Thank you for stopping in at mmm-yoso!!! just to read about food. Kirk and His Missus are sad to be leaving Europe right now. Ed (from Yuma) and His Missus are happy to not be in Arizona right now. Cathy and Her Mister are in San Diego and enjoyed a lunch in an office park...
Yes, I've writtena total of three other posts about Green Acre, one of our favorite places to grab a tasty, fresh (and according to the menu, healthy) lunch. This lunch was enjoyed at the Campus Pointe location. The parking is better and the restaurant seating area is larger than at the 'original' Nautilus location. It's a bit more of a walk to see the garden area, but you pass it when going to the parking area and the walk is always pleasant after a meal. Asking for water as your beverage gets you more than enough in a pretty decanter.The "Agua de Dia" (water of the day)($2) was watermelon cucumber and very refreshing. The Mister ordered a steak salad ($12) and the freshly picked greens along with beets, orange pieces and pickled onion were various and so brisk in flavor...a different green, a different taste...the side of buttermilk dressing was almost unneeded. The medium-rare cooked steak was lightly coated with a fresh chimichurri and so very flavorful. (That's a pretzel bun, served on the side) This was a Friday (when I don't eat meat) and the house made Black Bean Burger ($10) was my order. The medley of black beans with some spices and formed into a patty, served with Smoked Cheddar and avocado on a grain based bun was really tasty, fresh and satisfying. Fresh lettuce and tomato as well as pickled onions help to enhance the 'burger' flavor and there is a small side salad topped with a champagne vinaigrette, as well as a scoop of tasty quinoa salad. Still, we also ordered a side of Root Fries ($4) which come with sides of house made mayonnaise and catsup. Perfectly fried potato, sweet potato and beet cut into symmetric sticks and fried then lightly salted...the catsup reminds me more of a marinara and the mayonnaise has a distinct lemon flavor.
All in all, another nice meal in an unexpected location.
Green Acre 10300 Campus Point Drive San Diego 92121 (858) 450-9907 Website Open M-F 7am-3 pm Happy Hour 4-7. Thurs and Fri
It's about time for Ed (from Yuma) to post about some place Yuman. So today, Kirk gets to explore, and Cathy gets to rest, but as always at mmm-yoso, there is food on the menu.
Clearly the flavor of the year in Yuma is BEER. The newest player in the craft beer pub game is A & R Bar and Grill located on 4th Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets. They play the game pretty well:
The place has a clean, fresh decor, offset by plenty of sports memorabilia. Of course, flatscreen TVs, tables of various size, and a bar fill the smallish space:
The changing tap list is a little more limited than Pinthouse, but most folks have no trouble finding something interesting and tasty:
Tina was especially amazed by the grapefruit ale, which was remarkably refreshing and perfect for a hot day in spring:
Also interesting, though I thought less impressive, is the spicy Mango Margarita:
The menu includes tasty appetizers and salads, like the Caesar salad with chicken:
or this quesadilla with pulled pork,: but most of the menu is fairly standard bar food sandwiches, accompanied by decent french fries or with a salad or onion rings for little more legal tender. Usually, the cooks at A & R prepare the sandwiches just right and the bar clearly sources quality ingredients, making the resulting sandwich plate a cut or two above what one would expect:
I loved this pulled pork sandwich (here with a side salad, $2 more). Though not at all smoky, the pork was moist and tender and its flavor came through the sauce and accompaniments:
This chicken sandwich is a pretty standard version, but tasting of the grill and accompanied by very fresh lettuce, tomato, pickle (and cheese if you wish):
The french fries are also good, again better than one would expect.
When I ordered the turkey sandwich, the helpful and friendly waitperson said that I needed to order it with all of the accompaniments – bacon, spinach, cranberry, Swiss cheese, and tomato:
It was generally tasty, and I was happy to see that the turkey slices had been grilled, but I was a little disappointed that the chef had not spread enough the cranberry sauce.
I was also personally disappointed in the fish tacos, mostly because all of the sauces supplied were pretty spicy, but the fish filets seemed to me to need a little bit of more neutral crema help. Your results would probably differ:
In contrast, the sausage sandwich, which comes with grilled onions and two different mustards, is pretty impressive:
Made on premises, the sausage is robust with a complexity of flavors that I prefer to the old school Kamman sausage, the local favorite.
