12891 Campo Road, Spring Valley
First of all, what in the world are you doing in Jamul? Scouting for UFOs over the Unarius landing pad? Hunting blue people in Proctor Valley? Maybe you got lost on your way to the movies in Rancho San Diego or you’re just passing through for beers in Tecate. Perhaps you’re taking the scenic route to the train museum in Campo?
Whatever it is that brings you to the event horizon of suburban East County, where Starbucks and strip malls give way to rural expanse, there’s no better waypoint to begin, end, or justify your next trip down ole 94 (Spring Valley by zip code, Jamul by proximity) than the Greek Sombrero.
Serving a fusion of Greek and Mexican cuisine since 1988, this roadside cantina is home to a rugged assortment of desert bros, Border Patrol agents, chaparral hermits, spinster aunts, and, every first Monday evening, the monthly hobnobbing of the Jamul Tuna Club.
So, here’s the deal: happy hour runs from 3 to 6 on weekdays and during live-broadcast football games. That means $2.50 Coors Lite drafts, $3 wells, and $3.50 margs.
Your best bet is Wednesday afternoons, when all appetizers are half off, so dishes such as super nachos, gyro pita pizzas, and saganaki (pan-seared cheese) go for under five bucks each. Otherwise, stop in for $1 T.J. taco Mondays, $7.50 chicken plates on Tuesdays, or $2 taco Thursdays.
In lieu of the occasional live band that no nobody has ever heard of, you can watch afternoon football to a classic-rock soundtrack until the 5 o’clock shift change, when you’ll likely be subjected to pop-country radio for rest of the night.
Insufferable? Yes, but somehow it works.
You may or may not run into any blue people, but the house salsa, garlic carrots, and surly regulars are worth the trip alone.
Besides, down a few $4 happy-hour Greek Sombreros — the culture-melding apertif of 151-proof Bacardi, tequila, and anise-flavored ouzo — and you’ll be chasing lights in the Laguna Mountain sky in no time.
- Capacity: 55
- Hours: Monday–Friday, 3 to 9 p.m.; weekends 11 A.M. to 9 p.m.
- Happy: Monday–Friday 3 to 6 P.M. and during football games
- Cards accepted