Knotty But Nice

Just done a walk along Market.

And where Wolffy’s once stood (844 Market), now stands The Knotty Barrel. It’s a gastropub which looks like it’s got some food that’s as interesting as its beers.

But beers are the thing. These guys may succeed where Wolffy didn't because they've caught the San Diego beer fever. They're obviously serious about pushing at least some of San Diego's stunning output, including Mission, Stone, Green Flash, Ballast, and, of course, Stone.

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Where Wolffy's used to be

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Now it's a woody interior...

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...with a long counter that's plastered with thousands of beer labels from around the world

Foodwise, I only had an appetizer, parmesan truffle fries (with truffle oil, parmesan cheese, chervil - an herb that’s like parsley - and the house ketchup). Cost $6.

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Not the cheapest, but we are practically Gaslamp here, and Randy Van Kamp, the barkeep, says it gets better during happy hour (a generous 11:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. daily) when “selected appetizers” go for half price (and you get $1 off draft beers).

Other interesting apps include battered jalapeños and baby artichoke ($3, wish I’d tried that), fried pickles in cornmeal flour with buttermilk ranch ($5), and clams steamed in an IPA beer – not wine – with mustard and parsley ($12. Now if that were in happy hour…)

Mains, though, go from $14 to $26.

And beers? Randy says they have 60 different ones from around the world in bottles.

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Big blackboard lists beers

They include Zatec, a Czech beer that has been brewed since – I can hardly believe this – the year 1004.

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Randy and the thousand-year-old beer

Plus 16 beers on tap including a bunch of those San Diego craft beers.


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