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Tats and tots

A deli cool people dig

Upscale vibes with a tinge of surfer grunge.
Upscale vibes with a tinge of surfer grunge.

Oceanside’s Ryes & Grind is a West Coast Jewish Deli that gives off upscale coffee shop vibes, underlain by a tinge of surfer grunge. Most people I saw dining in either wore beanies or had full body tattoos.

Place

Rye's & Grind

236 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

My server Ginger sported vibrant purple hair with thick rimmed black glasses. A glowing neon sign in the dining room read “damn, you look good;” a sign in the ladies room said, “don’t be a dick.” There was definitely a sense of “cool” here. I guess cool people dig deli meats, carbs and caffeine. As I eyed the menu, I watched the man across from me happily dunk his brisket sandwich into a cup of steaming broth. A couple at the bar ordered coffee nitro stouts and thick pastrami sandwiches with fries. Popular songs by Beyonce and Rihanna played overhead.

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French toast: part of this well-balanced breakfast!

To start, I ordered the Almond Challah French Toast ($18) and a Hippie Speedball Craft Coffee ($7). While the French toast’s description promised a sugar overload (espresso/caramel sauce/white chocolate sauce/macadamia nut syrup), the coffee drink was not overly sweet. The bartender explained that their Nimbus reverse osmosis filtration system allowed for the best tasting espresso shots. Besides coffee, beverages on offer include cold pressed juices on tap, matcha and chai options, and a selection of sophisticated coffee cocktails. Had I not needed to work that afternoon, I would have ordered a Dirty Polar Bear (cold brew/vodka/kahlua/breve) or a Drunken Arctic Monkey (cold brew/whiskey/chocolate liqueur/coconut milk) — both $13. When it arrived, I was happy to find that my french toast, which featured pillowy homemade challah bread decorated with berries and chocolate shavings, was like my coffee, well balanced and not too sweet.

Mom was a baked potato, Dad was a tater tot.

Next, I ordered a potato latke ($6), which tasted as though a baked potato and tater tot got together and made a hockey puck-shaped baby. It was dense and starchy, with a crunchy exterior and a sprinkling of salt. Alone, it was mild, but its virtues became apparent when I tried the four homemade dipping sauces: sour cream, ginger applesauce, and red and green Zhug — “Jewish salsas.” Each bite yielded a completely different experience. The green Zhug was fresh and spicy (jalapeno/herbs/lemon), while the red was earthy and robust (roasted red pepper). The delicate homemade ginger applesauce acted as a cool, slightly sweet palate cleanser. And if you want to forgeo the traditional English muffin, you can also order latkes as the base to your Pastrami or Lox Eggs Benedict ($17-18).

Matzah ball soup - how to defeat a dreary day.

The servers all raved about GG’s Famous Matzah Ball Soup, so I couldn’t leave without a sampling ($10). GG is Chef Daniel’s grandmother, who the menu claims “is responsible for teaching me how to cook.” The soup was exactly what I craved on a dreary day. The broth made me want to cozy up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket and a good book. Shredded chicken, celery, carrots, sesame and dill were the predominant ingredients. The Matzah balls, roughly the size of golf balls, were doughy dumplings crafted from unleavened flour.

Reuben: like all the breads here, the rye is baked in-house.

Finally, I ordered a Ruben Sandwich on rye ($16). Did I mention that the bread is all made in house? Deli sandwiches can be made on rye, challah or Dutch crunch (a torpedo-style sandwich bread with a crunchy exterior). I was intrigued by the Dutch crunch, but had to go for my favorite. The rye was buttered and toasted to perfection, with a generous sprinkling of caraway seeds on the exterior. The meat was slightly sweet, with a dry, jerky-like consistency. I was most excited for the house made Thousand Island dressing (pickles/onion/mayo/horseradish), but was slightly disappointed when I couldn’t taste it on my sandwich. No problem — the server brought me an extra side of sauce.

Everything bagel for breakfast on the go.

If I come back on the weekend, I’ll take Ginger’s advice and order the Hot Pastrami Tots, a play on San Diego’s famed Carne Asada Fries, made with tater tots, shaved pastrami, Thousand Island dressing, yellow mustard, everything spice, and egg ($15). She said they’re ideal for sharing while drinking cocktails with friends. Just “make sure you bring a breath mint for after... it’s got that deli mustard,” she warned. If you’re passing by on a weekday or craving a quick breakfast on the go, I recommend a simple everything bagel with cream cheese ($6). Rye’s & Grind is open daily until 3pm.

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Upscale vibes with a tinge of surfer grunge.
Upscale vibes with a tinge of surfer grunge.

