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Five New Restaurants To Visit This Weekend

Where to drink and dine on your days off.

Burning Beard Brewing Company
Burning Beard Brewing Company
Stuart Gardner Photography

It’s finally Friday, which means it’s almost time to clock-off and get those weekend vibes started. No plans yet? No problem! Eater's here with a handy set of recommendations to assist in your dining destination decision-making. In this regular feature, we'll help you discover recently opened restaurants and uncover new-to-you bars and eateries (plus occasional menu debuts) specializing in everything from Friday happy hour cocktails through to Sunday brunch, so you can make the most of that well-earned downtime.

Sip & Savor in East County: Burning Beard Brewing Company

Burning Beard Brew Co

Mike Maass and business partner Jeff Wiederkehr recently opened their new El Cajon brewhouse, where the (surprisingly beardless) brewers are currently pouring six debut beers. On tap are two hoppy West Coast IPAs; a coffee stout and coffee stout on nitro; plus Russian Imperial Stout and Russian Imperial Stout on nitro. They also have a Belgian Single in the fermenter, and both a lager and tart Weizen on deck. The 5,000-square foot brewhouse comprises a tasting room in addition to a barrel room that doubles as an event space, which can also be used for parties, private events and overflow when the tasting room gets crowded. A food component, courtesy of local vendors MexiCoast Grill, starts up next week. Hours of operation are: Monday to Thursday 3 - 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 - 10 p.m. and Sunday 12 - 8 p.m. 785 Vernon Way, El Cajon (619) 456-9185 [Photo: Stuart Gardner]

From Grape to Growler: LJ Crafted Wines

LJ Crafted Wines

Husband and wife team Lowell and Anne Jooste opened doors to their eagerly anticipated urban winery and tasting room in Bird Rock late last month, and we hear it's already a smashing success. Guests can enjoy barrel-to-glass-wines from a current line up that includes a Pinot Noir Rose, 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, two Chardonnays (Russian River, Carneros), a Russian River Pinot Noir and a 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The eco-minded wine-makers also offer growler fills so you can take your plonk to enjoy at home too. 5621 La Jolla Blvd. (858) 551-8890 [Photo: Facebook]

New Lunch Menu: BiCE


Famed for its fantastic Northern Italian fare, this elegant Gaslamp eatery recently launched a new lunch service, which runs from Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Menu standouts from executive chef Mario Cassineri include the "Frichoi" Foie Gras potato croquets, and shaved steam octopus with crushed olives to start, while the Mediterranean sea bass filet cooked on a cedar plank, and ravioli stuffed with braised beef and spinach in a marsala wine sauce are two stellar mains. The Aperol Spritz also makes a refreshing lunchtime sipper. 425 Island Ave. (619) 239-2423 [Photo: BiCE]

New Weekend Brunch: Vinavanti

Vinavanti Uncorks New Urban Winery & Tasting Room in Hillcrest

Hillcrest's first urban winery is now serving weekend brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy a table for two on the patio or pull up a stool at one of the large communal tables and enjoy savory and sweet options from the menu including orange French toast with maple-brandy sauce and almond cream, and house-cured salmon with curried potato pancake, in addition to $5 off all sparkling wines. 1477 University Ave. (877) 484-6282 [Photo: Lyudmila Zotova]

Fried Chicken & Waffles: Da Chicken Coop

Da Chicken Coop

The man behind Coops West Texas BBQ, Bradrick "Coop" Cooper, has added fried chicken to his repertoire in the form of this newly opened outpost for the good stuff in Lemon Grove. In addition to his award-winning fried chicken and chicken sandwiches (Coops chicken is marinated in dry seasoning, dredged in buttermilk then dusted in secret flour and seasoning mix), the menu also offers waffles, sides and fresh fish options. Housed in a former taco shop the brightly colored spot has seating for around 50 people and also boasts a spacious outside patio. 2605 Lemon Grove Ave. (619) 460-0839 [Photo: Facebook]