Sunday, June 25, 2017

San Diego, Day 2 - Brunch and Beer

For our second and final day in San Diego, we made sure to celebrate a successful conclusion to our lightning trip, we decided to find a good brunch place.  We hadn't really looked before driving, but we knew that we wanted to be close to the airport, so that was where we concentrated our efforts.  In our wandering, we came across Liberty Station, a park, commerce, and art center located on the former NTC San Diego which closed in 1997.  It is a beautiful area with a large park and many of the former military buildings being repurposed.  Looking for a place to eat we found that we had several potential candidates located around the twisting roads of the former Navy base.  The first place we came across was a place called Soda & Swine, a restaurant that specialized in Meatball Sandwiches and eclectic sodas in a vintage space.  It looked really interesting but it wasn't quite open when we found it, and as we were leaving in the early afternoon, we really didn't have time to wait, so we continued our search.  We next came across Breakfast Republic, a breakfast place with creative dishes, a good beer list, and quite a bit of buzz.  This sounded really good so we decided to stop and try it out.  It seems though, that it was also very popular, because there would be a half an hour wait for a table.  We didn't really have time to wait, so this was out.  We noticed though, while walking from the car another place that was close called Fireside by the Patio.  We had no idea what to expect, but we also didn't have a tremendous amount of time, so we decided to dive in.  We first walked to what was apparently the rear patio, which was walled off, so we ended up walking halfway around the patio to find the entrance.  From what we could see from the outside, it looked pretty nice, something that was proven when we found the entrance.  The place had two large patios, one on either side of the building. Each was semi-covered with canvas tops, but there were no real walls, so it felt very open.  Fences, hedges, and stacked wood designated the boundaries and showed the entrance, so there was a very specific entrance. There were also several gas torches to provide heat (It was in the 60s, so while it wasn't cold, a little heat was appreciated).  The brick building between the patios, which held a very nice bar, a few tables, and the kitchen, was open on both sides and had a high ceiling, so it felt very open as well.  We were seated on the rear patio, where we approached the restaurant in the first place.  We wanted to sit near one of the torches, so we were seated next to the children's play area which looked so cool, I almost wanted to play there myself.  It had a wooden boat, a large wooden connect four game, a bags (cornhole) game, and what looked like a lot of wooden blocks.  There weren't many kids at the restaurant, so it wasn't an issue, but it did look like it would be a lot of fun.
 (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.
In addition to my excellent skillet, I saw something on the sides list that I had to have.  It was a Peruvian Potato Salad with Charred Green Beans.  Peru has over 3000 types of potato, but what is referred to as Peruvian Potatoes when they show up on a menu are purple potatoes, which is what these were.  They were cooked, like the vegetables, long enough to achieve some tenderness, but not long enough to let them lose their fresh crispness.  The beans, however, were very crisp, with a good char flavor.  I have to think that they were grilled very quickly on a very hot grill just long enough to get some solid grill marks.  They were mixed together in a typical mayonnaise based sauce and it was very good.  (The Brisket Benedict can be seen in the background with the Breakfast Potatoes).
After this good and hearty brunch, it was time to get to the airport, for our return.  We made it through everything very quickly which left us with over an hour before our flight was to leave, so we decided to finish things off at 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.


No comments:

Post a Comment