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Righteous hickory smoke in Bay Ho

Spice & Soul shows promise

This brisket sandwich is too good for that extra sauce
This brisket sandwich is too good for that extra sauce
Place

Spice & Soul

4033 Avati Drive, San Diego

I had to drive up a Morena off-street in Bay Ho to find this newish restaurant that calls itself Spice & Soul. It’s a part of town I find myself visiting a lot more often these days. I only learned that this east-of-PB neighborhood is called Bay Ho a year ago.

You can tell that the owners put some time and thought into styling the place, but it still feels casual. A roll-up window counter and outdoor patio give it a “just a couple of miles from the beach” vibe. It doesn’t feel like the kind of place I could walk into and get lightning-fast delivery, but fast forward a short five minutes and I was eating brisket.

Spice & Soul

Call me agnostic, but I won’t speak to the level of soul that was present in this dish. I will however get behind the seasoning of this smoked in-house brisket. The warm and deep ancho/coffee rub was served on a brioche that crumbled into bites of tender, pulled beef flavorful and moist enough that it didn’t need sauce. A side of a tangy brown BBQ sauce was provided, but I quickly lost interest — it only masked that righteous hickory smoke.

There’s a long list of other sauce options I could have subbed in or ordered as an extra at 50 cents per — smoked harissa aioli, habanero, and something called Awesome Sauce stand out. Maybe they would work with the pulled pork, certainly with the salt-and-pepper wings. Or maybe with some of the vegetarian options. Lunch has a grilled hummus wrap with seasonal roasted vegetables served with almond basil pesto, and a diverse assortment of salads include a sturdy “power quinoa” mix of beans, grains, and more. All in the $7–$8 dollar range.

The brisket sandwich cost $9.50. Fries were $3 more, so I decided to settle for the modestly dressed complimentary coleslaw. I’d rather put the three bucks and belly space toward a beer, probably one of the small locals on the beer list.

This place isn’t trying to compete with the sort of high-gloss contemporary restaurants on hip blocks that Instagram their way into local foodie vernacular, but it does apply a few of their tropes in a more modest, neighborhood-friendly setting. Based on this lunch, I’d say Spice & Soul shows promise.

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“Even if you’re a hater, I’ll sit and talk with you. We can find some common ground.”
This brisket sandwich is too good for that extra sauce
This brisket sandwich is too good for that extra sauce
Place

Spice & Soul

4033 Avati Drive, San Diego

I had to drive up a Morena off-street in Bay Ho to find this newish restaurant that calls itself Spice & Soul. It’s a part of town I find myself visiting a lot more often these days. I only learned that this east-of-PB neighborhood is called Bay Ho a year ago.

You can tell that the owners put some time and thought into styling the place, but it still feels casual. A roll-up window counter and outdoor patio give it a “just a couple of miles from the beach” vibe. It doesn’t feel like the kind of place I could walk into and get lightning-fast delivery, but fast forward a short five minutes and I was eating brisket.

Spice & Soul

Call me agnostic, but I won’t speak to the level of soul that was present in this dish. I will however get behind the seasoning of this smoked in-house brisket. The warm and deep ancho/coffee rub was served on a brioche that crumbled into bites of tender, pulled beef flavorful and moist enough that it didn’t need sauce. A side of a tangy brown BBQ sauce was provided, but I quickly lost interest — it only masked that righteous hickory smoke.

There’s a long list of other sauce options I could have subbed in or ordered as an extra at 50 cents per — smoked harissa aioli, habanero, and something called Awesome Sauce stand out. Maybe they would work with the pulled pork, certainly with the salt-and-pepper wings. Or maybe with some of the vegetarian options. Lunch has a grilled hummus wrap with seasonal roasted vegetables served with almond basil pesto, and a diverse assortment of salads include a sturdy “power quinoa” mix of beans, grains, and more. All in the $7–$8 dollar range.

The brisket sandwich cost $9.50. Fries were $3 more, so I decided to settle for the modestly dressed complimentary coleslaw. I’d rather put the three bucks and belly space toward a beer, probably one of the small locals on the beer list.

This place isn’t trying to compete with the sort of high-gloss contemporary restaurants on hip blocks that Instagram their way into local foodie vernacular, but it does apply a few of their tropes in a more modest, neighborhood-friendly setting. Based on this lunch, I’d say Spice & Soul shows promise.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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