San Diego eats: Stone Brewing Co.

On Wednesday we took a road trip to Stone Brewery in Escondido, California, about half an hour's drive north of San Diego. It's a big, beautiful facility; everything Surly aspires to be. You walk into a gift shop, can see into the brew rooms through a floor-to-ceiling glass wall, and stroll around a landscaped courtyard garden. Even the bathrooms were impressive, with big egg-shaped urinals and a countertop carved from a solid slab of rock.

We were seated at the last open table on a spacious patio. I ordered the grilled Buffalo Burger on recommendation of my colleague. Listen to this: "A tamarind-glazed buffalo patty with pickled red onions, roasted garlic mayo, and butter lettuce, served on our housemade sweet Hawaiian roll with Sriracha pickled cucumbers." Mmmm. I had garlic mashed potatoes on the side.

For beer I played it safe with the Stone Pale Ale. Not an exciting choice, but a good barometer of a brewery's overall quality. Besides that I've already had their signature offering and IPA so I was curious how they would handle a milder beer. Conclusion: It was all very good. A brewery tour was starting as we left, but we didn't have time to stick around. Maybe next time!

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