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Stories by Mary Beth Abate

San Diego Reader 2018 taco issue

Tacos with seafood, tacos that tell a story, tacos from Tijuana

Great atmosphere, better tacos Baja Oyster, Border X, Carnitas, Canteen at Quartyard, Candelas, Señor Taquero By Ed Bedford Shrimpquest 2018 City Tacos. Lolita's, Oscar's, Mariscos Alex, Blue Water By Ambrose Martin Year-round taco festival Corazon ...

Tacos to feed your body and soul

Tacos Mimi, Puesto, Libertad, Salud, Mariscos Nine Seas, El Comal

One of my favorite taco shops is El Rey Del Taco in Loreto, B.C.S., a charming little town about two thirds of the way down the Gulf of California coast. It has no posted hours, ...

San Diego Reader 2017 guide to holiday fun

Bar crawl, good causes, Tijuana, Legoland, Zoo, Seaworld, Liberty Station,

A holiday tourist in my own city Tree farms, Nativity scene, gondola and trolley rides, Christmas movies by the pool. By Siobhan Braun Why not a holiday bar crawl? Bike ride, Messiah sing-along, Santacon bar ...

Surfboard Santa

Pet parade, parade of lights on the bay, ugly sweater pub crawl, Grinch at Old Globe, ginger beer and granola at farmers markets

Growing up in the Chicago area, the holidays meant snowy hills and hushed landscapes, warm, woolly scarves and mittens, puffy down coats and sturdy boots. It also meant shoveling two feet of snow off the ...

San Diego Reader 2017 Burgers issue

Urge is the root word

Burgers with a side of ambience Brewski's, Bruski, Legacy, Banzai, Sunrise Deli, San Marcos Brewery, Tivoli, Balboa Bar. By Chad Deal Burgers for those with exquisite taste Craft & Commerce, Barleymash, Mastiff, Fathom, Notorious, Burger ...

I’ve eaten many fancy pants burgers

Red Door, Bankers Hill Bar, Waypoint, Juniper & Ivy, Carnitas Snack Shack, Werewolf, Raglan

My favorite scene in Pulp Fiction is when Vincent Vega, aghast that Mia Wallace orders a five-dollar milkshake, asks for a taste because he’s “gotta know what a five-dollar milkshake tastes like.” After a brief ...

San Diego Reader Feast — 2017 restaurant issue

Slow cooking, fusion, BBQ, slices of Chicago pizza

It's a mess. A glorious mess. Azerbaijan on Adams Ave., the Buzz Burger with bacon jam, Surf Check in Shasta travel trailer, old-school Japanese in Chula Vista. — Ed Bedford Save room for the Mexican ...

Save room for the Mexican chocolate bread pudding

Gulp and chomp at Red O, the Hake, Crack Shack, Fernandez, Azucar, Pho Hoa

An unabashed fan of Rick Bayless, I was thrilled when Red O finally opened in May. You could make a statement by ordering the tablita for two, a grilled 32 oz. prime tomahawk chop, one-pound ...

San Diego Reader 2017 Fun issue

Eagle Mining, Bike the Bay, USS Midway, Lucha Libre

Climb the California Tower in Balboa Park Balboa Park’s California Tower at the San Diego Museum of Man was closed to the public in 1935, but after extensive construction and safety renovations it reopened for ...

San Diego Reader 2017 guide to tacos

Taco secrets, octopus, importance of tortillas

Taco means tiny taste of temptation. Satisfaction by a thousand different cuts of meat and veggies. Is it just me, this wacko taco love affair? I don’t think so. Every San Diegan has a secret ...

It's a slippery, messy delight

Almost anything on the menu can be taco-ized to order

Aqui es Texcoco The moniker translates to “Here is Texcoco,” an homage to the Texcoco region of Mexico, largely considered to be the birthplace of barbacoa in that country. The specialty of the house is ...

San Diego Reader guide to local burgers

Nice hambies, juicy beasts, and the redonks

That Sacred Union of Beef, Bun, and Other Junk — Chad Deal The Sort of Meat You'd Expect to Find at an Upper-Tier Butcher Shop — Ambrose Martin Gateway garnishes — Mary Beth Abate Football, ...

Gateway burger garnishes

To the dark side and back

Burgers. I love them. I’m a traditional sort. Acceptable toppings are lettuce, tomato, raw onion, American or cheddar cheese, and a smear of mayo. At least that’s what I told myself. Somewhere along the line, ...

San Diego Reader 2016 guide to restaurants

The Feast! issue

Restaurants worth treating as occasions — Where going out is still a treat. By Ian Pike It’s not news, but it’s love — Critics have to eat even when they’re not critiquing. By Ambrose Martin ...

