In my most recent post on Tiger Tiger I mentioned that the Missus has been on a beer and sausage tear....so this meant that we've tried a couple of places. Here are a bunch of one and dones.
Salt and Cleaver:
We must be getting old....it just seemed like the music was playing way too loud......
Anyway, since it's about the weiners......
This one is called the Duck.Duck.Pig ($11).
The duck confit was fried crisp, but was alas, also dry as leather. I thought the orange marmalade was a bit too much for the duck and bacon sausage which was fairly mild with mild smokey tones. I liked the grind, but the Missus prefers either a coarser grind or fine and rather loose. The flavor was fairly nice, but this was a bit too much.
Since the Missus doesn't do much bread these days, a sausage board is always welcome. The meat board ($13) comes with 4 sausages.
The Smoked Beer Bratwurst was very bland. The Bacon Cheddar Jalapeno was quite nice, not too sharp or spicy, a very nicely put together sausage. The Smoked Spicy Cajun had a nice kick, but was really salty and I didn't like the casing on this one; it was too tough. We enjoyed the Linguica, a bit on the mild side, but the flavors went together well. The mustards and sauces were fairly routine.
Altogether not bad and we may return......
Salt & Cleaver
3805 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
Loved the bartender here......she was very cool, sorta funny, in a rather detached way. She was good at helping folks make beer selections.
There's really no frills about Toronado. It becomes very clear when you order the Sausage Plate ($12)....it comes to the table exactly as ordered....a plate with 3 sausages.....nary a garnish, sauce, mustard, or anything else except the juices leaking from said encased meats.
This was oh-fer-three. The "Morrocan Lamb" was dry and gritty and really needed a bit more seasoning. The Jalapeno Cheddar was a far cry from Salt & Cleaver. The Bratwurst was also too dry and hard as was the casing.
We did enjoy the Pork Belly Skewers ($6).
Loved the texture of the pork belly, crisp on the exterior, creamy like buttah' interior. The sweet chili sauce was too sweet for us, but this was pretty good overall. The jicama-cilantro slaw could have used more flavor.
Of course, like I said, I came here for the beers.
Loved the selection. I was missing Belgium and this was just the fix I needed. I don't think Belgian's travel real well as the flavors are not quite the same as what we had in Belgium, but I'll take it.
Candice and I are trying to talk our friends into doing a 30th street corridor beer crawl. So I'm sure I'll be back soon enough.
4026 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104
S & M - That's Sausage and Meat:
So, sorry to disappoint anyone who had thoughts that perhaps mmm-yoso was totally going off the rails. Anyway, this is the latest creation from the folks behind Slater's 50/50. The location is quite familiar....this is the former site of Gulf Coast Grill, which lasted much longer than I ever thought it would.
We visited on Veteran's Day, just a short time after they had opened.
I love the logo.......simple, but to the point. The place is bright and wide open, it'll be great during warmer weather.
Like Slater's the menu is full of, well, interestingly, uninteresting items......twists on stuff I know I can get better elsewhere. So, just trying to play it straight we kept out of the flavored bacon jar, instead playing "straight man" for the main part. Trying to see what kind of clothes the Emporer was wearing...if any.
We started with the Charcuterie Board ($11).
This would be almost the antithesis of a Slater restaurant, in having a very mild prosciutto and soppressata. Not a good value. The one item we both loved was the nicely fermented cabbage and the pickles....the dill pickles were just fantastic.
Since the Missus is still on Her "no bread" shall pass these lips kind of thing we went with the Sausage Board ($15).
I love alligator - pork sausages, so the Alligator-Antelope Andouille seemed like a good pick. Unfortunately, I found it to be very tame and bland, lacking in that paprika-garlic-file-chili, smokey-savory flavors that make a good Andouille. I've cooked with Antelope which has a distinct flavor, I couldn't make that out here. The Missus chose Her favorite sausage of late.....Mexican Chorizo. Man, this was way too mild in flavor, lacking in any heat or zip. I will say, that Whiskey Mustard is a wonderful sweet-spicy-sour-tangy condiment and I could live on those pickles.
The whole ordering, seating, sign process is both neat and kind of strange at the same time....it's really not clear that you order at the counter (or do you?)...which we did. You get these flip cards which indicate your order, when you don't want to be bothered, and when you want to pay. It's a hybrid of the typical gastropub/bar/fast casual ordering system where you're given a number for folks to bring your order. The twist here is different, even though you order at the register, you don't pay(though you do leave your credit card).....at least we didn't. You flip the sign and someone comes and brings you your bill....if you pay with cash, this seems kind of strange and redundant....you either have table service or you don't. Oh, and even though we indicated "Scram" folks came by five times to see how we were doing.....though they were really nice and I totally understand having just opened they wanted to do well. I really liked our Servers.....we'd come back just for the pickles and mustard.....
If you'd like to see the other items on the menu; please read Kirbie's post.
S&M Sausage & Meat
4130 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92103
And just because I'm feeling silly:
I usually listen to music on iTunes while doing my posts....and yes, they are still usually a one pass deal. Anyway, this song came on.......and took me back. I grew up during the 70's and 80's and this one made me recall the music video...back when MTV actually had music videos. It hasn't aged well, but what the heck. Plus, I always wanted a 'Cuda....though my preference would be for a '70.
The ending is so Miami Vice. One of the guys we knew used to actually dress Miami Vice style...light colored jacket with pastel t-shirts and loafers....white loafers. Egad......he thought he was so cool. He was quite short; like five foot-two, so when we used to see him at the club we used to call him, "Miami mice....."