• Vegan Pub ‘n’ Grub: The Stone Brewery in Escondido

    April 22nd, 2010mr meanermore restaurants (not LA), san diego

    Stone Brewing is one of Southern California’s largest breweries, perhaps best known for its “Arrogant Bastard” brand, a beer which they say was named after me. If you’ve only ever had the Bastard, there are another 14 beers, each of which is expertly crafted and brewed. Oh, and the entire brewing process is 100% vegan so you can drink yourself silly with Stone products worry-free.

    I’ve long been a fan of Stone IPA, one of the best American style hopped IPAs available, even though it can be a little on the strong side. This means that after your fifth glass you may not be able to stand up, a fact which I gladly verified recently. Gulp. On our recent trip to San Diego, we decided to detour slightly through Escondido so we could visit the brewery and dine in the restaurant, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, which we’d heard had a few vegan options.

    That detour turned out to be one of the best ideas we’d had in a long time as the brewery and accompanying brasserie was absolutely freakin’ spectacular.

    Set on landscaped acres with its own stream, waterfall and pond as well as a huge collection of exotic flora, a visit to the brewery is reminiscent of a Napa winery trip – a great cathedral of beer set in lavish surroundings.

    So, bottom line on the beer: All of Stone’s outstanding beers are served there, along with a couple of extra special items (I had an unfiltered cask ale when I was there, which was absolutely incredible).

    The menu is highly inventive, and calls out a couple of dishes that can be made vegan by request (yes, the menu actually has the word “vegan” on it a few times – something we vegans really like). We opted for the Tasty Tofu Stir Fry (vegan with no eggs) and were very pleased.

    Tasty Tofu Stir Fry :A spiced up marinated & baked tofu stir-fry with soy sauce, Ramona's Eben-Haezer eggs, lovely green vegetables, and brown rice. Leave out the eggs for a Vegan choice. $15

    A food item that calls itself “tasty” is setting a high bar out of the gate, and a stir fry usually isn’t that special an item. However, this dish was more than utilitarian, it actually was rather tasty, and with the addition of Stone’s Arrogant Bastard hot sauce was a feast fit for a king. (NOTE: the Double Bastard sauce in the picture contains HONEY and is therefore not vegan. Thanks to Alex in the comments.)

    We also ordered the Tempeh Shepherd’s Pie and mashed potatoes with a side salad.

    Tempeh Shepherd's pie:Chock full of spiced tempeh, carrots, zucchini, and onions, and topped with mashed potatoes and cheese. Served with a side salad. Boy, those tempeh shepherds sure knew how to eat! (Can be made Vegan on request.) $15

    While this was very tasty (again liberal lashings of hot sauce helped a lot) it was a little dry – I guess they omitted butter from the mashed potatoes but didn’t have any Earth Balance on hand to grease ’em back up again. The dryness, though, was not a problem and actually gave me an excuse to drink another beer to assuage the dry feeling.

    If you’re a beer lover you really can’t go wrong – the brasserie looks out over the brew kettles in the actual brewery and has large doors that open out to the pretty garden and patio which has another bar, and kids play area. The vegan food offerings, while not outstanding were perfectly serviceable, and the fact that somebody actually bothered to create some special vegan options is a bug five gold stars from me.

    Check out Stone when you’re next in the Escondido area, or even make a special journey – it’s really worth a trip.

    Stone Brewing Word Bistro and Gardens
    1999 Citracado Parkway
    Escondido, CA 92029
    tel 760.294.7866
    Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 11 pm
    Friday & Saturday: 11am – midnight (reservations strongly encouraged)

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17 responses to “Vegan Pub ‘n’ Grub: The Stone Brewery in Escondido” RSS icon

  • I am a huge fan of this blog, and I am so happy to see so many recent beer-related posts. Cheers!

  • Thanks, David. Too much clean living raw food, low fat crap here. My mission is to spice things up a little with beer and unhealthy food! Cheers.

  • That stir fry actually looks pretty healthy, Mr. Meaner! So colorful and with brown rice. Yum 😉

  • This is awesome. Thank you.

  • What stunning photos!

  • I love your restaurant posts!!! Makes me need a CA trip ASAP!

  • That Shepherd’s pie makes it a slam dunk for me! Can’t wait to hit this up on my next trip to SD.

  • while i do love all of quarrygirl’s posts, i find these pub’n’grub articles really refreshing. it’s nice to know where you can go and grab a great tasting beer, with some good vegan food to go with. thanks mr. meaner, for testing these places out to let us know which ones rock vegan socks.

  • be careful! all of stone’s hot sauces use honey!

  • I have eaten Stone’s hot sauces before, and I don’t recall honey listed in the ingredients. Can someone confirm?

  • the oaked, jalapeno and double bastard sauces all have honey. i just checked the ones we have in the fridge (bought a few months ago for the non-vegans.)

  • @Alex: So they do. Nice work. I only checked the label on the Arrogant Bastard sauce, and it didn’t contain honey (or at least I don’t recall that it did).

  • Nice review. I love Stone IPA. I have 2 6-packs chillin in the fridge (it is Stanley Cup hockey time after all). Cheers!

  • Mutha fuckin honey always sneakin up in shit

  • Delicious looking food in the photos as usual, thanks for the review!!

  • Stone Imperial Russian Stout = my favoritest beer of all time. So jealous.

    Note: their former head brewer, Lee Chase, is vegan. He now owns his own bar somewhere in California.


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