Beach barrel is surfer terminology, I think. How stupid I feel! I’ve lived in Southern California all my life, never more than half an hour from a beach, and I don’t even know this piece of surfer slang. So totally untubular, right? Also, I can still count the number of times I’ve been to the beach on my two hands.
I know, I’m a horrible Southern Californian.
Even though I know next to nothing of the coastal lifestyle, I can appreciate any awesome food. And that’s something they have plenty of here at The Beach Barrel. Tasty burgers, tasty other sandwiches, loaded fries, salads, pizzas, wraps…
Pizza! And handmade penny art on each tabletop.
Perhaps the most interesting fact about Beach Barrel is that every sauce is made in-house, except the jerk sauce. But that’s from a recipe chef/owner Jared Jones got from an actual Jamaican grandmother, so I suppose we obnoxious foodies can let that one slide. This time.
Before we continue, just let that sink in. This might be just me, but how cool is it to find a place that does scratch-made Ranch? Or even BBQ sauce. Also, I wanted to emphasize this so that I didn’t have to type out “house-made” every time I mention a sauce. Of course, the rest of the food holds up this standard as well.
Hey, speaking of which, food.
Seasoned ground beef patty, avocado, grilled bell peppers, romaine lettuce, red onion, cheddar cheese and thousand island dressing on a grilled brioche bun.
This is a TASTY BURGER (I love a burger that brings out my inner Samuel L. Jackson). You know how when a place says, “oh our patties are seasoned/spiced with our special spice/seasoning whatever thing,” but you don’t really taste it? Not the case here. The patty – as in the seasoning of the patty – is as much a part of the dish as anything else. Also, grilled bell peppers are one of the best things ever.
Pulled Pork Fries
French fries, pulled pork, cheddar cheese, and choice of traditional or Sriracha BBQ sauce.
OK, why not just take a few more of my favorite things and mash them together? Oh, you’ve done that? Excellent. As loaded fries continue to deliciously insinuate themselves into the diets of those who live North of San Diego, this is a more than worthy representative. Great fries – gotta have that foundation – juicy pork-y pork, cheese, BBQ sauce. I am eternally thankful for whatever mix of cultures and cuisines yielded the phenomenon of loaded fries.
What, you thought I would just leave it at “whatever mix of cultures?” Hell no. I’m a reasonably cultured guy! So, shout out to stoners, South America, Belgium, the American South, and the village of Cheddar.
Spicy Hawaiian BBQ Pizza
Sriracha Garlic BBQ Sauce, mozzarella, grilled pineapple, grilled jalapeños, ham, and red onion.
What can I say about any given awesome pizza that hasn’t been said already? No, I’m seriously asking. I guess I should make it clear that this pizza most definitely qualifies as “awesome.” And “spicy,” too! Despite the name, I was still (pleasantly) surprised by the heat.
Da Kine Chicken
Shredded chicken, smoked applewood bacon, provolone cheese, caramelized red onions, grilled pineapple, and Sriracha teriyaki sauce on a grilled brioche bun.
Yes, this is just Da Kine of sandwich I like to eat.
But seriously. I usually steer clear of chicken sandwiches in restaurants because they’re usually bone dry, but this one was definitely not. Bacon and grilled pineapple do a lot of heavy lifting, of course, but the foundation of actually juicy chicken is still vital. When people think “surfer food,” they don’t often also think “complex interplay of flavors.” Just be sure to dispel with that fiction before eating here.
Citrus braised pork, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, housemade pickles, and Dijonnaise grill pressed on a French roll.
A real solid Cubano. Checked all the boxes, scratched the itch, etc. Nuff said.
Hawaiian Sticky Buns
4 King’s Hawaiian buns layered with marshmallows, smothered in pecan caramel, and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I have basically no sweet tooth. Cakes, donuts, pastries, etc. don’t interest me unless they’re from this one French bakery near me or I’m in Paris itself. So, you may be surprised to learn that I freaking loved this dessert. It’s greater than the sum of its parts. I don’t know how or why, but man oh man is it good. Maybe it’s the marshmallows that do it? Whatever it is, I would eat this after pretty much any meal. It’s listed under the heading “THE DESSERT” on the menu, because it’s the one dessert served. And remember, caramel is a sauce, which means it’s house-made, in this context.
Consistently excellent fries provide the final push that launches Beach Barrel into my personal restaurant pantheon.
Beach Barrel is open until 3:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays! AND they work with pretty much all of those third party food courier services until then, too. See their site for complete hours and more information.