Food & Drink

Thumbnail image for Cheap Corn Permeates Every Facet of the American Diet

Cheap Corn Permeates Every Facet of the American Diet

by John Lawrence 04.09.2014 Culture

By John Lawrence

Corn is the staple of the US agricultural system and food supply. It’s in everything we eat unbeknownst to many Americans.

Corn feeds steers that become steak and fast food hamburgers. Corn feeds chickens and pigs - even catfish, salmon and tilapia. Milk, cheese and yogurt that once came from cows that grazed on grass now come from Holsteins that spend their time tethered to milking machines while munching on corn.

Processed foods contain even more corn than so-called “natural” foods. Take chicken nuggets, for example. Not only the chicken itself but the corn starch that holds it together, the corn flour in the batter, the corn oil in which its fried, the leavenings and lecithin, the mono-, di- and triglycerides, the golden coloring, the citric acid that keeps it fresh – all these ingredients come from corn.

Any soft drink in the supermarket including Coke and Pepsi contains High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) so you can wash down your corn with some more corn. A quarter of the 45,000 items in the average supermarket contain corn.

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Thumbnail image for The Wild Widows Return to Old Town Part 1: O’Hungry’s Restaurant

The Wild Widows Return to Old Town Part 1: O’Hungry’s Restaurant

by Judi Curry 04.07.2014 Culture

By Judi Curry
For those of you have read my articles before you know that I belong to two support groups that I joined after my husband died. Strangely enough, today (April 5th) was Irene’s birthday; it was Ro’s anniversary, and it was also my anniversary. Rather than stay home and feel sorry for ourselves, we decided to make a day of visiting Old Town – as we did several months ago. This is a synopsis of our visit.

We were on our way to the Old Town Mexican Café when we crossed the street in front of O’Hungry’s. It looked virtually empty – strange for 11:00am on a Saturday morning, so we decided to stop in and eat there. I’ll tell you – it is hard to beat the prices of their breakfasts.

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review: Bistro 60

Restaurant Review: Bistro 60

by Judi Curry 03.28.2014 Film & Theater

Bistro 60
5987 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115
619-287-8186

Some time ago, I remember going to San Diego Desserts to talk to the owners about allowing some of my culinary arts students from San Diego Job Corps to do an internship with them. The bakery had been recommended highly by my two culinary arts chefs, and we thought it would be a wonderful experience for the students. Shortly after meeting with the owners, I left San Diego for a position at Penobscot Job Corps in Maine and do not know if our students had the intern experience there or not.

Much later, around 2008 or so, I heard that people could eat their desserts in the restaurant, and it was obvious that it was no longer just a wholesale bakery. Later on I heard that food had been added to the menu, and then wine, and beer, etc.

Recently, a friend and I purchased tickets to the Moxie theater just down the street from the bistro, and it gave me a perfect opportunity to drop in and have dinner before the opening curtain.

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Thumbnail image for A Sweet Victory

A Sweet Victory

by Source 03.08.2014 Culture

After two decades of consumer campaigns, the government has agreed to include added sugars on nutrition labels.

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

The Food and Drug Administration recently came out with a sweet surprise. Its proposed new nutrition label will finally give us a bit of key information we need to understand our food: the amount of added sugars.

If you look at a nutrition label now, you will see how many grams of sugar are in a serving of your food. That includes all sugars. It counts the lactose in milk and naturally occurring sugars from fruit. The nutritionally important bit of info for most of us is not total sugars, but added sugars — which include the sweetener we call “sugar” plus others like high-fructose corn syrup and honey.

In addition to the blueberries and the yogurt in your blueberry yogurt, how much sugar did the manufacturer add? If you’re trying to pick the healthiest yogurt or granola bar, that’s a fact you need to know.

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Thumbnail image for Poppa’s Fresh Fish Company Brings a Fresh Face to Logan Heights

Poppa’s Fresh Fish Company Brings a Fresh Face to Logan Heights

by Source 03.06.2014 Business

By Avital Aboody

If you have ever been to any of the big farmers markets in San Diego (Little Italy, Ocean Beach, Hillcrest) then you have seen Poppa’s Fresh Fish Company. Maybe you have tasted their signature live sea urchin, shared a good laugh with owner Mark Lane, and joined the growing fan club of rare seafood lovers.

