Neighborhood is one of our favorite dining options in the Gaslamp – they have a fantastic beer/alcohol selection, and the food is also really good and creative, especially compared with the typical gastropub fare. So, when we heard that they had completely revamped the menu under a new chef, we were quite curious and went to check it out after seeing a show at House of Blues one evening.
S and our friend A had some beers… Unfortunately I can’t remember for the life of me what they were drinking. I’ve been keeping an Untappd account to try and keep track of what S and I have been drinking, but I guess I forgot to “check in” that night. Anyway, we’ve always been fond of Neighborhood’s extensive beer list as well as their delicious cocktails, and the waitstaff is quite knowledgeable and have always provided excellent recommendations.
The food menu looks pretty different from before – we were really sad to see that our previous favorite item, the Local Animal (Berkshire hot dog topped with pulled pork) is no longer there. There is a more extensive burgers & sandwiches list now, as well as a larger appetizer selection.
I’ve never had Nashville Hot Chicken, but from the descriptions and photos that I’ve seen, this is probably not super authentic. However, it was a pretty good fried chicken sandwich – the chicken breast was nice and juicy, and the batter was quite crispy and flavorful. It wasn’t really spicy, though, and it was accompanied with pickles (which I liked) and garlic aioli (which I thought was a bit of an odd pairing, flavor-wise). All sandwiches are served with a pickle spear and choice of fries or salad, and I chose the fries for us all to share. One of Neighborhood’s specialties is their sauces – they don’t believe in ketchup, and instead has an assortment of house-made condiments. The chicken sandwich and fries were served with garlic aioli and sun-dried tomato aioli, and both were quite delicious. I don’t really understand their aversion to providing ketchup, because to me ketchup plus fries is a natural pairing, but at least their own condiments are yummy.
S picked the Croque Madame sandwich – ham, Gruyere & Swiss cheeses, Mornay sauce in between toasted sourdough bread, topped with a fried egg. While I enjoyed Neighborhood’s version, I felt like there was something lacking… though I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what. Maybe the Mornay sauce wasn’t as rich and flavorful as I would have liked? Or maybe the sourdough bread didn’t fit the overall flavor? Not sure.
A chose the beer-steamed mussels. She was a bit disappointed that they were the smaller variety, which is more shell than meat. I think she enjoyed the broth, though, which was seasoned with shallots, lemon, thyme, and chili – it sounds really good and I wish I had tried some!
Overall, we had a pretty nice meal at Neighborhood. We were sad that the menu isn’t as “creative” as it used to be, but the food is still pretty good. This has been our go-to spot in the Gaslamp/downtown area, and we’ll still be back for sure, but I’ll always be pining for the Local Animal… haha.
777 G Street, San Diego, CA 92101