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Feb 15, 2012 12:02 PM

The Super Diners do East County

Alas, no new ground broken here - - I think they're really stretching...

I can NOT believe that one of them actually recommended Pinnacle Peak in Santee. It was good 40 years ago, not sure it's still that good; probably falls more into the same category with Albie's Beef Inn in Mission Valley. Confused by the reference to West Coast BBQ since it's been open for at least 5 years, I wonder if they sold the biz again, but it would be nice if a craft brewer is going in next door. Good location for it. And they TOTALLY missed Antica Trattoria...

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  1. East County is generally a culinary wasteland. Agree that Antica Trattoria should have gotten a mention. There's a little Russian joint, Kalina, on Parkway Dr. in La Mesa at Jackson. Just a hole in the wall, but really tasty offerings. Three savory courses for Lunch for eight bucks is an absolute steal. And you get lots of choices.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mcgrath

      I know most people here aren't fans of Malarkey but I really did enjoy Gingham. Sure, nothing amazing or truly best in the city but an enjoyable meal and it got us to go to a part of town we don't visit all that much. If someone happens to be in La Mesa it's worth a stop.

    2. About West Coast, I wonder if he means that Tom Nickel is going to take over the current West Coast BBQ spot or is going to open a competitor with a startlingly similar name. Either way, that is the best news I have heard in a long time!

      1 Reply
      1. re: JRSD

        Or is he going to pair up with them and let them continue to do the BBQ while he operates the place and expands it with craft beer. I agree, almost anyway you look at it, it will be a massive improvement for the area.

        Doubly interesting since there was also a blurb in the UT today that Phil's BBQ is going into Santee

      2. I beg to differ. Pinnacle Peak sucked 40 years ago.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mikec

          You must be considerably older than me :-). 40 years ago it seemed pretty good to my child's palate, even the salad that had been grossly overdressed with bottled Wishbone Italian dressing. And, of course, we always insisted that my father wear a tie so it could get snipped off and hung from the rafters. What's not good about that ;-)

          1. re: DiningDiva

            I was a "starving student" at SDSU in 1975. A group of us tried it then. It was far, far worse than even the "Happy Steak" restaurants I grew up with in Fresno (which were no great shakes, maybe a tad better than Sizzler). And the Kitcsh of the tie thing didn't really impress us.

        2. Eastbound Bar & Grill, in Lakeside, has been getting some press lately, ie burgers, nothing on the menu jumps out at me enough to take a trek. Any insight DD?

          2 Replies
          1. re: cstr

            Caty probably has a better handle on that one than I do. I don't get out to Lakeside very frequently

            1. re: DiningDiva

              {Thanks, DD. Looks like it's finally cool to live in Santee. Pinnacle Peak has changed and has daily specials which are pretty good.}

              Eastbound started about two years ago and is open for lunch and dinner (and breakfast on weekends)...Across the freeway is Cafe 67 which is open for breakfast and lunch 7 days and has been on that corner for about six years. Eastbound basically gets the overflow from Cafe67-
              Because if you've ever taken one of the many offered East County 'senior' (age 50 and up) bus tours available (to a casino or to Ramona or Julian and/or available from the YMCA or the City of Santee Recreation activity schedule) there is a stop for breakfast or lunch at Cafe 67. So if that parking lot is overflowing, you now have an option of where to go for meal close by, other than a taco shop or the Burger King.

              Both have good quality, decent portions of food. Eastbound has more of a selection (because it does dinner and has a pizza oven), a Liquor License and some sort of 'Happy Hour" special Mon-Thurs. It probably isn't a destination for a lot of people, but it is a newly remodeled (and finally smoke free) place where the locals can go for a nice sit down meal. If you are in the neighborhood and hungry, it's a good choice.

          2. They failed to mention the line of Mediterranean restaurants in El Cajon! I am partial to Sultan Baklava, which yes, makes their own Baklava in house. The owners are Turkish and they make excellent food.

            Also a hidden gem: Thai Time on North Johnson across the street from Parkway Plaza. Wonderful Thai food that is presented beautifully.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Dagney

              Oh my..Sultan Baklava sounds love love me some Baklava.
              Thanks Dags!


              1. re: Beach Chick

                There is also a guy out in Santee that makes pretty amazing baklava.

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  No problem! I have also have it on good authority that Valley Foods, the Mediterranean grocery store, makes Naan bread to order.

                  1. re: Dagney

                    The restaurant inside Valley Foods is really good.

                    The flat breads and sammoon breads are always fresh.

                  2. re: Beach Chick

                    On the South side of Main Street, just West of Sultan, you'll see a sign for Shakira Pastry. More baklava...(also Turkish, so syrup, not honey)