Beltane RanchWine Dinner Report, The Miller’s Table ~ Oceanside

So, first off hung over, second off probably one of the best wine dinners I have been to…and I have been to a lot.

The thing that set it off was the quality of the wine, the wine maker, which I will expand on and the company, both staff and attendees.

The one thing that the miller’s Table does right (actually they do a lot of things right) is create a warm communal atmosphere. I had fun, I actually had an experience that will go into my mental book as “Yep, I liked that”

Lets start with the players….

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Right to left (yep going in reverse) ~ Gideon Ezra Moore ( I am friends with his brother and both are talented as hell), Anthony ( who is insanely talented and a hard ass working mother fucker..there will be cursing) in the middle we have Stacy Miller (hence the name) owner / proprietor / Chef / all around awesome person, Next the Beltane team wife and husband, Chef and Wine maker Joy and Kevin. They were new to me but so impressed.

 

Ok, so the wine. the biggest take away was their wines were great and balanced. That is what I look for in a wine ..balance from top note to finish.

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So, I started with whites as a wine nube and then got into really hard reds and blends (I love me some blends). Now I am back to whites and rose. This was the 2104 Estate Sauvignon Blanc “Drummond Block” This is a good wine.

 

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“Barbeque” Fried Cauliflower

So this was Cauliflower in an egg wash and deep-fried, topped with herbs. The thing I liked (and this goes for all Chef Joys dishes) she respected the vegetable. It did not taste fried, tons of natural flavor. I ate like 10 of these:)

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Crab Deviled Eggs ~ Charred redicchio and winter greens, Prager brothers baguette.

So, devil eggs strike fear into my heart for a few reasons…one to many holiday with white trash versions and now hipster overplayed. These were none of those, they were fresh and light. Now the star of this dish was the veg. Again Chef Joy shines at vegetables. The redicchio was charred which lent a lot to offsetting the bitterness (bitterness is a good thing by the way and countered the sweetness of the crab.)

rib-1-of-1 Braised Beef Short Rib ~ Winter Beans and root vegetables.

Another great dish. Perfect fork tender short ribs and again the veg. It was sweet and rich meat against perfect al dente beans.

served with 2013 Zinfandel “Heins Block”

I am not a fan of zins Opal does some great ones as do these guys. Well balanced (see again with that word) This was a big wine and a perfect pair with the rib. Chocolate and fruit..basically everything good.

 

Lets talk Cheese plate..a simple thing yet not.

Two words “Smoked honey” forget what you know because that will change your life …this is what I compare all honey to now going forward.

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Cheese plate

So look everything was great but I wanna direct your attention to the cheese in the upper left and the honey in the middle..that shit will change your life.

Again served with another great wine 2014 Fume Bob. I would say not a dessert wine and not a resling ..kinda inbetween..another great wine.

So, I do not want to gush but I think this was one of the best dinners I have been to. And (yep I started with and, get over it) this was one of my favorites. The reason the Chef and Wine Maker from Beltane and of course the crew from Miller’s Table, but also the guests. Everyone was into it.

If this was a start to 2017 I am down:)

Beltane Ranch

Miller’s Table

Oh, and by the way this was one of my favorite things to write about:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole Pig Roast Jan. 14th 12-4 @ Biga

First Annual Hog Roast at Biga

Come join Biga, The Red Door and Edwin Real from Eating and Drinking in San Diego as we celebrate the best local flavors and products at our First Annual Hog Roast!

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Tickets Here

We have four amazing participating chefs, all well-versed in sourcing locally and creating unique and ever-changing menu items. They are Tae Dickey from Biga, Willy Eick from 608 Restaurant, Evan Cruz from Arterra and Drew Bent from the upcoming Lola 55.

We will be roasting a whole hog, provided by Heart & Trotter, in our wood-burning ovens. Heart & Trotter will also be hosting a hog butchering demo for those who are interested!

