Prohibition – An Era – Maybe should have stayed that way

Prohibition Brewery. Catchy name, and with several more Prohibition era touches on the interior, I would have thought they would’ve paid more attention to the dining experience..

Friday night, 6pm, and one of the few “breweries” in the San Diego that have a service menu, it was somewhat busy but no wait at the door…in fact, we were not greeted. There begins the Prohi-problem. The wife and I have been here a total of four visits. The first (11/11/2011 at, of course, 11am) was for “soft” opening day. Again a visit later with some friends, only for a beer. That second trip revealed an empty “home-brew” menu, yet they offered many supplements, including Coors Light…really? I have read on several other blogs that this seemed to be a regular occurrence. This is a local brewery for us, being only a few miles from our house. Again, another visit soon after the New Year, when we were told their menu was going to get some “great” enhancements. We saw none except the menu now being laminated and several of the home-brew empty.

Today’s trip was to be a quick drink on the way home with my wife and I to meet up with some friends. I  noticed they had a nice new sign on the back wall and added a couple new tables in that area as well. Still, the picnic benches prevailed. I guess they are OK for a bunch of beer drinkers, but lend nothing to a dining experience. Still the same laminated menu…

I noticed they had their “Red” (a norm) and another “IPA” brew that is not their norm written on the chalkboard menu. I also looked in the back and noticed a brew of “Oatmeal Stout” in the making. That’s good, because, at least they’re working on their beer…which is not bad. I don’t think any of their home-brewed beers are bad…in fact, possibly on the “good” side. I asked for a sample of the Red and a sample of the IPA. I noticed that my samples at our bar area table were half the size of the samples that were being poured for, what appeared to be, the locals and regulars actually sitting at the bar; where I also saw the owner spending most of her time while working the keg flow. I even saw her later pour a pitcher for a table-dining area patron. Beginning first by working a different keg’s flow; poured that out, then using the same pitcher to conclude the patrons pour from a different tap. Now being a beer drinker, that’s not that big of a deal for me. I then observed the head of the beer not surface correctly. I saw her actually, now using the not properly “beer clean” service pitcher, boost shots of the tap into it to make it form a head. I saw her carry that pitcher back to service patrons in the regular dining area. Again, not that big of a deal for me being a beer drinker, but being a beer drinking foodie, I know that the lack of professionalism in that practice is completely unacceptable for someone who would be expecting something better. I throw the BS flag.

We ordered a couple of apps from the chalkboard “special” menu. It’s good that they are fishing for new menu ideas…or promoting the “going bad in the back” ingredients. A “norm” for restaurants. The Spinach/Artichoke dip tasted great, if you could make it past the hour-stale multi-colored tortilla chips. The chips were, again from my initial Yelp blog, probably bought at Costco, although I’ve never seen them sold there. We also ordered the Bruschetta, which was a very feeble attempt at utilising the day-old sandwich bread they use for the Philly Cheese sandwich, yet cut on a lengthwise bias. An interesting plating…none the less. Then the liberally…I mean way too much, poorly reduced, balsamic vinegar over top of jar’d Costco pesto, melting the modestly cheesy tomato topping in the broiler. Friggin bar food…still sucks overall. It was not even remotely good.

I will probably go back; however, only because it’s local, having good friends, and the beer is good…or at least acceptable. At least they serve Stone IPA…as long as they don’t do that foaming thing for the head. Please, at least learn correct sanitation and service protocols and standards… from the owner even. The owner never made her way around to the tables within the bar area to acknowledge the patrons. The only time she made her way from behind the bar was to help bring plates out to the presumably long waiting guests in the dining area.

Again, a blog that is much longer than the establishment deserves.

They only get a half-glass of stale beer.



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