(Almost 30th) Streetwear

Tomorrow, the 30th Street corridor welcomes a new neighbor, The Fizix. It's a streetwear store that's moving from San Marcos to 2828 University. I bet that Max here at the Linkery will have a frequent shopper's card there.

They're having their Grand Opening from 6-10pm on Friday, with afterparty at the Office from 10pm - 2am.

Ritual Tavern Wine Wednesday and Cask Thursday

Here at the Ritual Tavern, we listen to suggestions offered by our guests. In talking with you, we understand that you love great food, cooked from scratch paired with delicious beers from San Diego and beyond. You also enjoy our daily happy hour, $3.50 taps 5:30-7:30pm Tues-Sat 3:30-9:30 Sun. Entranced with our every expanding beer list, we were slow to pick up on your desire for wine specials. But now your voices have been heard, and we announce a new Ritual.

For happy hour each day you may now enjoy $1 off selected glasses of wine. Ritual Wine Wednesday we'll be offering selected bottles of wine at reduced prices. This week we've got Tangent Viognier and Spann Mo-Zin for $28. (usually $40+)

Ritual Tavern Cask Thursday April 30th Stone American Oak-ed Arrogant Bastard tapped at 5:30pm
and on Thursday May 7th the triumphant return of AleSmith IPA on cask also tapped at 5:30pm

San Diego's Li'l Belgium

Our own 30th Street is beginning to develop a reputation as the place to enjoy the great tastes of Belgium.  The tiny country of Belgium has a giant reputation for it's beers, the and quality, diversity and creativity of it's offerings have served as an inspiration to our amazing local brewers.   If you want to try some of the great beers imported from Belgium, or some of the great local ales inspired by Belgian brewing traditions, just take a stroll down 30th Street, where you'll find witte, saison, dubbel, trippel, Flemish sour, lambic and more on tap and in bottles.  From Alchemy in South Park all the way to Jayne's Gastropub, nearly every bar on 30th Street offers at least a few delicious Belgian style ales.  Look for sour beers from Cantillon or Giardin, Trappist ales from Westmalle or Rochefort, farmhouse ales from DuPont or Fantome.  Try anything from the Lost Abbey; their beers consistently dominate the major national and international blind tasting competitions.  North Park's own Chuck Silva brews some fantastic Belgian style beers at Vista's Green Flash brewery. 
In addition to great beer, Belgium produces delicious cheese, chocolate and pastries, and Belgians probably invented the 'French' fry.  But no food is more closely linked to Belgian cuisine than steamed mussels, and there's no better place than 30th Street to try some.  On any given day, you might smell fresh local mussels cooked with white wine, garlic, butter, saffron, tomato, creme fraiche, curry, bacon, ham, dill, parsley, basil, leeks, chile pepper, clams, fish, squid, sausage, beer (Belgian style, most likely), bell pepper, or anything else the chef thinks might taste good in a pot of mussels.  Try a bowl the next time you're out tasting beers on 30th Street!
Sea Rocket Bistro has a couple events in the works to celebrate the Belgian influence on San Diego's bars and restaurants.  On Tuesday, May 26th, Sea Rocket will be welcoming guest bartender David McAtee, who will bring with him a keg of Allagash Curieux from Maine.  This is a Belgian style trippel, a strong golden ale in the tradition of Westmalle Trippel or Chimay Cinc Cents (White), that has been aged for eight months in oak barrels that formerly hosted Jim Beam bourbon.  Please come by on Tuesday night for a taste of this beer or one of our other Belgian style offerings on tap, which currently include Lost Abbey Lost and Found, AleSmith Horny Devil and Little Devil, and Green Flash Trippel.
On Wednesday, May 13, Sea Rocket will be offering the second in our series of Belgian- San Diego dinners, which feature Belgian style beers and food made here in San Diego.  We'll be offering six courses of Belgian inspired food made with fresh local ingredients, and pairing them with great local ales.  Sea Rocket's own Dennis Stein, a former resident of the Kingdom of Belgium, and Chef Christy Samoy, our in house expert on all things culinary, are putting the finishing touches on the menu right mow, and then I'll have to find delicious beers to pair with each course.  It's nothing but work around here!  The last time we did this the dinner sold out in two days, so please send me an email at chris@searocketbistro.com if you would like to attend this dinner.  

Free Tickets to The Limits of Control

All my Jim Jarmusch love has finally materialized. He's not making a citizen video store appearance yet. But recently, citizen was contacted by Focus Films the distributor of Jarmusch's newest film, The Limits of Control. And so, through a series of negotiations, they are showing up at our 4pm Whistle Stop matinee tomorrow (April 26) with posters, free passes, and a bevy of goodies to promote and get people to his latest film.

