Food Issue

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Food Issue 2019 - Food Groups

By now, nearly everyone is familiar with some version of “food groups.” Those of us who are a little older were taught at a young age that there were only four, sometimes five, food groups. Nowadays, there’s a more established six main food groups and even that feels somewhat limited.

There’s also the classic “food pyramid.” First developed in Sweden in the 1970s and later updated and tweaked by the USDA in the ’80s and ’90s, the pyramid always felt a little, well, incomplete and arbitrary. Are any of us really going to eat all those servings of fruits, veggies and grains in one day when there’s so much delicious meat and an endless array of sugary items? And wait, aren’t carbs the same as sugar now anyway?

There’s so much dietary information and speculation out there that we decided to have a little fun with it. Rather than focus on health or gluttony, we used the food groups and the pyramid as a useful theme to introduce readers to some unique dishes that fall into one of these categories. Of course, we had to be a bit more broad when it came to writing about proteins and carbs, but we’re not doing the basics here; whatever readers love on their plate—be it chicken hearts or mushroom petals, fried fruit or beef (or fish) bone marrow—there’s a dish in this issue just waiting to be added to somone’s personal pyramid.

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New ways of eating

San Diego is arguably one of the healthiest cities in the U.S., if not the world. In fact, we were ranked the fourth fittest city in the U.S., according to a recent WalletHub study. 

We’ve always found these kinds of studies to be incredibly hard to believe. Sure, the weather here lends itself to plenty of outdoor activities, but we sure do eat a lot of tacos and drink a lot of beer to be so healthy. But one thing that’s also stood out is how incredibly varied our diets are these days. Every day, it seems like a new diet is popping up. Some make more sense than others (farm-to-table, for a number of reasons), while others just sound like they were concocted in a dorm room (eh, pizza diet?). 

The CityBeat staff and writers kept this in mind when it came time to do our annual Food Issue. Some of us wanted to try new ways of eating, be it for health or other reasons. Others were already well situated within a diet and wanted to try out new places and dishes that they’d heard would be pliant with their lifestyle. Either way, all of us craved a food adventure rather than producing a listicle of the best this or our favorite that. 

Either way, we hope readers will find something within these pages that works for their lifestyle or, perhaps, it will inspire them to try something new themselves.


(The) Food Issues

When it comes to food, we all have issues. 

When it comes to dining out, many of us would rather just order food that we already know we enjoy. And whether it’s because we’ve tried a dish in the past or it just doesn’t appeal to us, our feeling of adventurousness often disappears as we get older resulting in something of a foodie rut. 

So for our annual food issue we decided to explore, well, those issues. For some, it was about confronting trauma and distressing childhood incidents involving food. For others, it was a matter of trying foods they’d never thought to eat before; essentially daring ourselves to get out of our comfort zones. For one writer, it was about trying some of the more exotic dishes in her hometown of Tijuana, while for another, it was simply about trying to like some of the more benign condiments that most people already use.

But for all the writers, this issue was a means to offer readers unique dishes with an angle that isn’t often explored by other local publications. After all, a food issue should be recommendations as well as a reader service. Readers might not be ready to try fried worms, jellyfish or even the beet soup on the cover, but we do hope this issue serves as an inspiration to readers to get out there and get out of their comfort zones. 

  • Flamenco Dinner Show

    The longest running Flamenco Dinner show in Southern California. Enjoy a three-course dinner menu combined with a two-part Flamenco dance performance. Read more

    Nov 23, 2019

    7:00 PM

    Cafe Sevilla


  • Buena Vista Sundays

    Every Sunday, enjoy live Cuban music by Son Antillano, best known for their Antillano Cuban music style featuring traditional Cuban instruments like the tres guitar, baby bass, congas and flue. Read more

    Nov 24, 2019

    3:00 PM

    Cafe Sevilla