Tina and Greg both think that the sausage plate, with two large sausages and fries is even better than the sandwich, though I like me my carbs:
I realize that hamburgers don't break any culinary barriers, but A&R make very tasty burgers. I haven't tried the peanut butter and jelly burger that some folks on the Internet rave about, but this standard cheeseburger with extra crispy fries was very good. The smoky char of the patty (cooked a perfect medium rare), the melty cheese, and the super fresh condiments were all spot on (fries were good too):
Even better is the mushroom burger –with a side salad in this pic:
I can't add much to that picture. I also couldn't add much to the A&R burger, the star of their burger selection, here shown with the ordinary onion rings:
The tomato, cheddar cheese, and bacon show up on a lot of pub burgers, but not usually paired with grilled onions, spinach, and a fried egg:
Overall, I like A&R Grill. While I don't frequent the place late at night (these days, I don't frequent much late at night), the service has always been friendly and competent; the owner (manager?) pays attention and is concerned; and the place is pretty friendly and low-key. The food is cooked to order and sometimes takes a while to prepare, but that's what beer is for.
A&R Grill, 712 S 4th Ave, Yuma, AZ 85364, (928) 783-0260
Here you are, at mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Kirk is extremely busy with necessary errands. Ed (from Yuma) is busy making plans. Cathy is blogging today, because she is, comparatively, not busy.
Election Day in November had me assigned by the Registrar of Voters to El Cajon, where I drove in circles, putting out fires and waiting for phone calls telling me of impending fires all day. Some of the areas I passed had interesting places to eat. Lupita Mexican Food and Fruiteria caught my eye. It shares the parking lot (around the corner) with the generically named 'Tortilla Salsa Market'. There are quite a few other businesses here also. (The signage you see from the street is 3rd photo from the end).The rather extensive menu offers the usual items. The quality is notable. The shrimp tostada ($4.19) was made with large shrimp, in a fresh salsa and served with a side of avocado. This was excellent.The al pastor burrito ($4.50) was freshly made, pretty average, quite large. I'd order it again; it's more interesting than a carne aside burrito.Ordering to eat in, a basket of thin corn chips is served, along with the house made salsas in squeeze bottles.
Above, a freshly squeezed "Popeye", medium size ($4.50) juice. Made with spinach, carrot, celery, cucumber and apple, it was just right. I like that it is just juice, no ice.
Carne asada tostada ($3.99) was quite large and very good. Tamarind raspado ($3.25)(16 oz) is nicely made here, from the whirring of the shaved ice machine in the back to the tamping of fresh tamarind pieces, each item I've ordered here has been carefully hand made and served with care. The ladies working here are very nice.Almost every visit, I've ordered a small fruit salad ($6.65) with everything (cottage cheese, raisins, granola, coconut and honey)...and have needed to take hime leftovers.Tortas here are made with a great bread which is brought up from Mexico. Above, the Lomo ($6.50) is my usual choice. Lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese avocado and a thin layer of beans surround the beef (and sometimes, pork) tenderloin, which is cured then chopped and heated for this sandwich.This is the signage you'll see from the street. Notice the bottom two lines: 'Sideways Bar'. Now, you may have noticed I've been doing quite a few posts under the "Pubs and Pub Grub" section of the blog. It seems that Sideways doesn't serve food, but the bar patrons walk to Lupita, order and pay. Then, one the order is ready, one of the ladies walks to deliver the food to the bar.
Consistently, one item seems to always be ordered. The double cheeseburger. So, you know, I had to...Behold, the double cheeseburger ($4.50). As you can see, two large patties, lettuce tomato and two different cheeses on a toasted bun. This was filling and quite good. I understand why it's an order for the bar patrons.
Another fruiteria which is locally owned and serves quality food.
Lupita Mexican Food and Fruiteria 1088 Estes (at Chase, one block East of Emerald) El Cajon 92021 (619)593-9500
mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog, tries to entertain and sometimes amuse you with almost daily posts centered about food. Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are not blogging today; it's Cathy writing this post.
You've probably seen signage while driving along the freeway or along side streets. Perhaps you've been curious. Here's a post giving you reason to stop.
