taco tuesday at ballast point / scripps ranch – san diego, ca
Taco Tuesdays are a huge thing here in San Diego. It usually means a special deal on mini tacos at various taco shops and bars around town. But at Ballast Point Brewery in Scripps Ranch they’re doing things a little differently with Root Cellar Catering Co. The tacos here are all made with different Ballast Point beers, putting a unique twist on the typical taco.
Root Cellar Catering Co. is a husband and wife team (Jamie and Marie) who have put together some awesome taco creations using different Ballast Point beers, such as the Pale Ale, the Indra Kunindra curry stout, and a Chiptole Porter. Each beer is infused into the ingredients creating some amazing combinations that you won’t see anywhere else.
You get your choice of two tacos + chips and salsa for $9.
The salsas were developed after customers told Jamie and Marie that they wished for a little salsa to dip their chips into. Jamie got to work and developed these two salsas – the Bloody Mary salsa which uses Ballast Point’s Bloody Mary mix and a smoked tomato salsa.
I preferred the flavor and smokiness of the smoked tomato salsa. It had a deep, bold and rich flavor that I really enjoyed. Stacey preferred the Bloody Mary salsa, but I have to admit that both were equally delicious and had a unique flavor to both.
We got to try each one of their tacos on the menu. Here’s the first two!
The 7 Hour Smoked Brisket is made with a Black Marlin Porter Chipotle Mole, Root Cellar pickled red onion, avocado, and Mexican crema.
The other taco is made with a Indra Kunindra Lemongrass Chicken that is slow braised and served with pickled red onions and fresh Thai basil.
Luckily Stacey ate most of the pickled red onion, knowing I wouldn’t touch it at all. The brisket taco was very tender and had a nice bit of flavor from the porter chiptole mole. The lemongrass/curry flavor really came through on the chicken taco – the curry from the beer really shines through on this one. I did feel that this one was a bit on the dry side though… I felt it needed some kind of sauce to pull it together to combat the dryness of the taco – but the flavors were still quite spot on.
The Bubba Taco is the only crispy taco they offer and it has a ground beer and chorizo blend that’s cooked with the Sculpin beer. This taco is created and inspired by the couple’s son! It is usually made with the Haberno Sculpin, but at the time when we visited, the Haberno Sculpin wasn’t available when they cooked up the food (though it is available now). I liked the crispy taco shell on this one and the flavor of the chorizo and beef mixed together. I’m sure there’s a different flavor once you start using the Haberno Sculpin!
The Pale Ale Braised Pork Belly Bahn Mi taco was my absolute favorite of the four. The pork belly was super tender and bursting with flavor. It helps that the Pale Ale is also my favorite of the beers so this was a clear winner to my tastebuds. It also has the flavors from a bahn mi, giving the taco a refreshing Asian twist with hoisin sauce, mint, and cilantro. I’d probably just eat these tacos over and over again on future visits. So! Good!
You can’t come to a brewery without sampling some beers, right? Here’s the menu above. I decided to go with the 6 sampler for some reason, which is a four oz. pour of the first six beers on the left side.
Stacey joined me in the sampler tasting so I wouldn’t be alone with this crazy large beer holder thing.
Sorry, I don’t remember which beer is which. All I know is I did not like that dark one at all and I made Stacey drink it instead.
Ooo, look, I’m trying to be artsy!
Stacey also tricked me into drinking some Haberno Sculpin because she’s evil. It was hot as f#*$ and I would be quite content to never, ever drink it again.
All in all we had such a lovely evening sampling beers and eating tacos. We had a chance to sit and chat with Marie for a bit and found her to be so enthusiastic and so passionate about the food they make. It was easy to see the care and love they put into their food and it shows when you’re eating it, too! We were so glad to have the chance to try out the delicious tacos and beer.
If you’ve got a hankering for some tacos and beer (you know you do!), then swing on by and check out Taco Tuesdays at Ballast Point from 4PM-9PM.
Ballast Point Brewery
10051 Old Grove Rd.
San Diego, CA 92131
* Disclaimer: I was invited to come and try out the tacos from Root Cellar Catering Co. Our tacos were complimentary. Our beer was not. I was not paid for this review and all opinions here are mine and mine alone!