By Frank Sabatini Jr.
What fits between two pieces of bread? Find out at the Earl of Sandwich, a new downtown eatery titled after British lord John Montagu, who is attributed for inventing the sandwich in the 1700s. With more than 30 locations stretched across the U.S., and one in France, the Florida-based chain features everything from French dips and tuna melts to roast beef with cheddar and chipotle chicken. There are also breakfast sandwiches, well-stuffed wraps, soups and salads. Indoor-outdoor seating is available. 690 First Ave., 619-241-2241, earlofsandwichusa.com.
The third annual Wing Fest San Diego will be held from 1 to 7 p.m., June 22, at the Broadway Pier. Wings will be sold for $1 apiece by several local restaurants and eateries that include Punch Bowl Social, Cross Street Chicken, Miguel’s Wings, Smoking J’s, Wingstop and more. Beer and spirits by various breweries and distillers will also be available. The event is organized by Parq Restaurant & Nightclub. Admission is $24.99 for 2 p.m. entry, and $45 for 1 p.m. entry, which also includes two hours of drink samplings. 1000 N. Harbor Drive, 619-727-6789, parqsd.com.
Former Top Chef contestant Rich Sweeney has taken on the role of area culinary directory for Los Angeles-based Tocaya Organica, a popular health-conscious eatery with locations in the Gaslamp Quarter (755 Fifth Ave.), UTC in La Jolla (4301 La Jolla Village Drive), and another coming soon to One Paseo in Carmel Valley.
Sweeney, who is also known for the comfort fare he dished up when operating the former R Gang Eatery in Hillcrest for five years, most recently served as executive chef for North Italia in Fashion Valley Mall. Before that he helmed the kitchens at Waypoint Public in North Park and the former Florent Restaurant & Lounge in the Gaslamp.
“I’ll be doing quality control and training-development for locations in San Diego and Arizona,” Sweeney told us, adding that he is fond of Tocaya’s culinary concept.
“The entire menu starts out vegan, and then if you’re a meat eater, you can add meat and cheese to the dishes. We buy just about everything we can organic. And the environments are cool and welcoming—not hoity.” tocayaorganica.com.
Get your beer and sake fix on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum during the 17th annual Beer & Sake Festival, from 7 to 10 p.m., June 13. The event is presented by the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana. It will feature dozens of vendor offering food and drink tastings. Participants include Green Flash, Anchor Brewing, Ozeka Sake, Underbelly, Wismettac Asian Foods and more. Guests must be 21 years or age or older to attend. Tickets range from $40 to $120. 910 N. Harbor Drive, 619-544-9600, Japan-society.org.
Avocados are taking center stage at Little Italy Food Hall throughout the month of June commemoration of a partnership the venue has formed with the California Avocado Commission. Each vendor within the food hall has incorporated the fatty fruit into a special dish for the occasion.
At Not Not Tacos, for example, look for avocado-crab flatbread as well as pearl couscous with crispy tofu and avocado. The Roast Meat and Sandwich Shop is mingling avocado with salmon in a single-serving bowl, while the pizza alla Mediterranea at Ambrogio 15 now temporarily includes the fruit in the topping. At the food hall’s bar, avocado even shows up in a “California margarita.” 550 W. Date St., 619-269-7187, littleitalyfoodhall.com.
Seven years equates to decades in the restaurant business. And the owners of Meze Greek Fusion in the Gaslamp Quarter are celebrating that milestone with free hors d’ oeuvres starting at 8 p.m., June 22. The party will also welcome the debut of a new cocktail called “lime in the coconut” made with RumHaven, fresh lime, pineapple, vanilla and allspice. Priced at $13, a proceed from the sales will be donated to Rady’s Children Hospital. 345 Sixth Ave., 619-550-1600, gaslampmeze.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at email@example.com.