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Dining Out in San Diego: Jan. 12, 2018

Posted: January 12th, 2018 | Columns, Dining Out, Featured, Food & Drink | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Mission Valley has become home to a second San Diego location of Shake Shack, the New York-based burger chain that made its local debut in October in Westfield UTC mall. The newest outpost, which opened Dec. 21, is located within The Millennium Mission Valley mixed-use complex.

Shake Shack’s Smoke Shack single burger (Courtesy of Bay Bird Inc.)

In addition to its usual lineup of burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries and frozen custards, the menu features two versions of the frozen custards unique to Mission Valley: the chocolate “shark attack” with fudge sauce and chocolate-truffle cookie dough; and the vanilla “salt N’ SANDiego” with salted caramel sauce, crumbled sugar cone and bananas.

Craft beers by Modern Times, Bear Republic and other local breweries are also available. 675 Camino de la Reina,


Mission Valley’s dearth of pizzerias recently grew larger with the closing of The Works in the Friars Mission Center shopping plaza. The space, which is nestled among Grater’s Grilled Cheese, The Flame Broiler and Tandoor, was still up for lease as of Jan. 1. 5608 Mission Center Road.

Create your own poke bowls at the newest San Diego location of The Poke Co. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

A little further east in the Rio Vista Plaza, The Poke Co. has replaced Kasi, an Indian restaurant that struggled under fleeting sets of owners. This is the second San Diego location of the Los Angeles-based Poke Co., which has an outlet in the Gaslamp Quarter as well. 8950 Rio San Diego Drive, 619-542-9234,


The iconic A-frame structure in Hillcrest that housed Wienerschnitzel for many years sprung back to life Dec. 28 as Copper Top Coffee & Donuts. Owner Josh McCorkle, a Seattle native who worked in the restaurant and coffee industries for 20 years, said the venture marks the first of more coffee shops he hopes to open around town.

“Hillcrest was the warmest and most inviting community we could find for our first location,” he said. “We’re serving high-end coffee in a drive-through setting.”

Josh McCorkle recently introduced Copper Top Coffee & Donuts in a familiar Hillcrest structure. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

The menu features coffee drinks and a proprietary blend of espresso, using beans from the Seattle-based roaster, Rococo.

There’s also locally sourced Bootstrap Kombucha on tap along with cake-style doughnuts made to order. Those are available with various toppings such as white chocolate with coconut and sprinkles; sugar and cinnamon; and salted caramel with chocolate and crushed walnuts. Additional flavor combinations are in the pipeline along with breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

McCorkle retained the walk-up window in front and added a drive-through window in the back. New seating alongside the building was installed as well as fresh plumbing, lighting and kitchen equipment.

“I love the idea of turning something old and decrepit into something fresh and vibrant,” he added. 101 W. Washington St.,


The stretch of Adams Avenue near 30th Street continues growing into a culinary hot spot with the announcement that a former dry cleaner’s will soon morph into a gourmet gelato shop.

Due to open this spring under the name An’s Dry Cleaning, the project has been years in the making between longtime friends and will feature seven rotational flavors using ingredients sourced from local purveyors whenever possible. Some of the flavors will stick to tradition while others featuring cactus, goat cheese and wasabi not so much. The gelatos will also be used to create cakes adorned with carved fruits. 3017 Adams Ave.,

Don’t be misled by the name of this upcoming gelato shop on Adams Avenue. (Courtesy Bay Bird)

—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at■


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