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Stories by Ian Anderson

I lucked into samoon, the Iraqi bread

Must come back for whole fish and slow chicken

Cruising Main Street in El Cajon, I spotted a sign with both English and Arabic script reading Nahrain Fish And Chicken Grill. It's a small, sparsely decorated restaurant, and the first thing you're bound to ...

Booze fest nicks blueprint from beer fest

Spirits by the Bay to be the first of its kind liquor-tasting event

The beer festival has become a fixture in the San Diego events landscape. Not a month goes by without a festival featuring local beers, and most months there are several. However, October 14th, a boozy ...

No more brew rooms for O.B.?

Police shortage prompts department to say nay to alcohol applications

The question of whether San Diego has become oversaturated with beer businesses is usually posed with regard to market demand: as in, how many local breweries can consumer dollars support? But on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, ...

Bordertown beers hit market

Mexico will have to wait for SouthNorte's Mexican-influenced brews

SouthNorte Beer Co. makes its debut this week. The company, founded by Coronado Brewing Company alum Ryan Brooks, has announced two beers being released in bottles and kegs throughout the San Diego area (with cans ...

It's the weather, stupid

I can't imagine a single New Yorker who wouldn't rather be here.

If you read a certain misguided Food & Wine article recently, you know that San Diego's dining scene is good enough to backhanded compliment, but "not the sort of thing you travel for." To that ...

Halcyon brings on the fun

The Stella Public House space now full of games

At least one San Diego coffee shop features a ping pong table. The Halcyon coffee shop experienced a game reimagining in September. Since opening, the Texas based business has shared real estate with a sister ...

Four million ways to enjoy Philz

Another out of town coffee shop brand has moved farther south in continuing its San Diego expansion. San Francisco based Philz Coffee first moved into the area when it opened a shop in Encinitas in ...

Bagby beers also taste like experience

Oceanside brewer personally pours them in London, Rome, Copenhagen...

In early September, Bagby Beer Company poured beers at the inaugural Beavertown Extravaganza, a sold-out beer festival in London featuring dozens of the planet's most acclaimed breweries. Several other San Diego beer companies were there, ...

Crispy Fried Chicken — almost unreasonably cheap

Vietnamese-owned Louisiana style

It's been a fine summer for fans of fried chicken in National City. In June, City Heights favorite Crispy Fried Chicken opened a second location on East Plaza Boulevard, between the 5 and 805 freeways. ...

Me, a grown man, enjoying a cake pop

North Park treats for graduation, wedding, Easter

My latest dessert quest took me to North Park, where novelty cake curator The Cake Pop Shop recently opened its first storefront. Already known among wedding planners, the business has a knack for crafting decorative ...

Home Brew Mart turns 25

Shop has supplied countless local craft-beer startups

Call it the homebrew shop that launched a thousand brewing careers. Linda Vista's Home Brew Mart, best known as the birthplace of Ballast Point Brewing Company, turns 25 this week. While the story of the ...

Grains — when soft opening's time is up

The vegan default menu

Is there an expiration date for a soft opening? A soft open is when a restaurant opens to the public for a trial period before declaring itself officially ready for business. Ostensibly, it gives a ...

Crowlers are changing the way we take beer home

Pint-size advantage for the nanobrewery

I recently reported that San Diego's breweries have begun favoring cans over glass bottles, but that's only half the aluminum story. The same trend has been taking hold in the way tasting rooms offer growler ...

Beer cans big

San Diego breweries bypassing glass — aluminum becoming the rule

Last year, cans were trending in San Diego craft beer. This year, they appear to be taking over. Beer buyers at several local retailers report that consumer demand for six-packs have contributed to canned beers ...

Italian dip sandwich not so dainty

A popular wedding food among poor Italian immigrants

I don't know why football season makes me crave Italian beef sandwiches. I've never lived in Chicago, and only ever visited the Windy City in the spring. I'd blame the onset of fall weather, if ...

Burgers for those with exquisite taste

Craft & Commerce, Barleymash, Mastiff, Fathom, Notorious, Burger Bench, Original Tommy's

I like my burgers like I like my beer — made with purpose using quality ingredients so it’s obvious to everyone I possess exquisite taste. So don’t be surprised that all of my picks are ...

The stuffed cookie wait is over

Refillable jars on G Street

For months I'd been taunted by the online traces of the Good Stuff Cookie Co. The pop-up cookie shop serves up stuffed cookies from inside East Village's idiosyncratic men's apparel boutique, 5&A Dime. At least ...

La bomba breakfast

Three kinds of chilaquiles just north of the border

Usually when I make it this close to the Mexican border, I eat on the other side. But this day I was taking a late breakfast in Otay Mesa. Though I stayed north, I still ...

Craft beer seeps into new neighborhoods

Benchmark, Culture, Eppig, Kensington carve out territories

The growing trend among beer companies to open satellite taprooms in commercial districts is bringing a craft-brewery presence to neighborhoods that didn't previously haven't one. There were 20 off-site tasting rooms at the beginning of ...

Coava’s coming to town...go elsewhere for batch brew

Portland coffee roaster opening at Westin Hotel

Coava Coffee may not be a household name, but in the world of specialty coffee, it’s always positioned at or near the top of any list ranking the best coffee roasters in Portland, Oregon. And ...

A bagel not trying to be a New York one

Rolled oats, wheat bran, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, and sea salt.

The Gaslamp got a new bagel shop in August, and like North Park's new iteration of Nomad Donuts, this one's offering an artisanal take on Poland's chewy and beloved boil-and-bake pastry. However, while Nomad has ...

