Stone World Bistro and Gardens – LIberty Station

San Diego is literally one of my most favorite places to visit and I come as often as I can, which is not enough. Since San Diego has also become a mecca of craft brewing, I also try to hit up as many local breweries as I can. However, I never get tired of Stone World Bistro and Gardens. The original is in Escondido, which is a 45 minute drive from downtown San Diego, BUT they just opened a new location in a cool little area that has been converted from an old Navy base to a collection of cool restaurants, shops and galleries called “Liberty Station.” Stone is not only about good beer, but the food is also out of this world. Some might say the prices are a little high for brewpub food, but my fine feathered friend, this is not just brewpub food. This is what they call “foodie food.” I came by with a buddy on my latest trip and had an appetizer of crispy Brussels Sprouts with a sweet and sour sauce and pancetta lardons. I don’t know what all of that is, but it was outrageously good and if you can make Brussels Sprouts good, you are good! My dinner buddy had the wild boar ribs, which were similarly outrageously good and spicy. We both had the chicken schnitzel with mashed potatoes and carrots (I didn’t eat the potatoes since I am on the Paleo diet). I could not have been happier with my choice. My buddy said the mashed potatoes were very good. The carrots were awesome. The service was very attentive and friendly as well. One point to note. The mens and womens bathrooms have a window to each other at the sink (the stalls are behind a wall and not visible), but it was weird to hear women talking to guys in the mens room while they were washing their hands. It didn’t bother me, but I could see some people not liking this feature. While I’m talking about the beer I had the chance to try the Ruination Ten IPA. This is the Tenth Anniversary of their juggernaut Ruination IPA. For this bad boy they added five POUNDS of hops to each barrel and upped the malt profile to balance it, increasing it to imperial strength (10.8% ABV). It pours an apricot-y color with a small white head. It has a resiny nose with a grapefruit-y bitterness followed by other tropical fruit flavors like mango. It is very smooth in spite of the large ABV. Very drinkable. Good thing it comes in a small tulip glass. I give it 5 out of 5 proper pints.

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