s pretty much what it sounds like: American corn ...

The new, old all-you-can-eat spot

Bawarchi's buffet made the move to tech country

There’s a small cluster of Indian restaurants on and around Black Mountain Road, just north of Miramar Road. I used to frequent one called Bawarchi, mainly for its weekday, all-you-can-eat buffet, and mostly that for ...

It’s not even that ugly

Imperfect delivery service cheapens produce, in a good way

Whether the farmers market or produce section at the supermarket, I have to admit to being a grabby shopper, always poking, pinching, and squeezing fruits and vegetables looking to uncover flaws. Because who wants flaws? ...

An unexpected fusion

Chopsticks in a Mexican restaurant

There are plenty of items I expect to find on a Mexican restaurant menu, but here’s one that I don’t: fried rice. I’m at King and Queen Cantina, the upscale casual restaurant that took over ...

Jolla Shark moves across I-5 from Logan

View of Chicano Park murals

Food trucks offering fish tacos and ceviche usually go by the name Mariscos something or other, but a recent addition to Logan Heights goes by a more distinctive name: Jolla Shark. Until recently, Jolla Shark ...

Back to the brewpub life

A good hard day of making beer beats your desk job

Fifteen years ago, recent college grad Ignacio Cervantes moved to San Diego for what was supposed to be a six-month adventure living rent-free near the beach at a friend’s place around Del Mar. He didn’t ...

This is not my beautiful pasta

A new restaurant, an old favorite, and overcoming expectations

When I heard late last year that local hospitality group Whisknladle had sold its Prep Kitchen brand to a Las Vegas hospitality group, my gut response was, “What will happen to the Bolognese?” That would ...

Local house of pancakes

Because you don't get out of bed for a burger

History will only fitfully remember 2018 as the year national pancake chain IHOP changed a P to a B rebrand itself IHOB (International House of Burgers), then quickly bowed to public backlash and restored the ...

The Reader's 2018 burger issue

The most complicated of sandwiches The Friendly, Born and Raised, Balboa Bar, Viewpoint, Mishmash, Currant, Bleu Boheme By Mary Beth Abate We’re burger rich, y’all Craft House, Gourmet Sandwiches, Salud, Ty's, Bunz, Hamilton's. Chinatown Bar ...

We’re burger rich, y’all

Craft House, Gourmet Sandwiches, Salud, Ty's, Bunz, Hamilton's. Chinatown Bar & Grill

Having explored the county’s top burger spots over the past few years, I’m ready to draw two definitive conclusions. First: if the menu says a burger comes with the ‘house’ or ‘secret’ sauce, it’s always ...

Chinese food with Vietnamese subtitles

Super long menu covers at least three national influences

What do you order when there are 219 items on the menu? I should probably just ask the room. It’s the Monday lunch rush at Minh Ky Restaurant, a small Chinese joint in City Heights, ...

Why everybody's talkin bout tacos

A shiny new place for taco fiends and vegans

Even in this city, it’s rare for a taco shop to emerge as a city’s must-visit dining destination. Still only weeks removed from its first day in East Village, counter restaurant Lola 55 has proven ...

Local selling local

At least one supermarket chain banks on San Diego beer

On a Wednesday afternoon in August, managers overseeing the seven locations of local chain, Baron’s Market, sat around a long conference table at the grocer’s headquarters, drinking with representatives of Abnormal Beer Co. The office ...

Oak Park special

A good sandwich from a good place

I was just looking for a quick lunch on Labor Day, and found myself standing in a neighborhood market in Oak Park, the mostly residential neighborhood off highway 94 next to Chollas Creek. In the ...

Meatball sliders, hold the meat

New menu items and a bottle of soda

Nearly six years ago, I paid my first visit to the original, Adams Avenue, location of meatball-centric eatery, Soda & Swine. I ordered a couple of meatball sliders, with sides of brussels sprouts and mac’n’cheese. ...

A cider slushie oasis

Creativity has become the norm in Scripps Ranch

High heat and heavy traffic. That’s what I faced, as a detour led me through Scripps Ranch. Then, with fateful timing, the Newtopia Cyder tasting room appeared before me like a boozy oasis, and I ...

Getting to know rockfish

A class for foodies makes local seafood more approachable

I finally learned how to filet a fish. At least, I was taught. I eat seafood often, but I’m not in the habit of preparing it at home. I get uncomfortable handling it, as though ...

Vegans eat breakfast too

An eggless breakfast is one thing, but an eggless quiche?

The best part of a cinnamon roll is the gooey center portion, shielded just enough by the outer rolls that it doesn’t quite bake through, so instead of crusting up, it remains entirely soft and ...

Burger issue issues

Diet-friendly, but too good to be truly good

The Reader’s annual burger issue will soon be here, and we food writers have been hard at work, taking on the grueling task of eating many of the county’s best. Somebody’s gotta do it, right? ...

Underdressed at the donut shop

Nomad stakes out a fancy presence downtown

Whether its original location on 30th Street, or its larger, newer spot on University, North Park donut purveyor Nomad Donuts has not been one to fuss over design elements. When the latter took over what ...

Pigs make a smooth landing in downtown Vista

Music festival tickets motivated restaurant founders

The Ginos thought they were saving money on tickets into a music festival, but it turns out they were opening a tasty BBQ restaurant in Vista Village. Granted, the entire process took over a decade. ...

What's new in bottles and cans

A Sore Eye Cup winner, and other beers for your fridge

A good beer is never hard to find in San Diego, but recent developments have made it easier to stock your fridge with a few of the city’s most highly sought brews. Burgeoning year-round cans ...

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