Polite Provisions II

After being quite smitten with Polite Provisions the first time around, we decided to revisit the place during the afternoon to see what it’s like a little earlier in the day. It was definitely less crowded on a Thursday afternoon compared to a weekend night which is when we previously attended. We were able to sit at a table and it was a more casual vibe with most people ordering food from neighboring Soda & Swine next door.

Polite Provisions

Polite Provisions

Polite Provisions

Polite Provisions

As usual the cocktails we got we’re all spot on. The cocktail menu changes a bit everyday but there are a couple constants. They try to incorporate seasonal beverages and change up the cocktails on draft. Below is the cocktail menu for that day:

Polite Provisions Menu

Polite Provisions Menu

On to the libations…

The cocktail I ordered was the Ocean Side. This came with London dry gin, fresh lime, mint, sea salt and celery bitters.

Ocean Side

Ocean Side

I really, really liked this drink. It’s refreshing, not cloyingly sweet, and herbal as well as sweet and savoury at the same time with the sea salt and celery bitters. The celery flavour is noticeable but subtle, it played really well with the mint and lime. I’d reckon if you like gin and tonics and you like Bloody Mary’s you would like this guy.

One of the other drinks we ordered at our table was the Uncle Jalapeno, with Blanco tequila, jalapeno, and T-Bone’s pineapple soda.

Uncle Jalapeno

Uncle Jalapeno

I love spicy flavors in drinks like the habanero infused beer Ballast Point does or the jalapeno infused drink at Whisknladle (cannot remember its name right now even though I always order it!). I am not someone who can handle suuuper spicy food so don’t worry if you are wary of that, these are not meant to burn your palate, the peppers just add the slightest zing and more of their flavor than just blunt spice. The pineapple soda tastes like fresh pineapple and complemented the jalapeno and tequila flavors really well, without being too sweet. If you like those Mexican fruit cups with the spices and little limes on them you will love this.

The last drink we had was the Kentucky Buck. This drink was a little sweeter and fruitier but not anything excessive. It has bourbon, fresh lemon, strawberry and ginger beer.

Kentucky Buck

Kentucky Buck

Ok so the best way I can summarize this drink is that it tasted EXACTLY like strawberry fruit roll-ups. IT WAS AWESOME. And other people at our table agreed. Not very bourbon forward and very drinkable. If you’re not a fan of spirit-forward drinks but like fruit roll-ups (and who doesn’t?) you will like this drink.

Overall we had another great experience. Drinks are still all mostly $8 bucks, you are getting such good value for your money. The only $10 dollar drink was the dessert one. Cannot wait to come back yet again and try the punch bowls…

Polite Provisions

Polite Provisions

Polite Provisions
4696 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116
politeprovisions.com

Cafe 21

Cafe 21 has long been ranked #1 brunch in SD and being a fan of Hash House I always wanted to go to see this restaurant that upstaged Hash House’s pizza-sized pancakes and my favorite pesto scramble with chicken

sangria, cafe 21, san diego

Sangrias at Cafe 21

Cafe 21 has two locations, one in the Gaslamp and one in North Park. Brunch tends to get pretty busy so we would advise you to go early or late and in general the North Park one is less crowded than the Gaslamp. We went to the North Park location around 10 am and only had to wait a couple minutes for seating at the bar.

You know when sometimes you go to a restaurant and one dish stands out so you know what you absolutely must order? At Cafe 21 there were 4 dishes that I absolutely wanted to order. I considered ordering 2 and taking the rest home but finally decided I should not completely cancel out the benefits of the hot yoga session I attended that morning and decided on only one dish – it wasn’t easy.

