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Churchill's Pub & Grille
Taps: 50 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
887 W San Marcos Blvd
phone: (760) 471-8773
(Place added by: xlperro)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 40 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
After a long day brewery touring at The Lost Abbey and Stone, stopped here for a last call and some food.
Nice little place. It was Saturday night but we got seated right away which was great. Good crowd though, people playing pool and darts.
The service was good and friendly, and extremely prompt. I think our food only took about 10 minutes, and the beer was out in a minute or two tops.
Tap selection is only OK. The permanent taps are nothing to write home about, but they have 7 or 8 rotating taps that were impressive. Got The Abyss on tap, probably not the best beer to finish the night with, but didn't figure I'd be finding it again anytime soon. Bottle list is amazing. Tons of Belgians, a large selection of beer from the British Isles, and some pretty rare American brews.
Food was excellent. I had the cottage pie, and my friends had the fish and chips and the irish stew. All of us agreed that it was about the best bar/pub food we'd had.
Prices are pretty much the going rate. Some of the taps are a bit pricey, but only if you're getting something rare. Bottle prices are about what you would expect as well.
If you're up in the North County visiting Stone or whatever else, I highly recommend stopping here.
01-28-2008 04:21:36 |
More by rxdrewthejew
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I finally made it here after the Red Poppy release. I don't make it up here (San Marcos/Escondido) much, and when I do it usually is due to beer (Stone, LA, Holiday Liquor). So we made it a point to find this beer haven, after we picked up the Red Poppy. I am glad we did. Yeah the parking sucks, but whatever. The bar is English Pub style. An obvious restaurant portion, and a seperate, yet connected bar area. Service was effecient, and knowledgeable. The menu was standard pub/bar fare. I especially enjoyed the French Dip, and had a Scottish egg for the first time, interesting. There are dart boards, plasma sceens, and my personal favorite- touch screens. There were quite a few young ones around, so that made my soon to be a father friend of mine very happy. "I can drink beer and bond with my child, awesome!" Their beer selection is top notch. I enjoyed a Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza on cask. I was really impressed that they had that, I haven't seen it anywhere else on cask yet, for what that is worth. I then shared an Amazing Grace with a friend- so not your average offerings. I would definetly recommend this bar to anyone that has not experienced the Churchill hospitality and variety and are going to be in the area. A good pre/post stop after visiting LA or Stone, or both! I will be back.
01-21-2008 18:26:10 |
More by m1ked
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Went here with my wife before seeing juno at the Edwards cinema. Passed by a millon times never went in heard about the good selection of beer and the availabilty of cask beers. Parking Lot is small and had to Park in adjucent lot which was told was fine in the night time but in day or overnight you ran the risk of your car being towed. Atmosphere was a small english pub with a few lcd tvs with sports on and a pool table right when you enter. Not a very large place and a not very decorated just a few beer things kind of dingy. Beers ontap ranged from stella to Speedway Stout. They had Alpine's Obrien's IPA on tap, Stone 10th Ann, and Speedway stout ontap as the highlights of tap beer. No cask beers that night. However the real selection was their 3 page bottle list divided by countries. Some outstanding choices and I'll leave it at that. The food while priced reasonable was standard pub food that wasnt anything to rave about. I like this place and recommend it, just check out the bottle list and you wont be dissappointed.
01-10-2008 08:55:04 |
More by sfoley333
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Setting is an authentic English pub, conveniently nestled between the Green Flash and Lost Abbey breweries on I-78. Yes, the parking lot sucks, but I went a fairly down time in the day. The atmosphere is clean and open with all the requisite pub touches (darts, beer towels, outdoor patio). Plenty of TVs with various sporting events available for viewing. Service was excellent with friendly, knowledgeable staff. I imagine it might be different during peak times as with anywhere else. Selection of beers was also impressive, with ~10 choices on tap and plenty of bottles to choose from. I had the pleasure of an amazing pull of the cask Port Brewing Wipeout IPA. Food was also good, my choice was the bangers and mash with mushy peas. I later ran into the owner (Ivan) at Lost Abbey and had a nice conversation about regional beer styles, and he seemed very receptive about the positive feedback I had about Churchill's. Great location, I would visit more often if I lived closer. For now, I will probably just stop by on my semi-regular trips up north.
08-12-2007 19:44:15 |
More by Stoneman78
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Hit this joint while pub crawlin around. We found a place to park, thank goodness, and passed the oldschool London phone booth and headed in. Indoor and patio seating is available. We grabbed a table for 6 of us and ordered up some rounds. About 10 taps and a huge bottle list. Our server was a cool gal who claimed that the vegan platter was named after her. I grabbed a smoked pork platter which was decent and filling. Cool old English pub vibe that really should be on anybody's San Diego area bar crawl list.
