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
Speaking of Candice. We decided on grabbing a beer a few months back and she suggested Half Door Brewing Company.
Located on Island Avenue in East Village....I really wasn't too sure
But I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the slightly sour, not too dry Berlinerweiss. A nice middle of the road version. I loved the set-up...in an renovated older building...I gotta find out a bit more about it. The place is owned by the family who owns The Field, so I may drop by and have the Fish and Chips one day.
In other words; I'll be back.
Half Door Brewing Co 903 Island Ave San Diego, CA 92101
Speaking of Beer:
We were speaking of beer, right?
The Missus's current favorite is the Chili Pepper Spicy Ale form Six Rivers Brewery. It's actually quite good with rich, gamey, stuff like duck rillettes or confit. It's no lightweight, you get a bit of citrus, then boom......nice serious heat. It's not that great with spicy food as the heat from the food nullifies the beer.
The Missus has also developed a fondness for Lays Creamy Forest Mushroom flavored potato chips. I got this as an impulse buy from Balboa Market. It does have an interesting cream of mushroom flavor......nice and savory and the Missus has taken to it.
What we didn't take to was the Rogue Sriracha Hot Stout. We like our chili beers and this one; while a decent stout, good coffee flavors really wasn't true to Sriracha.
Kind of weak and wimpy. Too bad, the Missus loves the Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar with Chocolate.
Can't win 'em all.
I often have folks send me...ummmm...."interesting photos". Like this one.
We had eaten well the night before and slept even better. The normal 5am wake up was missed and we slept in a bit.
Having your morning espresso is a good time to people watch. You gotta admit, some of these folks sure have their own...well...style. Like that guy to the right. Notice the matching outfits. Which got me to wondering...was he an accessory for the poodle, or was the poodle....well, you get the point, right?
Our first stop this morning was nearby; Esquilino Market. The area has quite an international flavor...there were quite a few Chinese businesses and we heard Mandarin being spoken from our window every evening.
There's quite a variety available.
It was a nice break.
From this point on, we past those familiar places.
I like how the place looked and later found out that the upper floors of the theatre have been converted to apartments. Pretty cool, huh? How'd you like to live in and above such an historic structure?
Trastevere and the lovely colors and lovely cobbled street turned out to be my favorite area in Rome.
I loved the lanes, the folks walking the alleyways. There seemed to be much more daily life going on here. Clothes hanging from windows, folks going on with their daily routines.
The place really has character and charm.
One turn, and suddenly we were in front of Santa Cecilia, dedicated to Saint Cecilia. The church is supposedly built upon the location of her house.
There are quite a few artifacts and artwork in the church. But it is far from being gaudy...the lines clean.
An interesting note about Saint Cecilia. She was martyred between 176 and 180 A.D. Her body was exhumed in 1599 and displayed no signs of decay! She is the first Saint whose body was found to be incorrupt.
Even though there were quite a tourists, you turn a corner and find a little alleyway that you'll have all to yourself.
There you come across little treasures like this little bakery. Which we later found out was named Biscottificio Innocenti, a very well known and regarded cookie/biscuit shop.
The Missus bought a couple and really enjoyed them.
Biscottificio Innocenti Via della Luce 21 Rome, Italy
While headed to Piazza de Santa Maria, we came across this gelato shop.
The Hazelnut Gelato I had from here was my favorite of all the gelato I tried in Rome.
Fior di Luna Via della Lungaretta 96 Rome, Italy
Of course having this refreshing gelato on the fountain steps of atmospheric Piazza di Santa Maria might have something to do with that opinion.
If Trastevere were a living organism, Piazza di Santa Maria would be its heart.
I loved the artwork of Cavallini in the apse which dates back to 1291.
By now we were getting a bit hungry, so we decided to head on back.
As we headed back toward Termini Station, I noticed the beautiful Ivy hanging on over Via Panisperna in the Monti neighborhood. Taking a look to the right, I noticed the name of a place I'd read about; Ai Tre Scalini. What luck. We were getting pretty hungry.
Basically a wine/beer bar, the place was doing some major business.
Folks seemed to be having a great time and the staff here were very friendly and helpful.
We each had a glass of wine and started in on the menu.
