Tuesday, February 01, 2011

On travel and breweries

I really meant to write about this a couple weeks ago. Like, right around the time it happened. And really, only because it was something to talk about.

See, many people will tell you that popcorn goes best with movies. I tend to disagree. I am rather popcorn neutral. I am popcorn ambivalent. Simply stated, popcorn does nothing for me. I can take it or leave it. In fact, when I was at the Burton Theatre last week, I did leave it. And it would have been free! Of course, they had also just run out, and I would have had to wait 10 minutes and that's just too long to wait for a bag of popcorn.

This leads to the natural question, if I'm popcorn neutral, than what does go best with a movie? I'm glad you asked, see, there's one thing that just goes perfectly with movies in my world, beer. This is why I have lately taken the opportunity to talk more about beer around here. Beer and movies just go great together. Especially the kind of movies I like to watch. If you're watching something like Chupacabra Terror without a beer nearby, you're missing out on half the point.

Basically, all of this is to set up a story. See, I collect pint glasses. Most are from breweries and restaurants. One of the first glasses I picked up was on eBay.

Not my actual glass. Just a picture I stole from Amazon.
In fact, it would be years before I ever tried Arrogant Bastard Ale. I was at Slow's in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit when I first tried it. Since then, I've tried a few of Stone Brewery's beers. They're good, but I can't drink a lot of them. They tend to be pretty strong, both in flavor and alcohol content!

Back to the present. A couple weeks ago, I was heading out to an Indian Reservation outside of San Diego, CA. And what town would I be passing through? Escondido. And what's in Escondido? Stone Brewery and Stone World Bistro. On top of all that, it would be a Monday, and that means Meatless Monday's at the Bistro. I was in.

It was a beautiful Southern California day. The kind that they rub in the face of those of us living in places that get cold and snow. Sunny, 70ish degrees, not a cloud to be seen. If I had to describe it in a single word, perfect is the only one that comes to mind. The building itself is a bit off of the beaten path, and unmarked. There's little about it to tell you that this is the place you're looking for. There's no indication that there is a restaurant or brewpub here.

You have to take a chance and assume that that is the door you're looking for. Once inside, however, you're greeted by the brewery store where you can buy shirts and glasses and belt buckles and hats and...well, you get the idea.

Off to the side is the bistro. It's primarily outside seating. Which works in SoCal, I suppose. They asked me where I wanted to sit, I said I was from Detroit and it's so nice outside that it would be a shame to be indoors. They sat me outside at the bar.

I ordered the Levitation Ale. An amber that, as far as I can tell, is not readily available in my area. For my meal, I ordered the Mac 'n Beer Cheese.
Mac 'n Beer Cheese
Mike's Beer Cheese makes classic mac 'n cheese classier. And more importantly, much tastier. Made with Mike's Stone Smoked Porter & Garlic Beer Cheese with sun dried tomatoes, and basil.
It was as good as it sounds. Overall, it was a nice little excursion to a brewery I wouldn't normally get to visit. And it kind of brought everything full circle since it was a glass from Stone that started my pint glass collection. And no, I did not buy another glass while I was there.