urge american gastropub / rancho bernardo | san diego, ca

URGE American Gastropub is a food joint/pub over in Rancho Bernardo, amid a strip mall near a Vons and a really good cupcake shop (Batter Up! Cupcakes). Laura and I recently visited for some grub and shared a few items for dinner.

We started the evening off with some beers. We each got a “Taste” for $2. I got a Belgian Style IPA called “Raging Bitch” (by Flying Dog – on the left). I don’t remember what Laura got…  I think some kind of Hefeweizen. I really liked that you could just get a “taste” of a beer instead of getting a pint off the bat. It turned out to be just enough for the both of us that evening. My beer was just all right, but I do remember Laura liked hers (bummer I can’t remember what it was exactly).

We got two appetizers, one to share and one was just for me. I really wanted to try the Beer Cheese Soup ($6). I got in into my head that it would be like the Cheddar Cheese with Pale Ale soup I had at Disney’s California Adventure, which was probably my mistake, since they were not even remotely alike. This Beer Cheese soup was very rich and heavy and had a very strong pepper taste, which I did not enjoy. All I could taste was pepper – and don’t get me wrong, I do like pepper, but just not that much. The flavors just didn’t do it for me and I quickly gave us eating the soup after 3 or 4 bites. I didn’t really taste any cheese at all and just couldn’t enjoy the soup. I told our waiter that I didn’t care for the soup at all and he took it back into the kitchen and then later came by to tell me he’d be taking it off our bill.

The other appetizer we got made up for the soup. We got an order of the Gastro Wings ($8) for sharing. The wings are made with “Maui Brewing Toasted Coconut Porter” and Indonesian Cinnamon Glaze with Ginger-Kaffir Lime Dipping Sauce. These aren’t like buffalo wings – these gastro wings are more on the sweet side. They’ve got the typical set up – nice crispy exterior – and come with a wonderfully sweet dipping sauce. The consistency of the sauce was like maple syrup but not “I-can’t-eat-this” sweet – but a much more pleasant, milder sweetness that we both really enjoyed. Very different from the usually spicy wings you get at bars and pubs.

For our main entree, we split the “Link of the Day” ($10) which was an Italian sausage sub sandwich with marinara sauce and a ton of shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. For our side, we got some sweet potato fries. I personally thought the sandwich was just “okay” – nothing particularly outstanding to me, but the sausage had a nice, mild flavor to it. The sauce was a bit heavy for my tastes but not awful. The sweet potato fries were very good – nice, crisp with a good sprinkling of salt to really bring out their flavor and enhance the natural sweetness of the fries. I had to stop myself from eating a crap ton of the fries.

All in all, I enjoyed about half of the things we had and didn’t care for the other half. The service was kind of so-so that night. There was only one waiter for the whole restaurant, but he had help from the kitchen in serving the dishes to the guests. There was a large party seated next to us which commanded a little more attention but our waiter checked in from time to time with us. We waited perhaps a little longer but since we were there to chat and hang out, we didn’t mind the extra wait for the food.

Leanne of Three Dog Kitchen has also visited URGE in the past. That was where I first read about it, actually!

URGE American Gastropub
16761 Bernardo Ctr. Dr.
San Diego, CA 92128
Phone: (858) 673-8743

Mon – Fri 11:30am-Close
Sat & Sun 11:30am – Close

Urge American Gastropub on Urbanspoon

10 thoughts on “urge american gastropub / rancho bernardo | san diego, ca

  1. I’ve been curious to go back and see if any of their dishes have changed. We did go back to try their burgers, which were a 500% improvement from the first time we went, but still kind of okay. I have yet to find anything on their menu that really impresses me, although I do like their cheese fries. But, what’s not to love about cheese fries? And, I like that you can order a “taste” of beer, which is usually all I need, too.

    Haven’t tried the wings yet… maybe we’ll start with those!

  2. I would go back and just order wings. Nothing really jumped out at me when we were there – probably because I wasn’t in the mood for a burger and it seems like they have mostly burgers. The cheese fries did sound good, but we opted for those wings instead!

  3. Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. I apologize about the pepper flavor in the beer cheese soup. I’m not sure how that could have happened. It’s by far, one of our most popular dishes (as are our Beer Cheese Fries) and this is the first comment I’ve ever heard about a pepper flavor at all. We add some fresh cracked pepper to taste but it’s minimal. That being said, I really appreciate the fact that you liked the wings. If I had a nickel for every time someone has said, “they’re not hot enough” I could retire. They are not SUPPOSED to be hot. We wanted to do something different than every other bar in America. I’m pleased with the results and even more pleased that you “get it.” As far as the entrees, the Link of the Day is definitely a fan favorite but, as a rotating dish, it allows us to play with some flavor combinations and layers that may not be for everyone. Should you be so inclined to give us a second shot, it’s worth another try. Perhaps it will be more to your liking. Our entrees are burger-centric as the name “Urge” is Burger with the first and last letter dropped. While developing our American Gastropub concept, we felt that there was nothing more American than the burger. Try the BBQ Bacon Burger. We make the sauce in house using a sour cherry ale which gives it a little kick. It’s not exactly health food but it’s pretty fantastic. Also, the Beer Can Style Grilled Chicken that uses the Mary’s Farm Organic, Free-Range Chicken is really tasty.
    I hope this helps. Keep doing what you’re doing and spreading the gospel of good food. We’ll keep trying our best to improve the product we put on the plate. We hope our passion shines through.

  4. Hi Grant – Thanks for taking the time to respond! I didn’t get that about the name of the restaurant before and now it makes sense. I will swing by sometime when I’m in a “burger mood” – I just wasn’t in one when we went that time!

  5. re: grant’s comment about the word “Urge” reminded me about this:

    in the mid 80’s, there was a popular bumper sticker from in-n-out burger, with burger being on the second line. except that the ‘B’ and the “R” were removed, so it read as “In-n-out URGE”. ha ha ha! at the time, there weren’t any in-n-out’s in san diego and people drove up to l.a. just to get those stickers.

  6. I remember when the first in-n-out came to SD – in Lemon Grove – and I was in line in the car with my folks and it TOOK FOREVER. I’m sure it was good, but I think as a kid I was not happy to be in the car for that long. Sadly, don’t remember the bumper stickers, either. Had a short attention span as a child. 🙂

  7. Interestingly enough, we didn’t even think about the old In-N-Out stuff until after we’d come up with the name. However, after someone pointed it out to us, it just kind of clicked from there. Please feel free to drop me a line when you pla on coming back to give us a second shot and as always, thanks for what you do. I’m a big believer in the blogosphere as a wonderful forum for engaging real people. grant@urgegastropub.com

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.