Nov 11, 2012

Friday Night in San Diego

Jamie planned an overnight trip to San Diego when he found out that his beloved Syracuse basketball team was going to be playing SDSU. Tickets were way too much money, but he thought it'd be fun to watch the game somewhere locally in the Gaslamp Quarter. Then, they moved the game to Sunday. D'oh. But we already had train tickets and a hotel reservation, so we still went.

Gaslamp is our favorite local getaway. We almost always take the train down from here in Orange County. It's about an hour and a half ride with a significant length of that ride being right along the ocean.

This is from a similar trip last November. Heading north between SD and OC.
We like taking the train because we don't have to deal with traffic or parking, and everything in Gaslamp is within walking distance, so the car isn't really necessary. Plus, we always sit near the cafe cart, which sells beer.

We've stayed at a handful of different hotels in San Deigo, and have our favorites, but we use to make kind of a blind purchase that saves us a good amount of money. What you do is choose your city, preferred star rating then you can search by landmark or address to give you results in a certain area. So we choose to search 4 star hotels in Gaslamp, and almost always end up with something pretty decent for a great price, we just don't ever know what hotel it will be until after we pay for the room.

Our hotel this time was the Gaslamp Marriott. The room wasn't extravagant, and the bed was a little trampoline-y, but it wasn't the worst place we've stayed. It was actually the first hotel I've stayed that offers a pre-packaged shower puff in the bathroom! This was probably the highlight of my stay. What can I say? Another highlight was also the three large, and I mean LARGE bowls of candy at the front desk. One was taffy, one was Tootsie Rolls and the third was Necco wafers!

It only had one chocolate wafer. Disappointment.
After checking in and unloading our small overnight bag, we headed out for some beers. Our first stop was at our favorite Irish pub, The Field. Now, I've never been to Ireland, but this place seems to be the most authentic Irish pub I've ever been in. Just about everything in this place has been brought over from Ireland. It's dark and looks like it should be a little musty with wooden booths and little tables and stools squeezed in every available nook. The decor is dusty farming gear that hangs from the walls as well as shelves crammed full of antique-looking jugs, bottles, plates, and other things. Along with beers, we scarfed an order of fries with curry sauce. Oh holy crap they were fantastic.

After Jamie had his fill of perfectly poured Guinness, we headed over to another favorite spot of ours, The Tipsy Crow. I've mentioned this place before, but didn't really go beyond telling you that they have a big 4-man Pac-Man game. Jamie and I took advantage of this once again, but also teamed up and played a game of shuffle board with some strangers we met.

During our time at Tipsy Crow, we took advantage of it being Beer Week in San Diego and some of their special brews on tap. My choice being a twist on one of my favorite beers, Stone Pale Ale with Ginger. While this wasn't a beer that I could drink multiples of, I definitely enjoyed it. I also sampled Stone's Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout. Be still, my Thin Mint loving heart. I wanted to make this a float with vanilla bean ice cream.

Jamie's two beer adventures at Tipsy Crow were Stone Mixtape Strong Ale (hello, 9%) then Stone Ruination IPA with habanero. Holy heartburn. Now that I think of it, I think he ordered a third beer, but we were playing shuffle board at the time, so I have no idea what he chose for that.

Before we headed out to our next stop for dinner, we made a quick trip upstairs at Tipsy Crow. I had never been up there, but Jamie had and said that I needed to see it. I'm glad I did, because it is super cool up there. When you get to the top of the stairs, all you see ahead of you is what looks like an extra wide hallway type room lined completely with old leather comfy couches and chairs. To the left is the upstairs bar and an area with more comfy chairs and a fireplace with a TV on the mantle with a Wii hooked up to it. At the other end of the upstairs, past the couches and chairs, is a small room with a pool table with floor to ceiling bookshelves full of, well, books.

Dinner was at Barley Mash. Jamie had been here before and wanted me to get in on the deliciousness. It was originally where we had planned to watch the Syracuse game and it seemed some other folks had planned that as well. The place was full of people in orange and blue. Jamie kept yelling "Cuse!" at them, and then they'd yell it back. Oh, sports fans...

I don't have any photos from here. Well, I do, but you can't see anything, so I'm not going to post it. Jamie and I decided that we weren't going to eat healthy on our short trip, so we kind of went all out. He opted for more fries and order the San Diego Iron Fries, which were loaded with stout braised short ribs, pepper jack beer-cheese sauce, sour cream, guacamole and salsa. I also went full-fat with the Pile O Honey-Porter Pulled Pork, which was served on top of bourbon-brown sugar glazed potato wedges. The pork was really great, but I think those potatoes were my favorite. I want to eat them at Thanksgiving.

Moving on, we stopped at Quality Social. Again, another place that Jamie had been that he wanted to share with me. His goal was to go there after the DJ had started, but unfortunately, we're getting old. We started our beer consumption at 3pm, so by the time we got to this place, we were pretty burnt out. And it was early. We sat at the bar and had a couple beers and people watched. While I enjoyed this, I don't really feel like this place was anywhere I wanted to be later on when all the kids come out. Every dude behind the bar was wearing a v-neck tiny t-shirt, that has to tell you something.

So by 10pm, we were dust, but somehow were hungry again. We left Quality Social to head back to our hotel, stopping about halfway at Ciro's for a few slices of pizza to take back and eat in bed.

The next day involved breakfast at Broken Yolk then heading back to The Field to watch Manchester United beat Aston Villa. This involved coffee for me, but Jamie was back on his Guinness game, with more foam clovers from the Irishman behind the bar.

Before heading back to catch the train home, we made one more stop for beers and lunch at The Hopping Pig only to find the bartender was also Irish, and had once worked at The Field. He asked if we had ever requested a "Special Pint" while we were there. We said no, so he did his best to recreate the Special Pint in Jamie's Ballast Point Oatmeal Stout.

Can ya see it? The middle finger? His next pour was a wiener and it made me laugh.
Lunch for Jamie was one of the best Italian club sandwiches I've ever tasted. For me, it was the Gouda Burger that came with a fried egg and an onion ring. I want to eat it every day.

Eventually, we decided that we should probably hop on the train and make our way home, thinking "Dangit, we should have booked another night!" But at least we've saved ourselves another day of eating horribly unhealthy yet ridiculously delicious food.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you guys had a fun weekend! :) Jealous of all this amazing looking food, its not even 9 AM yet and I'm already hungry now!