4th of July parking lot Pop Up for the homeless ~ Oceanside

So, North County Food (me) teamed up with Chef Beau Bonham to stage a free pop up event on the 4th of July holiday. We used Beau’s catering van and grill and set up in the parking lot of the closed Ralph’s parking lot on Oceanside Blvd.


Chef Beau and our fancy set up.

Our goal was to feed the homeless and disenfranchised, as well as anyone who came along.  The menu consisted of bacon wrapped hot dogs, home-made coleslaw, and ranch style beans.


Our guests enjoying some lunch.

Beau did all the prep and cooked the hot dogs. My job was funding the event, plating, and doing recon runs to find people and let them know what we were doing. unfortunately, we did not feed as many people as we had hoped. We had learned with talking to our guests that the Sheriff department started doing “sweeps” of the homeless starting Wednesday in prep for the holiday weekend. I went downtown and the normal train stops I meet homeless all the time and it was pretty dead. Still it was fun and if we did not get the crowds we wanted it was still worth it.

#Oceanside #food


Midnight Jack Brewery ~ Oceanside

So, I was invited to check these guys out. They are right down the street from my house at 3801 Oceanic Drive, Oceanside. They just opened on March 25th. The grand opening is July 2nd and 3rd.

MJ logo

The brewer has been home brewing for 27 years and has won major awards, his grand father was a bootlegger in the 20’s and used to make midnight runs and earned the name “Midnight Jack”. God I love stories like that.


After talking with the brewer, I immediately loved his creativity. He reminded me a lot of the Brewer who ran the short lived Beer Brewing Co. behind Wrench and Rodent.

They have have 14 beers on tap 11 constant with 3 rotating taps “when its gone its gone some thing new is in” While I was there he was starting on a devil’s food cake beer.




It is a working tap-room nothing fancy and does not need to be.

While I am not a huge beer drinker I do have a palate and have talked in-depth with enough brewers to know who knows what they are doing and who is not…these guys are the real deal.


Left to right

Jack’s sassy Saison. I love Saisons and this was a great example of one

Tropiweizen. Really fruit forward, this would be great with spicy or BBQ dishes.

Amber Ale. Dark but not heavy

Russian Imperial Stout. Coffee best word to describe it, would be a great steak beer.

So they have food trucks and Thursday is trivia night, loads of fun.

Also here is the thing they overlook El Corazon Park and for the 4th of July have secured permission to have people set up in the parking lot to view the show. Come on Beer, food and fireworks without having to fight the crowd. Tickets are available on their site.

Midnight Jack Brewing Co.

3801 Oceanic Drive, Oceanside


Hey also North county food is looking for a beer writer. It pays crap but I do get invited to a lot of beer dinner which I would cover, also any beer events if relevent I would cover. You just have to be some what eloquent can take a decent picture and love beer. If you are interested contact me through the web site.

Booze Brother’s Brewing Co. – Vista, CA

Article and Photos by Katie Cobb

Booze Brother’s Brewing Co. has been on my radar to visit for quite some time. After going, I can now say I’m sad it took me so long to make it out there. The first thing you see when you walk in is a giant American flag and one trendy ass bar. All of the brick, pine, exposed beams and mounted antlers makes it seem like a dreamy man cave, of course, women are allowed.

Photo of the bar at Booze Brother's Brewing Co.

Photo of the bar at Booze Brother’s Brewing Co.

After purusing the menu I decided to get a few tasters. I was very pleased by the creativity displayed on their menu. They had a wide selection of styles ranging from IPAs to saisons to browns. The only style that wasn’t represented were stouts, but I suppose as with most great things, everything has it’s season.

The draft list at Booze Brother's

The draft list at Booze Brother’s

I decided to sample the Apple Champagne Ale, the Good Guy Session IPA, the Cherry Blind Wit, and the Belle of the Hog, along with a few sips from my friends’ glasses, who ordered other beers I wanted to try 🙂

Apple Champagne Ale- This ale was a fantastic beer to start off with as it has been a hot, hot day. It is simply a twist on their Penny Blonde Ale, adding some apples into the brewing process. It was light, refreshing, and added a little sweetness that makes me want to drink 100% of the time for the remainder of never-ending summer.

Good Guy Session IPA- This IPA was fantastically aromatic. There is just something about the smell of hops that is so soothing. Overall, a solid choice for any IPA lover like myself.

Cherry Blind Wit- This brew is a twist on their Snow Blind Wit, adding cherries into the mixture. It is a strong Belgian wit, but has a tartness which made it a bit lighter on the palate. I’m not a huge fan of Belgian wits, but I always try to challenge myself to appreciate creativity and quality beer where I can. This one definitely made me see the light, just a little bit 😉

Belle of the Hog- This beauty was brewed for Flying Pig’s new restaurant in Vista. It is a saison with kumquat, as well as other spices and was delightfully complex. It had a light fruity/tartness but also some darker spices (maybe clove???) that made it seem almost holiday-esk to me. Like orange spice tea or mulled wine. Delightful.