We will have freshly prepared charcuterie, accompanied by Biga’s unique, woodfired Heritage Bread.

Poor House and Abnormal Brewing will be taking over our beer taps.

A wine tasting will be hosted by Regal Wine.

Cost per ticket is $30 if purchased before January 13 and $35 at the door. Each ticket includes food and one drink. Additional beer will be $3 each and additional wine will be $4 each.

Biga

650 6th Ave. Suite C, San Diego

North County 2016 ~ A look back

So, while 2016 did not see the growth explosion of new places opening  that 2015 did, it did see some important restaurants open and trends take hold or fade.

While this post is too short to be all-inclusive, it hits on what I think was important to the North County food scene over the last year. You know things are good when you really have to edit your self. Other wise it would be “Things I love in North County, see entire website.”

I am going to start with some of the most important restaurant openings in North County (IMO).

Campfire ~ Carlsbad

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Campfire is important for a number of reasons. One it is a great restaurant and would be right at home in the East Village, North Park or Little Italy’s  Food scene. Two, along with Land and Water Company it adds a second ingredient driven, properly sourced, foodie destination restaurant to the mainly touristy, mediocre Carlsbad Village food scene. Lastly, along with Carruth Cellar’s tasting room and Babba Coffee, it is helping to revitalize the north end of state street.

608 ~ Oceanside

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Opening in June of this year 608 brought upscale food in a comfortable setting to Oceanside, and at a price point that made it accessible. Chef Will Eick, in my opinion, is one of San Diego’s most talented young Chefs. He is bringing fine dinning techniques and ingredients and making them approachable. He also just introduced a seven course tasting menu option on the weekends offering the first non Omakase tasting menu option in Oceanside.

Belching Beaver Tavern and Grill ~ Vista

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Like Campfire did in Carlsbad, Belching Beaver joined the Flying Pig and added another farm to table, high calibre restaurant to the growing Vista food scene. Combine that with a talented Chef who focuses on farming and teaching children about food, where it comes from and how to grow it, you can not help love the place. Their beer is alright too:)

It is constantly on my visit, when I can list.

There were quite a few trends in the national food scene that were also seen in North County.

Some have hit their peak…

Fast Casual Poki restaurants. The trend actually hit last year and made its way to San Diego and in turn North County in 2016. You have Wicked Poki, Sunshine Japanese Food, and Poke Poke in Oceanside, Poke Waii in San Marcos, and soon to be opening PokeWan in Carlsbad. I think from the ones I have been to, Poki Poki is the best. If you want higher caliber, chef made Hawaiian food and Poke, I suggest checking out Lanai in Leucadia or Yoshino Japanese Deli in Carlsbad for Poke and Japanese.

Some trends are just continuing to grow…

The Artisanal Coffee / Tea scene has continued to show no sign of stopping for years now. It has finally hit Carlsbad and Oceanside. I should not say finally hit, but grown. The major players that have shown up recently are Banana Dang!, Loose Leaf Tea, Sleeping Tiger, Revolution Roasters, Copa Vida and Steady State Roasting. Who join a number of great coffee houses already in the area. For the first time, in its four-year history, Caffeine Crawl has added two North County routes in Oceanside and Carlsbad that are set to kick off this years San Diego event in January.

Caffeine Crawl San Diego

Declining and rising…

I think the fast casual Gourmet Burger explosion of the last few years is dying down. Not that I think these places will go away, I just feel you will not see as much of a proliferation of places like Habit Burger, Burger Lounge, and Pure Burger as you have.

I think the pendulum is on the up swing for fast casual healthy options like Lemonade, Flower Child, True Food Kitchen, Tender Greens and the like.

Best Dishes of the Year…

This is hard, but because these spring to mind instantly, I have to go with them. Two are from San Diego but deserve mentioning.

