Brewers >Stone Brewing Co
1999 W Citracado Pkwy, Escondido, CA | Directions 9202933.115649 -117.120274
Avoid Stone Brewing Company – I write this having formerly been in restaurant management for about 20 years. That said, normally if i have a bad experience at a restaurant, instead of writing a review - i just don't go back. The issues for this 'restuarant' go beyond a bad experience. So, I feel a need to warn the public.
The big issue here is pricing vs food quality/portion. Stone does have a somewhat unique menu and appears to make an effort to use organic and local vendors in the whole 'sustainability' cause - which is great. However, at the end of the day, those should not be an excuse to compromise value and/or quality of their food.
Prices range from $5 - $15 for appetizers and about $13 - $30 for entrees. (Beer averages about $5/pint - i'll get to that in a minute). I would consider pricing here comparable to a upper-mid-range restaurant - Cheesecake Factory, ClaimJumper, etc. The problem is the portions are RIDICULOUSLY small.
My friend ordered the 'Beef and Broccoli' ($20). No exageration - there was maybe 2 oz. of beef and 1 oz. of broccoli (+ a lot of onions) and about 8 oz of brown rice. For comparison - imagine a "Lean Cuisine" for the entree portion (minus the rice) of this dish. I had an 'appetizer' Caesar Salad ($10) and 'Macaroni & Cheese w/Sausage' ($14). First off - $10 is probably the most expensive side caesar in town. It was alright but nothing special... certainly not worth the price. On the Mac & Cheese, portion and quality-wise, this is pretty much a box of White Cheddar Kraft Mac & Cheese with a cut up fried Beef Hot Dog. (A side of Mac & Cheese at Elephant Bar is a bigger portion, WAY better quality and taste and costs about $4).
The beer. No doubt about it - the beer is good - maybe even great. $5/pint, however, seems a bit pricey as a general rule - considering most rest's/bars in town sell craft beers (including Stone) for about $3.50 - $4. This also seems pricey considering that, hypothetically, the brewery would not have to incur the packaging and transport costs that are calculated into what distributors charge for their kegs.
The sad thing here is the facility is great. Service-wise - we were a large group and for the most part the service was decent. But for me, for a first encounter to a mid/upper priced restaurant: bad service, bad food = not returning; bad service, great food = maybe one more chance; bad food (regardless of service) = not returning... which is the case here.
I recommend this place to EVERYONE! – Amazing settings, great food, awesome beer!
Journey through the 55,000-square foot brewery to learn how that Stone IPA gets its deep golden color. – In Short
The free, 45-minute tour at this local brewery shows the beer making process from start to finish. Guides start by showing the ingredients in raw form, then each step of the brewing process, and then finish with the bottling machinery and the refrigerated storage room. The tasting at the end of the tour includes samples of Stone Brewing's most popular beers: Stone Pale Ale, Stone Smoked Port, Stone IPA and Arrogant Bastard Ale.
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