Farmer Boys first opened in 1981 in Perris, California. Founded by the five Havadjias brothers, the idea of 'Farm to Table' wasn't spoken of as part of the dining experience, yet that's been the business philosophy of this small (79 store) Southern California, Central California and Nevada restaurant chain of both company owned and franchised locations. Yes, it's a chain, but with locations primarily California, it fits into my 'new year resolution' of patronizing locally.There are two locations in San Diego County, both in Escondido. The 'newer' location, pictured above, is near a Home Depot and in the same parking lot as the Escondido Vallarta Market location.You walk up, order and pay and your food is brought to the table. The decor is country and home-like, as is your freshly prepared meal. The restaurant serves breakfast all day, and my go to item is the 'Daybreak Sandwich' ($4.19 or $4.99 with meat). Pictured above, the Daybreak with a sausage patty (other options are bacon or ham). It's on a potato bun and made with two eggs and a slice of American cheese. Good any time of the day. I really like the sausage served here; it's not greasy and has just the right amount of spices.The hearty pastrami sandwich ($6.99) is served on a toasted garlic ciabatta roll with mustard and pickles. The oven roasted, smoky pastrami is of excellent quality.
That's a 7 piece side of 'Colossal onion rings' ($4.19) [a four piece side order is $3.49 if you want to avoid temptation and/or can't do math]. Not only are those rings colossal in size, but also in flavor...the fresh hand battered rings are usually ordered with any meal here. The fry is perfect and never greasy. There are also zucchini and harvest fries available as sides; both are also excellent, fresh and never frozen.The menu has had a 'Natural' (hormone free, antibiotic free, fresh never frozen) burger ($6.29) on the menu for quite a long time. It's 1/3 lb, served on the potato bun (all other burgers are served on sesame seeded buns) with American cheese, onion, pickle and 1000 island dressing. Juicy and flavorful (and *much* better than the Carls Jr 'Natural'), this is my burger of choice here, even though the 'Bacon Boy' and 'Farmers Burger' are a bit heavier and larger in size, the Natural Burger has the flavor I enjoy.The Mister and I came here on a Friday and ordered the 4 piece hand battered fish dinner ($9.99) to share. Hand battered, wild caught, pollock filets (each filet was quite large; the above photo shows two pieces; one is butterflied so it would cook evenly. The photo above it has all four filets as it was originally served.) served with Harvest Fries, two onion rings,the garlic ciabatta bread, toasted...andyour choice of soup or salad. The soups are made fresh daily. The choices are almost always clam chowder or cream of broccoli. Both are excellent.
The menu has enough choices to satisfy almost any craving or dietary restriction. The shakes are made with real ice cream, need I say more?
Farmer Boys 1333 East Valley Parkway Escondido 92027 (760)739-0770 Mon-Sat 6-midnight, Sun 7-midnight Website
If you are looking for something by Kirk or Cathy, today is not your lucky day. If you want to read a fairly long post by Ed about a new brewpub in Yuma, sit back, relax and enjoy.
The old town/downtown area in Yuma was economically devastated by the sprawl caused by modern roads and highways and the explosion of population in Yuma in the post-World War II era. When I moved to Yuma 15 years ago, the area was still pretty desolate – a lot of for rent signs, empty buildings and vacant storefronts. These days, however, the area is undergoing a renaissance. Not only are new businesses opening, but a lot of places – wine shops, restaurants, and galleries seem to be doing very well.
One of the newest additions to Main Street is The Prison Hill Brewery. Located next to Da Boyz on Main Street; you can enter via the front door:
or the back door:
There is a dog friendly outdoor patio area:
as well as a large dining areas with bars and table service. Here's the bar area:
The main room:
I have been wanting to post about this place since the beginning of January, but I have had other things going on and then it seems like every week somebody else wants to eat at Prison Hill Brewery, so I keep accumulating pictures. Today, however, I am going to put them all together and try and do a post with as few words and as many pictures as I can get away with.
All of the sandwiches and many of the entrées come with one or two side dishes, so let's start with sides. The healthiest side is the grilled mixed vegetables, crispy tender and lightly seasoned, here pictured next to the decent thick chips which are served with many of the sandwiches:
Maybe my favorite side are the Sidewinder fries:
Though not made on premises, these fries are some of the best in town because each end is crunchy while the centers are potato fluffy.
