Restaurant of the Week: Cerveza Jack’s

Cerveza Jack’s mixes Southern charm with California attitude in the historic Gaslamp District of San Diego. Inspired by its sister location in Nashville, Cerveza Jack’s combines the flavors of the West Coast with Southern favorites, like hush puppies and fried chicken. Lively and bright, Cerveza Jack’s is ideal for a boozy brunch or a night out on the town.

We arrived for brunch on a Sunday and were greeted by screams of joy from happy football fans. Cerveza Jack’s is proud to be the Cowboys football headquarters for fans who live in or visit San Diego. Fans are treated to giveaways and special cocktails like the blue-hued Cowboy Up and The Dak, in honor of quarterback Dak Prescott. Whether you’re an avid fan or barely know what a touchdown is, Cerveza Jack’s is a blast for Sunday football.

After we settled into our booth, we set our sights on Cerveza Jack’s wide variety of specialty cocktails. We think Def Leppard would definitely qualify the Hot Honey Paloma as hot, sticky sweet. Made with Don Julio blanco tequila, homemade hot honey, ruby red grapefruit juice, lime juice and a salt rim, the Hot Honey Paloma is sweet with just a hint of spicy flavor. Mezcal is having a good year, and Cerveza Jack’s uses its smoky flavor to deepen the tangy, tart citrus flavor in the blood orange mezcal margarita. During our second round, we were intrigued by the Down South Rickey. With a foundation of gin, the Down South Rickey combines lime, simple syrup, muddled cucumber, mint, jalapeno and sparkling water to create a cool yet snappy sip.

To start your meal, our server suggested the smoked pork nachos and sweet potato hummus as dependable crowd pleasers, but we ultimately went with the spiced smoked wings. Served naked, these wings are crunchy and perfectly seasoned on the outside and juicy on the inside. Cerveza Jack’s gives you buttermilk ranch to dunk them in on the side, and we loved it so much we needed to ask for more!

For our entrees, we ordered the breakfast biscuit sandwich and the shrimp po’boy. The biscuit is fluffy but sturdy enough to hold the egg and hearty sausage. The accompanying side of potatoes is very good as well. The shrimp po’boy is a Southern favorite, and Cerveza Jack’s rendition brought us back to when we had our first one in New Orleans years ago. Next time we visit, we have the fried chicken tacos on our list; hot honey and fried chicken with avocado pico in a flour tortilla sounds like something we never knew we needed.

On the everyday menu, additional traditional-inspired entrees like shrimp and grits, jambalaya penne and creole petite filets are available. However, any day you visit, we suggest saving enough room for dessert. With the choice of peach cobbler, a bananas fosters split sundae or puff pastry squares, you won’t be disappointed.

Cerveza Jack’s is open Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday,10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information about Cerveza Jack’s, visit www.cervezajacks.com.

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