Crushes evolve

Restaurants in the running for a long-term food relationship

I love crushes. I get crushes on television shows, on singers, on colors, cookbooks, chefs, and, of course, food. My longest food crushes are enduring passions for buttered popcorn and marshmallow Peeps (nobody’s perfect), and ...

Nine hundred degrees of pizza

Nuanced Napoletana at Pummarò in Point Loma

Almost a year ago I relocated from the Westfield UTC area to Liberty Station. One of the most pleasant things about moving to that area is being able to walk to so many restaurants, bars, ...

San Diego Reader 2016 fun issue

A million things under the sun — we offer a few (some indoors)

County Administration Center Waterfront Park In 2014, 12 acres of former parking lots were converted into a public park facing San Diego Bay. Running both north and south of the county government headquarters established in ...

Subtle sweet smoke

Fireside by the Patio comes to Liberty Station

I lurked for months, surveying the perpetual construction and interminable delays that come with opening a new restaurant in San Diego. I watched in anticipation while huge wood burning grills were installed. I speculated endlessly ...

San Diego Reader 2016 taco issue

Good-mood food

Asada days and adobada nights — A little taste of Loreto in San Diego. by Mary Beth Abate Tacos where you least expect them — Looking beyond standard tacolandia. By Ed Bedford Taco mecca — ...

Asada days and adobada nights

A little taste of Loreto in San Diego.

I spent February and March in Loreto, Baja California Sur, a charming town on the Sea of Cortez that dates from 1697. Small and friendly, the place made it easy to settle into a routine ...

San Diego Reader 2015 Feast issue

Beach towns, Downtown, Little Italy and Old Town, the Mesas, North County Coastal, North County Inland, Uptown

Food and Drink County, U.S.A Beach Towns Downtown Little Italy & Old Town The Mesas North County Coastal North County Inland Uptown Best of the rest

San Diego Reader 2015 guide to craft cocktails

Margaritas, breakfast cocktails, mescal, Hotel Del

If San Diego had an official drink, it would almost certainly be a beer. Something hoppy. (How is there not an America’s Finest Brewery in town yet?) Which leaves San Diego cocktails free to represent ...

Mother’s Ruin gets a makeover

It might not be that you don’t like gin.

Gin has always been a drink of dubious repute.

A line out the door since 1933

Mitch’s Seafood Whenever I’m at family-owned Mitch’s Seafood I think, This is why I live in San Diego. Beer-battered rock cod ($3.05) or seasonal fresh grilled fish and seafood ($3.60) are almost exclusively from San ...

Don't let the size of the list intimidate you

Solare I can’t think of a better way to spend a lazy afternoon than on the gorgeous patio of this chic Italian eatery. Sip Solare’s Blood Orange Daisy, a sophisticated twist on a traditional margarita ...

A desire named StreetCar

North Park's StreetCar Merchants of fried chicken, doughnuts and coffee soft opens on 30th Street

Doughnuts seem to be having a bit of a moment, but despite my sweet tooth and love for anything deep fried, I've never been much of a doughnut person. I've never swooned over a flashing ...

My fantasy food day

My day always starts with coffee from Cafe Moto (2619 National Avenue), whether it ends up being a dream day or not. It’s usually in my own kitchen, but my fantasy morning would have me ...

Cocktails with a personal stamp

I love craft cocktails because I have a hard time following the rules, or recipes. Everything tastes better when you put your personal stamp on it. Bailiwick Wide-open windows, big comfy sofas, and a great ...

Hookah up in Sorrento Valley

AJ's Cave survives Hollywood intervention

This Thanksgiving, for once, I was neither cooking for a crowd nor eating with a crowd. It’s been an exhausting year, so John and I decided we were overdue for a long weekend of lazy ...

A first look at Puesto at the Headquarters

San Diego's premier tacoteurs go big

Earlier this week I had a chance to preview the new menu from Puesto at The Headquarters, slated to soft open on Tuesday, November 19th. I’ve eaten at the La Jolla location and the Puesto ...

San Diego Reader Feast issue 2013

List of favorites, happy hours, Baja Med

Reader foodies set the table for you with this year's delectably eclectic restaurant guide. Dig in!

    A love-hate relationship with top-ten lists

    Having to choose between this and that favorite.

    The one question I’m asked most frequently is “What’s the best restaurant in San Diego?” Impossible! How can I compare this deliciously fresh, perfectly seasoned, crisply battered fish taco with that subtly nuanced, silky smooth, ...

    The Spirit of Family Dinnertime

    Restaurants that feel like home.

    Places where food is created with care, where the service is warm and welcoming, and where you can relax and reconnect with family and friends.

    Let’s Be Friends

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