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Spicy Scallop Nigiri ~ Wrench and Rodent (Oceanside)

Made for me by Alex, this dish was perfect. Just a slight heat from the red Cyclops Farms jalapenos, and melt in your mouth scallops from Catalina Offshore.

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Pan Seared Opah ~ Flying Pig . (Oceanside)

This was a nightly special, beautiful Opah ( one of my favorite, if not favorite, fish) on red farro and micro greens.

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1 year Anniversary BBQ plate ~ Flying Pig (Vista)

Everything you could want (especially me) on a plate. Perfect Tr-Tip, Pork Loin, and Brisket, cooked over open flame and served with veggies and mash.

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Coop De Ville Chicken Sandwich ~ Crack Shack (SD but soon coming to Encinitas)

Apply named Crack Shack, so good. One of the best fried chicken sandwiches ever.

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Chicken Skin Sandwich ~ Biga (SD)

You think it would be heavy because the main ingredient is chicken skin, nope light and flavorful. I plan to return to Biga for dinner in the new year.

 

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Char Grilled Oysters ~ Campfire (Carlsbad)

Great dish that reminds me of oyster festivals on the sound in Washington State. I get this every time.

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Pork Belly ~ 608 (Oceanside)

I love me some pork and this is a perfect pork belly dish. It is smoked before curing (usually it is the other way around.) making it full of porky goodness.

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Assorted Cookies ~ The Cravory (Carlsbad)

Their cookies will change your life, they changed mine. You can get them at their shop in Bressi Ranch, or in Oceanside at Banana Dang! Favorites are the Red Velvet or Birthday Cake.

Special places that I was so happy to discover this year...

El Chapin

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Authentic and delicious Guatemalan food that can not be beat.

Sitaram

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Family run, fixed daily menu, vegetarian, Indian restaurant that needs to be tried by all.

 

What I’m looking forward to next year….

Trying 608’s tasting menu, Flying Pig’s Brewery, That Boy Good / Alpine Brewing restaurant and  brewery, LTH’s second concept , and much, much, more.

What you can look for from North County Food. A 3 to 4 chef “Dessert Dinner” at Petite Madeline for Oceanside Valentines Week. Another Chef Wine Dinner in March / April, and of course more restaurant highlights.

There you go a short recap of a great year food wise. Happy holidays to all and thanks for your support.

 

 

Vamos A Texacoco ~ Vista

With my move into my new place closer to Vista, you will see more reports from that area. One place I have been meaning to go back and report on is Vamos A Texacoco. What sets them apart from other taco shops is their menu. It’s all about the BBQ Lamb here and that is what you should be ordering. They also serve goat as well as huitlacoche ( corn mushroom or fungus) and zucchini flower quesadillas.

Vamos A Texaco is a nondescript strip mall taco shop on the exterior.

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Vamos A Texacoco ~ 950 East Vista Way, Vista

I ordered the mixed lamb meal, a combination of lean meat and fattier cuts,

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Lamb Broth ~ Lamb broth, gabanzo beans, and tripe.

The order starts off with a lovely, rich cup of lamb broth. This has true depth of flavor.

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Full order of BBQ Lamb ~ 1/2 lb of mixed lamb meat, tortillas, and accompanyments.

The mixed plate is the way to go, you get the gamey, soft, and moist bits and the lean pieces that add structure.

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You can make little lamb tacos. ~ Lamb, cilantro, onion, and green salsa.

I made 4 hefty tacos with my order. The green salsa has a really fresh almost grassy flavor that goes great against the richness of the lamb and the cilantro and onions add texture. Tip ~ they are great dipped in the lamb broth.

At $10.75 this is an authentic, delicious, satisfying meal.

They also have whole lambs head if you are so inclined.

