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San Diego's Best Bar Eats

Oct 14th 2010 4:00PM / by Nanette Wiser

It all started with Cass Street Bar & Grill in Pacific Beach. "Mass & Cass" turned Sunday church into a singles mixer at the dive bar where newly cleansed hordes sucked down IPA and ales and hooked up over Oriental chicken salads, blackened mahi mahi sandwiches and cioppino while playing pool and shuffleboard. They came for cheap pitchers and stayed for the food. Cool watering holes abound, but the gastro-chic know the difference between just a burger with their beer and a foodie find worth staying another round for. We drank ourselves silly narrowing it down to these nifty neighborhood nosh pits.

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern: JFAT 's industrial warehouse modern vibe infuses Point Loma's orchid winning marina building, updated by the same Costa Mesa team who designed San Diego's Hard Rock Hotel. The huge roll-up garage doors open on the Harbor, making happy hour sunnier -- as does the extensive microbrew and designer cocktail list. Chef James Nunn unique down-home comfort "foodie meets fry" dishes include Southern fried chicken with thyme cream gravy, pimento dip, cheddar cheese mini burgers with jalapeno jelly, homemade buttermilk biscuits, deviled eggs and beer-battered fish and chips -- even a Carolina shellfish boil with andouille and sweet corn. The ingredients are sourced locally, supporting neighborhood farms, fisheries and ranches.
4990 N. Harbor Drive, Point Loma; 619-226-2103

Neighborhood: Some say it's too dark, too noisy and too popular but the pub food at Neighborhood is mighty fine especially when accompanied by garlic or fennel fries and sweet potato chips. For lunch, munch on jalapeno mac 'n' cheese, deviled eggs, chorizo corn dogs, crispy shrimp wraps with sweet and sour mango sauce, and for vegans, the black bean burger or strawberry spinach salad with goat cheese. Dinner requires multiple visits for savoring the bacon seduced mini brats, smoked porter braised beef ribs, steamed pork buns or butter poached black mussels. The bottle beer and wine list is equally delectable with Duckhorn, Kim Crawford, Silver Oak and my best friend, Veuve Cliquot, soothing with a steak taco spiced with garlic aioli.
777 G St., Downtown; 619-446-0002

Sessions Public: A former real estate developer with a passion for sustainable, local food, OB native Abel Kaase's Voltaire jewel comforts the eye and palate, especially the blistered tomatoes, Nueske bacon lollipops with spicy chile-lime dipping sauce, roasted beet salad with peanut brittle, tempura chicken oysters, short rib sliders and for dessert, figgy ginger bread pudding and a boozy beer and bourbon caramel brownie. Taco Tuesday is replaced with grilled cheese Tuesday -- six ooey-gooey choices, best washed down with Delirium Tremens, Floris Apple Ale or a Old Grove gin mule and ginger beer. Sessions' motto: "It's all about the essentials: Tasty, interesting, and comforting, and doesn't require a bank loan to pay for it."
4204 Voltaire St., Ocean Beach; 619-756-7715


 
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Everywhere Else
Anna Maria Beach Cottages
Epic Hotel Miami
Los Cabos Resort
Crystal River, Florida
Sanibel Beach Resort, Florida
Sonoma Mission Inn

Upcoming Events
San Diego Beer Week
The Old Globe Theater
Newport Jazz Festival
Clearwater Jazz Festiva