Board and Brew is one of those long running places that in recent years has exploded into a growing mini-chain. We have been going to the original location in the heart of Del Mar since the 1990s. In the past few years this sandwich spot has grown to over a dozen locations, not just in San Diego but now Orange County. That is a good thing because this is one of the best sandwich shops around. So in our series on the San Diego’s best sandwich we present our Board and Brew Review.
We have been to four of the Board and Brew locations and are pleased to report the consistency seems solid. Quality control is always a concern with a growing chain but Board and Brew seems to have it down so far. The locations we go to the most now are the Scripps Ranch and Del Sur stores. Both restaurants feature a walk-up counter to order food and a separate bar area where there are plenty of brews on tap. There is plenty of seating indoors and outdoors at both locations. Of course, the original location, right by quarterback Drew Brees’ Del Mar home, will never be beat for its rustic oceanside locale.
As the name implies there is very much a California surfer theme and of course there is plenty of brew. Most of the beer is from smaller local breweries. Each location has its different selection but you can go online and see what is available. Here is the list for Scripps Ranch. Overall this makes a good place to come watch a game or hang out during happy hour where you can get many pints for $3 or $4. We plan to take advantage of this one day!
Of course, the main attraction is the sandwiches and Board and Brew has a nice selection of fairly unique offerings. You can build your own sandwich ala Subway by picking your bread, meat and toppings, but we always get a custom sandwich. Their best selections are generally the turkey and grilled offerings. The popular Turkado is turkey with jack cheese and avocado on sourdough bread. We found that they have a secret menu and that includes one of our favorites called the San Diegoian. We can’t quite remember what is on it or how we found out about it but it is similar to the popular Turkado and comes on squaw bread. When we last asked for it, the girl taking our order had to take out a binder notebook to lookup how to make it. From the binder, it looks like there may be other secret concoctions.
The grilled items are another big hit and include the Baja Beef which can be best described as a San Diego riff on the cheese steak. This is beef with jack cheese and jalapeno peppers and it can be quite spicy. It can also be ordered with chicken. On the tamer side they have a great pastrami and a Beef Dip (roast beef, melted Swiss and au jus dipping sauce). They also have a Chicken Club, Tub O’ Tuna sandwich and Italian Sub. In other words, they basically cover all the base sandwiches.
Board and Brew is really known for their sauces. Like most sandwich shops they slather mayo on almost everything unless you tell them not to. However, it is their special secret sauce that most people talk about. This is an orange sauce with a slightly sweet taste. People generally love it or hate it. Get a side and decide for yourself. They have also added an orange habanero sauce that is quite hot. We love this, used sparingly, but be careful not to mix it up with the mild orange sauce.
Sandwich and beer are pretty much the extent of the offerings at Board and Brew. They have some salads on the menu but the only side is a bag of chips. That is fine in our book. Give us a beer and sandwich and we are happy campers.
Our mission is to write up reviews of our favorite sandwich shops in San Diego based on multiple visits. Board and Brew is not THE top sandwich spot but it is a major contender and we are long time regulars who speak from experience.