If so, you will be pleased to know that after nearly five years selling in farmers markets, Poppa’s Fresh Fish is opening its first storefront location in Logan Heights! The business owner, Mark Lane, is hard at work getting the space ready for their big grand opening, but he took some time out of his hectic schedule to tell me the story of his business and why he is excited to move into the neighborhood.

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review: Jade, Thai and Mandarin

Restaurant Review: Jade, Thai and Mandarin

by Judi Curry 03.05.2014 Culture

Jade Thai and Mandarin 
10330 Friars Road #104
San Diego, CA 92120

By Judi Curry

I have done several reviews of restaurants suggested by readers of the San Diego Free Press and/or the OBRag.  One of my readers – Michael – asked me if I had ever gone to the “Jade” before.  I knew where it was on Friars, and remembered eating there but not much about the cuisine.  So I called my friend Jim and asked him if he wanted to join me.  He drove all the way from Oceanside – that’s what friends do for friends – and we arrived at the restaurant at 5:30pm or so.

There were very few other patrons in the restaurant, and not many arrived after we did.  The two servers were delightful and made us feel right at home.  The female waitpersons name was “Angel” and she was; the male was “Nathaniel” and he was very helpful also.

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Thumbnail image for Sanctuary: 7th Annual Dia de la Mujer Juried Art Exhibition to Open

Sanctuary: 7th Annual Dia de la Mujer Juried Art Exhibition to Open

by Source 03.04.2014 Arts

An all woman’s art exhibition, a film screening and a very womanly celebration

By Leticia Gomez Franco 

Casa Familiar’s THE FRONT will once again present their annual ode to women, this year called Sanctuary: 7th Annual Dia de la Mujer Art Exhibition. The group art exhibition features the work of 48 female artists from both sides of the border and will be on view from March 7  to April 24.

With over 50 art pieces on view, the exhibition is a wonderful collection of work, inspired by this years theme: Sanctuary. Artists were invited to explore the idea of sanctuary in its many manifestations as it relates to them as women and builders and creators of their own spaces. With this theme the exhibition curator honors the mission of Día de la Mujer. The art exhibition allows women artists to create real representations of themselves, to counter the powerful stream of visual stimulation spat out by the media, oversaturating our world, with foreign, unrealistic versions of women. Día de la Mujer fosters a safe space for women to be real women and to celebrate that realness, in all of its diverse beauty.

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review: Antique Row Cafe

Restaurant Review: Antique Row Cafe

by Judi Curry 03.03.2014 Culture

Antique Row Cafe
3002 Adams Ave.,
San Diego, CA 92116 (Normal Heights)
619-282-9750

By Judi Curry

Some birthdays just go on and on and on.  Particularly those birthdays that you would just as soon forget – like the one I had last week.  (And every day since!)

My neighbors asked to take me out for breakfast at any restaurant of my choosing. I remembered that years ago we went to the” Antique Row Café” and really enjoyed it.  That was my suggestion this time and Nancy and Stuart were willing to drive the distance and try it with me.

It hasn’t changed much since I was there 20+ years ago. They still have the charcoal drawings of many famous personalities on the walls; still dark; and still busy.

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Thumbnail image for Bikes & Beers: Promoting Bike Friendly Neighborhoods and San Diego’s Craft Brews

Bikes & Beers: Promoting Bike Friendly Neighborhoods and San Diego’s Craft Brews

by Staff 02.24.2014 Activism

SDFP’s occasional contributor John P. Anderson has joined up with other enthusiasts to start what they hope will be an annual trek through our city’s bike-friendly neighborhoods combined with visits to craft brewers along the way.

They’ve dubbed it Bikes & Beers SD, plotting out a 26-mile bicycling course taking participants through many of San Diego’s most dynamic urban neighborhoods and to some of the region’s most beautiful natural sights. The inaugural event will take place Saturday, March 29th, starting at 9:30 am with following groups at 10, 10:30, and 11.

Starting and ending in North Park, the event course will go through Hillcrest, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Downtown, East Village, Golden Hill, and South Park. Cyclists will enjoy vistas of the San Diego River, Pacific Ocean, San Diego Bay, Petco Park, and Balboa Park.

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review: Carlsbad’s Village Grill

Restaurant Review: Carlsbad’s Village Grill

by Judi Curry 02.17.2014 Culture

Village Grill
2833 State Street
Carlsbad, CA  92008
760-729-3601

By Judi Curry

Once again a few members of my support group decided to hop on the Coaster and spend the day in Carlsbad.  We did this last year and really enjoyed ourselves and thought it was time for an encore.

