Monday, April 6, 2015

San Diego Side Trip - Karl Strauss Brewing Co.

One day when Tabitha was in meetings, I took a drive to downtown San Diego to check out Karl Strauss Brewing Co. for lunch, and the trend of great food and great beer continued.

Here's my summary.
  • The beer: excellent quality, lots of high-gravs.  Only downside: many of them are only available in bombers.
  • The food: I had the best burger I've ever eaten.  A turkey burger with Danish blue cheese, roasted beets, pickled onions, curly endive, tomato, and horseradish-Ale mayo, with a side of homestyle chips covered with a balsamic reduction.
  • The atmosphere: nice, upscale bar.  Plenty of brick and clean, shiny wood.  Only complaint was parking; I walked about 6 blocks.
  • The service: Highly attentive.  I'm not sure if they thought I was going to run away or what (I was sitting alone on the patio out front), but I was asked how every beer tasted, my food, etc. several times.  I even got to taste a beer or two that I didn't order.  Couldn't complain.

Best burger ever. 

Now, if we could only find an excuse to go back...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

San Diego is Amazing, Part 2: Because, Kayak

This post is way overdue, but the second reason we loved San Diego is, it was December.  Winter was setting in at home in TN.  Our kayaking was over for the season.  Then we go to SD.

And the weather was fantastic.  What's more, the resort we were at was on the beach in Mission Bay, and rented kayaks right from their beach. 

The boat we rented was a Hobie Kona tandem sit-on-top.  It was very sturdy with great stability, but it was a slug to get going compared to our Pamlico.

We had a funny discussion with the young rental guy (do all beach rental guys have to be ~18, skinny, and blond?  Must be a union thing.)  He started strapping some cheap, around-the-neck, perfunctory only-because-the-law-requires-it PFDs to the back of the boat. 

But since we were paddling into uncertain depths, we wanted some real floatation devices.  After searching around, he rustled us up some that weren't at all made for paddling, but at least we could wear them around our torso.  The juxtaposition of the boat quality with the life jackets was remarkable.

The views were fantastic.  I'm sure there's an explanation of why such an arid climate can coexist next to the ocean, but I'm just going to go with, "magic."

From the signs and amount of waterfront park space, I got the impression that this could be a busy place in the summer.  But it was quiet and serene that day.

Paid for 2 hours - made it! 
Also, we paddled our butts off, but this boat was at least 25% slower than what we'd come to expect.  Wow.