Knowing that we'd be having the pretty rich and hearty Roman fare for dinner, we decided on getting some charcuterie and cheese. Starting with the Salsicce al Tartufo - truffle sausage.
Which was nicely scented with truffle.
We also got the Misto Salumi e Formaggi, a huge charcuterie and cheese plate.
A nice lovely lunch.
Ai Tre Scalini Via Panisperna 251 Rome Italy
As we walked back to our room, I noticed I'd reached the point where I really started noticing things.
Soon enough, routines would start setting in. And we might even make an acquaintance or two.....
Yes, it was time for us to head out to our next stop. But not before dinner.........
Then other news came trickling in....the kitchen was going to be run by the original chef of Common Theory. 'Nuff said. So I held off on coming for a bit, but finally decided to give it a go a couple of weeks back.
It was a Sunday and the bar was full and the really nice patio area was half full....and there was one poor guy running the bar and the dining area, a really nice guy named Danny.....I felt for him.
The beer selection was a bit limited, but had 2-3 items I was ok with. I went with a Port Brewing Shark Attack Red Ale, then turned it down when my food arrived.
The menu seemed a bit pricey, but it's hard to make that determination when you haven't tried anything, so I went full steam ahead. And of course, being from Hawaii, I love my poke, so I thought it would be a good place to start ($9.50). I think for most, this would be ok. Me, well, I'm not a big fan of saku fish....that boned, skinned, pre-cut, vacuum packed, and frozen stuff has a texture I don't enjoy.
I would have appreciated a bit more shoyu and less sesame oil. And I thought the "wasabi pesto" needed more wasabi.
I went with the Garlic Parmesan Wings, which was basically simply fried wings with a dollop of a garlic-cheese paste on them.
Man, that was a not so great first visit. Still, I decided to visit again. This time I saw the sign for $1 off draft beer during "Happy Hour" - 4-6pm. It's nothing like, say, Iron Pig's half price happy hour. It was also kind of a bummer when I was told that Sculpin and the Shark Attack Red were excluded from happy hour pricing.....it's only a dollar, but really......
This time around I asked for a recommendation with regards to one of my dishes. Queried about my tolerance for "heat", the Habanero Calamari ($8.50) was recommended.
And this was probably the best item I had at Coastal Crave; tender, nice spice, cooled by a decent aioli. It was on the greasy side....but this is pub grub, right?
I also decided to try the Bone Marrow ($15).
This seemed a bit over-priced and the marrow looked really black. It wasn't too bad, but in spite of the color, there were quite a bit of red, under done parts. This actually made the Wagyu Bone Marrow at Copper Onion seem amazing.
Pretty uneven, almost like the place is over-reaching a bit. I'm glad that it seems the neighborhood folks are coming out and supporting the place, but I wish the food was a bit better and the beer selection more interesting....though I saw most people drinking Bud Light, Corona, and Shock Top......
As you can tell. I was ready to call it quits....but for some reason, I decided on one more try. I saw a nice looking sandwich go out on my previous visit, so I thought I'd order it; the Duck Melt ($13).
I really enjoyed the melted Havarti cheese, slightly milky, creamy, it really added to the sandwich. I thought the duck confit needed a bit more flavor, and the whole thing was super rich. I wish the pickles were a bit more assertive; it would have been just enough acid to cut the richness. The habanero aioli actually detracted from the overall flavor and seemed out of place. Also, the bread had been griddled a bit too long and some of the areas were bitter. The fries were nice and for some reason....maybe the acid component, the ketchup tasted really good.
The folks here seem very nice, though the service can be a bit slow.
I'm glad that places like this are opening in the neighborhood. Like I said about Luce's, I'm not the kind of guy who is just "happy to have xxxx in the neighborhood". And while the menu seems "interesting" (extra " " on this) with stuff like "Gator Cakes" on it. I'm just going to have a burger next time. I'll probably be better off. I hope.....
Coastal Crave 3065 Clairemont Dr San Diego, CA 92117
This post really underlines why I like to make multiple visits to places when possible. It's not always practical. But if a place shows promise, I try to visit more than once if possible. Iron Pig is a good example, though sometimes it takes a while.
Back in November, Iron Pig Alehouse opened in PB; you can read Kirbie's post on the place. soon after opening, I visited with a friend of mine.....
