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Nov 11, 2009 02:55 PM

East County Pizza?

Seriously, I am having a temper tantrum. Why is East County so lacking in any type of decent food? Vinny's Brooklyn Style in Alpine was a short lived mecca, and now we are back to square one, as Vinny went out of business.

Any ideas from the crowd for pizza in East County?

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    1. re: mmjgam

      No kidding, I think heard the echo of several crickets just moments ago.

    2. Yeah. "East County" and "Pizza" go together like "Kansas" and "Beaches".

      1. Have you tried Tommy's Italian Ristorante, 1190 Second, El Cajon? It is more Boston Style, with always a fresh flavorful (as in I can taste olive oil) dough and a nice tomato/oregano flavor sauce. More along the lines of Gaetano's in Lakeside and El Cajon.

        The pizza at Italia in Santee (Carlton Hills at Mission Gorge) has a thinner crust overall with also excellent flavor and variety of toppings.

        The Giant New York locations have the 'foldable' type pizza crusts and slightly spicier sauce.

        All of the above restaurants have been in East County in excess of 20 years. Whereas the newer 'Italian-fusion' places have closed shop within 5 years. East County is not lacking in decent food, it is lacking in dress up 'fancy'/'date night' places. Lots of wonderful holes in the wall.

        Gaetanos Restaurant
        10615 Tierrasanta Blvd Ste H, San Diego, CA 92124

        3 Replies
        1. re: Cathy

          East County is not lacking decent food? Do tell.......

          1. re: mmjgam

            What type of food are you looking for?

            El Cajon has the largest Chaldean community outside of Iraq and the Mediterranean restaurants and markets in that City are Halal and all are good. I have not had a bad meal at any of them.

            I mentioned a few Italian places where I have also had pizza.

            There are a few Vietnamese/pho places. All passable and not nasty.

            Sab E Lee has just branched out to Santee and is a contrast to Oiishi, which has a great sushi bar and more Southern (than Northern)Thai dishes.

            As far as plain old excellent burgers and sandwiches, Charley's Famous on Broadway in Lemon Grove has been around for more than 30 years, has only outdoor seating and makes a flavorful coarse ground burger as well as the best kebabs (pitas stuffed with a juicy marinated tender meat and lettuce, tomato, green pepper and radish slices) I have ever had.

            Shizuoka, the Japanese restaurant in the same mall as the Souplantation, next to Michael's on Fletcher Parkway. More than 20 years. 12 tables. Not the sushi, but the person who does the frying is excellent, the sauces are fresh made and the food is always excellent. Small menu, not specialized like Okan/Otan or Sakura, but very good food.

            Oh and either of locations with the "Greek Style Chicken" name. Gyros, chicken, pitas, salads and the best onion rings and fried zucchini... More than decent.

            1. re: Cathy

              We have been going to Shizuoka often recently and the cooked food has been very good. I enjoy the broiled mackerel/gyoza bento box and pretty much everything that we have tried that has been deep fried.

              Trattoria Antica on Lake Murray Blvd at Baltimore has excellent Italian food.

        2. "All passable and not nasty"

          This is the frustration. "Not nasty" is not a reason to eat in a restaurant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Dagney

            That comment was about the Vietnamese restaurants in particular. There are only three in East County I can think of and signage for one opening in Santee "in November". All of them are small, clean, have good food but don't have the atmosphere/ambiance/feel of the pho shop upon pho shop on Convoy.

            I have been to all of them and do pop in when I am in the area, but there is no Asian market in East County and I usually eat and then want to go shopping for something Asian, so popping onto the 52 to Convoy or to 15 and Mira Mesa Blvd takes the same amount of time for me and I can also go to the Markets nearby.

            Not nasty is not a reason to eat anywhere, good food is. I am sorry I worded it that way.