The coleslaw is spicy hot with mustard (and cayenne?) and is fresh and tasty:
I also like the sweet beans:
but I think the macaroni salad is a little bland. Others however tell me that they love the mac salad because it goes with the stronger flavored menu choices. To each . .
The appetizers are kind of a mixed bag. For example, the giant pretzels are outstanding – it'll bring out the German in almost anyone:
Likewise, the tortilla soup (often a special, and sometimes available other times) is an excellent version of this Southwest favorite:
Remembering the soup, the word abundance pops into my head. It was packed with tortilla strips, the tomato Chile broth was outstanding, and the toppings were attractive and tasty.
I was less impressed by the combination appetizer plate:
The pretzels were excellent, of course, but the pieces of fried chicken breast were just adequate, and the two kinds of meatballs ranged from pretty good to pretty mediocre.
Similarly the hummus:
There are a few things that I love as much as good Middle Eastern hummus with the natural flavors of chickpeas and tahini – San Diego has many good Middle Eastern restaurants whose hummus I love. Prison Hill’s dry version lacks soul, and has a background citrusy taste that I suppose masks the missing flavors and freshness. Not to mention the tired and doughy bread.
On the other hand, a bunch of us really liked the poutine (good food, bad pic):
Covering the Sidewinder fries with a dark guinness gravy and patches of melted cheese only makes them more irresistible – if somewhat less healthy. To be honest, I have no idea how this dish would match up to the real thing in Canada, but it works for me in Yuma.
My salad eating friends like the salads – they are not just some "healthy" item to balance out the menu. Our friend Stacy enjoyed the vegetarian Big House Salad, impressed by the freshness and variety of the greens:
Tina loves the Cobb salad here:
In this case, she added smoked tri-tip to her salad, but she was also impressed by the mixture of greens and insisted that I take this picture to show how abundant and fresh they were:
Speaking of the smoked tri-tip, smoked meats are the main ingredient in most of the sandwiches and entrées. Behind the restaurant stand two full-size smokers, so all the smoked meats are smoked on premises:
Two of their popular sandwiches are the Verdict (brisket):
and The Tip (tri-tip):
I actually preferred The Tip because it seemed to have more going on; The Verdict was just a bit drier. The smoked meats in both, however, were perfectly flavored for my tastes, smoky without being only smoky, if you know what I mean.With sandwiches like these, your results may differ based on which piece if beef was just pulled from the smoker.
The cold smoked turkey sandwich (the Jailbird) is excellent also with bacon, tomato, lettuce, and mild cheese, sort of like a smoky club sandwich:
Though not the best I've ever had, the pulled pork is moist, smoky, and porky and topped with coleslaw :
Sometimes, the restaurant has a smoked turkey leg, sort of entrée at sandwich prices:
Lauren thought it was really good. Similarly, one of my favorite dishes on whole menu is the entrée they call The Quartermaster:
Along with the sides, you get a perfectly smoked, moist, tender chicken leg quarter. I loved it.
Of course, not everything is smoked. They make a good chicken salad (here pictured on a sandwich, but perhaps even better on a salad):
(Sorry about that picture)
The menu also includes burgers, hand formed thick and meaty. The American classic is like nothing from my childhood:
And the Shank has a cheese and bacon stuffed patty topped with a deep-fried avocado (yes that's yummy):
When I finish a meal at Prison Hill, I usually don't think about desserts, but the restaurant does do churros:
and a sundae:
and my memory tells me that both were sweet and tasty.
How did I get to the end of a post about a brewery without mentioning beer?
Oops! Prison Hill currently brews several different beers, however their brewing process takes a month and their production facilities are limited, so that they offer usually only one or two of their own. However there is a varied selection of other specialty beers. My beer drinking friends always leave happy, sometimes very happy if you know what I mean:
There’s also an adequate wine list – for small brewpub. The service, occasionally slow, is very professional and sometimes downright friendly. Truth be told, this is a place where I feel comfortable stopping in by myself or with friends. I consider the prices reasonable: sandwiches and burgers (with sides) run $9-$13, salads are generally under $10, entrées range from $11-$14, and appetizers from $6-$12.
