Weekend Preview: Luchadores, A Metal Swap Meet, And Games People Play
August 23, 2012 1 p.m.
Barbarella Fokos, author of Diary of a Diva column and Your Week page at the San Diego Reader
Amy T. Grant, arts and culture editor, and food writer at San Diego CityBeat
CAVANAUGH: This is KPBS KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. There's nothing like pairing up a great place to go with a great place to eat! And that's just what we're doing on this weekend preview. Some of the events may stretch your envelope of cultural tastes. Of the restaurants may end up stretching you too, especially around your waistband. Here to tell us the delicious details are Barbarella, and Amy T. Grant. Let's talk about SDmetal.org presenting its annual metal swap meet at the queen bee's art and cultural center.
BARBARELLA: It's not where to go to get scrap metal. This is metal music. I had no idea, San Diego has an entire online realm for metal music lovers, forums and blogs.
CAVANAUGH: Anybody who heard the conversation in the KPBS newsroom would just die about the lack of knowledge about the San Diego metal scene.
[ LAUGHTER ]
BARBARELLA: It's huge! They've got tour dates, and this swap mete, it's a big deal. There is going to be Derrick Riggs, he's the guy who made the iron maiden Eddie, the skeleton. He's going to be there. He has a new book that has all the graphic stuff. He'll be there signs, signing T-shirts, everything and that you can bring to him.
CAVANAUGH: What kinds of activities do they have planned?
BARBARELLA: Well, it's a 6-hour long event, so let's of stuff going on. You can buy, sell, or trade. Vinyl cassettes, DVDs, art, T-shirts, any metal-related collectibles. Derrick rigs is going to be there. There's a beer garden.
CAVANAUGH: And the tickets?
BARBARELLA: $30 in advance at SDmetal.org or $5 at the door.
CAVANAUGH: There is an official after party? What bands are going to be play something.
BARBARELLA: Is this pretty exciting. And I actually knew about this band, from four to five, aces high will play, and they're Las Vegas-based, they're a tribute to iron maiden. They have lots of great energy, and they faithfully perform all the iron maiden songs.
CAVANAUGH: The San Diego metal swap meet is this Saturday from 11:00 to 5:00 at the queen bee's art and culture center. That's another great venue too. Very interesting. And the after party begins at 6:00 PM at the ruby room on university avenue.
BARBARELLA: No, I had that wrong. I was talking 4:00 to 5:00, but aces high plays at the actual queen bee's.
CAVANAUGH: No problem. When you're in Northpark, you can stop by after you see all the things at the metal swap meet and have a great meal at tiger tiger tavern.
GRANT: They have a great craft beer selection. This is the sister restaurant to blind lady ale house in normal heights. And Lee Chase is the brewer for Automatic Brewing Company at Blind Lady, and he has an excellent palette and excellent-tasting craft beer. You can expect that at tiger tiger along with -- I like to call it farm-fresh bar food. It is tavern grub, but it's all lightened up with fresh ingredients from local farms.
CAVANAUGH: Is there a particular food and drink combo that you recommend?
GRANT: You know, all of the sandwiches are fantastic. They have some vegetarian options as well. And a big item there that a lot of people are talking about is their beef sausage Putin fry, and that's a beef sausage gravy, the fries are smothered in it, and it's topped with mozzarella cheese curds. It's naughty all over the place. And just delicious. And that'll go well with any of the beers there.
CAVANAUGH: What kind of atmosphere?
GRANT: Well, right now it's a very welcoming atmosphere because it has AC in Northpark. If you go in, don't squat. Do buy something. But it's very cool and dark and just a great place that you would expect to eat good food and drink good beer.
CAVANAUGH: Sounds good. Tiger tiger afternoon at 3025 El Cajon Boulevard. Now to the spot in Barrio Logan, putting on an art show called the H-art of lucha.
BARBARELLA: Exactly. This is exciting, over 100 artists from all over SoCal, Chicago, Kansas city, even as far as away as Mexico City and the UK are contributing to this one day show and making it the largest lucha libre exhibit in the state. It's Mexican wrestling, and the wrestlers are known for their really comfortable masks.
CAVANAUGH: So what is the art of lucha? It's beyond the masks, right?
BARBARELLA: Right. It's paintings about it -- well, are the art, this will be mostly visual art. So the art of Lucha, you could say, is the style of wrestling. But I don't think they're going to have a rink at the gallery.
CAVANAUGH: What will people say when they go there? Visual art, paintings of wrestlers or what?
BARBARELLA: These artists have all created an art piece. So it's sort of like -- mostly paintings, and they're all contributing to that. But there's a lot more happening there. There's going to be live luchadores, live in costume. An appearance by the San Diego roller derby girls, and a special appearance by Lalo algarez, you probably know him for his political Latino daily comic strip, La Cucaracha.
