Tag Archives: temecula restaurant

PUBlic House


How did we end up at PUBlic House in Old Town Temecula for a late lunch pre-brewery crawl on that rainy Wednesday afternoon in October? Well, it started with a hunt for the town’s best burger.

Although we had the best sliders of our lives that Monday night in Old Town at The Edge, Rob wanted to find the best burger. We had a late breakfast that morning after a full day of wine tasting the day before. After breakfast {even though we were all “wined out”}, we knew we had to taste the wines of the vineyards where we were staying at South Coast Winery! {More on South Coast tomorrow for Wine Wednesday!}

We walked over to the tasting room where Gregg began pouring us some exceptional wines. He also gave some food pairing recommendations and talked about a burger he makes with wine, as well as described how to make a Caribbean-style fish. He had my mouth watering so much that I almost asked him if we could come over for dinner.

We joined the Wine Club there and while I was at the register signing up and paying it, something occurred to me. We had not yet had a burger.

“HEY!” I said to Rob. “Why don’t you go back in there and ask Gregg where we can get the best burger in town! We’ll do a late lunch there before we check out the local breweries!”

He sprinted off into the tasting room and came back with a solid answer:

“PUBlic House.”

There wasn’t any hemming and hawing from Gregg. There was no “In and Out” burger response like we’d receive the day before. {Which, by the way, we did not pass up on In and Out while we were there!} With Gregg, it was PUBlic House all the way.

So we went.

It was a rainy afternoon and I was grateful that we spent the beautiful day before doing all of the tasting and enjoying the vineyard views. Today was a perfect day to recover and then spend the evening beer tasting.

The host stand was outside and we asked if we could be seated at the bar. I thought that they’d lead us inside. But instead, they led us around the back to the part-covered outdoor bar. The outdoor heaters warmed the area as the rain beat down. Despite the rainy dreariness, it was so nice to be outside in the fresh air. It was the perfect ambiance.

As we pulled up a chair to the bar, we were happy to see that there were several local beers on tap!

089The bartender caught us squinting to figure out the taps. He declared that there were more upstairs and slid a beer menu in front of us. The Limited Editions immediately caught our eyes.

085Don’t they sound soooo good? I ordered the Farking Wheaton W00tStout while Rob ordered the Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin. If you don’t know what a merkin is, just do a google search. Our bartender told us to do the same. 😉

I know it says that these are 12 oz beers, but the pours just seemed bigger than that!

086We tasted each of them. And while similar, I liked the Velvet Merkin just slightly better. I reread the description and realized that the W00tStout was 13% alcohol against the Merkin’s 8.6%. It was my turn to drive for the brewery crawl that night. It was at that moment that Rob and I realized that it would be best if we switched beers.

Then we searched the menu for the restaurant’s burger description:


But 10 oz?! We decided this was a burger we’d have to split. We also put in an order for some Opal Basil Fries. While we were waiting, we perused some more of the menu. I texted the photo below to a friend of ours who loves S’mores more than anyone we know. We thought it would be the perfect dessert for her!

090That prompted me to look at what was under “The Little People” Menu:

088Isn’t that the foodiest menu you’ve ever seen for a kid?!

Then the burger arrived…

092It was difficult to cut in two, but we managed. And let me tell you, it was sensational. But it was huge and just one half was filling enough for lunch. I wanted to slather that horseradish sauce on everything. Some of the best horsey sauce I’ve had! And you’d think that side salad was an afterthought; but it was just as enjoyable.

The fry basket was huge. I actually took the following photo AFTER we ate our fill of the fries. We didn’t put a dent in it at all. It was all burger that afternoon!

091These fries were good, but I liked whatever fries they were testing out and passing around beforehand. I think they were truffle or parmesan or something.

This burger did not disappoint. We’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good burger in Temecula. The rest of the menu intrigues me, too. We really liked this place and know that if we lived there, we’d probably be there often. Too often, I’m sure! Thanks, Gregg, for the recommendation!

Do you eat horseradish? If so, how do you use it?


Old Town Temecula


We arrived in Temecula on a late Monday afternoon and checked into our suite at South Coast Winery. It was too late to begin Wine Tasting. Most wineries close at 5pm. So we took the time to pick up a few provisions at Baron’s Market {We love this place and wish we had one near us!} and then headed down to Old Town for some dinner. We had originally planned to drive down to Escondido to visit Stone Brewery and try out some recommended Carne Asada there, but we were just too beat from the L.A. traffic to drive anywhere further. We liked feeling settled at home base.

I don’t know why I never thought of Temecula as reminding me of the Old Southwest. But, duh, we were in the Southwestern part of the U.S.

And I definitely got that vibe when we ventured into Old Town. While I doubt (m)any of the buildings date back to those days, the architecture of the quarter still retains that character.

