Archive for November, 2012

Dig This Jive’s Happy Hour Picks for November 2012

| November 30, 2012

This month’s selection of San Diego happy hours features Brian Malarkey’s fabric-named restaurant in La Mesa, chickpea fries in Little Italy, a petite bouffe in East Village, finger-licking fare in Hillcrest, and a happy hour and half in University Heights. For more happy hour food photos, check out Dig This Jive’s Happy Hour album on Facebook.

Happy-Hour-San-Diego-November-2012

Monday: 50% off all bites from 5:00-6:00 p.m. daily at Gingham. There are currently 12 small plates and appetizers listed under Gingham’s “bites” menu and, based on my sampling, they aren’t likely to disappoint in flavor or in portion. Each dish I tried–the Green Eggs & Lamb, Fried Brussel, and Baked Brie–could easily feed a trio of people by themselves. Ordered together and you’ve got an early bird dinner starring a cut of lamb that’s as thick as an iPhone, deliciously blistered Brussels sprouts, and melted cheese meant to be spread on crostini points and topped with a sweet fig jam. Irony within irony: Whereas many restaurants host multiple-hour happy hours, happy hour at Gingham literally lasts 60 minutes.

Tuesday: $4 chickpea fries from 3:00-6:00 p.m. daily at Little Italy’s Isola Pizza Bar. Isola calls them farinata: french fries made from garbanzo beans instead of potatoes. Though farinata usually refers to an unleavened pancake made of chickpea flour, the farinata at Isola takes the shape of Ora Ida Steak Fries. Light and fluffy, the farinata is sparingly seasoned with course salt, served with a truffle aoili for dipping, and damn tough not to plow through. Slow your farinata-eating roll by also ordering the $4 bruschetta burrata & carciofini–two grilled slices of artisan bread topped with creamy burrata, chunks of artichoke, capers, slivers of fresh basil and prosciutto–and the easily-serves-two pizza margherita ($5).

Wednesday: $4, $5, and $6 eats from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Cafe Chloe. Happy hour at this little French spot is as much about tasting the food it serves as it is for the fact that the cafe opens out to 9th Avenue and G Street. Between bites of the $5 roasted grape, pecorino and prosciutto flatbread I ordered, which came topped with fresh arugula and drizzled with honey, I enjoyed listening to car traffic rush by. In one moment, the muzak playing over the restaurant’s hidden speakers mingled with the conversations bouncing around the dining room. Then, following a far-away warning, the music and people were drowned out by the siren of a passing ambulance. My only frustration was that I didn’t have enough change to fill my parking meter for an hour. I envy those who live in walking distance of this wonderful urban hideout. | Happy hour at Cafe Chloe only takes place on weekdays.

Thursday: $0.50 Red Miso Wings all day at Empire House. Chef Larry Malone’s wife never cared for barbecue sauce. So, after tasting an udon dish she prepared with a dark, chimney-brick red miso known as Akadashi Hatcho, he told her that he could use the miso to make a barbecue sauce she would love. He did and she converted. A mix of the red miso, sake, garlic, green onion, honey, rice vinegar, Dijon, La-Yu chili oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper, the sauce that coats the crispy-on-the outside wings is tangy enough to make your mouth water but not enough to make you pucker. Arrive between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. on Thursday and double down on the cheap eats when you supplement your wing order with tater tots ($3.50) from the daily happy hour menu. | The all-day wing special at Empire House only takes place on Thursdays. Regular happy hour takes place daily between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m.

