We already had travel arrangements to fly into San Diego when the Pre-Conference Excursion was announced. Since another couple from NOLA, friends of ours, were in the same boat we decided to split cab fare and create our own pre-conference excursion in beautiful, temperate San Diego.
First stop? For lunch and beverages of course at Blind Lady Ale House (BLAH). The décor is welcoming. The color scheme is a palette of browns but the place is well lit so it’s welcoming. There are skateboard decks lining the walls (they could have used a Gnarly Barley deck) and nostalgic beer lighting (a turning Miller Genuine Draft Light was near our table). The music was loud enough to hear but low enough to talk over. These guys have a lot of things going right in this establishment. Most tables seat six, so this is really a place to come and hang with a group of friends and share some food, drink, and fun. Favorite beer? The Golden Ticket, a Belgian golden strong infused with vanilla beans and oak with Dark Horse Coffee. Think Coffee Stout has a stepchild with something gold and it ends up being blonde but having a delightful coffee kick. BLAH also had St. Louis Geueze and Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale on tap, so I traded off Coffee and sour for the time we were there. The Cheese and Charcuterie Plates were awesome! I would definitely hang out here again if in San Diego again. Once we were done here, it was time for an afternoon nap to cut the time zone confusion.
Then we were back out and about at Toranado. The selection included several local beverages. I had a New Belgium Love-Felix and a taste of Toby’s Chip Shot Coffee Porter. The establishment was on the small side and not well lit. Toby had the Smoked Mac and Cheese. It was very cheesy and seasoned with smoked paprika. It was good, but the serving size was huge. I had a BLTA (the A is for avocado) with a cucumber salad. It was all right, but the bacon was on the soggy side (I am a stickler for crispy bacon) and the cucumber salad was heavy on a white dressing. We did have window side seating that allowed us to look out at what was going on outside on the street. This is not a stop I would be inclined to repeat.
Our final stop was Waypoint Public. I loved the campy décor, the bear logo, and the bar rail around the perimeter which allowed for rail seating facing the street to see what was going on outside. I enjoyed a Berry Nice and Bacon & Eggs by Pizza Port and a Three Sheets by Ballast Point. The beer was good, the lighting was good, the setting was good. I loved that they accommodated couples with young children by providing a toddler play ground and a big screen that was playing Harry and the Henderson’s while we were there. I wish I had waited on eating, because I think the menu would have delivered. I would definitely make a return visit if I chance to visit San Diego again. And then, it was time to turn in for the night to gear up for the conference day that was to come…