Vamos A Texacoco

950 East Vista Way,  Vista

Black Friday Shopping For Foodies

Why deal with the lines and being told we only had 4 of those $200 TVs in the ad. Grab a San Diego Dining Out Passport at 35% off if you use this website’s code. Regularly $99 – $35 with code NCF2016

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These are all foodie restaurants that do not give out deals regularly. You get 2 for 1 entrees at some of San Diego’s best restaurants. Just show them the passport, they stamp their page and you save. No unfolding a piece of newspaper coupon that you have stuck in your wallet or purse.

There are many North County locations including 608, The Whet Noodle, and The Land and Water Company. Hey, jump on the Coaster and head down to Little Italy in SD and go to Bracero Cocina (that right there pays for 80% of the book.)

Disclaimers: Do not buy this as the sole gift for the one you love, do not use on a first date  (unless you are sly enough just to slip into the credit card holder with your payment). these situations will end badly.

Seriously, though it will allow you to try some great places at a great discount. Dining Out San Diego Magazine is well respected in the industry. Plus I would not be posting it if I did not think it was of value or pizza hut was in there.

Check out the magazine as well some great articles, the latest features an interview with North County’s own Davin Waite of Wrench & Rodent.  Click here

Weekend BBQ @ Primos ~ Oceanside

So, I am a pretty big fan of Primo’s for their Mexican food and handmade salsas and guacamole. They have a great Tuesday taco special, street tacos are $0.69 apiece. In addition every Friday thru Sunday, they BBQ outside and sell meats by the pound or as sandwiches and plates.

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Primo’s weekend BBQ ~ Primo Market 606 Morse St. Oceanside.

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BBQ menu.

One of my favorite two-word combinations is “BBQ Tri-tip”, So, I headed down Saturday to grab some.

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The BBQ is purchased inside the market to take home or eat on the outdoor seating.

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Their selection of handmade salsas and guacamole. There is a sample station by the register with chips so you can gauge the heat levels. My favorite is the green serrano salsa, it packs quite a kick.

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Tri-tip Plate ~ Tri-tip, rice, beans, guacamole, tortilla, and toppings.

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Build your own mini burrito bite. I ate the rest of the tri-tip plain because it was so tasty and ate the rest of the tortilla with guacamole, rice, and beans.

This is a great weekend lunch for $8.99. The tri-tip is flavorful and juicy. I mean it is not “Flying Pig” good, but it is close.

Primo Market

606 Morse St, Oceanside

#BBQ #food #foodporn #oceanside

San Diego Trip Part One ~ A tale of two chickens.

look I need to get back to writing. Two things, I realize that what I do on vacation is what I do for work..sad? until you realize you love what you do.

Enough about me..

I crammed a lot of eating into two days….

Chicken sandwiches. Sounds simple, yet done right…Son Please!

We are gonna start at Biga (this place was lauded by me from Chef Willy from 608) and rightfully so . Simple Italian ingredients don justice.

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Biga CLT ~ baked crispy mary’s organic chicken skin. scamorza. tomato. pickled onions. basil. wild arugula. lemon aioli.

This on the description would have seemed heavy…it was not. the bread was perfect and fluffy, the sandwich calk full of flavor…on to the salad…

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Arugula salad. Simple elegant and perfect. This is true Italian food no sauce, no fuss, just brilliant.

While walking out I just witnessed this..a chef training a cook on how to break down this beautiful fish.

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Sometimes shut up and watch:)

And now on to Crack Shack:)

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This makes me so happy on so many levels:)

So, the Crack Shak is Richard Blaze’s fried chicken restaurant (coming soon to Encinitas) and while I could prolificate ..I need to get back to watching Luke Cage on Netflix. Nuff said this place delivered the best chicken sandwich I have had..close second TBG’s Chicken Sandwich.

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Coop Deville ~ Fried chicken, pickled Freno chilies, lime mayo, Napa cabbage, Brioche.

I was there at 9am when they opened..perfect service, and I was like “I will eat half” nope devoured it..hands down best-fried chicken sandwich I have had.

