Uptown News Food Briefs: Feb. 9, 2018

Posted: February 9th, 2018 | Featured, Food & Drink, Uptown Food Briefs | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Uptown News Food Briefs

Snooze in Hillcrest, La Jolla and Carmel Valley will celebrate International Pancake Day on Feb. 13 with a variety of sweet and savory flapjacks priced at $4.50 each. All proceeds from the pancake sales will go to local community garden projects at Jefferson, Torrey Pines and Del Mar elementary schools.

Crafty pancakes on International Pancake Day (Courtesy of Snooze)

The pancake menu will include a lemon-blueberry-coconut “king cake,” cherry chocolate pie and cornmeal-queso. They’ll be available during regular operating hours, from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Hillcrest location is at 3940 Fifth Ave.,


A plant eater’s paradise known as Anthem Vegan opened Feb. 3 in a circa-1965 structure formerly occupied by Lil B’s. The venture marks Anthem’s first brick-and-mortar address since establishing itself at farmers markets in Hillcrest, Ocean Beach and the College Area. It still operates booths at those markets.

Sausage hash at the new Anthem Vegan (Yelp)

The restaurant, which will eventually encompass a market and deli, offers an extensive selection of vegan and nut-free breakfast dishes (weekends only) plus lunch and dinner entrees served on most days of the week. The menus include soyrizo hash with herb-garlic tofu, potato-zucchini tacos, and a variety of sandwiches and wraps using mock beef and chicken. Many of the items are also gluten-free.

Anthem Vegan is the brainchild of Patrick Murray, who originally started in the local food industry by holding speakeasy vegan brunches at his house.

The restaurant is closed on Mondays and its hours vary throughout the week. 2611 El Cajon Blvd., 619-268-4367,


The Friendly sprung onto the North Park scene this month with a bill of fare that spans from pizzas to foie gras.

“We’re more than just a pizza joint because we do cool things with daily specials,” said Mario Maruca, who runs Caliano food truck and opened The Friendly with business partner and culinary adviser Brandon Zanabich.

Staffers at The Friendly strike a pose in celebration of the eatery’s recent opening. (Courtesy The Friendly)

In addition to pizza and burgers, ingredients such as foie gras, quail eggs, black truffles and fresh produce arrive to the kitchen for gourmet specials that change daily. The eatery offers indoor seating and features an open kitchen and dining counter. A beer and wine license is in the pipeline and a website is still in the works. 4592 30th St., 619-892-7840.


Tacos Perla is out and The Taco Stand is in. The new arrival to the North Park space brings its famous rotisserie pork, flame-grilled carne asada and corn tortillas made to order. The menu also includes loaded fries, Mexican corn on the cob and breakfast burritos. Draft beer is available as well.

(l to r) A Baja fish taco and al pastor taco from The Taco Stand (Courtesy Alternative Strategies)

This marks the fourth San Diego location of the Tijuana-inspired eatery, which is owned by locally based Showa Hospitality. 3000 Upas St., 619-795-8797,


The address that has seen a fleeting number of eateries pass through and last housed Crave Grill at 3825 Fifth Ave., recently became home to Vancouver Wings, a burgeoning chain that first launched in Guadalajara several years ago. With nearly 80 locations throughout Mexico, this is the company’s first U.S. presence.

Aside from chicken wings available in a variety of sauces, the eatery also serves poutine, nachos, burgers, and domestic and Mexican beer on tap. But good luck placing pick-up orders because the staff rarely answers the phone and the franchisee has been oddly reluctant to publicize the phone number on websites such as Yelp. In addition, their website isn’t in English. 619-770-1883,

— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

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