Tag Archives: mac and cheese

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

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:

photo

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

Bondi – Australian for BBQ

by Brian

I recently got the opportunity to check out a nice little BBQ place in Venice.  My buddy Jason told me about Bondi BBQ and graciously offered to help me eat their food last weekend.  I also got the chance to meet his awesome fiance, Angelica, and I must say that as far as girls go, she’s pretty rad.

Bondi BBQ – On Windward Ave. right by the beach in Venice

Bondi BBQ

Because this place came so highly recommended, I had high expectations going into the meal.  This was also my first trip to Venice as an adult, so I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect.  Turns out that it’s pretty much the same as it was when I was a kid, with plenty of awesome people watching to be had.

The restaurant, itself, is not very impressive.  It’s pretty much all bench seating and the tables you see out front are where we ended up eating.  The weather is usually pretty good down there, so sitting outside is a great option because it can get a little stuffy inside.  They also have a back patio, but when we sat down back there, to look at the menus, we quickly noticed that there were way too many flies hovering around to risk eating there.  I really hope they get that sorted out, because if it were a little cleaner, it would have been a nice place to enjoy the meal.

We ended up ordering a combo meal called the Tail Gator, which included one pound of tri-tip, one BBQ chicken, a full rack of ribs, two sides and two loaves of garlic bread.  The total, with soft drinks and tax, came out to about 90 bucks.  So it’s obviously not super cheap, but considering the amount of food we got, I thought it was fair.  They say that the Tail Gator serves 3-5 people, but I think you’re probably stretching it a bit to feed 5. Continue reading

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Filed under Los Angeles Area, Venice

Willy’s Smokehouse – A New Favorite Emerges

by Brian

Hey, everybody!  Sorry for the lack of recent updates.  Mikey and I have been slackin’ on our pimpin’ over the past few days, livin’ it up and enjoying the good life.  But don’t you worry; we’ve also been eating some good stuff and will be writing all about it this week.

Coming up, we’ve got some fine Italian food, a new episode of The Catch, a pizza that might be our highest scoring ever and some authentic Mexican cuisine.  But for tonight’s post, I’ve got the latest and greatest BBQ in our area.

Willy’s Smokehouse – Just off the 101 at Chesebro, in Agoura Hills.

For those of you who don’t know, we’ve been doing quite a bit of BBQ lately.  We’ve had good experiences and bad, but I think Willy’s has emerged as my latest favorite.

Willy’s is a small place, right beside the freeway, and if you’re not looking for it you’ll drive right past.  That would be a huge mistake though, because the barbeque is as down-home and delicious as you’ll find anywhere in L.A.

I originally heard about this place through a friend who works there.  Usually I take these kinds of recommendations with a grain of salt because, as an employee, he or she has a vested interest in the restaurant doing well.  So I looked it up on a few of the rating sites and verified the legitimacy of Willy’s.  It checked out, so I decided to check it out.

Patio

My friend and I rolled up at around 7:30pm on a Tuesday night.  It wasn’t too crowded, which made me think that either a lot of people still don’t know about it, or they just can’t find it, call off the search and settle for the Wood Ranch down the street.  Fine by me.  It was a nice night, so we snagged a booth outside on the patio and started looking over the menu.  Continue reading

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Filed under Agoura Hills, Ventura County

My Crappy BBQ Experience at CJ’s

by Brian

As most of you know, the majority of my reviews on EatMeCalifornia are positive ones.  After all, we want to promote local businesses that have great food, great service and all the things that make a meal memorable.  CJ’s had none of that.  In fact, when scouring my experience for positive things to say, I only found two.  First, CJ’s serves barbeque.  Second, their spicy barbeque sauce is really good.  Unfortunately, they don’t serve anything that I’d like to put the aforementioned sauce on.

I didn’t take a picture of the front of this place, mostly because I don’t want you guys to go there.  Here’s why… Continue reading

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Filed under Oxnard, Ventura County