And while the service was nice and the beer selection decent; I thought the meal left a lot to be desired.
From the nicely flavored but rubbery skinned smoked wings, to the baby backs with a decent rub, but quite dry and mealy texture, to the mushy brisket. The sauce seemed what my friends would call "competition sauce".....tasting like a doctored up base. Not bad mind you, just quite generic.
And yet, there seemed some potential here; the flavor of the wings were quite good........
So it took me six months to convince my biggest BBQ critic, the Missus ("your rubs is too bitter"...."the ribs you made are too dry"......."that pork butt needs to be smoked a bit longer") to check out Iron Pig. And we're glad we did.
Take a look at this version of the smoked wings ($9.99).
Nice and crisp, smoky, perhaps edging on being too salty, but I'll never complain about anything being too smoky. The wings were also moist and tender....just about perfect for us.
Of course the Missus "needed" a salad....sigh.....but, She made the right choice in ordering the "Man Salad" ($12.99).
Our Server/bartender was awesome.....she actually warned us that the "salad has French fries on it....and some folks take exception to that!" Really? It's ok to have fries in the burrito, but not in a salad? This was a huge salad. The blue cheese, brisket (much better than previously encountered), and arugula worked really well for us.
The only item we both didn't care for were the rib tips. I'm a big rib tip fan....I love maneuvering around the chewy cartilage, through all that rich fatty tissue, and the burnt crust for that perfect bite. This was too mushy, mild, and frankly ruined by all that sauce. You really didn't get the joy of having a nice rib tip. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but crunchy, crusty, fatty, rib tips just do well on their own with sauce on the side.
Overall, we had a nice meal. The service was very friendly....actually, I wish I got the name of our bartender/server. She was awesome. I'm sure we'll be back...especially since most draft beers are half price during Happy Hour. I need to have those wings again.....just to see....which version is the norm.
Iron Pig Alehouse 1520 Garnet Ave San Diego, CA 92109
I woke at 530am on our second morning in Utah. The previous day, had been quite amazing....well, the views, not the food. We decided to head off to a district of the massive (337,598 acres) Canyonlands National Park, known as Island in the Sky, a mesa that towers a thousand feet over the rugged and picturesque terrain below. I got the Missus up at around 6am....we showered, packed up and headed out into the dark morning.....pretty much like the day before. This time though, our target was much closer, a bit over 30 miles or so away. The classic location for viewing the sunrise in the Island in the Sky district is the Mesa Arch which frames the East rising sun. We had run into maybe two cars on our drive to the Mesa Arch, but were surprised when the parking lot was almost full! Taking the short half mile walk to the arch, we could see an entire line of paparazzi folks with camera gear already set-up!
It was crazy. I heard one guy telling another he'd camped out overnight and got to his "spot" to set-up at 5am! Serious folks!
I just headed off to the side to photograph the dramatic sunrise.
The Missus hung back and took a photo of the sunrise through the Mesa Arch.
And while it was a bit of a hazy morning, the views were still quite dramatic.
We walked back to the car and headed off to the Grand View Point Overlook and took the 3 mile hike around the rim of the mesa.
I really enjoyed this hike. The views were just stunning. I probably enjoyed this more than the Delicate Arch, which was the Missus' favorite.
You can see for miles in the distance; view the amazing terrain, and just try to take it all in.
The hike is easy, you can read more about it here and here.
And no, there aren't any fences or barriers......which just adds to the drama. (Click on the photos to enlarge)
We made one last short stop at the Shafer Canyon Overlook, before hitting the road and making the 200 mile trip back to Salt Lake City.
I made a short stop in Green River to refuel, then drove all the way through.
Our destination? The rather hip neighborhood in SLC called Sugar House. During our stop at Whole Foods a couple of nights back. I got into a nice conversation with the very friendly young lady at the deli counter. When I mentioned we were from San Diego...she bent over and whispered; "do you like to drink beer???" I whispered back, "we sure do....but why are we whispering?"
Anyway, she recommended a stop at the Annex by Epic Brewing. So that's where we went. The place has this "club license" which means they can serve alcohol without having to serve food. The server was really nice and explained things to us...took our IDs and scanned them and did the whole thing.
