Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

The long weekend gave us a chance to take a drive up to Escondido for lunch at the new bistro and (of course!) for a brewery tour. If you’re thinking they just opened up a little bistro for the heck of it next to their gift shop – nope! They spent some bucks on this place. This is a large space with high ceilings and a wall of windows that looks out onto their new gardens. They have lots of outdoor seating too. Seating for hundreds I’m sure. Part of that wall of windows are actually large panels that open up like garage doors, so on nice days they open those up. Plenty of heat lamps outside. Naturally, I started out with an Arrogant Bastard Ale – yum. We saw some tables getting appetizers of beer battered onion rings (of course, using that Bastard Ale!) and I also saw that those rings came as a side for a great looking burger. I didn’t see it on the menu but I bet they would do a great beer battered fish fry.

My wife got a plate of the BBQ Duck Tacos ($17) and of course they used their very own Smoked Porter as the base for the sauce. Came with sides of black beans, brown rice with a mango salsa. This was really good. I was drawn to the Chicken Tikki Masala ($15.75), while it was good it could have been made with a jar of sauce from Trader Joes. (That isn’t to say that is what they did – I believe it was made in house.) But it had a nice spice to it. I’d definitely want to get that burger next time. My meal came with a side of mashed yams (and naturally, spiked with that Smoked Porter) and a side of chard. The menu made no mention of the name of the head chef.

We’d definitely be back – the food was good, the rest of the menu looked interesting, the space is great. If you go, be sure to print the map on the website. They are located in a newer area of an Escondido business park and I didn’t even see a sign on the building but you can’t miss it. It’s the large building that is spewing a fermenting yeasty smell.

We skipped dessert so we could make it to the brewery tour – an educational 45 minutes behind the scenes at Stone. Of course, they badmouth the mass marketed beers in any way possible (as well they should). No cost for the tour, just meet up in the gift shop and get a poker chip. This is your ticket to the tasting at the end of the tour.

Photo is compliments the Stone Brew website. I left my camera at home, but they welcomed photography on the tour.


Blogger FireFlyFiftyFive said...

Update: Duh, the “Who We Are” page at Stone Brew shows that Carlton Greenawalt is the executive chef. He’s formerly of 150 Grand in Escondido. I saw him at a cooking demonstration at Macy’s School of Cooking last year and thought I recognized him in one of CEO Greg’s video blogs.

December 01, 2006 11:18 AM  
Blogger Gourmetish said...

My husband and I are HUGE Stone fans but haven't had a chance to try out their bistro yet (not worth it until I can drink again!). I'm so glad you got a chance to go and write a review. If you ever have a chance to try their Oaked Arrogant Bastard you's delicious!

December 05, 2006 2:19 AM  
Anonymous Herbivore said...

I wish I'd had such a good experience at Stone - went for a birthday dinner. Food was increadibly bland except for the vegetarian dish which tasted only of salt. The prices were very high for the quality.

Big Love of the beer - won't be back for the food until the chef is replaced.

January 20, 2007 7:33 PM  

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