(From the Pre-GABF housecleaning file)
September 25th was my birthday, so Molly offered to take me out to The Ritual Tavern down in San Diego for drinks and dinner. The last time we were there was the evening the Toronado San Diego opened — an infamous night that involved Molly and Ritual co-owner Staci flashing traffic from the patio and a trip to the adult bookstore across the street.
Naturally, I was happy to go.
The Ritual is located in the North Park area of San Diego (so named because it’s at the north end of Balboa Park) along 30th Street, which is also home to other great beer and food destinations including the aforementioned Toronado, The Linkery and Hamilton’s Tavern.
The interior is cozy, with a comfortable bar, friendly folk and great tap and bottle selection of both local and far flung brews.
The local stuff on tap that night included, Stone Brewing’s IPA and Smoked Porter, Ballast Point’s Big Eye and Backstreet Brewing’s Georgia Pecan Nut Brown Ale on cask. (Backstreet’s brewer Adam Carbonell was making an appearance there that night as well.)
There was lots of local bottles as well, including an ample selection from our own beloved Lost Abbey.
But beyond the beer, The Ritual also has some fantastic food (something I didn’t get to sample on my last trip there). That night was mussel and oyster night — both locally raised and steamed in our choice of beer. (Our selection: Lost Abbey Avant Garde.)
The shellfish were excellent, as were the breads served along with it. I highly recommend both.
We had more beer and more food — more than I can remember to be honest.
My longtime friend, Sean, who happens to live around the corner, as well as (owner) Staci, Chris (
Staci’s husband & Ritual co-ownera Ritual co-worker who is not married to Staci and happily dating the bartender pictured above—much to Staci’s husband, Michael’s, relief), and Adam Carbonell all joined us on the patio for hours of conversation and people-watching along 30th Street. (Alas, no flashing from the girls this time.)
Sidenote: There’s an adult bookstore right across the street. Even if you never go in there, sitting on the Ritual patio, having a few pints and watching who goes in and out of the store is hours of entertainment.
All-in-all it was a great evening of great beer, food and friends in a really fun environment. If you ever get the chance to come to San Diego, I highly recommend a stop at The Ritual for a few drinks and dinner. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.