Uptown Food Briefs – Aug. 28

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Boston native Pete DeCoste is putting the finishing touches on his upcoming Pete’s Seafood and Sandwich, a North Park venture that will soon appear in the space where Bazinga Eatery operated.

A taste of New England is coming to North Park. (Facebook)

A taste of New England is coming to North Park. (Facebook)

A remodel is nearing completion, and the overall theme is New England, with a menu focusing on clam chowder, lobster rolls, fried and grilled seafood, and hearty East Coast-style sandwiches. DeCoste, who worked for Lefty’s Chicago Pizzeria in Mission Hills for five years, hopes to be up and running by early October. 3382 30th St. 619-255-8940.

The flora-filled backyard of Art Produce Gallery in North Park is making way for ChuckAlek Brewery Tasting Room & Biergarten, due to open in the next few months. The project will spotlight a range of old-world German beers and English-style porters brewed by ChuckAlek Independent Brewers of Ramona. A small indoor bar will be rigged with nearly a dozen taps, and food can be ordered from the upcoming Tostadas, which is gearing to open in an adjoining storefront. 3139 University Ave., 619-584-4448.

The Whole Hog pork belly Ruebenweb

The Whole Hog pork belly Reuben
(Photo by Chris McAfee)

Since recently named by Zagat as one of the top 13 barbecue joints in the nation, The Whole Hog in Hillcrest has introduced several new menu items, such as a pork belly Reuben and a bacon-stuffed meatloaf sandwich. The eatery soft-opened earlier this year, and was cited by Zagat for offering barbecue from different regions of the nation.

“We were the only place in San Diego that made the list,” co-owner Chris McAfee says.

The Whole Hog held its official grand opening on Aug. 25. 3749 Park Blvd., 619-546-5467.

Chi Extraordinary Kitchen in Normal Heights is up and running as one of the few Thai restaurants in San Diego devoted to pescatarians. Owner Pimwara “Patty” Thongchua also runs Plumeria in University Heights and Asian Bistro in Hillcrest. Top sellers so far include sole larb, mixed seafood stir-fry, grilled shrimp with lemongrass dressing, as well as a host of vegetarian dishes. 2789 Adams Ave., 619-795-9999.

The new Negociant urban winery in North Park, which had its soft opening Aug. 21-23, will host a fundraiser for Gay Bowl XV, from 5 – 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. Attendees will be afforded a seven-pour wine tasting and a chance at winning restaurant gift cards and a bottle of wine each month for year through Negociant’s membership program. This year’s annual Gay Bowl takes place in San Diego on Oct. 9-11. It will bring together 50 teams under the National Gay Flag Football League and will be hosted by the local San Diego American Flag Football League ( Admission to the fundraiser is $15. 2419 El Cajon Blvd., 619-535-1747.

Poke Go launches in Hillcrest (Courtesy of Poke Go)

After working in the fish industry for 15 years, Chris Park has launched a Hawaiian-Korean restaurant in Hillcrest, named Poke Go, which offers a shortlist of bowls and platters using fresh ahi, salmon and marinated beef. Park previously ran North Park Fish Market and Grill and another similar operation in Kearny Mesa. He says his newest venture is an “affordable concept” that he has seen become popular in Los Angeles over the past year. 3614 Fifth Ave., 619-230-5549.

The event once known as The Tequila Trail in Old Town has been revamped to Taste of Old Town, which will be held for its second year, from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 10, throughout the historic neighborhood.

Café Coyote will offer taco samplers at Taste of Old Town (Courtesy of San Diego PR)

Café Coyote will offer taco samplers at Taste of Old Town (Courtesy of San Diego PR)

With a greater emphasis on food, more than a dozen restaurants are taking part. They include Miguel’s Cocina, Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant, Café Coyote, The Alamo, Old Town Mexican Café and more. Tequilas, however, will still be included in the package at most of the restaurants. Tickets are $35 in advance; $40 onsite; and $25 for the food-only plan. They can be purchased online or at the will call booth, located at Twiggs Street and San Diego Avenue.

Coasterra exteriorweb

The new Coasterra (Photo by Auda & Coudayre Photography)

After nine years in the making, the $15 million Coasterra by Cohn Restaurant Group and Chef Deborah Scott has opened its doors on Harbor Island. The 28,000-square-foot structure doubles as a restaurant and a “floating event center.” It features a daily menu specializing in upscale Mexican cuisine that encompasses whole Maine lobsters, New York strip steaks and Jidori chicken. The bar offers more than 70 labels of high-end agave spirits in addition to Mexican craft beers on tap and an ambitious wine list focusing on varietals from Baja and South America. 880 Harbor Island Drive, 619-814-1300.

Not to be confused with the Broken Yolk Café, a chain of greater magnitude known as Another Broken Egg Café will roll into San Diego County with 12 locations over the next five years. The first outlet is due to appear “sometime in 2016,” says a rep from the Florida-based company.

With only one California location in Burbank, the multi-store expansion will be spearheaded by David Lee, a U.S. Army veteran and past franchisee of Subway sandwich shops throughout the country. Lee has begun scouting sites in Mission Valley, Pacific Beach, Downtown and La Jolla.

Founded in 1996, the chain is known for its contemporary, Southern fare and currently has 50 locations throughout the country.

—Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at

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