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



Bare Back Grill

by Alyssa on January 19, 2012

in Food, Restaurant Reviews

I didn’t know it at the time I visited, but Bare Back Grill has been voted one of the best burger places in San Diego. Bare Back Grill serves New Zealand style burgers, which means they use organic, grass-fed beef from New Zealand. The vegetables used to top the burgers are also organic. Devin took me there because one of his coworker’s had ordered a tofu burger, which I’d only tried once before at the dining hall at UCI (it was a mushy, bland burger), so I wanted to try Bare Back Grill’s rendition. Unfortunately, when I went, Bare Back Grill had run out of the Holy Roller(tempura fried tofu burger) so I ordered a Wake & Bake.

The Wake & Bake sandwich is a tilapia fish filet dipped in tempura batter and fried until golden and crisp. The light tempura batter allowed the fresh tilapia flavor to shine through. I was also surprised that the tilapia filet remained juicy. Topping the Wake & Bake was a mildly spicy coleslaw and mayonnaise. It was a hefty sandwich with a good portion of creamy coleslaw that went well with the fried tilapia. Since the burgers and sandwiches come solo, I added onion rings on the side. These onion rings were freshly fried and although I only received about five onion rings, they were cut thick and were very large in diameter. They came with a wasabi mayonnaise sauce which didn’t give off very much heat. Even though much of the food I ordered was fried and there was also a good portion of mayonnaise, it didn’t sit heavy in my stomach afterwards. I’ll be back to try the Holy Roller burger!

Bare Back Grill

4640 Mission Blvd.

San Diego, CA 92109



Pioneer Woman Penne A La Betsy and Olive Cheese Bread

January 3, 2012

I follow The Pioneer Woman’s blog, and often take a look at her Cooking section, even though many of her recipes include large amounts of meat (and butter), most of which I don’t eat. I like her recipes because they are simple with few steps and since she lives out in the boonies (aka, where […]

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South Beach Bar & Grille

December 27, 2011

Touted as having some of the best fish tacos in San Diego by San Diego Magazine, Sign On San Diego, Serious Eats, and Bon Appetit, I finally made it to South Beach Bar & Grille when it wasn’t completely packed. South Beach Bar & Grille is located in Ocean Beach, right along the beach so […]

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December 22, 2011

After our late lunch at the Bisbee Grille, we opted for something quick for dinner. I had never heard of Culver’s before coming to Tucson and it turned out to be a fast-casual restaurant specializing in frozen custard and butter burgers. Culver’s started in Wisconsin and so they use Wisconsin cheese to top their burgers, […]

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Portobello “Philly Cheese Steak” Sandwich

November 12, 2011

I have been making this recipe for Portobello “Philly Cheese Steak” Sandwich for a couple of years now and I love it. It’s especially tasty when yellow and orange bell peppers are on sale, but alas that is not always the case, so you can see that I only used red and green bell peppers in […]

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Baja Fish Tacos

October 29, 2011

With a few more boxes waiting to be packed as we moved out of our Santa Ana apartment, our last meal in Orange County was Baja Fish Tacos for some fish tacos that we had heard about from friends and strangers. I love fish tacos. Fish tacos are one of the foods that prevents me from […]

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Yard House

February 4, 2011

Although Yard House may be most known for its seemingly endless row of beer taps and tall beer glasses, Devin and I often go there just for the food. I enjoy ordering their sushi cakes, while Devin likes their burgers, especially the fries that accompany each burger. This is from a visit to the restaurant […]

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