By Frank Sabatini, Jr.
A cafeteria-style restaurant featuring scratch cooking with locally sourced ingredients opened Nov. 28 in the Hotel Circle space previously occupied by Adam’s Steak & Eggs.
Named Crust Kitchen, owners Steve Abbo and Andy Hirmez designed the restaurant with busy hotel visitors in mind while catering also to locals with elegant displays of salads, pizzas, sandwiches, roasted meats, side dishes and desserts. Customers queue up in line and point to the items they want to purchase, much like the system in place at Lemonade in Hillcrest.
Abbo and Hirmez also own the adjoining Travel Mart (formerly Albie’s Beef Inn) and Value Liquor and Mini Mart next door. 1201 Hotel Circle South, 619-501-1112, crustkitchen.com.
San Diego-based Primos Management has opened Primos Public Corner, a full-service restaurant and bar in Mission Valley’s Fenton Marketplace. The company operates more than 20 fast-casual eateries under the name Primos Mexican Food, although this is its first large-scale establishment, said chief marketing officer James Quijano.
In addition to a wide selection of Baja-style cocktails and craft beers, the food offerings include everything from mole french fries and bourbon-Sriracha flautas to New York strip tacos and fire-roasted chile rellenos. 2401 Fenton Pkwy., Suite 104, 619-684-5777, primospc.com.
Giant short ribs will be introduced at Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill in Mission Valley, beginning Dec. 9.
“We take the whole rib bones from certified Angus beef and then smoke them for many hours over pecan wood” says Wood Ranch’s director of culinary development Alex Benes, adding that each rib measures about 10 inches long, holds 14-plus ounces of meat and feeds two people. Sold singly for $33 with a shareable side dish – mashed potatoes, broccoli, peanut coleslaw or mac n’ cheese – they’re available Fridays through Sundays. 7510 Hazard Center Drive, 619-764-4411, woodranch.com.
After an eight-month closure, Mark W. Bihm and his husband, Humberto Villegas, will reopen their New Orleans Creole Café in Old Town by early December. The tucked-away restaurant, which occupies two historic structures for a dining room and kitchen, received permanent foundations and new wiring and drainage systems. In addition, the buildings have been repainted, new corbels were added, and the dining room’s front porch was expanded.
“The property is back to its 1860s glory,” Bihm said, adding that new pasta dishes will be added to the menu, and he will soon begin bottling and selling the restaurant’s Cajun-style barbecue sauce, which originates from a family recipe. 2476 San Diego Ave., 619-542-1698, neworleanscreolecafe.com.
—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.