Tag Archives: Beer

Moorpark’s Own Craft Beer

by Brian

Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a craft brew kick.  Actually, that’s an outright lie.  I’ve been obsessed.  Since leaving San Diego, I have been searching for the camaraderie and creativity that only craft brewing has been able to give me.  Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of useful pursuits out there.  But not many are as interesting as the purposeful brewing and joyful consumption of my beloved beer.

My buddy Dave and had I brewed our own Double IPA.  I guess what I’d like to say about it (because the wound is still a little open) is that it was a learning experience.  Looking to increase my knowledge in local beers, as well as a way to drown my sorrows, I decided to go find a small brewery in Moorpark called Enegren Brewing Company.

Enegren Brewing Company – Flinn Avenue in Moorkpark

The idea of being able to visit a brewery is a fairly new development in the beer world.  It has only been with the explosion in home brewing, that the concept of beer as science and craft has been made available to the masses.  There are ancient breweries in Germany, Belgium, and Ireland that had been painstakingly crafting the same beer for hundreds of years protected by rows of razor wire, explosive ordinance and monkeys packing Clint Eastwood-like Colt .45s.  All that changed when the common man rose up against such tyranny and began the crusade for free beer.  (Well, you still have to pay for it, but you get what I mean…)

The people of Enegren embrace this counter-culture approach to beer.  When you walk into their tasting room, the smell of a fresh batch of grain, boiling with anticipation of its destiny, often hangs in the air.  On the wall, displayed like a work of art, is the schematic for their brewing operation.  Rather than hiding their process from “the competition,” they seek to educate and inform on how this nectar of the gods is made.

A glass of the "Protector" IPA

A glass of the “Protector” IPA

Anyway, enough soliloquy on the freedom of beer.  Here’s what I think about the brewery that is Enegren. Continue reading

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Filed under Moorpark, Ventura County

Back to Umami

by Brian

So I reviewed this place shortly after opening last year. Let’s just say that I wasn’t impressed. I’ve been in since, but I was bored tonight so I decided to give them the full EMC treatment.

Umami Burger – Thousand Oaks (The Lakes shopping center)

I went into Umami tonight because, honestly, I felt sorry for them. The whole shopping center felt void of human presence. In fact, when I asked the barman (who is also the manager) why it was so empty, he told me that January is the worst month for restaurants. I’m not going to argue with him because it seemed as though myself and the party of six out-of-towners were the only patrons tonight.

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Still, I decided to sit at the bar and have dinner. I figured that, at the very least, my food would be up quickly. The first drawback, though, was trying to actually sit down. It seems that the seats at the bar are constructed from re-purposed bug zappers, fashioned into the shape of ass-hammocks. See exhibit A below:

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Filed under Thousand Oaks, Ventura County

It’s good to know your Neighborhood

by Brian

In the month that I’ve been living in San Diego, I’ve had the privilege of eating at some awesome places.  One place, however, has risen above the rest and now qualifies as my home base.  That place, my friends, is the Neighborhood.

Neighborhood is a bar, first and foremost.  They are actually the closest thing to Father’s Office that San Diego can offer.  They have a great selection of craft brews and Belgian ales, and a nice wine list as well.  Recently they have also introduced hard liquor to the bar, in the form of two specialty cocktails which I have yet to try.  All I know is that one of the drinks is made with Hendrick’s Gin, which is really all anyone needs to know in assessing quality.  Here is a picture of my favorite part of the Neighborhood:

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As I said before, they have a pretty impressive beer selection.  They also have a happy hour from 4-7 during the week, and during that happy hour all San Diego beers are 2 for 1.  I’ve never seen a 2 for 1 happy hour with drinks before, and I’m not even sure if it’s legal, but I like where they’re going with the idea.  The last thing I will say about the beer menu is that it changes frequently.  If you’re looking to get your normal Stella or Newcastle, then this is not the place for you.  However, if you are looking to experiment with a few amazing IPAs, then I highly recommend them.  Like Father’s Office, the service staff is very knowledgeable about their beers and are always willing to let you have a little taste before you commit. Continue reading

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Filed under East Village, San Diego

Fred’s Mexican Café

by Mikey

Yes it’s another review for a Mexican Restaurant; this one however has 2 great things going for it. Location and atmosphere. Fred’s is on the main drag in Huntington Beach and its got good food and a really great atmosphere for drinkin and hanging out. Only issue is stairs…….

Fred’s Mexican Café – Huntington Beach

Just like the Huntington Beach Brewery, Fred’s has a mass amount of stairs. Drunk people must be much more coordinated in HB cause stairs around here means drunks giggling, laughing, yelling, and then falling. Drunks need flat ground as they drink in herds and need flat space to sip from the well and run in the event of an ex or the police.

Once you make the assent up to Fred’s you’ll see that it was worth it. Half their seating has a great view of the nightlife below and they even have the place split in half with the serious drinkers on one side and the social drinkers on the other side. They have a fireplace which is beautiful but unnecessary for the alcoholic as we have internal heating systems that are triggered by the consumption of Vodka or Whiskey.

