Quantcast
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

Bottle Rocket fills a Monkey Paw sized hole

Burgers and Nashville hot chicken join cheesesteaks on the menu

A better cheesesteak for East Village beer drinkers
A better cheesesteak for East Village beer drinkers

There’s an unavoidable sense of déjà vu as I sit at the bar, steadily chomping my way through a cheesesteak, intermittently washing it down with a local craft beer. Part of that feeling is driven by convenience — though this East Village spot, Bottle Rocket, opened just two months ago, it’s a short walk from my pad, so this cheesesteak scenario has already played itself out on multiple occasions.

Place

Bottle Rocket

807 16th St, San Diego

But more than that, I’ve been enjoying beers and cheesesteaks here for years. Until about 18 months ago, this place was a brewery, Monkey Paw Brewing, counted for a time among the city’s finest. Along with a wide assortment of house beers, Monkey Paw could be relied upon to offer a terrific guest beers, and to serve a slew of cheesesteaks out of its tiny kitchen. Though the Monkey Paw brand may have been swallowed up by history, the people behind Bottle Rocket are familiar with the attachment some of us had. So, while the many taps of beer remain, so too, do the cheesesteaks.

The right size burger for a bar

It's a tough act to follow, so no big surprise that the beer selection has degraded just a bit — I consistently see a glut of hazy IPAs (I’m not the only one who thinks so) and there are too many ho hum out of town brands taking up tap handles in this San Diego beer fan’s opinion. But, since we’re being honest here, the cheesesteaks have gotten better, and that’s the real reason behind my repeat visits.

A Nashville hot, but could be hotter, chicken sandwich

The $10 cheesesteaks include American cheese melted over grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, and a choice of beef, chicken, or Beyond fake beef. While the latter was fun to try for curiosity’s sake, the actual steak cheesesteak is the winner here: I’m liking it better than most of the Philly purist shops in town.

Chunky $6 deep fried pickles hit just right.

Another regional specialty Bottle Rocket has taken on is the Nashville hot chicken sandwich: fried chicken with a spicy glaze served with sliced pickles, on a potato bun. It’s a solid fried chicken sandwich, and though they’ve been making it a little spicier since I first tried it, I still plan to push for a little more heat. Perhaps all these hazy IPA drinkers can’t handle the extra heat any more than they can the bitterness of a proper west coast IPA, but some of us like to live, damn it!

Playful murals add to the new look in a familiar space.

While the food game has stepped up, this place is still more bar than restaurant, and the backroom space that used to house brewing equipment has been tapped to become a game room, which should make this a fun group destination regardless whether the Padres are in town. So shareable bar snacks on the menu deserve a look. I haven’t been able to talk arteries into taking a chance on the “awesome sticks,” which are thick, battered and fried slices of bacon dusted with powdered sugar (six for $8). However, the chunky $6 deep fried pickles hit just right.

Arguably the best bar snack on the menu is the $6 burger. Also served on a potato bun, this small burger is never going to fill you up, but it’s nearly as tasty as the cheesesteak, and the perfect size for a happy hour snack to accompany a pint or two.

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

Previous article

Derek Walcott: poem and prayer

Celebrating life in all its natural a supernatural fullness
Next Article

Is your favorite brewery open yet? Check Magie's spreadsheet.

How a local beertender spent her pandemic spring showing people where to shop
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

A better cheesesteak for East Village beer drinkers
A better cheesesteak for East Village beer drinkers

There’s an unavoidable sense of déjà vu as I sit at the bar, steadily chomping my way through a cheesesteak, intermittently washing it down with a local craft beer. Part of that feeling is driven by convenience — though this East Village spot, Bottle Rocket, opened just two months ago, it’s a short walk from my pad, so this cheesesteak scenario has already played itself out on multiple occasions.

Place

Bottle Rocket

807 16th St, San Diego

But more than that, I’ve been enjoying beers and cheesesteaks here for years. Until about 18 months ago, this place was a brewery, Monkey Paw Brewing, counted for a time among the city’s finest. Along with a wide assortment of house beers, Monkey Paw could be relied upon to offer a terrific guest beers, and to serve a slew of cheesesteaks out of its tiny kitchen. Though the Monkey Paw brand may have been swallowed up by history, the people behind Bottle Rocket are familiar with the attachment some of us had. So, while the many taps of beer remain, so too, do the cheesesteaks.

The right size burger for a bar

It's a tough act to follow, so no big surprise that the beer selection has degraded just a bit — I consistently see a glut of hazy IPAs (I’m not the only one who thinks so) and there are too many ho hum out of town brands taking up tap handles in this San Diego beer fan’s opinion. But, since we’re being honest here, the cheesesteaks have gotten better, and that’s the real reason behind my repeat visits.

A Nashville hot, but could be hotter, chicken sandwich

The $10 cheesesteaks include American cheese melted over grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, and a choice of beef, chicken, or Beyond fake beef. While the latter was fun to try for curiosity’s sake, the actual steak cheesesteak is the winner here: I’m liking it better than most of the Philly purist shops in town.

Chunky $6 deep fried pickles hit just right.

Another regional specialty Bottle Rocket has taken on is the Nashville hot chicken sandwich: fried chicken with a spicy glaze served with sliced pickles, on a potato bun. It’s a solid fried chicken sandwich, and though they’ve been making it a little spicier since I first tried it, I still plan to push for a little more heat. Perhaps all these hazy IPA drinkers can’t handle the extra heat any more than they can the bitterness of a proper west coast IPA, but some of us like to live, damn it!

Playful murals add to the new look in a familiar space.

While the food game has stepped up, this place is still more bar than restaurant, and the backroom space that used to house brewing equipment has been tapped to become a game room, which should make this a fun group destination regardless whether the Padres are in town. So shareable bar snacks on the menu deserve a look. I haven’t been able to talk arteries into taking a chance on the “awesome sticks,” which are thick, battered and fried slices of bacon dusted with powdered sugar (six for $8). However, the chunky $6 deep fried pickles hit just right.

Arguably the best bar snack on the menu is the $6 burger. Also served on a potato bun, this small burger is never going to fill you up, but it’s nearly as tasty as the cheesesteak, and the perfect size for a happy hour snack to accompany a pint or two.

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

Here's the scoop on Switchfoot's Drive-In Concert June 7

CA's 1st post-pandemic concerts
Next Article

Z-Boi, Kiyoshi, Heartbreaka, and other rappers on COVID-19

What’s going on during lockdown?
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

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 News — 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