06-16-2007 16:15:32 |
More by blitheringidiot
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Thanks to BA, blitheringidiot found this place about two miles from our hotel. Parking is awful. The place has the English pub thing down pat. Darts, pool, and foozball tables are available for play. Great bottle list with East Coast as well as West Coast gems. Tap list was impressive with a focus on SoCal beer as well as typical pub beer. Service was very good & our waitress was very funny. She also seemed to know by name many of the customers which is always a great sign. The food was outstanding: our table of 6 all were very pleased by the grub as well as stuffed. Overall, a great place which I would highly recommend. Don't overlook this place on a SoCal beer tour.
06-16-2007 15:17:22 |
More by SkinnyElvis
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
A- parking sucks, and it sucks witha captial s-u-c-k-s when its raining. obviously going for an english theme in here. half bar area, half dining area and half of each has some sort of games (darts on both sides, pool on bar side) lots of bodies in theres a lot of space considering how small the place looks.
Q- beer poured well and served in a non frozen glass, can't complain
S- i got my beer quickly, bartenders know what they are doing
S- big selection, actually the biggest in North County San Diego, tons of bottles accompanied by 15 or so taps, and a cask.
If you are in the general vincity of north county, this place is worth it. I'll have to try the food and see if its completely worth a trip no matter where you are.
02-23-2007 07:56:28 |
More by tonistruth
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
My initial visit to this location was about 5 years ago when it was known as Camelot. We were underwhelmed and never found a reason to go back even though the name changed. From the outside it just doesn't attract a beer geek -- the neon states that it's a typical Brit pub with the usual suspects -- Guiness, Bass, Harp, Smithwkick's, etc.
For some reason the membership of QUAFF decided to have a pub night at Churchill's and I attended. Once inside we were greeted by the friendly and knowledgeable owner/publican Ivan Derezin who made us feel comfortable and went over the draft list letting us know what was off and what the replacements were. I chose to start with a pint of Spaten Optimator and a friend ordered a Young's Double Chocolate Stout. It was a difficult decision given that there are 19 taps with no space wasted on Budmilloor's. They do have Guiness, Bass, Harp, Boddington's, Newcastle Brown and Smithwick's on six of the handles but it is a local Brit hangout so what the hey. I saw Alesmith Wee Heavy, Stone Arrogant Bastard and Smoked Porter, Firehouse Pale Ale, Yellowtail, and some other locals available.
The bottle list has a good selection of Belgians (Cantillon Gueuze, Iris, Rose de Gambrinus, Vigneronne -- Chimay (all 3), Delerium Nocturnum and Tremens, Duvel, Hanssens Gueuze, Oude Kriek and Oudtbeitje, Orval, Rochefort 8 and 10, Westmalle 8 and 10, and others). The Unibroue line is also well represented, there is, of course, a decent selection of Brit bottles from Sam Smith, Fullers and Youngs, etc. and the American craft beers available in bottles include Alesmith, Avery, Bear Republic, Ommegang, Russian River and Victory.
The only food we sampled was an appetizer -- red jalapeno poppers -- quite good, not wimpy/not killer and a nice big portion. The food that was being served at other tables looked really good -- everything appeared to be home cooked -- I was really tempted to order the cottage pie but we had to leave to go to the Blind Pig night at O'Brien's -- had it not been for that we'd have stayed late.
Churchill's is an incipient mini-mecca for North County beer geeks -- it's on the rise and Ivan is committed to getting more casks and specials. I liked the ambience -- it's somewhat quiet with low ceilings, a dining room on one side, a more barry area on the other with darts and pool. I'll definitely be stopping by more often.
03-24-2006 03:42:28 |
More by dukedebourgogne
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Alright, in the interest of full disclosure I will say up front that I am a bit biased. Churchill's is my "local" and so I have self-interest in its success. However I feel my opinion is objective and so will post with the above caveat duly noted...
Here is the long and short of it...
Churchill's is a local Pub & Grille. It is clean but not overly fancy. Comfortable but not lavish. It has a bar area, dining room/lounge as well as an outside beer garden. It does not try to be or do anything it is not. In short it is not a "poser" pub but a real bar with a strong respect for the UK and continental offerings.
That said here is what impresses me about Churchill's and subsequently why they continue to earn my business:
I am there at least once but usually 2-3 times a week. There is a very loyal and strong following of patrons who travelled "across the pond" and now reside here that frequent almost daily. I can name many of them and they range mostly from England, Ireland with the occasional Scot or two and even the continent group in to watch a match on the multiple monitors between Croatia and Serbia. There are even familys from across that bring in the young ones for dinner and table games. You can't put up a pub sign and call it atmosphere anything like having a host of regulars who know their pubs...
As for the Beers; They advertise 18 on tap but I believe there are actually 19 at the moment. As previously mentioned there are the "usual suspects" like Bass, Guiness, Boddington's, Stella etc. etc. etc. however that is just the start of it. Unlike other establishments, Churchill's is looking for great beer, not just what sells and comes from "over there". For example there are locals like: Firehouse Ale, Karl Strauss Red Trolley and at least one or two from Stone as well.