That's progress — Modern Times heading for Portland

Pacific Northwest distribution of brew has exceeded projections

Modern Times Beer announced it has signed a lease to take over an existing 10,000-square-foot brewhouse in Portland, Oregon. In a blog entry posted to the Modern Times website, founder and CEO Jacob McKean explained ...

San Diego — the anti-bagel city

Nomad Donuts disproves the stereotype

In this world, there are cities steeped in bagel tradition, and then there's San Diego. Yet somehow, August brought not one, but two locally-born bagel shops to the metro area. And I dig them both. ...

Ebullition bubbles in to Vista

Do the math: city's 18th brewhouse, 4 more in planning stages

Ebullition Brew Works soft-opened in Vista at the beginning of July. Nearly two months later, the brewery has yet to announce a grand-opening date but has been keeping regular hours and served nine different beers ...

Mira Mesa tempura crab a star on Yelp and Instagram

Custom fish, cooking, sauce

It's a simple rule of thumb that any place calling itself fancy ain't really all that fancy. Such is the case with The Fancy Fish, a casual seafood spot sitting in the elbow slot of ...

He said he would destroy our neighborhood

Albatross Street loses its canyon

A developer’s plan to build on a canyon property in Hillcrest sparked an ever-escalating two-year dispute with the project’s immediate neighbors. As the differences have become more contentious, one or the other side has appealed ...

Lightning Brewery (still) open for business

Poway business-park suds center recharged with new business plan

When news broke in June that Lightning Brewery had sold its assets to Orange County–based Cismontane Brewing Co., rumor spread that the 11-year-old brewery had joined the ranks of San Diego ex-breweries. But reports of ...

Smokehouse in a food court?

Slow meats next to Macy's in La Mesa

The thought of a food court evokes strong sensory memories burned into my consciousness by the presence of trashy mall franchises: the baked cinnamon aromas of Cinnabon, the pulpy viscosity of Orange Julius, the slab ...

Limbo doesn't last long at Circle 9 Brewing

Lager up, sinners, or wait till the next batch

Back in June, the Reader reported a new nanobrewery, Circle 9 Brewing, had debuted its first beer at a fighting float festival in Japan. As of August 19th, the Kearny Mesa craft brewer is officially ...

Go east, Green Flash

San Diego beer-crafters buy a Lincoln, Nebraska, brewpub

Mira Mesa–based Green Flash Brewing announced this week it has purchased a 10,000-square-foot production brewery and restaurant in Lincoln, Nebraska, where it plans to expand its bicoastal beer brand by the end of the year. ...

Potato stuffed with meat sounds appealing enough

Cuban oasis in Chula Vista shopping center

I can't pretend to have much experience eating at a Cuban bakery. To be specific, I was dealing with exactly zero experience before I stumbled across Los Pollos Rotisserie & Cuban Bakery. Which was all ...

No pulse at Magnetic Brewing

Attempt to sell stake in business results in $12K judgment and eviction

One of San Diego's smallest breweries appears to be closed following an eviction notice and a $12,000 judgment from a recent lawsuit related to the brewery's attempt last year to sell 1 percent stakes of ...

Surprised by vegan tacos in middle of South Park

Satellite of Tijuana's La Taqueria Vegiee

I'm fortunate to have my favorite fish tacos within easy reach. A Mariscos Nine Seas food truck sets up daily in what is now the Target Express parking lot, by the corner of Hawthorn and ...

Second Chance Beer Co. celebrates second anniversary

OG San Diego brewers dig up proven recipes for three-day party

This Labor Day weekend, Second Chance Beer Co. will celebrate a busy first two years in business with a three-day party at its Carmel Mountain brewery. Second Chance already distributes six varieties of beer in ...

Warming up to cold noodles

Sashimi topped ramen may be the perfect summer dish

My ramen consumption has been down. Not because I'm over it, and definitely not for lack of availability — Yelp tells me I have roughly 300 ramen choices within a 15-minute drive. I've just been ...

Alta Brewing's no-get-rich-quick scheme

"The focus is really just do killer beers, not reinvent the wheel."

New breweries in San Diego join a crowded field. With over 150 brewhouses at work in the county, there's a growing sense that the time has passed for startup breweries to achieve the scope of ...

3 Punk Ales goes live in Chula Vista

And the feedback is good

Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Co. has officially returned, adding to Chula Vista's rising status as a craft beer destination. Following an 18-month build-out, Punk cofounders John Marshall, Steve Garcia, and Kevin Lewis opened their new ...

Why slow and low cooking is worth the wait

Paris Bakery Coop's BBQ, Tamales Ancira, Campfire, Wrench and Rodent, Village North, Buona Forchetta, Aladdin's

You won’t find a better sandwich for $3.75 than you will among the bánh mì of this low-key Vietnamese deli counter. Bánh mì literally translates as “bread,” and Paris Bakery does well to live up ...

Cajun/Creole in East Village

From time to time, alligator sausage makes an appearance

Between Emeril’s “Bam!” and the House of Blues chain Disneyfying the concept of a bayou restaurant, I’ve subconsciously come to expect all Cajun eateries in California to be in some way larger than life. Bud ...

Do growlers count as open containers?

Law-enforcement agencies weigh in on a commenter's question

Following a recent story I wrote about the growler concept taking hold at an urban winery, a commenter asked whether filled growlers can be considered open containers during a traffic stop. Good question. I posed ...

A snowball’s chance in Escondido

Baltimore-style shaved ice, best served with marshmallow sauce

If you’re interested in trying the sweetest, coldest treat you can get your hands on this summer, turn your attention to Escondido and a small shack called Baltimore Snowball. As its name suggests, the snowball ...

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