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Shake Shack Debuts Veggie Burger

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Plus, poke news and expansion for two local eateries

Veggie Shack
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Shake Shack launches Veggie Shack at Westfield UTC

After test marketing it in New York, Los Angeles, and Austin, Shake Shack is releasing its new Veggie Shack burger in San Diego, where it will be exclusively available at the Westfield UTC location through the end of summer. Priced at $7.29, the burger patty is made with black beans, brown rice, and roasted beets and topped with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and vegan mustard and mayo. It can be made vegan by removing the cheese and a gluten-free bun or lettuce wrap is also available.

California-Mexican poke spot springs up in Hillcrest

Bringing a Baja twist to the poke trend is University Avenue’s new Poke It. Tijuana-born chef Julio Rodriguez (Tijuana’s Navio Seafood & Drinks and Alga Bien) has created a menu that includes fried sushi rice “ricetadas” topped with tzatziki sauce salmon and crispy salmon skin chicharrones, or spicy tuna with sriracha mayo, surimi salad, avocado, and cucumber, and eel sauce and crispy, seaweed panko taco shells filled salmon al pastor, guacamole, pineapple-habanero jam, pickled red onion, and sushi rice. There are also ribeye teriyaki burgers with ricetada buns as well as build-it-yourself poke options plus desserts that range from fresh fruit paletas to Japanese mochi ice cream and fried churros. of sriracha. And a daily happy hour offers $2 beers and $5 sake. The first of several planned locations will grand open on Saturday, July 7, with an all-day party planned for 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and all food profits going to support the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation.

The Blais Bowl
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Juniper & Ivy’s Richard Blais teams up with Sweetfin Poke

Celebrity chef, restaurateur, and James Beard-nominated cookbook author Richard Blais has partnered with Sweetfin Poke and its executive Chef and partner, Dakota Weiss, a fellow Top Chef alum, to create The Blais Bowl, a limited-edition seasonal poke bowl that will be available starting July 1 through the end of August at all of its nine locations in Southern California, including the outpost at Westfield UTC. The Blais Bowl contains sustainably-sourced salmon, yellowfin tuna, and albacore tuna dressed with yuzu soy sauce on a bed of pineapple fried rice with mango, avocado, pickled red onions, pine nuts, and housemade crispy onions.

Lobster West joins Windmill Food Hall lineup

Lobster West, which launched in Encinitas in 2014 and also operates an outpost in Coronado, is the latest tenant to join the upcoming Windmill Food Hall in Carlsbad. Due to launch in August, the North County food hall will include additional locations from Cross Street Chicken & Beer, Bing Haus, and more. Specializing in New England seafood classics, including lobster rolls, Maryland crab cakes, and clam chowder, the food hall version of Lobster West will offer an express-style, abridged menu for quicker service.

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Everbowl is expanding throughout San Diego

With 10 existing locations, including Poway, Escondido, Bonita, Scripps Ranch, and Oceanside, Everbowl is continuing its rapid expansion by announcing six new branches for neighborhoods including Encinitas, Mission Valley, SDSU, and Carmel Valley. Founded by a local entrepreneur, the fast-casual chain serves a counter-service menu of fresh fruit parfaits based on superfoods such as acai, pitaya, graviola or acerola, with unlimited toppings and add-ins including spirulina and bee pollen. It also offer smoothies and grab-and-go salads.

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