Churchill's has a commitment to bring in cask ales whenever they can with a goal of at least one a month. In fact last night (12/1) they tapped the one and only "Oaked" Double Bastard that Stone Brewing released. That's right---the only one there was or will be this year. Hand pumped it was gone within four hours and enjoyed by as enthusiastic crowd as can be had. I was in heaven. And if that doesn't say something, how about this. There were other brewers there as well just to sample such a fine offering. This was community at its finest.
Interested in a Hefeweizen? they carry three... Or perhaps a draft cider, you bet...or...for a change how about a nice Lambic Framboise? Also three I believe in bottles of course. Why? because in addition to all the drafts offered they also have an extensive variety of bottled beers and varietals. But the trick is that each one is hand selected by the Proprietor and only offered if he feels it will appeal to his customers. As a true beer lover himself he ensures that you are getting the best of what can be offered and available. even if only for four hours like the casked Stone DB
Food...ahhh the food. I have always been impressed by the food at Churchill's so one day I started asking questions. having a background in food service I new the questions to ask to see how they bought and prepared their products. I was amazed...truly...when after asking about "portion packs", "frozen single serve" and such I found that they make everything there in their own kitchen. Prime Rib on the weekends and Fish & Chips to die for. Portions enough for two and raves are always heard. When you have a salty Brit ramble in at 2:00 P.M. for his "All Day" English Breakfast, hoist a pint and then without solicitation say, "These Bangers are Spot On", you know you have something. I try and have lunch there at least once a week...And there is in fact variety. And like the others not just "heat & serve" but freshly prepared items that can handle most if not all pallets and desires. You won't go hungry...
So if you want a fancy storefront or a atmospheret more like a Chili's or Applebee's there are others to be found. But if you want a truly quaint "local" that has a true appreciation for beer and food then you might stop in for a pint, or two... Don't expect to much and you won't be dissapointed. Like any true "local" pub you have to be prepared to walk in and introduce yourself. but once you do you will not find a nicer bunch either behind or in front of the bar. The pub experience is not just what they offer but what you make of it and Churchill's has the ingredients to make the best of it.
And yes, there's pool and real Dart's too. League Darts...
FYI...parking is limted out front but there is a side lot also. After five you can also park in the lots directly behind the pub as well.
12-02-2005 17:44:36 |
More by Cajonkev
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3
After the lunch date at the nearby Penny Lane [the other Brit Pub in San Marcos], and the departure of xlperro and his family, my good self, AleOha and EyeChartbrew decided that we should check out the other British Pub in town.
Previously in existence as The Camelot, so they tell me, it still retains a very British title, yet is not as much in yer face as the Penny Lane is. From the roadside, you could forgive yourself for passing by this one, for it has the appearance of a small wooden single storey diner at first.
Inside it is clean but the initial shock is just how frigging low the ceiling is. To the right a rectangular shaped room has booths either side for those seeking a little privacy whilst dining. This room also leads to a door which will take you into the searing hot outside drinking area, complete with tables, chairs and sunscreens. Immediately in front of you as you enter are the restrooms and kitchen. To the left of this sits a reasonably sized, almost sunken square shaped dark wooden bar. To the left and front of the bar there are many solid dark wood tables and chairs, as well as a nice set of real bristled Dart Boards, with the display of many dart trophies pronouncing that this is a sport taken very seriously in here.
The bar had a small but local looking selection of punters, merrily chatting and drinking. It was still early in the afternoon, but there were definitely more punters drinking in here than the Penny Lane.
All the Taps are set against the wall, but the Beer selection, as esteemed traveler and Greg Koch impersonator reports, is pound for pound pretty much that of the nearby Penny Lane sand Handpumps. However, this place has a much more local bar feel about it. The Bass Pale Ale was also decently priced, damn tasty and rather drinkable.
I did not have any food here, but I wish I had, for the Menu looked great and looked to be much more than the usual Brit pub fodder with a flair for adventure.
Service was good, friendly and the woman behind the bar was very chatty with the locals, always a good sign. I wouldnt have minded being a bit chattier with her myself ;-)
The Car Lot outside is pretty small, indeed the front, with its thin white compressed lines is mainly reserved for Bikers, giving a clue to the background of some of the composite imbibers that reside here.
Should the Handpumps disappear for good at the Penny Lane, then I would certainly make Churchills my regular haunt if I lived here, its just seems like much more fun, cozy and simply a pretty cool joint for relaxing in. This place has more of a pub feel, and I am sure Churchill's really comes to life much later in the night.
Last Visit: Saturday 7th August, 2004.
08-15-2004 03:36:30 |
More by TheLongBeachBum
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Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA
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