Barley & Hops

by Alyssa on March 14, 2012

in Food, Restaurant Reviews

I received free tickets to Pechanga‘s Comedy Club, which was awesome enough, but I was also looking forward to having a meal in Temecula, since we don’t head up that way very often. Although Temecula is known for its extensive network of wineries, I wanted to find somewhere that we could have a quick meal near the casino to make it in time for the comedy show. Since I don’t know the area at all,¬†Yelp came in handy. A quick search for restaurants near Pechanga came up with good reviews for Barley & Hops and I was won over by the extensive list of beers on tap at the gourmet pub.Although we don’t usually order appetizers, Yelp reviewers said that Barley & Hops’ corn nuggets were a must-try. Biting into the freshly fried nuggets revealed a creamy corn mixture with juicy corn kernels in every bite. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the corn nuggets were served with green-tinted ranch dressing. The corn nuggets were something different than the usual appetizer fare and didn’t end up being a heavy way to start the meal.

I went with the Fisherman Chowder for my entree. I was surprised when I was presented with the chowder in a nicely toasted sourdough bread bowl. The chowder is packed with shrimp, clams, lobster, and scallops with just enough liquid to moisten it. It was a very hearty chowder because of the abundance of seafood and different from other chowders I have tried. I really enjoyed it and would come back to have it again.

Devin ordered the Celtic Cleaver Steak, which was topped with gravy, blue cheese, and onion strings. On the side were sauteed squash and mashed potatoes with gravy. Ordered medium, the steak came out a little on the rare side. While blue cheese can be overwhelming, there was just enough topping the steak to add a creamy tang. This was a well-seasoned steak, but doesn’t place among those found at dedicated steakhouses.

Something on the menu that caught my eye was the Salmon Wellington, which was described as a salmon filet and mushrooms wrapped in puff pastry and baked. I would like to return and try that, even though the Fisherman Chowder is calling me back. This restaurant is casual, with low lighting, a steady stream of music, televisions playing sports channels, and did I mention the very extensive list of domestic (think local) and international beer?

Barley & Hops

31045 Temecula Parkway

Suite 101

Temecula, CA 92592



The first day of Spring this year brought rain. So what better a way to spend a rainy day than to serve corn chowder to warm us up?



This was my first ever attempt at making soup and it was a hit!

I adapted The Barefoot Contessa’s Cheddar Corn Chowder to¬†accommodate vegetarians:

1/8 cup olive oil

3 cups chopped yellow onions

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric

6 cups vegetable stock

1 pound medium-chopped red potatoes, unpeeled

5 cups frozen corn kernels

1 cup half-and-half

1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese

Sprinkle of bacon bits (soy-based)

In a stockpot over medium heat, combine the olive oil, butter, and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and tumeric and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the corn, half-and-half, and cheese and cook until the cheese is melted, about 5 more minutes. Serve with bacon bits.


This was a really delicious soup with bits of corn and potatoes in every spoonful. It was rich due to the cheddar cheese and had a lot of onions, almost turning it into an onion soup. It turned out thinner than I expected, but was still full of flavor. Making soup was easier than I expected and this soup was quite hearty.