2265 Bacon Street, Ocean Beach
When I’m in the mood for something easy, affordable, fresh, and flavorful for lunch, I head over to the 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro in Ocean Beach. On the rare occasion there’s not an available parking space in the lot, it’s not hard to find meter-free parking on the street on either side of the corner on which the cozy restaurant and wine shop is situated (right across the street from BO-beau).
In the handful of years it’s been open, I’ve had a chance to sample nearly every item on the menu. On my last three lunch visits, however, I’ve ordered the same exact thing: a cup of soup, a salad, and a glass of brut rosé. For me, this choice represents the perfect combo of a lunch that isn’t too heavy, but is immensely satisfying.
I begin with a glass of sparkling pink stuff. Effervescent, crisp, refreshing and dry, it’s a great way to kick off a light lunch. I’m careful not to overindulge of the demi baguette, which is soft and fresh, and complemented by the creamy sweetness of Challenge brand unsalted butter (mostly because I want to save some to dunk in my soup).
The daily soup is always changing, but I order the one that’s always on the menu: creamy vegetarian wild mushroom soup. It’s lighter than it looks (just a “touch of cream” in which the buttons, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms swim), and packs a savory punch. On the menu, my meal is listed as “cup of soup and house salad.” The house salad is my favorite. Mixed greens, herbed and marinated tomatoes, niçoise olives, shaved parmesan, and basil vinaigrette (which I order on the side, because on past visits, I noted the kitchen’s tendency to overdress).
For a protein kick, I add grilled chicken. On occasion, it’s been on the overcooked side, but more often than not, it’s tender and tasty.
David usually orders one of the sandwiches, such as the grilled chicken breast with boursin, basil pesto, sun-dried tomato tapenade, served with shoestring fries. On my latest visit, I went with a friend, and she ordered the mussels. Though she enjoyed the flavors, we both thought it odd that the fries were served atop the mollusks, making it messy and awkward to get to them. She ended up putting the bulk of the fries on her bread plate so that she could access the mussels.
Still, at the end of this lunch, as is usually the case when I visit 3rd Corner, my lunch date and I were both relaxed, sated, and not overstuffed. And as I write this, I find myself craving that mushroom soup and salad. I think I know where I’ll be going for lunch today. And, because they're also a retail wine shop, I can pick up a few bottles to bring home.