Archive for September, 2011

Click and View To End Hunger in the US

| September 26, 2011

Feeding_America_Logosmall Have you got 30 seconds to help end hunger in the US?

According to Feeding America, 1 in 6 Americans struggle with getting enough to eat. To help reverse this reality, AOL has joined Feeding America’s mission and, together, they’ve come up with a simple way you and I can lend a hand. Or, more specifically, a mouse click.

AOL aims to donate 100,000 meals by Monday, October 3. To reach that goal, they need you to click and view Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month PSA on AOL Impact, an AOL site dedicated to helping non-profits share their stories while also providing easy ways for you and me to support those non-profits.

All we have to do is watch the seconds-long, Matt-Damon-starring Hunger Action Month PSA from the AOL Impact site. Each view equals one meal donated and there is NO LIMIT to how many times you watch it. Simply refresh the AOL Impact-Feeding America page after you’ve viewed the PSA and click “play” again.

I’m going to watch the video at least 10 times every day until October 3. Who’s with me?

[Thanks to TBD for sharing the news!]

(Logo from Feeding America’s website.)

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My Picks: Things To Do In San Diego, September 24-25

| September 23, 2011

Fare thee well, San Diego Summer 2011. I’ll remember your sporadic weeks of extreme high temperatures with fondness, and I’ll consider the blackout your last exclamation point before you dwindled away into the sepia tone of autumn.

That said, HELLOOOO FALL! This weekend’s ideas of things to do in San Diego includes another San Diego brunch suggestion and highlights two big events, one in Little Italy and one on Adams Avenue.

Things-to-do-San-Diego-September-24-25

Saturday, September 24:

  • 10:00 a.m. The Ibiza Benedict calls. My cousin-in-law from LA first introduced me to Pacific Beach’s World Famous several years ago. Since then, I’ve sampled all of the Benedicts at World Famous and I’ve found that the Ibiza is my favorite. It’s hearty but not in an I-wish-I-wore-a-dress way, combining a layer of sweet, roasted red bell pepper with a thick, sausage patty, poached eggs, lemony hollandaise and a dollop of pesto. Have it alongside World Famous’ Skyy Bloody Caliente and call me Sunday morning.
  • 12:00 p.m. That’s not trash. That’s art! The section of Little Italy known as Little Italy North is hosting a new, FREE art event called Art D’Strada. From noon to 8:00 p.m., stroll along Kettner and India between Grape and Laurel and spy artwork created by local artists using recycled and salvaged materials. As you do, perk up your ears to music from local bands and snack on the offerings from local food trucks and Little Italy North businesses.

Sunday, September 25:

  • 10:00 a.m. Check out San Diego’s largest FREE Music Festival. The 30th annual Adams Avenue Street Fair runs until 6:00 p.m. this fine, final Sunday of September. Over 25 musical acts will perform on six different stages during this second day of the fair, including San Diego surf jazz favorites Mattson 2 and The Red Fox Tails. And with various beer gardens, a micro brew tasting zone, carnival rides, and 200+ food, arts and craft vendors, this event has the potential of becoming that crazy-September-Sunday-in-2011 story you tell your friends in a couple of years.
  • 1:05 p.m. Chargers take on the Kansas City Chiefs on CBS. It’s a home game, everybody. I’d love a win to cleanse my palate of last week’s performance against the Patriots, a game that proved that stubbing your toe never ceases to hurt.
  • 4:00 p.m. Check out San Diego’s largest FREE Music Festival. This isn’t deja vu. I said crazy-September-Sunday-in-2011 story. With the fair running until 6:00 p.m., you’ve got two more hours to make it memorable.

(Photo caption, left-to-right: Photo of Ibiza Benedict from my San Diego Breakfast Examiner article on National Eggs Benedict Day; flyer image from The Little Italy Association of San Diego’s Facebook profile; flyer image from the Adams Avenue Business Association website.)

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El Dorado’s Fall Cocktail Menu Release Party

| September 20, 2011

Fall Menu Release FlyerWith the impending arrival of fall, the last weeks of September are marked by three truths: the sun will begin setting earlier and earlier in the evening; San Diego’s El Dorado Cocktail Lounge will retire its summer cocktail menu for hoochery that’s more autumnal; and it’s almost time to wake up Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong.

Let’s expand on the second truth.

Tonight, Tuesday, September 20, 2011, the cocktail creators behind El Dorado’s drink program will release the fall cocktail menu from its back-bar bondage, offering up five new cocktails along with the veteran Moscow Mule. To celebrate the cocktails’ freedom, each craft cocktail on the menu will only cost $5 ALL NIGHT and El Dorado’s sibling, Craft & Commerce, will provide free appetizers.

All the while, DJ Groundfloor and two of El Dorado’s own — Steven Tuttle (aka DJ Steve McQueen) and Ryan Kuntz (aka Cliché) — will offer up beats that’ll help revelers sweats off the spirits.

There’s no cover tonight and no limit to the $5 cocktail drinkery except for your liver intake, so flip the bird to the work week and stop in. If you can’t make it tonight, take stock: after this party, all cocktails on the fall menu will be $5 every day until 9:00 p.m. Whatever you do, just remember to have a designated driver either by your side or on speed dial because El Dorado does not kid with these drinks. Stay responsible, San Diego!

