By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Food and Drink Blotter
Café 222 continues celebrating its 25th anniversary with an October spotlight on pumpkin waffles, an original year-round menu item that has garnered praise by Gourmet Magazine, Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” and other national media.
Made with a signature spice blend and topped with toasted pecans and whipped cream, owner Terryl Gavre decided to bring more attention to the waffles “because nothing says fall like a delicious pumpkin dish.”
Gavre opened the whimsically decorated breakfast-lunch café in 1992 and soon became known for her eclectic cooking style and local billboard ads showing her wearing a tipped waffle on her head. She also operates Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant with chef Carl Schroeder, a three-time James Beard nominee.
“I can’t believe I’m still here 25 years later,” Gavre told San Diego Downtown News. “I just signed a new 20-year lease for Café 222 and plan on being here until I’m old and gray.”
In the pipeline is a menu of six different types of grilled cheese sandwiches that she plans to launch in November, a fitting come-on to the café’s house-made roasted tomato soup. 222 Island Ave., 619-236-9902, cafe222.com.
If you live within an eight-minute drive from any of the 16 locations of Panera Bread across San Diego County, you can now receive menu items delivered to your home or office for about $4 or $5 per order, which can be placed online or through the Panera phone app.
The company recently hired 120 drivers from the area who work directly for the fast-casual chain, which is famous for its soups, salads, sandwiches and preservative-free bakery items.
Panera has locations in the Gaslamp Quarter, Coronado, Liberty Station, Hillcrest, Clairemont and other local areas. panerabread.com.
Chef Mark Kropczynski of the Grant Grill has a passion for lobster diving in San Diego Bay. And the season is upon us for California spiny lobsters, which lack the pinchers of their New England cousins, but offer leg and tail meat no less sweet.
Kropczynski will spotlight the specialty crustacean in various preparations for breakfast, lunch and dinner from Oct. 24–31.
Dishes incorporating the lobster include eggs Benedict garnished with caviar; saffron risotto with shaved black truffles; and in a prix-fixe dinner that features the meat in all four courses, the chef sneaks the meat into a Tahitian squash cake dessert with vanilla-rum butter. The dinner costs $72 and can be paired with wines for an additional $38. Reservations are recommended. 326 Broadway, 619-744-2077, grantgrill.com.
At the arrival of its 10-year anniversary, Mission Brewery in the East Village has launched an investment campaign that allows the public to purchase shares in the company through WeFunder.com. The brewery calls the opportunity “the first of its kind in San Diego” with an investment goal of $1 million, but they plan to end the campaign Dec. 2. The minimum investment for those seeking a stake in the business is $200. For further details, visit the website. 1441 L St., 619-544-0555, missionbrewery.com.
Local craft distillers will unite for the first annual San Diego Spirits by the Bay Festival, from 1–5 p.m., Oct. 14, at the Coronado Ferry Landing. Presented by the San Diego Distillers Guild, the event affords attendees unlimited samples of locally produced spirits from Six One Nine Vodka, You & Yours Distilling Co., Perfect Soul Whiskey & Rum, Henebery Spirits, Cutwater Spirits, and more. The lineup also includes beer tastings from Lost Abbey Brewing and BNS Brewing & Distilling Co.
Noshes from local food trucks and restaurants will be available for purchase, and live music will be performed by The Morgan Leigh Band and The Good Bad.
General admission tickets are $45 in advance when purchased online (spiritsbythebay.com) and $60 at the gate on day of event. VIP tickets are $65 and $80, respectively. 1201 First St., Coronado, sddistillers.com.