Circa opened in April of this year, taking over the former Farm house Café location on Adams Ave.in University Heights. Owner / Chef Mike Almos has created a warm neighborhood restaurant serving locally sourced comfort food to a blues / Jazz soundtrack courtesy the restaurant’s vinyl collection.
The interior is warm and relaxed, keeping some of the Farmhouse’s accoutrements, like the table and chairs while adding its own identity and touches, like the reclaimed wood bar.
Wall boxed herbs The warmth of Analog.
Local Craft beer plays a big part in the restaurant, not only making up the majority of the beverage program, but also being incorporated as an ingredient into quite a few of the restaurant’s menu items .
Note ~ Mike is the brother in-law of my friend Alex and has never failed to show up at family events without a few growlers in tow, so it’s natural his passion and knowledge of local craft beer would have a home in his concept.
Young Greens ~ locally grown butter leaf lettuce, poblano cornbread, goat cheese,
green tomato dressing with ‘wall-greens’ basil.
Home-brew Braised Bratwurst ~ house-made hopped brat, pale ale pan jus, sauerkraut, grain mustard.
Note ~ this is a must order app.
sautéed Baja White Shrimp ~ Tomato, basil leaves, house-made farmer’s cheese, Belgian blonde broth.
Succotash & Brussels Sprouts ~ Sweet corn, brussel leaves, green beans, vegetable broth, maple glazed pork belly.
Note ~ OK we all know pork belly rocks but the succotash in this dish stole the show. Every vegetable was perfectly cooked and could be tasted distinctly while still working in unison with the dish.
Deep breath those were just the apps. (there were two of us)
Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder ~ Achiote marinade, plantains, yams, organic dates, herbed pan jus.
Chicken & Dumplings ~ Mary’s chicken, Belgian blonde ale, root vegis, gold potatoes,
sweet peas, fresh sage.
Note ~ Chicken cooked vegetables and ale, Once finished meat removed, carcass, skin, and pan jus used to make stock, dumplings also cooked in stock to absorb additional flavor. OK Chef explained it better but the actual complexity of assembling a deceptively simple dish shines through in the depth and clarity of its flavors while still remaining lite.
OK now some out of focus dessert pictures. I blame the onset of Postprandial somnolence or “Food Coma” taking hold.
Banana Split ~ Bananas Foster, fresh berries, agave nectar,
spiced date vanilla bean ice cream
Berries & Cream ~ Fresh berries, fig balsamic syrup, pistachio ice cream, white cake.
Note ~ Oh and they make all their own ice cream.
If your down in University Heights or the area I would highly recommend stopping by Circa for elevated comfort food, made with top quality ingredients, executed right.
Even after our little hedonistic plunge we left not feeling bloated or stuffed because even though it was a lot of food it was not laden with salt and fat. Instead the flavor came from the product and the execution.
2121 Adams ave.
San Diego CA 92116