I would have really enjoyed this place except for one thing....the bartender was a jerk. Apparently he didn't like us, and decided to serve and chat to his "friends" rather than pour us our beer, which took 25 minutes to get to us. Other than the three people at the bar, the place was totally empty. I think the last straw was when a group of eight came in after us and got their drinks before us. Even our server profusely apologized telling us, "I'm sorry, but I don't have control over pouring your beer". Too bad, my Belgian Style Golden Ale was quite nice.
I felt really bad for our server when I told her, "I think we'll be headed out." And asked for the check....so I left her a nice tip...after all, it wasn't her fault the wanna be hipster behind the bar was a jerk. Nuff said.
The Annex by Epic Brewing 1048 E 2100 S Salt Lake City, UT 84106
In retrospect, maybe it was fate that drove us from the Annex to Wasatch Brew Pub next door.
This place was a bit more busy and our server was wonderful. I also loved the names of the beer; Chasing Tail Golden Ale, anyone? This almost made me forget I was in SLC.
And then the Missus saw the beer I "just had to order".... the Polygamy Porter on Nitro....yep, you heard that right. I just can't help but crack up. I loved the glass....in fact, the Missus and I should have bought a couple for our friends. And then there's the beer's tagline; "Why have just one...." You gotta love it...
This was pretty light, mild coffee, nice and creamy from the nitro. Not the best Porter I've had....but surely one of the best names!
The Missus ordered the Jalapeno Cream Ale, which was quite good. Unlike a lot of chile beers, this one had a nice kick that came through. Great fragrance of jalapenos as well. It went well with the food we had.
The Shishito Peppers could have been roasted a bit more.
But the Missus really enjoyed it.....the portion size was quite large. It needed a bit more salt, but the peppers were really fresh. Some of the larger, older ones had a bit of sneaky heat as well.
The Missus really wanted more veggies and we had dinner reservation for what I thought was going to be a rather rich meal, so I didn't veto the "Super Food Beet Salad". The beets were really tasty, having that balanced sweetness I really enjoy. The vinaigrette was nice, slightly citrusy, never getting in the way of the ingredient's flavors.
I honestly have to say; I'm still not a fan of fruits in my salad...especially mandarin oranges...though the Missus enjoys them.
In the end, I'm glad we ended up here. The service was pleasant, the food, while nothing special was ok, and we got a couple of good laughs as well. The beer will not make you forget about San Diego, but you'll never forget that sign.....
Wasatch Brew Pub 2110 Highland Dr Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Thanks to Cathy, you probably didn't even notice I was gone for a few days, did ya?
A few weeks back, I could tell that the Missus, who had been working really hard was just itchin' for a trip. I had just finished watching an episode of Inside Man...a rarity for me since I've been too busy to watch television over the last couple of months. The episode was about America's National Parks. When the little tidbit about the average age of the typical visitor to a National Park was mentioned, I was shocked. Can you guess what it was? 57? I recall living vicariously thru the stories that kids I knew whose parents would take them to Yellowstone, or some other national park over the summer would tell. We were too poor to travel, but I'd always told myself "someday....." The Missus had been wanting to visit Arches National Park for a while; so I guess "someday" had arrived.
So I quickly planned our escape. An evening flight to Salt Lake City. I decided to stay in Provo since it would cut off an hour of our drive time. We'd be getting to Provo by about 830 pm or so. I did a bit of research to see what was open after 9pm......yikes....not much in Provo or Orem. So what I decided to do was to take an extra hour out, head to Whole Foods in Salt Lake, grab a salad, some nuts(which would keep us the whole weekend), some charcuterie, and head to Provo. So our first real interaction with folks in Utah was at Whole Foods and let me tell you....I just couldn't believe how really nice the two young ladies who helped us were. I'll have more on the young lady at the deli counter later. Strangely, Whole Foods was almost totally empty, at 730 pm...so were the streets of downtown Salt Lake City. We loved the Residence Inn in Provo, full fridge, sofa, living room...even though we'd only be staying the night it made us feel at home.
We headed out before 6 am the next morning. It was hard to see much since the sun didn't come up until almost 7 am.
The drive was interesting....we saw unmelted ice by the side of the roads....snow had fallen as recently as the week before we arrived and if I recall correctly, more snow is set to fall there Wednesday into Thursday this week!
We stopped for fuel, some vitamin D, and a good stretching of our legs in Price.
