Shop the Boulevard!

The best way to improve El Cajon Boulevard and see the Boulevard thrive and become an amazing destination is to go to the businesses there. Don’t take your money down to Mission Valley or to other more “hip” neighborhoods as often – try out the little restaurants in our own neighborhood and grab a few food items from the grocers there occasionally. Resident patronage sends a signal to developers and business owners that we have money and we’re going to spend it at businesses in OUR neighborhood.

I often hear Talmadge lacks a business center, but I’d argue we have one. We share it with City Heights on the south side, but the north side of the Boulevard is unarguably Talmadge. The same goes for Kensington and Normal Heights – Adams isn’t their only major thoroughfare. The Boulevard has a ton of cool destinations. More will come and the ones there presently will improve with more customers.

Without further ado:

El Borrego serves up high quality Mexican good. It’s right next to the YMCA on 43rd. They have fresh juices and smoothies which are great if you’re coming from the gym. They have some really amazing and unique items – not your typical Mexican joint. The owners are really nice and they hope to open a beer garden out back within the next year. Check their hours before heading over – they close at 6 which is not great for the dinner crowd.

Mariscos Alex is a pretty much permanent food truck parked at the gas station between 44th and Fairmount (across from the YMCA). Everything is amazing there.

Tacos El Panson on Highland is your greasier Mexican food (they have a good California burrito and good carne asada fries). They make their tortillas right there and you can watch them being made.

There is a little market on 46th called Mid-East Market. They have all sorts of produce and meats and loose grain and they make their hummus in-house. They have bulk items of stuff you don’t usually find in bulk at regular grocery stores. I recommend just walking around the store out of curiosity even if you don’t need anything.

My favorite pho is Pho King on Menlo. They have the best vegetable pho – full of tons of veggies unlike many other pho places that just give you only bok choy when you ask for veggie.

There is a little market across from Pho King on the west side of Euclid called H&L Supermarket. If you want to make your own pho, which is cool if you want completely vegetarian (using vegetable broth instead of beef), you can get the noodles and all the veggies you need here. I actually know the granddaughter of the owners – it’s a pretty cool little place.

Til Two is a cool bar especially if you like live music. I’m so glad the new Talmadge Gateway project is including Til Two in their redevelopment.

I hope this gives everyone some ideas. Would love to hear of your experiences if you try any of these out, or if you have had differing experiences, or have other places to share!

Originally posted on Nextdoor. See the post and suggestions from other neighbors here.