Rich Sweeney to open R Gang Eatery on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest
dining out
News for Foodies
Published Thursday, 29-Apr-2010 in issue 1166
Bravo’s “bear” chef to open Hillcrest eatery
Farewell to the longstanding Busalacchi’s on Fifth Avenue, and hello to R Gang Eatery, due to open in its place on June 1. The venture is the brainchild of Rich Sweeney, a former contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef (season 5) who also became a friendly and familiar face behind the bar at Pecs on Sunday nights. Sweeney’s eatery will feature “American-retro fare made modern,” served in an indoor-outdoor atmosphere graced by black-and-white family portraits, dark woods and modern fixtures. Menu items such as minted lamb Salisbury steak, chicken curry pot pies and a newfangled version of chipped beef on toast will adhere to Sweeney’s signature K.I.S.S. cooking philosophy, which stands for “Keep it simple, stupid.” R Gang debuts initially with dinners beginning at 5 p.m. 3683 Fifth Ave.
Spring cleaning
In an attempt to pay a visit this week to WOW (Walking on Water) Café on the Ocean Beach Pier, we were greeted by locked doors. The café recently came under new ownership and has been touted for its mango pancakes and fish-n-chips, although it is temporarily closed by the Department of Environmental Health due to vermin infestation. Yikes! 619-226-3474.
Camping it up for Cinco de Mayo
Sombreros and maracas will be handed out Wednesday, May 5, at Baja Betty’s, Gossip Grill and Urban Mo’s as each Hillcrest restaurant celebrates the Mexican holiday with reduced prices on food, tequila and other spirits. Revelers can party-hop between locations aboard the Betty MO-bile shuttle free of charge. Among the deals: $4 Sauza Silver Tequila shots and $1 carnitas tacos at Urban Mo’s and Gossip Grill; and $5 margaritas and Ole Sangria at Baja Betty’s, plus more.
Foods with a view
LOUNGEsix at Hotel Solamar’s terrace in the East Village rolls into the spring-summer season with a new menu of savories and sweets. Offerings include spicy chicken sliders, balsamic-glazed Portobello sliders, mini meatball subs, pork tacos, root beer floats and homemade ice cream sandwiches. In addition, the lounge offers $6 lunch sandwiches throughout the week and a “hangover remedies” menu available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. Non-hotel guests can enjoy the rooftop space replete with pool, lounge chairs and cabanas with no cover charge. 616 J St., 619-531-8744.
Louisiana-style welcome wagon
Chef Frank Terzoli and staff will present a grand opening party for The Big Easy in Hillcrest, from noon to 5 p.m., this Saturday (May 1). The bash includes free food samples, wines and hurricane cocktails to the tune of live Cajun music. 127 University Ave., 619-294-3279.
Gather ‘round the sacred fire pit
May is National Barbecue Month, and for those who want to get a head start on the latest and greatest grilling techniques, Barbeques Galore in Rancho Bernardo holds classes at 6 p.m., every Tuesday through Saturday. Chef Richard B. Schmitt teaches attendees the do’s and don’ts in grilling and reveals foolproof methods for cooking meat, fish, veggies and fruits outdoors. Classes cost between $40 and $60, and participants are permitted to bring their own wine without any corkage fees. For a complete class schedule, visit 10455 Reserve Drive, 858-674-7399.

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