mashed potatoes

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

951-303-0333

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Sam the Cooking Guy is a hot item in San Diego! Unfortunately, I don’t spend much time watching TV, so I never really got into his show. My friends love him though, and they own his cookbooks and have been to his cooking classes. Snooping through one of my friend’s cupboards, I found two Sam the Cooking Guy cookbooks and thumbed through the pages. His recipe for Mashed Potato Tacos caught my eye and at first I was a little averse to the idea of potato chips in a dish, but they’re pretty tasty!

Sam the Cooking Guy’s recipe calls for leftover mashed potatoes, which makes it a quick weeknight meal. I don’t usually make mashed potatoes as a side dish, so I usually have to make them specifically for this dish, which is fine since I love freshly mashed potatoes. After boiling, then mashing the potatoes, I keep them warm on the stove while I heat tortillas in a skillet. Then it’s a matter of assembly: heated tortilla on a plate, spread a dollop of sour cream, add mashed potato, add (or omit) hot sauce, sprinkle with chopped green onions, then crush kettle potato chips on top. I can whip these up quick! You can see that I served these with refried beans, but I actually really balk at all the white food and carbs. Sometimes I just want to eat what tastes good, not necessarily what’s healthy or gourmet and these tacos definitely fall into those categories.

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