BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

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Part III in a series

By the East County Eaters

Week 3:  Bleu Boheme (Kensington) and Cali Comfort (Spring Valley)

September 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)— For week three in our quest to bring you the most delightful and different happy hours across our inland region, we indulged in French cuisine and burgundy at Bleu Boheme, owned by a prominent San Diego retauranteur in Kensington. We also found fabulous half-price barbecue tri-tip and wings so hot they’re named for a local firefighters’ crew at Cali Comfort in Spring Valley, a sports bar and restaurant that has found the winning combination for hospitality.

Bleu Boheme:  Bon appétit!

4090 Adams Ave., in San Diego’s Kensington neighborhood, (619)255-4167; www.bleuboheme.com

Happy hour 5-6 p.m. nightly

If your passion is French food but your craving is gourmet on a budget, Bleu Boheme’s true happy hour (just one hour, 5-6 p.m.)  is for you. 

Not only are all wines, champagne cocktails, specialty martinis, beers and well liquor drinks a full 50% off, but you can also savor fabulous French cooking at rates even the proletariat can afford. 

Our feast included Moules Frites – fresh mussels, served up in a bucket in savory style. You can choose from eight options of mussels alone, such as one in country Dijon mustard wine sauce, another with mushrooms, bacon, white wine and garlic cream, a chili-seasoned variety with Spanish chorizo,and another with saffron cream and roasted fennel, to name  just a few tasty options- all at $9.95 with enough to share.  

We also savored the Tarte Chaude au “Reblochon” which consisted of a caramelized onion tart, bacon, roasted apple and le Delice du Juro cheese with salad greens.  Other delights include a noodle dish with gruyere, brie and fontina cheese, duck confit and smokey bacon.  Or sample the escargot, duck pate, croquettes, shitake and oyster mushroom raviolis, gnoccia a la Parisienne (served with brussel sprout and smoked duck bacon in a white wine sauce) or la charcuterie, a platter with prosciutto, garlic sausage, Spanish chorizo and pickled vegetables. 

Add a glass of French burgundy and your culinary sensual experience is complete – unless of course you choose to indulge in one of the decadently rich French desserts to round out the occasion.

Bleu Boheme uses fresh, organic, sustainable and local ingredients, even curing and smoking its own bacon, serving up sustainable salmon and other environmentally responsible options.

The ambience  at Bleu Boheme evokes France in generations past, mixing Bohemian and artistic essences of Left Bank Paris with the traditions of the French countryside.  Candlesticks driping in wax and stone walls  look straight out of a French chateau. 

Prominent restauranteur Ken Irvine, the owner and chef, takes pride in making customers feel that they have been transported around the world for an evening to “a place of well-being and happiness.”

Savor the flavors – and bon appétit!

 

Cali  Comfort:  Famous BBQ & hospitality perfected

8910 Troy Street, Spring Valley, (619)337-0670, www.calicomfortsd.com

Happy hours Monday-Friday 3-6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to closing nightly.

Playing host to the community is a family tradition at Cali Comfort in Spring Valley, which serves up not only discount drinks during Happy Hour, but also delicious dishes year-round.

What better way to host your neighbors than to cook up BBQ to die for? Cali’s BBQ pit master, Thomas House, has perfected the art and the restaurant’s “slow and low” award-winning BBQ is legendary, eve inspiring Cali’s to launch the annual Spring Valley Tailgate & BBQ Festival to benefit local youth sports.

Cali Comfort is the California version of the Irish Pub – a safe and comfortable place to congregate.  And just like the neighborhood ‘public house’, Cali Comfort has become very much the center of community life in Spring Valley with award winning comfort food, barrels of great grog, meeting rooms and sports events. 

From Little League sponsorship to “Coffee with Constituents” Shawn Walchef and family believe in giving back to the community.  But the best thing about Cali Comfort is the people – and there’s no better way to get acquainted than during the Cali Comfort Happy Hour. 

You can get  $1 off all liquor, wines and any tall domestic draft.   But the best deals are on food: 50%off all starters (appetizers), from taco rib tip and slider baskets to quesadillas.  Try the barbecued  rib Tri-Tip basket (“a pound of slow-cooked pork heaven”), OMG!

If you’re feeling daring, you can also sample the San Miguel Firefighters special – wings so hot you have to sign a waiver before tasting them.

Shawn’s grandfather started Cali Comfort as a breakfast restaurant.  It was instantly everyone’s favorite place in Spring Valley.  So how did they become the icons of BBQ and a popular sports bar?

Shawn Walchef answers, “We started our BBQ festival as a fundraiser to help kids stay off the streets and involved in organized sports instead.  The following year we went to the Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce and together turned this into a larger event, making it something for Spring Valley. The BBQ festival is something that is very important to us, because it is something we do for the community,” he said.  Last Year the event brought 5,000 people.   

But at Cali’s, what matters most is serving the community all year long.

“Most of all,” Walchef says, “we want people to be excited that they can come home and go down to their neighborhood spot, get some great food, some great craft beer, watch a game, and bring the family.”

View our other "Best happy hours in East County" reviews in this series here: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/features/food-wine/best-happy-hours-ea...