Bring an iron stomach or a roll of antacids if you’re delving into the new, outrageous foods at this year’s San Diego County Fair (June 2–July 4) at Del Mar Fairgrounds. Here’s a partial list of what to expect:
From locally based Chicken Charlie’s comes Krispy Kreme chicken ice cream sandwiches, peanut butter and beef meatballs, fried pineapple with ice cream, and beignets on a stick.
The vendor, Bacon A Fair, will introduce bacon-wrapped cactus, plus Brussels sprouts and asparagus wrapped in the cured meat, and bacon-wrapped grilled pineapple rolled in Parmesan cheese and served on skewers.
Grantburger presents the Maui cowboy burger featuring an Angus beef patty stacked with fried Spam, cheddar, marinated vegetables, lettuce and spicy sauce.
Tamer in comparison perhaps are two hot sandwiches on sourdough from Grilled Cheese A-Fair: one encasing jalapeno poppers, bacon and double cheddar; and the other containing a Brandt beef patty, double American cheese, caramelized onions and secret sauce.
And hidden off the beaten track this year is a speakeasy called The Jade Peacock, which offers an Asian-inspired saloon experience with the support of local distilleries selling craft cocktails. Getting there requires a password given out on cards at the fair’s bars — Into the Sunset, Spurs & Spirits, and The Painted Cowboy.
For detailed information on operating hours, admission prices, events and concerts, visit sdfair.com.
After serving Sicilian and Italian cuisine in Hillcrest for more than 30 years, the Busalacchi family has closed A Modo Mio, which opened six years ago at 3707 Fifth Ave., one block down from its original Busalacchi’s restaurant. The latter sprung onto the scene in 1986 and shuttered shortly before A Modo Mio was launched.
A letter issued by the family states that the decision to close “didn’t come easily, we felt it was the right thing to do for the continued growth of our family business.”
Three restaurants in the Busalacchi restaurant group remain: Barbusa is its newest and the two others — Trattoria Fantastica and Café Zucchero — are currently under renovation and due to reopen in August or September. barbusa.com.
A quaint wine shop carrying nearly 75 labels from California, Mexico and Europe has opened inside Cucina Sorella in Kensington. They can be consumed onsite with a $9 corkage fee that’s waived on Wednesdays or purchased to go.
In addition, through June 4 the restaurant is offering a 10 percent discount on retail sales from the entire selection. 4055 Adams Ave., 619-281-4014, cucinasorella.com.
What opened in November as The California Fruit Wine Co. will celebrate its overdue grand opening June 23–25, but under the newly re-branded name, FruitCraft Fermentery & Distillery.
Alan Haghighi, who co-founded the business with his brother, Brian, told Gay San Diego they recently began producing spirits from fermented fruits as well. Known as eau de vie, the brandies are currently available in flights and craft cocktails at the establishment in four varieties — mango, pineapple, cranberry and pomegranate.
“We’ve been making improvements to the space and expanding our offerings since last year,” he said, adding that the spirits will also be bottled and ready for retail sales in time for the grand opening. 1477 University Ave., 877-484-6282, fruitcraft.com.
The Mission Valley-based San Diego Poke Co. will expand with a second location in Normal Heights on June 8. Owner Yohei Umezu first launched the business at farmers markets before moving into a brick-and-mortar space last year at 10387 Friars Road.
The new location will be twice the size and offer more options for building your own poke bowls, salads, wraps and tacos. It will also feature Umezu’s new tuna burgers, including the Oh-No made with cubed tuna, onions, seaweed salad and Hot Cheetos, all tucked inside a Furikake rice bun.
The hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and the first 50 guests to visit the new location will receive a free regular-size poke bowl. 3533 Adams Ave., sdpokeco.com.
The annual Maine lobster festival at King’s Fish House in Mission Valley kicked off May 23 and will continue for at least three weeks, said a company rep.
The imported, sweet crustaceans appear in lobster bisque, classic or Connecticut-style rolls, in a New England clambake with potatoes and corn, and in whole, steamed form with weights ranging from 1.5 to 3 pounds. 825 Camino de la Reina, 619-574-1230, kingsfishhouse.com.
—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.