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Stories by Ian Anderson

Who killed the giant squirrel of the Cuyamacas?

Oceanside boys on a Confirmation retreat

We’re not talking about a backyard squirrel, the kind your dog chases up trees at the neighborhood park. This was a burly mountain squirrel, a western gray with steely black eyes and the hind legs ...

The other Gaglione Brothers sandwiches

It’s not just cheesesteaks (but order a cheesesteak)

I’m hardly the first Reader contributor to praise Gaglione Brothers cheesesteaks. Heck, I’m not even the first Feast writer named Ian to do so. The grilled, thinly sliced ribeye steak and lightly crispy crust of ...

Puffles and rose petals at Cauldron Ice Cream

Liquid nitrogen ice cream scoops bloom in bubble waffles

“Okay, so that will be a red velvet puffle Sun Moon and Stars with a sprinkle of rose sugar?” I look over my shoulder. Nope, no one standing behind me, she must be talking about ...

San Diego's hard seltzer summer

It's not beer, but breweries are experimenting with the fruity, diet-friendly adult beverage

During a recent, beachy afternoon out by the Oceanside Pier, I walked a short distance to the colorful new Kilowatt Brewing Oceanside Taproom. Parched from the sunshine, and in need of refreshment, I bellied up ...

Walk, don’t drive, to Tasty Noodle House

Its regulars would like to keep this unassuming little eatery secret

“We’ll take you to our favorite Chinese spot,” a couple of friends told me, “but only if you won’t write about it.” “Let’s go!” I said, careful not to make any promises. I’ve only experienced ...

Late night rhymes at Tony Pepperoni

Sesame seeds and pizza crust are all you need to know

It was going on 10 pm, and I found myself hungry in the thick of North County suburbia. Which is to say, my expectations were not high. A precursory iPhone scan for still open nearby ...

Grantville’s best views are inside Purple Mint Vegan Bistro

Organic Asian dishes without the meat or shrimp

There are parts of Mission Gorge Road that pass through a tranquil, natural setting, but the section traversing Grantville is not one of them. Backed into a corner created by the intersection of two freeways, ...

Societe Brewing’s seven year switch

A San Diego-only craft brewer is moving in new directions to grow in place

The last weekend of July, Societe Brewing Company will mark its 7th anniversary with a pair of parties at its Kearny Mesa brewery. While the ales and lagers served will meet the same exacting standards ...

Kombucha floats are happening at Live Culture Café

A new Leucadia shop turns booch and soft serve frozen yogurt into a summer treat

This is probably going to be one of those times people just aren’t going to take my word for it, but it’s got to be said. Kombucha ice cream floats are real, and they’re delicious. ...

El Jardin doesn’t just impress out of towners

Find it beautiful or not, inexpensive or not, but this restaurant is just what our city needed

Whether you’ve read about it in the New York Times, or in the new Michelin Guide California, it’s impossible to walk into El Jardin without high expectations. Its chef, Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, has appeared on Top ...

The Two Roots taproom in Ocean Beach doesn't serve THC beer

The cannabusiness that bought Helm's Brewing makes beer with and without the high

The last vestige of San Diego beer brand Helm’s Brewing Co. disappeared this spring, when its Ocean Beach taproom officially changed its affiliation to that of Two Roots Brewing Co. While the old Helm’s sign ...

Natural Style Chicken Hillcrest goes Korean fried

Rotisserie chicken is out, double-fried chicken is in

Late last year, news spread that longstanding Point Loma rotisserie chicken joint, Natural Style Chicken, was opening a second location on a busy corner of Hillcrest. The new space boasts a larger kitchen than the ...

Going off the sajj at Mama's Bakery & Deli

No longer missing out on Manaeesh (Zatar)

For over thirty years, Mama's Bakery & Deli has been dishing up Lebanese food just off El Cajon Boulevard in North Park, and I’ve been ordering chicken shawarma there nearly half that time. However, it ...

