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Jan 7, 2007 05:39 AM

Stone Brewery Garden dining - san diego/escondido

I had lunch at the new stone brewery bistro/garden up in escondido the other day. The place looks real nice. I'm wondering if anyone has had the chance to eat there yet, I was curious what people's impressions are. To be honest, my friends and I are still debating if we think the food is good. The food, all of it, is so STRONG tasting, its kind of hard to decipher. They have a good buffalo burger and a nice mac and cheese dish. The soups were difficult to get down, although they did have lots of good flavor. again, just strong. Its a nice experience at least, and I would go back once they get a chance to tweak the menu a bit. The beer was obviously the best part, as Stone always is.

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  1. I've eaten there twice. I thought the burger was good, and the spud buds. On the second visit, I had the jerk chicken dish, which I also enjoyed, and the smoked porter cheesecake, which was great. My SO had the seared ahi tuna, and she thought the wasabi flavor was too overpowering.

    I have been intending to go back, but it's something of a drive for me.

    1. I've eaten there three times, including during their pre-opening test runs. I liked it quite a bit the first time, and it seems to me that with each visit they are improving. My favorites so far are the tilapia main dish, the burger, the tofu stir-fry, the pickled egg and kimchee plate, and the onion rings.

      Also, I'm not sure it's on the menu, but they offer their draft beers in 3 oz. glasses, which for me is the perfect amount so I can taste 2 or 3 beers during a visit and still drive home.

      1. We had dinner there last night- I had the mac and cheese, my husband had the beef stir fry, and our dining companions had the tilapia and the jerk chicken. Everyone enjoyed their meals, although the mac and cheese was a bit too rich for me to get through the entire bowl. Portion sizes were on the small side. My husband really liked the beef stir fry, but he said it was spicier than he expected. They also had the mussels and clams appetizer and everyone inhaled it!

        My only issue with the restaurant is the ridiculously lengthy wait- they told us 2 1/2 hours on a Saturday night! We were seated after about 2 hours and we enjoyed ourselves, but it was a bit disheartening to see empty tables in the main dining area while we were sitting outside and waiting to eat (seems they need to hire more servers to accommodate the # of people who are coming to try out the restaurant).

        1. I've eaten here a few times. I've had the Buffalo Burger (with the new tweaking, it was good but those onions.. Can I just get some red onion? Please?) with the mashed potatoes. Very good overall.

          Another time I had the Bruschetta BLT which is VERY good, have it with the white cheddar. The bacon is nice and crispy and the bread held up. Wouldn't change this one a bit.

          Also had the prosciutto salad. This was good but I would have liked a bit more dressing. I don't mean drown it in dressing but I had kind of a hard time finding it at all. The apricots and prosciutto were delicious together though.

          The porter brownie sundae is absolutely amazing. Lots of depth to the brownie. The ice cream and fresh whipped cream were awesome also.

          The hummus is perfect. Very garlicky so probably don't order this on a date! Served with mini-toast with olive oil.

          So yes, have garlicky beer breath & enjoy. Overall, great atmosphere, great service (the waiters are funny and attentive without being annoying) and they really put forth effort with their food which shows.

          3 Replies
          1. re: haolebaby

            Have dined at the brewery on several occasions including last Sunday following the conclusion of the Tour of California. We had a party of 6 and everyone loved the food and the architecture/ambiance of the restaurant. Appetizers were the hummus and potato buds. Entrees included the chicken snitzel, pork chop, shephards pie, soba noodle stir fry. Everyone was very happy with the food. Portions are large and we went home with leftovers. The Temecula cabernet at $6/glass is a super deal. Made reservations through Open Table and no problems there. Service was excellent and graciouis. Too bad we live 30 miles away!!

            1. re: sdnativa

              Did you see Christian Vande Velde while you are the brewery? I think he was there that night too.

              1. re: DougOLis

                No but Shimano (or was is Specialized?) was having a big party upstairs so he and others may well have been there.

          2. I'm glad to hear some good reports about this place. Unfortunately, the couple times I ate there were disappointments - interesting and ambitious menu, but execution and service were lacking. I'd like to support their concept but it has to taste good! Especially since it's a bit pricey. I'll try it again based on these reports.