The Quartyard Bar’s veggie panini
1102 Market Street, San Diego
The Quartyard is going great guns. It’s the empty lot that students from NewSchool of Architecture & Design have turned into a social gathering place for East Villagers.
See Tin Fork for review of S&M, the Sausage & Meat shipping container eatery. But what I also realized was the actual Quartyard Bar, in the container across the stage from S&M, also serves food. Plus I noticed they were serving these great Munich Oktoberfest-style steins that held, well, a quart of beer each. Maybe that’s why they called this place the Quartyard. Whatever, I could see it was a good bicep-building exercise just to lift these steins up and down.
So, natch, had to come back. The place is starting to build up with dogs and the people who love them. A bunch of boys and girls all wearing tall white chefs’ toques are yukking it up around the food trucks. “It’s my birthday,” says the guy with the fanciest toque, as if that would explain it all.
Geoff, student at NewSchool of Architecture, works his way down a quart at Quartyard
I notice that all the little counters around the boxed trees have cartons of doggy bags on them. Smart move.
“Did you know,” says this sign on the Quartyard Bar backboard, “that you can get a sausage for your dog at S&M?”
So, yes. I sit up to the stainless steel bar with servers in black “Quartyard” tees serving a raffish collection of people you know have to have the coolest IT jobs in town, from their conversation.
The timing’s right, though. Happy Hour is 3:30pm till 6, Monday to Friday. The deal is $2 off drinks and half off all the food items.
The Quartyard quart
I have to order one of those giant steins. First I’ve ever had. Normally $11, but $9 during HH. I figure that’s two pints, $4.50 each, not a bad deal. Except you can’t put any of those really heavy ales in, like the Stone Imperial Stout Chai Spice. That’s 11 percent alcohol. Or the rest of the excellent array of craft beers they have in nearly two dozen taps. But if you go for the stein, you get Societe’s The Harlot, 6%, and no argument.
“You want to buy the mug too?” says the gal. “Fifteen dollars more.” Uh, no. Trailing home that admission of guilt? I don’t think so.
Foodwise, okay, a little basic. Paninis, salads. That’s it. Paninis are ham and cheese, turkey and bacon, The Veggie, turkey, chicken, and grilled cheese. Salads: Cobb, kale, Caesar, spinach. That’s it. Simple.
The Cobb salad
So I keep it simple and order the veggie panini ($7.25), which I go for because I like the idea of grilled eggplant, and a Cobb salad ($7.50) because it has avocado and blue cheese and diced chicken and chopped bacon. I know, that’s $9, $14.75...$23.75 plus taxes and tips. Way too much. Except, hold it. HH. Half off the food. So we’re talking $16.50 before tax and tips.
Veggie panini closer up
It’s just as well that I ordered as I do. I need plenty of nosh to help that quart of ale go down. Because that sucker is the gift that keeps on giving. And you can’t lose face and not finish it.
There’s all those picnic plank tables and benches in the Quartyard’s courtyard, but somehow I get stuck at the bar, yakking with these two gents from Minnesota. Families into tin mining. No, they don’t have places like this back there. Weather, for starters. It’s under who knows many feet of snow back there right now.
Pickles and cucumbers, part of the panini deal
The panini are nice and squelchy with the grilled eggplant and avo. It also has spinach, shroom, onion, and pickles. But I still have to ask for Tapatio to give its taste a decent kick. Cobb salad’s great though. Blue cheese and chicken, bacon...dang thing would have been enough on its lonesome.
So, yeah. It’s just a big Tarmac space, but there’s something about it. Just the sense that anything can happen, because here we’re surrounded by thousands of creative people living down here. They’re going to make this space pop.