Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose on 30th

Here at the Link, we just got our allocation of Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose, for which we are very grateful. This is a rose that many folks consider to be the best in the world. Here's a couple posts that mention it, from smart wine people with attachments to 30th Street (always preferred when selecting a blog post to link to). (Those smart wine people are part of the extended universe of Jayne's Gastropub, which is a must-visit for wine lovers.)

Anyway, we'll have it by the taste, glass, and bottle for a limited time ($10/25/85). Starting tonite.

Pure Hoppiness is Found on 30th Street

We are excited to offer Alpine Brewing Pure Hoppiness for the first time in our history. This highly regarded ale has been cask conditioned in the new Ritual firkin. Yes, Pure Hoppiness is on cask tonight at the Ritual.

The Mcilhenney family produced beer initially in collaboration with AleSmith and then in their own small brewery half way up the mountain just east of us. The limited availability of Alpine beers did not stop a growing fanatical following from seeking out their amazing creations. Alpine's unique vision helped define the San Diego regions widely recognized brewing culture.

Peter Rowe of the San Diego Union Tribune credits Pure Hoppiness as one of a handful of ales that define the Double IPA style, “An exemplar of the style, Pure Hoppiness is a lovely beer from first sight to last swallow.“ - Peter Rowe

We have some other gems to offer you as well, new oysters on the menu are Evening Cove and Metcalf Bay. The Ritual menu is full of tasty temptations.

It is our hope that, after sampling this cask ale offering, you might tell us that in hindsight this week’s announcement could have been condensed to a single sentence; “We are excited to offer Alpine Brewing Pure Hoppiness for the first time in our history.”


Stone IPA on cask at Sea Rocket, and cask crawling.

We've got a San Diego classic on cask at Sea Rocket this weekend - Stone India Pale Ale.  This is one of the beers that helped establish San Diego County's reputation as the world capital of hoppy beers.  And while we'd be happy to have you stay here and drink it all night, it might be more interesting to taste it as part of a bar crawl.  You see, just a few blocks from here the Linkery has the Stone Cali-Belgique on cask.  The Cali-Belgique is, in fact, Stone India Pale Ale, fermented with a Belgian yeast strain instead of the usual, California style ale yeast.  Why not try both beers, naturally fermented in a cask, on the same evening?  And why stop there?  Toronado always has some great beer on cask, and Ritual Tavern is pouring Port Sharkbite Red on their hand pump right now.  It's a great time to be in North Park.
If that's not reason enough to come out for a beer, I'll throw in a free tapa for early birds all weekend long.  Just order a pint of the Stone IPA from the cask before six o'clock, and I'll give you one free tapa of your choice.  Tell us you saw it on!

Mas Vino

benoit1984, this is for you.

Over at the Linkery we're doing our part to not be beer-blind. Yes, 30th Street is the Trail of Beers, but really one mustn't love barley at the expense of the grape.

So, as of yesterday, our expanded wine dispense system now allows us to pour more than 40 wines by the glass or taste. You can see yesterday's list here; and now that we have this capability expect to see even more of the less-familiar varietals and producers.

Between Mosaic Wine Bar and Jayne's on the strip, and Splash Wine Bar nearby, this area is already a great place for wine drinkers. We hope to help contribute to that with our expanded wine bar project.
Welcome to Memorial Day weekend with Red White and Blue at the Ritual Tavern!

Join us tonight for fresh local Carlsbad Aqua Farm Luna and Metcalf Bay oysters and the acoustical musings of Trio Gadjo while you sip a tasty locally brewed cask ale.

If tradition calls for BBQ this holiday weekend, we've got you covered. We'll lead into the weekend with Niman Ranch St. Louis pork ribs with house BBQ sauce. Once that's out the door we'll follow with Niman pulled pork sandwiches, of course with more BBQ sauce.

Now for some Red, White and Blue:

Sharkbite Red
Port brewing's Sharkbite occupied a regular tap handle on the Ritual draught lineup for quite a while in our early days, and we are glad to see it back in house on cask tonight. Sharkbite is the most popular ale in the Port brew pubs. "A distinctive and bold American Ale that gets its bite from copious amounts of hops which are balanced by a boat load of crystal malt." - Port Brewing

White Wine for a warm evening?
Chilled Tangent Viognier is available at happy hour pricing all this weekend; $28 bottle (regularly $41) and by the glass for $7. Winemaker Christian Roguenant describes his creation as “Not a typical California viognier. It has a vibrant floral nose, and an elegant note of fresh white almond. With intense fruit flavors of peach, apricot and pear, it has a musky quality to it, and a round body. A tight mineral structure and higher level of acid balance it nicely.”