***again, keep in mind these are my not-so-professional reviews, so if you want to find out, go out and try them yourself!

Booze Brother's tasting room/outdoor patio.

Booze Brother’s tasting room/outdoor patio.

In addition to the wonderful beer tasting, the brewery has a ping-pong table, an outdoor bar where you can get their core beers, as well as a large seating space outside. Also hosting a food truck, this space was the perfect spot to unwind with friends after a hot day. They had great music, plenty of space, and an ambiance that made us want to just sit and enjoy their beer alllllll evening.

Booze Brother’s Brewing Co.

2545 Progress St. Suite D, Vista, CA 92081


Oceanside Sunset Market ~ Vendor Spotlight and Picture Essay

Having been a volunteer with Mainstreet Oceanside for about a Year and a half now, I know how much work goes into running the Thursday Markets. There are two the smaller more produce driven morning market and the night “Sunset Market” which features more of a street fair environment with live music, artists, and food. I have been to two over the last month or so and the crowd volume has picked up for the summer.

market 1

market 4

Pretty much this crowded the whole time. I love these two ladies in the second pic…I’m not taking pictures of you get over it, my camera was over my head “say anything boom box style” snapping crowd pics.

Now there are about 180 vendors for the markets and i would say 80% if not more are food vendors. That is a lot. Not all are good and not all are authentic. I will mention three here that are worth your time.

First is Shwings ~ New style Sushi and wings who i have mentioned before. Having been around for 7 weeks now it is nice to see them settled in and upping their game.

shwings 2

The Shwings menu offerings.

shwings 3

Chicken with pickled watermelon foreground and Bacon Avocado roll in the back.

shwings chicken sushi

Bacon &Avocado roll…great plating

Flaming Salmon 1

Right next door to Shwings is flamin’ Salmon.

Flaming Salmon 2

Hence the name. I had talked with the Owner / Chef about temp control and how the fish does not get dried out..his answer 20 years experience doing this in Germany.

flaming salmon 7

flaming salmon

Good stuff.

So the real reason I went down was to talk with Cheryl of Cheryl’s caramels

Cheryl hand makes her candy here in Oceanside in small artisanal batches. They are Gluten, nut, chemical, and preservative free. She makes 9 flavors ranging from Old Fashioned Caramel to Ginger Bread and Raspberry.


caremels service

Cheryl at her booth.

She used to work in the corporate world doing graphic design and marketing,. you can tell her booth screams vintage quality candy. She is also a great person and passionate about her product. The visuals draw you in and she sets the hook and reels you in with her personality.

caremels product

caremels cup

Went home with the “Old Fashioned” caramels. Perfect melt in your mouth rich flavor.

caremels me

Cheryl and some writer hack:)

There will be more about Cheryl and her product soon, also I heard good things about the Perogies near by and did not get a chance to check them out and want to hit up Olivia’s Kitchen for some African food (I love goat and it is hard to find)

night market_

The market at Sunsetish.

night market  2


Flamin’ salmon

Cheryl’s Caramels





ShWings new sushi and wing house ~ Oceanside

So, it is hard enough to strike out on your own in the restaurant industry and open your own place, even with years of experience, add moving to a new state and not having a location, that must be pretty daunting.

That is just what Chef Ryan Turk and Nijela Shama have done. Taking a concept they believe in and creating ShWings ~ New Sushi and Wing House. Ryan creates and developes the food and Nijela runs the Marketing and Social Media. I always find partnerships like this work best. Examples would be Mark and Kim Millwood of TBG, Davin and Jessica at Wrench and Rodent and loads of others.


Ryan has years of experience under his belt working as a Chef for the Caesar’s Palace organization in Las Vegas. Rotating around to assist as the “”Celebrity Chef” restaurants come in. Basically being available to fill in to any position needed, when needed, and dealing with extreme volume. Most recently he worked at the Vegas Outpost of famed New York steak house Old Homestead.

homestead h line int

Old Homestead Steak House LV

After 3 years in Las Vegas and a little convincing from family and friends Ryan decided to move to San Diego, North County and pursue his passion and ideas.


As a proof of the concept they have started at local Farmers Markets and breweries, like Oceanside’s Thursday Night Market pictured above.

The idea he has is for a non-fish based Sushi and Wing House….now right there the concept makes some people think hmmm…yet the idea is new and traditional at the same time.

Sushi simply means “cooked vinegared rice combined with other ingredients” though most familiar preparations include some kind of fish, even traditional Japanese Sushi houses have dishes like Tamago (egg) and inventive chefs have pushed the envelope for years to include ingredients like Kobe Beef and vegetables to their rolls or nigiri.

bacon roll

Bacon Roll ~ Bacon, cucumber,ginger,


Gochujang Wings with Asian Slaw

The wing concept is a perfect match as well, as Japanese fried finger foods have been around forever. I mean Chicken Karaage is Japanese fried chicken and an American version of that as a companion to Sushi featuring bacon and other Savory ingredients makes sense.