The most empty  you will see this place:)

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Flying Pig, Vista ~ 1 Year Anniversary

This Sunday Flying Pig’s Vista location celebrated it’s 1 year anniversary with an outdoor grill blowout.

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The Vista location stemmed out of the huge success of The Flying Pig Pub in Oceanside. That location was one of the forerunners of today’s growing north county culinary scene and still serves a packed house nightly. Last year owner Roddy decided to open the Pig’s second location in an old bank building at 230 South Santa Fe, Vista. The new location was more than double the size of the original and boasted an outdoor patio area absent in the first. He brought over Executive Chef Mario Mosser to oversee the new restaurant and promoted Chef Samantha Parker to run the Oceanside location (smart because she kills it).  With everything in place, the new Flying Pig was once again on the forefront of an expanding new culinary scene.

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Outdoor patio @ Flying Pig Vista

The thing he pulled off with the new location, which is hard to do, is launch a second restaurant off the success of the first that, had a familiarity to it in concept and menu , but at the same time had it’s own identity. A lot of restauranteurs try this and fail or just cookie cutter the original idea.

A good example of this being done successfully would be Mario Batali’s second restaurant Lupa, coming off the heels of the insanely successful Babbo in 1999. you could easily have lunch at the vista Flying Pig head west and enjoy dinner at the Oceanside location and you would not feel like you ate at the same restaurant twice. Unless you doubled down on one of the few menu crossover items, but that would be on you wouldn’t it ?

Anyway, I grabbed the Sprinter to vista and planned to enjoy the culinary festivities.

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People streaming in for the anniversary.

On my way in, I was trying to decide what to get. Do I go for their killer tri-tip or something porkish?

They made the choice easy for me with their anniversary special menu.

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I get to have it all for $20 …sold and done. 🙂

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Lots of meat. I got there at 10 am, Chef Mario had been working the grill since 5am that morning.

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Left to right ~ Tri-tip, pork brisket, and pork loin. Warm potato salad and cole slaw in the back and mashed potatoes underneath. There’s also grilled veg. on there somewhere.

Everything was cooked to perfection. I’m a sucker for Tri-tip and this example was perfect. The Pork brisket was melted in your mouth gorgeous, and the star for me was the Pork loin, brined for 4 days, it was juicy and tender with a slight sweetness to it. The sides held their own as well living up to the brilliance of the meats.

My plate before and after.

Owner Roddy is also a level 2 Sommelier and he paired a great Red blend to accompany my meal a Tre Toscana ~ 80% Sangiovese, 10 % Merlot, and 10% Cabernet. With Roddy’s knowledge, their wine list is worth checking out.

Here is a brief video interview with Chef Mario and Owner Roddy. I asked them about the first year of the Vista Flying Pig and memorable moments.

 

 

hope you got out to celebrate with them. If not they are there producing great food 7 days a week. Go check them out.

Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen

230 South Santa Fe Ave., Vista

Today was also the annual “Rod Run” in downtown Vista, with over 400 classic cars on display. I walked around and took pics of some of my favorites.

 

Still no Hemi Cuda’s though:(

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The Dream Car

 

 

Feast ~ Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside

Two things. First, I LOVE THIS EVENT SO MUCH, I HAD SO MUCH FUN, GREAT FOOD, GREAT SETTING, GREAT PEOPLE! Second, Is it possible to have a food hangover?

This past Wednesday marked the second annual Feast event at the Mission San Luis Rey. The event is held in the courtyard of the rose garden, which is normally not open to the public. The setting is a huge part of what makes the event so special.

Rose Garden

Said rose garden.

Feast set up

The courtyard. There is something about a 218-year-old setting that brings grace and tranquility.

The event was held on the north side of the courtyard as opposed to last year’s more narrow southern side. This space is large so though the crowd was bigger this year it was more spread out. My friend Mario and I guessed about 4 to 5 hundred guests total.

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Feast at full swing.

night begins to fall At sunset.