Patience pays off for Guadalupe Brewing

After years of waiting, a new Vista taproom is here for the long haul

“We’re just going to be patient,” says Lisa Deju, “It might be a little extra work to get done, but it’s going to be great!” She’s speaking about the airy new Mission-styled Vista taproom recently ...

A classic pairing sandwiches up at Rhythm's Chicken and Waffles

Pacific Beach has a new late night beacon for the drunk and hungry

It’s admittedly been a few years since I stumbled out of a Pacific Beach bar in search of something heavy to quench an inebriated late-night hunger. But if I were looking to stave off a ...

Take the Fifty-Two East to Santee

Chef-driven cuisine for fans of meat and potatoes

The other day, a friend asked where I was off to in such a hurry. “I’m gonna check out a restaurant I’ve heard good things about,” I told him. It’s an answer he’s learned to ...

Rincon Azteca: a treasure no longer hidden

Homestyle mole, birria, enchiladas, pambazas and more in a one-woman kitchen

Perhaps the most overused cliché in all food writing is to call a restaurant a gem. One might be an absolute gem, or a neighborhood gem. Most trite of all would be the term “hidden ...

How to drink (and pronounce) yerba mate

Local empanada makers open San Diego’s first yerba mate bar

Fans of tea and coffee have an intriguing new flavor to explore in Pacific Beach. Yerba Mate Bar opened last week, San Diego’s first café dedicated to the caffeinated beverage of choice for the southern ...

Spring Valley – land of contrasts

Dictionary Hill, mobile homes, Deering Banjos, Mt. Helix trail, the new North Park, Noah Homes, horseback riding, Cali Comfort BBQ, whiskey distillers

Dictionary Hill in Spring Valley got its name from encyclopedia salesman One of the oddest things about the Dictionary Hill area, also known as La Presa, is the way the streets were laid out on ...

Last call for Biersch

After 20 years, Mission Valley’s Gordon Biersch brewpub closes in mid-July

“Believe it or not,” said Douglas Hasker, “Once upon a time this was the hot shit brewery in town.” Hasker was speaking to a crowd assembled at the Gordon Biersch brewpub in Mission Valley, where ...

Chung Chun Rice Dog makes corn dogs look old fashioned

Panko, potatoes, squid ink, and sugar set the trending Korean street food apart

We can argue all day whether the American carnival classic corn dog was worth riffing on, but a Korean reinterpretation of hot dog on a stick has already arrived in Kearny Mesa with a world ...

Dreamy vegan noodles at HiroNori Craft Ramen

These Orange County guys never met a broth they couldn’t perfect

I’ve paid lip service to vegan ramens before. Interesting, I’ve said. Oh, that is good,” I’ve agreed. But I haven’t meant it. Not to the extent that I would choose to order one over a ...

H Brothers feeds a mac obsession

Comfort food made in earnest in downtown Escondido

Macaroni. I’m not talkin about the feather stuck in Yankee Doodle’s cap, but the cheesy pasta dish. The one that’s somehow both originally Italian and OG American. The one that, when I see it on ...

New generation brewers made noise this craft beer awards season

Award-winning breweries and beers to check out this summer

Each spring, three California-based beer contests assess thousands of craft brews for quality, and each spring they send San Diego brewers home with a fresh heap of medals and ribbons to show off in their ...

The far from generic Mission Avenue Bar & Grill

Saturday night in Oceanside means drinks, music, and… duck confit?

A musician plays acoustic guitar ballads on the patio, while servers shuttle drinks to a mixed crowd, ranging in age from their 20s to 50s. There are no seats left at the bar, where busy ...

The highs and lows of San Diego County Fair food

Some edibles are meant to be huge, colorful, fried, or wrapped in bacon

Last week, I found myself at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, feeling dizzy. Funny thing is, I hadn’t even made it on any of the rides yet. What addled me were the sights and smells of ...

Going beyond bratwurst at Veg'n Out

Vegan market stand grills sausages without any of the animal byproduct

The term meatless has got to be one of the biggest words of 2019. Every other time I check a news feed, or turn on the radio, there’s more news about the rise of meatless ...

