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Eureka! is an All-American scratch kitchen and craft bar that opened up a location by San Diego State University around a year and a half ago. It's been a while since Dennis visited his alma mater so we took this opportunity to fill our bellies (as media) and peek around campus.
The restaurant is on the edge of campus sharing a building with Trader Joe's and a few other businesses. The trolley and bus stops are less than a minute away and drivers can park in the paid parking garage. The restaurant will validate for 1 hour, then diners are on their own for the remaining $1 per quarter hour. Our visit took around 1.5 hours and I wish they were able to validate for slightly longer.
Both the inside and out had plenty of seating. My favorite was the colorful patio furniture, especially the vivid table tops. It was empty that day due to the wet skies. We've been receiving some much needed precipitation as of late.
Mid-day on a leisurely Saturday, the tables began filling and unsurprisingly, the majority of customers were college aged and most in larger groups. Having more people in your party means you could try more items! Lucky them!
As I was looking over the 2-page menu, this large manual juicer caught the corner of my eye. One of the staff was squeezing fresh orange juice which ended up in...
Mimosa Flight ($13) - ginger, pineapple, orange, grapefruit
... one of our mimosas. For drinks, we shared a bubbly flight. The pulps in the orange and grapefruit flavor gave a mini boost of citrus to the mix. Dennis's favorite was the ginger, smooth and similar to a kombucha he recently had.
Falafel Bites ($8.50) - tzatziki, feta, pickled red onions, dill, cilantro, red chimichurri
Originally I was iffy on ordering the Falafel Bites but this turned out to be one of our favorites. We'd bite through the fresh breadcrumb crust into the soft folds inside. Dennis thought of bean burrito flavor haha! The warm falafel against the cold yogurt sauce was enthralling in the mouth. All sauces are housemade and added vibrance and contrast to the dish.
Fried Chicken and Sweet Cornbread ($14) - whipped butter, jalapeno-infused maple glaze, bacon
This version used smaller chicken tenders like a meat topping. I loved the stick-to-the-skin batter on the chicken, which seemed to have varying amounts of cajun-like seasoning. Underneath, the corn bread was moist and fluffly, almost like a warm cake. The crisped bacon gave the most crunch while the mellow syrup binded it all together. I'm glad they don't overload the entrees with maple!
Bison Burger ($16) - bacon-infused jalapeno jam, charboiled tri-color peppers, grilled red onions, smoked mozzarella
Sometimes, I bite into a burger and I JUST DON'T WANT TO SHARE. Case in point, this was so delectably delicious with the intricate pow-wow of ingredients. The patty was well seasoned and cooked medium rare, the grilled toppings wonderfully caramelized, the melty mozzarella, held together by the subtly sweet bun. It was a handful of messy fun. Next time I'll get my very own.
Mac n' Cheese Balls ($2 upgrade) - beer cheese sauce, fresno chilis
I remember this being one of the favorites when I visited with my ladies (San Diego Food Girl, Savvy Sweets, Bloody Mary Obsessed, and Done to a Tee). Textures were enjoyable as the outside fried shell had crunch while the middle was faintly cheese flavored and moist. The parmesan shavings were airy and light.
Bourbon Barrel Cake ($8) - candied pecans, bourbon caramel, vanilla bean ice cream
Last but not least was dessert... a bourbon cake served with vanilla ice cream. It felt like circling back to our appetizer, something cold to contrast with some steamy warm. I could see the smoke rising out of this cake for several minutes after it arrived at our table! Talk about HOT STUFF! The portion is decent for sharing or can be eaten by one.
The entire meal was quite glorious really as everything we tried was more than satisfactory! After this meal, Dennis mulled aloud... where was Eureka! when he was attending college years ago? We've had quite good luck with the famous burgers at Eureka though and are more than happy to drop by the closer Eureka (UTC) when the burger mood strikes. There's also a reverse happy hour starting at 9pm so we figure it's a reasonable option for late night munchies!
Disclaimer: We were invited to dine here and our meal was complimentary. We were not otherwise compensated and all opinions are our own.
5140 College Ave. Suite 111
San Diego CA 92115