We’re linking up again with #IGTravelThursday to share more of our trip to Southern California…join us!
By 7am, we were both wide awake. Traveling to the West Coast is the only way that happens without the assistance of an alarm clock.
After lounging around for awhile, we decided it was an appropriate time to head out for brunch. We decided on URGE based on their food & beer selection that we had seen on a recent episode of Brew Dogs. & because we weren’t in NC anymore, we could order a drink before noon on a Sunday (9:00am, take that Blue Laws).
As we did….some beers from local breweries Hess & Societe.
While I usually go savory with my brunching indulgences, I didn’t stand a chance against vanilla bean French toast (with a big pile of bacon). Tom opted for the epic (veal, chorizo, beef & bacon) meatloaf hash smothered in some killer San Diego hot sauce.
It was still pretty early & we didn’t have any solid plans for the day, so we moved over to the bar to catch a little football. Glowing in the beer cooler was something we’d never seen before–The Bruery’s Beauregarde–so we ordered it. It was a fantastic bright magenta, tart blueberry sour that had us both pleasantly buzzed by the time we polished it off.
Our friends in San Diego had sent us a nice little list of fun things to do in the area. & I was totally set to go stand up paddle boarding, but Tom would 100% end up in the cold Pacific, so he nixed that idea. I suggested we go for a hike, because I apparently didn’t know who I was anymore.
We picked the nearby Cowles Mountain hike, & although it’s supposedly the most traveled trail in the country, it was really pretty pleasant & not at all overcrowded. It was a pretty good workout, which helped to burn off the brunch beers, & we got slightly sunburned, but the views at the top were totally worth it.
Next, we headed to AleSmith for a post-hike recovery flight. The beers were all well done & come highly recommended, but we weren’t really blown away by anything we sampled.
So, we moved along to Green Flash, which we loved already for their unapologetic use of bright, heady, tongue scraping hops. The Genius Lab NZ Single Hop & Serrano Chile Double Stout Black Ale were our favorites of the visit. We also tried & really liked the Green Bullet Triple IPA which we’ve seen out on shelves & on tap recently.
Finally hungry again, we needed a Surfin’ California Burrito, a favorite that we overstuffed ourselves with the last time we breezed through San Diego. It’s from a weird little hot pink painted, luchador/disco themed (seriously, so weird) spot called Lucha Libre, that had been featured on Man vs. Food, that’s located almost directly under the 5 in Mission Hills. They take a shrimp & steak burrito & pack it full of french fries & Super Secret Chipotle Sauce, & damn, it’s something magical.
From there, we were off to North Park to check out Toronado, the San Diego location of our favorite diviest dive in San Francisco. I hate to say it…I really hate to say it, but the beer selection was not nearly as good, & it’s strange to think, but the place was just too nice. We missed the gross charm of the San Francisco Toronado.
We did a little shopping at Bottlecraft & were pretty well worn out, so we headed for dinner & nightcaps at URBN, just down the street. The space was really open & cool, the beer list pretty stellar & the pizza very simple & delicious…a great way to call it a night.