The Coaster left the Old Town Trolley Station at 9:50am and by the time we arrived in Carlsbad we were hungry.  We decided to stop for breakfast before we did anything else, and stopped at the “Village Grill” within shouting distance of where we got off the Coaster.

The restaurant is a funky, outdoor place and when we looked inside there was a small counter and one table indoors. The chefs cooked just behind the counter.

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review: Fred’s Mexican Cafe- Too Hot and Not-So-Hot

Restaurant Review: Fred’s Mexican Cafe- Too Hot and Not-So-Hot

by Judi Curry 02.11.2014 Culture

Fred’s Mexican Cafe
Old Town Location
2470 San Diego Ave
San Diego, CA 92110
619-858-TACO (8226)

By Judi Curry

Frequently we get into a rut by going to the same restaurant time and time again because we like the food, the atmosphere, the price, etc.  Every few months or so members of my support group attend the play at the Cygnet Theater in Old Town – thanks to one of our members ushering there often – and we always go to lunch (or dinner) before – or after – the play.

Sunday we saw the 3pm performance of Maple and Vine and decided to have lunch before the play.  (BTW – the play was an interesting one; the plot different than most plays put on by the Cygnet, and quite enjoyable.)

Ro, one of our members who just happens to be the reason for our theater outings, had a discount ticket at “Fred’s Mexican Café” and we decided to go there instead of the regular places we usually eat.

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Thumbnail image for LGBT Leaders to Call for San Diego County Clerk’s Resignation

LGBT Leaders to Call for San Diego County Clerk’s Resignation

by Doug Porter 01.27.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

Leaders of the local LGBT community will call for the resignation of County Clerk Earnest Dronenburg on Tuesday, presenting documentation they say proves he overstepped his legal authority, violated his oath of office and imposed his religious views on marriage into his non-partisan office.

Following the US Supreme Court decision that effectively overturned California Proposition 8 (banning same sex marriages) last summer, Dronenburg petitioned the state supreme court to issue a a writ of mandate requesting that the state hold off on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Dronenburg said he wanted remove “uncertainty,” telling a reporter from UT-San Diego “I still have a reservation about what happens if in the final decision, the court decides that gay marriages aren’t legal,” he said. “Then we’ve set up all these people to having to tell them that their marriages aren’t legal. I just wanted a time-out.”

Except that wasn’t what was really happening.

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Thumbnail image for Calls Intensify for Obama to Fulfill Campaign Promise on GMO Labeling

Calls Intensify for Obama to Fulfill Campaign Promise on GMO Labeling

by Source 01.25.2014 Culture

Members of congress, farmers and businesses await response from president

By Elizabeth Kucinich / Center for Food Safety

When polled, 93 percent of the American public said they supported the labeling of genetically engineered food and ingredients. Sixty-four countries already have GMO labeling standards.

A morning press conference offered a beacon of hope for farmers and activists on Capitol Hill today as members of Congress and 200 organizations demanded Obama fulfill his 2007 campaign promises to label GMOs.

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review:  El Cuervo Taco Shop

Restaurant Review: El Cuervo Taco Shop

by Judi Curry 01.24.2014 Food & Drink

By Judi Curry

Restaurant Review
EL CUERVO TACO SHOP
110 West Washington St.
San Diego, CA 92103
619-295-9713

Several weeks ago I did a restaurant review of “Ortiz’s” in Pt. Loma.  Michael, one of the readers of the review wrote that he thought that “El Cuervo” was one of the best Mexican restaurants in town.  In fact, he said, “ . . . El Cuervo Taco Shop in Hillcrest.  Everything cooked to order and prepared as if grandmother was in the kitchen.   The Veggie Burrito ROCKS!!!  The Carnitas Burrito and the Pibil Burrito are both excellent too.  Have fun.”

“Go.  Now.  Eat!”

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review: Ortiz’s Taco Shop

Restaurant Review: Ortiz’s Taco Shop

by Judi Curry 01.11.2014 Food & Drink

Ortiz’s Taco Shop
3704 Voltaire
San Diego, CA 92107
619-222-4476

By Judi Curry

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria has promised to send authentic Mexican food to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in the event that the Chargers lose the game this Sunday. As an aficionado of such cuisine, I was amazed to see the three restaurants Gloria selected: Ortiz’s Taco Shop in Point Loma, Lolita’s Taco Shop in Kearny Mesa and Mama Testa Taqueria in Hillcrest.