Prison Hill Brewery, 278 S Main St, Yuma, AZ 85364; (928) 276-4001. Opens 11 am daily - closes at 10 pm most nights and 2 am Friday and Saturday.
Look at you, right back here at mmm-yoso!!! probably looking for food blogging. Kirk and Ed (from Yuma) are each busy with 'research' for future posts and Cathy is writing today, with 'results'.
Mission Gorge Road, just North of Interstate 8 is a mish-mash of businesses. Bookended by Starbucks, surrounding new and used car dealerships, banks, drug stores, numerous fast food drive thru lanes, a pizza parlor, sit down restaurants, a great vegan donut shop, as well as a Kaiser Hospital and Clinic. There are also more than several Purveyors ofadult beverageswhich also sell foodin this area of town.JT's is located closest to the Interstate, on the East side, just across from Rose Toyota and a few blocks South of Iowa Meat farms (sister of Seisel's Meats). The plain exterior is not a signal of things to come. The bar area has seemingly endless adult beverage choices, numerous televisions, seating and there are pool and ping pong tables in the back. There are several chalkboards mentioning beer specials, or you can ask. Menus are on tables. You walk up to the bar to order. Always on the lookout for specials, the back of the menu is usually what I read first.However, the bottom of the front page caught my eye on our first visit- beef from Iowa Meat Farms. Ground fresh daily.Here are the center pages, if you are interested. Don't pay too much attention though...the menu is going to be changing up soon. The same talented people who make the wonderful food I'm about to show you will be working on a new menu with all fresh (as in nothing frozen) items. Currently, the potstickers and fries and tots are frozen items. Basic Burger (cooked to a perfect medium rare, as I had ordered) ($8). Served on a fresh, toasted bun with crispy lettuce, tomato and onion, this is one of the best I've had in a while. It's 1/2 pound before cooking.Since it was a Monday, the $3 wings were calling. Medium Buffalo and Teriyaki were our chosen flavors this visit. The wings were meaty, fried crispy and the flavors not overwhelming (the Teriyaki was not sweet, a plus in my book).Another visit, on a Friday, had The Mister ordering a 16 ounce Cream Ale from (local) Mother Earth Brewing ($5).Friday Fish Sandwich ($6.25) was quite large, with the cheese melted into the bun, a nice touch. The fish was moist and the batter light, almost fluffy crispy. The cole slaw here is excellent, by the way.Sides can be fries, tots, slaw or a side salad. You can see fresh mushrooms on the salad, since they use fresh mushrooms for the beer battered mushroom basket. This visit, The Mister ordered the bacon and Bleu burger ($9.25). Again, the cheese melted into the bun-toasty bleu cheese...so good. You can see the bacon and now can imagine how good it was. It was, it was.
If you have visited here before, you know mmm-yoso is KirkK's foodblog, mostly featuring his wonderful reports on dining in San Diego and worldwide. Cathy helps keep the blog going and has an encyclopedic knowledge of San Diego eateries, particularly those that the rest of us might miss. Some days, Ed (from Yuma) will post about eating on his travels and especially about dining in Yuma. Today is one of those days; you have been warned.
The most exciting new addition to the Yuma dining scene is The Farmhouse Bistro:
Its location – set back from the street with limited signage and lighting – makes this a tough location and many eateries have occupied this site for brief periods since I moved to town, including Mi Playita, TJ's Marisquero, Viejo Loco, Small Fries, Rusty Spoon, and most recently Spanky's Chophouse. But long time Yumans know the location as "where Hensley's Beef, Beans, and Beer used to be," a steakhouse that thrived here for 20 years, 1979-1999.
The interior is small and simple. Of course, there are a couple flatscreen TVs and a bar area that can't yet sell alcohol:
But most of the dining area is filled with about 10 tables of various sizes, and the rustic painted walls are reminiscent of a rural farmhouse (and when packed at lunch, the room almost sounds like the mess hall at a ranch):
While the decor is nothing to speak of, the menu looked interesting right from the start.