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An Alternative To San Diego Restaurant Week

| September 19, 2011

Jay-Porter-Farm-WeekNot participating in San Diego Restaurant Week is Jay Porter’s prerogative and I’m glad. Not because I have anything against Restaurant Week. I just like to have options.

From yesterday and lasting until this Friday, September 23, Porter hosts Farm Week at his restaurants, The Linkery and El Take It Easy. It’s a week that celebrates the brink-of-the-Fall-season bounty from local farms Suzie’s Farm and Wingshadows Hacienda via three-course prix fixe dinners that will only set you back $25.

The Linkery’s Farm Week prix fixe menu features a lot of vegetarian and vegan options, like a summer squash pizetta and a seductive-sounding gnocchi dish served with an arugula-basil pesto, whereas El Take It Easy’s Farm Week menu features guiltier pleasures, such as a shut-your-mouth-and-just-chew grilled pork cheek/plum/local apricot jam dish and dessert options featuring grilled pound cake and sticky buns.

I find I’m more of a food diablita, so the El Take It Easy route is the one I’m most likely to travel, particularly when there are tequila and mezcal cocktails to be had there, too. Which menu intrigues you more?

(Photo from El Take It Easy’s Farm Week post. Photo taken by Jay Porter.)

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My Picks: Things To Do In San Diego, September 17-18

| September 16, 2011

Before you tune into the Emmys on Sunday night (Go Downtown Abbey!), get out and about our fine city. This week’s recommendations include a stop at the San Diego Blues Festival, an El Cajon Boulevard pub crawl on bicycle wheels, an every-music-genre-you-can-think-of Asian-American music festival, brunch in South Park and samba dancing on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach.

Things-to-do-San-Diego-September-17-18

Saturday, September 17:

  • 10:30 a.m. Listen to the Blues and support the San Diego Food Bank. Up to 10 Blues musicians and bands are set to perform at this year’s San Diego Blues Festival, one of whom — Robin Henkel — will perform just outside the front gate starting at 10:00 a.m. The event, which lasts until 8:00 p.m., takes place at Embarcadero Marina Park North located south of Kettner Boulevard, just off of Seaport Village. General admission is only $10 and two cans of food for the San Diego Food Bank. Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by their parents. For guidance on what you can and can’t bring, check out the event’s FAQs.
  • 2:00 p.m. “Drink moderately. Pedal Responsibly.” These words of wisdom are included on the flyers for this Saturday’s Bike The Boulevard event for good reason. The event centers on pedaling from participating bar to participating bar on El Cajon Boulevard, partaking in pints of hoppiness at each stop. At 2:00 p.m., the shindig will have moved from the Til Two bar to Soda Bar where a Street Fighter Arcade Game tournament will take place. From there, everyone bikes to Tiger! Tiger!, a new spot from the deliverers of Blind Lady Ale House, and so forth, ending with free pizza from Pizzeria Luigi and happy hour prices at Live Wire. The event runs until 6:00 p.m. No admission, just have your own bike. Join and leave when you want.
  • 6:00 p.m. Catch the evening acts at AMP Music Festival. Join George Takei’s support of the launch of this event, which features Asian-American musical talent including San Diego’s Jane Lui, the bay area’s Jennifer Chung and more. The festival actually runs from noon until 9:00 p.m. at the Jacob’s Center in Lincoln Park’s Market Street Plaza, so you can definitely go earlier than my recommended time. Just note that there are no in/out privileges, meaning that once you’re admitted into the festival, you can’t leave it and re-enter later on. Tickets are $20 until 8:00 p.m. today, $30 at the gate.

Sunday, September 18:

  • 10:00 a.m. Brunch it up, poutine style. Head out to Alchemy in South Park and order a bowl of the Alchemy Poutine ($10). Listed in San Diego Magazine’s Best Of San Diego 2011 issue as the Best Carne Asada Fries Alternative (the description of which was written by yours truly), this french-fry based dish speckled with Herbes de Provence sausage and topped with a sunny side egg is definitely a dietary splurge, but we’re allowed those now and again. Brunch served until 2:00 p.m.
  • 1:15 p.m. Watch the Chargers take on the Patriots on CBS. Brady is a calm and collected foe. I’m crossing my fingers that (a) our defense can stop the Patriots’ running back, Danny Woodhead; (b) our defense puts the rush on Brady so he doesn’t connect with Welker; and (c) Rivers can match Brady’s short-passing game. By the way: Get better, Luis Castillo!
  • 4:00 p.m. Samba! Head on out to Pacific Beach for the 4th Annual Brazilian Day Festival! This all ages event goes down on Pacific Avenue between Everts Street and Bayard Street and is sure to be something to behold. An estimated 50,000 people came out to last year’s event. Make it 50,001 by gracing it with your presence. Admission is FREE and features two stages with over 40 performances. This is a dry festival (i.e. alcohol is not sold) and runs until 7:00 p.m.

(Photo caption, left-to-right: Flyer image from the San Diego Blues Festival Facebook page; Bike The Boulevard flyer image from the El Cajon Boulevard Business Association’s web page for the event; flyer image from AMP Music Festival’s Facebook page; photo of Alchemy’s poutine from San Diego Magazine’s article, “Best of San Diego“; poster image from the Brazilian Day San Diego website.)

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