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Old Town

Howling margaritas

By Dr. Ink Don’t be deceived by the rope lines that often form outside of Café Coyote in Old Town, at least when they’re small. The wait time to be seated is generally brief if you’re not picky about taking a table in the main dining room, the courtyard patio or the roomy cantina, which features a modest-size bar. And until gaining entry, there’s plenty of tortilla-making to watch at the front of the building […]

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A culinary escape to Mexico’s capital

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

“This isn’t like the Mexican food up the road,” I said to my companion when tapping into a brittle sheet of rolled, fried cheese the size of our forearms. The appetizer, chicharron de queso, ranks among several dishes at El Charko that are well-known throughout Mexico City but absent along San Diego Avenue in Old Town.

The colorful indoor-outdoor restaurant surfaced more than a year ago in place of Crazee Burger. It’s owned by a family from Mexico City, and based after a restaurant there that is perched beside a pond inhabited by frogs. Hence, the name El Charko, which translates to “the puddle” or “pond,” manager Tony Hinojosa explained while steering us to authentic dishes he termed as “peculiar to San Diego.”

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Old Town residents lament removal of Juan Street pepper trees

Posted: April 10th, 2015 | Communities, Feature, Old Town, Top Story | 2 Comments

By Dave Schwab
A last-ditch effort is underway to save a row of 20-plus California pepper canopy trees in Old Town alongside Presidio Golf Course, which are imperiled by the Juan Street Improvement Project.

The $8 million project seeks to implement Old Town Pedestrian Master Plan improvements addressing infrastructure deficiencies on Juan Street, one of San Diego’s oldest roads.

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A tandoori oven in an unlikely place

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Restaurateur and aircraft engineer Mayur Vadhwana brings Indian cuisine to areas where people least expect it. In the late ’90s he introduced to the citizens of Duluth, Minnesota, that city’s first Indian restaurant, which endures today under different ownership. More recently, he opened Indian Grill on Old Town’s main drag, where nut-stuffed naan bread and vindaloo curry are a first in a neighborhood flocked by tacos and burritos.

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A comedy about tragedy in Old Town

By Charlene Baldridge

Joseph Douaihy, who works in a Nazareth, Pennsylvania, book-packaging house, has an undiagnosed illness that manifests itself in several troublesome ways. Formerly a runner in training for the Olympic tryouts, he is able to walk only through the use of knee braces. His father is recently deceased, perhaps as the result of a freak accident and high school prank. The homosexual Joseph also contends with a challenging, ailing uncle; a flaming 18-year-old brother; and a boss, crazed by her own grief, who wants to capitalize on the Douaihys’ blood relationship with Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran.

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Holy Mole!

Frank Sabatini Jr. | Restaurant Review

If I were given a shot of tequila for every time someone asked me where to go for an upscale Mexican meal in San Diego, my liver would have disintegrated by now. Other than steering people to Candelas and a few slightly less-formal places, the pickings are slim.

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