Jan. 16 2012 06:13 PM

Finally—a restaurant brave enough to use bacon!

sublimealehousesandiego
Photo by Ian Cheesman

Bacon jam isn't just an unusual condiment courtesy of the culinary propeller-heads at Sublime Ale House. It's a metaphor.

The idea of bacon jam may be synonymous with “indulgent,” “succulent” and possibly “atherosclerosis,” but not with pretense. There's certainly a hint of gustatory overkill in taking fried applewood bacon and stewing it for seven hours with caramelized shallots, molasses and various spices to render it into a blissful spread, but that maps neatly to the experience of carousing at Sublime Ale House.

Sublime Ale House's menu is awash with similarly stomach-coating comfort food, which is precisely the ticket for anyone mounting an assault on the 48 tap handles. The gooey Sublime Mac & Cheese (featuring rotisserie chicken, mushrooms, truffle oil and bacon, natch) is satisfying and salty enough to work up a gargantuan thirst. It's almost as if they want you to drink more. Sneaky capitalists.

The beer selection has a strong emphasis on local standout breweries (and, by extension, IPAs), but other domestic taps balance selections overall. The bottle menu may provide some respite for those seeking maltier selections, but the options tend to the more exotic and expensive. Luckily, I fully support the taxation of those who don't favor hoppy beers, so this doesn't bother me.

The central bar is accessible by 360 degrees. That's suboptimal if you want a defensible position during a zombie uprising, but excellent for drinking. It's staffed with knowledgeable folks who are happy to curate your tour through Inebriationville. The bar is flanked by picnic tables, which will work nicely for casual lunch dining, quickly grabbing beers and appetizers or foisting your company on patrons who didn't effectively box out entire tables.

With a menu featuring 75 different beers and the Slap Yo Mama Burger, Sublime Ale House has audacity on lock. It's the kind of place where the food is as likely to put you into a stupor as the alcoholic beverages. This place truly is bacon jam. In a very good way.


Write to ianc@sdcitybeat.com and editor@sdcitybeat.com. Ian blogs at iancheesman.wordpress.com and you can follow him on Twitter @iancheesman.

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