The early 20th century birthed the first incarnation of Mission Brewery, in which California newsboys and other pre?Jazz Era scallywags tossed back their sudsy concoctions before Prohibition closed its doors. Despite its short tenure since its reestablishment in 2007, Mission Brewery has already snatched medals from the Great American Beer Festival and other competitions for its pantheon of brews. In its tasting room, patrons claim bottles or sample draft beers that include the Bavarian-style hefeweizen with hints of banana, clove, and pear; a russian imperial stout; or the Shipwrecked Double IPA, a strong concoction that, like walking on hot coals, benefits from a liberal use of hops. Located just a few blocks from the San Diego Padre's Petco Park, guests can enjoy tours through the rows of gleaming vats in the brewing chambers, which are housed in the historic Wonder Bread Building, rumored to be haunted by multicolored polka dots.
The Cask Room's vast wine menu rotates each week like a stately Morris dance or a motley safety dance, and might feature the bold tannins of a 2006 Monte da Cal from Alentejano, Portugal ($9 for a glass); a 2007 Rancho Sisquoc River Red fermented and bottled in Santa Barbara, California ($10 a glass); or a 2007 Clautiere Roussanne from the Paso Robles, California ($11 a glass). Passionate wine professionals will guide you through the latest liquid lineup and suggest pairings from a mealtime menu populated by toasted paninis and petite tapas that hearken back to an age when cuisine strived to woo the stomach’s heart without resorting to cyber-stalking. The Sonoma melts together grilled portobello mushrooms with roasted red peppers, goat cheese, roast garlic, thyme, and caramelized onion ($10), while small plates present dishes such as stuffed dates stuffed with goat cheese and baked in a layer of prosciutto ($9) and gorgonzola crostini topped with agave nectar ($8).
In addition to the sense of perseverance and accomplishment that comes with finishing a 5K, the organizers of the Bacon Chase have added another incentive: bacon. During their two races?the 5K Piggy Pilgrimage, which is a traditional 5K, and the 0.05K Blitz to Bacon, which is a 164-foot sprint?runners can munch on unlimited bacon bits before feasting on unlimited amounts of bacon at the finish line. Runners 21 and older can wash down the savory strips of bacon with a bloody mary, and all runners get a Bacon Chase T-shirt and a signature bacon-scented bib. The festival opens at 8 a.m. and features many bacon-themed activities, plus music.
The festive day serves a greater purpose, too. Attendees will be able to register to become a St. Jude Hero, raise money for St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, or both.
Sound Excursions describes their carefully curated group experiences as "field trips for adults." It's easy to see why: every outing takes groups to a new realm of Washington, whether it's the frothy shores of Puget Sound, inland forests and mountains, or tables at Seattle's thriving restaurants. The events held at these diverse locations range from culinary workshops on topics such as sushi-making and moonshine-tasting, to adventurous excursions with whitewater rafting or kayaking, to laid-back themed party cruises. For many outings, luxury transportation is provided.
Organic and locally sourced ingredients give the French, Italian, and Spanish-inspired meals at Rustic Tapas and Meatballs a California twist. The dinner menu centers on oven-baked meatballs, made from scratch according to the owner's grandmother's recipe. Whether tumbled across spaghetti or slipped between bread, they burst with the flavors of fresh herbs and slow-roasted meats?or soy chorizo, in the case of the vegetarian option. Before or between meals, guests can snack on Spanish-inspired tapas or sip glasses of housemade sangria, craft beer, and organic wine.
Every day at Toast Enoteca & Cucina, Mario Gonzalez performs a brilliant balancing act between tradition and innovation. Having trained in Italy under renowned chefs, he's mastered the fundamentals of Italian cooking, and his expertise shines in homemade pastas, sauces, and breads. However, his knack for experimentation has also led to modern showstoppers, such as pizza topped with octopus ragu. These meals have made his name synonymous with San Diego's Italian food scene?and secured him a job as a caterer for the San Diego Padres whenever the team has trouble firing up the dugout smoker.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Gonzalez's balancing act, however, is the wine. Toast has up to 400 wines on its award-winning list, with varietals from New Zealand, Argentina, Germany, and Spain in addition to Italy. But this classic accompaniment to dinner is often delivered in what looks like a science-fiction device: an Enomatic machine, designed to pour wine by the glass while keeping it fresh within the bottle.