We arrived at the gates of Arches National Park at around 845am, and managed to drive past the gates by 9am. The Missus wanted to check out the Visitor's Center so we made a stop there. Here's the deal. We had made no plans (except for one must see) and decided just to let the road be our guide. I knew it was going to be amazing just by the view out the window of the Visitor's Center.
I had printed a map earlier, off the National Park Service Website. Maps tell you distance, you can determine location....but they don't indicate what the area looks like. Which was pretty darn beautiful.
We stopped at the trailhead called "Park Avenue" because it resembles the towers that line the famous boulevard in Manhattan.
We then drove just a short distance when I couldn't help but stop and just look in wonder.
In this panoramic shot (click on to enlarge), you can see "the Organ" (second from the right) and the "Three Gossips" (three little nubs to the left of the Organ).
If you ever visit, Balanced Rock should be a must stop. there's an easy short trail...we saw a woman using a walker on the trail. It's pretty amazing.....the Missus kept saying "who knows.....this might just fall and crumble any day now" during the entire time here.
There's this strange sense of scale when looking at these large sandstone formations...it really doesn't look that large from a distance....but up close..... So including people in our photos actually helps to illustrate scale.
From Balanced Rock, it gets a bit more crowded. After all, the Windows area is a must stop.
This is another very easy trail. You can visit the North and South "Window" and also the Turret Arch across the way, via a very easy trail.
It's a very popular area.
As is the "Double Arch" (right across the parking lot), two arches that meet at a single spot....formed by water in a "pothole" according to the signage.
My favorite view were the formations named "Parade of the Elephants"....which really looked like elephants!
Our next stop was the one the Missus was really looking forward to. It meant stopping near an area called Wolfe Ranch. Near here is a side trail where you can view petroglyphs......one of my favorite sites on this trip.
Beyond this point lay what the Missus wanted to see. It was easy trail to this point. Beyond this was a fairly steep trail of what they call "slickrock". Still, I saw many a mom and dad making their way up the side of the mountain with a baby strapped to their back. Granted, they were decades younger than me....but still......
The big payoff here was a close-up view of a iconic symbol of the state of Utah. the Delicate Arch.
It is striking....and as the Missus said, "you know.....this might just fall and crumble any day now!"
The descent was actually harder on my joints than the ascent. But we finally made it back to the car and onward to Moab. I wasn't really inspired by any location in Moab, so I let the Missus choose. She decided on Moab Brewery.
Utah has some of the most restrictive alcohol laws in the US. And Moab Brewery is located almost at the end of the one major thoroughfare, Main Street.
We decided to eat in the bar area. The woman who served us was so nice. We asked about the local liquor restrictions and apologized for not quite knowing it. Her reply, "oh, no problem......I tell everyone who is not a local anyway, so they know." Anyway, anything draft is less than 4 percent ABV, you can get bottled beer, which is considered "liquor", as in hard liquor. There are "tasters", but no "flights".
Anyway, I went with a Hefeweizen, which was decent, non-descript, fairly generic, though quite refreshing.
We weren't too hungry and decided on two things......
Starting with the Jalapeno Beer Fries ($6.59).
We both actually enjoyed this. The Jalapeno Powder gave this a bit of a "kick", the fries had been dusted with flour and were crisp. The "beer sauce" was like nacho cheese with salsa....but was strangely addictive...in a "college dorm room" kind of way.
We also ordered the Gazpacho Salad with Grilled Chicken ($9.99).
The vinaigrette was decent, this hit the spot as we wanted something cold and light for lunch.
The service was nice, the food...well, I've had much worse in San Diego.
Moab Brewery 686 S Main St Moab, UT 84532
And so we hit the magical hour of check-in. Which we did....followed by a short nap.
Upon getting up, we decided to head back to Arches for the sunset.
First we visited the area called the "Garden of Eden".
Then it was off to the Windows for the sunset.
The difference in views and how things look at various times of the day is fascinating. Also, you start noticing more on your second visit.
And so we watched the sunset from the Turret Arch.......
Thank you for stopping to read mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Kirk is out and about today and so is Ed (from Yuma), so Cathy is writing a short post.