The Limits of Control stars Isaach De Bankolé, who is perhaps most memorable as the Haitian ice cream truck owner in Ghost Dog. But if you don't remember him, fret not, for the cast is full of big names such as Bill Murray, John Huston, Gael García Bernal and Tilda Swinton (pictured left in one of my favorite stills from the movie as the platinum blonde in a cowboy hat).

So join us in watching Jarmusch's first theatrical film Stranger Than Paradise, a film which he funded as a true "independent," finding a European financial backer who gave Jarmusch complete creative control and allowed him to retain ownership of the actual film. And then we'll watch clips from, The Limits of Control, Jarmusch's latest endeavor which opens in San Diego May 15.

2 Dollar Tapas

A couple weeks ago we (Sea Rocket) introduced our Ten Buck Tuna Melt & Beer and it's proven to be quite popular. So we're going to follow that up with our Two Dollar Tapas. We took the tastiest things that we might nibble on if we worked at the restaurant (oh, yes, we do) and put them on small plates for you. Below is our tapas menu as of now, although it will certainly evolve over time... we may even add some things to it before Friday evening (April 24th) which is when this menu starts. You'll notice that almost all of these items are from local farms or fishermen and sourced directly with no middleman. Supporting local producers is truly an important thing to do. And now you can do that, as well as enjoy some amazing snacks, for only 2 bucks.

Also, look for more sandwiches for under $10 appearing on our menu soon. See you at the Rocket!

5oz Local Craft Beer on Tap
Poached San Diego Sardine Fillets
Grilled San Diego Sardine
Slices of Winchester Gouda
Santa Barbara Olives
Salted Fallbrook Macadamia Nuts
Carlsbad Oyster
Orange Quarters
American Tuna on Slice of Bread
Lompoc Lima Bean Hummus on Slice of Bread
Hard Boiled South Park Pastured Egg
Veggies with Lompoc Lima Bean Hummus
Diced Roasted Beets Dressed with Bella Vado Avocado Oil
Ciabatta Bread With Avocado Oil for Dipping

Tonight and this weekend at the Ritual

Spring brings new appetizers to the Ritual.

We have a soup that begins with roasting bell and pasilla peppers over open flame, and roasting a full sheet of vine ripened tomatoes. After peeling these vegetables, we are left with rich smoky flavors. We
then finish the soup off with our house chicken stock, heavy cream and just a drop of our house made hot sauce. This soup is so good that its flavors retain their structure and balance even served cold, but for the time being we are serving it hot.

Another beautiful starter is our tart, which has returned after its winter hiatus. The current offering is braised organic spinach with Niman Ranch bacon. Be careful, these will definitely awaken your appetite.

Our special entrée for the weekend is Niman Ranch St. Louis cut pork ribs with New English BBQ sauce and cucumber salad. Our current crème brulee is bourbon vanilla.

Feeling thirsty? Green Flash West Coast IPA is on cask tonight. Le Freak is on tap now. We are tapping kegs of New English ESB and La Jolla Brew House Kolsch in the near future. New bottles include Reaper Sleighor Double IPA and Deathly Pale Ale, Drakes 1500 Pale Ale, and Moylans Hopsickle Imperial Ale.

Of course we have oysters tonight. Our oysters from Carlsbad Aqua Farms have a loyal following, so please come early to ensure yourself a serving.

Trio Gadjo has a couple weeks off, they will make their next appearance on May 7th.

Cheers from the Ritual!

Movies on the 2 Line

Citizen Video shares its collection with lots of businesses on the 2 line so that you can watch great flicks not just in the comfort of your own home, but also in the company of others while getting a great deal. Here are some of the regular locations and upcoming showings:

Captains Courageous

Thursday, April 23rd, 7:30 pm
Sea Rocket Bistro
Sea Rocket shows a movie every Thursday night (usually sea or food themed). Along with a great flick you get a meal deal that includes your choice of beer of wine, a starter and an entree for $20.

Stranger Than Paradise
Sunday, April 26th, 4pm
Movie Matinee at Whistle Stop Bar
This is a monthly citizen video curated event. We choose a theme every month and show two movies from that theme (on the second and fourth Sunday). With the heat of the summer upon us there's nothing like chilling with a flick and a finely made bloody mary (by host bartender Scott Caligare) inside the air conditioned atmosphere of your local neighborhood watering hole. What better way to wind down a weekend.

La Revue des Revues
Sunday, May 3rd, 8pm-12am
Alchemy Restaurant
The mixologists at Alchemy have concocted a special movie / drink theme for the first Sunday of every month. Called "Silent Sundays," Alchemy will feature a silent film from the citizen collection and accompany it with early jazz, era cocktails, and absinthe drips. End your weekend with a streak of bohemian flair without even leaving the number 2 busline.