Blue Star American Wheat Ale
Our first offering of North Coast Brewing's Blue Star will be a perfect accompaniment to our San Diego summer weather. "Choice American barley and wheat malts are combined with a blend of noble hops to create this light, fruity refreshing beer." Enjoy a blue star under blue skies on a patio table!

A new batch of Ritual T-shirts arrived this week. From American Apparel, 100% cotton and made in America, our logo tees are a steal at $15 each. (Both men's and women's styles are available) We've also got a few black logo sweatshirts in stock for $35 each.

from the Ritual

Beery Stuff at Sea Rocket

I'm a little ashamed to say that I haven't done anything special to celebrate American Craft Beer Week.  I did go to Port/ Lost Abbey's brewery in San Marcos on Saturday  to taste Cuvee de Tomme (a truly world class beer), Port 3rd Anniversary IPA and some other tasty treats.  Well, I also had some really tasty beer at Alchemy with brunch on Sunday, and Monday night I cracked my last bottle of Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Coffee Porter with Vanilla Beans, and I did go to Pizza Port in Solana Beach on Tuesday afternoon, and Wednesday I worked on the pairings for our upcoming Belgian Inspired Beer Dinner, and I have been pouring delicious local craft beers all week at Sea Rocket; maybe I have been celebrating and I just didn't know it!  
Speaking of that upcoming Belgian Inspired Beer Dinner, the date is Wednesday, May 27,  the tentative menu is ready and it looks like this:

Sea Rocket Green Salad w/ Seasonal Local Fruits

The Bruery White Orchard

Carlsbad Mussels in Saison Cream Sauce

Lost Abbey Red Barn

Pomme Frite w Dijon-Aioli

Stone Cali-Belgique

Chicon au Gratin


‘Carbonnade Flamande’ of Da Le Ranch Pork w/ Stoemp

Flemish Brown Ale from San Diego Brewing Company

Belgian Waffle w/ Macadamia Nuts, Fresh Cream and Grand Cru Reduction

AleSmith Grand Cru

The cost of the dinner is $50 per person, including the dinner and paired beers; tax and tip are additional.

This is our second beer dinner featuring Belgian style beers brewed in San Diego paired with Belgian style recipes using fresh, local ingredients.  The first one sold out quickly, so please send me an e-mail if you would like to reserve seats for this one.

And speaking of beer weeks, everyone at Sea Rocket is very excited about the first  San Diego Beer Week later this summer.  We'll definitely be celebrating that week by devoting our entire beer lineup, including cask, kegs, and bottles, to locally brewed beers.  Oh, wait, we do that practically every week.  Well then, we'll have even more and better local beers, a fantastic beer dinner or two, and some great beer specials. Seriously, this is a great event for San Diego, please support it by visiting  (The website is still under construction, but there should be more information very soon.)

Ritual Cask Thursday: Dorado Limited Release from Ballast Point

This week we have news from two great markets - the North Park Farmers Market and Seattle's Public Market Center.

Spring brought Escondido's JR Organics farm the season's first cucumbers and zucchinis to harvest and market. Organic cucumbers will make their way into chilled cucumber and dill soup. Breaded organic zucchini fries will liven up our pulled pork sandwiches.

Staci and Mike have just returned from the Seattle Beer Week. While in Seattle's Public Market Center, they visited the Pike Brewing Co., a family owned brewery and restaurant. Pike's key role in developing the brewery culture and community reminded us of similar developments in San Diego.

Ballast Point Brewery has had a similar impact on San Diego beer culture, in that they are one of the oldest small breweries in town with a specific focus on quality and remarkably tasty beers. So after spending a couple afternoons at Pike tasting their ales, it's great to be coming home to a cask of San Diego's own Dorado.

Dorado is a limited release Double IPA from Ballast's Robust Series that undergoes multiple hopping during its creation. Our cask is finished in the firkin with Chinook hops.

So stop in for a pint of Dorado from a local brewing legend. While your at it have some fresh oyster's too!


Tomorrow (Wednesday) morning KUSI is going to be broadcasting multiple segments from the Linkery, all featuring different restaurants, musicians, and artists that will be participating in the North Park Festival of the Arts on Sunday.

I don't generally encourage people I know either to get up early or to make a particular point to watch television, but if you happen to be awake and near a TV, there might be some neat people from the 'hood on it.

All About the Bus

I ride the bus a lot, and I love it. The secret, I've found, is to have a good mobile phone like a Blackberry, with Google Maps installed. Then you can just type in where you are and where you want to go, and it tells you when your driver will arrive to take you there. It's awesome.