Cafe 21 has 4 kinds of sangria and they’re all displaced on the wall – two red wine ones and two white wine ones. We were stuck deciding between the Pineapple Citrus and the Watermelon Cantaloupe. We asked for a taster and ultimately decided on a pitcher of the watermelon one. It was very refreshing tasting and tasted more like melon than wine. This was served with a slice of fresh watermelon and lots of ice; perfect for a hot day.

watermelon, sangria

Watermelon Cantaloupe Sangria

The menu has quite a few options ranging from frittata-style omelettes that come in cast iron pans (you can get one side dish with them), benedicts that come on corn cakes, salads, sandwiches, yogurt parfaits and specials. I decided on the Filet Mignon Omelette that comes with bell peppers and goat cheese with a salad for the side.

salad, strawberry, cafe 21

Side Salad with Strawberry

filet mignon, omelette

Filet Mignon Omelette

The omelette was fluffy and delicious, it comes super hot in the cast iron pan. I loved the goat cheese but wished the bell peppers were a little more cooked as I like them soft instead of crunchy. The filet mignon was cooked medium-well, I suspect it was rarer but cooked while sitting in the cast iron pan. The side salad was delicious, simple greens but dressed with a slightly sweet berry dressing and garnished with fresh strawberries.

My friend got the Prosciutto Omelette. This came with prosciutto, mushrooms, and cheddar cheese. It looked amazing and I think I would pick that one over the Filet Mignon Omelette next time. All the omelettes come with toast as well.

Prosciutto, Omelette

Prosciutto Omelette

Overall everything was quite good, the service was excellent, and we kept staring at dishes come out of the kitchen and inquiring as to what they were as everything looked amazing. Can’t wait to come back here and try the lavash bread with turkey sausage topped with cheese or the smoked salmon, egg, and avocado sandwich. And the baked pancakes with apples….And the shrimp corn cake benedict! Clearly will have to return more than once…

Cafe 21

750 5th Ave
San Diego, CA
92101

2736 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA
92116

http://www.cafe-21.com

Bleu Bohème

For Restaurant Week Bleu Bohème used to have a dish called Tournedos Rossini which is filet mignon tournedos in a Madeira demi-glace on top of a crouton topped with foie gras and truffles. These are basically all my favorite things so I bookmarked this place but unfortunately never made it to Restaurant Week. We did however make it to happy hour and managed to sample quite a few dishes.

Bleu Boheme Patio

Bleu Boheme Patio

Their happy hour is quite short but worth it if you can make it to Kensington between 5 and 6 pm! Their martinis, champagne drinks, wine by the glass and craft beer selection (which is awesome btw) is all 50% off. They have a selection of appetizers and of mussels + fries that are all 50% off as well.

Basil Martini

Basil Martini

Red Ale

Red Ale

We started with the basil martini with citrus and a red ale. The basil martini was refreshing and not to sweet, it has tiny pieces of the basil in the drink which gave it a strong basil-y flavor. They also serve you crusty bread with butter right away. We liked the bread but it was extremely crusty so much so that we ended up just eating the insides.

Bread

Bread

APPETIZERS: We ordered quite a few of these. Our favorite was the Nouille au Fromage, a.k.a. the mac n’ cheese. Flat wide pasta with creamy gruyere cheese sauce, peas, duck confit and bacon all baked so the cheese is browned on top and piping hot inside. We did not see much of the duck confit but there was a good amount of bacon and this dish is a fairly large portion.

Nouille et Fromage

Nouille au Fromage

Next with so many options for mussels and fries, we chose the Moules et Frites au Champignon which has a creamy garlic sauce, white wine, bacon and wild mushrooms. This was also delicious and it came with PLENTY of mushroom and bacon (see picture below). The sauce was very flavorful and we definitely were mopping up the extra sauce with the crusty bread we did not eat (problem solved). The fries were very thinly cut and perfectly fried, we just wished they were a tad saltier. Overall would definitely order this again!

Moules et Frites au Champignons

Moules et Frites au Champignons

Next came the Galette du Crabe or crab cakes. These were 3 small crab cakes with an aioli on top and served with jicama remoulade and tomato-rocket salad. These were good but nothing too remarkable, I prefer when crab cakes have big lumps of crab as opposed to the finer shred meat, nonetheless it was not the type of crab cake that is predominantly bread and it was very well seasoned. Although it doesn’t sound very traditionally French, we loved the jicama roulade which was cool and crunchy and a nice contrast to the fried crab cakes.

