Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 599 | Reviews: 277 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
4.5/5 rDev -2.4%
The bare angulated gray slip-formed concrete walls, first seen back at the Stone 9th have started to fade into memory with a cosmetic make-up. The interior of the Brewery is complete & working like a well oiled Teutonic factory, the Shop has opened too. The aforementioned exterior has benefited from some much needed decoration which helps to mask its bare concrete soul & lends character to what was an empty shell only a year or so before. The last part in the transformation of Stone from a young urban San Marcos upstart to a burgeoning Escondido teenager-to-be, with all the promise of the best is yet to come which this holds, is the final part of the Jigsaw. So it was with some excitement that I drove down to Escondido to meet up with fellow BAs & experience the recently opened for business Bistro & Gardens.
Stone have, in the words of one illustrious drinker sat at our table, Upped the Ante here. A tall ceiling affair, the spacious yet personable Bistro is accessed through the more sterile hospital ward that is the Stone Shop. The bar is centrally located. From the cold starch like interior of the Stone Shop, it seems like you are transferred into a wonderfully captivating Amazonian wilderness that opens up & out in all directions to reveal a Secret Garden that Frances Hodgson Burnett would have been very proud of. Lots of natural materials; wood, water, daylight, rock & plants fill the interior, yet this is cleverly embraced with some man-made materials, such as ribbed steel re-bar which is used to great effect inside hot rolled A36 steel channel to form walkway borders downstairs & a strong fence upstairs. The rust bloom on this structural steel which develops quickly during construction has, thankfully, not been eradicated. I love the way Stone have preserved the naturally induced rust bloom with its gorgeous rustic orange glow & then encased this within a clear varnish that preserves the real natural appearance. The steel staircase that rises to the upper deck over & above the stone wall which sits behind the bar area is hard to ignore. I found this to be the cardio-biological centre of the Bistro & it was very hard not to be drawn to this central sculpture. The stone wall, filled with irregular random shaped rocks & boulders, starts inside & works its way outside through the large forward leaning windows with its roll up doors which would not be out of place facing a modern day fire station. Follow its progression you will find yourself staring at a very impressive outside bar, complete with two banked runs of stainless steel taps. This place is going to rock, you just know it is.
What else, oh yeah, the Beer range, you know with the great environment & food it is almost too easy to forget about the excellent draft & bottled beer selection, both are positively wholesome. Lots of Stone brews, local favorites & high end Cali brews from Russian River, Bear Republic & Pizza Port with limited appearances from the highly respected bigger brews from the smaller outfits such as Craftsman on draft. Belgians in bottles too.
Food, like the beer, is extremely well thought out. The Menu seems to be work in progress, which is a good thing for me, I know of at least one item that was worked off the menu due to the fact that it didnt work well. Being the best means admitting that you get things wrong once in a while. It is all about the quality & not the quantity here. I have to say that I did not try the Duck Tacos, but judging by how great they looked, I seriously wish I had, next time! I did try the Chicken Curry Massala, it comes in Mild, Medium or Hot versions: the Hot was not burn enough for me, but it was very tasty & being served with sweet mashed potatoes infused with Stone Porter & braised Swish chaird, it was a very interesting alternate angle to the usual conservative Rice, which worked well for me but a little bit of Naan bread would still go nicely with that dish. Everyone enjoyed their food & its creative stance, such that I opted for a Dessert oh my!!! The Cheesecake with stinky Rogue blue cheese & Jalapenos was the Dogs Bollocks.
The Gardens are sublime; quiet & calming, quarried rocks, some still sporting drilled holes which were added to enable the explosives which fissure the eons old slabs away from its bedrock, fill the Stone Garden all around the walkway. With its depressed basin it has a secluded yet very imposing, hidden charm, but it still retains an aggressive expressive nature which seem at odds with its quieter feel - yet in true Stone style, they seem to bond the rampant Burton with the romantic Taylor into the perfect marriage. I can see many sitting in the Gardens as the lowing Sun sets not wanting to leave here!
It will surely be a pleasure to see this place grow, in more ways than one. Mary Lennox would surely think that this was Misselthwaite Manor if she was ever to visit here. Positively Charming!
Last Visit: Sunday 5th November, 2006.
11-18-2006 07:01:18 | More by TheLongBeachBum
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Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, CA
100 out of 100 based on 599 ratings.