However, sometimes I want to understand the bigger picture of what buses go where. Particularly this is true if I want to bunch errands, and I can choose where I go based on the bus routes. Unfortunately the San Diego MTS website doesn't work on my mobile phone, so I can't get any bus routes or information.

So I made this mobile-friendly list of links to route timetables and maps. It's at .

It should come in handy during Beer Week, too.

Ritual Tavern Alesmith IPA Cask, Oysters and Music

This week is a big one for celebrating at the Ritual Tavern. The return of AleSmith IPA on cask this Thursday and Mother's Day on Sunday.  That's not to say that celebrating the on the other days is frowned upon. 

On the contrary, tonight, Wednesday we'll be serving up Niman Ranch Meatloaf that even your mother would approve of. It'll be served with Niman Ranch bacon and Kentucky bourbon sauce.  Wednesday also our weekly wine bottle night. Select bottle prices are greatly reduced, from $40+ down to $28. White or red, we've got you covered.

Thursday is our fresh oysters and cask night. This week in addition to our local Carlsbad Aqua Farm raised oysters and AleSmith's IPA on cask, we'll have live jazz provided by Trio Gadjo. Their Django Reinhart inspired musical ramblings are particularly suited to our old world tavern atmosphere. It's easy to imagine yourself in 1930's Belgium, eating fresh mussels, drinking and listening to live music in a candle-lit tavern. 

We've got a keg of Ballast Point's Sour Wench waiting to be tapped. Perhaps Friday will be the day. Made with blackberries, this ale is little tart, a little sweet and sour. It's also limited production, so when it's gone, it's gone.  Given the special and costly nature of this sour, we will be pricing it at $6.00 for a 13 oz. tulip glass with no happy hour discount, and worth it!

Saturday the Ritual Tavern is business as usual. But Mom and Pop of this family business will be celebrating Beer Week in Seattle. It won't be all fun and games, however. San Diego's own beer week is coming up in August and they'll be studying all the finer details. 

Sunday as you know is Mother's Day. Niman Ranch pork loin with rhubarb compote as well as the rest of the Ritual menu are particularly mom friendly.  No reservations required, no prix fixe menu. Ritual is open 3:30-9:30 every Sunday. Happy Hour values all day Sunday as well: $3.50 taps and $1 off select glasses of wine. 

2 Meets 7

On 30th Street, one hears a lot of talk about all the changes that happened in the neighborhood in the last few years -- whether it's seen as revitalization or regentrification or whatever. It seems clear to me that a lot of people, including residents, homebuyers, and businesspeople, saw this area's potential for being a lively, human-scale neighborhood, and they put their money and effort into making it happen.

This neighborhood's future as a vital neighborhood is rooted very specifically in its history as a "streetcar" neighborhood. That's why is 30th street corridor is so bikeable and walkable now, why most of the buildings make sense as independent businesses serving the community, and why the 2 is such a great bus -- it's actually still running the route the #2 trolley ran in the early 1900s.

When you exit the #7 bus from downtown, at the corner of 30th and University, you see the above-pictured (slightly faded) inscription on the sidewalk.

It's a little hard to read it all, but it explains how North Park came to be San Diego's "second downtown". In 1911, when the #2 streetcar line was extended up to University ave and met the #7, the intersection of 30th and University became a major hub, even though it was pretty far from the center of the city.

Now, of course, all the new enterprises around this corner, inhabiting buildings built in the 20s and 30s, are returning the intersection back into what it was. Even though it will probably take rebuilding the trolley tracks before most people ride public trasport to get here.

Old House Fair returns June 20

The Old House Fair, now in its 11th year, returns to South Park (30th St. at Beech St.) on June 20, 2009. This popular free event features exhibitors, live music, seminars, tours, arts and crafts, and food and beverage. For more info, visit the website at

Exhibitors, food vendors, and volunteers are invited to participate. Check the website or call event coordinator Maureen Ceccarelli (of Studio Maureen on Beech St.) at 619-233-6679.

The new website was created by Marsha Smelkinson of Easy New Websites.

Southland, of 30th street that is...

We down at Alchemy are up to speed with regular service and now the fun can start. Drop by the web-site or give us a call for full details.
The short list reads...vegetarian tasting menu on Wednesday's with farmer's market produce...Silent Sunday's (sssshhhhhhh) we go speakeasy style with silent films from Citizen Video, period jazz, prohibition age cocktails and more on the first Sunday of the month. New menu items coming next week include Charcuterie and an expanded cheese program.
Off-site we will be participating in Taste the Nation at Balboa Park on Sunday.

Look forward to seeing you soon.