Here's a little place on a rather odd corner in Talmage that I would never had found. It's a recommendation from my "FOY" JasonV. It's a favorite of his Missus, Jackie. The location is indeed interesting; being on the corner of Monoe and 47th Street. I'm sure most folks drive up the back way from Fairmount....but the place is basically a quarter mile from ECB and Nhu Y. The little wine bar is located right next to a dental office in the same strip mall. It's quite unassuming.
This is Romeo and Julieta a Polish Wine Bar of sorts. The humble exterior leads to a pretty nice and cozy interior.
We love the art and the ceiling.
Though when the weather is nice and not too hot; you can drink and dine al fresco as well.
The place is run by what I believe is a wonderful and friendly husband and wife team. The husband is the chef; though he's often helped out serving wine, and the super friendly woman runs the front of house; often on her own. In other words; this is a real mom-and-pop operation. You can't be in a rush here.
There's a regular menu of items; sort of a Polish fusion; the usual suspects, Peirogi's, Polish Sausage, and such, served with purple cabbage, sauerkraut, and cucumber salad, hearty stuff. And other items like Crab Cakes and Barbecued Pork.
The wine list is quite good and you're always served light and crusty baguette; the texture of a nice banh mi; with an addictive garlic aioli.
Don't forget the specials on the Chalk Board; where we found our favorite dish; the Pork Rouladen. Again, knowing what the "base" cuisine is of the place helps...we were looking for Polish - German - Eastern European type dishes.
A classic German - Polish dish of pork rolled around pickle spears. This version features sliced pork cutlets, pounded flat, wrapped around pickle spears and cheese. Smothered in a tasty gravy and served with a nice, rustic mashed potatoes; this is totally comfort food. The Missus enjoys the sauerkraut and sautéed cabbage and onions. The red cabbage is fine, but doesn't compare to what She really enjoyed in Prague. The cucumber salad is a bit bland for our taste; it could use more salt and bit more acidity to help cut the richness of the food.
As you can tell; the portions here are no joke.
Another favorite from the specials board was a version of the Polish Classic Bigos Stew - Hunter's Stew.
This version features the classic base of sauerkraut with Polish Kielbasa, bacon, and chopped pork. A hearty sour-meaty-smokey-porky combination. And that tomato salad was really good as well.
Of course these aren't always featured on the specials board; so the Missus will order the Polish Sausage Plate ($17.95).
While I enjoyed the nice snap of the sausage; I didn't think it was anything really special; but the Missus really enjoyed this....for a while. After two or three times, we've gotten a bit tired of this and the Missus tired of the left-overs. Yes, there are always left-overs.
You see; our drill is to arrive during Happy Hour; the Missus doesn't mind the House Chardonnay here; though they've recently changed it; and I'd just get a glass of the Italian Grillo, six bucks during Happy Hour.
Then we'd order the Polish Schnitzel Sliders from the Happy Hour menu ($9.50). I'm usually not a big fan of these fusion slider things; but this is pretty good.
The crunchy beef schnitzel, combined with the slightly sweet, but pungent, beet colored horseradish, the almost always sweet and slightly acidic tomato, and that pickle, don't forget that pickle, just goes quite well in a bun. There are four of these to an order......combined with the Missus's weak spot; sweet potato fries, enough for the both of us.
We usually end up taking most of the other entrée home as left-overs.
We also tried some of the other items over time, not all of which we enjoyed.
The Stuffed Cabbage was a menu board special. These were huge and we loved the mashed potatoes.
But we thought it on the bland and somewhat mealy side. Even with that wonderful horse radish.
The Happy Hour Wings and Fries; was priced right at $9.50.
The Missus of course, enjoyed those fries, but those wings weren't deep fried. I know this place serves flatbread/pizzas, so I'm thinking this was cooked on a conveyor oven? Not sauced enough and rubbery skin, not good eats.
My good friend's Mom back in Hawaii used come and visit with her rolling pin. She made awesome pierogi's. So during one of our first visits I decided to try the Pierogi's; the Happy Hour version. Unfortunately; they were out of the two versions that featured sauerkraut. So I ordered the Potato and Cheese; "bacon style" ($9.50).
Man, these were really stuffed. I found the wrapper to be bit on the brittle side and there was too much mushy potatoes as filling. The bacon and bacon fat topping was lovely, but I really didn't care for this version. I'll probably try one of the other versions one of these days.
There's a lot to like about Romeo & Julieta. We think the food is quite hearty and you do get your money's worth; especially those Happy Hour items. The owners are really friendly, gracious, and just really nice folks. There's often only two to three people working; which is fine during the time we eat; early on in the evening.
Happy Hour is from 4pm to 6pm Tuesdays thru Saturdays and 3pm to 6pm on Sundays.
And make sure to check out the specials board. JasonV told me he enjoyed the Watermelon Salad.
I'm sure if you choose well from the menu; you'll have a nice and hearty meal.
Romeo & Julieta Wine Cafe
4715 Monroe Ave
San Diego, CA 92115
Tues - Sat 4pm - 10pm
Sunday 3pm - 10pm
Thanks for the recommendation Jason! Maybe one of these days we'll run into you here!
And share some Bigos.