When we took a right up Citracado Parkway into an industrial area of Escondido, we were skeptical that this could be the location of a revered beer lover’s oasis, but that’s exactly what we found. Stone Brewing co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner carved out a wood and stone sanctuary called Stone World Bistro & Gardens with some of the best beer in Southern California, market-driven food, and lush gardens. The setting is the opposite of satanic, but the logo is still a winged Devil-like creature hoisting a pint of beer.
Floor to ceiling windows provide full views of the beer tanks in the on-site brewery. If you have time, Stone offers tours.
Since there were no transportation costs, beer was ridiculously cheap.
Stone seemed to have plenty of space, but still outsourced desserts to several local bakeries.
I could have done without the layers of cream and dark chocolate, since they diverted focus from the beer flavoring. Overall, there was too much happening on the plate, with milk chocolate shavings, crushed pecans and milk chocolate sauce.
It’s well worth a diversion to Stone for the setting and beer. The food wasn’t spectacular, but it was solid, and Stone’s brain trust is ambitious, with a seasonal and local focus that’s at the forefront of Southern California cuisine.