Continuing my quest of stopping at bars and pubs near the Jack MurphySan Diego Chargers football stadium, McGregors was noticed one weekday.The frontage faces North and around noon, the sun is just right above the buildings in this mall, located a block West of the San Diego Mission and in the first block East of the football stadium.During the week, you walk right up to the end of the bar area (above), order, pay and have a seat; the food will find you.There is a billiard/pool table area with shuffleboard and darts. Plenty of seating inside and out in front.Above, the 1/2 lb corned beef sandwich ($11.25) on grilled rye with Swiss cheese and a spicy (horseradish) mustard. Really good, lean corned beef; this sandwich could be shared (and it was).One Friday during Lent, I was alone and decided the 'Seafood Combo' ($8.95) would be a good choice. Homemade clam chowder bowl (excellent) and aBaja fish taco (fresh, crispy with a light beer batter), made this a perfect meal.Another visit had me trying a bowl of the homemade chili ($6.75) which was a really filling, tasty meal. The spices were perfect, and even the black beans were complimentary along with the meaty chunks of coarse ground chuck.The half spinach salad ($6.25) is also a perfect size for a meal. Baby spinach leaves and plenty of crispy, thick chopped smoky bacon pieces topped with a house made Dijon based salad dressing made this a very good choice. The other day, The Mister and decided to share a McGregor Burger ($8.25). A 1/3 lb burger made with fresh (never frozen, as are the burgers at all the bar-pubs in this part of town) ground beef, served with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, grilled onion and pickles as well as a choice of sides (you can see we chose the onion rings). This was a very good burger and was cooked to a medium-rare, as requested. The beer battered onion rings were excellent...whomever works the fryer here is an expert.
There are still a few more bar-pubs in the area, and I'll be 'researching' those soon. Have a great weekend!
McGregors Grill & Ale House 10475 San Diego Mission Road San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 282-9797 Website
It was actually a nice walk. The sky was overcast, but it never rained.
We crossed the Willamette on the Burnside Bridge and passed the iconic Portland White Stag sign.
Traffic looked pretty heavy along Burnside.
You could tell spring was approaching as the Cherry Blossoms were starting to bloom. It was quite a lovely sight.
Our destination was a restaurant named Davenport, which I had read used local ingredients in simple dishes, with excellent and refined technique. The idea is to let the ingredients shine. The Chef Kevin Gibson is a semi-finalist for the James Beard; Best Chef: Northwest category.
There area couple of interesting things about the place, there's no large sign, you have to find 2215 East Burnside, then look for the "red door". Also, the phone conversation for making reservations was, well, interesting.....a woman picked up the phone with simply "hello"...... I had to ask if this was Davenport. At the end of the process, I noticed they hadn't asked for a phone number, so I inquired if they needed one. The answer, "no....if you show up, you show up...if you don't, you don't." Ok.... Well, we did show up.
The menu is ever changing.....in fact, it changes almost everyday.
We loved the menu and it was quite easy to choose our courses.
We had heard that Co-owner Kurt Heilemann curates an amazing wine list. So we asked our server, who was just perfect, efficient, professional, but not stuffy if he would select a glass to pair with each dish.
I will say, that even though I'm not an oenophile, I really enjoyed the pairings. I'm not going to go into detail about the wine, though I will say, the first glass...that Riesling, pared with the foie gras mousse was just perfect. It was without a doubt the best pairing of the evening. When I mentioned how beautiful the stemware was, our server told us it's hand-blown Zalto stemware.
The foie gras mousse was nice, smooth, rich, all you could ever want.
The pate was good, quite refined, balanced in flavor.....perhaps a bit too perfect. Loved the bits of hazelnut which gave it a nice contrasting texture.
For us, it was the pickled sunchokes that really got our attention, great crunch, perfect flavor. The salad was my least favorite....it tasted like it had been dressed with plain white vinegar, as it was way too sour; the pomegranate seeds didn't help adding another layer of tart and tannic flavor to everything.
The rapini, which was beautifully charred, bitterness subdued, smokey flavor enhanced was wonderful.
The addition of the breadcrumbs which added more crunch, only to be balanced with the boiled egg white and richness of the egg yolk just elevated the dish in my opinion. The anchovy was a bit too strong for the dish as just a squeeze of lemon was perfect.
We finished with the grilled lamb shoulder.
