Organic and locally sourced ingredients give the French, Italian, and Spanish-inspired meals at Rustic Tapas and Meatballs a California twist. The dinner menu centers on oven-baked meatballs, made from scratch according to the owner's grandmother's recipe. Whether tumbled across spaghetti or slipped between bread, they burst with the flavors of fresh herbs and slow-roasted meats?or soy chorizo, in the case of the vegetarian option. Before or between meals, guests can snack on Spanish-inspired tapas or sip glasses of housemade sangria, craft beer, and organic wine.
Since 1979, Horizon Foods has been delivering flash-frozen and pre-portioned dinner entrees directly to front doors. Each item arrives fully prepped to heat and eat, individually wrapped, and fully trimmed and de-boned as needed. Select from proteins such as antibiotic-free chicken fingers ($76 for 48 two-ounce portions), divers scallops ($99 for 36 two-ounce portions), and buffalo burgers ($89 for 20 five-ounce portions) for grilling, searing, or using as an aesthetic metaphor in a diorama about 19th-century westward expansion. Pre-rolled, pre-cut, and pre-stuffed eggplant rolatini ($84 for 24 3.5-ounce portions) makes a palatable, pre-sized main dish for herbivores and herbivoyeurs alike.
If you’re ready to indulge in a carbohydrate-heavy dinner, make sure your meal is made from the freshest and best ingredients. Assenti’s Pasta in Little Italy promises exactly that, while throwing one family’s dedication into the mix as well. Founded by mother Adriana Assenti, today her sons Luigi and Roberto continue the tradition. Local chefs load up on their fresh pastas and raviolis while savvy home chefs can choose from a rack laden with freshly rolled pastas, while oils and other ingredients fill surrounding shelves. A cooler case is packed with over a dozen sauces and sage butter, and a take-out menu waits at the counter where the staff happily answers questions and will patiently circle the cooking times for your selected pasta.
The Mona Lisa Italian Deli and Restaurant sits in a low, white building on a corner along the northern swath of San Diego’s Little Italy. The entrance is adorned with the smiling visage of Leonardo Da Vinci’s muse, and many other versions grace the walls of the restaurant alongside vintage photographs of the Brunetto family, who owns the shop. If a relaxed, sit-down meal isn’t possible, a generous selection of daily eats are available from the adjoining quick-serve deli space. DIY chefs will be inspired by the variety of pastas, sauces, oils, fresh ingredients and beverages that fill the deli from floor to ceiling, while those dining in can expect wood-paneled walls, simple tables and long bench seating that runs along a far wall.
Jimbo’s Naturally is a natural foods grocer, located just west of Poway, that stands by its mission to offer the best high quality organic and natural foods. Founder Jim “Jimbo” Someck, an avid runner, vegetarian and father of four, moved to San Diego over 30 years ago and opened his first store in 1984. Today, there are five San Diego locations. His integrity and ties to local organic farmers and natural food vendors have elevated Jimbo’s into being one of the premier natural foods stores in San Diego County. From farm fresh produce and bulk grains to organic body products and a juice bar, customers can find foods and products that heal the body and soul.
Bins of olives bobbing in their brine. Slabs of lamb and links of sausages hanging behind a butcher counter. Fragrant rows of spices, chutneys, and salads. Beyond the camel mural that tops the façade of Mid East Market, shoppers find exotic ingredients needed to craft delicious dinners and stock their home pantries. One customer favorite is the store's signature, homemade garlic spread, which shoppers like to haul home by the tub or oil drum.