(Photo credit to Julia Farmer)I started things off with a cocktail, that while not very standard, sounded very fresh and good. As might be expected of me for those that know me, I did order a Gin cocktail. Called a Liberty Libation, it contained Ford's Gin, Grand Poppy California Amaro, Basil, Cucumber, Lime, and Crushed Black Pepper. It was very botanical and actually kind of floral as one might expect of an amaro made from poppies. Cucumber, Basil and Lime are all common mixers with Gin. I would expect the cucumber and basil to work together, and the black pepper should have and did work well with the cucumber. What I did not expect was the lime to work well with the cucumber. The drink was kind of a cross between a gin and tonic and another classic gin drink and they worked well together. My dining partner had a flight of Bloody Marys which were also very good. One focused on Cucumber, one on Smoke, and the last was a classic with Celery.
(Photo Credit to Julia Farmer)The food at Fireside by the Patio focuses on Grilled and Wood Fired cuisine, even with brunch. Being in Southern California, there is also a lot of fresh vegetables on the menu. For my main course, I went with a Pork Shoulder Skillet with White Beans, Roasted Tomatillos, Jalapeno, Onions, Two Eggs Over-Medium, and Corn Tortillas. This was very good with a lot of very tender pork that was pulled. The vegetables were cooked long enough to tenderize them somewhat, but not long enough for them to lose their crispness. The eggs, I requested over-medium, because while I do like some yolk, I also like my white a little harder. The Corn Tortillas were very warm and fresh. My only complaint with the entire dish being that there should have been more of tortillas. We also had an excellent Brisket Benedict with Roasted Corn, Poached Egg, and Foccaccia, and served with Breakfast Potatoes and a Biscuit with Whipped Butter and Jam on the side.
Stone Brewing's Airport Outpost. The good thing about visiting a brewery's local outpost (as opposed to finding it in a store or in a bar) is that it will likely be fresher and you will likely find something that you wouldn't be able to find anywhere else. We finished things off with a Collaboration Beer between Stone and Maine Beer Company (a collaboration in which I would be very interested in finding out how that happened) called Dayslayer India Pale Lager and a hoppy Lager called Who You Callin' Wussie? made by Arrogant Brewing, a side project of Stone. It was a great finish to a to a good and quick trip. I am definitely going to have to find a reason to return so I can explore some more.