BattleMage Brewing Company ~ Vista

Here is the full report on our visit to BattleMage Brewing Company in Vista

All words and photography by : Justin Kunert

A little over 5 months ago, BattleMage Brewing Company entered the densely populated brewing scene of southern Vista, joining a long list of great breweries in the area (at least 10 breweries in a one-mile radius!).  Chris and I ventured into this region, which embodies what beer dreams are made of.  In a crowded field, BattleMage rises to the occasion by providing delicious beer, a solid array of styles, affordable prices, and a friendly, knowledgeable staff.

battlemage brewing company 1

The display board of beer offerings

Amid the decorations and artwork, I drew my focus to the most important part – the beer.  To put it simply, BattleMage is making really tasty beer.  I elected to order five tasters of the eleven beers on tap: Summon Ifrit (Hoppy Amber, 6.1%), Hooded Assassin (Old Ale, 10%), Chaotic Evil (Hazy Extra Pale, 5.9%), Shroud of Mist (Hazy IPA, 6.9%), and The Beer is Dark and Full of Caffeine (Milk Stout, 6.3%).

battlemage brewing company 2

Our weapons of choice

All five of my samples were outstanding.  My personal favorite was the Shroud of Mist.  As the co-brewer, Chris, informed me, it is currently their most popular beer – and for good reason.  The tropical fruit aromas and refreshing taste makes it a worthy pint to satisfy anyone’s craze for hazy IPA’s.  Chris, the co-brewer, recommended we try his personal favorite – the Summon Ifrit.  With hoppy notes underlying a great balance of malt flavors, it is a beer that can be enjoyed by hop heads and malt lovers alike.

battlemage brewing company 3.jpg

Entryway decorations and artwork

The brewing quality, the diverse range of options, and the correlation to beer style makes BattleMage an excellent choice for satisfying that beer craving.  Pair this with an engaging, accommodating, and friendly host, Chris, the co-brewer, was eager to give us recommendations and describe the influence and style behind each of the beers, making the experience that much more enjoyable.

battlemage brewing company 4

Additional decorations and the seating area

Lastly, I really enjoyed the decorations and theme within the brewery.  While being unfamiliar with the rules or characters in games like Dungeons and Dragons, I found all of the decorations and artwork really well done.  The ambiance never felt over the top or tacky, but appropriate to create a fun drinking environment.  Whether you are part of the crowd playing Dungeons and Dragons on Tuesday nights or just enjoying a beer on a regular Thursday evening, the brewery and staff are very welcoming, making this new spot well worthy of a visit.

BattleMage Brewing Company

2870 Scott St #102, Vista, CA 92081

#ipa #beer #brewery #craftbrewery #vista #dungeonsanddragons #magic #ale

Halcyon, Stella Public House, plus bonus ~ San Marcos

So, I recently went to check out the new Halcyon Coffee + Bar + Lounge and their sister establishment Stella Public House located in the new mixed use enclave that is called “Block C” North City in San Marcos.  North City is set to be, once finished, an urban living utopia or dystopia, depending on your point of view. My friend Beau said it best. “High rise upscale apartments with cacti and bicycles on the balconies and hipster coffee houses and restaurants on the street level.” Pretty dead on actually. Luckily I like hipster coffee places and restaurants, good ones anyway.

stacykeck-_MG_4865

Block C ( Why does that name conjure up images of Judge Dread and Mega City One for me?)

Halcyon, and Stella Public House, are part of a small chain with two locations in Texas. The new San Marcos location is actually a relocation of their East Village spot in San Diego.

Halcyon (1 of 1)

Halcyon Coffee + Bar + Lounge

Open 7am till 2am Halcyon is a coffee bar during the day serving up breakfast items, salads, and sandwiches. At night it turns into a lounge with wine, beer and cocktail service.

It has a bright, laid back atmosphere with lots of large open roll up windows. The space flows across a couch filled lounge area into their sister establishment Stella Public house.

iced tea (1 of 1)

Iced Tea and a daisy:)

Stella public house (1 of 1)

Stella Public House calls itself a “Farm to Pizza” establishment. I can see that. Its menu is designed around shared plates and wood fired pizzas. Plus, to be a Gastropub I think it’s law you must have a $14 burger, pork belly, and ceviche on the menu ( though technically I think you can sub the ceviche for poke and the burger for sliders.).  I do not recognize the farms they are sourcing from listed on their website but the food we had used top quality, fresh product. Plus, to be honest, I only know like six farms by name anyway.

Stella (1 of 1)

A beautiful open kitchen and bar area run along the North wall. Flowing and / or seamless would be good adjectives to describe the space.

Stella patio (1 of 1)

The large roll up windows / doors continue the indoor out-door theme from Halcyon. Justin ( beer contributor for NCF ) stuck with water, as due to being in soft opening mode they were not serving beer yet. They open officially 10/6. Justin lived, we went to a brewery right after this:)

Stella burrata (1 of 1)

Burrata Plate ~ Burrata, prosciutto, and accompaniments.

