Cool Eats in San Diego: Contemporary
1. TRACTOR ROOM – HILLCREST $$$
It is hard to believe you could miss this place, since it has a tractor parked out front. “We’re not in Kansas anymore” but you might just feel like it at first glance, but don’t be fooled this place is a classy urban spot.
As you enter the front doors you push through the dark floor to ceiling curtains and know you have arrived at a hip spot. Decorated like a very cool hunting lodge adorned with a Jackalope on the wall. The bar area to the left is serving up great cocktails (an enormous cocktail menu) combine this with a very friendly staff and you are having fun now. Appetizers and dinner are also available at the bar. The quaint dining room is simply romantic, dimly lit and attractive décor serving up great original dishes using game meat. Try the Free range Buffalo Stew or the Venison meatloaf with a side of mashed potatoes or the blue cheese buffalo burger. Its’ yummy! Open for brunch Saturday & Sunday 9am-2:30pm and late night dining every night. Don’t miss this place!
3687 Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest
2. THE LINKERY – NORTH PARK $$$
The Linkery is a great neighborhood eatery with hand made cuisine. This food rocks the chart of your non-typical organic cuisine. The Linkery goes a step further and highlights local produce from local farmers. The atmosphere is a cool, converted warehouse.
This is one farm-fresh factory, serving meats only from independent farmers and co-ops whose reputation and livelihood is tied to the quality of their animals. The animal, human and planet friendly eatery particularly features pastured and grass-fed meat raised with traditional and sustainable methods. They make all of their our own sausages, hence the name “The Linkery.” They cure all their own meats and bake all their own bread in small batches by hand. Offering a very wide selection of world-class craft beers including cask beers and a real nice sit around and wrap around bar, this is a terrific nook to quench your thirst.
The coolest thing about this place (beside all of the above) is there is No Tipping allowed! It is built into the food prices which is convenient so you don’t have to pull out your pocket tip-calculator.
Open for lunch Friday, Saturday and Sunday and 7 nights for dinner until 11:30 pm, the Linkery is located at 3794 30th Street just off University Ave.
3. HASH HOUSE A GO GO – HILLCREST $$$Cool Stuff San Diego Favorite
Hash House is best described as an Urban Country feeling. Inside, the décor is pure Green Acres, with tractor logos, farm equipment on the walls and wheat to capture the true ambiance of this place. Oh yeah, with a slightly modern, hip twist, ie: sanded aluminum square tube chairs and thick dark wood plank lacquered tabletops.
Did we mention the size of the portions? Like a side of beef at Cattletown in Texas! The contestants on “The Biggest Loser” would not be able to finish these meals. Sharing an entrée will leave you with leftovers, just a forewarning to newcomers. Knowing that information, the food is absolutely delectable at this place.
Self described as “twisted farm food”, we will call it contemporary. Hash House uses only fresh organic ingredients. The dishes are simply a masterpiece, almost too pretty to eat. Just to give you an idea of the creativity and size. Meals are usually adorned with an 8” branch of rosemary sticking straight up the through the center of your meal. Try the crispy salmon over garlic mashed potatoes surrounded with a plethora of chopped chives, scallions, onions and peppers cooked in a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce, feathered by a few hefty sprigs of asparagus. And if it needed more presentation the meal is topped with a few sprigs of fried spaghetti noodles, aka nerve endings. A large warm honey glazed biscuit is served prior to the meal for a non traditional offering than your typical bread. Nothing is typical about this place. Yum, Yum, Yum!
This is not a full bar service restaurant. Only beer and wine served.
Awards to long to list but to name a few: Travelocity – Top Insiders Spot 2007, AOL City Guide – Best Breakfast San Diego 2006. Oh yeah, and you should check this place out for breakfast – but beware of the large line up every morning!
Located in Hillcrest at 3628 Fifth Avenue.