Dining out in San Diego is one of the best perks of living here… only our wallet doesn’t typically agree. Because of that, we try really hard to make those extra meals outside of our own kitchen count.
My mom was in town visiting over the weekend, and any time she’s here is a good excuse to hit the beach… only we put it off until her last day here. So, before we took her to the airport, we decided to check out Pacific Beach. Then came the next daunting task of picking a place to eat.
Luckily for me, my husband was up to the challenge and discovered Pacific Beach AleHouse, situated right next to the beach, so we’d be within walking distance to check out the sandy shores after lunch. Because rule number 33 of having kids is that you never want to haul them all in and out of the van more times than you have to.
PB AleHouse is pretty much a stone’s throw from the beach, but parking is super limited, so fair warning if you visit during peak eating time. Thankfully, we went for lunch on a weekday and lucked out with a spot in front.
From the outside it looks like a super casual restaurant. But when you go inside you almost feel like you’re in a swanky cellar—the dark wood mixed with galvanized steel and brick walls, give the whole place a cool vibe. Plus, you can see their beer tanks through their floor to ceiling glass windows… letting you know that they mean business when it comes to their beer.
There’s a patio on the ground floor, but if you want to be like all the cool kids, make your way up the stairs (there are more of them than you think), and find yourself on the rooftop patio. We got there pretty much right at noon, and snagged one of the only tables left—the place was jumping from the time we got there until we left.
Our girls loved eating up on the rooftop, because they could see the beach and the ocean from the huge glass windows. I liked the rooftop, because it was louder out there, and I didn’t have to old my breath about the kids acting like kids and being loud. Win/win for everyone!
PB AleHouse’s lunch menu has all the beach grub you’d expect: burgers, salads, fish tacos, and a couple sandwiches (I almost went for their crab and lobster roll), and their house-made beers were all on point.
The girls strayed from their typical we-only-want-to-eat-chicken-fingers and actually wanted their pizza, which turned out to be a good thing, because they devoured the entire thing.
My mom and I each got tacos—mahi mahi for her, and their spicy shrimp tacos for me. They were fantastic—a great portion of meat, and tortillas that actually held up (you’d be surprised how many tacos I’ve had that break halfway through!).
As soon as we sat down, we smelled something straight up delicious wafting in the air, and we needed it immediately: garlic fries (pictured above). It’s seasoned crispy fries with, you guessed it, tons of garlic: fresh garlic, garlic oil, and garlic puree, and they were to die for. Seriously, I mentioned that I’d want those at my last meal on Earth.
Our one regret was not ordering their ahi tuna nachos. We saw a few pass by, and drooled every time we laid our eyes on them. A little mountain of wonton chips sprinkled with fresh ahi tuna and tons of other toppings like avocado and a sweet chili sauce; my mouth is watering just thinking about it, and I didn’t even get it! I definitely know what I’m getting when I go back.
My husband ordered his usual (a burger), but this one was unique and truly one of the best we’ve tasted. Anyone can make and eat a burger, but what made this aztec burger so special is that it was made with a brisket and ribeye blend, and you could totally tell a difference. You know how brisket has those delicious nibbly-bits at the end that’s packed with flavor? This burger had that, and combined with bacon habanero chutney and avocado? It turned out the be the perfect combo for a burger.
And last, but not least: the beer. We tried their Slomo Saison and 858 Blonde, and the only reason I don’t have photos of them, is because we pretty much downed them (and the refills) faster than I thought we would. I’m pretty picky about beer, and those two were so flavorful and smooth, and perfect for a warm San Diego fall day at the beach. They sell them in growlers to go, and if I knew I’d be able to drink a whole thing within a few days, I’d totally get them. But wasting beer is not something I’m a fan of, so I’m just dreaming of going back there some day.
In fact, I really want to go back for Taco Tuesday (because, obviously), brunch (they have all the classic favorites, and exciting newcomers like short rib hash and eggs, crab and lobster benedict, and chicken and biscuits—yum), or for dinner. Their dinner menu includes favorites like three-cheese mac and cheese and a Baja seafood pasta among other dishes that sound just as good as everything else on the menu. Oh, and they have all-you-can-eat shrimp on Thursday nights! Yes, please.
Have you been to PB Ale House? What did you get?