By Frank Sabatini JR.
New butchery in Mission Hills
The recent arrival of The Meatery at 902 W. University Avenue marks the second San Diego location of a venture that was launched by Nick Fiorentino in 2022 as an online-only meat business.
“We grew so fast after starting it that I ended up getting a warehouse in Grantville. I blew out the walls in the front of the warehouse and turned it into a shop,” said Fiorentino. That original store is located at 6160 Fairmount Ave., Suite E.
His Mission Hills location follows suit with an exclusive selection of Wagyu beef from the U.S., Japan and Australia, plus Kurobuta pork, poultry, veal, and alligator. The inventory also features a few types of wild-caught fish as well as artisan spices, rubs, and sauces.
Fiortentino’s family had owned slaughterhouses in Pennsylvania, which gave him motivation to open the business after previously working in internet marketing.
“The Meatery is a collision between my skill set and my family’s history in the meat industry,” he added. For more information, call 619-753-4353 or visit themeatery.com.
Fairplay bounces into North Park
The space that was home to the beloved Toronado bar has sprung back to life with the soft opening of Fairplay, a sports-centric bar run by a team of bar-industry veterans.
Fairplay is the brainchild of the owners behind Fernside in South Park and Bluefoot Bar & Lounge in North Park. Their goal is to create a bar and eatery that appeals to sports fans, with a particular focus on soccer.
Co-owner Adam Cook’s love of local and international soccer will lend to the airing of global matches on multiple screens amid a remodel that now features high ceilings and a wider, airier layout. Cook and his team are also committed to supporting San Diego Wave FC, which is part of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Beer and wine are both on tap to complement a menu of casual fare such as fried pickles, chicken wings, salmon salad, burgers, pork melts, and more. Signature cocktails are also in the offing. 4026 30th St., fairplaybar.com.
They’re calling it “the little sister to Madison,” referring to the well-established Madison on Park bar and restaurant in University Heights.
The quaint, vibrant eatery named Madi opened recently in Normal Heights to the tune of brunch service seven days a week and a colorful aesthetic created by local design firm, Archisects, which was responsible for Madison on Park’s famed interior featuring exquisite, wooden joinery.
An all-day menu of breakfast and lunch fare puts a playful spin on wholesome California cuisine. Options include breakfast tacos, strawberry-mango pancakes, waffle churro sticks, Mediterranean lettuce wraps, and a wide choice of grains, greens and proteins for building your own bowls.
From the beverage and coffee counter, customers will find creative mimosas, craft beer, matcha, and espresso drinks by Heartwork Coffee.
Madi is open daily from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 3737 Adams Ave., 619.915.5522, brunchlikemadi.com.
Introducting the ‘Uncle Morty’ burger ß
At all national locations of Dog Haus, including that in the East Village, a whimsical creation has landed on the menu, thanks to a partnership formed with local restaurateur and TV/YouTube personality Sam Zien (a.k.a. Sam the Cooking Guy).
Available through Sept. 30—and in spirit of the dubious and demented “funcle,”—is the Uncle Morty. The temporary newcomer features an all-beef patty swooped up with mustard-grilled pastrami, white American cheese, caramelized onions, pickles, and garlic aioli. The ingredients are stacked within puffy King’s Hawaiian Rolls.
For each purchase of the Uncle Morty, the restaurant chain will donate $1 toward its charity partner, No Kid Hungry.
“Collaborating with the Wurst culinary team at Dog Haus is always fun and always ends up with something crazy good. The Uncle Morty is no exception, Zien stated. 969 Ninth Ave., 619-704-3347, doghaus.com.
Vendor alert at Hillcrest Farmers Market
We love our artisan breads found throughout San Diego County, including those made by The Bread Underground, a Vista-based delivery baking business that makes it official debut Sept. 4 at the Hillcrest Farmers Market.
Run by a team of family members since 2020, the company specializes in small-batch organic sourdough bread that is naturally leavened. In addition, their products are made exclusively with alkaline spring water sourced from Palomar, Ramona and Carlsbad.
Bread Underground can also be found at the farmers markets in Mission Valley, Vista, and Leucadia. Some of the other breads that originate from their ovens include potato buns, “everything, everything focaccia,” sourdough cinnamon babka, pretzel baguettes, and more.
“We’ll have about 15 different items, which will include our core items like focaccia, sourdough loaves and English muffins,” said company owner Jeff Imray. 858-610-0857, thebreadunderground.com.
A favorite Filipino snack in the Gaslamp
Downtown San Diego recently welcomed the arrival of the Gaslamp Lumpia Factory, a Pulutan-style bar that serves not only hand-rolled lumpia, but other traditional dishes such as sinigang soup, chicken or pork adobo, and different preparations of fried rice each day.
The lumpia are available with a choice of four different fillings: veggies, chicken, beef or pork.
Owners Donna Pili and Craig Dalrymple are veterans of the restaurant industry and wanted to present what they say is the “first Pulutan concept in San Diego,” which describes an establishment where customers can enjoy casual food while imbibing on beer, wine, cocktails. Add to the equation in this case a few signature shots that appear on the menu. 423 F St., 619-310-5522, gaslamplumpiafactory.com.