Delicious, fresh burrata with great prosciutto. We both loved this. Easily enough for two as a starter.

Stella pizza (1 of 1)

Texas Bee Sting Pizza ~ house mozzarella, serrano, sopressata, parmigiano, with local honey drizzle and cilantro.

I was not that hungry but still devoured 3 slices of the pizza. It had a nice balance of saltiness from the cheese playing off the right amount of sweetness from the honey and a little bit of spice from the serranos. A really nice pizza, I would order it again.

Also shout out to the staff for being friendly and dealing with the slight chaos that comes with a new establishment opening perfectly.

Halcyon & Stella Public House

250 North City Drive Suite #3 | San Marcos, CA

BattleMage Brewing….

As I mentioned in the title, a little bonus. After Eating at Stella we headed over to check out Battle Mage Brewing Company. Justin will do a full article on them and their beers, but I just wanted to mention them.

BattleMage started up about five months ago and is a fantasy themed brewery ( Dungeons & Dragons, Magic The Gathering, Game of Thrones ). Their beers have names like Goblin King, Chaotic Evil, and Hooded Assassin. They have D&D nights every Tuesday, Magic the Gathering Wednesdays, and board games available to play anytime. Basically, I love them:) Here are a few pics till Justin writes them up. Good beer in a variety of styles. I highly recommend checking them out.

Battlemage brewing (1 of 1)

Wall of Magic The Gathering Cards.

Battlemage brewing sign (1 of 1)

Beer list and kick ass mascot art work. Really good prices, flights of 4 tasters are $5, pints $5, and growlers $15. Yes, I bought a T-Shirt, wearing it right now:)

BattleMage Brewing Company

2870 Scott St, Vista, CA

#food #foodporn #foodie #pizza #coffee #beer #brewery #craftbrewery #sanmarcos #northcounty #D&D #games #vista

 

 

 

 

Pre – Opening Dave & Busters ~ Carlsbad.

So, I was invited recently to check out the new Dave & Busters opening January 30th at the Carlsbad Mall. Though different from my normal restaurant modus operandi I was excited to grab my friend Mario from Banana Dang! and Check it out.

I am glad I did I had a lot of fun and was I impressed with the build out.

The new Dave and Busters inhabits what was the lower part of the old Robinson’s May Company. It shares this newly remodeled wing with Regal Cinemas, 24 Hour Fitness, Pizza Press, Luna Grill, Pannera Bread, and soon The Cheesecake Factory. The rest of the mall is 80% boarded up and under construction.

Before bemoaning corporate entities too much, the reality is, it is a mall and the Dave and Busters alone employs 216 locals, that whole wing alone once completed probably 600+.

20170126_110102

Putting the final touches on the exterior at 2501 El Camino Real Suite 140, Carlsbad.

20170126_110257

Entry way on the lower level of the east wing.

20170126_110615

40,000 square feet of sports bar, restaurant, and games.

20170126_112716_7_bestshot

The restaurant section of Dave & Busters. I’m guessing it holds 80 to 100ish.

20170126_112318

The facility hosts 2 private meeting rooms. This is the larger which has an independent audio and video system. They offer catering services which offer customizable menus for any occasion.

20170126_114722_7_bestshot

I was impressed with the sports bar area. A Huge amount of TVs including 3 4k digital 100″ screens. They carry all sport packages including UFC events.

20170126_114936_6_bestshot

It was nice to see Belching Beaver’s mango IPA on tap as well as Stone.

20170126_111844

You gotta have an updated version of old school skeet ball.

20170126_114643_2_bestshot

Marc, another member of the press, playing Mario Olympics.

They have, obviously, a ton of games that work off of a ticketless card system for credits and points. Dave and Busters is 18 and up unless that person is accompanied by a guardian 25 or older.

20170126_114514_3_bestshot

I really wanted to play the Star Wars Battle Pod game but I ran out of credits shooting robots and racing cars badly with Mario. I would treat this place like Vegas come in with a set amount or it could quickly become a money sink.

20170126_115255.jpg

You can redeem your points from playing games at the prize center.

20170126_115314

The prizes have upgraded since I was younger, I usually left from an arcade with this…..

chinese-finger-trap-nike-free-trainer-5-inspiration1

I’d still get stuck.

We were treated to a buffet of their menu items to try out. The quality was better than expected putting it above places like Buffalo Wild Wings.

20170126_115407

Sample offerings.

20170126_115837_2_bestshot

One of my plates:) The baby back ribs were especially good for a non BBQ specialty joint. I also went for seconds of the fish and chips.

My favorite offering was (and I’ll use their pic because its pretty)…

bbbacon-burger

Cheese Burger with smoked bacon. This was really tasty.

So, there is your sneak peek at Dave & Busters in Carlsbad. I will be back to grab a drink and a bite at the sports bar…and play that Star Wars game.

Dave and Busters

2501 El Camino Real, Carlsbad