Category Archives: restaurants

La Mesa Bar Bike Adventure

There are all sorts of bars in La Mesa, the city I grew up in, that I’ve never been to. Places that I wondered about when underage, but just didn’t seem cool enough once I could get into bars. Last night Kinsee, Derrik and I rode our bikes to five of those La Mesa watering holes.

First up was Centifonti’s, I’ve walked past it a few times before and always assumed it was a restaurant or bakery, I was shocked when I saw a coupon in the Citybeat advertising their “Boot of Beer”.  Why a place like this serves a boot of beer is beyond me, but we weren’t concerned with that, we just wanted our 112oz of cold, foamy Stella Artois. I felt a little out of place at first, most of the patrons were older than the three of us combined, but as we drank the boot I stopped worrying about La Mesa folks and started having a good time.

Pouring the Boot

Pouring the Boot

Drinking the Boot

Drinking the Boot

Finishing the Boot

Finishing the Boot

Next up was Pete’s Place. Pete’s used to be one of two dive bars on La Mesa Blvd, but they both recently closed. Pete’s Place opened back up after some remodeling, Joe and Andy’s, the other dive hasn’t reopened yet. When tearing down the old walls they apparently found nice brick walls behind them, so Pete’s Place looks nice these days. Even though they got remodeled the bar tender said they still have the same people hanging out there and drink prices didn’t go up. $3.25 for a decently stiff whiskey and 7up was pretty good.

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Brick Walls

Brick Walls

After Pete’s Place we rode down the street, passing such places as Hoffer’s Cigar Bar and the Turquoise Room at the Riviera Supper Club for the tried and true Falcon’s Lure. They only serve beer and wine but we found some good local brews. We played the jukebox (I resisted putting on Alice’s Restaurant, three times), met a local who showed us a magic trick, he originally wanted us to buy him a beer before showing us the magic behind it. When we showed no interest whatsoever he decided to tell us free of charge.

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Bikes in the Bar

Bikes in the Bar

We sprinted down University Ave to The Dragon Room at Wong’s Golden Palace. This was the most divey, and least fun bar of the night. We walked in and it was almost silent, no music was playing, and nearly dark. No one was behind the bar so I asked a guy sitting there if he’d seen a bartender around recently. He looked at me and laughed and said “nah”. Then he started yelling “MEATLOAF! MEATLOAF!”, shortly after that the bartender started walking over. We didn’t feel comfortable ordering drinks from someone that responds to the name Meatloaf so we went into the restaurant and order our Flaming Volcano drink. We downed the drink and got out as quickly as we could.

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The Volcano

The Volcano

The Flaming Volcano

The Flaming Volcano

Last was Mr G’s Tavern. It was bright with loud but not too loud music and a decent crowd. One patron was apparently trying to make fun of us and our bikes but I didn’t let him get away with it.

Him: “So you guys ten-speeded in here huh?”

Me: “They’re single-speeds actually.”

We quickly became friends with him and another regular named Tim. By the time we left we’d earned his respect by riding around the hills of La Mesa with only one gear.

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A Few of the Regulars -- We met Tim

A Few of the Regulars -- We met Tim

A Couple of the Other Regulars

A Couple of the Other Regulars

Photos mostly by Derrik.

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SDBloggers Meetup

Last night I went to the SDBloggers Meetup at Modus Supper Club in Banker’s Hill. I never know what to expect when going to these things, the first one I went to was a Twitter meetup a few weeks ago. Both times I’ve gone with friends so I’ve had someone to talk with as we mingle and meet people. The point behind these meetups is to get people with common interests (blogging and twitter for instance) together to meet and talk.

Last night I talked with a few people, Daniel from a local startup called Pelotonics that makes group collaboration software (which I haven’t had much time to look at). But he was a nice guy.

But as I was leaving a guy came up to us and introduced himself. The easiest way to start a conversation with someone was to just walk up to them, introduce yourself and ask, “So, what do you blog about?” This guy, Dennis, said that he started out with a food blog, which he turned into a restaurant. That sounded pretty cool to me, then he said the restaurant was Sea Rocket Bistro. I recognized the restaurant, it’s on 30th St in North Park near where I used to live, but as a vegetarian I never gave it a second look because it is a seafood restaurant.

We started chatting with him about that, and he told us what vegetarian dishes they do have, there weren’t too many, but they all sounded great. Then he mentioned that their focus is on local sustainable foods. I thought that was really interesting, especially with seafood, it seems like it would be so easy to do here in San Diego.

I took a look at their website today and loved it. I wish every restaurant had this much information as readily available. They have a list of their food sources and even an interactive google map of where specific items come from. And they still blog, I looked at some of the recent posts, and it’s not just filler to draw attention to the restaurant — there is interesting content about local food issues, like this post about Prop 2 and egg farming.

While I can’t comment on how good the food is, and I probably won’t ever become a regular because of their focus on seafood, I do want to check it out sometime.