And because all of my California vacation posts are going to be out of order, you won’t mind if I tell you about the end of our evening in Old Town first, right? As we were driving away in the night, I noticed a building on the hill, that was lit up, almost glowing, in a pink hue.

“That must be something an important!” I said. I made a detour to drive past it. It was such a grand building. We came to learn that it was the Temecula City Hall/Civic Center and the pink was lit up for October Breast Cancer Awareness month. It was absolutely beautiful. {And I don’t even like pink!} 

Here is a photo from the City of Temecula’s Facebook page:

In Old Town, there is an assortment of independently owned shops and restaurants to discover. That night, we had a hankering for some Italian. But we weren’t yielding the results that suited us on Trip Advisor and Yelp. So we found a place to park and walked Front Street. We happened upon…

Crush & Brew

Crush & Brew is bar/restaurant specializing in local wine and beer. Everything on their beverage menu hails from Southern California! This place was right up our alley. Because I didn’t know what to choose, I started with a Wine Flight. It was delivered to me in this little wine tree!


The wines I tried:

037The bartender didn’t put them in the order that they should be tasted. {All wines should be tasted white to red, lightest bodied to fullest bodied, dry to sweet.} So I tasted them in the order I thought they might go. The favorite of the bunch for both of us was hands down the Leoness Zin. It was then that we decided that we should probably put that on our winery list for the next day.

The beer list was incredible. While I sipped my wines, Rob enjoyed a couple of brews from this list, one which included the Aftershock Jess Y James:


Rob really enjoyed talking with our bartender about the brews. He noticed Rob’s interest and pulled out a map for us in which he started to mark up the nearby breweries! This is how we started to plan for our own Temecula Brewery Self-Tour.

While we were at it… “Could you please recommend some wineries!? We are tasting tomorrow and are too overwhelmed by all of the options.”

And so began the process for mapping out our wine route, too. 😉

We had fully intended to dine here as well, until we took a look at the food menu. Nothing was speaking to us. So I did another little Smartphone search to see if there were some other options in Old Town. I found a couple and told Rob to hang tight and enjoy his brew while I walked around the block. Palumbo’s, the Italian place, was closed on Monday nights. But Blackbird Tavern sure looked inviting! There was no menu outside the door, so when I returned to Crush & Brew, Rob and I pulled the menu up on our Smartphones.


The only problem? We walked right in. Their door was literally openIt was a beautiful night.

“Uh. Sorry. We have a private party only tonight,” I was told as I pulled a seat up to the bar.

Boo hoo.

So we walked to the corner and stepped into…

The Edge

At The Edge, we took a seat at the rounded bar and ordered some great local beers on tap – the Wiens Type 3 IPA and Refuge Blood Orange Wit, not knowing that we would be visiting those breweries not too far down the road within two day’s time! Because it was still Happy Hour for the Monday Night Football game, we ordered a few apps to split.

As we waited for our food, an older gentleman (who I thought was the owner) saw that we had a map and promptly came over to give us advice on where to stop for wine tastings the following day. This is the man who asked:

“What kind of wines do you like?”

“We tend to like big Cabs and Zins,” Rob told him.

This question, I learned, was key. At first, while I appreciated his suggestions, I wondered if he was just giving us names of those people who were his friends and telling us to steer clear of people he didn’t like. Some of his recommendations were the same as those from the younger server at Crush & Brew. But he also told us to skip a couple that were recommended. Truth be told, he was spot on with his recommendations!

Then our Happy Hour apps arrived:


Black n Blue Sliders, Garlic Fries and Fried Pickles

Those just aren’t any sliders there! They are two beautiful medium-rare, perfectly-seasoned mini burgers with a special melty blue cheese sauce, and topped with shoestring onions with julienned beets and carrots on the side as additional toppings. They were so good that I don’t remember much about the fries (except that I ate them), that I ate one pickle and passed on the rest and that we put in a second order for sliders!

The funny thing is, that we weren’t the only ones! Our bartender said a couple on the patio did the same thing after trying their first round.

The menu online doesn’t seem to be up-to-date because none of the items we ordered appear on the menu. But I will tell you, that Rob and I agree that these are…

The best sliders we ever had!


Truth be told, we did get our Italian fix at Palumbo’s on Wednesday night, post-brewery tour. However, I’d consider it more of an Italian family joint. The food was good, but nothing too refined. We were so tired and in need of nourishment that it didn’t even occur to me to take photos there. And we ordered an excellent bottle of local Sangiovese (Renzoni) for only $28. That’s a steal for a great bottle at a restaurant!

There’s one more place I want to talk about in Old Town, but you’ll have to wait until next week…

To learn where we tasted wine, click here.

To learn which breweries we visited, click here.

Is there a place near you that only serves local beer, wine or food?

If so, what do you like best about it?