All the restaurants involved were North County based.

There were roughly 25 food vendors plus 2 beer vendors, Belching Beaver (who sold out early) and Oceanside Ale works, plus two vendors doing hard liquor.

I did not try everything but I went for quality. Even though most of the dishes were small plates one or two bites, it adds up quickly.

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San Luis Rey restaurant and Bakery

Mission Bakery

These guys have been around forever, tucked away near the mission producing great baked goods and honest Mexican food. They rolled out with an assortment of great desserts.

San Luis Rey Bakery

490 N. El Camino Real

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Candy girls

Cheryl ( center) and the talented lovely women from So Rich Chocolates.

Cheryl , besides being one of the coolest people on the planet, makes homemade world-class caramels. She can be found at the Thursday Oceanside Farmers Market and online.

Cheryl’s Caramels

Chocolates tent

So Rich Chocolates are custom Vista-based, chocolatiers. They focus on wine and beer pairings with their Chocolates and can be found at local breweries and wineries throughout North County. I believe they will be at the Belching Beaver Oceanside taproom grand opening . Their high-quality chocolate is worth checking out.

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Great Chocolate. I had the dark and the white ghost pepper chocolates. Both were melt in your mouth delicious with a nice back heat from the ghost peppers.

So Rich Chocolates

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Always a crowd favorite, Chef Daniel was there with an LTH classic.

LTH Deviled Eggs

LTH’s upscale deviled eggs. this is a perfect event food, delicious, and 1 or 2 bites.

Local Tap House

308 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

 

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Team Petite Madeline was there with their large assortment of hand-crafted pastries.

Petite Madeline crew

Petite Madeline Spread

Petite Madeline Spread 2

Pick any one, you can not go wrong.

I had a mushroom Vol Ar Vent (not pictured because I suck) that was great and more suited to my savory preference. I am not a big sweets person:(

Petite Madeline Bakery & Bistro

223 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside

 

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Both Privateer Coal Fired Pizza and Privateer Market Place and Wine Bar were in the house.

While The market did a deconstruction of their Charcuterie plate, featuring Prager Brothers bread, Mikolich honey, local jams and Angel Salumi. Privateer brought their Avo Toast.

Privateer

Avocado Toast ~ Prager Brothers Bread, avocado, onion, strawberry

That is a basic description of this dish, in actuality, it is way more complex both in technique and flavor. I dare anyone to sit down with ten of these and see how long they last you.

Privateer Coal Fired Pizza

1706 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

 

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Though I was a little bummed Chef Iolli did not bring her incredible seafood, she did some beautiful deserts. Which shows how versatile of a chef she is.

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The dessert that looks like it has tapioca on the bottom..no that’s quinoa. What? Again incredible Chef.

 

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Wrench and Rodent showed up in true form as always bringing a perfect dish for the event.Wrench and rodent

Cantaloupe Gazpacho ~ Yellowtail with french beans and zucchini spaghetti from Cyclops Farms.  Davin in all his Davinessness:)

Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub

1815 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

 

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Ryan from Masters brought a California take on a New England staple.

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Lobster roll ~ Langoustine, kimchee, avocado, on a Hawaiian roll.

Nice refreshing offering. I would have liked more heat from the kimchee but, as I have said before, I have a high heat tolerance.

Masters Kitchen and Cocktail

208 South Coast Highway, oceanside

 

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608, Chef Willy is my hero of the event for having the balls to do frogs legs. Not only that he converted people who never tried them and probably would not get a huge opportunity in North County restaurants. Hats off sir.

608 converting

I have always said they taste like chicken and a little bit of fish. His description was they have a salmon quality to them which is more accurate. Tasty and tender none the less.

608 Frog Legs

Frogs Legs ~ Coconut milk braise, lobster tail curry, foraged greens.

That is what I am talking about right there!

