When Belching Beaver Brewery acquired this place and transformed it a couple of years ago, we had become excited for the possibilities. Having patronized this establishment several times since their opening, I had become less enchanted with the Tavern and Grill’s overall atmosphere, service and cuisine. This trip brought me back to a place that I was hoping for from the beginning with good food, inviting surroundings and service that I had been expecting.
Having eaten in the dining are a couple of times in the past, the food had been only mediocre and the service seemed to be . . . well, kind of like we were always ruining the server’s day. During those previous visits the servers had an inconveniencing about them that always made me feel as though they really didn’t want to be there . . . that I was part of their day’s burden. This trip was completely the opposite. Perhaps it was the day of the week, and the time of that day. Perhaps it was that Belching Beaver changed up their menu and staff. I’m not entirely sure, because our infrequent visits always seemed to be with a different group of people, at different days of the week and different times of the day. Today it was Sunday and we could have easily fallen into the senior crowd time-frame as it was about 5pm when were immediately seated.
Times in the past we have also sat with our group on the patio area, where the food selections were, and possibly still are, minimized and drinks were acquired by getting up and standing in a swift moving line for the bartenders to pour whatever you intend to imbibe, and then navigate your way back through the normally crowded gaming, dog and kid-friendly area. The food on the patio had been in the past, finger-type grill/brewery selections and never gave me any satisfaction to ever order from that menu again . . . so I would normally balk at any chance to go back there and ‘meet up’ with anyone of our friends that would mention potentially patronizing them for a few beers.
Tonight we had attempted to eat somewhere else. Our not normally-patronizing-Vista friends suggested eating at a new BBQ place across the street only to find out they were closed on Sundays. When they mentioned eating at Belching Beaver, I had again balked at the idea, because I had never been impressed. This evening was much different, with quality food, service and a great time catching up with our old friends. I shared a ‘Brazilian’ Top-Sirloin steak that came with an ok Chimichurri upon request, perfectly roasted young string beans and a baked potato. The Chimichurri was of a blended sort, and I have never been a fan of those since marrying a girl of Argentinian decent. The steak was perfectly cooked and rather tender. A good selection this evening. My wife had ordered the wedge salad that matched my plate’s large portion size and made for a great combination for us to share each of our orders. Our friends said their plates of the Brontosaurus Bone and Classic burger were also delicious and I could tell very plentiful, as each of them took their leftovers for the road trip home.
An above typical brewery/tavern experience here in North San Diego County as many breweries keep arriving and the food scene keeps evolving. Trust me, there’s more to come; but with this evolution seems to come a demand for cuisine that shares many similarities of atmospheric desire amongst the patrons. This particular area in Vista, CA has changed over the last couple of years with several breweries and brew houses, wine bars and restaurants; but the more ‘millennial-ized’ desire to drink craft beer has morphed the dining experience to trailer behind those patrons. It’s hard to find some really fine, or exceptionally great dining in this area anymore.
Belching Beaver Brewery Tavern and Grill is still a good place to visit. Come check it out. It is a hot spot for the craft beer crowd.