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Fred’s also has some pretty good music. Anywhere they play 80’s and early 90’s is good for me. I know Brian is more into Yani and old guys that play wood flutes but it was still pretty rockin.

They have a few beers on tap and my brother Alex and I ordered up a couple. I got mine in the huge ass Fred’s Glass which is great at the beginning but tends to get warm kinda quick.

I was the only one eatin tonight as my bro decided that beer, chips , and salsa is all that would be on his menu. I being A: a big dude, and B: a guy who writes for a food site tries to get food wherever I go. I ordered the carne asada enchilada plate.

First off their salsa is decent. It’s perfect for those alcoholics that like to graze while the drink with the heard. It’s not all that spicy but is still zesty and fresh tasting.

The enchilada was not too bad. The carne asada was good; it was cooked well and had a great flavor. The cheese is a bit bland and I would have enjoyed a more zesty and exciting sauce. It’s not a bad dish but it could use some life. Kick up the chili, the garlic, add some onion, cilantro, a little lime, anything to give it just a bit more life.

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I’d like to try a few more dishes there so I’m counting on you guys to head over to Fred’s and try it out. It’s a really great place to drink and I’d like to know how some of their other dishes play out. See if you can get them to put in an escalator.

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Filed under Huntington Beach, Orange County

Huntington Beach Beer Company

by Mikey

Its time to veer off from the world of food for just a bit and show off a great place to get beer, beer, and more beer. It’s an awesome place on Main St, that has some excellent brews, just watch out for the guy that steals the chairs.

Huntington Beach Beer Company – Main St, Huntington Beach

My bro ,who is staying in HB, took me to a few of the great spots in and around town.  I’ll be throwing a few on here.  From here on out, the place will be known as HBBC because I don’t feel like typing that whole thing out every time I use the name.

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We shared a pitcher of the wheat beer, which was actually pretty damn good.  I’m not always a fan of the hef but theirs is done well.  It would be great to drink on one of those days when you’re out in the hot sun watching other people work.  We didn’t try too many others because it was just the beginning of our alcoholic adventure.

The place itself is upstairs, which can be a problem for most of us alcoholics.  Negotiating stairs drunk is a lot like a Pauly Shore movie. Yeah it’s got funny parts, but for the most part it is going to be bad. Another good reason to spread out the drinking.

They do have some great TV action, so it is a great place to watch sports.  They also have a patio with an outstanding view. It’s the perfect place to start off a first date when that game you were watching is still on, but you still want to make a good impression.  She’ll think you’re awesome for picking a great place to drink and you’ll get the chance to see your boys wrap up the game on TV.

I do have a couple general complaints. First, the help could increase the whole “happy, glad to see ya” thing.  They spend a lot of time having fun and laughing with each other, but as far as interacting with the public, they lean more towards “lets just get it over with”.  Maybe they were just upset about the current state of the economy.

The other thing that was odd is that this dude came by and took all the bar stools.  He didn’t say why, he just said he needed to remove the stools.  I figured he received some kind of vision and had to build something so the voices would stop.  Still, standing with a pitcher of beer doesn’t work as well as sitting comfortably.  I was hoping at that point for some kind of break dancing competition to break out with the new amount of space made.  But alas, no cardboard in sight.

We used the chair removal as our cue to hit up the next spot.  I would definitely hit up this place again.  They have some great beer and feature some nice seasonal brews.  They have some awards from the LA County Fair and the CA State Fair.  Silver medals abound throughout the taps; it’s definitely a great place to drink.  If you eat there, let me know how the food is.

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Filed under Huntington Beach, Orange County

Evita’s Mexican Café

by Mikey

I was told to hit Evita’s for the salsa and the enchiladas.  Since I dig both, I headed on over.  Evita’s has won a few local awards for salsa at the Oxnard salsa festivals and you can view their various awards right over the salsa bar.  I was hoping I was in for, at the least, some really good salsas.

Evita’s Mexican Café – Ventura off of Main St

Evita’s is a little pink restaurant on the side of Main St, at the East end, before you hit the Pacific View Mall.  Even though I rarely enter a pink building, because it is a man card violation, I figured it was for a good cause and I had already gotten another violation that day for watching Footloose.

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Filed under Ventura, Ventura County

Pizza Port – Suds by the Sea

by Brian

Mikey and I took a run down San Diego way a while back and were looking for another great place to review.  Luckily, this time I did a little thinkin’ ahead and called my friend Talia, to pick her brain about where I could find some delicious pizza.  She let me know that Pizza Port was, hands down, the best pizza in all of San Diego.  And with a recommendation like that, how could we not go check it out?

Some of you might have noticed that it’s been a while since we did our last pizza review.  The reason for that isn’t the fact that we started hating pizza, but instead that Mikey and I have been struggling to find places that live up to our rigid standards.  Pizza is the only thing on the site that we rate (a la Zagat) and, so far, we’ve yet to have a pizza crack 80 on our 100 point scale. (Otherwise known as the Pizza Measuring System or PMS)  Our last pizza was the highest scoring yet and it only managed a 76.

Is there a new Godfather in our pizza mafia?  Keep reading to find out… Continue reading

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Filed under San Diego, Solana Beach