So I called two of my friends – Ro and Irene – and asked them if they would like to join me in reviewing these three restaurants – one at a time, of course.

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review:  Seasons 52

Restaurant Review: Seasons 52

by Judi Curry 01.09.2014 Food & Drink

By Judi Curry

I have heard about this restaurant ever since it opened.  It prides itself on items that are less than 475 calories, no matter what it is, from flatbreads to appetizers, to small salads, entrée salads, fish and seafood, poultry and meat, and even their desserts.

When my daughter Michele called and asked me if I wanted to join her and my grandson Cody I jumped at the chance.  Cody made reservations on-line, and our wait for a table was less than 5 minutes, even though we were early and one person that was going to join us was unable to do so.  Both Cody and Michele had been here before.

The following is taken directly from their on-line page:  “We use natural cooking techniques such as wood-fire grilling, brick-oven cooking, and caramelizing vegetables to let the natural flavors shine through.  And we execute precision with seasoning, and oil with control and care to ensure just the right amount is used to bring out the great flavor profiles.  An added benefit to this style is that our menu items are naturally lower in calories.  In fact, we make a promise that nothing on our menu is over 475 calories.  The result is great tasting, highly satisfying food that just so happens to be good for you!”  NOTE:  They do not have butter in the kitchen nor on the table!

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review:  Pear’s Thai Cuisine

Restaurant Review: Pear’s Thai Cuisine

by Judi Curry 01.02.2014 Food & Drink

By Judi Curry

My children frequently do not like to go out to a restaurant with me if they think there is a possibility that I may review that restaurant. However, my youngest, Stephanie, has been touting “Pear’s” restaurant ever since they opened and was time to see what she was talking about.

The restaurant was hard to find. It is one block behind Aero Drive – even though the address is on Aero – and skirts John Montgomery Drive to the north. It is actually off of “Gibbs” street in a small strip mall that is easy to overlook. In spite of the location, I was amazed at the number of people that came to the restaurant to pick up take out orders. In the hour that we were there, I counted 7 take-out orders, plus the walk-ins that actually ate in the restaurant. Perhaps that is because you can order on-line, and they also have a delivery service. The restaurant has six tables, with most seating 4 patrons, although there are two for two people only.

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Thumbnail image for A Taste of Colombia on Imperial Avenue:  Antojitos Colombianos

A Taste of Colombia on Imperial Avenue: Antojitos Colombianos

by Source 11.26.2013 Culture

By Avital Aboody

If you’ve eaten on Imperial Avenue before, you’ve probably enjoyed some great tacos or perhaps pupusas. But you might not know about the newest gem on the corridor: “Antojitos Colombianos,” the first and only Colombian restaurant in San Diego. The doors at 2851 Imperial Avenue opened for business in January 2012, and this home-grown restaurant has been happily providing customers with a truly authentic Colombian experience ever since.

The owner of “Antojitos Colombianos,” Javier Rodriguez, is from Cali, Colombia. He moved to San Diego 28 years ago to study business at San Diego City College, and then decided to build his life here. Javier capitalized on his previous experience in hotel management, as well as his love for food, and spent the next twenty years managing various restaurants. In 2005 he got together with a couple of Italian friends and opened his first business, a continental restaurant in La Jolla.

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Thumbnail image for Save the Turkeys

Save the Turkeys

by Source 11.26.2013 Culture

Our fast-growing, heavy-breasted birds can’t even mate anymore.

By 

It’s odd that the most iconic feature of Thanksgiving — the turkey — is likely the most unnatural. It’s got competition, of course, from the jellied cranberry sauce that retains the shape of its can and various food products sold in boxes marked “Just Add Water.”

(Really, is it so hard to mash potatoes yourself, especially given their divine taste and creamy texture after you’ve added in all the cream and butter required?)

But it’s the turkey that takes the cake. Not that most of us would know that, since the last time most of us met a turkey was in a sandwich, not on a farm.

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Thumbnail image for For the Love of Food: Mapo Tofu

For the Love of Food: Mapo Tofu

by Source 11.24.2013 Food & Drink

By Melissa Phy / For the Love the Food

As a lover of food, there’s nothing better than meeting someone with the same kind of affinity for all-things edible. “You like cow tongue?! I like cow tongue!”