Slightly toothsome, but still tender enough considering it was shoulder. The lamb flavor made the perfect, "yes, you are eating lamb" statement. It was perfectly seasoned, a bit too rare for the Missus, but I loved it. The salsa verde really didn'y play into the flavors for me.
Overall, a very nice meal. In terms of service and timing, things were just perfect for us. While we enjoyed our meal, which was good, nothing really extended it into the "great" territory for us. Now the prices, well the food only came out to $60! The wine at $45 almost matched the price of the food. We weren't complaining though as in terms of cost, we thought this to be a reasonably priced meal.
Next time, I think something more along the lines of Le Pigeon would be the Missus's cup of tea.
Davenport 2215 East Burnside Portland, OR 97214
Of course, we weren't quite ready to call it a night. Candice had recommended that we stop in at Belmont Station. So the Missus decided we needed to work off at least a portion of our dinner....so add another mile-and-a-half to the tab. The streets looked rather dark on SE Stark Street and Belmont Station shone like a pearl in the night.
Basically an amazing bottle shop, with a huge 1200+ bottle list. Connected to the shop is the "Biercafe" which has a nice selection of items on tap.
Our "beertender" was a very nice...cool guy. The Missus got a sour and I ordered something that looked quite interesting - the New Belgium Cocoa Mole Spiced Strong Dark Ale. I was asked if I like "interesting flavors" and said yes. The guy behind the bar said, "folks here either love it or instantly dislike it". Me, I loved it....
Like a pseudo porter, with a pronounced chili-chocolate aroma. Since I love chili beers, I really enjoyed this. Mild spice that very slowly intensified, but never really got too hot. The flavor was quite complex. Even the Missus, who is not a big fan of porters really enjoyed this one.
It was a nice way to end our evening.
Belmont Station 4500 SE Stark St Portland, OR 97215
By this time, the Missus had figured I'd done enough walking for the day and decided we could catch the bus back. She did have a change of heart as we crossed the Belmont Bridge and decided to ring for a stop. But after all the walking I had done that day. The stroll back to the hotel was nothing.
Such is a typical day for us when travelling...lots of walking and lots of good food....and drinks!
Thank you for stopping to read mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Today, Cathy is writing, because Kirk is just too busy and has no time to write, while Ed (from Yuma) is doing something associated with retirement (in Yuma) .
Yes, there are many, many,many small 'pubs' near the Jack MurphySan Diego Chargers football stadium.Each of these purveyors of adult beverages are open during daylight hours and serve food. I did post about Camel's Breath Inn back in 2009, am now less fearful of taking photos and figure an update is due.
People familiar with the area of Friars Road East of the Stadium may have noticed an Armstrong Nursery just along Friars road, with a Stuart Anderson's Black Angus Steakhouse on the corner. Camel's Breath Inn is located with other businesses in that parking lot. There's a theme to the decor here. There are specials listed on the chalkboard (to the left in the third photo up) and usually there's a placard on the tables. This is a link to a current menu. We were here on a Sunday (but not during football season, when there are even more specials between 9 and 10 a.m.). Brunch was available.However, The Mister wanted a burger and ordered a 'build your own burger'($9). The 1/2 lb hand formed fresh ground beef patty, topped with His choices of cheese, avocado and mushrooms along with the standard lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles (bacon as well as a number of other items are choices and all for the same price). The burger comes with a choice of sides and, as you can see, slaw it was. The burger was cooked to a medium rare char on a flat top grill, was very good flavored. The lightly toasted sesame seeded bun was fresh and held up to the burger and toppings. The slaw here is very good. Still on my Benedict craving, the carnitas Benedict (alternately called a 'pulled pork' Benedict on the table menu) ($8) was my choice. Placed on top of a sliced and toasted slider bun, the large amount of in house cooked pork carnitas, topped with two perfectly poached eggs and a house made Hollandaise, was just right on that chilly morning. The sides of refried beans and home fried potatoes were plentiful and most were taken home as leftovers that day.
The food and atmosphere here are improved over our previous visits. There is a definite competition between the 'taverns' in the one mile radius area (yes, there will be more posts) with more quality food as well as beverage offerings.
Camel's Breath Inn 10330 Friars Road, #106 San Diego 92120 (619)281-1722 website