Saturday Evening Walk

I like the sense of anticipation in the early evening, particularly when it's warm outside. People are starting to come out, and there's just enough kinetic activity that you get a sense of the nighttime bustle to come.

On The Grid

Did you know that 30th Street is the only street in the world to have a beer named after it? OK, that's not true.

BUT it's a damn good beer. It's so good that Green Flash is regretting ever making it, because now they will probably have to stop making every other beer they make, and brew only 30th Street Pale Ale to keep up with demand, and maybe have to change their name to 30th Street Brewery.

OK, that's not true either.

But seriously, it's a really good beer.

The Linkery just tapped a cask of it tonite. And also has it on draft. Many places on this street usually do. Ask for it by name. 'Cause it's an excellent beer.

Also, we at the Link are feeling street-ish and number-ish, and tonite's drafts list includes 30th St (yes, both draft and cask), Craftsman 1903, and the aforelinked Coronado Orange Ave Pale.

Easter Brunch @ Alchemy

Spring is upon us and Easter is here. We will be serving a little different menu for our brunch next Sunday to celebrate. The menu will consist of a three course Prix-fixe with options for entree and dessert course, the starter course will be for the table to share. We will also pair wines and speciality cocktails with the course for a modest additional charge. BUT, the super exciting offer is the "baby brunch" consisting of a three course tasting for the little ones. We have plenty of stroller parking. The brunch is twenty four dollars for adults and twelve for kids. Call for more details 619.255.0616 or to make a reservation for parties of five or more.

The Game is Called Thunder Dome, Me vs. Your 30th Street Business

This is a formal challenge to battle. My single self, against any 30th street business i.e. Mosaic, Linkery, Urban Solace, Jaynes Gastropub, Ritual, Alchemy, Sea Rocket, Alexander's, and I'll even throw in Farmhouse cafe. My limited resources against all your fabulous purveyors, knowledge, experience, and expertise. I challenge you to supply and drink better and more interesting wine than I do. My bottle verse your bottle. My list verses yours. Here's your first blow,

NV Billecart-Salmon Rose
2006 Bandol Tempier Rose
1997 Produttori Barbaresco
1995 Louis Latour Mantagny 1er Cru
1998 M. Arnaud Domaine La Milliere CDP Reserve
2007 Cuilleron Condrieu
2004 Eugenio Collavini Sparkling Ribolla

Good luck, if you dare take the challenge. Who knows, I might just have to come into your restaurant and buy something interesting you submit, if you have any.

Response: Why Mosaic Charges Corkage for Their Wines

I have to preface this with the fact that I don't work for Mosaic. My views and opinions are my own and don't reflect those of any business on 30th street. I'm just expressing my own perspective in response to someone's question.

Is there any function on a blog post that can just put that on every post of mine, like on gmail how it has the person's name in light grey at the bottom? Work it out Jay.

Most places that sell wine retail as well as in a bar or restaurant setting charge a corkage fee for the same reasons I mentioned above. The corkage you are paying is going to pay for the cost of employing the person who is opening the wine, the stemware that you are drinking it out of, the electricity for the light you are sitting under, the rent that is paid for the space, the water used to wash your dirty glasses, etc. All that costs money, and you are paying the corkage to enjoy the space and service they have provided. Otherwise you have the option to enjoy the bottle at the cost of your own utility bill.

San Diego Beer Week in August

[Updated 3 April]

San Diego Beer Week has their placeholder website up, and a confirmed date of August 14th through August 22nd. Andy at Blind Lady is taking a lead role in the technical side of things, and those guys are good. I'm sure within a week the website will be fully automated with, like, artificial intelligence and stuff.

"Beer Week" is a model successfully used in many cities, in which restaurants, bars and breweries independently hold events that celebrate locally brewed beer. It's not so much a festival as a celebration of local craft by local people.

30th Street wil be one natural focal point, along with others, during that time. As the different establishments on the 2 line publish events, we'll try to get them up on this site, too.

Shearing Day Party at Megan's

Megan, who supplies Sea Rocket with local, grass-fed lamb and beef, is throwing a Shearing Day party. You may have met Megan a few weeks ago in this video, so maybe it's time to meet her and 100 of her friends in person.

The party will take place on Saturday, April 11th from 3pm until everyone's bored. People will be coming to watch the shearing, enjoy the free barbecued meats and food, and have a town hall style discussion about natural foods and the regulations that farmers need to adhere to in order to ensure safety and honesty in the marketplace. The talk will be taped and I'll try to post it online at some point.

If you'd like to go, email dennis@searocketbistro.com and we'll try to arrange for some carpools from Sea Rocket since it is a 70 mile drive. It's taking place at (part of) her farm about 15 minutes north of Temecula just off of I-15 at 22155 Waite St, Wildomar, CA 92595.