Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Quick Trip to San Diego

Z had to travel to San Diego last week for work, so I decided to tag along. Flights were cheap (and short), and there was warm weather and sunshine in San Diego! Something Portland had been lacking for the last few weeks days.

Loews Coronado Bay Resort |  A Hoppy Medium

Z was going there for a conference, so we stayed at the same hotel where the conference was being held: the Loews Coronado Bay Resort, a short 20-minute drive to downtown San Diego.

Loews Coronado Bay Resort | A Hoppy Medium

The Loews was absolutely gorgeous. In a nutshell, it had three outdoor, heated pools; a jacuzzi; a poolside bar and restaurant, as well as several other restaurants and bars (casual, to-go, and fancy); daily restaurant/bar specials and activities for guests; extremely accommodating staff; and impeccable views. It was also a 10-minute walk to Silver Strand Beach, which provided glorious views, surprisingly warm waters, and a relaxing walk along the shore.

Silver Strand Beach | A Hoppy Medium

Silver Strand Beach | A Hoppy Medium

Loews Coronado Bay Resort | A Hoppy Medium

At nighttime, when Z wasn't working (and I wasn't laying by the pool...my life is rough), we took an Uber over the bridge into the city. Shockingly, our stops were based on beer and food. Here are some of the more noteworthy stops:

Ballast Point Tasting Room and Kitchen, 2215 India St.:
Lots of on-premise-only beers, including some in the "research and development" phase. I love that! Plus, the food is incredible - I stopped there on the first night we got into town, and I craved their Fish Tacos ($12) the rest of the trip. It's also located right near the airport, so it's a great stop for when you first land, or for before you take off. (Also: you can buy bottles to-go!).

Modern Times Flavordome, 3000 Upas St.:

Modern Times, San Diego | A Hoppy Medium

An intimate and awesomely decorated space (example: a wide array of VHS tapes decorate the front of the bar). I've always been a fan of Modern Times beer, but trying it fresh from the source, on tap (with some on-premise-only pours to boot) was fantastic. If they have it, I highly recommend getting the Monsters' Park with Coconut and Coffee, an imperial stout. Delicious dessert in a glass, without being overly sweet.

Berkeley Pizza, 3934 30th St.:
Berkeley Pizza is a great, walkable stopping point between Modern Times and Toronado (a fun spot for beer lovers, although we find the San Francisco location has a much better selection). Berkeley was one of those spots that pleasantly surprised us. We just wanted a quick bite, but ended up sitting at their bar and getting a pint each, as their beer selection was quite impressive. (I got the 21st Amendment Toaster Pastry, which I really enjoyed). Their pizza is deep dish, and somewhat backwards as the sauce is on top of the cheese. But it was incredible, albeit filling, and we ended up taking a slice home for later. (Which we may or may not have eaten for breakfast on Friday before heading home. Champions).

Hamilton's Tavern, 1521 30th St.:
Right next door to South Park Brewing (definitely stop there for a pint beforehand; the beer's decent, and they have great large tables for imbibing at with big, open windows all around), Hamilton's is a no-frills spot for great beer and even better food. The menu is mainly comfort food, done very well, with mainly sandwiches, wings, burgers, and pub snacks gracing the pages. You also order the food at a window at the back of the bar, making the experience that much more casual (and fun!). The Vegetarian Baja Dogs ($6.25) were an indulgent "starter," although the portion was large enough to be a filling meal. (We ended up taking half home...also for Friday's breakfast). My meal was the West Coast grilled cheese ($7.75), piled high with melted sharp cheddar, Haas avocado, tomato, and pickles, served on rosemary sourdough with fries on the side. I almost never eat a full plate of such a large portion, but just about everything was gone from this one. Absolutely delicious.

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, 2816 Historic Decatur Rd., #116:

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens | A Hoppy Medium

Conveniently located 15 minutes from the airport, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens was a fantastic last spot to hit before we headed back to Portland. The weather was gorgeous, so we took advantage of their giant, gorgeous patio and sat outside. Samplers were quickly poured and food was quickly ordered from their inventive, Asian-inspired menu. I went with the Japanese-Inspired Tombo Tuna Sandwich ($15), which consisted of freshly diced Tombo tuna seared rare (although, not rare enough for my liking) and served on a toasted Kaiser roll with wasabi aioli, smashed avocado, and pea sprouts. It was served with a spicy and fresh green bean-wakame salad - a welcome dose of nutrients after having pizza and a vegetarian hot dog for breakfast. (FYI: If you sit outside, be prepared to talk over the planes taking off every few minutes. It's loud, but cool to see if you can take the noise!).

The beer here was good, with a number of on-premise-only taps and bottles. The only downside is they had several rare bottles on the list that actually weren't available for sale until the next day/next week. An odd typo to look over, and an unfortunate misprint for our table. But we did buy some rare bottles to-go, which helped ease our disappointment.

(For the active folks, Stone also offers fun lawn games on their patio - like bocce!).

All in all, we had a great few days in San Diego. I highly recommend making a trip out there for the weather, food, and beer alone!

Have you ever been to San Diego?

Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Hamilton's Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Stone Brewing World Bistro & Garden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. I love that you are blogging again! That resort looks gorgeous. I went to San Diego for work once and loved it. I need to get back!

  2. I have never been to SD - have always wanted to though. someday! looks like a really great getaway for you two.