By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Uptown News Food Briefs
The much-anticipated reopening of Olympic Café at its new North Park location will become a reality by mid-May, said Donna Kotselas, who founded the Greek restaurant with her husband, John, more than 30 years ago.
The couple closed the business last year at its original location, at 2340 University Ave., due to landlord issues. In deciding to relocate, they acquired the lease to a structure one door west, where Jersey Joe’s previously resided. But a series of delays blamed on city bureaucracy and the creation of a large covered patio forestalled their plans to reopen sooner.
“The project ended up being more involved than we imagined,” Koteselas said. “We’re now finally ready to come back to everyone.”
At the new location, customers can expect a wider selection of house-made desserts and daily specials that will include pork souvlakia skewers, chicken or beef Greek stifado stew, and additional dips and spreads. 2310 University Ave.
Napizza in Hillcrest has introduced gelato in six flavors that include strawberry-basil, coffee, lemon-rosemary, and chocolate. The creamy Italian dessert is hand-mixed and sourced from Bottega Italiana in University City. The price is $4 for two scoops and $5 for three.1040 University Ave., 619-546-8300, na-pizza.com.
Looking for the best plate of fish and chips in the country? The celebrated British dish served at Shakespeare Pub & Grille in Mission Hills recently earned the title in a national contest held by the makers of Old Speckled Hen, the U.K.’s long-established ale.
More than 160 pubs across the U.S. initially entered the competition in an effort to gain the most public votes. After the top five contenders were determined, brewery reps from the U.K. made the trek across the pond to personally judge their plates.
“They were looking at the actual establishments and the authenticity of the dish,” Shakespeare general manager Ruth Thomas said. “We’ve been in business for nearly 27 years and we were just elated to get this award. So much credit goes to our staff and customers.” 3701 India St., 619-299-0230, shakespearepub.com.
Hillcrest has seen the arrival of two new restaurants specializing in Middle Eastern fare: Blue Fourno Grill located at 406 University Ave. and Crave Grill House at 3825 Fifth Ave. Each offers Mediterranean favorites such as tabouli, falafel, kabobs and wraps.
Blue is distinguished, however, by its inclusions of beef, lamb and chicken shawarma, while Crave features several Persian stews that include fesenjoon made with chicken, pomegranates and walnuts. 619-795-1197 and 619-501-1313, respectively.
The Hillcrest Farmers Market is adding to its Sunday vendor lineup (starting May 21) Bread & Cheese Catering, which offers four types of grilled cheese sandwiches as well as coconut-curry tomato soup. The company was launched in January by Justin Frank, who served as director of operations at the former S&M Sausage and Meat. His business partner, Devin Gneiting, was a local event planner.
They’ve since secured a spot at the North Park Thursday Market and sporadically appear at several breweries around town — Modern Times, Bay City Brewing, Duck Foot and others. In addition, the company caters weddings, corporate lunches and other private events.
“We started out with one mobile tent and now have three,” said Frank, who posts the company’s weekly schedule on Instagram and Facebook — @breadandcheesecatering.
The menu includes sandwiches such as the Burn-a-Nator with pepper jack, capicola and enchilada aioli on jalapeno-cheddar sourdough, and the meatless Cali Gold with Swiss, pepper jack, arugula, red peppers and pesto on plain sourdough. 619-709-6016, breadandcheesecatering.com.
Clem’s Tap House in Kensington has expanded into an adjoining space that will add 400 square feet to its existing blueprint by late May. Owner Paul Kasawdish said the roomier digs will make way for a second bar and 20 more beer taps devoted exclusively to Belgian and sour beers. With additional seating inside and outside, he welcomes families and kids, adding that he might incorporate a play area on the patio. The food menu currently includes assorted appetizers, flat bread pizzas, sausages and paninis. 4108 Adams Ave., 619-255-4526, clemsbottlehouse.com.
A baked goods sale driven by 13 pastry chefs from popular, local establishments will be held from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Sunday, May 7 at Herb & Eatery in Little Italy. General admission is $11.49. Early VIP entry (at 10:30 a.m.) is $37.74, which includes three free baked goods. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Monarch School San Diego in Barrio Logan, which educates students impacted by homelessness.
Participating chefs include Gan Suebsarakham of Pop Pie Co., Jeremy Harville from Trust, Jessica Scott from Puesto, Rocio Siso-Gurriaran of Nine-Ten, and Adrian Mendoza of Herb & Wood/Herb & Eatery. Tickets can be purchased through eventbrite.com under “chef-driven bake sale.” 2210 Kettner Blvd., 619-794-2790, herbandeatery.com.
—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.