Sunday, May 28, 2017

Urge & Jefferson

Several weeks ago, DDF & I went to a new(ish) whiskey bar in Oceanside, just North of Carlsbad Village, Urge Gastropub.  It had been open for less than a year, but we'd never been there before.  It was a remarkably pleasant evening.  Our bartender was attentive, friendly, knowledgable, prompt, and conversant.  He was also an aficionado of non-rye whiskies himself, with the phrase "I have bottle of this at home" and "I was given a bottle of that last year for my birthday".

I told the bartender I wanted non-peaty, non-smokey, delicious whisky and whiskey that contained zero rye, after I figured out in 2016 that rye just makes me an itchy whiskey drinker.  He steered me towards the Jeffersons flight, which I found noteworthy, tasty, delicious, and worth the curiosity.  There were 3 or 4 other flights to choose from... for our next trip there.

When a couple sat down at the bar several seats away who were interested in sake, the bartender helped them out as well, in detail.

The food menu at first glance looked like bar food, but upon ordering and devouring, it was far more flavorful and mouthwatering than most generic bar food.  Excellent local ingredients, ample portions, savory and memorable.  Good food, good drink, good atmosphere, good prices.

Impressed by Urge Oceanside, we tried to go to Urge San Marcos 2 weeks later.  That was an unmitigated disaster.  Parking is non-existent for the venue, as it is wedged BEHIND a not-yet-finished condo/commercial building complex, and while there's a parking garage, 75% of the spots in it are designated "for residents only" and widely posted that violators Will Be Towed.  When we finally found a spot in a dusty gravel parking lot several blocks away, and made our way to Urge San Marcos, we found a loud, crowded, Child Filled (WTF??) sprawling bar & game complex that was at least 10X larger than the Oceanside location, and it was packed to the gills.  Almost standing room only.  Who brings children to a whiskey bar?    Not having a place to sit, DDF and I went back to our car, and drove to a local Thai restaurant that was open, available, and delicious.

If you're looking for a good whiskey bar in North San Diego County, Urge Oceanside is the place to go.  Avoid San Marcos Urge, unless you love chaotic mayhem without parking and full of kids in an adult whiskey bar.

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