Friday: $5 food, craft cocktails and wine from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at Jaynes Gastropub. Happy hour at Jaynes is intimate. The bar and lounge seats less than 15 people. The dining room takes on a yellow glow under the dimmed lights and lit candles. It’s the type of place where regulars are greeted by their first name and first-time patrons are embraced like new family members. Not only would bartender Sarah Ellis guide you through the ingredients of the classic gimlet, which is one of the $5 happy hour cocktails, or help you choose between the $5 happy hour eats you’re debating, but she’ll also chat with you about the joys and pitfalls of having “Freaks and Geeks” so easily available on Netflix streaming, if you’re so inclined. I focus on the setting at Jaynes because you can’t go wrong with the happy hour craft cocktails or the food which includes Sea Bass Fish Tacos, the Mini Jaynes Burger, the Crispy Calamari and the vegan-friendly White Bean Crostini. It’s all a delight. | Jaynes’ “Happiest Hour and a Half” only takes place in the bar and lounge area from Tuesday to Saturday.

(Photo caption, left to right: Green Eggs & Lamb from Gingham, photo from Gingham’s Facebook photo album; farinata from Isola Bar, photo from San Diego Magazine; the roasted grape, pecorino and prosciutto flatbread from Cafe Chloe, photo by Christine Pasalo; Red Miso Wings from Empire House, photo by Christine Pasalo; Sea Bass Fish Tacos from Jaynes Gastropub, photo from Jaynes’ website.)

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Acts of Valor

| November 20, 2012

San Diego! During this holiday season, show your appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our military by donating to local charities that serve them and their families. Please check out the “Show Your Gratitude” article in the December 2012 issue of San Diego Magazine for a list of ways you can bring cheer to the 350,000 people that make up San Diego’s military population.

Eight military-focused organizations are featured in the article including the San Diego Armed Services YMCA, San Diego Military Outreach Ministries and Homefront San Diego. Donate money, items, and/or time: The article will show you what type of donations each organization will accept.

(The December 2012 issue is currently online. The print issue will hit stands next week.)

Show-Your-Gratitude
How “Show Your Gratitude” will appear in print in San Diego Magazine. Photo taken by Christine Pasalo.

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Portfolio of Morrow

| November 19, 2012

Christine-Pasalo-website-adjusted If a freelance writer wants to find steady work, she is required to act nimbly. In order to do this, she must make peace with terms like “self-promotion” and “personal brand,” terms more commonly associated to Kardashians, once-teenage pop music stars recovering from public nervous breakdowns, and self-proclaimed D-list comediennes. One has to find a way of making self-promotion feel less like a chesty flash for a string of Mardi Gras beads and more like a G-rated meet cute.

And by “freelance writer,” I mean me.

So I’ve published a portfolio site, one aptly named ChristinePasalo.com. On it, anyone who is interested in learning more about my writing style, my writing experience, and my personal story as it relates to writing can click on the “Work” page, the “Services” page and the “About” page respectively. It’s all in hopes that someone who needs something written or proofread (or both) eventually clicks on the “Contact” page and emails me a work opportunity just like Gina Insalaco did when she asked me to write, edit and proofread copy for the website promoting her infrared sauna studio, Saunacuse.

I’ve made my portfolio site as straightforward as possible. I didn’t want my copy to sound like lingo uttered by a man whose gold chain glimmers above the unbuttoned top of his purple polyester shirt. I didn’t want to link to my work examples with dull anchor text the likes of “Download PDF.” And I most certainly did not want the graphics on my site to look like they were pulled from a virtual bargain bin of clip art or to feel as out of place as a rubber duck in a mixed green salad. So I Googled “graphic designer portfolios” and reviewed the resulting websites for inspiration. The portfolio sites of graphic designers offer great examples of the efficient use of text, the benefit of white space, and the way graphics must have context. Their show-not-tell way of promoting their work and, by extension, themselves became a useful North Star by which I navigated the development of my website.

I’m happy with what I’ve come up with and not only for the fact that takers of my business cards won’t be directed to a 404 error page. I’m hopeful the portfolio site will help my writing career move along. And, as with this blog, the person I have most to thank for the portfolio site is my husband. He’s not only moral support; he’s my live-in tech support. I’m lucky that he’s sweet on me.

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Voter Victorious

| November 06, 2012

Voted-2012

I’ve been eligible to vote in three presidential elections. I’ve voted in three presidential elections. Perfect record.

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