On my first visit, my friend and former colleague, Dawn, wanted the lamb burger ($12), so I went conventional and had the basic burger ($14). Hers looked like this:
She said the flavor of the ground meat had a distinct lamb flavor, and she loved the brie cheese topping. My farmhouse burger looked similar and different:
I was happy. I loved the char from the grill, the medium rare doneness of the patty, and the beefy taste of the meat. The restaurant tries to source all of their meats and produce locally – if possible. Maybe that’s part of why it tasted so good.
We were both delighted by the french fries (and surprised as the menu had not mentioned that they came with the burgers). While not crispy crunchy, they were full of real potato flavor – clearly none of them had ever seen the interior of a freezer. People with more perceptive tastebuds may have detected the touch of truffle oil on the potatoes, but I was just happy to get real honest french fries.
On my next visit, I had to try the pork belly tacos ($12) –who could pass up Korean style pork belly tacos? There were 4 well filled tacos:
This close-up gives you a better idea of what is going on:
The thick chunks of pork belly were simply prepared; I could detect no Korean marinade or seasoning, but I was delighted by the smoky char of some pieces. The coleslaw with red and regular cabbage was lightly dressed and definitely not sweet or goopy. As far as I could tell, the only "Korean" seasoning was the ground red chili powder sprinkled over the slaw.
Nonetheless, I had no complaints. The flavor of the pork belly was excellent, and the preparation of the tacos emphasized the chewy, porky, chargrilled flavor of the meat. I would have this again.
Currently The Farmhouse has no liquor license, which is a bad thing for the restaurant I am sure, but it can be a good thing for customers because diners can bring bottles of wine (and maybe beer?) with them to enjoy – and pay no restaurant markup on the beverage. I'm not sure when they will get a liquor license, but let me suggest that my wino friends come try the bistro now when you can save money.
For those not interested in alcoholic beverages, The Farmhouse offers your standard choices plus this amazing beverage ($3):
What you are looking at is a glass of kale lemonade (no I'm not making that up). It is complex and refreshing and probably even healthy for you. Welcome to 2015.
Since two lunches had been a success, Tina and I decided to come by for dinner. We started our meal (after the kale lemonades) with the most unusual sounding item on the menu, fried pickle ($7):
The restaurant brines a range of vegetables – this night included green beans, zucchini slices, small cauliflower florets, sweet potato chunks, and onion strips – dips them in tempura batter, fries them, and serves them with their house sauce, a spicy teriyaki mayo.
Eating the fried pickles was a treat for the palate. Sour, salty, and crunchy/greasy all at once. These were definitely addictive, if a bit repetitive, and we ate every piece.
The main courses continued to challenge our taste buds and our expectations. Tina chose the diver scallops ($26), which were perfectly cooked – charred at each end and rare in the middle. But look at how they were served:
What a treat for the eye. The scallops were perched atop a mound of beet risotto. The little white puffs are goat cheese quenelles, and the mound is surrounded by a buerre blanc sauce.
And what a treat for the mouth. The riced red beets with rice balanced the scallops nicely and contrasted with the goat cheese much like the old school borscht/sour cream combination. Tina (with a little of my help) happily ate everything on her plate.
I chose the duck breast ($28):
The breast, topped with garlic lemon purée, was served on a bed of lemon risotto, accompanied by three superb giant fresh local asparagus spears. I love asparagus and it doesn't get any better than those three spears. Moist crunchy tender flavorful.
The duck breast was cooked a perfect medium rare:
I enjoyed how the chef used the garlic and lemon flavors to contrast the richness of the duck breast. Certainly the best duck I have ever had in Yuma. The risotto was perfectly prepared, the rice being both creamy and al dente. If I had any quibble, it would be that the lemon risotto flavors were monochromatic. While the risotto was a perfect match to the duck breast, it was less interesting by itself.
For dessert, we had wanted to try the grilled peach, but of course, peaches aren’t in season (even in Yuma) so we opted for the banana crema ($9):
The small mason jar is a nice farmly touch. The banana crema itself was the bottom half of the desert. A layer of crunchy banana flavored cookie crumbs separated it from the raspberry/banana flavored crema at the top. The desert was certainly rich and unusual. It was also nice to see cheese courses on the dessert menu.
