Company Pub & Kitchen is a gastropub in the heart of Poway, adding to their lineup of restaurants and “boozy” places in town. Laura and I came here one evening before we continued on with our marathon of “Downton Abbey”. I started watching Downton Abbey earlier this year and immediately knew Laura would also be into it – we’re both fans of English dramas and have major soft spots for Mr. Darcy (the BBC TV version, of course – hello, Colin Firth!).
We needed some full bellies before we could go and hunker down for a few hours and I had a group deal for this place.
Let’s recap: Things I’m a fan of: Colin Firth, Jane Austen novels, British dramas and group deals.
[the drink menu]
I really dug the paper their menus are printed on. It’s that teacher’s grade paper. Do teacher’s still use this? Surely they’ve upgraded to a computerized system by now…
[orange wheat and a snake bite (stella & strongbow cider)]
Laura got a Hanger 24 Orange Wheat beer while I opted to try a “Snake Bite” – which is a combination of Stella and Strongbow Cider. I almost got a “Shandy” which is a beer of your choice mixed with Sprite – but Laura gave me a “Maybe you shouldn’t try that…” look and I decided that the stella/cider combination did sound better… I actually ending up really like it. Maybe I should put cider in everything!
[quack mac & cheese - duck/bacon sausage with mac n cheese - $9]
We started by sharing two items – a salad and this Quack Mac and Cheese which had duck and bacon sausage with a Gouda, Cheddar and Parmesan cheese sauce with the noodles.
The sausage sounded so interesting – but, turns out neither of us like the sausage very much. The sausage was a bit on the spicier side and had a very intense smoky flavor. The texture was also really odd, probably from it mostly being made out of duck.
The mac and cheese was very creamy and tasted good – but it was rather on the oily side. It looked to me like the cheese sauce had separated and broke, like when you add the cheese while the sauce it still hot. I liked the flavor overall, but the texture of the sauce made it a little off.
["abc" salad - avocado, beets & goat cheese with heirloom spinach, toasted pine nuts, white balsamic vinaigrette - $8.50]
Our waitress had the salad plates split for us so we both got a nice, even sized portion for sharing. Pretty simple salad and the beets were chopped small which I appreciated since they didn’t stand out as much (since I’m not a huge fan of beets). The avocado and goat cheese made for a nice creamy texture along with the crunch of the toasted pine nuts. The vinaigrette was light and not too heavy handed.
[boozy bbq ribs - whiskey & new castle brown ale braised rack with house bbq sauce, coleslaw and Company chips - $11.50]
Ah, there’s the part where uh, I forgot to take a photo of the entree right away. No idea why. Maybe I was mesmerized by eating. Maybe I got distracted by a TV set which temporarily warped my brain. Maybe Laura and I were talking about what scene Mr. Darcy looks the hottest in. Who knows. In any case… here’s my half eaten portion of Boozy BBQ Ribs.
The BBQ Ribs are braised in whiskey and new castle brown ale, so it’s not your typical ribs. There’s no smokey flavor but they are indeed tender from their long braising in a bath of alcohols. The meat pretty much slides right off the bone. The flavor is just so-so though. The BBQ sauce is fairly mild and “safe” in flavor – leaning slightly toward sweet with nothing to really make it outstanding.
The Company chips (aka fries) were sadly soft and almost soggy – no crunch, which made me sad. I had a bite of the coleslaw, but I pretty much despise coleslaw across the board – this one was really vinegary and I couldn’t take more than one bite of it.
I really wanted to like Company Pub & Kitchen – it’s a cozy, cute looking gastropub with a nice outdoor patio and a bar area. But, I didn’t find the food to be that spectacular. It all seemed a bit underwhelming and there wasn’t anything that was really enticing enough for me to want to make a return visit.
Company Pub & Kitchen
13670 Poway Road
Poway, CA 92064
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