On a recent afternoon, I completely let the Boddington's Ale tap at Little Italy's Princess Pub & Grille slip my notice before it was too late. Boddy's, see, is the finest alcoholic beverage in the history of the universe--and there I sat, already at my self-imposed Guinness allotment, champing at the bit. Somehow, the prospect of British pub fare lost its luster as a sliver of sunlight maddeningly crept across the bar.
But know what? In just about any context, standard pub food is on the wrong side of a bum rap. Things like codfish cakes and steak and kidney pie aren't designed to appeal to the gourmand in us; their bare-bones, starchy qualities are absolutely tailor-made for washing down with any and all of the great British and Irish ales. The Princess comes fully loaded with this signature menu, and amid sharable portions to boot. Bangers and mash--two mountains of homemade mashed potatoes, vegetables and a couple delicious English pork sausages the size of small cucumbers--feeds two for $14.95; the beer-battered fish and chips, touted San Diego's best, run a dollar more. Appetizers, desserts and homemade breakfasts are priced accordingly; standard sandwiches and burgers will lighten your load by $7.95 or so.
If you go to 1665 India St. between 11 a.m. and midnight Mondays through Wednesdays, 11 a.m. and 1 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. and 1 a.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. and midnight Sundays, you're in the right place. The number is 619-702-3021. And whatever you do, don't bypass the Boddy's. As great as this food is, washing it down with anything less fairly misses the point.