By Frank Sabatini Jr.
The acclaimed Babycakes is returning “home” to Hillcrest this fall as it resettles into a prime address previously occupied by Pinkberry, at the corner of Fourth and Robinson avenues. The structure sits one block away from where Babycakes originally operated for several years.
This time around, according to co-owner Christopher Stavros, the bakeshop won’t feature a bar-restaurant component, although it will eventually serve Champagne, beer, coffee and frozen yogurt.
“That decision came during our restructuring of the business in 2017. We just want to focus on one thing and do it well,” he said in reference to the company’s toothsome selection of cupcakes and other baked goods, which also includes customized wedding and birthday cakes.
He added the recent pop-up of Babycakes inside Fiji Yogurt at the HUB Hillcrest Market will likely discontinue once the new, permanent space opens.
The inventory will feature about 25 flavors of cupcakes, plus crème brulee cheesecake, brownies, cookies, muffins and more. The location will serve as a pickup spot for customized orders as well.
Babycakes also operates a bakery and coffeehouse in Imperial Beach. The Hillcrest space will be nearly equal in size and feature a sleeker, more modern design. 3795 Fourth Ave., 619-990-2282, babycakessandiego.com.
Baja specialties served in a charmingly decorated environment have arrived to El Capricho, which soft-opened recently on a high-traffic block of University Avenue, between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and goes beyond the usual Mexican-food offerings in the area. “Capricho” translates to “whim,” which means customers can expect daily specials that come and go often. Currently, look for dishes such as steak with cactus, chicken mole, grilled octopus and more. 540 University Ave., 619-269-2996.
As we reported in May about Project Pie’s acquisition by the Los Angeles-based Elite Restaurant Group (Slater’s 50/50 and Daphne’s restaurants), the company has decided to convert its remaining San Diego locations of Project Pie to Patxis Pizza shops, which was still in question at the time of the takeover. Those outlets are in Hillcrest, Chula Vista and Eastlake. They’re due for re-branding by late summer.
The new Patxis Pizza concept will beckon to those throughout California and Colorado with a variety of deep-dish and thin-crust pizzas. The menu extends also to hearty sandwiches, meatballs served in bread bowls, and to the unexpected non-Italian offering of chicken tikka masala. The Hillcrest location is at 3888 Fourth Ave., 619-501-8000, patxispizza.com.
The Wine Lover in Hillcrest will hold its first-ever tasting by a winery based in San Diego County, from 5 to 7 p.m., Aug. 31. Two whites and three reds from Twin Oaks Valley Winery in San Marcos will be poured and discussed by vintner/owner Malcolm Gray, who sources his grapes exclusively from local growers.
The event will be held on the patio and is limited to 25 people. It is the sixth of eight Saturday tastings scheduled for 2019. The cost is $45, which includes wines and a cheese bar. Reservations are recommended by calling The Wine Lover or visiting its website. 3968 Fifth Ave., 619-294-9200, thewineloversd.com.
Just when you thought the menu at Classic Rock Sandwich Shoppe in North Park couldn’t get any lengthier, it did.
Owner Cheryl Dagostaro recently hit her goal of offering 100 different sandwich choices in what is a shrine to musicians of the 1960s and the Woodstock Music Festival from 50 years ago. She opened the eatery in 2011 with 20 sandwiches on the menu. Three years later, the number rose to 50, and in January of this year it had grown to 77.
“I just added the last 23 and I’m finally going to take a nap,” she quipped before naming off some of the newcomers such as Leon’s Love, Manfred Mannwich, Frampton Fire and Elton’s Everything —named after Leon Russell, Manfred Mann, Peter Frampton and Elton John, respectively.
Dagostaro’s creations feature various meats, cheeses, garnishments, condiments and house-made sauces. There are 33 vegetarian choices in the lineup. More than a dozen salads are also available.
In celebration of the shop’s eighth anniversary on Aug. 17, all sandwiches will be 20% off, and with a slice of cake included. 3042 North Park Way, 619-692-1969, sandwichessandiego.com.
Childhood nostalgia plays into the latest dessert menu at Trust restaurant.
Executive pastry chef Jeremy Harville has taken inspiration from treats many of us purchased from ice cream trucks as kids. Thus his “Mr. Trustee” lineup includes walrus pops; banana splits; vanilla-bean drumsticks with chocolate and peanuts; orange Bavarian creamsicle profiteroles; and more. They’ll be available through October. 3752 Park Blvd., 619-795-6901, trustrestaurantsd.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org