I decided I had never been to San Diego and that I should visit the ever witty Quizro, as he had paid me his respects some time ago. Off to the sunny border city I went with my SO in tow. The plan was to visit with my friend and enjoy some local museums at he same time. Unfortunately, his equally witty wife with her sprig of purple hair, had to work on the date of our arrival. Lest we not spoil the entire day, Quizro would show us some sights and we would then rendezvous with the imperturbable Angela. Or something like that, the details didn't seem important to me and I'm really not the planning sort.
Memorial Day weekend was a touch busy at Balboa Park and we ended up spending more time that we thought walking through the crowds of revelers and taking in the beautiful foliage and worlds fair architecture. We saw an enormous outdoor pipe organ. We were sidetracked by the Hall of Science, wherein we watched a young man hammer nails into a board with a frozen banana. Regrettably we passed the traveling tour of "Torture Implements of the Middle Ages," in favor of obtaining entrance to our ultimate goal, The Aerospace Museum.
It was getting late and the plans changed subtly, in a fashion that I promised not to reveal. After we located the automobile we all let off to wrangle up Quizro's missus so that we could head out to a highly recommended locals eatery. Quizro's exceptionally comfortable sedan eventually came to rest outside a strip mall of sorts and we all exited. We had stopped in front of a store whose signage proclaimed it as "Great News." Great I thought, I'll hop in for some light reading material, believing it to be a newsstand.
Upon entrance I was a little disorientated to discover it was a cooking supply store, nea it was more. Great News is a cooking Mecca. Quizro mumbled something like, "Leave your Christmas pants with the Rat God Phenylalanine and step into our purple abattoir." Or maybe it was, "Yeah I know it's a cooking store, we don't have to stay long," I can't really remember. Before he began to speak I had already closed myself off to the outside world and was awash in a pleasing immersion of cutlery, utensils and fondue pots.
Great News is simply amazing. I had been looking for a pair of serviceable tongs for months and was thwarted at every turn by the substandard fare of Target and a horrifying lack of cooking supply stores in Las Vegas. A single query of their more than helpful work force pointed me in the direction of several different brands of tongs, some with spring clips and others with plastic grips.
If that was all this store had to offer, I would have been delighted; But surprises lay in wait. Great News also teaches classes. Not those rinky-dink classes you took at the youth center when your parents got tired of you hanging around the house over your summer break. Great News has one of those fancy TV type kitchens, all set up for demonstrations and education, and it's right in the store. Classes range from: Basic Knife Skills, a guided tutorial on how not to open an artery while preparing complicated dishes like grappa and dill cured sterling salmon carpaccio with endive and red onion salad, to: An Evening with Prego Restaurant, the class that teaches you how to prepare easy dishes like grappa and dill cured sterling salmon carpaccio with endive and red onion salad.
If that wasn't enough the demonstration kitchen often hosts celebrity chef demonstrations and the occasional "Dueling Chef" show where the top chefs from the southern California dining scene meet in what I can only imagine as a souped up western style, live Iron Chef show, full of hilarious hijinks and surprise finishes. But wait, there's more!
Great News also arranges frequent themed cooking trips like Destination: Sicily, Italy. Nine nights in three cities with cooking demonstrations, picnics in Roman ruins and dinner in a 13th century abbey prepared by a mother and daughter cook book author team.
Within ten minutes of my entry I had irresponsibly burned sixty dollars of my precious traveling money, money that I was probably going to need to fuel my car on the return trip to Las Vegas. My much more grounded SO caught me drooling on the German cutlery and was forced to remove me from the store, but not before she added a few items to my already hefty larder.
The rest of the trip was nice too.
1788 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109