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

Muffuletta in the hood

An early look at South Park's new neighborhood eatery

The muffuletta uses Italian deli meats, but was invented in New Orleans.
The muffuletta uses Italian deli meats, but was invented in New Orleans.

I’ll go ahead and say it. I never much cared for South Park Abbey. It had a solid beer list, and I would catch the occasional NFL game there, but between food and booze, and my own snarky standards, there wasn’t a lot to keep me coming back. It’s possible the place just suffered the comparison to its predecessor, South Park Bar & Grill, which used to host a terrific weekly jazz jam, and which I still miss nearly a decade later. Regardless, when the Abbey closed last year under dubious circumstances, this South Park resident secretly approved, sensing an opportunity for its community-central corner location to become something new and better.

Place

Fernside

1946 Fern St,, San Diego

Enter Fernside. Last month, a partnership of hospitality industry vets opened the new all-day bar and restaurant concept, named for its location at the intersection of Grape and Fern streets. One of those vets counts among the city’s best-known cocktail gurus, and with Christian Siglin on board, Fernside’s worth as a cocktail destination is a given. I showed up more concerned about the food.

A pair of smashed patties make up one of two burgers offered at Fernside.

But what impressed me the most upon arrival were the upgrades made to the building’s architecture. What used to be a narrow smoking patio along Grape Street has been expanded to become a dog-friendly dining patio, made wider with installation of roll-up doors that help the interior feel more connected to the neighborhood on a warm weather day. That structural change alone makes the place feel infinitely more welcoming, automatically a place to meet with friends over drinks from late morning to late night, even as the nascent food menu evolves and finds its identity.

To begin with, that menu, reportedly a product of chefs with top restaurants such as Nine Ten and Born & Raised on their resumes, does a decent job of appealing to herbivores as well as the meat and potatoes crowd. Salads and veggie burgers complement a menu boasting waffle fries and two types of hamburger: a gourmet style half-pounder, and one of the smashed patty variety, as recently popularized by The Friendly in North Park.

Like The Friendly, Fernside proves industry-friendly as well, serving both food and drinks late. And I’m told, when brunch service starts, it will start Friday and extend through Monday morning, a common day off for those who work in restaurants.

I was immediately drawn to a section of the sandwich menu with New Orleans leanings, including the po boy-inspired All That Pizzazz, which accompanies garlic shrimp with ham, turkey, and roasted mushrooms on a roll. But I knew my first order instantly: the muffuletta. Italian deli meats with giardiniera peppers and olive tapenade, served on toasted ciabatta.

On their own, soppressata, mortadella, and speck can each make a reasonably good sandwich. Stack them together with provolone and a briny tapenade, and I want to start making stereotypically exaggerated Italian-American hand gestures to express my appreciation.

At $15, it’s not the cheapest sandwich and fries combo in the neighborhood (note: this is a full-service restaurant). But I seriously love a good muffuletta, and once my dog learns to pull my leash in the direction of Fernside, I can see its patio becoming a destination for me once more.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Charger Corey Liuget gives $1000 to Barbara Bry

SeaBreeze Vacation Rentals helps Todd Gloria
Next Article

Wanted Noise: a punk rock plate lunch

“We want to rock out and mosh.”
The muffuletta uses Italian deli meats, but was invented in New Orleans.
The muffuletta uses Italian deli meats, but was invented in New Orleans.

I’ll go ahead and say it. I never much cared for South Park Abbey. It had a solid beer list, and I would catch the occasional NFL game there, but between food and booze, and my own snarky standards, there wasn’t a lot to keep me coming back. It’s possible the place just suffered the comparison to its predecessor, South Park Bar & Grill, which used to host a terrific weekly jazz jam, and which I still miss nearly a decade later. Regardless, when the Abbey closed last year under dubious circumstances, this South Park resident secretly approved, sensing an opportunity for its community-central corner location to become something new and better.

Place

Fernside

1946 Fern St,, San Diego

Enter Fernside. Last month, a partnership of hospitality industry vets opened the new all-day bar and restaurant concept, named for its location at the intersection of Grape and Fern streets. One of those vets counts among the city’s best-known cocktail gurus, and with Christian Siglin on board, Fernside’s worth as a cocktail destination is a given. I showed up more concerned about the food.

A pair of smashed patties make up one of two burgers offered at Fernside.

But what impressed me the most upon arrival were the upgrades made to the building’s architecture. What used to be a narrow smoking patio along Grape Street has been expanded to become a dog-friendly dining patio, made wider with installation of roll-up doors that help the interior feel more connected to the neighborhood on a warm weather day. That structural change alone makes the place feel infinitely more welcoming, automatically a place to meet with friends over drinks from late morning to late night, even as the nascent food menu evolves and finds its identity.

To begin with, that menu, reportedly a product of chefs with top restaurants such as Nine Ten and Born & Raised on their resumes, does a decent job of appealing to herbivores as well as the meat and potatoes crowd. Salads and veggie burgers complement a menu boasting waffle fries and two types of hamburger: a gourmet style half-pounder, and one of the smashed patty variety, as recently popularized by The Friendly in North Park.

Like The Friendly, Fernside proves industry-friendly as well, serving both food and drinks late. And I’m told, when brunch service starts, it will start Friday and extend through Monday morning, a common day off for those who work in restaurants.

I was immediately drawn to a section of the sandwich menu with New Orleans leanings, including the po boy-inspired All That Pizzazz, which accompanies garlic shrimp with ham, turkey, and roasted mushrooms on a roll. But I knew my first order instantly: the muffuletta. Italian deli meats with giardiniera peppers and olive tapenade, served on toasted ciabatta.

On their own, soppressata, mortadella, and speck can each make a reasonably good sandwich. Stack them together with provolone and a briny tapenade, and I want to start making stereotypically exaggerated Italian-American hand gestures to express my appreciation.

At $15, it’s not the cheapest sandwich and fries combo in the neighborhood (note: this is a full-service restaurant). But I seriously love a good muffuletta, and once my dog learns to pull my leash in the direction of Fernside, I can see its patio becoming a destination for me once more.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Wanted Noise: a punk rock plate lunch

“We want to rock out and mosh.”
Next Article

Beating back fear of Tijuana, why I keep thinking about Mexico, a cross-border kidnapping

The normalcy of smuggling across the line, party people re-take TJ, deported but not angry
Comments
1

Molto bene!

Oct. 29, 2018

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close