AUG. 9, 2019
T he C oast News
Licking the Plate during a shave ice trip to Moonlight Beach 1920s, land prospector J.S. Pitcher, who owned much of Encinitas, built a bathhouse, playground, boardwalk and the dance hall where Moonlight Beach. Horse racing on the beach
was not uncommon. So yes, this place has a lot of history. Another highlight of Moonlight is the worldclass volleyball happening there. Itâ€™s hard not to notice the tall, talented volleyball players on beach courts at the north end of Moonlight. They all look like they have played at least in high
school and many of them at a much higher level. Since the early 1950s, two-man volleyball has been played at Moonlight Beach and many players from the Pro Tour frequent the courts. And, of course, the annual Switchfoot Bro-Am happens every summer along with regular live music events. There is always a wide range of music coming from speakers at the pop-up tents that reflect the diversity of people at Moonlight on any given summer day. The aromas wafting from Moonlight are always a treat with the smell of campfires and people grilling the standard beach cookout fare of hot dogs, hamburgers and more. More frequently these days I see
ne of my favorite weekend activities is to get on my bike and ride into Encinitas to run some errands. My route always takes me through Moonlight Beach and in the summer I will make a pit stop at the concession stand called the Aqua CafĂŠ and enjoy lunch or a shave ice and some great people watching. Folks flock from all over San Diego County and beyond to enjoy the fabulous amenities at Moonlight. Several I talked to came from Escondido, Vista, Valley Center, Rancho Bernardo and as far away as Temecula. All shapes, sizes and ethnicities are represented and itâ€™s a nice melting pot of people beating the high temperatures where they live and enjoying mild beach temperatures and the refreshing ocean. Did you know the two boat houses on Third Street in Encinitas were built in 1929 with wood from the burned-down dance hall at Moonlight Beach? In the
SIBLINGS Cambria and Gage Escribano and Ashton Lassig came from Temecula for the shave ice and Moonlight Beach. Photo by David Boylan
local restaurants delivering to the beach, which is a convenient service for beachgoers. My last time through I saw Philâ€™s BBQ making a huge delivery to a large family gathering. Leucadia Pizzeria is another common local restaurant seen delivering to the beach. Speaking of hot dogs, the beach and a baseball game are my favorite places to eat one and the Aqua CafĂŠ at Moonlight serves up a delicious 100% beef
Nathanâ€™s famous with a bag of chips and a Coke that hits the spot every time. Iâ€™ve made it a point over several visits this summer to eat my way through the rest of the menu at Aqua CafĂŠ and was quite impressed. The â€œhand-craftedâ€? sandwiches, as they call them, are really nice, though Iâ€™m not quite sure what hand-crafted means, but hey it sounds good. The North Shore has roasted turkey breast,
mozzarella, basil, sprouts, arugula and red onion on squaw bread. The Lanai Wrap is another favorite with Black Angus roast beef, smoked turkey breast, Havarti cheese, red onion, sprouts, cucumber and organic mixed greens in a spinach wrap served with garlic ranch. There is also a really good Veggie sandwich and a PBJ with cashew butter and strawberry jam. All are a very good value at $6. Chicken, roast beef and
veggie paninis are also solid and only $7. The Hawaiian Shave Ice and Premium Shave Dessert are what the kids are lining up for though, and they are a perfectly refreshing treat and so fun to eat. Itâ€™s fun hearing the kids debate what combo they prefer as they stand in line. The Build-A-Bowl lets you pick any three flavors of shave dessert topped with honey graham crackers and white cap. The beverage selection is extensive as well with a nice variety going on including their Aqua Drinks that have alkaline water infused with fruit and electrolytes, perfect to hydrate during a day at the beach. Specialty drinks include a Shirley Temple, Blue Cream Soda, Cherry Vanilla Soda and M Kombucha on tap. Iâ€™d say Aqua CafĂŠ raises the bar on beach concessions and is another reason to visit this fine slice of Encinitas. Iâ€™d also like to give a big shout-out to the Encinitas Lifeguards who do a fine job of keeping the large crowds of beachgoers safe and following the rules they put in place to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone. Check out Aqua CafĂŠ at www.aquapurenutrition. com.
Oceansideâ€™s newest tasting room is at Kilowatt Brewing Taproom & Provisions craft beer in North County Bill Vanderburgh
ilowatt Brewingâ€™s third location celebrated its grand opening weekend on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4. Located at 406 Mission Avenue in Oceanside, the new â€œTaproom & Provisionsâ€? features the wild lighting design of the other two locations, but for the first time adds on-site food. Kilowatt Brewing began as a nanobrewery in a commercial strip mall in Kearny Mesa. And by nano, I really do mean small: they started on a 10-gallon brewing system. Later, they opened a tasting room in a former tire shop in Ocean Beach. That location has proved to be very popular, and it partly fueled the move to open the third location in Oceanside. In the meantime, Kilowattâ€™s owners have brought on a new brewer and a much larger brewhouse. Kilowatt was voted the most-improved brewery in West Coaster Magazineâ€™s 2018 poll. It is a fair assessment. If you havenâ€™t had Kilowatt beer in a
while, give it another try. I found Kilowattâ€™s Coconut Chai Porter to be the best of a lot of good beer I had at the 2019 Rhythm & Brews Fest in Vista. One of their similarly flavor-packed dark beers, Chocolate Macadamia Nut Stout, won a bronze medal for chocolate beer at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival. The new Oceanside location has 24 taps available and they offer a wide variety of beers, some of which are quite unusual. On this trip I sampled four on the lighter end of the spectrum, and I was pretty impressed. My favorite was the 150 KWH session IPA, which is light and crisp, with a delicate biscuity malt balanced by a slightly piney and tropical hop note. It has moderate-to-high bitterness, which I love. The S3 Mandarin Orange Sour is very refreshing and will be popular among beach goers. It reminded me a bit of an orange soda, and at just 3.2% ABV you can safely have several. The Oceanside tasting room has a long bar, beer rails at each of the two large roll-up windows, a couple of other standing rails, a long high communal table, plus some other seating.
A band played in the backroom during the grand opening party but Iâ€™m not sure if that will be a regular thing. The food on offer is catered off-site and mostly consists of wraps and sandwiches. I had a tri-tip steak wrap that was large, flavorful and loaded with crispy lettuce, a good deal at $9. Kilowatt Taproom & Provisions opens daily at 11 a.m. and closes most days at 10 p.m.; 11 p.m. on Thursdays and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Street parking nearby is going to be difficult especially in the summer, so plan to walk or Lyft if you can. It is just an eight-minute walk from the Pier, and right around the corner from Breakwater Brewing.
DEL MAR SNACK SHACK.com Steps to the Beach
GREAT FOOD! ELECTRICITY-INSPIRED take on a disco ball at Kilowatt Brewing Taproom & Provisions in Oceanside. Photo by Bill Vanderburgh
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