I have a huge standard for wings and these were great. Panko breaded for a light crispy taste, moist chicken and a sauce with depth. Slaw was on point too.


Ryan will have to explain his concept to customers from time to time, and while I was visiting them at the night-time market he did have to balance the role of Chef and showman. In the end though the food speaks for itself.


Wings being seasoned, sauce going.

I really like these guys and am excited to see where they go. Right now they are at a few North County Markets and breweries which you can track through their web page and Facebook. I will also throw up any info on the northcountyfood facebook page.



Eat Food Help Animals

Sorry for being AFK for a little bit 🙂

Thanks to all for hanging in there. Some personal health stuff and some family health stuff.

On a brighter note, I still have 200+ pics to go through and lots of food stuff coming to North County…including this.



Lou’s Records, animals, food what else could you want


Sushi Bus ~ Kicking your Ass All Over North County

I had the pleasure of spending my afternoon at Surf Side Tap Room to check out the Sushi Bus. Before I get into that, I just want to tip my hat to Surf Side…I always respected them, and have posted about them in the past, this time I actually had the opportunity to sit down with the manager and owner and was blown away. If you have not stopped by please do…and there will be more coming about them in the future.


OK..back to the sushi Bus.

Loren Waite is the brother of Davin Waite who, if you know me, I love Davin and think he is one of the top Sushi Chefs in the Country. His brother is in the same league (btw this is the most stupid word in the english language) . I’m surprised they are actually brothers and not twins.

Long story short when the Fish House closed they went separate ways, Davin to a brick and mortar and Loren to a catering / Food Truck. In the long run its good for us because instead of being under one roof they get to spread the fishy love around.

Enough of that on to food.


Mexican Chronic ~ Shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, avocado, sweet / spicy citrus sauce, jalapeno


Scottish Salmon Nigiri


Rock Star Dish  (My Title) ` Fried kale, green tomato, seared tuna, micro greens.

this is on par with anything you have eaten (it’s on par with anything I have eaten)


Sea Bass ( Bad Ass Sea Bass) ~  Nigiri, cactus sauce and sweet / spicy sauce. The big pieces are Sea Bass Collar (best part of the fish)

Chef ordered Halibut but was sent a 25 lb Sea Bass instead. He was going to return it till he saw the quality of the fish:)


The Boys ~ Chef Loren on the left and his right hand man on the right:)

If you get a chance follow these guys…you get to sit at a brewery and have insane sushi…really? who the F is going to complain about that.

Flowers by Azalea 1 Year Anniversary Party ~ July 2nd ~ Oceanside

This should be a really cool event. If you have not checked out the local businesses involved, this is a perfect opportunity for you to do so.



flower logo

The host. Congrats on 1 year!

logo fin

The best living tea there is.

living on the veg logo

Vegan and Vegi fare based out of Vista.

goody logo

 The Goody Van out of Carlsbad.

barnwell logo

Live music by The Barnwell Shift.


302 Wisconsin Ave. Oceanside 92054

5:30 to 8:30  July 2nd

Should be a really cool midweek event. Hope to see you there.



Living On The Veg



Surfside Tap Room ~Oceanside

logo 1

Surfside Tap room joined the growing number of Oceanside based brewers and tap rooms four months ago when it opened at 507 N. Coast Hwy. The building was previously a flower shop and before that, way back in the day, a Ford dealership.


The former uses of the building made for a great location as Surfside was able to take advantage of the large open windowed store front of the florist and the roll up garage doors originating from the auto dealership.


The main room is open and airy.


They have 28 beers on tap that are constantly rotating in addition to bottles and cans.


The lower section of the tap room, in addition to providing more seating, is used for a weekly event called “Take Over Thursday”. Where each week a different brewer comes in and serves a selection of their beer in the lower tap area. The cool thing about these events is you are usually able to taste some offerings you may not normally get to, due to them being limited release or not yet released items.

Past Brewers have been Coronado Brewing Co., Barrel Harbor, Firestone Walker to name a few.


I believe the next take over is New Belgium but don’t hold me to that.

In addition Thursday through Sunday you can enjoy a line up of various food trucks. Regulars include ..

logo collage



Surfside Tap Room

507 N. Coast Hwy.
Oceanside, CA 92054


Beer and Food Friday Night ~ Oceanside

If you’re looking for good beer and food this Friday in Oceanside, may I suggest.

The Drunken Pig food truck will be at Surfside Tap Room starting at 3pm.




drunken pig


Also Annel and Drew’s Kitchen will be at The Stone Brewery Company Store starting at 4pm.


310 N. Tremont St.
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 529-0002

annel and drews


Best thing is they are within walking distance of each other. Pace yourself and hit up both.