I had an interview in San Diego yesterday and it was getting to be around lunchtime. I figured that I should probably enter this interview with a full stomach to level my head. Enter: Stone Brewing. Again! I can never get enough of either this place, or San Diego in general! My pops ordered the Oaked Arrogant Bastard. He graciously let me steal a few sips. I love how the oak chips slightly mellow out the bitter bite of hops without really diminishing the wonderful, mouth-puckering IBUs. Both the beer list and the food menu were quite slim because they’re in the midst of an expansion. A new building will be going up behind the current one, and all the bottling/production will go in there so that more fermentors can fit into the current building. Luckily, we were able to find a few things to consume, small menu aside. The prime rib melt – so far the best thing I’ve eaten at Stone. Mushroom pillows – so far my least favorite thing from Stone. The mushrooms had released all the water while cooking and made for a sloppy mess. I like mushrooms at times… This was not one of them. My mumsie got the duck tacos – sweet barbecued duck topped with fresh tomatoes, onions and sprouts, served alongside spiced rice, beans and corn salsa. For dessert we split the orange chiffon cheesecake. This was like eating delicious air! Incredibly light, creamy, not too sweet with a perfectly crumbly crust. After fooding, I had the interview and we cruised down to San Diego for the William Fitzsimmons concert in Little Italy. A few pictures of that will come later! First, we had to stop by my favorite bar in town: Craft & Commerce. Both Michael Skubic from Hess Brewing and Jeremy Moynier from Stone Brewing recommended the Up In Smoke. I had to try it. This is a very, very smoky/scotchy drink! I’ve always been afraid of bastardizing beer, but I’m glad I got this! The sweetness and carbonation of Allagash Curieux along with the tang of the lime juice balance the smoky scotch, with big cubes of ice to mellow the blunt alcohol. This baby is a slow sipper! The real question now is what beer cocktail to try next? After Craft & Commerce, we sallied over to Anthology and spent the night being lulled into mellow, happy oblivion by William Fitzsimmons.
I spent last weekend down in San Diego working at the ArtWalk, and while I only got one chance to blog, I got PLENTY of chances to eat. Mainly, they were all here: Craft & Commerce: The most amazing gastropub I’ve ever been to. This little place has exposed brick, literary genius written all over the walls, and when you use their bathroom, you’re treated to MORE literary genius via books on tape. I happened to stop in whilst Pride and Prejudice was being read by some lovely British voice-over. Also, this place is kind of popular. It was JAM PACKED the entire time we were working the booth across the street. Girls come to flirt, boys show up to pretend that they’re more mature than they really are… “I’m twenty-sssss….. thirty-eight…” (and yes, I actually witnessed a boy attempting that one while he was chatting up a cougar), and superheroes come to box, like the man in red and blue above. They serve incredibly unique food, such as the pickled cucumber slices, watermelon and jicama. I do not like jicama yet, but I only have twelve more tries until I do, according to scientific research. (Scientific research WAS conducted! I recall reading it, I just can’t find where I read it. You’ll have to trust me on this one…) The mixologists (Do NOT call them bartenders! They are trained professionals! Also, EXCELLENT at what they do!) all wear suspenders, and thick books rest upon each table. My genius friend Kim, who recently got accepted into UCLA for her graduate program (Congrats, Khimniney!) partook in the true enjoyment of Craft & Commerce, suspenders included. I also partook with my AleSmith Speedway Stout – (which was DELICIOUS and INTENSE!). We’re smart like that. That’s such a lie. We’re actually complete fools when we hang out. I adore her precisely for that reason. Some history: Kim and I were in the TAG (talented and gifted) group in middle school together. We rode my bike to the high school for our super-genius-awesome-girl-algebra class in eighth grade. I peddled, she balanced on the seat. We coasted down a steep hill every Wednesday and Thursday, praying that the garbage trucks had already crossed our intersections – there were a few close calls since I couldn’t control the brakes… I recall plenty of screaming from both of us… After Kim left, I decided to order dinner before I headed back to the booth. Pickles = good. Fried stuff = good. Fried pickles = ???? From this place, they equal “meh”. I had fried pickles ONCE before, and they were AMAZING! Unfortunately, these did not live up to par.
The GOOD news is that I will be having said AMAZING fried pickles later this month – in Colorado! We’re taking a family trip to visit my bro and his wife (The Vegans), have fried pickles and drink good beers. I suppose I’ll find a way to suffer through…
Off to Vegas this weekend! For work, thank you very much, but it will be the first time I gamble. Legally… Gotta try it once! Legally… My first time gambling… I won. I cashed out. I fled.