Galettes du Crabe

Galettes du Crabe

Perhaps the dish I had the highest expectations for was the Crèpe de Homard, a lobster crepe with marscapone, asparagus and white truffle-carrot sauce. However the crepe was quite small and had finely shredded lobster that did not have a strong lobster flavor. The thick orange sauce had carrot and truffle but I did not care for it too much and thought it overwhelmed any lobster flavor in the crepe. Don’t think we would order this one again.

Crepe au Honard

Crèpe de Homard

Lastly another dish we quite liked was the Carpaccio de Saumon Fumé which was rum cured-house smoked salmon, crème frâiche raifort, baby arugula salad with shaved fennel, lemon zest, Champagne vinaigrette and capers. This is the only semi-healthy dish on the happy hour menu if you care for that sort of thing, but it is so flavorful we were all fighting for the last pieces of the salmon. Although we could not taste the rum-curing (not even sure if this would impart flavor though?) the combination of all the elements was very good. You had the salty smoked salmon with Champagne dressed greens, the crunch of the anise-y fennel, tangy capers and lastly the crème frâiche raifort to balance it all out.

Carpaccio

Carpaccio de Saumon Fumé

You thought that was it didn’t you? Well after all this can you imagine we still ordered dessert? We can.

DESSERT: There were many good dessert options and we had heard good things about the crème brulee crèpe however we ultimately decided on the Brioche aux Cerises. With brioche bread pudding, dried cherries, white chocolate, toasted almonds and Amaretto with crème fraîche this sounded like quite the combo. The bread pudding was not dense and was very light in texture but still custard-y in the middle. The white chocolate flavor was not very prominent but the dried cherries added sweet, chewy bites to the pillow-y soft bread. We really, really wished this had come with ice cream because that would have taken it to the next level.

Brioche aux Cerises

Brioche aux Cerises

CHECK:
Red Ale $3.50
Basil Martini $5.50
Galette du Crabe $7.48
Carpaccio de Saumon Fumé $7.98
Crèpe de Homard $8.98
Nouille au Fromage $6.75
Moules et Frites au Champignon $6.98
Brioche aux Cerises $9.95
TOTAL: $61.69 (w/ tax)

Patio View

Patio View

Overall we thought happy hour was a great deal. There are quite a few options for food and drink which was nice. The dishes that really blew us away were the Nouille au Fromage and the Moules et Frites. Everything else was good except for the Crèpe de Homard which I thought was a little underwhelming. Definitely want to make it back here for the Tournedos (*crossing my fingers it will be in the next SDRW menu*).

Bleu Bohème
4090 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
www.bleuboheme.com

Jayne’s Gastropub

Jayne’s came highly recommended from a friend and after leaving Polite Provisions we were hungry then what do you know…Jayne’s Gastropub was right there. On the corner of Adams and 30th. How convenient.

On the outside it looks like a simplified English pub. White building, dark green trim, and Jayne’s discreetly written on the front. Once you go inside its quite cozy with lots of dark wood. Its a smallish space with a smallish bar but the drinks sounded good and the place was packed, which is normally a good sign.

We wanted to sit at the bar and just order appetizers then bounce, we told the hostess this and she was quite gracious and said we could wait for a spot at the bar or sit at a table outside. We chose to sit outside and this was quite lucky because their outside patio is gorgeous.

Jayne's Gastropub Patio

Jayne’s Gastropub Patio

There are tall hedges surrounding the patio and then a tall wall with aged brick on one side. There are globe lights overhead and heaters to stay warm and the tables have white tableclothes and red roses. Its quite the charming place to have dinner and probably a perfect date spot.

White Linens and Red Roses at Jayne's

White linens and red roses at Jayne’s

APPETIZERS: We ordered two appetizers, the Gambas al Aljillo and the Calamari. The Gambas were shrimp in a spicy garlic sauce with sliced baguette bread. Though the shrimp were good, the sauce was somewhat lacking. The chilis and garlic didn’t have enough time to infuse in the oil, so the oil was relatively flavorless. It was a little pricey for 6 shrimp as well. The calamari on the other hand was great. It was served piping hot and had the perfect amount of breading. Sometimes you get too much cakey breading and its slipping off the calamari rings. Here it was crunchy but not greasy and you could tell it had just left the fryer. The calamari comes with cocktail sauce and aioli.

