Papalo, La Mesa Village and Chef Drew Bent’s Sonoran Desert-Inspired BBQ


Papalo Sonoran BBQ

Where does creative inspiration come from? It’s different for everyone, but for Drew Bent, it was the smell of the Sonoran desert.  “After I left Lola 55, (which he helped open and subsequently earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand distinction) I was driving to Tucson with my wife. It was raining during the drive, and once it stopped I rolled down the window to smell the fresh air. I inhaled the air and turned to my wife and told her that he wanted to make food that tasted like this air smells. I wanted to make food inspired by the desert, which is vast, beautiful, calm, and quiet, Bent said. Continue Reading →

San Diego’s Backcountry Wine and Dine Pairing


Fresh from a journey to Italy, Ramona Ranch Winery co-owner and President Teri Kerns and co-owner and Winemaker Micole Moore partnered with Farmhouse 78 Restaurant in Santa Ysabel to explore wines from Italy and Ramona.

This warm summer evening food and wine lovers gathered at Farmhouse 78 Restaurant to enjoy a five-course Italian meal and two types of the same wine for each course; one from Ramona and one from Italy. This is such a fun event and helpful to experience the nuances and flavors of local and international wines.
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Areté at Iris Vineyards


Iris Vineyards 2020 Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir

The philosophy of Areté comes from Ancient Greece and refers to excellence of any kind. This philosophy guides the Iris Vineyards team to endeavor to excel at constant attention to their vineyard practices, wine quality, and hospitality. Their goal is to produce fresh, fruit-forward wines that honor the land and the full potential of the grape. Continue Reading →

Gotta love a beautiful Albarino whether from Southern California or Northwest Spain


Spanish and Southern California Albarino

I love learning about new wine regions. Recently I was able to review some wines from the Galacia region of Spain. This region is located in the larger northwest region of Spain called  Rias Baixas. This wine region is called Galicia. The soils are granite and sandy, which are conducive to producing aromatic white wines. Since the 1980’s the Albarino grape from this region has been the most successful white wine export. Continue Reading →

The Barn House BBQ “The Messier the Better”

The Barn House BBQ in Lemon Grove

Like tacos, ask ten people their opinion on BBQ and you’ll get fifteen answers. There’s Carolina, both east which is peppery and vinegar-based, and west which is Bavarian-based. You have Kansas City with its beef ribs and sauce which is sweeter and tomato-based, and Memphis with its pork. Texas likes its meat cooked low and slow over hickory wood. Many cooking styles.  Many spice Continue Reading →

Scenic Valley Ranch Winery

Today's line-up of wines at Scenic Valley Winery

The McGrath’s did their research throughout the Ramona Valley to learn what varietals grow well here and in the end they decided that they liked Bordeaux-style wines. They planted Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Albariño, Petit Verdot, and Petite Sirah. Continue Reading →

Spill the Beans Coffee and Bagels providing cool vibes and more

Spill the Beans coffee

Cool Vibes, Good Music, Food and Drink. That is the motto of the newly opened Spill the Beans Coffee and Bagels. Located on the north side of The Townsend Apartments, or as some call it, the back entrance to Fashion Valley Shopping Center, they join other supporting businesses for this new housing area. One of these businesses is Spill the Beans Coffee and Bagels. Continue Reading →

Casa Gabriela in La Mesa Serves Humble and Elevated Food Using Fresh Ingredients

Chef Gabriela Lopez at Casa Gabriela in La Mesa CA

Gabriela Lopez has been cooking and consulting professionally for over 20 years. Like many great chefs, she learned to cook from her grandmother and mother starting at the age of 8. She has fond memories of making dough with her grandma at that age. “I had the passion from way back then,” Lopez said. Continue Reading →