when it comes to sipping on fine beer and dining on fresh vegan fare in a magnificently idyllic setting, you can’t go wrong with stone world bistro. stone is one of the biggest names in the craft beer business, but with its organic restaurant, impressive gardens and sustainable farm, its headquarters is so much more than a brewery. located in escondido just 100 miles south of LA, it makes for a quick and relaxing getaway or the perfect lunch stop on the way to san diego.
earlier this summer, i (along with some fellow bloggers and friends from golden road brewing) was lucky enough to be treated to a four course vegan meal made with ingredients sourced from stone’s local farm and masterfully prepared by chef alex carballo. pictured above going clockwise we have: broccoli pea soup; spinach salad with beets, sweet onions, and orange segments; braised greens with quinoa tabbouleh; and tofu yakisoba. all phenomenal. i’m happy to report that the yakisoba is a regular item on the stone menu, along with many other vegan options, and it happens to be one of my favorite noodle dishes of all time.
after our meal we grabbed a beer and strolled the beautiful stone gardens. so many little grassy secluded areas, a pond with a waterfall, and even a fire pit—-i’ve never been to a brewery so scenic and welcoming.
we concluded the evening with a tour of the tanks led by stone’s very own randy clemens (you may know him as the author of the sriracha cookbook), and boy was it impressive. i think my favorite part was being in a tiny chilled room containing $60,000 worth of hops—-the smell didn’t leave my nose for days!
if you’re a vegan beer lover and you haven’t been to stone, definitely add this place to your bucket list. there’s really nowhere else like it on on earth.
last week, all my dreams came true.
if you know me, you probably know that i’m a huge fan of the even huger soft pretzels at golden road pub. each pretzel is about the size of two human heads and i’ve been known to eat 3 or 4 of them during any given week. they come served slightly crispy and extra salty with a pot of tear-gas-strength house mustard, they are pretzel perfection.
listen: of all the places i’ve eaten at since i started blogging back in the day, liticker’s mexican grill is definitely one of the most special finds (huge thanks to matt for the tip!). click the pictures above to enlarge…
imagine a small mexican food stand that serves cheap/delicious grub while operating out of a liquor store. one dude somehow grilling up a giant menu that would seem to require a staff at least 4 times the size. awesome. this operation doesn’t only make insane food, but also serves it at insane hours (8am to 2am daily). breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night munchies, you’re covered. add to that, this place has a separate vegan menu—-and not just “leave out the chicken and cheese” vegan, we’re talking seitan burritos, tempeh fish tacos, scrambles, enchiladas, etc. that’s liticker’s.
we hit up liticker’s at 9am for some burritos to see what they could do. in case you aren’t already aware, 9am is not typical burrito hour, but liticker’s brought their a-game. while waiting for our food, we nabbed a table outside the liquor store (not many seats at this place, so your experience may vary) and gorged ourselves on free chips and possibly the hottest salsa i’ve ever eaten.
our food took about 10 minutes from counter order to serving plate, and it was phenomenal. i can personally vouch for the seitan burrito, the tempeh tj style tacos, and the soyrizo potato burrito. all amazing—-and ridiculously so when you take into account that they were consumed at 9am, at a liquor store, in a beautiful beach city.
liticker’s, i love you.
delicious vegan pizza at blind lady ale house—-san diego’s best nano-brewery. this classic marinara pie with basil may look standard at first glance (and that’s what i thought when it arrived at my table), but the sauce and crust were exceptional, a cut above “good” restaurant vegan pizza. i definitely didn’t miss the cheese and toppings.
overall, blind lady fucking rules. incredible beer selection, vegan items clearly marked on the menu, and every once in awhile they have once in a lifetime home-brewed beers on tap. what more do i require?
on our recent trip to san diego, we hit up north park’s newest very vegan-friendly beer bar: tiger! tiger! the place is incredible—-lots of great beers and a solid menu. unfortunately, we just stopped by for a quickie: one pint of hefe each and the homemade bread plate (veganized) to share, both of which were excellent.
i can’t wait to return and try their vegan brunch, lentil sliders, and fried polenta….in addition to many more beers.
OH, and LOVELIKEBEER is having a vegan valentine’s day benefit at tiger! tiger! that you all should attend. if you can swing it, it’s definitely worth making the trip from LA to hit up a LOVELIKEBEER event. i will someday get around to posting photos from the one we attended a few months ago. suffice to say, it was epic!
spud buds at stone world bistro & gardens in escondido: stone ipa organic garlicky mashed potatoes, balled up and deep fried in arrogant bastard ale batter. served with a side of stone smoked porter bbq sauce for dipping. all vegan!
dude, if you haven’t been to stone brewery yet, stop reading this and GO! it’s an incredible brewery with a super classy vegan-friendly restaurant attached to it. there are a few hotels within walking distance, and i highly recommend a food field trip just to eat and drink there. i’ve done it many times!
vegan tempeh shepherd’s pie at stone world bistro and gardens in escondido: one of my all time favorites.
riding the amtrak surfliner train from LA to oceanside. love it.