Gambas Al Aljillo

Gambas Al Aljillo

Calamari

Calamari

Overall, we thought the food could’ve been a tad cheaper but its hard to be upset when you’re dining in such a pleasant environment. Their menu also had some really great sounding dishes like their crostini with white bean puree and roasted peppers, the brick chicken and especially the gnocchi with cream, mushrooms, and chicken.

CHECK:
Calamari $10.50
Gambas al Aljillo $15.50
TOTAL: $38.88 (w/tax)

Their drinks sound good, their burger won best burger in SD at one point, and they have a $5 dollar happy hour plates special. Jayne’s: We will be back.

Another view of Jayne's patio

Another view of Jayne’s patio

Jayne’s Gastropub
4677 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116
http://jaynesgastropub.com

Polite Provisions

We’ve been hearing a lot about Polite Provisions, which is from the same owner’s as Noble Experiment and is supposed to have quite the ambitious cocktail program. Polite Provisions is in University Heights, on the corner of 30th and Adams. Its definitely a little more bare bones than the area around Adams/Park Ave, which has lot of restaurants and shops, but you can tell there’s trendy new places popping up around it (like its brother meatball shop restaurant Soda & Swine which is right next door and Jayne’s Gastropub which is around the corner).

The decor of the place is awesome. Its very Art Deco 1920s style, with old school street lamps and an engraved ceiling. The bar is very long and there are extra tables and seating. Although it was Saturday around 8:30 pm and all the seating was taken the bar was not super packed and there was standing room next to the bar and enough bartenders that you could easily order and they would check up on you. No need to insert yourself in between two strangers and hope to catch a glance of one of the bartenders whilst holding your credit card out in front of you to order a drink.

Polite Provisions Interior

Although Polite Provisions only serves drinks you can order food from Soda & Swine next door and they wil bring over.

Their drink menu is extensive and covers a lot of different tastes. They have dessert cocktails (with chocolate/cream/maple syrup!), beer cocktails, cocktails on draft, lighter champagne based cocktails and more spirit forward fare such as negronis. They also have punch bowls (a good deal if you came with a larger group), wine, and because this is San Diego naturally they have a good selection of craft beer. Maybe more unexpectedly they also have a good selection of virgin soda cocktails so your designated driver doesn’t have to sadly sip on a Diet Coke while everyone else samples the good stuff. First we ordered the Misty Mountain Buck (rye whiskey, fresh lime juice, organic pineapple, housemade, ginger beer & bitters) and the Honey Stone Julep (bourbon, organic mint, apricot liqueur & honey). Both were excellent, especially for $8 dollars. The Misty Mountain Buck was very ginger-y and very pineapple-y but well balanced and refreshing. The Honey Stone Julep was more spirit-forward but also sweet and the apricot and honey flavors complemented the mint really well.

Honey Stone Julep (left) and Misty Mountain Buck (right)

Honey Stone Julep (left) and Misty Mountain Buck (right)

You could taste that they use very fresh, top-notch ingredients. A lot of their ingredients are house made too which shows how much they care about the final product. Our next drinks were the Chocolate Negroni (gin, Campari, Punt e Mes vermouth, creme de cacao and chocolate bitters) and the Coal Miner’s Daughter (a bourbon based drink we don’t recall the other ingredients of and that is not on their menu online…). The Negroni was interesting and definitely had chocolate-y notes which balanced out the Campari and the orange peel that is traditionally served with negronis. Don’t know if we would order it again though. The Coal Miner’s Daughter was good as well, this was a very spirit-forward drink. We liked our first cocktails better but these were definitely not too shabby either.

CHECK:
Misty Mountain Buck $8
Honey Stone Julep $8
Chocolate Negroni $9
Coal Miner’s Daughter $8
TOTAL: $35.64 (w/ tax)

Overall the price, the atmosphere, and the drinks were all excellent. We will definitely be returning to Polite Provisions.

Polite Provisions
4696 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116
politeprovisions.com/