608

608 Mission Ave., Oceanside

 

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Mission Ave Bar and Grill brought, from my walking around and talking to people, one of the crowd’s favorite dishes. It was Fresh,cool,and bite-sized. Again perfect for the event.

mission Ave Bar and Grill

Hawaiian Poke ~  Sweet Maui onions, green onions, wonton crisps, wasabi caviar, and shiso.

Mission Ave Bar and Grill

711 Mission Ave., Oceanside

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In what I considered the dish of the event (small margins as everything was great and people brought their A game) Flying Pig blew me away.

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Duroc pork on the grill.

Samantha Perker Flying Pig

Chef Samantha Parker plating up. Duroc Pork with a Fennel ash and Cumin rub, served with a Santa Rosa Stone fruit salad.

The pork had a nice smoky flavor to it due to the cooking method and the rub. Though the serving was only about an eighth of an inch thick it still packed tons of flavor and held its moisture. That takes some skill to pull off. The stone fruit salad was a great addition providing contrast while still having savory elements in its own right. Again IMO dish of the event.

Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen

626 S. Tremont St., Oceanside

230 South Santa Fe, Vista

 

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Cannot forget the people I came with.

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Banana Dang! Mario and crew serving Love and craft, pour over Chai Iced Coffee and Vietnamese Iced Tea to the masses. They make great smoothies too.

Banana Dang!

115 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

 

Sothern Snow Balls

last but not least. This just made me happy. I was crushed when Southern Snow Balls closed on Wisconsin St.. Glad to see they are back. Great couple and great product. They can be found Thursday through Sunday in Oceanside in “The College of Beauty” Parking lot in South Oceanside.

OK, so there you have the gist of it. If you did not go you missed out big time. Make sure you make the next one, totally worth your time.

Shout out to Nino from Ono Yum for putting this together.

 

 

Pillbox Tavern and Grill ~Solana Beach

I came across Pillbox Tavern and Grill and Chef Shelly at this year’s North Eats food festival. I tried her pulled pork and decided, while a little out of normal covering range, I really wanted to check them out. I jumped on the Coaster and headed down to Solana Beach.

Pillbox exterior and chef

Chef Shelly outside Pillbox Tavern and Grill

Pillbox, named for the beach it is located near, ( is about half the size of 608 or LTH). the exterior is in the design of a victorian style house and boasts a very light and airy interior. I was there on a beautiful day and still felt connected to the outside.

Pillbox interior

Pillbox’s interior.

The menu is a tavern menu but with lots of options. Also, Chef Shelly’s cooking gives everything a twist and elevates it.

I was mentioning the pulled pork is what brought me down here but they also have 13 kinds of wings.The styles run from Lemon Pepper dry rub on the mild side to Fire Island on the extra hot side.

I love wings, so I ordered a basket of 10 wings and spit it with two sauces.

Pillbox wings

Habanero BBQ (L) and Gangnam (R)

Habanero BBQ ~ Habanera sauce combined  with their house made with the Chefs BBQ sauce.

Gangnam ~ Spicy Asian mustard BBQ sauce.

Both were really good. The Habanero BBQ wings were not as spicy as I thought they would be, but still very good. I really liked the Gangnam wings with the spicy mustard sauce.

Pillbox pulled pork

Pulled Pork Sandwich ~ Slow roasted pulled pork, Chef’s BBQ sauce topped with coleslaw and an onion ring on a brioche bun.

This what I came for, the pork was moist and tender. The Chef’s BBQ sauce is great, it is a little more on the sweet side just for your info. More similar in style to Texas or Mississippi BBQ sauce.

Almost everything is made in-house. The service was spot on, they were full with a line waiting to come in while I was there and my glass was always refilled and food came out in a timely manner.

Another reason to check them out is you can go to one of the best-looking beaches in North County (IMO) a block and a half down the street.

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Pillbox Beach, Solana Beach

Pillbox Tavern and Grill

117 West Plaza Street

Solana Beach, CA