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