I’m a lucky person. My most recent job had me meeting new people everyday and I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in touch with some of those awesome people. The reason they’re so awesome? They’re FFAs (Fellow Food Appreciators… and, since they hail from Ramona, probably also Future Farmers of America).

Remember my good friend D who miraculously paired pomegranate seeds with spinach and bacon? Well, his dad (Dan) made something recently I had never heard of: Mapo Tofu.

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Thumbnail image for Who Deserves Our Thanks for Truly American Food?

Who Deserves Our Thanks for Truly American Food?

by Source 11.23.2013 Culture

Until 1492, Europeans had never tried potatoes, cranberries, corn, or turkey.

By  / OtherWords.org

What do turkey, sweet potatoes, and cranberries have in common?

Yes, you eat them on Thanksgiving. Additionally, they are all distinctly American foods. So are potatoes and the corn in your corn bread.

Believe it or not, the day that Columbus blundered into the Americas back in 1492, Europeans (and Asians and Africans) had none of those foods.

Thanksgiving is perhaps the one day a year when we Americans celebrate with truly American food.

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Thumbnail image for McDonald’s Advice To Underpaid Employees: Break Food Into Pieces To Keep You Full

McDonald’s Advice To Underpaid Employees: Break Food Into Pieces To Keep You Full

by Source 11.23.2013 Activism

The “advice” was published on the “McResource” website, meant to give tips to fast-food workers.

By Alex Kane / Alternet

The latest friendly advice from McDonald’s to their low-wage workers includes tips on how to better handle stress–as well as how to fill yourself up better with dinner. The fast-food corporation instructs workers that breaking food “into pieces” will keep you full.

The advice was published on the “McResource” website, meant to give tips to fast-food workers. While you need to be a McDonald’s worker to log-in to the website, details of the advice have been publicized by the group Low Pay Is Not OK, a union-backed group seeking to organize low-wage workers at McDonald’s. The effort is part of the larger campaign to push for living wages, benefits and the right to organize among low-wage workers across a variety of industries.

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Thumbnail image for For the Love of Food: Spinach with Bacon and Pomegranate

For the Love of Food: Spinach with Bacon and Pomegranate

by Source 11.17.2013 Food & Drink

By Melissa Phy / For the Love of Food

‘Tis the season for pomegranates! I used them in a salad a couple weeks ago and was trying to find a way to use up the other pomegranate I had in an equally delicious, but more creative, way.

My good friend (we’ll call him D) told me he made spinach with pomegranate seeds in it, and I deemed him the genius of our time. It adds a nice crunch and sweetness to an otherwise soft and bitter green. And, as we all know, bacon makes everything delicious.

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Thumbnail image for What’s Going On In the Old Proposed VFW Building?

What’s Going On In the Old Proposed VFW Building?

by Judi Curry 11.13.2013 Culture

By Judi Curry

Earlier this week I received a notice from the ABC of a “notice of intention to engage in the sale of alcoholic beverages” in the same building that the VFW wanted to move into last year at 4705 Pt. Loma Ave. Before jumping to conclusions as to what was going to move in I decided to do some preliminary sleuthing and am pleased that I did.

Many of us remember when that building originally housed “Sea and Shore Market.” Years later I still miss the convenience of having a market that close to where I lived. It later was purchased by the owners of “Rancho’s Restaurant” – yes, the same Rancho’s that is on Sunset Cliffs. That became the second Rancho’s in the neighborhood and it was delightful to have it there. It usually had many patrons, and that may have been the downfall of the restaurant because due to of lack of parking space it eventually closed.

Now, Chad and Maja Cline want to open an establishment called “Kodiak” on that very same site. I talked to Chad today and asked him many questions re: the proposed restaurant.

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Thumbnail image for What to Do with Your Leftover Halloween Candy

What to Do with Your Leftover Halloween Candy

by Judi Curry 11.05.2013 Culture

If you are like me and purchased your Halloween candy at CostCo, and not wanting to run out in case your gremlins were going to trick you so you bought two GIANT bags, you probably are wondering what to do with the left-over candy.  After all, how many pieces of candy can YOU eat before you say “enough!”

I’ve got the answer for you! While listening to the news the other night I heard that a group of dentists were collecting the left-over candy to send to our troops overseas.  At first I started laughing, because who would expect a dentist to collect candy for any reason?  

But after meeting Dr. Ana Simerlein and her office manager Kathi, I have some answers to pass on to you.

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