CAVANAUGH: Tell us about the venue.
BARBARELLA: The spot, it's a cooperative of artists and art lovers but always musicians and community members in Barrio Logan. And the space itself is a gallery right next to Chicano park. And their one year anniversary is coming up just next week. In case you missed this one. And they're going to have another really cool collaborative you can go and hang out and meet your community members.
CAVANAUGH: It's spelled small H, small E, capital A, RT. So that's why we're saying it that way. Saturday from 5:00 to 10:00 PM. And after you go and attend that, when you get a little hungry, you can compliment your visit by checking out the elpaissa Mexican grill, or tacos elpaissa as locals call it. I understand you have a favorite off-menu item?
GRANT: I sure do. I couldn't decide, I wanted either al pastor tacos or carne asada fries. So I thought it would be really great if I could get half carne asada half al pastor French flies.
CAVANAUGH: There's a theme developing with these fries!
GRANT: I do like French fries. They can be a vehicle for any meal. So yeah. So the half and half. They're around $8, it's fluctuated in price a couple times that I've ordered. I think it depends on which waitress or counter attendant, but they feed -- it is a meal for two people. And it's just delicious. That is my off-menu item there.
CAVANAUGH: On the menu, they must have a great selection of tacos. What are some of the popular ones?
GRANT: My favorite are their crunchy shell beef tacos. The shredded beef is excellent in flavor, everything is very fresh, and they have three different salsas that are also, you know, great accompaniments to whatever you dump them on. So the tacos are great, they have a great taco Tuesday. It's $0.99 every Tuesday, and the alpastor tacos which is pork, spit-fired pork. So when the pork is carved off the spit, you get those charred bits, and it's sweet from pineapple, and there's a lot spice in there like cinnamon. And the tortillas are made fresh, so you get that really good steamed corn tortilla, and then all those meaty fillings.
BARBARELLA: It's getting warm in here.
[ LAUGHTER ]
CAVANAUGH: You've got to stop.
[ LAUGHTER ]
CAVANAUGH: Our stomachs are going crazy. Elpaissa Mexican grill at 2494 Imperial Avenue. The San Diegito heritage museum free program, families make history continues this weekend with Games Through the Ages. This sounds like a really fun family event. What kind of games?
BARBARELLA: It is really, really fun. Everything is so hands-on. For this one, there's a Native American dice game. It's a guessing game with dice and walnuts. And they it take it to the streets and learn how to gamble. I'm kidding. And there's a jump rope. And a pioneer game for which you make your own little whirligig. They're taking you back in history. How did kids get by without Nintendo and texting? What happened before technology? And they actually bring them down and have them use sometimes -- some weekends, they just say you have to make a toy or a rag doll based on found items, and that's really interesting too because it makes kids look at the world in a different way, and adults.
CAVANAUGH: Are there -- any of these low-tech games that may be have good memories for people who grew up in the last half of the 20th century?
BARBARELLA: There's marbles, I never really learned to play those. I thought you were supposed to hold them up to the sun, so that's new for me. But there's hop scotch, and there's even a hula hoop. Even those are historical in that they're not modern, they're not electronic.
CAVANAUGH: Now, what kinds of things can we expect as this goes on in future weekends? It sounds like they're trying to provide a place for families to go and have fun together.
BARBARELLA: And it amazes me that this is free. They even provide the equipment. It is a really, really great service. The activities themselves change every month. They usually cover specific historic eras, the Native American, rancho, and pioneer period, and all of them relate to different points in time. Butter making, cattle roping, mini-surf board shaping, kelp cookie making. All really cool hands-on activities that show everybody what it was like to live before today's times.
CAVANAUGH: And after you're tired playing with all the games through the ages, stop by at third corner wine shop and bistro in Encinitas. That's your tick, Amy. I understand on Sundays they have brunch. What do they offer?
GRANT: Actually they have brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. And the reason why I picked third corner is because I felt like they really have an approachable brunch for families. You can go before the event as well or after for lunch, but they have frosted flake French toast that I'm sure kids will just love. And for adults, they have some excellent brunch cocktails like the spiced rum horchata which just sounds wonderful. Myers dark rum, Fran jell co which is a hazel nut liqueur, and horchata on the rocks. If parents want to have one drink before heading out to this all-kids festival, then this is the place to do it with honest good food at third corner.
CAVANAUGH: It couldn't hurt. Is there a favorite entree or wine that you have?
GRANT: I usually go there for their late-night menu. From 10:00 PM until 1:00 AM, all of the dishes on this menu, most of which come from the main menu, are only $10. So to give you an idea, the spicy sausage PENE is normal $16, but in the late-night menu, it's only $10.
CAVANAUGH: Open from 11:30 AM to 1:00 AM Monday through Friday, Sundays 10:00 AM to 1:00 AM.