It is, finally, open.
When Grand Ole BBQ y Asado shut down its North Park location for renovation, it was supposed to be for a couple of months. That was three years ago. In the interim, we had a pandemic. But now it’s been fully redone. It’s ready to open, soon as the last health inspections pass.
This is big news because, well, Grand Ole is great. Owner Andy Harris has kept himself busy with their other location in Flinn Springs, which is about as close to a Texas backyard barbecue joint as you can get without leaving San Diego.
It’s still got that backyard, wooden bench vibe. But most grandmas will like these benches.
“I wanted it to be for everyone to enjoy their time there—like if your grandma wanted to come she wouldn’t think it was gross,” says owner Andy Harris. “Like my aunt came to the old one and she was like uh no.”
In the spirit of everyone, Grand Ole will be the first local barbecue restaurant I can think of with a vegan menu. Andy’s also got a “sommelier type guy” for the new spot, wants to prove that beer isn’t the only thing that goes well with brisket and ribs and smoked turkey. And of course he’ll have craft beer galore on taps throughout. With a full kitchen (the original spot just had a cubby hole), they’ll be able to do more menu options and non-barbecue dishes. They’ll also have kimchi and a few Korean dipping sauces.
“I met a woman who was a dealer at a local casino,” says Harris. “Maybe I go there occasionally. Anyway, we start talking and she says she makes the best kimchi I’ve ever tasted. So she brings me some. And it is the best I’ve ever tasted. So now she’s going to make all our kimchi. Marcia Marcia Marcia kimchi.”
In Hot Plates, we get the sad news out of the way—Metl in North Park, with their boozy milkshakes, had to close (their downtown location is going strong). Stone Brewing won its lawsuit against Molson Coors, whose rebrand of Keystone was deemed to be a pretty bad trademark infringement (the Keystone cans sure looked like the name was “Stone”). The San Diego Beer News Awards rolled out their winners, with some of the bigger awards going to Hopnonymous, McIlhenney Brewing, Pure Project, North Park Beer Co, Burgeon Beer Co., Stone, Societe, and Treevana. And this weekend, one of the best food events in San Diego is finally back after three years—”Celebrate the Craft” at the Lodge at Torrey Pines, an outdoor collaboration cooking event under the sun with Kelli Crosson (AR Valentien), Javier Plascencia (Finca Altozano), Eric Bost (Jeune et Jolie), Jojo Ruiz (Serea, Lionfish), and Travis Swikard (Callie).
For “Two People, Fifty Bucks,” Troy is still a little stunned by how good Matsu is, and how chef William Eick can do what he did with that cabbage dish. David has a billion tasters of mezcal at Camino Riviera in Middletown/Little Italy, and Andy is all about the sole with white wine at San Diego classic, Anthony’s Fish Grotto.
Thanks for listening, guys.