Uptown News Food Briefs – Feb. 24

Posted: February 24th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Uptown Food Briefs | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Uptown News Food Briefs

Tacos Perla in North Park has them. So does Galaxy Taco in La Jolla.

Now, the southern Mexican delicacy known as chapulines (grasshoppers) are appearing on plates at Bracero Cocina de Raiz in Little Italy as a snack or an addition to guacamole and tacos.

Chapulines are hopping onto menus in North Park, La Jolla and Little Italy. (Courtesy of Bracero Cocina de Raiz)

Touted for their crunchy texture and herby flavor, the chapulines are sourced from the central valleys of Oaxaca and dehydrated before leaving the kitchen.

Their recent entry into American food culture has been limited mostly to cities straddling the Mexican border.

1490 Kettner Blvd., 619-756-7864,

More than 100 boutique wineries from throughout the state will pour their latest and greatest releases at the Family Winemakers of California tasting, from 2–5 p.m. March 5 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds’ Wyland Center.

Consumers can sample from nearly 40 varietals and blends offered by reps and owners of the wineries. Admission is $75, and free for non-drinking designated drivers.

2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar,

Rocky Road and other types of pancakes will be served for a good cause. (Photo by Sarah Jacober)

In celebration of National Pancake Day on Feb. 28, Snooze in Hillcrest and Carmel Valley will donate 100 percent of its pancake sales to various local gardens in Southern California.

These includes gardens at Jefferson Elementary (in North Park) and Del Mar Heights Elementary schools.

The pancakes will be available from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. that day on a sushi-style menu, allowing customers to choose from about 10 varieties available at $4.50 per pancake.

3940 Fifth Ave., 619-500-3344, and 3435 Del Mar Heights Road, 858-703-5300,

Dishes such as salt-n-pepper pig ears, Chinese sausage risotto, and creamy walnut shrimp are in the offing at the long-awaited Whistling Duck Tavern, which opened Feb. 1 in The Hub shopping center in Hillcrest after a series of delays.

Launched by Convoy District restaurateur Charles Sun of Shanghai Saloon and the Dumpling Inn, the Asian-fusion restaurant also features wine, sake, and two-dozen craft beer choices.

1040 University Ave., 619-255-4046,

“The Ham” and other breakfast sandwiches make their debut at Grater Grilled Cheese. (Courtesy Alternative Strategies)

The Mission Valley location of Grater Grilled Cheese has introduced several breakfast sandwiches served on buttered brioche buns.

Each features scrambled eggs (or egg whites) tucked inside with either, turkey and Muenster cheese; ham and Swiss cheese; bacon and sharp cheddar; or tomatoes, arugula and goat cheese.

Served with tater tots, they’re priced at $6.50 each ($1 extra for egg whites only).

5618 Mission Center Road, Suite 1002, 619-458-9611,

Gibran Fernandez is Mr. Moto. (Courtesy Mr. Moto Pizza House)

A second San Diego location of Mr. Moto Pizza House recently opened in North Park with the same selection of creative pizzas as its original kitchen in Pacific Beach.

Owner Gibran Fernandez (aka Mr. Moto), previously ran Pizza on Pearl in La Jolla, where he says “my whole career in pizza making started.”

His menu at Mr. Moto features 15 specialty pies, including the popular “California love” with bacon, chicken, caramelized onions and garlic paste.

His “vodka cream” pizza is topped with vodka and raspberry-chipotle sauces and sour cream. Stromboli, calzones and meatball subs are also available.

3773 30th St., 619-642-0788,

—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

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