Your new favorite cookies are Caked

Decadent cookies and a slutty brownie star at new Miramar bakery

The bakery is called Caked, but most of the glass case is filled with cookies. Large, soft cookies, individually wrapped. There are brownies too, but we’ll get to that. First we’re going to be overwhelmed ...

Where to find Bankhead Mississippi style cooking

A healthy approach to Southern food yields… Southern food

Never let it be said this county is short of corners to explore. I certainly found myself driving along new roads seeking out Bankhead Mississippi Style Cooking, out in a southern corner of Spring Valley, ...

Burning Beard vests its star tasting room manager with ownership

Shannon Lynette gets a piece of the brand she’s helped build

When she first walked in to Burning Beard Brewing Co., Shannon Lynette says she wasn’t there looking for work. But she was between beer industry jobs, mulling a few offers, and contemplating a move back ...

Lima Restaurant has heart

New Gaslamp sit-down remains authentic to the Peru’s capital city

At first glance, the name Lima Restaurant struck me as generic. But in between serving tables the married owners of the new Gaslamp eatery got to telling us about how they want it to remain ...

Half a sandwich looks good at Son of a Toast

Cold brew cocktails and photogenic bread creations

If you’re going to like Son of a Toast, first you’ve got to appreciate the concept of toast. It’s the same thing we used to call an open faced sandwich, except, explicitly, the bread in ...

Mike Hess Brewing shaves heads

For pediatric cancer research

Over Memorial Day weekend, dozens of people gathered at North Park’s Mike Hess Brewing Company to shave their heads bald. And in doing so they raised over 60 thousand dollars for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a ...

They sell edible puppies at Q Cute Buns

Haunting realism makes it tough to eat this chocolate mousse

“That puppy is too cute, I just want to eat it up!” We’ve all heard someone say this and never taken them seriously. And then somebody went and made puppy-shaped mousse a thing. I found ...

Heart & Trotter has a new toy

A pastrami fix whets the appetite for a summer of grilled meat galore

It had been too long since I’d come around to visit my favorite neighborhood butcher shop, North Park’s Heart & Trotter. In addition to the whole animal cuts and house-made sausages found in their butcher ...

Bay Park – around long before Clairemont

60-foot height limit, Seisel's, Poseidon Project, Coastal Trailer Villa, trashcans destroyed

Red balloon sent up in Bay Park "I am against high density,” says Johnson. “I think it’s wrong. I'm very unhappy with the way that this is going. We don't need more people [here]. That's ...

It’s soft shell crab season at King’s Fish House

Chesapeake Bay blue crab, shipped live and easy to eat

My last trip to the East Coast, I found Charleston, South Carolina on the cusp of its soft shell crab season. The first night in town, a friend and I visited a highly regarded seafood ...

No more prohibitions for You & Yours Distilling

Second rounds now being served at East Village urban distillery

From the moment Laura Johnson first opened You & Yours Distilling Co. two years ago, it gave East Village a craft spirit tasting room and lounge photogenic enough to lure influencers and attract national media ...

Le Caramel, straight from le source

Thriving East County candy maker serves waffles on Wednesday

In case you woke up this morning wondering where is the best place in the county to get exquisite French caramel, I’m here to tell you: it’s El Cajon. Don’t look surprised. Only a few ...

Ingredients tell a story at Corazon de Tierra

Valle de Guadalupe tale has happy beginning, eight happy middles, three happy endings

The meal started with a platter of shellfish, each harvested off the coast of Baja California, whether on the Pacific or Sea of Cortez side. There were kumamoto oysters, tiny Cortez clams swimming in local ...

2 Kids Brewing brings a San Diego beer brand back from the dead

Fans may resume drinking Intergalactic’s shiny metal cans

It was curtains for Intergalactic Brewing. The small Miramar brewery poured its last pints last summer, and closed up shop. Glasses were raised and tributes made, and not long after, founder and brewer Alex Van ...

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