For me, The Farmhouse has exceeded expectations. The menu is certainly the most varied and interesting in town. The kitchen can turn out a wide range of dishes skillfully. Farm-to-table ingredients – witness that incredible asparagus – should be a perfect fit for Yuma, at least in the winter. In addition, the place is well staffed, and the service on each visit has been professional and personable. Of course, The Farmhouse is in a tough location, and the menu with lunches or salads between $9 and $14 and entrées from $25 up may intimidate some folks, but the restaurant has been busy and I hope that Yuma will support creative quality cuisine.
The Farmhouse Bistro, 2855 S. 4th Ave., Yuma AZ 85364, (928) 276-9735; open11- 2, and 5-11 Tuesday through Saturday, Sunday brunch 9-1. Closed Mondays.
Well, no, I'm not making it a "habit" (pun intended) of eating here. The main reason for visiting the new location at that little corner of chain restaurantland....that would be Balboa and Genesee, was that FOY - Friend of Yoso, "SomTommy" mentioned that Habit Burger had a tri-tip sandwich on its menu in the comments of my Sweet and Savory Gourmet post. Sheesh, I hadn't even noticed! And being that the chain originated in .....Santa Barbara county, I thought it only right that I check it out.
Not much to say about the interior....if you've been in one, you've pretty much seen the whole spectrum of design and colors.
And yes, there was a Tri-Tip Sandwich on the menu. Which is what I got. It was nice and hot and served on a could have toasted a bit more french roll....lot's of bread on this one.
I'm not sure what to say about this......much like what I said in my previous post about the burgers, I've had worse and I've had better. The tri-tip was fine, on the tough side, straight forward flavors. The portion reminded me of their burger, thin and skimpy. The grilled onions weren't griddled enough. Not terrible, but pretty much....blah.....business as usual. This ain't nearly as good as Sweet and Savory about a half mile away. Though I prefer the French Roll to the ice cold ciabatta they serve.
I also got some onion rings, which were by the book.
Crisp and hot, these are about as good as thise gets. I prefer them to the fries.
Overall, I'll pass on the tri-tip, maybe it's time I try a burger again.....so I guess I'll stop by again soon since the prices are quite reasonable. Though I doubt that I'll be making a "habit" out of it.
The Habit Burger Grill 4175 Genesee Ave San Diego, CA 92111
Kirk and Cathy get another day off - well at least a day off from posting here. Today Ed (from Yuma) is writing about a good place to slake a thirst in this desert community.
Being a very occasional blogger here at mmm-yoso, I sometimes feel plagued with bad timing. On two occasions, for example, I almost had a post about Mandarin Palace ready to go when the restaurant changed its menu or format, so none saw the light of day. Sometimes, I post about great places like Maria's Cocina, Mariscos El Navegante, or the crêpes truck that soon go out of business. While I was accumulating pictures of dishes at Grand China and then writing a post about them, Asian Star started up, took away most of the Chinese restaurant business in the area, and caused Grand China to close (It is now Yuma Palace). A while back I posted about Brewers, impressed with the six or eight taps of craft beer available there. About the time the Brewers post was up and running, the Pint House opened on Main Street and the beer scene in Yuma was transformed.
This recent beer list (August, 2014) shows why:
If you are counting, there are 52 taps of mostly craft beers, ales, and ciders. The list changes often, so if you see a beer that you've always wanted to try, you should probably order it because it may not be on the next list. Here's a Hoppy Bitch IPA:
A Kiltlifter Amber Ale:
And a Northwest Blood Orange Wheat Beer next to a Funkworks Saison:
This range of brews is truly amazing for Yuma, and the Pint House seems to be doing good business and keeping their beers fresh.
The bar and grill occupies the space on Main Street that was previously Carla Renée's and had been numerous other restaurants over the years:
Right next to The Old Town Wine Cellar, the Pint House is also accessible from Maiden Lane:
At that side, there is an outdoor seating area, not much populated during the days of summer:
The interior is nothing special:
The space is much like a sports bar, but patrons get to listen to music instead of blaring television sports commentary. In other words, it's easy to ignore the game/games and focus on the beverages and the food.
