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Mar 31, 2011 03:28 PM

This Week According to the Superdiners

The Superdiner question this week was - What is San Diego's greatest contribution to food in the U.S. (or words to that effect). Reading through the responses it sounded an awful lot like a Chowhound thread ;-)

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  1. Charles Kaufman's answer is excellent.

    2 Replies
      1. re: RB Hound

        God Bless Charles. I think his answer is spot on. One evening out at dinner, a friend said, "These have to be the ugliest servers in San Diego." We all laughed, because it was true, and because our friend had noticed.

        1. Fish tacos
        2. Chino Farms
        3. Craft Beer
        4. Scantily-clad podium girls

      2. Best answer by Gerald Poindexter but I also agree with the craft beer answers

        7 Replies
        1. re: honkman

          I thought the Chino Farms answer was true...Alice Waters and Puck really did start the Farm to Table trend by using their produce all those years ago. I also liked what Andrew Spurgin said about Piret's importance to San Diego, not sure how influential they were though to the nation.

          1. re: honkman

            sorry but I thought that was the lamest answer, more like a snobbish whiny venting about SD than answering the question . Usually I expect those answers from William Bradley! haha

            San Diego did not invent nor popularize strip malls or crappy restaurant chains concepts. Some people just live to complain.

            1. re: MrKrispy

              Poindexter's answer was really lame as well. Outside of Jack in the Box and Rubio's, there aren't a lot of San Diego based chains, particularly as you move into the urban core. Heck, we refer to taco shops as "Bertos" because they're all independently owned. Sure, north of the 52 gets a bit chainy, but I blame Orange County's influence.

              San Diego's biggest contributions to America's food story are clearly Rubio's fish tacos and Stone Brewing Company's Arrogant Bastard Ale. If, for no other reason, fish tacos and San Diego style craft brewing entered into the national consciousness. When I went to college in Virginia back in the mid-90's, everyone knew about fish tacos (and were absolutely horrified). By the time I finished college, everyone knew about Arrogant Bastard Ale. In Virginia. Both are symptomatic of San Diego's great craft brewing scene and taco shop culture.

              An interesting side note on the craft brewing scene - according to wikipedia, IPA's are best brewed with hard water, like we have in abundance here.

              1. re: jmtreg

                Not to be a pedant, but the vast majority of professional breweries in San Diego filter their water using reverse osmosis, then add back in mineral content appropriate for the style. San Diego's water quality is poor, and brewers who skip this step produce beer that suffers from it.

                I also don't know how influential I'd describe AB as being. I don't know many brewers that cite it as any kind of influence. So many breweries in San Diego produce great hoppy beers, it seems hard to pin influence on any one brewery over another.

                1. re: Josh

                  Its not that AB had an influence on San Diego brewers, but rather, it put San Diego on the map, brewing wise. Yeah, Karl Strauss came before Stone, but it was the first to really break into the consciousness of craft beer buyers in other states.

                  1. re: Josh

                    I've talked to brewers from Alesmith, Ballast Point, and Pizza Port and they say they use tap water. I would think RO would be too cost-prohibitive for most SD breweries. Perhaps simple carbon block fliters?

                    1. re: MrKrispy

                      Maybe they just filter, then, but I know that local brewers aren't using straight tap water. It's definitely filtered, and definitely treated with minerals. Maybe not RO, that was just an assumption on my part, but I know that many filter their water.

            2. "sounded an awful lot like a Chowhound thread"---LOL!

              1. They forgot about burgers!

                1. Breakfast with the Superdiners..


                  I'm liking the Waterfront for bloody's and Mex breakfast idea the best..