By Frank Sabatini Jr.
The Hillcrest Farmers Market recently doubled the number of chairs, tables and canopies in its food court area to provide ample shaded seating for those purchasing dishes prepared onsite.
In addition, several new San Diego-based vendors have arrived since the start of spring. They include: Fresh Flavors Chutney, which sells six different chutneys created by Madhulika Achal from India. There is also Marley’s Pet Planet Dog Beer specializing in a fermented non-alcoholic beverage for canines; Grandma Sally’s Farm out of Chula Vista, which brings in fresh herbs, mini beets and other seasonal veggies; Ritual Energy, a maker of healthy bars containing 100 milligrams of caffeine; and Veg-N-Out, a purveyor of pea-protein burgers, vegan bratwurst and homemade sauces.
Vendor manager Mark Larson says the current number of food and merchandise sellers has reached 176 — and there’s still room for several more.
“We now rank as the largest farmers market in the city of San Diego,” he added.
The market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday along Normal Street between University Avenue and Lincoln Street. For more information, call 619-237-1632 or visit hillcrestfarmersmarket.com.
Paleo Treats in Normal Heights is celebrating its 10-year anniversary beginning May 25. The company, owned by Lee Selman and her husband, Nik Hawks, touts itself as the first paleo bakery in the nation and the only one in San Diego. It launched originally from a tent in 2009 at Cross Fit Games in Northern California. Soon after, the couple grew it into a direct-to-consumer business before moving the business into its current retail space a couple years ago.
The celebration kicks off with a day of raffles and samples followed by daily samples from its six-item product line through the end of June. The treats include chocolate bars with nuts and raisins, assorted cakes and espresso brownies, all of which are free of gluten, grains, dairy and starches. 4662 30th St., 619-795-2203, www.paleotreats.com.
Carlsbad-based Pure Burger has opened a new branch on the lower level of Fashion Valley Mall, just under the AMC Theatres. Known for using organic grass-fed beef that is ground daily onsite, the burgers are handmade to order and served on white, whole-wheat or gluten-free rolls. Lettuce wraps are available as well. Topping choices include Tillamook sharp cheddar, fresh jalapenos, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, pineapple and more.
The menu extends to grass-fed bison burgers, Jidori chicken sandwiches, vegan Impossible burgers and gluten-free french fries cooked in non-GMO rice bran oil. 7007 Friars Road, 760-683-5101, www.pure-burger.com.
Los Angeles-based Elite Restaurant Group recently purchased the three remaining locations of Project Pie in San Diego County, which includes the outlet at 3884 Fourth Ave. in Hillcrest. The others are in Chula Vista and Eastlake.
A source connected with the sale tells us the restaurant group will likely convert the Project Pie eateries into Patxis Pizza shops, a brand-name concept it has established in cities throughout California and Colorado. The company also owns Slater’s 50/50 and Daphne’s restaurants. www.patxispizza.com.
Bankers Hill has seen the much-anticipated arrival of Il Dandy, an Italian restaurant of striking midcentury design located on the ground floor of the famed “Mister A’s” building.
The venture was launched in part by Dario Gallo of Little Italy’s Civico 1845 and chefs Antonio Abbruzzino and his son, Luca — recent transplants from Italy who earned Michelin stars for their restaurant back home called Ristorante Abbruzzino.
Open daily for dinner, meals potentially start off with house-baked bread, salted cod and slow-cooked pork belly before progressing to fuller plates such as pumpkin-truffle pizza, wheat pasta with rabbit ragu, and dry-aged rib-eye with artichoke salad.
The space features an outdoor patio and will soon open a small offshoot dining area called Arama for intimate multi-course meals based on the whims of the chefs. 2550 Fifth Ave., Suite 120.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.