Oceanside’s Ryes & Grind is a West Coast Jewish Deli that gives off upscale coffee shop vibes, underlain by a tinge of surfer grunge. Most people I saw dining in either wore beanies or had full body tattoos.

Place

Rye's & Grind

236 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

My server Ginger sported vibrant purple hair with thick rimmed black glasses. A glowing neon sign in the dining room read “damn, you look good;” a sign in the ladies room said, “don’t be a dick.” There was definitely a sense of “cool” here. I guess cool people dig deli meats, carbs and caffeine. As I eyed the menu, I watched the man across from me happily dunk his brisket sandwich into a cup of steaming broth. A couple at the bar ordered coffee nitro stouts and thick pastrami sandwiches with fries. Popular songs by Beyonce and Rihanna played overhead.

Sponsored
Sponsored
French toast: part of this well-balanced breakfast!

To start, I ordered the Almond Challah French Toast ($18) and a Hippie Speedball Craft Coffee ($7). While the French toast’s description promised a sugar overload (espresso/caramel sauce/white chocolate sauce/macadamia nut syrup), the coffee drink was not overly sweet. The bartender explained that their Nimbus reverse osmosis filtration system allowed for the best tasting espresso shots. Besides coffee, beverages on offer include cold pressed juices on tap, matcha and chai options, and a selection of sophisticated coffee cocktails. Had I not needed to work that afternoon, I would have ordered a Dirty Polar Bear (cold brew/vodka/kahlua/breve) or a Drunken Arctic Monkey (cold brew/whiskey/chocolate liqueur/coconut milk) — both $13. When it arrived, I was happy to find that my french toast, which featured pillowy homemade challah bread decorated with berries and chocolate shavings, was like my coffee, well balanced and not too sweet.

Mom was a baked potato, Dad was a tater tot.

Next, I ordered a potato latke ($6), which tasted as though a baked potato and tater tot got together and made a hockey puck-shaped baby. It was dense and starchy, with a crunchy exterior and a sprinkling of salt. Alone, it was mild, but its virtues became apparent when I tried the four homemade dipping sauces: sour cream, ginger applesauce, and red and green Zhug — “Jewish salsas.” Each bite yielded a completely different experience. The green Zhug was fresh and spicy (jalapeno/herbs/lemon), while the red was earthy and robust (roasted red pepper). The delicate homemade ginger applesauce acted as a cool, slightly sweet palate cleanser. And if you want to forgeo the traditional English muffin, you can also order latkes as the base to your Pastrami or Lox Eggs Benedict ($17-18).

Matzah ball soup - how to defeat a dreary day.

The servers all raved about GG’s Famous Matzah Ball Soup, so I couldn’t leave without a sampling ($10). GG is Chef Daniel’s grandmother, who the menu claims “is responsible for teaching me how to cook.” The soup was exactly what I craved on a dreary day. The broth made me want to cozy up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket and a good book. Shredded chicken, celery, carrots, sesame and dill were the predominant ingredients. The Matzah balls, roughly the size of golf balls, were doughy dumplings crafted from unleavened flour.

Reuben: like all the breads here, the rye is baked in-house.

Finally, I ordered a Ruben Sandwich on rye ($16). Did I mention that the bread is all made in house? Deli sandwiches can be made on rye, challah or Dutch crunch (a torpedo-style sandwich bread with a crunchy exterior). I was intrigued by the Dutch crunch, but had to go for my favorite. The rye was buttered and toasted to perfection, with a generous sprinkling of caraway seeds on the exterior. The meat was slightly sweet, with a dry, jerky-like consistency. I was most excited for the house made Thousand Island dressing (pickles/onion/mayo/horseradish), but was slightly disappointed when I couldn’t taste it on my sandwich. No problem — the server brought me an extra side of sauce.

Everything bagel for breakfast on the go.

If I come back on the weekend, I’ll take Ginger’s advice and order the Hot Pastrami Tots, a play on San Diego’s famed Carne Asada Fries, made with tater tots, shaved pastrami, Thousand Island dressing, yellow mustard, everything spice, and egg ($15). She said they’re ideal for sharing while drinking cocktails with friends. Just “make sure you bring a breath mint for after... it’s got that deli mustard,” she warned. If you’re passing by on a weekday or craving a quick breakfast on the go, I recommend a simple everything bagel with cream cheese ($6). Rye’s & Grind is open daily until 3pm.

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The latest copy of the Reader

Please enjoy this clickable Reader flipbook. Linked text and ads are flash-highlighted in blue for your convenience. To enhance your viewing, please open full screen mode by clicking the icon on the far right of the black flipbook toolbar.

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