It’s easy to forget how lucky I am to live in such a great beer and food town. Granted…San Diego is not famous [yet] for being a Gastro-Mecca; but honestly, this lovely city deserves honorable mention.
I ventured out this afternoon to meetup with a lovely Twitter beer friend ( @gandalfcat ) at Hamilton’s Tavern in South Park. On the Second Saturday of every moth, Hamilton’s “puts out a spread” of food and fantastic beers. This event features a brewery — Alpine Beer Company in this case — and you can expect a tap selection of stellar beers from the featured brewery at this event. Alpine is a “beer institution” in San Diego. This impeccable brewery maintains a modest production so distribution of these finally crafted ales is extremely limited. Known for “hop explosions”, Alpine brews with the #HopHead in mind. I credit Alpine’s Pure Hoppiness as my “first-love” in the hoppy beer arena. I had my first sip at The Local on 4th Avenue and the rest is history. Suffice it to say, I have never had a disappointing beer from this local gem. Today was no exception…
It was hot and woefully sweaty in Hamilton’s this afternoon but honestly, it’s worth enduring the sauna! This beer bar holds a very special place in my heart. Good memories flood my mind as my eyes adjust to the darkness when I walk in the door. There are no frills here but the vibe is solid. The staff is beer savvy and friendly. The prices are reasonable and the beer selection is world-class. If you visit San Diego and you love craft beer; Hamilton’s is a must.
FACT: Hoppy beers make me hungry! Not sure there is any science to support this theory, but I believe hops stimulate my palate.
I find that I experience more intense flavor explosions from the food I eat when drinking hoppy beers. I stopped off at Alchemy for some supper after leaving Hamilton’s this evening. I am ashamed that I have not eaten there in quite some time and tonight I was reminded of how much I have been missing. I have chosen to eat a fairly strict “Paleo” diet since my surgery in February. It’s not always easy but I can say with all certainty that it is saving my life. I was pleasantly surprised by the Paleo-Friendly selections on the menu at Alchemy. I selected the Ceviche, white fish marinated in citrus juice with pasilla peppers, mango, red onion, cucumber & cilantro served with plantain chips for my starter. Absolutely #DELISH!!!
Next up the Larb Goong – Mexican white shrimp spiced up with Thai chili, lime and cilantro; served in bibb lettuce cups. Holy #Paleo Heaven Batman! I absolutely loved this dish! I had to omit the peanuts but the flavor balance in this dish was excellent. I can’t remember the last time I had something this flavor-packed. I will definitely be trying to recreate this dish at home but the lesson learned today was one of remembering restaurants that support my food ethics. Alchemy is the poster child for ethical eating and I plan to hold myself accountable to eating here on a more regular basis.
I would like to note that this dinner (more than filling) was $19. I realize that not everyone can afford to eat out on a regular basis but for a splurge, this is good value for the money.
The brilliant thing about places like Alchemy is that they inspire people to be more creative in the kitchen. You can bet that I will be trying to recreate the Larb Goong at home but that does not mean I won’t be going back to Alchemy again soon to experience more of Chef Ricardo Heredia’s brilliant creations.
Our Purpose: “to serve food with meaning prepared by people who care”
If you are visiting San Diego, be sure to check out @Hamilons and @AlchemySD
Peace & Love