By Frank Sabatini Jr.
The gourmet sandwich shop, Wich Addiction, located in Friars Mission Center plaza off Friars Road, just launched a noteworthy brunch menu featuring items such as house-cured Canadian bacon, brisket Benedict, hand-breaded chicken with scratch-made biscuits and more. The eatery is owned by Mark Manning and his wife, Dyann, who is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. They also run a location in Mira Mesa.
Most everything, on and off the brunch menu, is made in-house, including various curds for “pancakes of happiness,” and sauces and dressings for the egg dishes and sandwiches. The brunch items are available from 8 to 10:30 a.m. on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. to close on weekends. 5664 Mission Center Road, 619-269-7269, wichaddiction.com.
Fried grasshoppers are coming to Hillcrest. And they can be washed down with margaritas, Mexican craft beers, and wines from the Valle de Guadalupe Valley in Baja when Cocina de Barrio arrives in late fall.
The restaurant takes over the space last occupied by Swami’s Cafe, and A Modo Mio before that. Dishes inspired by Mexico’s Oaxaca region will rule and day and stretch well beyond the crackly insects. A menu still in works reveals a variety of seafood and slow-cooked meats served with corn tortillas made onsite. Swami’s owner Jaime Osuna teamed up with chef Jose Flores to launch the venture, which will offer indoor-outdoor seating in a remodeled setting. 3707 Fifth Ave.
The newly open Los Panchos Tacos & Cantina is the stylish reincarnation of the drive-through taco shop that operated one address away for nearly 20 years. Its return to Hillcrest (in the space previously occupied by Brazen BBQ) brings to the neighborhood a full-service bar and lounge area, a fast-casual dining section, and an outdoor patio deck.
The bar offers more than 30 tequilas and high-end mezcals along with local beers on tap. From the food menu, customers will find their favorite tacos and burritos in addition to skillet fajitas, ceviche rojos, and seasoned pork (al pastor) carved from a vertical spit. There’s also a sampler platter stocked with taquitos, mini chimichangas, chicken wings, guacamole and more.
“The community has been so loving and welcoming since we opened. Many customers said they were missing us so much,” noted owner Luis Diaz Jr. note, who closed the former Hillcrest location earlier this year after Dunkin Donuts took over the structure’s lease. The new spot, he pointed out, also features a back lot with 12 parking spaces for patrons. 441 Washington St., 619-295-5828,
The long-awaited Pachamama, which specializes in cuisines from several South American countries, has opened on Adams Avenue under the ownership of Vick Vannucci, an Argentinean-born professional tennis player turned model. The food is touted as “100% organic” and with many options falling into the categories of vegan, gluten-free and paleo-friendly.
Local art, live greenery and earthy textures pervade throughout the space, which also features outdoor seating. A portion of the restaurant’s sales will be given to animal-welfare organizations. 3737 Adams Ave., 619-738-3737, whoispachamama.com.
A family-style Mediterranean feast is in store at Hanna’s Gourmet in Normal Heights, where chef-owner Hanna Tesfamichael showcases globally inspired cuisine on both her regular menu and in month dinner specials.
The upcoming six-dish Mediterranean event will be held at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., Nov. 21. It will feature chicken kabobs with green wheat tabbouleh, baked salmon in orange-wine sauce, roasted Moroccan root vegetables, Italian rum cake and more. The cost is $45 per person. 2864 Adams Ave., 619-280-5600, hannasgourmet.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.