The menu includes numerous appetizers including some crispy crunchy fried calamari ($8.29):
Accompanied by a garlic aioli, these are a great beer snack – very crunchy, slightly salty, and not greasy at all. Of course, there is a lot more deep-fried crust than mollusk in each bite, so not my all-time favorite calamari, but still an addictive nibble.
Speaking of mollusks, another item we like as an appetizer is the pound of steamed clams ($14.29), drenched in a "boozy" garlic cilantro sauce accompanied with two large slices of crunchy bread:
The clams have always been fresh and not overcooked. The sauce is a little salty for my tastes, but it accents and balances the natural sweetness of the clams. It also makes a nice dipping sauce for the bread. (If you're looking for this on the menu, it is a "Pint House Signature" dish.)
The Pint House also has a range of salads. The wedge ($8.29) is a fine version of this old school iceberg lettuce treat:
Tina and I also like the garden salad ($6.29) – this is a split portion with ranch dressing:
Less to my taste is the side salad, here with the house raspberry dressing:
While the lettuce was perfectly fresh and cheese was okay, there wasn't much else going on in the salad and that raspberry dressing was nothing special. Truth be told, however, this picture is from several months ago, so it is possible that the side salad has morphed into something more interesting.
Alongside that ordinary side salad, sits one of my favorite menu items, the mushroom Swiss burger ($9.29):
The hand formed rich Angus patty is topped with melted Swiss cheese and generous layers of well grilled mushrooms. Very tasty.
Overall, I find the burgers and sandwiches to be the strongest parts of the menu. They all come with french fries or side salad, but you can upgrade to sweet potato fries or onion rings for a dollar extra. Here is a blackened chicken sandwich($9.99) with a side of onion rings (+$1):
Though the chicken breast slice was a little dry, the sliced tomatoes and avocados made this a good sandwich.
The onion rings, on the other hand, suffered from the same problem as the calamari – too much crunchy breading and not enough main ingredient. Each of those onion rings has one thin slice of onion only. Of course, the onion rings are great beer food; everybody loves hot, crunchy, and slightly salty snacks with beer.
On a good night, Tina and my favorite sandwich is the Cubano ($9.99):
A generous serving of flavorful shredded pork is enhanced with crunchy house pickles on top and a layer of cured meat (the menu says salami, but the sandwich this particular evening had pastrami:
Coupled with a garlic aioli on the top half of the baguette and mustard on the bottom half, the sandwich as a whole presents a very complex flavor profile – touches of smoky richness with contrastive tang and crunch. Really excellent.
The french fries, on the other hand, are pretty mediocre and generally soft, even though we ordered them extra crispy. Oh well.
Recently, the restaurant has added an extra page to the menu including items ranging from deep-fried bacon wrapped jalapenos to a caprese salad. Tina was instantly attracted to the blackened chicken salad wrap ($9.50):
This kind of chicken salad is the sort without mayonnaise. Served with a spicy salsa, it was basically a chicken Caesar salad wrapped in a flour tortilla. Tina liked it.
The Pint House also serves certain daily specials. A couple of times, I've been at the restaurant for Taco Tuesdays, where they offer a range of different tacos, including oyster:
The first time I had them, I thought they were incredible. The deep-fried oysters had been perfectly prepared so that their moist ocean funky flavor contrasted with the crunchy crusty batter. Even though the taco got pretty messy quickly, the flavors were amazing. Unfortunately on another occasion, the oysters were not as pristine, pushing that funkiness a little beyond pleasant.
On hotdog Mondays, a good range of excellent quarter pound all beef franks are served in a variety of ways. Here is a black and blue dog ($4):
Being old-fashioned, I had the chili dog ($4):
The chili was mildly spiced hamburger with onions and tomatoes, the whole dog topped with cheese and chopped onions. Maybe not the best chili I've ever had on hotdog, but the beefy sausage itself was excellent. And needless to say, excellent beer food.
The Pint House is a treasure. It makes me want to drink more beer – and clearly not just me. While the food items are somewhat hit and miss, a Yuma establishment with 52 taps, most pouring craft beers and ales, is a testament to the beer revolution that has been going on in this country for over 30 years. Sometimes my timing isn’t good, but The Pint House clearly has time on its side.
The Pint House, 265 S Main St, Yuma, AZ 85364, 928-782-0499, open daily 11 AM - 2 AM