Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Nov. 27
1887 on the Bay: Happy hour racing ribs!
The renovated Coronado Boathouse gives you front row seats to...San Diego’s America’s Cup?
Man! This is like having bayside bleachers at the America’s Cup.
Out on tiny Glorietta Bay, maybe a dozen big yachts — 30-40 footers — cut and weave in between each other as they fight for primo position at the start line.
Bam! The starter horn blasts. Wind smacks into the mainsails, and they zip off, out of sight.
Guess I can put this forkful of huli huli beef short ribs into my gob now. Been holding it out there for five minutes, I swear.
We're on the second floor of the old Coronado Boathouse, what they call 1887 On the Bay (1701 Strand Way, Coronado, 619-435-0155).
It's been an upscale eatery, a Chart House, until about ten years ago. Became the Coronado Boathouse. Then I heard they had changed the name again just last month, along with the menu and the chef. So hey. Jumped off the 901 bus about five - happy hour, heh heh - and came down to the water to try these guys out.
Happy Hour's at the "Crew's Lounge," the upstairs bar...
Mmm. My huli huli is one of the happy hour specials. “Huli huli?” Turn-turn. Hawaiian word for rotisserie, basically. And usually involves ginger and soy. That was green light enough for me.
The happy hour eatin’ menu isn’t huge: soup (today’s is asparagus, $5), two oyster shooters ($4), six oysters in the half shell ($9), Caesar salad ($5), roasted artichokes ($5), wings ($8), ribs ($8).
Sure glad I chose these ribs. They have this relish of pineapple chunks, red peppers, red cabbage strips, red onion, and a general flavor of (I'm guessing) ginger, soy and garlic. Luscious.
’Course you have to work at it. Looks like these are buzz-cut ribs sliced across the grain so you nibble around the edges of each disk. I’ve got the asparagus soup...
...to help it all down. It’s thick and sabroso, with goat cheese crumbs on top. Plus I had to have a glass of Ballast Point Amber ($4).
But half the pleasure’s just staring. Out, across the water below. I ask what the race is.
"Fun race, every week,” says Sean the bartender...
..."They call it the 'Beer Can Race.'"
“Why beer can?”
He looks at me like “You have to ask?”